Review: Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton


Some zombies are raised. Others must be put down. Just ask Anita Blake.

Before now, she would have considered them merely off-putting, never dangerous. Before now, she had never heard of any of them causing human beings to perish in agony. But that’s all changed.

Micah’s estranged father lies dying, rotting away inside from some strange ailment that has his doctors whispering about “zombie disease.”

Anita makes her living off of zombies—but these aren’t the kind she knows so well. These creatures hunt in daylight, and are as fast and strong as vampires. If they bite you, you become just like them. And round and round it goes…

Where will it stop?
Even Anita Blake doesn’t know.

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The review:

“Affliction” by Laurell K. Hamilton

Published by: Berkley Publishing Group

Date Published: July 2, 2013

Review by Wendy Dawn

“In Summation”:

Vampire hunter and U.S. Marshall, Anita Blake, accompanies one of her lovers, Micah – a were leopard, home to reunite with his family. He has been estranged from them for a decade to protect them from the sadistic killer who once led Micah’s leopard pack.

The homecoming is bittersweet. Micah’s father is dying. He is rotting away from a strange ailment that the local doctors only refer to as “zombie disease”.

Anita being a zombie expert, accompanied by some of their strongest bodyguards helps the local law enforcement confront the dangerous new zombie threat. Being bitten by a zombie shouldn’t cause humans to rot in agony; Anita knows there is more here than meets the eye.

With Micah’s father having only days to live, Anita has to solve this mystery sooner rather than later.

“The Reviews are in”:

I will admit it; I have been an idiot! I have been living under a rock! When I was asked if I wanted to review this book, I said “Yea, I have read some of her others.” I was wrong I was thinking of another author. Therefore, this was my maiden voyage in to Anita Blake territory.

All I can say is Ms. Hamilton you just sold a lot more books, because I am going to have to go back and read them all. This is the 22nd installment in the series; it all began with “Guilty Pleasures” in 1993.

Anita Blake’s character rocks! She is badass! To the vampires she is known as “The Executioner”. She is her own hero and makes no excuses for how she lives her life. When I grow up, I want to be her!

Every time I thought, I was on the right track…Bam! Another plot twist! There was mystery, Romance, Family issues, Tons of action! Guns and weapons, even while Anita was being wheeled around the hospital in a wheelchair! That is an action heroine to the extreme that you have to admire.

This book really has something for everyone. It is a cross genera novel every person can find an aspect to enjoy. This has to be one of the best I have read in years for being an all around book that several groups would enjoy, not just a limited target audience.

“Normal people do not have bodyguards. Normal people would not be given royal treatment by my master. You cannot be normal, Anita Blake; you are the Executioner, and now you are the American queen to our new king, Jean-Claude. You are a necromancer and I don’t know what else; the list of your powers and titles is too long, and thanks to your request that we not be formal I do not have to list them all, but normal you will never be, Ms. Blake.”   ~Alfredo emissary of the Master in Colorado

To say most law enforcement and preternatural beings respected Anita Blake is a vast understatement. A few were jealous, most were envious, but in the end, Marshall Anita Blake gets the job done when no one else can. She uses whatever natural talents she has or can acquire.

She also acquires the people and lovers in her life. She stands beside them in a fight and beside them when they need her as a woman.

Micah needed her and Nathanial’s support as he reunites with his family. His father is gravely ill and family secrets cannot be contained.

‘Some issues stay fresh every time you open them up. It’s like evil magical Tupperware–it stays fresh forever.’   ~Micah Callahan observes about his family issues.

Some are easier to accept than others are and each family tree has some nuts to shake loose.  Micah’s Aunt and Uncle were real racist characters. Their beliefs and religion was a real revelation. Being zealot’s they felt entitled and as if they could say or do whatever they wanted…was this a reflection on real life for some groups Ms. Hamilton may have met due to the type of books she writes? I know some people like this and I know what they say about the type of books I read…hmmm. Political message hidden? If so, Well Done Ms. Hamilton.

Politics is an undercurrent in the novel. Jean-Claude is the King of American Vampires, Micah is head of the Coalition, even Micah’s father is an elected official, and in each of the law enforcement agencies there are internal politics. That is a lot of political machines at work. Moreover, they are all white noise in the background, but they are there. Jean-Claude is very diplomatic about his politics and policies. Law enforcement is the least diplomatic, it is more of a shoot first ask questions later tactic.

Seeing Anita and Edward/Ted/Death, (another U.S. Marshall) stumped as to how to handle this new threat really showed everyone just how bad the situation was. Even their fellow Marshall Hatfield, who was trying to learn from her mistakes and educate herself by observing the two was feeling frightened. If Anita Blake can’t handle this threat…who can? It makes you question if you are in the right line of work.

“If you want unicorns and rainbows, you’re in the wrong line of work.”   ~Anita Blake to female Marshall Hatfield.

Will Anita find who is behind this “zombie apocalypse”? Will she be able to stop it? How many people will she loose trying to save the world from this menace? Can Anita figure out how to make a commitment work with multiple partners and lovers? Will she ever get time to go over all the issues she keeps putting off for later? What emotional land mines waiting for Anita?

With everything going on the best advice is…

“Sometimes you need to go big or go home!”    ~Anita Blake.

I am going to go home and read more of Ms. Hamilton’s Anita Blake books!

The Rating*:

Heros: 4.5

Heroine: 5+

Story/Plot/HEA: 4.8

*The rating system is based on 1-5, 5 being the best and 1 the worst.

Hero – The main male character of the story. Heroine – The main female character of the story. Story/Plot/HEA (Happy Ever After) – The over all story line and culmination of the main plot or theme.

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Emma Edwards

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