This article or section contains spoilers for 2018 novel Serpentine.
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|Spoilers: Sucker Punch
This article or section contains spoilers for 2020 novel Sucker Punch.
Proceed with caution.
- "I am the Executioner, and I don't date vampires. I kill them."
- —Anita Blake[src]
Anita Katerine Blake is the heroine and the narrator of the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series of novels, short stories, and comics by Laurell K. Hamilton. The only part of the series she hasn't appeared in this far is the short story Selling Houses.
Anita is a young woman who lives in St. Louis. Her night job, and primary source of income, is the legal profession of re-animating the dead. As an animator, her job entails using magical abilities to bring temporary life to dead bodies as zombies in order to e.g. question them for legal purposes. She isn't just a run-of-the-mill animator, though, as she is powerful enough to become a necromancer. This allows her deeper and wider control over the dead, including to some extent even vampires and zombies raised by other people.
Unlike most animators, Anita is also held in retainer as a preternatural consultant for the Regional Preternatural Investigation Taskforce, which handles crimes involving magic, vampires, lycanthropes, and other preternatural creatures. She is also a licensed vampire hunter/executioner in her own right, which sometimes gives her a wider range of possibilities than the police have at their disposal. Later, Anita gets empowered as a Federal Marshal, which broadens the range of her responsibilities but also makes her job easier in many ways.
Killing a vampire is murder, other than when there are legal exceptions. As a jail couldn't hold a vampire, breaking the law means a warrant of execution for that vampire and any accomplices, human and vampire alike. The warrant doesn't necessarily specify which vampire is the culprit, making the vampire hunter the sole judge, jury, and executioner for those involved. For some people the vampire hunter license largely means morgue stakings after the rogue vampire has already been caught and restrained, but others such as Anita do their own tracking down and killing in the field. This earned her early on a nickname among the vampires: The Executioner.
A strong protagonist in the series, Anita is very direct and can come across as rude, and is considered highly competent in the professions she is involved in. She is trained in judo and kenpo, and knows how to use several weapons, including blades, but is most proficient with guns. As the series begins, the Browning Hi-Power is her carry gun of choice, though later in the series she switches to the Browning BDM.
Anita stands at 5' 3" and has long, curly black hair that has grown to reach her waist. Her dark brown eyes and black hair are attributed to her mother's Mexican heritage, while her pale skin comes from her father's Germanic lineage. Anita is slender but curvy, and short but muscular. It has been noted she is noticeably busty as well, with a triple-E cup size. She wears a size 7 shoe.
She generally prefers to wear long sleeved blouses to better conceal her weapons and her extensive scarring on her left arm and other parts of her body.
She has a number of notable scars: On her collarbone, there's a large scar where a vampire bit through it. On her forearm, there's a cross burn. On her back, she has a scar from a stake being used against her, as well as others from various stab wounds.
Anita's inner werewolf is "pale, white and cream" with "dark markings like a saddle across its back and head." It has brown eyes that usually glow or appear on fire, like Anita's eyes "when vampire powers fill them."
Anita has an inner tiger for each color of tiger. The gold tiger is "pale gold and cream" with orange eyes. The blue tiger is "truly blue with black stripes, a deep cobalt color, almost black." The black tiger is completely black "like a black leopard, with stripes showing only in bright light." The white tiger is "completely white."
Anita's mother died in a car accident when Anita was eight. Her father remarried a few years after, and had a son, Josh. The stepmother, Judith, also had a daughter, Andria, from a previous relationship.
The extended family includes at least Aunt Mattie, Grandmother Blake, Grandmother Flores, great-aunt Katerine, who died when Anita was a small child, great-uncle Otto, who is also dead but Anita still remembers his accent, and great-aunt Gertrude, who reportedly nagged Uncle Otto to death.
Anita was raised Catholic, but didn't go to a Catholic school. Her formative experiences appear to be a series of traumas. In particular, Anita has never fully recovered from her mother's death. (In The Laughing Corpse, she is upset that no one protects the niece and nephew of John Burke at their father's funeral when their mother is hysterical and throws herself on the coffin). After her father remarried, Anita did not feel she "fit in" with her blond father, stepmother, stepsister, and half-brother. Anita clashed with Judith over her "unladylike" interests, independence, and necromancy, and Judith was always quick to tell others that Anita was only a stepdaughter with a Mexican mother.
Anita's powers manifested during adolescence, causing various dead animals to reanimate and visit Anita's home, including her pet dog. Embarrassed, Anita's father asked her maternal grandmother, Grandmother Flores, to teach Anita how to "turn off" her abilities. Flores believed that training a necromancer in vaudun ritual would lead to evil and encouraged Anita to remain Roman Catholic. Later, when the Pope excommunicated all animators, Anita became an Episcopalian.
Anita majored in preternatural biology in college, earning a bachelor's degree. While in college, her rich fiancee's parents convinced him to break their engagement because Anita's mother was Mexican. Hurt, Anita decided to forego additional sexual experiences until marriage. While there she accidentally raised a teacher that had committed suicide, who sought her out in her dorm room, which caused her roommate to switch rooms.
After graduating at the age of 21, Anita was recruited by Bert Vaughn to join Animators, Inc. as a professional zombie animator. This brought her into contact with Ronnie Sims, a private detective, and Catherine Maison, a lawyer, both of whom she befriended. Anita was trained in the job by a fellow animator, Manny Rodriguez, who was also a licensed vampire executioner and taught Anita the ropes of that trade as well. She got her own license shortly thereafter.
At some point Anita became associated with a bounty hunter called Edward, and two years before the beginning of the series (events described in The First Death) she, Manny, and Edward were involved in at least one dicey confrontation with vampires—a battle against Valentine and his pack that landed Anita in a hospital with her arm in traction. She recovered with the help of physical therapy, but was left with a number of severe scars and a cross-shaped brand on her arm, put there by human thralls of the vampires.
Even after becoming a licensed vampire executioner, Anita considers herself first and foremost an animator. In the first novel we learn she'd killed fourteen vampires before the series began, most of them with an actual stake and a hammer, with at least some of those likely to be morgue stakings. Her nickname given to her by vampires, The Executioner, is a reference to the fact that she does her own hunting, rather than waiting for law enforcement to capture the vampire. As this doesn't appear to be an unusual practice among the early licensed vampire hunters, the nickname is possibly also a warning to not underestimate her based on her appearance—even if she didn't have much vampire hunting experience under her belt at that point.
