(Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Sucker Punch was the eagerly awaited 27th book in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novels. For those of you who are not familiar with Laurell K. Hamilton, she is an amazing writer of suspense, crime solving, and all things supernatural. In my opinion, one of the reasons she is able to continue to write these novels is that she has created a world in which her characters are “real” to those of us who have been with her all these years. As an avid fan, follower and supporter of this author and her worlds, I wait for her book to come out each year, read it immediately, usually more than once. This was no different.
Sucker Punch takes place in a tiny town in Michigan, where a local citizen who happens to be a wereleopard is being held for the murder of his uncle, who raised him. Bobby Marchand is the only wereanimal in the community, and he is found covered in the blood of his Uncle Ray, who was found brutally murdered a few rooms away. The marshall handling the case is local to the community and friends with Bobby Marchand. Marshall Newman is not a rookie, but is a newer marshall. One of his first live hunts was with Anita-fighting the Mother of All Darkness- The Night Itself, the most powerful vampire in existence. He is here to take us through this story, so needless to say, he did ok on that one.
This is a different hunt however, because Marshall Newman has called Anita in to help him prove that Bobby was innocent, and vacate the warrant of execution, he has not called her in to help with a hunt or execution. Anita finds herself in unfamiliar waters, as she is known for saying, that she “takes lives”, she doesn’t save them. One of her nicknames is “The Executioner”, given to her by the Vampire Community for having the highest kill count-
“The vampires had nicknamed me the Executioner. I didn’t take prisoners.” -Anita Blake, Sucker Punch.
Anita finds that she agrees with Marshall Newman, and the two set out to prove the evidence is wrong, and that Bobby is being set up. Marshall Newman knows Bobby personally and is having a hard time believing he could actually execute him. Of course, no one in the small town wants to help, they keep pushing Newman to “do his job”, and kill Bobby. Local law enforcement especially. In an unfamiliar state, with no one she can trust, Anita calls in “Death”, her best friend, assassin, fellow Marshall and sociopath Edward-AKA Ted Forrester, or Marshall Forrester. Ted, is unfortunately 6 hours away, and the closest Marshall is Olaf, AKA Marshall Otto Jefferies, also nicknamed “Pestilence”. Olaf is a sociopath, assassin for the government, and a serial murderer of petite, brunette women (Anita fits his victim profile to a T), but when on U.S. soil a legal U.S. Marshall.
A rural, small-town keeping secrets, a wereanimal being set up for murder who can’t defend himself, a dead millionaire, Anita forced to work with a Marshall who can’t decide if he wants to murder her or sleep with her-what could go wrong?
Sucker Punch was based on solving a crime, and debating the possibilities of Anita adding to her group of lovers. I was disappointed in the absence of her Vampire King, and some of my other favorite key characters. I had wished there was some wedding teasers, I’m not going to lie. I do wish there was a little more depth to the storyline, I found it a bit predictable, and didn’t have the uniqueness I have come to expect from Hamilton. The climax and conclusion I felt was a bit rushed. The ending was sad and a bit of a shock but I still felt like it was missing something. Definitely not my favorite Anita Blake Novel, but still a fun story to read, gave me some time with “my friends” that I look forward to spending time with every year. This world that Laurell K Hamilton has created is one of my favorite places to be and always will be. I am already looking forward to her 2021 book. Thank You Laurell!
Laurell Kaye Hamilton is a 57 year young American fantasy and romance writer. She is from Herber Springs, Arkansas and known world wide for her two series: The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series, (27 books) and The Meredith Gentry Series (9). She has over 45 published works, starting as early as 1993. She has been nominated and won multiple awards for multiple Anita Blake stories, and is no stranger to the New York Times #1 Best Seller spot! Book #28 “Rafael” is set to release in February 2021.
***For those of you who have never read an Anita Novel, I will give you a very brief history. Anita Blake, starts off as a legal vampire executioner, in a world where vampires are “out” and considered citizens. When they break the law, an executioner is brought in to complete to the death sentence. She also raises zombies from the dead for a local firm, for various reasons-but only when Anita agrees with the reason, will she take the job. Throughout the 27 books, we watch her develop into a powerful woman with so many magickal and metaphysical talents, but mostly into finally finding out who she is, and learning to be comfortable with that, and also learning to love-and what type of love works for her. The world of Anita Blake consists of vampires, wereanimals, murder, hunts for killers, witches, zombies, ritual, murder, magick, sex, true friendships, and love.
About the Author:
Jade Perri is the owner and founder of Embrace Your Path. Jade is an eclectic Witch, who has been practicing for more than 10 years and offers guidance on an array of topics. She specializes in the art of divination. She is an enthusiastic teacher and offers classes and certification in many different areas. She also holds a special interest in animal communication and handmade custom poppets. She is an avid reader and her passion is the fantasy and British historical fiction genres. She is also the mother of two children, and likes to spend time with her husband.