Laurell K. Hamilton
Blue Moon (1998)
Anita Blake #8
Reviewed: 2002-12-03

There is always a bigger monster around the corner.

Richard, the werewolf part of the triumvirate, is in trouble. He was studying Smokey Mountain trolls for his master's degree in biology, but now he's in a Tennessee jail for allegedly attempting to rape a local woman. There is much Anita is willing to believe but not this. And so she drops everything and hurries to the rescue of her not-so-ex love, accompanied by a familiar entourage of vampires and shapeshifters that answer to one part or the other of the triumvirate. In the boondocks, the conspiracy that targeted Richard keeps ramping up. Paranoid as his kind tends to be, the local master vampire doesn't take the intrusion lightly either. It's like the bad guys are standing in queue to confront Anita. And this time, there is more than a couple of monsters behind it all. This time, Anita must deal with a higher order of evil.

If possible, Blue Moon is even more intense than earlier installments of the series. More violence, more slaughtering. More sex. Yes, real sex even. More arcane werewolf shit. Lots of it. More magic. New, frightening ideas like demonic possession. Once the action gets going, it never really stops. Anita is so deeply involved with the monsters, she has all but turned into one herself. Anita Blake, vampire lover and executionner, necromancer, lycanthrope queen. This novel displays Anita more powerful and more uninhibited than ever.

Remember how innocently it all started out in Guilty Pleasures? An alternate present where the undead had recently come out of hiding and Anita was staking rogue vampires. By contrast, the world of Blue Moon is steeped in magic. Preternatural creatures appear to have been a part of history for a long time. Anita is (literally) in bed with the monsters, protects vampires and lycanthropes, has spiritual bonds with them, and keeps killing humans just like anyone else. You have to wonder what happens to all those dead bodies. And the once chaste girl seems to be growing a male harem. When you look back, the transformation is startling.

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