The Killing Dance is the sixth book in the controversial Anita Blake series. There are different camps in the ongoing discussion whether the books get better later on, or complete crap. I'm not sure yet which side I'm on.
What I do know is that I had a great time reading The Killing Dance. In this book Anita is in danger. That's nothing new. But now someone is hiring professionals to kill her. She has a price of about half a million above her head. It's just a matter of time until someone takes his chance.
In order to keep safe she has to hide in the notorious Circus of the Damned, where the daytime hiding place of the vamps is. This puts a strain on her fragile balancing act, the love triangle with vampire Jean-Claude and alpha were Richard.
These books are my guilty pleasure. They are certainly not literary prize winners, and you can't really identify yourself with the main character (if you are as gun happy as Anita, you do have a problem), but the story is engrossing and fast-moving. There are always tons of troubles and dangerous situations Anita has to overcome, and I like to see how she escapes death this time.
It's getting clearer and clearer that Anita isn't the straightforward good guy any more. She's dating the enemy. She doesn't think twice about killing. But it's nice to see that even the Executioner can get downright scared at times.
She's quite good at shooting moving targets, but in the relational department she can use some training. I though it was rather funny to see how she's struggling to keep everything from falling apart. There was some great JC/Richard interaction in The Killing Dance. I enjoy their jealous fighting over Anita. That being said, I have to admit that after reading this book I'm completely partial to Jean-Claude. He shows once again that deep down in his corpse-body there is still a heart somewhere. He truly wants Anita to be happy. Opposed to Richard, who just can't get past his jealousy. I already know a bit of how their relationships are going to evolve, but I'm still curious to how they become that way.
Maybe it's important to keep enough time between reading the Anita Blake books. I can understand how you get sick of Hamilton's repetitiveness when you read them all after each other. I thought the repetition of phrases wasn't as prominent in this book as in the others. The excessive use of the word "power" was slightly annoying, but I couldn't really come up with an alternative, so I don't blame the author.
I'm going to keep reading this series. I still find the books enjoyable, even though I can see them changing. I won't rush into buying book seven, Burnt Offerings, but when I'm looking for some fast-paced killing with sexy vampires and a lot of tension between the characters, I'll pick one up again.