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4.4 out of 5 stars
Burnt Offerings: 7 (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter 7)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2005
Anita Blake, Executioner, necromancer, human servant to a Master Vampire, lupa, acting-Alpha of a pack of werewolves, and leoparde-lionee to a pard of leopard lycanthropes, is changing...more so all the time. When Laurell Hamilton introduced her to us in "Guilty Pleasures," Book One of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, Anita was a 24 year-old dynamo - smart, attractive, feisty, super-independent - who raised the dead for a living. She was almost a normal 21st century career girl. Of course she staked rogue vampires as a sideline, but we all have our quirks. Anita's preternatural powers have been steadily increasing, and in "Burnt Offerings" the lines are really beginning to blur between her humanity and the supernatural. Always an uncompromising and tough lady, she's is developing a hardness, a detachment, that frightens even herself. In this novel she is ready to kill a werewolf who had betrayed the pack, even though murder is not necessary to punish the shapeshifter. She is indifferent about whether or not to pull the trigger. Killing means nothing to her, she realizes. Anita thinks, "I didn't want to kill anyone that coldly. Killing doesn't bother me, but it should mean something." Sergeant Rudolph Storr, the detective in charge of the Regional Preternatural Investigation Team, which Anita is a member of, tells her, "You just spend too much time with the damn monsters, Anita. You've played by their rules for so long, sometimes you forget what it's like to be normal."
Ms. Hamilton's plots are extraordinary, but the reason I am so addicted to the Anita Blake books is because of the characters. Anita is not the only one who has developed in a major three-dimensional way through seven novels. The other main characters: Vampire Master Jean-Claude; Werewolf Ulfric, Richard Zeeman; Larry Kirkland, vampire executioner trainee; Ronnie, Anita's best friend, and several minor personages have also grown, as have their relationships with Ms. Blake and each other. As exciting as the storylines are, I am constantly drawn back to the folks who people these novels. And the characters are what makes the series so unique and special.
"Burnt Offerings" has Sergeant Storr asking Anita for assistance with an outbreak of serious fires throughout St. Louis. Both Storr and Anita think the culprit may be a "firebug," a being who uses supernatural power to cause conflagrations. In the previous book, Anita, Richard, (her old boyfriend), and Jean-Claude, (her present lover), had formed a Triumvirate of power. In other words, when the three connect, they exude tremendous force and are able to do much more magic than any one or two can do alone. The three are still bound to each other, even though Richard is furious with Anita for dumping him, and jealous of Jean-Claude for obvious reasons.
Their Triumvirate has attracted the attention of the Vampire Council. This body of old and magically powerful vampires decide policy, and will condemn those who question their authority to a terrible undeath. They travel to St. Louis to investigate Jean-Claude, Richard and Anita, whom they view as a threat to their power. Some of these ancient beings have hidden agendas which make it almost impossible for our gang of three to survive the trials and tribulations before them. Anita is put in a position where she is forced to rescue not only friends, but enemies as well.
Ms. Blake's narrative is written with much flair and pizzazz, mixing fantasy with mystery, romance and dark humor. Her take on this derivative genre is a most unusual one. As I mentioned before, the characters and their relationships take precedence over the plot - which certainly doesn't suffer. The novel is chock-full of action, suspense and adventure, of the intelligent sort. Big pluses: introduced here are the Traveler, a Master Vampire who does not inhabit a body of his own, but moves from vampire to vampire, and Asher, someone from Jean Claude's past. The humor, dark as always, adds much to the novel....and there are plenty of laughs to counteract the violence. Overall, I cannot recommend this series enough. "Burnt Offerings" is the most complex novel yet.
JANA
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2005
this book brings us some different characters. plus the ones we know and love already. the vampire council has arrived in town and taken over the circus of the damned. anita and jean-claude have a very nasty fight on there hands. they have to try and keep all there people safe or at least alive while they sort out the problem with the council, which is to explain the death of Mr Oliver, a council member who anita and co killed in the 3rd book circus of the damned.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Laurell K Hamilton certainly has a way with words - her books draw you in and the reader never knows quite where the story is going next. These books are all very unpredictable with unexpected events unfolding and an ever-widening cast of characters.

The ever-widening epithet also describes Anita Blake's powers and responsibilities. Not content with 'merely' being a necromancer, as the books in this series have unfolded she has gained position as a lupa (female alpha wolf), leopard pack leader, vampire human servant and more. However this reader has found that the more this series continues, the more abstract and distant Anita Blake seems. In the first few books it was possible to identify with her as a woman trying to hunt monsters and not to become one. However at this point in the story I have found that Anita has become someone fairly unlikeable with her idiosyncratic set of rules that just don't work for this reader.

