Laurell K. Hamilton’s Hit List starts with Anita back to her roots as a US Marshal (Paranormal Division) out on a hunt with Edward. Someone is brutally killing were-tigers all across the country. The local police suspect it’s a serial killer—aka a “monster”—but Anita and Edward know different, the Harlequin are back. Anita can’t mention anything to the local police, so it’s up to her and Edward to fight this monster.
(Warning—there might be spoilers ahead.—H&H)
They are so dark, the Harlequin, that even mentioning their name will earn your death. They are nameless, faceless monsters from the depths of your worst nightmare and they work for the queen of darkness. The Harlequin serve the Mother of All Darkness (the first vampire), who is supposed to be dead. Alas, she isn’t. Her soul is out there and she wants Anita’s body, and will stop at nothing to get it.
I have to admit it; I was surprised by Hit List. No, not in a bad way either. I actually enjoyed it, and I can’t remember the last time I said I enjoyed an Anita Blake Novel. I honestly can’t tell you the last book I really liked, but I can tell you Hit List is up there on the list now. (Read more about why Natasha still reads every book in the Anita Blake series.)
Hit List is a return to the Anita of old, not the stable of men around her normally. I was surprised to find there was only ONE sex scene and it was a one-on-one. I know, color me shell-shocked! Yes, it’s a new male, but even then the sex was tame in comparison to what’s become the norm.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t action, because there is a ton of it. We have the whole creepy US Marshal team together again, Bernardo, Edward and creeptastic Otto/Olaf. He hasn’t tamed down one bit and it’s scarier with him around. I can’t wait to see how LKH spins his character to this whole new level of crazy he has going on. *shudder*
Edward seems to have changed a bit as well. I think being a family man is really doing a number on him, so much so he seems to have lost a little bit of his menacing edge. But rest assured, he isn’t wimpy by any means, he’s still got those cold dead eyes that will make even the craziest killer call for their mommy.
There is also some new characters, one that Anita adopts and a few that show Anita has grown. Seriously, she has grown! She is still a hardcore killer, but just a little bit of her has a new sense of self that improves her character. I was getting a little bit on the sick of her whining side of things, so it was nice to see her help someone. Especially since Anita seems to never ever like other females. I never liked that she didn’t have a single female friend and felt the need to bash other females, which she still does in Hit List but not as bad as in previous novels in the series.
Another thing I liked about Hit List was that it centered on plot and hardly on Anita’s relationship with the men that usually surround her. No Richard, no Jean Claude, no Asher. There were parts with Nicky (Anita’s bride) and Domino, but they act as bodyguards and not as bedmates for the most part. No kinky sex, no orgy just action that didn’t take place in a bed. Hallelujah!
The biggest issue I have was the quick wrap up at the end of the plotline with the Mother of All Darkness. I felt it was wrapped up to quickly; after all these years I wanted a bigger showdown and wasn’t happy with the neat little bow it got wrapped in. I wanted a bit more interaction between Anita and the Mother of All Darkness; alas it wasn’t mean to be.
Now please excuse me while I get a drink, I’m still in a state of shock at the fact I liked this book.
Natasha Carty reviews Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy on her website Wicked Little Pixie and lives in Toronto, Canada, with her cat, Seamus.