This came recommended to me by several people, but I'm stuck waffling between one and two stars. The writing itself wasn't horrible, but the story did not maintain my interest at all. I expected more. I kept putting the book down and barely brought myself to finish it.
This is the novel where we meet Anita Blake, vampire hunter. Vampires are public (and even won the right to vote!) and recruiting, and we also meet were-people, zombies, and ghouls. I don't necessarily have a problem with the fact that their existence wasn't really explained. I can just accept that this is the world for the books. But with all those creatures, I guess I expected a much more compelling story.
The side characters, for the most part, all blended together for me. I had trouble recalling who was who, mostly because all of the vampires acted about the same. I'm not even sure if Phillip was a vampire, but for most of the book I thought he was because he hung out with them and had no personality of his own. They kept talking about him, and I had to keep going, “Wait, who's Phillip?” Then it was, “Wait, who's Aubrey?” The vampire master was a bit more interesting in the beginning.
The climax...was not climactic. We finally found out who the murderer was, and I didn't care at all. [SPOILER] Anita easily, blink and you miss it, takes down a thousand year old vampire with powers no others have, and yet Anita didn't show any real skill that should have made that so easily possible. [/SPOILER] She seems to succeed simply because she's our heroine, and her “bad-assitude” seemed more like luck most of the time. She didn't seem particularly strong nor skilled to me. Her attitude/voice annoyed me.
It seems like this should have been an easy read, but I just never got invested enough to breeze through. I forced myself to finish only because I only had a few more chapters left and it was due back at the library. Had I not had a long waiting room experience that gave me plenty of read time, I would have happily turned it back in without ever finding out the resolution. The book never made me care.