This story contains all the complexity of the previous stories, if more. The love-triangle is settled for the moment so more time is spent on the difficulties of Anita's life as she juggles her varied tasks. She is asked to investigate a possible supernatural firestarter, she finds herself getting involved with were-leopard and werewolf politics and her lover, Jean-Claude, needs her help with the European Vampire Council. The level of violence in this book seems rather over-the-top at times and some aspects of the plot seem rehashed from previous books, plus I have serious doubts about Anita's sanity and her self-awareness as to her limits. The author's skill in telling the tale lift this book above many in this genre but I didn't feel it was a patch on the first four in the series.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Burnt Offerings is the seventh book in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K Hamilton. I enjoyed this book so much that I can't find the right words to describe how I felt when reading it.

From the beginning I loved the interaction between Anita and Jean Claude (he's my favourite main character if you haven't guess from previous reviews) and the more intimate scenes between the two. I can't wait to see how their relationship develops in the coming books in the series as Anita seems to have a lot of uncomfortable conversations regarding her relationship with Jean Claude in this book with her work colleagues and peers.

There are quite a few confrontational moments between Anita and Richard and even some heated moments with the pack. The tension between the Richard and Anita is exciting but at the same time I don't want anything to happen between these characters because I am very much an Anita and Jean Claude shipper. But I know LK Hamilton isn't wriitng these books just for me so it will be interesting to see how Anita, Richard and Jean Claude deal with their connections to one another. We see a glimpse of it in Burnt Offerings, but somehow I think this is only the beginning of a very long and bumpy ride.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I have thoroughly enjoyed this series so far. LK Hamilton is an awesome writer and can't wait to read more of the series and delve further into her sensational animating/vampire world. My hopes for future books in the series are that we see some more development and learn more about Anita's progressive animating powers and obviously more scenes with Anita and Jean Claude.

Disclaimer: I do not own this book, I borrowed it from my local library. I have not been paid to review this book and everything I have said is of my own honest opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 30 December 2007
"I usually have to meet someone at least once before threatening to kill them, but I was about to make an exception."
A few books back Anita Blake killed Mr. Oliver, a powerful member of the vampire Council. Now the council has come to town, suspicious of why Jean-Claude won't take his seat with them, the seat that Anita unknowingly won for him. They put Jean-Claude and his human servant Anita through a series of gruesome trials, partly to determine the truth, partly for their own sadistic pleasures. And there's a firebug on the loose, too.
Very little of the original police procedural format, of Anita battling the monsters on behalf of the police, remains. Now she mainly battles monsters on behalf of other monsters, who are seemingly less monstrous -- maybe more 'human', certainly more complex -- as she gets to know them better. And that's straining her relationship with the police, too.
The changes in Anita herself through the series continue here. Her attitude to her scars has reversed: she used to cover them up, now she aggressively displays them. And initially pretty much a loner, she has taken on personal responsibility for Jean-Claude's vampires, Richard's werewolf pack, and now a pack of wereleopards, too. And her relationship with Richard and Jean-Claude is threatening to tear her up.
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Burnt Offerings is the seventh book in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. This series follows protagonist Anita Blake as she attempts to balance her ever-exciting love life with her roles as supernatural police consultant, animator and vampire executioner. The series, at present, consists of twenty books, so I'm not even halfway through yet. However, this doesn't mean that the characters and plots are not complex as there's certainly a great deal of things to understand. Therefore - as always - I recommend starting this series from the beginning in order to fully appreciate the characters and the storyline.

Burnt Offerings continues to follow Anita Blake as once again she attempts to solve a series of problems. There's an arsonist to find and also Anita has to deal with the Vampire Council and the trouble they bring with them. The plot is fast-paced as all the Anita Blake books have been so far. I love the fact that Hamilton doesn't recycle plots from the previous books and that she strives to create a fresh and exciting book with each instalment. Burnt Offerings is pretty much action from beginning to end, with a little less concentration on Anita's love life.

Of course, the love interests are still present but it's not surprising with the amount of problems going on in this book, that they take a back seat. Anita is girlfriend to Master Vampire Jean-Claude exclusively following the events from the previous book. Richard Zeeman, former boyfriend, shows a different side to his character in Burnt Offerings. While he might come across arrogant and perhaps harsh, I enjoyed seeing a new side to his character.

The introduction of the Vampire Council brings with it new characters. First of all there's Asher. Asher is a vampire who, three hundred years ago, lived in close proximity with Jean-Claude and Human Servant Julianna. Following tragic events, Asher has waited a long time to seek revenge on Jean-Claude for something which occurred in the past. I felt very intrigued to learn about Asher, his history and relationship with Jean-Claude. I'm looking forward to reading how he develops in the subsequent novels. We are also introduced to The Traveller, which I felt was a great addition to the characters. For me, what he is is an original concept and although I didn't feel as intrigued with him as I did with Asher, I still appreciated new characters to get to know.

