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Danse Macabre: An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel    by Laurell K. Hamilton order for
Danse Macabre
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2006 (2006)
*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Laurell K. Hamilton's latest Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter installment, Danse Macabre, pits Anita against visiting vampire dignitaries and some of her darkest nightmares. Her vampire lover, Jean-Claude, needs Anita to help entertain Masters of the City who have come to St. Louis to watch a well-received vampire ballet. Also, during this time, Anita is supposed to choose her pomme de sange so she can continue feeding the arduer.

Anita, however, is not in the mood to play charming hostess because she just found out she might be pregnant by one of her many boyfriends and she is not sure how she feels about it. If all this stress were not enough, she keeps having dreams of Marmee Noir, the Mother of Darkness. With each dream, the animals inside her rise to fight, but while she has a wolf and a leopard lover, she does not have anyone to keep her lion at bay - leaving her a threat to herself, her lovers, and the entire lion pride of St. Louis.

A lot of conflicts arise throughout Danse Macabre, but don't get resolved, and the plot is interrupted for long stretches so that Anita can have sexual escapade after sexual escapade. Also Hamilton does a good job of describing her characters, but other imagery is lacking. I think I was most disappointed when they (finally) got to the ballet, which took place in The Fox Theatre, a real touring house in St. Louis. The Fox is a very grand, yet very gaudy, historical theatre that most authors would have a field day describing. But the short description given here does not do justice to it.

Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series will want to continue with Danse Macabre. New readers, however, will find it difficult to jump in this late in the series - which assumes a knowledge of the characters and all the vampire terms - and should start at the beginning.

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