“Slay” by Laurell K Hamilton: Dynamic Conflict

Necromancer Anita Blake is small, dark, and dangerous. Her turf is the city of St. Louis. Her job: U.S. Marshal—Preternatural Branch. She’s faced horrifying monsters and brutal killers and come out the other side still standing.

  Considering how things in her life tend to go, Anita never expected her walk down the aisle with Jean-Claude to go smoothly. They’ve already been confronted with naysayers and a power-hungry ancient evil, but now Anita has to do the one thing that actually scares her: introduce her very religious, very human relatives to her fiancé—the newly crowned vampire king of America.

  As Anita tries to keep the peace between the family she left behind and the family she’s chosen, dark forces jump at the chance to take advantage of the chaos. With her happy-ever-after at risk and everyone’s immortal souls hanging in the balance, Anita grapples with a hard truth: Blood makes you related, but loyalty makes you family.

In the thirtieth book in the Anita Blake series, “Slay” by Laurell K. Hamilton, the author, manages a truly difficult feat, maintaining a dynamic conflict after so many novels. “Slay” balances both the conflict between Anita’s family, which truly intimidates her but while she’s dealing with her family, dark forces enter the fray. I love the way Laurell K. Hamilton balances both the family conflict and the enemies that Anita must fight. The pacing and conflict are dynamic and engaging throughout the novel. 

I also love the various relationships. The intriguing aspect of the newer books in the series is how much polyamory is embraced and treated in a positive light. I love that Anita has a found family that loves her as much as she does them and how much she fights to keep her family. There is also a lot of explanation of safety and dealing with trauma in healthy ways, including therapy. 

I love the conflict between Anita and her family, including a different point of view of her stepmother and her father. The threat to her and Jean Claude’s bond is emotional and intense. I love the way the magic works and I like how the story ends with a resolution that shows healthy boundaries and an end to one enemy. 

If you love the other novels in the Anita Blake series, you will want to read this one as well. Hopefully, those who haven’t read the series will give it a chance. I can tell you that this book, like the others, is full of dynamic action and complex relationships. I love the dynamic conflict and the engaging story. If you haven’t given the series a try, I suggest you do.

Rating: 5 of 5 were-animals.

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