Overall, I still am in love with this series. I have not grown bored or dissatisfied with Hamilton's work and hope I don't. Burnt Offerings is a page-turner, filled with action, excitement, romance and humour. I can't fault it!
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on 29 July 2009
Anita Blake is an Animator. Anita and co. raise the dead to settle will disputes and the like, for a reasonable fee. On the side Anita is a vampire hunter -- she's been nicknamed 'The Executioner' but she just so happens to be dating Master of the City Jean-Claude... at the same time acting as his human servant.

Burnt Offerings sees Anita and Jean-Claude facing the vampire Council -- a body of old and magically powerful vampires who decide policy and can condemn those who question their authority to a lingering undeath of supernatural torture. Among their servants is Jean-Claude's ex paramour Asher, who blames him for his disfigurement at the hands of the Inquisition (something we learned in the previous book) and for the death of the woman they both loved (Julianna). Asher was very interesting to me. If I can bring myself to read another book after this one I'll be pleased with any more information on his character.

Anita's friend and associate in training, Larry Kirkland, also makes a far too brief appearance (I have a huge soft spot for Larry!). Doph and Zerbrowski also return but in a very truncated capacity -- there's also markedly less focus on the police and Anita's job as an animator. The best things about these books were always the animator stuff and Anita's relationships with Dolph and the police. I miss the crime scene conversations, the horror. Unfortunately this book took the grotesque "erotic" S&M type stuff to gratuitous levels -- it added nothing to plot like a nice gory crime would have *sigh*.

I could barely get through the second half of this book; I ended up skimming most of it. The first half I loved, and thought how much improved it was on the previous outing but it soon sank back into the dull werewolf stuff -- I literally cannot take anymore of it! I like shapeshifters and find them quite compelling (under the right circumstances) but this book felt too much like a retread of other plots. The vampire Council was interesting but seemed to get lost in a sea of random plotlines and unnecessary distractions. I'm sick of the repetitive nature of Anita's confrontations... they lack tension and are too many. Anita was growing new powers out of nowhere and suddenly everyone around her was hailing her as their saviour, it made me want to gag.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 February 2011
Anita Blake; zombie raiser extraordinaire and the official state Executioner of vampires has faced many enemies in the previous 6 books, so what new deadly foe makes their first appearance in "Burnt Offerings"? Enter the almost mythical Council of vampires as a few of its extremely powerful members become embroiled in Anita's life.

The Traveller and the Master of Beasts are the only 2 Council members that make an appearance; however they definitely make it grand as both their formidable powers are loosed on those Anita loves. Anita is also still juggling her relationships with Jean-Claude and Richard, and despite Richard's treatment of her she certainly embraces her role as Lupa of more than just the werewolf pack. Just when you think Anita can't possibly garner any further responsibilities or power (both of which tend to come hand in hand with death threats) she does just that when her temper and sense of honour flare.

The Triumvirate created between Jean-Claude, Anita and Richard is explored further, and this certainly enhances the almost constant action found in the twisting, exciting and punchy plot. Expect the high levels of gore and violence but this wouldn't be Anita's world if someone or something didn't get its head blown off and leak its brain on her porch step.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2010
Burnt offerings is an amazing read. laurell k hamilton is my favourite author at the moment and all of the books ive read have been great. they are the kind of books that you just cant put down. This book has the great twist of a pyromaniac, in addition to the usual vampires, lycanthropes and of course necromancers. I'd definately recommend this book to any fiction/ sci-fi lovers. love, love, love it :D
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on 4 September 2010
I definitely have seen a change in the Anita Blake books; the first 3 or 4 were "Anita thinks vampires are the bad guys". Laurell K. Hamilton did a little about-face and started backing away from it a bit to set up some changes in subsequent books; Anita isn't as religious as she claimed to be, etc. I thought that maybe the publishers went to Hamilton and said "hey, the readers really like your books, but they need more sex, because sex always sells." So, she changes Anita a bit, and voila! More books sell.
So other reviews I had read of the changes in Book 6 (The Killing Dance) and after, people complained that the Anita Blake turned into softcore porn, or erotic. Well, maybe I've read too much before these books but I don't see it. Burnt Offerings , in my opinion, was very discrete with it's mentions of actual sex. I don't see what all the fuss is about. I can't say for the later books after this one as I haven't read them yet, but so far I think other reviewers simply complain too much!
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