Rafael by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'll add the disclaimer I always add - if you hate Anita Blake books, why are you reading them? These books are not filled with crazy surprises and are generally pretty formulaic, but I enjoy reading them. There's something calming about knowing the world, the characters and the general outcome at the start.
So - this book is probably (maybe?) shorter than the previous ones. It reads a little bit like a standalone novella at times, especially since things wrap themselves up in a short amount of time. These books are always a little repetitive, so I don't fault them for that, but I also don't think you could start here, at book #28, as your entrance to the series. This book, obviously, revolves around Rafael and the rats. His relationship with Anita has become controversial and caused a number of challenges. This particular challenge has a different level of baggage attached.
The story manages to give us a very small window of time, a quick build-up and delivery, but also pushes some larger loose ends along, too. Is there smut? Very little. Is there action? A ton! This book is definitely heavier on the action (and, at time, gore) than sexy times. There are still lots of men, women, and descriptions of their eye color, so don't worry about that. Anita is still a tough woman who is doing the best she can, but at times you want to throttle her for debating things so heavily in the moment. Overall, this gave me a better understanding of the wererats and Rafael, which I think was the point.
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