Rafael

Laurell K. Hamilton. Berkley, $7.99 mass market (272p) ISBN 978-0-593-33291-7
Hamilton’s entertaining but overwrought 28th installment of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter urban fantasy series (after Sucker Punch) is equal parts soap opera and adventure. When Rafael, Anita’s friend and lover, is challenged to a fight to the death for the throne of the wererat community, Anita is bound to stand by his side—and the outcome could drastically alter the balance of supernatural power in America. Wererats only respect strength, so Anita must repeatedly prove herself against a host of opponents, even as she and her allies navigate the complicated politics that govern vampires and shape-shifters alike. Further complications arise when Anita realizes Rafael’s challenger has ties to a powerful foe with their own sinister agenda for the wererats. Amid the intrigue, Hamilton still devotes plenty of time to Anita’s ever-expanding polyamorous relationships and upcoming wedding to vampire king Jean-Claude. This entry does little to advance the series arc even as it delivers all the escapades readers expect, including copious sex scenes, check-ins with a sprawling supporting cast, and moments of visceral combat. Newcomers may feel lost, but Hamilton’s die-hard fans are sure to be pleased. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/13/2020
Release date: 02/09/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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