The first novel, Guilty Pleasures, introduces Anita and her world. Anita is blackmailed by Nikolaos, the vampire Master of the City, into investigating a series of vampire murders. During the course of this investigation, we learn that Jean-Claude, another master vampire, is interested in Anita and gives her two of the four marks necessary to make her his "human servant". We also learn that while Anita can usually guess the age of vampires, she cannot get a read on Jean-Claude's age. Anita identifies the murderer, but by that point has sufficiently antagonized Nikolaos and her underlings that she expects to be killed. With help from Edward, a human associate who specializes in assassinating supernatural targets, and Rafael the Rat King, Anita kills Nikolaos and many of her followers. To her surprise, Jean-Claude becomes the new Master of the City.
The Laughing Corpse
In The Laughing Corpse, Anita assists the police in investigating a series of murders where animators are key suspects, leading to an exploration of various types of zombie raisers. Anita avoids Jean Claude during most of the book. At the end, however, he informs Anita that even he can feel her power calling to him. This means that she is not just an Animator, with power over dead bodies, but a necromancer, with power over all the (un)dead.
Circus of the Damned
Circus of the Damned opens with Anita and Jean Claude discussing their relationship (or lack thereof). Jean Claude wants Anita to accept that she is his human servant; Anita wants Jean Claude to leave her alone. Anita meets some of Jean Claude's other vampires and hangers-on, including a human named Richard Zeeman.
Anita is contacted by a representative of Humans First, a rival master vampire named Mr Oliver, and Edward: all want to know the identity and daytime resting place of the Master of the City. Anita initially resists, but becomes angry enough with Jean Claude to tell Mr Oliver. Deciding in the end that Jean Claude is the lesser of the two evils, she and Edward help defeat Mr Oliver. In the end, the vampire marks are removed and Jean Claude admits that Anita is not his human servant. Anita also obtains her apprentice, Larry Kirkland.
Anita and Richard have their first date in this book. At the end of the book it is revealed that Richard is a werewolf.
The Lunatic Cafe
In The Lunatic Cafe, Edward asks Anita's help in identifying two killers: lycanthropes who starred in a snuff film. Area lycanthropes, including Marcus (Ulfric of the local werewolf pack) and Rafael the Rat King, want Anita to find a serial killer who is targeting lycanthropes. Anita meets other lycanthropes, including Raina and Gabriel, and learns more about werewolf culture while resolving these issues.
The love triangle between Anita, Richard, and Jean Claude continues in this book. Anita agrees to officially date both Richard and Jean Claude. She becomes engaged to Richard, even as she realizes they have serious differences - and not just because he's a werewolf.
Bloody Bones sees Anita travel to Branson, Missouri, where she quickly becomes enmeshed in a series of supernatural murders and disappearances. Anita's relationship with Jean-Claude takes a large step forward in this novel. For the first time, Anita begins to see Jean Claude as a person, not just a source of information. Her role as Larry's mentor is also further developed and she is forced to relive the trauma of her mother's death.
The Killing Dance
The Killing Dance provides a notable turning point in her relationships with Jean-Claude and Richard. Richard, with his desperate attempts to remain "human", represents the side of Anita that rebels against the "darker" elements of her nature, while Jean-Claude, who has long accepted his demons and draws his powers from death, represents the part of her that accepts them. Ultimately, Anita realizes that Richard's desire to remain "nice" and "normal" had placed himself and the others in even more danger, and she runs to Jean-Claude, who is at least able to protect himself from danger.
The Killing Dance is also a turning point for the series in several other ways:
- Anita has accepted being Jean-Claude's "declared vampire servant" at the beginning of the book.
- Anita and Richard form a vampire triumvirate with Jean Claude, accepting the first three "marks". In addition, Jean Claude and Richard announce that they are allies within the supernatural community. Taken together, these changes make it impossible for Anita to completely separate her life from Jean Claude or Richard.
- Anita kills the werewolf lupa Raina and the wereleopard leader Gabriel in self-defense, resolving some unsettled conflicts from The Lunatic Cafe.
- Richard becomes the Ulfric, or leader, of his pack.
- Anita and Jean-Claude become lovers.
In Burnt Offerings Anita is pushed into the role of "Master of the City's girlfriend" in the press for PR purposes. She and Richard help Jean-Claude fend off a challenge from the Vampire Council. Anita's metaphysical ties to Jean-Claude and Richard are strengthened during this battle; she "feels" his beast inside her. Richard affirms that he considers Anita the lupa of his pack, although they do not reconcile romantically.
Anita is also pulled further into the lycanthrope world when she discovers the local wereleopards need her to take their former leader's place as protector.
In Blue Moon, Anita juggles being a leader among both the werewolves and the wereleopards while investigating why Richard was framed for rape. Anita and Richard reconcile during the book, with Richard offering to accept Anita's continued involvement with Jean Claude as long as Anita accepts that Richard isn't monogamous either.
Also during Blue Moon:
- Anita acquires a magical mentor, the Wiccan Marianne. (Marianne is not a lycanthrope but works with the local werewolf pack in Tennessee).
- Marianne and her pack's Ulfric, Verne, begin teaching Anita how to be a better leader of the wereleopards.
- Anita's faith in God, and herself as a Christian, is reaffirmed when she faces down a demon with prayer and Bible recitation.
- We learn Damian is showing signs of being Anita's vampire servant and that Jean Claude gains power from sex. The latter frightens Anita enough that she demands a break from both Jean Claude and Richard; Marianne helps her to temporarily close off her metaphysical "marks" to them.
Anita travels to New Mexico in Obsidian Butterfly to help Edward, aka Ted Forrester, investigate a series of supernatural attacks. To Anita's shock, she discovers that "Ted" has a fiancee, Donna, who is a new age bookstore owner. Donna does not know Edward is an assassin. Donna becomes a target by trying to stop an unauthorized (but profitable) archaeological dig. Before this is resolved, Donna's children are kidnapped and abused. Becca's hand is broken, and 14-year-old Peter is raped. Anita is glad that she does not have children, and worries that Peter and Becca will not recover.
Anita acquires a new power from the vampire Obsidian Butterfly, the first instance of her picking up a power from a vampire. She is nearly killed by another vampire; her "closing" of the marks with Jean-Claude and Richard has weakened her abilities, making her more vulnerable to metaphysical attacks. By the end of the book Anita is convinced that she needs to return to her relationships with Jean-Claude and Richard.
Narcissus in Chains
Narcissus In Chains opens with Anita's decision to re-establish her relationships with Jean-Claude and Richard. She discovers that her lengthy separation has caused significant damage to several of her friends and allies, both emotionally and also in terms of their supernatural powers. A number of complications to her attempts to repair this damage arise:
- Anita is accidentally but gravely injured by one of the wereleopards and develops secondary signs of lycanthropy.
- Anita develops the ardeur, a rare power seen only in vampires of Jean-Claude's bloodline, after Jean-Claude used it to "feed" through her. Although this power allows Anita to draw energy from lust, it also requires her to have sex multiple times per day, at least in its early stages.
- In Anita's absence, Damian, her vampire servant, has become a feral killing machine.
