Affliction (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #22)

Published in: 2013
Pages: 570
Edition read: E-Book
Book #: Book 22 in the Anita Blake series

Book Description:
Some zombies are raised. Others must be put down. Just ask Anita Blake.

Before now, she would have considered them merely off-putting, never dangerous. Before now, she had never heard of any of them causing human beings to perish in agony. But that’s all changed.

Micah’s estranged father lies dying, rotting away inside from some strange ailment that has his doctors whispering about “zombie disease.”

Anita makes her living off of zombies—but these aren’t the kind she knows so well. These creatures hunt in daylight, and are as fast and strong as vampires. If they bite you, you become just like them. And round and round it goes…

Where will it stop?
Even Anita Blake doesn’t know.

My review:
Ok, so this was a decent book story-wise. Not too many sex scenes (though still enough to be annoying, sadly) but lots of decent action and zombie battles and gun fights and awesome things like that. I enjoyed the actual story part of this book, it felt a little reminiscent of the earlier books. However, the issue I have with this book isn’t the sex scenes, it’s the freaking fodder that fills each and every page. It’s like Laurell submitted the story and her publisher said “pad it out a bit”. Boy, did she ever.

Phone call between Anita and Jean Claude. How many pages should that take? 1, maybe 2 tops?
Try 12 pages. That’s a long-assed phone call, where they rehash things that we already know, and that nobody in a normal conversation would re-cap because every party in the phone call already knows these damn details.

Anita deals with everything by analysing everything to the smallest minute detail, which is excruciating to read, when you want her to get back to shooting the zombies. It makes sex scenes tedious as it’s 10 pages of lead-up to the event where Anita will discuss with her lovers their personal issues while her inner monologue is rehashing past events again, in great detail, because even though we know this stuff, we need to be told, again.

And the descriptions are just frustrating. While pretty eloquent fancy descriptive language is ever so valued in certain writing circles, you can say the same thing with an eighth of the words. But not in an Anita Blake book, not when Laurell needs to pad out a book to sell to the public. Maybe she gets paid per word? Ah, who knows.

All I know is that even though this was a pretty awesome book story-wise, the issues I have with this writer just outweighed the great story. Sure, there wasn’t just 500 pages of over-the-top sex scenes (although they have stepped it up in the BDSM part, as Anita now enjoys asphyxiation while doing the deed), but there was just over-the-top explanations, boring as hell inner monologues, and so much recapping of previous storylines/people/events/places that was just annoying to read. I understand that a new reader to the series would need this level of explanation, but we’re 22 books into a series here. Who starts a series at book 22?

Final review:
Affliction rating:
For the story, I actually would give this an 8/10. However, the rest of the stuff that came with the story- the sex scenes that were unnecessary, the long tedious explanations of past events, the over-the-top descriptions of people every few pages… that has pushed down that rating until it’s barely a 6/10, and that’s me being generous.
Would I re-read it? Look, I enjoyed the story, and I might re-read this. But I know that while reading through the first time, I was getting really annoyed by anything not to do with the Zombies. So… unknown if I would re-read.
Who would I recommend to? Fans of the series, fans of paranormal romances. If you haven’t read a book in this series before, good news! You can pick up this book and learn about what came before, as Laurell has written it that way, which is infuriating to those of us who read the previous 21 books, but possibly a good thing to you, new reader!