Thursday, February 4, 2021

ARC Review: Rafael by Laurell K. Hamilton


Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter (Book 28)
Publication: Berkley (February 9, 2021)

Description: Rafael, king of the wererats, must fight to the death to defend his crown. He wants Anita Blake, one of his closest allies, with him as he faces an opponent unlike any he’s faced before. He will ask Anita to risk everything to be at his side.…

But some of the wererats fear that Rafael depends too much on Anita and her ties to the vampires. They believe that there is only room in America for one supernatural king, and Rafael will turn them into nothing more than food for the bloodsuckers.

Among his enemies, a new challenger has arisen who is younger, hungrier, and has dark secrets that could destroy both the wererats and the vampires. Rafael will go into the magical heart of his people to find the power and violence that he needs to save them all, or die trying.

My Thoughts:  This shorter than average entry into the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series still managed to fit in all the usual subjects. Anita is dealing with a new superpower: super strength this time. She is still very concerned with her complicated sex life including a jealous guard who resents her for "stealing" the object of his infatuation and her feelings for Rafael the Rat King who is a friend with benefits.

Rafael has a problem. Because of his relationship with Anita and Jean-Claude, members of his rodere are concerned that he is selling them out to the vampires. Rafael is facing to-the-death challenges frequently by rivals who are afraid of where he is leading them and who want his throne.

The current rival vying for the throne is Hector. Rafael had been grooming Hector to possibly become king when he was finished but Hector wants the throne now. Rafael has enough mixed feelings about this up-coming fight that Anita is afraid that he might lose the fight. He wants her to make him her animal to call which should give him more power. But it will cause political problems for her.

Rafael asks Anita to attend the fight but doesn't tell her she'll have to fight for the right to attend. Her super strength lets her defeat the first one to attack her with a silver blade which is a rules violation. Then she's tested by the rodere's brujas. She uses a power gifted to her from the Obsidian Butterfly to win.

But the biggest problem comes when she meets Hector and realizes that he is under the influence of a vampire that Jean-Claude didn't know was in his territory. This unknown vampire is a massive threat that has to be neutralized right away.

The story was fast-paced and brought in characters and powers from earlier books in the series. Thankfully, the shorter length didn't allow for the long-drawn-out sex scenes that dominated other books in the series. I liked the focus on Rafael and the rats. They have been side characters for quite a while and it was nice to get a closer look at their society.

Fans of the Anita Blake series won't want to miss this one. 

Favorite Quote:
Sometimes being the monster scares the shit out of me, and then there were moments like these when I realized I'd rather be the monster a thousand times over than be at the mercy of one.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow. I didn't realize this series is still going strong. I think I have a few of the earlier books, but haven't had the chance to read them.


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