- Richard has attempted to substitute democracy for the strictly hierarchical nature of the local werewolf pack. Jacob, a new werewolf in town, seeks to take advantage of this chaos by planning to kill first Sylvie, then Richard. The eventual split would probably destroy the pack.
- A new alpha wereleopard, Micah has arrived with his pard of wereleopards, and seeks to merge groups with Anita and become her Nimir-Raj and mate.
- Micah and Anita have sex within hours of meeting each other because of the unexpected appearance of the ardeur in a shower scene in the hardcover version.
Anita helps Damian to regain his sanity, assuming her position as Damian's master and rendering him the first "vampire servant" in centuries. She also comes close to reconciling with Richard, but Richard ultimately leaves her after she uses the ardeur to feed on him, declaring that, like Anita herself, he will not allow himself to be used as food. Anita accepts Micah as her lover and Nimir-Raj. Micah, who appears willing to accommodate any desire of Anita's, becomes part of a ménage à trois with Jean-Claude, allowing Jean-Claude to feed on him.
Anita is not herself a wereleopard, but her affinity with the leopards apparently means that they are her animal to call as if she were herself a master vampire. Anita and Micah are happily leading their wereleopards and living together with Nathaniel, who also acts as Anita's pomme de sang, feeding off his lust, although they have not yet had intercourse. Anita, Micah and Jean-Claude also act as a happy threesome, but she doubts that happiness can last long. The themes of complex relationships and increasing power are continued in subsequent books in the series.
In Cerulean Sins, Anita assists the police in tracking a lycanthrope serial killer. This is complicated by her close relationships with the "monsters" which puts her at odds with Rudolf Storr, the head of RPIT, who attempts to have Jason committed to a secure lycanthrope facility. Anita manipulates Storr into revealing his prejudice on tape; he ends up on administrative leave, and Jason is released on his own recognizance.
Anita and Jean-Claude outmaneuver Belle Morte by taking Asher to their bed in a menage a trois, making Asher their lover and therefore immune to most of Belle Morte's advances. More alarmingly, Anita begins to believe that Belle Morte is planning a war against the Mother of Darkness, the oldest and most powerful of the world's vampires. Although Anita and Jean Claude do their best to avoid that conflict, the Mother of Darkness is beginning to awaken from a centuries-long sleep, and seems interested in Anita.
In Incubus Dreams, Anita assists the police in finding a group of vampires that are killing strippers, eventually going into their condo with a SWAT team.
Anita makes considerable progress with her metaphysical problems as she learns that she can partially control the ardeur by drawing power from others' lust and by ensuring that her other desires, such as physical hunger, do not go unfulfilled. However, she accidentally forms another triumvirate with Damien and Nathaniel, this time with her (not Jean-Claude) as the power focus.
Anita's personal life resolves in a number of ways. She accepts Nathaniel as the fourth of her concurrent lovers, and she and Richard also agree to renew their relationship. Although Nathaniel and Micah appear to accept or want Anita as their only lover, Anita reluctantly agrees to accept Richard's decision to date other people, and allows Jean-Claude to begin feeding his lust from others, at least psychically.
Her relationship with Micah is focused on specifically in the novella of the same name. Anita also continues to wrestle with her recent increase in power, first attempting to deal with the ardeur and second, wrestling with the vast increase in her own powers as a necromancer. Anita is now so powerful that her attempt to raise a single person threatened to raise every corpse in the cemetery.
A blood test reveals that Anita carries four strains of lycanthropy: wolf, leopard, lion, and one unknown strain. However, she is not a lycanthrope despite being a carrier.
Danse Macabre sees a possible pregnancy threatening to derail her life, even as she prepares to help host several visiting Masters of the City in honor of the finale performance of the vampire ballet troupe Danse Macabre.
The evidence that Anita may become a shape-shifter is growing; whether she will be wolf, lion, leopard, or something else is unknown. She resists changing shape by "giving her beast" to a lycanthrope. Because she can only give "her" lion to a werelion, this brings her into more contact with the local werelion pride.
Jean Claude and Anita determine that the ardeur is "seeking" food: specifically it may have shaped Anita's, Micah's, Nathaniel's, and Damian's personalities to make them more compatible partners for one another. It also encourages the visiting Master of the City of Chicago, who had been exiled by Belle Morte, to maneuver Anita and Jean Claude into feeding her ardeur on him. Anita is surprised that feeding on the Master of the City allows them to feed on his vampires and wereanimals as well.
In her personal life, Anita wrestles with her jealousy of her lovers taking other lovers, particularly in the case of Jean-Claude and Asher. She also accepts that she is a succubus and a vampire, in that she feeds off others.
The Harlequin shows Anita and Jean Claude coping with a threat from Vampire Council enforcers. Desperate, Anita calls Edward for assistance. Edward arrives the same day, bringing Olaf and Peter (now 16), who we last saw in Obsidian Butterfly.
The Harlequin exists to police and punish vampire leaders who violate various rules, such as Malcolm's resistance to the blood oath. It was formed by the Mother of All Darkness, modeled in style on the Commedia dell'arte and by action on the wild hunt. It is comprised of very old and powerful vampires who are capable of not just manipulating the behaviors and emotions of humans or younger vampires and lycanthropes, but of Jean-Claude, Anita, and Richard. Under this influence, Richard and Jean-Claude nearly kill each other, and Anita must also be repeatedly resuscitated. Anita keeps them alive by feeding on first Rafael (and through him, all the wererats in the city); Belle Morte; and later, all the swanmanes in the US via Donovan. Anita's second triumvirate also comes through, with Nathaniel and Damien "eating for five" so as to provide healing energy to Anita — and the others through her.
However, The Harlequin appears not to be following its own rules, so by vampire law Jean-Claude's people can strike back. Edward doesn't actually kill a Harlequin, Anita does through a psychic link that she accidentally creates while trying to remove a sort of vampire spell that one of the Harlequin has put on her in order to keep track of her and Jean Claude's etc. movements. They subsequently end up killing the "human servant" of that vampire after Anita has fed off of Donovan the king of the swan manes. They recover in time to face off with the remaining members in Malcolm's Church of Eternal Life. They not only succeed, but determine that The Harlequin members were planning to take over Jean-Claude's territory and not operating on official Council orders.
In the book Anita almost allows the Mother of Darkness to become a full flesh being by allowing her anger to fester.
Anita also leaves her former allies, the werelions, to potential death. At a point where Anita and many of her other allies were injured, she asks to have sex with the werelion Rex, Joseph, so that she could gain the power to heal without the Munin. The Rex refused because he is married and values being faithful to his wife. Also there were rumors spread about Anita by the lions she refused because they weren't powerful enough for her inner lion. In a scene reminiscent of The Godfather series, Anita decides that this is a betrayal of their alliance and decides to abandon Joseph in favor of another werelion.
