AFFLICTION – Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake Series, Book 22
A Perfect 10
ISBN: 978-0-425-25570-4 (Hardcover)
July 2013
Paranormal Fiction

Colorado – Present Day

Anita Blake is anticipating a normal day at work, if being a necromancer and raising the dead can be considered normal.  But for Anita it is probably the most normal thing in a life that left normal a while ago.  When Anita receives a call from her sweetie Micah's mother Bea, she is shocked.  Micah cut all ties to his family many years ago when he was infected with the leopard lycanthropy virus and Anita isn't sure how to handle the call.  But when she learns from Bea that Micah's father has been injured and is not expected to live, she agrees to try to convince Micah to come home and reconcile with his father before it is too late.

Micah isn't just any were leopard, he is the King of the Leopards, and Anita is his queen.  Did I mention that besides being a necromancer Anita carries several strains of lycanthropy as well?  She is also connected to vampire king Jean Claude and a multitude of other supernatural beings.  Suffice it to say if you have never read an Anita Blake novel you are justifiably confused; however, fear not, even if this is your first foray into Anita's world you get enough explanation throughout the book to follow along and not become completely lost in the insanity of Anita's world.

Now back to this story.  Micah, Anita, and Nathaniel, another were leopard and the sweetie of Micah and Anita, along with an assortment of bodyguards head to Colorado so that Micah can see his father before he dies.  His father was bitten by a creature that has left the poor man rotting from the inside out, so of course Anita, a US Preternatural Marshall, will be called upon to help investigate what is obviously danger from a paranormal source.

A simple trip home quickly turns into a fight of apocalyptic proportions when it turns out the “thing” that attacked Micah's father is a flesh eating zombie—and where there is one zombie there is bound to be a horde.  Fighting ensues, blood is spilled, and it's touch and go whether Anita can stop the spread of the flesh eating zombies before they finish off the population of Denver.

AFFLICTION is the latest in the long running Anita Blake series and delivers one of the better stories in the series that I've read recently.  Fans of the series will enjoy AFFLICTION and the chance to catch up with the multitude of familiar characters.  This fan was pleased as punch to see Edward, fellow preternatural marshal and sociopath, once again. It was also refreshing to see Anita with her clothes on for most of the book. While she does have sex, this book was less about feeding the Ardeur  and more about kicking monster butt.

I've been a long time fan of the series and hope AFFLICTION is the turning point many of us have been looking for.  In this we get to see not only the kick butt heroine we have come to love but also Anita's softer side as she attempts to comfort Micah on the imminent loss of his father.

Filled with sarcastic wit, humor, and a whole lot of blood and other icky things, AFFLICTION is sure to be well received by fans of the series.  If you have been getting burned out on the life and MANY loves of Anita, and yearning for a bit of the old Anita, go out and grab AFFLICTION; you'll love it!  I enjoyed this book so much I'm awarding it a rare Perfect 10.  High praise for a series that has been around since the early 1990's.  Kudos Ms. Hamilton. This one is a winner!

Terrie Figueroa