Book Review: Laurell K. Hamilton’s “The First Death”

Posted July 10, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review: Laurell K. Hamilton’s “The First Death”

The First Death

by Laurell K. Hamilton


Series: Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #0.5, Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Graphic Novels #0.5

Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Hit List, Bloody Bones, Killing Dance, Burnt Offerings, Narcissus in Chains, Obsidian Butterfly, Bite, Incubus Dreams, Micah, Danse Macabre, The Harlequin, Blood Noir, Skin Trade, Flirt, Bullet, Never After, Kiss the Dead, Affliction, Guilty Pleasures, The Laughing Corpse, Circus of the Damned, "Shutdown", A Kiss of Shadows, Lunatic Café, A Caress of Twilight, Seduced by Moonlight, A Stroke of Midnight, Mistral’s Kiss, A Lick of Frost, Blue Moon, Dead Ice, Jason, Crimson Death.

Genres: Erotic Romance, Urban Fantasy

This Hardcover has 128 pages and was published by Marvel on February 27, 2008. Discover more about it at Goodreads. You can also buy it at Amazon

A graphic novel prequel in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter urban fantasy series revolving around Anita Blake, necromancer.

My Take

This is a very useful short (and I don’t think it’s available as anything but a graphic novel)as the basis for the series is set-up: we meet Dolph, Zerbrowski, Manny, Edward, Jean-Claude, and, Buzz.

This short includes the pivotal attack on Anita that results in that broken collar bone and the cross burn while Edward flares out with his flame thrower — all issues that come up again and again throughout the series.

At the end of the short story, there’s a sort of guide to the characters within the book with a biography on each of the major players and quotes from or of them from the various books.

As much fun as it is to visually see someone’s interpretation of how the characters look — and Anita and Jean-Claude do look as I have imagined them — I greatly dislike the excessive melodrama. It doesn’t run true to Anita’s character.

The Story

Children are being brutally killed by vampires and Sergeant Storr has called Anita in to help track them down. Seems Edward also wants Anita’s help in tracking down a bounty he’s chasing — and they are not yet friends! Eeek!

The Characters

Anita Blake is an animator bringing people back from the dead temporarily to resolve legal, business, and family issues. She also consults with the police who draw on her experience with supernaturals, and she performs legal vampire executions. The vamps call her The Executioner. Manny Rodriguez is the vampire hunter and animator who taught Anita the ropes.

Jean-Claude is a master vampire, fifth in power under the Master of St. Louis, and he manages a strip club, Guilty Pleasures. Buzz is vampire security for the club. Adam is one of the strippers.

Sergeant Adolphus Storr is the head of the Regional Preternatural Investigation Taskforce (RPIT). Anita figures he must have annoyed someone… Zerbrowski is one of his detectives, and he’s the master of the snarky remark.

Edward, a.k.a., Ted Forrester, is a bounty hunter who has graduated from chasing human criminals to hunting down the monsters: he prefers a challenge. He’s also a sociopath who leads two lives: a professional assassin, he’ll kill whoever he’s paid to kill, and as a licensed vampire executioner, he’ll do it legally as well. The vampires refer to the results of his finds as Death’s work.

Brian Dickerson is one of the child victims.

The Cover and Title

The cover is actually very spare with its gradiated cover with the light focus on Jean-Claude and Anita. Don’t be fooled by their body positioning. Jean-Claude may have maneuvered himself into holding Anita, but it’s not by her choice.

My guess about this title is that it’s a metaphor for Anita’s first introduction and seduction by Jean-Claude, “First Death” if you will.

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