In Blood Noir things get even more complicated when Jason is constantly being mistaken for the son of the towns local celebrity, Governor Summerland. Not only do Jason and Anita find themselves in the middle of a media frenzy, but also they are threatened by the complicated vampire-human love triangle that has been plaguing the Summerland family (and most recently Keith Summerland) for generations. When the danger and the news coverage hit a climax at the same time, Anita and Jason are left carefully maneuvering around truck loads of drama and politics, not to mention just trying to survive. Jean-Claude's reputation, the American weretiger population, Jason's family values, Keith's impending marriage, and the Governor's bid for president are the least of their problems and just the tip of the metaphysical iceberg.
- It is revealed why Jason's dad gave him such a hard time growing up.
- Marmee Noire rolls Anita for two days, causing her to have sex with two weretigers Crispin, a 21-year-old white tiger which becomes her tiger to call and Alex Pinn, son of the queen from the red-tiger-clan.
- Jason becomes Anita's wolf to call.
- Richard is released from the anger he inherited from Anita, but inherits his own version of the Ardeur instead.
- Anita releases Richard from his anger and feeds on this anger. She gains the ability of feeding on anger.
- Anita begins to doubt her feelings towards Jason.
When a vampire serial killer sends Anita Blake a grisly souvenir from Las Vegas, she has to warn Sin City’s local authorities what they’re dealing with. Only it’s worse than she thought. Ten officers and one executioner have been slain, paranormal style. Anita heads to Vegas, where’s she’s joined by three other federal marshals, including the ruthless Edward. It’s a good thing he always has her back, because when she gets close to the bodies, Anita senses “tiger” too strongly to ignore it. The weretigers are very powerful in Las Vegas, which means the odds of her rubbing someone important the wrong way just got a lot higher.
- Marmie Noir supposedly meets her end in this book through a bomb that blows up her physical form.
- Vittorio re-appears and turns out to be more old and powerful then previously thought. He tries to make Anita his human servant but is unsuccessful. He is killed in the end by the weretigers of Vegas with Anita's help.
- In this book we also find out that Requiem has requested to Jean Claude to move to another town where he will be away from Anita and be able to maybe be second-in-command of a city.
- Anita Meets another 'living' vampire who is a member of the Vegas SWAT team. Nicknamed 'Cannibal' he feeds of memories from people he touches. When he touches Anita she temporarily steals his power and is able to also feed off of one of his memories. At the end of the book we discover that he can use his power to wipe out all of the memories of a person so that they are a blank slate, his victim ends up lying on the floor with a blank look in her eyes.
- Olaf returns in this book as US marshal Otto Jeffries and he hints that he would be willing to try to have a 'normal' romance with Anita, but he still creeps her out to much for anything to really develop.
- Anita meets and has sex (involuntarily, thanks to Vittorio) for the first time with Cynric and Domino, who become her blue and black tigers to call.
In Flirt, Anita refuses to raise the spouses of Tony Bennington, a grieving widower, and Natalie Zell, a wife that wished to take revenge on her dead husband. Two weeks later she is kidnapped by two werelions named Jacob and Nicky, members of a pride hired by Tony Bennington to force her into raising his wife by threathing to kill Micah, Jason and Nathaniel.
Due to an injury she feeds the ardeur on Nicky and uses it to make him her slave. By sacrificing Silas, one of Jacob's men, she raises not only Ilsa Bennington but the the entire cemetery and uses them to kill Bennington. She lets Jacob leave and after her people come to rescue her she leaves along with them and Nicky.
- Nicky (Lion) becomes Anita's first bride
"The triumvirate created by master vampire Jean-Claude, necromancer Anita Blake, and werewolf Richard Zeeman has made Jean-Claude one of the most powerful vampires in the U.S. He's consolidating power in himself and those loyal to him, doing in America what Belle Morte did in Europe when she was at her height of power. She almost owned Europe, and there was those who are determined that Jean-Claude won't do the same in America. Jean-Claude's motives may be kinder, but as any lawyer will tell you: motives matter, but you're just as dead.
Assassins are coming to St. Louis to kill them all. Anita knows they're coming, but even being forewarned doesn't mean you can win."
- Mother Dark rears her ugly head
- Anita kills Haven (lion Rex) for killing Noel (lion) while trying to kill Nathaniel (leopard)
- Jade (Yiyu) becomes Anita's second Black Tiger to call
- Mephistopheles, aka: Devil, becomes Anita's Gold Tiger to call
Anita is in Washington state with Edward as US Marshals; they are trying to catch a serial killer that is killing Were Tigers across the country. Anita and Edward both know that the Harlequin, still loyal to the Queen of Darkness, are the killers. ("The Harlequin had been the law of the vampire council in Europe for thousands of years, but their original job had been as bodyguards to their Dark Queen. Half of them had broken with the vampire council and were back to taking orders from the Mother of All Darkness.") However, they can't tell the police because they know that anyone who mentions the Harlequin without being invited, will be hunted down and killed. Because the Harlequin meet each other masked, even the Harlequin on her side don't have faces or names to give to the police.
The situation is made worse because the weretigers in Seattle are not public about their existence, so when policeman Raborn questions Anita about what she's learned, she can't even talk about the weretigers never mind the murderers. He is frustrated. Anita and Edward know everything and nothing that will help catch the killers. Edward begins to think that the killers are a trick to try and lure Anita away from Jean-Claude and all his bodyguards, so that the Mother of all Darkness can either have her kidnapped try and takeover her body, or kill her.
Anita needs to feed the ardeur, so she goes to Alex, who is her tiger to call and the soon of the Queen of Seattle. Before Alex gets there, Anita forms a bond with a guard named Ethan who says he carries three colors of tiger, but Anita senses he has some gold as well. When Alex arrives, he is enraged and hurts Ethan. In the debriefing after the fight, Anita tries to find out where Alex's rage came from: he doesn't know. She could tell the rage came from a vampire who could do that. She learns that one of the guards is a shapeshifter who is a Harlequin spy put in place just at the time MoaD was waking up.
Bernardo, Anita, Edward go to meet Olaf. Anita breaks his wrist in the hugging, drawing weapons and disarming scene that attends this meeting. Olaf is taken off to the hospital. Then Anita has a conflict with Raborn, but Raborn's boss Clark tells him to stop harassing her. Anita brings in a guard of wereanimals: Ares, Nicky, Domino, etc. Newman comes with the news that Karlton is despondent because she's tested positive for lycanthropy. Anita goes to the hospital to comfort her. “They’ll try to let the Wicked Bitch of the World possess my body, Edward..."
