Book Review – Skin Trade

Skin Trade (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #17)Skin Trade by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have an up-and-down relationship with Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, for all sorts of reasons, but this one is a winner! It has most of the elements that got me hooked on the series in the first place: murder, vampires who don’t sparkle, gobs of horror, detective schtuff, and romance. In Skin Trade, Hamilton finds a balance while working in issues of gender and prejudice, yet the story keeps moving forward. Something is always happening, usually one right on top of the other, which leads to a braided plot that shifts between its angles all the time without letting you get lost or left behind.

My only complaint is the speed of the conclusion, which wraps up a little too quickly. If the novel was less complex and shorter, like her first Anita books, this works well, but a 5-star book got demoted to 4 because of how fast it finishes. Still, a great offering, back to as much of the basics as a series like this can get, and a lot of engrossing fun.

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Book Review – Going After Cacciato

Going After CacciatoGoing After Cacciato by Tim O’Brien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Any Tim O’Brien is fun, but this is my favorite of his. It’s lit fiction, but the kind anybody can read, not just a bunch of academics with patches on their coat’s elbows who get snotty over these kinds of things.

It’s war fiction; it’s not. It realistic and fantastic. It reads like people speak in the here-and-now. If you’re one of those who needs to “get some culture,” you can do it with Tim O’Brien instead of those older, sometimes impenetrable classics. Trust me, this one belongs on those shelves, but without the antique frills and lace.

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