There's an interlude at the hospital in which all the men around Anita fraternize with women who are around. Anita cuddles with Nicky while talking on the phone to Edward who is warning her about Olaf. Olaf is livid with jealousy. Anita has a puzzling need to keep touching Nicky and wants to talk to J-C about it.
Anita is kidnapped by the Harlequin, along with Lisandro, Bernardo and Ethan. In communing with one of her captors, the werewolf who infected Karlton, Anita meditates on the ardeur, saying to him, "I’d been told that the ardeurwas about lust, but my version was more about your heart’s desire. What is it that you want, you really want? That part of me that carried the ardeur could see all the way through you to the truth."
Bernardo is almost choked to death. They chop off one of Ethan's fingers but he is a were animal he will be able to grow it back. Anita is interrogated by the Harlequin who try to get her to lower her shields to admit the MoAD. They torture Lisandro, but Anita slows them down by touching them. Some more Harlequin come and untie her and give her back some of her weapons. She and they succeed at decapitating some of the minor vampires who have not yet risen; it is not quite dusk. But then the MoAD rises in a borrowed body, and forces Anita to drop her shields by hurting Bernardo and Ethan and threatening to hurt them more. Anita drops her shields, hitting the MoAD first with the ardeur and then with a forces she acquired from a vampire in New Mexico, a force that sucks all the life out of her target. Anita uses her connection to J-C and Nathaniel and Richard, but especially the power of Ethan and Domino who together give her all the colors of tigers to suck the energy out of Marmee Noir.
Anita's power seems connected to her polyamory: "Love made home not out of boards and walls and furniture, but of hands to hold, and smiles to share, and the warmth of that body cuddled around you in the dark. I swam in the darkness of the ocean on a raft of hands, and bodies, and giving a damn what happened to them all. We let her pour her scary, lonely, insane dark into us, and we drank it down with our comforting hands, our bodies that had made us all home, and the craziness of having too many people, too much going on, but what would we give up, who would we give up, and the answer, in the end, was not a single thing. The golden tigers were the power of the sun to bring life to the earth made flesh. They’d been created to chase back the darkness and remind us all that sometimes beauty and life triumph even on the darkest night."
It also seems connected to being able to rise above negative views of oneself:
"Her voice in my head held the first note of panic, as she said, 'If you take my power into you, you will be as I am.' 'I’m not like you,' I thought. 'You will be.' The power felt so good, and yet I knew I was draining the life out of two people, evil vampires, but still people. I prayed, not for help to do it, but that the power wouldn’t corrupt me. That drinking in her darkness wouldn’t make me evil, too."
One of the Harlequin injured Nicky and Olaf badly but they are able to recuperate. Olaf is now a werelion and disappeared. Dr. Patience is nowhere to be found; Edward and Anita believe that he took her. He leaves Anita a note stating he still wants to be with her but does not want to become a Bride like Nicky. He wants her under his conditions. The MoAD is now supposedly really dead, and her Harlequin all either come over to Anita or go off on their own.
You’d think I’d get used to seeing such a beautiful man and knowing he was mine, but it never grew old, as if his beauty and the fact that he was mine, and I was his, would forever surprise me.
With a vampire like Jean Claude around, it’s far too easy for Anita Blake to doubt her own appearance—and the hold it has on those who love her. But one hot tub and two incredibly sexy men—Jean Claude and Asher—will make her feel like the most lusted-after woman alive…or undead. Not bad for a mere human…
Kiss the Dead
When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she’s faced with something she’s never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people—kids, grandparents, soccer moms—all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master.
Meanwhile Anita also has to deal with the fragile ego of the ancient vampire Asher, whose jealous behavior threatens the physical and emotional well-being of all around him.
Anita receives a phone call of Micah's distressed mother, asking her to please come visit, because his father, Rush Callahan, is dying.
After making arrangements Micah decides he needs to take Nathaniel along. Micah will introduce Nathaniel as Micah and Anita's significant other. Of course guards are needed, which include Nicky, Dev, Domino, Bram, Ares & Lissandro.
Anita & Micah learn upon their arrival that Rush has been bitten by a rotting zombie.
After some family conflict with Micah's aunt, they go to his mother's house where they meet his siblings, which causes Micah's mother having to explain that she, Rush and Ty (Micah's stepfather) have a similar relationship to Micah, Anita & Nathaniel's relationship.
While Anita and all the law enforcement agents present go vampire/zombie hunting, Ares is bitten by one of the rotting zombies. While trying to transport everyone out with a chopper, Ares loses control and starts killing. Once on the ground Anita kills Ares, but a bullet that went through him, hit her, making her gain hyena.
Jean-Claude arrives in town and asks her to marry him after mentioning that if there was a way for all of them to get married, he would. As Micah had said this earlier to her and Nathaniel, she accepts. Still having to practicalities of such a ceremony this is later put on hold when plenty of her lovers are disappointed they would not be getting a ring.
Some of the methods of how Micah gets other animal groups to join to the Coalition are mentioned: just talk, and softer methods of persuasion but also fights for dominance.
When Edward arrives he mentions trying to set a date for his marriage. Asking Anita to be his best man.
They learn that the source behind the rotting zombies is Morte D'Amour, who was presumed dead but took some of Marmee Noire's power into him, her necromancy.
Anita out-monsters him at a cemetery.
For most people, summer barbecues are nothing to be afraid of. But Anita isn’t exactly plain vanilla—and neither is her love life. So it takes a special kind of courage to attend a barbecue thrown by her friend Sergeant Zerbrowski. Walking into a backyard full of cops and their families with wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel both looking gorgeous on her arm won’t be easy, even with almost-four-year-old Matthew Vespucci to break the ice…
Meanwhile Matthew has some issues with the other boys making fun of him for being in dance instead of martial arts or something else 'manly', but the little girls are very taken with him since almost all of them dance as well and there's always a lack of boys in dance groups. He makes friends with Becky and Jeannette, who are both a year older than him. Cyrus, who is bigger than Matthew but not necessarily older, has a crush on Jeannette, and resents Matthew for the attention he's getting. When Jeannette kisses Matthew's cheek in the kiddie table it's the last straw. Cyrus attacks Matthew over the table, but Zerbrowski's son, Greg, cools off the situation by dumping a glassful of ice water on the scuffling boys. Cyrus is made to apologize to Becky and Matthew, but doesn't sound very sincere about it.
Richard and his new fiancée, Dr. Ellen Radborne (who bears significant outward resemblance to Anita but has considerably more vanilla tastes), arrange a Saturday lunch meeting in a public setting with the three of them and Micah. The plan is for Dr. Ellen to come to terms with the fact that even if Richard has needs that Ellen cannot meet it doesn't mean that Anita is going to steal Richard from her. Although Dr. Ellen must be quite open-minded (or deeply in denial) to have reached the fiancé status despite being aware that Richard tops both Anita and Asher and donates blood to Jean-Claude, actually meeting Anita for the first time triggers an inferiority complex and unearths previously buried prejudices towards their lifestyle choices. Given that Anita keeps thinking that Dr. Ellen doesn't quite manage to live up to Anita's standards, and that Dr. Ellen with her more vanilla tastes is inherently incapable of comprehending polyamory or BDSM, this isn't very surprising. The situation escalates into Dr. Ellen storming off and Richard not following.
Jason Schuyler is one of Anita Blake's best friends and favorite werewolves, with benefits. J.J. is his lady love, an old flame from childhood who dances at one of the top ballet companies in New York. She's accomplished, beautiful, and she's crazy about him, too. Neither of them wants to be monogamous, so what could go wrong?
J.J. is enthusiastically bisexual, with an emphasis on the female side of things. She plans to keep sleeping with women, because Jason can't meet that need, just like she can't meet Jason's need for rough sex and bondage. J.J. doesn't understand why Jason isn’t content to go elsewhere for a need she can’t fulfil, so Jason asks Anita to help him explain.
Anita is having her own relationship growing pains with her only female lover ever, Jade. Jason suggests that J.J. might be able to help Anita with her girl problem, while she helps him with his kinky explanations. With some encouragement from a few other lovers in Anita's life she reluctantly agrees, and J. J. makes plans to fly into town for an experience that none of them will ever forget.
Anita Blake has the highest kill count of any vampire executioner in the country. She’s a U.S. Marshal who can raise zombies with the best of them. But ever since she and master vampire Jean-Claude went public with their engagement, all she is to anyone and everyone is Jean-Claude’s fiancée.
It’s wreaking havoc with her reputation as a hard ass—to some extent. Luckily, in professional circles, she’s still the go-to expert for zombie issues. And right now, the FBI is having one hell of a zombie issue.
Someone is producing zombie porn. Anita has seen her share of freaky undead fetishes, so this shouldn’t bother her. But the women being victimized aren’t just mindless, rotting corpses. Their souls are trapped behind their eyes, signaling voodoo of the blackest kind.
In Crimson Death Anita, Nathaniel, and Damian start to fix their triumvirate because Damian believes it's making him sick. Nathaniel ends up taking control of the connection, and accidentally rolls both Anita and Damian when they have sex together. Damian is raped and everyone is okay with it. They all gain power, and Damian loses his inability to disobey Anita's commands.
At the same time, Anita is trying to help Edward to help Irish authorities with their newfound vampire problem, and is eventually invited to Ireland to provide assistance in person despite their misgivings about necromancy. She takes along an entourage that includes both Damian and Nathaniel, but not a single wererat. Rat is her first voluntarily gained beast (one that doesn't sit well with the pre-existing ones), and she has a pact with Rafael to make him her animal to call, but hasn't had an opportunity to do so yet.
Anita finds the Irish police's attempts to treat vampires as just a medical emergency frustrating, and they find her unnecessarily bloodthirsty, but she's helpful enough that they don't send her immediately back. After they realize that She-Who-Made-Damian a.k.a. M'Lady is actually behind the attacks instead of having someone invade her territory, she calls all the newly made vampires out into sunlight and attacking people, and Anita's group struggles to contain at least part of the chaos.
Afterwards, when politicians take over and there isn't more for Anita to do, she goes off to a hotel with Domino to feed the ardeur in order to gain some of her strength back. Ethan takes the adjoining room as their bodyguard, but is unable to prevent an attack from members of the Harlequin that have chosen to follow M'Lady instead of Anita and Jean-Claude. Domino gets killed in the struggle, and Rodrigo force-feeds Anita some of the blood because he's sadistic and finds it funny at the time. It causes Anita to metaphysically marry a clan tiger, fulfilling the prophecy, and makes her the true heir of the Mother of All Darkness and the Father of the Dawn. Even drugged, and moments before losing consciousness, Anita manages to bind Rodrigo as her leopard Bride, and through him the other two siblings of their triplet, Rodina and Ru.
M'Lady appears in Anita's dream, but she manages to break free of it, only to find herself manacled within M'Lady's stronghold and unable to use her metaphysical ties to call help. Anita learns that everything from Damian's sickness to the vampire infestation in Dublin has been M'Lady's plot to bring Anita close enough to steal from within her the rest of the power of Marmee Noir, as part of it went to M'Lady as well. Anita manages to resist M'Lady's powers but not the fear her sadism and sheer hatred causes, especially after she has Nathaniel and Damian brought in and promises to ruin their beauty. She cuts off Nathaniel's long braid, and then leaves Anita and Nathaniel hanging to await their fate in order to build up their fear.
They manage to free themselves and take out their guards, and then the triplets help them to escape. Their pursuers reach them at the nearby village, where Damian joins them after escaping on his own and killing M'Lady's animal to call. While Anita is unable to raise the dead thanks to Ireland's wild magic, she is able to use the power of their triumvirate to help her take control of the numerous ghosts of the old gaol where the vampires had been killing people for centuries. M'Lady's human servant is killed in the fight as well, and losing both of her servants is finally enough to kill her. Rodrigo sacrifices himself for Anita, but Rodina and Ru come to St. Louis as Anita's Brides.
In Serpentine Anita attends Edward and Donna's wedding that immediately heads off rails, and lands in the middle of a strange case involving hereditary snake lycanthropy and women being abducted from the hotel where the wedding is being held. Olaf is also in attendance, and decides he wants to play Sherlock Holmes to Anita's Irene Adler. Anita plays along for lack of better ideas.
In Sucker Punch Anita faces a new situation when Marshal Newman calls her in to his new home town in the middle of nowhere, to assist with a warrant where it doesn't seem likely that the only wereanimal within a hundred miles has committed the crime he's locked up for. The local law enforcement doesn't feel inclined to investigate things further even if the details are all wrong, utterly convinced they know what happened. After the sheriff almost shoots Anita during an incident with the accused she calls in Edward for further backup, and Olaf turns up on his own accord. None of the Horsemen are trained in traditional police work, but they have to figure out who went to all the trouble to set up the crime scene before the time limit in the warrant runs out. Legally, Newman has to kill the accused by that time, even without knowing whether he has actually done anything wrong. Newman signs the warrant over to Anita eventually to make sure he doesn't have to be the one to do it, since he knows the man and is convinced of his innocence and is losing his taste to the whole preternatural marshal gig in general. Anita doesn't really want to do it either, but figures she can sign the warrant over to Edward or Olaf in turn if it comes down to it.
It's a race against the time and the letter of law, and Olaf, in addition to being his usual creepy but highly capable self, keeps freaking out Anita by being unexpectedly reasonable and accommodating in his attempts at getting to have consensual sex with her. She lets him kiss her, and her inner lioness still likes him a lot as a potential mate, although Anita manages to convey the message that Olaf might be a 'cub-killer', which curbs the inner lioness' enthusiasm a bit. Even Edward comes to the conclusion that if they don't want to have to kill Olaf soon, Anita might need to suck it up and actually sleep with him, and that that might not be the worst idea ever, after all. She isn't at all happy with this prospect.
During the investigation Anita also discovers new things about herself. One of the witnesses has twin baby daughters and makes Anita hold one of them, and she is surprised to actually enjoy the experience. She also unearths a new power when the busy schedule makes her neglect her eating despite knowing how vital it is to keep her energy levels up. This time, instead of starting to drain Damian to death, she accidentally entices and rolls a local stripper like Jean-Claude can without triggering the ardeur. She doesn't know how she did it or how to stop it, but manages to break the spell by praying to God to help her undo whatever she did.
In the end they are fairly certain the accused didn't kill the victim and get another person to confess to the murder just to get around the warrant that is just about to run out of time, although that opens another legal can of worms for being completely unprecedented. The accused doesn't get to see freedom, however, as the probable mastermind behind the whole thing somehow goads him into attacking her assumed partner in crime through the bars of his cell, and Anita and Olaf have to take him out anyway. She doesn't react well to it, and when the Marshal Service suspends both her and Newman for not killing the accused sooner, which would have prevented further loss of life, she takes the news calmly. She is no longer certain she wants to keep being a legal assassin, whether they decide that the delay in execution was justified or not. She has horrible nightmares about the ordeal, often transforming into having to kill her own loved ones instead, and for the first time isn't sure the job is worth what it costs her. She is also not happy that her attempt to save Edward from getting scratched by the accused failed, and may have led to him contracting something out of her own blood instead.
Unusually for the novels of this series, a few kisses and briefly getting frisky with the stripper are the most sexual action that is directly displayed in this novel, even if sex and sexual preferences are discussed on several occasions.
Personality & Traits
Born a necromancer with an inborn need and capability to raise and control zombies, as well as power over other forms of undead, Anita leads a complicated life. She was raised a devout Catholic, but was later forced to become an Episcopalian instead, as the Catholic Church excommunicated all animators. Her mother died when she was a child, and several members of her remaining family treated her abilities as unnatural and wrong, as well as looked down on her mother's Mexican heritage.
Anita is hardboiled, flippant and stubborn. Like Kinsey Millhone and V.I. Warshawski, she has major emotional issues, is frequently the only female in macho situations, and tends to come across as quite prickly and difficult. Like Spenser and Matthew Scudder she plays knight errant, championing vulnerable characters who ask for her help. Anita also lacks tact, loses her temper, is insubordinate, and tends to be quite hypocritical in many regards.
Although she may not admit it, Anita initially has a deep contempt for vampires and the humans who serve them. This partiality stems from her often violent altercations with vampires and their human servants in the past, as well as her witnessing the death and misery that vampire attacks usually leave behind. She is quick to point out the drawbacks, moral failings, and responsibilities of vampirism, and she sees anyone who advocates vampirism as naive. She gets called out for her holier-than-thou attitude towards vampires, and is even accused of being a sadist in her practice, as she seems to enjoy killing vampires, although she denies this and is appalled that someone would believe that about her. Lycanthropes she is less vehemently against, but she's initially afraid of them, and the few friends she has among the furry keep their non-human tendencies as hidden from her as possible.
In terms of her character and mental state, Anita displays signs of sadism and sociopathy in her dealings with vampires. She shows little pity or remorse in killing vampires or lycanthropes she considers dangerous, even those who break down and cry right in front of her. She thinks of herself as a necessary monster to keep humans safe from much worse things, but is insulted if anyone else calls her such things.
As the series proceeds Anita is, against her will, forced to become accustomed to dealing with vampires and lycanthropes as more than enemies and getting to know them as persons, and eventually has to bend her attitudes. Emotional change doesn't come easily to her, however, and she often struggles with dilemmas for several novels, gaining and losing ground, before overcoming the issue in question—and even then there might be occasional setbacks when some event triggers her the wrong way or she comes across a new point of view she hasn't thought through yet.
Later in the series Anita becomes increasingly entrenched among the ranks of monsters and distanced from regular humans, although she continues struggling with the concept. Even after she becomes arguably the biggest preternatural power in the near vicinity, and becomes nearly as prejudiced against humans as she once was against vampires (this time for their inability to understand or accept her abilities and alternative lifestyle without explanations), she still clings to her humanity and numerous other notions of how things should be that she has carried around since childhood despite all the evidence to the contrary.
Despite her often harsh nature, Anita has more positive attributes. She frequently displays concern for innocents and victims and has a profound sense of loyalty to her friends, even to the point of compromising her ordinary morals. As she becomes less "human," Anita worries that she will out-live her human friends (like Zerbrowskie), to the point that she even considers having them become vampires. Despite her troubled romantic history, Anita is capable of loving deeply and passionately. Late in the series, she comes to accept her unconventional relationship as well as her own emerging bisexuality, although she cannot bring herself to have sex with a woman if a man is not in bed with them (however she did kiss Echo without any of her male paramours nearby in Crimson Death.). Anita's growing powers and moral sacrifices cause her to worry that she will eventually become the sort of dangerous villain she fights; as a result, she asks some of her allies, such as Edward, to kill her if she ever shows signs of succumbing to her own darkness.
Abilities & Powers
Anita possesses a wide range of preternatural abilities that have developed both in breadth and depth over time. Anita's powers include those characteristic of necromancers, animators, psychics, master vampires, panweres, human servants, and succubi.
- Necromancer- Anita is one of the most powerful animators operating commercially. She can raise zombies, sense the dead, raise vampires in daytime, sense vampires and lycanthropes, estimate their power level, the approximate age of vampires, and can resist (at least partially) mental influence from vampires. Particulars that set her apart from other animators:
- Undead Manipulation - Anita's zombies look lifelike and can fool the untrained eye, including "healing" any sign of decay or injury. As she grows in power, they appear truly human.
- Resurrection - She can raise zombies that are centuries dead, and in later books can do so without human sacrifice.
- Focus Energy - She is one of the few animators who can act as a "focus" to combine the powers of multiple animators.
- Vampire Reanimation - In Bloody Bones and The Killing Dance she raises vampires (during daylight) as if they were zombies. According to Jean-Claude, this is a rare ability. After raising a vampire, she can heal any wounds as if it were a zombie.
- Biokinesis - In book 14 she is able to heal a vampire without raising it first.
- Motor-Skill Manipulation - Her necromancer abilities refer to the ability to control all types of undead. In Bloody Bones, she controls the vampire she raised during the day; in Blue Moon, she realizes she has some measure of control over Damian.
- Munin Summoning - Anita is also able to call and control the spirits of dead werewolves (munin). She has particular affinity for the spirit of Raina and can channel Raina's healing abilities (Burnt Offerings and later).
- Life-force manipulation - Anita has copied, apparently permanently, Itzpapalotl's ability to drain the life energy from beings and use that energy to heal others (Obsidian Butterfly). Following draining Chimera's life force, she then used her necromancy to free his soul from his withered body, effectively killing him.
- Triumvirate Member - Anita became a member of a triumvirate with Jean-Claude and Richard Zeeman (The Killing Dance) when Jean-Claude simultaneous marked Anita as his 'human servant' and Richard as his 'animal to call'. At first the only effect is their powers boosting when they are together, and more so when touching. However, as Jean-Claude conferred more marks, the three gained powers standard to the marks, powers unique to triumvirate members, and also powers and abilities of one another. The strength and usefulness of the triumvirate varies with the interpersonal conflicts and harmony between Richard, Jean-Claude, and Anita.
- Human Servant - In books 1-3 and 6+, Jean-Claude has marked Anita with three of the four marks necessary to make her his human servant. This grants Anita unusual strength, rapid healing, increased resistance to vampires' abilities, and an almost complete resistance to Jean-Claude's mental influence, as well as a psychic connection to Jean-Claude himself. In books 12+, Anita has given Damian, her vampire servant, the fourth mark. This does not interfere with Jean Claude's marks. It is uncertain if this unconventional fourth mark grants Anita immortality.
- Telepathy - Anita, Jean-Claude, and Richard are all telepathically and metaphysically linked. They can speak mind-to-mind, share dreams, and draw on each other's energy and abilities.
- Persona Mimicry - Each member of the triumvirate gained personality traits of the other members
- Power Mimicry - Members of the triumvirate gained powers of the others with different twists. Anita and Richard both gained different forms of the ardeur from Jean-Claude and Anita gained traditional vampire powers from Jean-Claude and her own wolf spirit and lycanthrope powers from Richard. It is unknown what, if any, specific powers Jean-Claude gained from the others.
- Supernatural Physiology - Anita has developed biological markers similar to those of vampires and lycanthropes. Jean-Claude indicates that his connection to two living creatures makes him feel more alive than undead.
- In Incubus Dreams Anita, Damian and Nathaniel create another triumvirate with Anita as the center.
- Vampire Abilities - The combination of her necromancy and her membership in the triumvirate has caused Anita to develop a series of powers formerly seen only in vampires, including the following.
- Power Replication - Anita has the ability to copy vampire powers that are used against her or used with her — sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently (Narcissus in Chains).
- Ardeur (Narcissus in Chains) (spelling varies, depending on the book). Anita developed this power after Jean-Claude married the marks between himself, Anita and Richard. The ardeur has proven in later books to manipulate the personalities of Anita and those around her, as well as to be addictive to some characters (such as London). The ardeur seems to be the main source of most of Anita's powers, as new powers arise anytime Anita gives in to the ardeur. At the end of Blood Noir Anita gained the ability to feed off of anger/rage. This is a power belonging only to her because Jean-Claude and Richard cannot touch it. She is also able to feed from sex/lust.
- Pain Inducment - Harm from a distance—the ability to turn a person's aura against them, usually resulting in cuts (Burnt Offerings, Incubus Dreams). Jean-Claude had studied how this worked but did not have the ability. Anita has the ability, and Jean-Claude used their metaphysical connection to "show" her how to use it. (this ability was also used against Anita in Bloody Bones).
- Animal Manipulation - Animal to call—leopards (Narcissus in Chains), lions (Danse Macabre), tigers (Blood Noir), wolves (Blood Noir) and possibly others.
- Binding - Power to bind vampire and animal servants: Anita has the power to bind a vampire servant and an animal servant. She inadvertently used this power to attract a vampire servant, Damian (Blue Moon), and formed a second triumvirate between them and Nathaniel (Incubus Dreams) which presumably has increased her power further. In Blood Noir, Anita bonds Jason to her apparently as a second animal servant, her wolf. At the same time, she apparently makes Crispin, a white weretiger stripper from Las Vegas, her third animal servant, her tiger.
- Rolling - An additional ability Anita has developed is to ‘roll’ a person much like a vampire does. She can do this to some extent just with her eyes but to fully ‘roll’ a person it would appear she needs to feed the ardeur off them. This ability makes a person enthralled to Anita. In Flirt Anita intentionally ‘rolled’ a person completely. Leaving nothing behind, the ‘thrall’ ("vampire bride") now seems to live to serve her every desire.
During a period of hospitalization at the end of the novella Micah, Anita's blood test revealed that whilst she is not a lycanthrope, she is a carrier of at least four, possibly five, types of the lycanthropy virus: wolf, leopard, lion (as a result of her violent contact with the panwere Chimera), and two so far unidentified but potentially tiger (this may be as a reaction to the machinations of the Mother of All Darkness), snake (as a result of being bitten by Chimera in his weresnake form), or lamia (as a result of the attack by Melanie). Anita is later infected with werehyena strain. She asks Rafael to infect her with rat strain with the intent to make him her Rat to Call.
This is considered unusual because one type of lycanthropy usually provides immunity to the other forms and usually one person cannot be infected with more than one type of lycanthropy. This method of thinking, as of The Harlequin, has resulted in the injection of a rare feline lycanthropy to combat a recent infection due to attack. Because the viruses counteract one another this would result in an infection-free blood test.
One exception to the viral immunity/nullification was Chimera, who had multiple forms of lycanthropy and first used the term panwere to describe himself (Narcissus in Chains). Anita notes that panweres are very rare. One Hypothesis about Chimera's panwere status is that because he was infected by multiple forms of lycanthropy before his first change, he thus developed the transformative abilities of each virus; though this directly contrasts the medical procedure of deliberate infection used in The Harlequin. Another hypothesis is that Chimera had somehow contracted a mutation (or caused the mutation) of the virus allowing all others to coexist without nullifying one another. Anita may have inherited this mutation from Chimera.
Knowledge & Skills
- Combat Skills - Anita has a black belt in Judo as of the first book. In Obsidian Butterfly she is also studying Kenpo Karate. She works out regularly with her best friend Ronnie "to be able to out run the bad guys" when she needs to. She credits Edward for much of her training in weapons, primarily handguns and knives. In more recent books she is shown honing her combat skills and readiness with the shapeshifter bodyguards. She keeps up with or exceeds many bodyguards in these workouts except for a few.
- Detective Skills - Though she rarely uses these skills in later novels, Anita has been involved with many investigations with RPIT and, in the later books, with the FBI. Her police contact, Dolph, routinely requires her to engage in independent crime scene construction in order to obtain an analysis—Anita's reconstructions are almost always correct and frequently include insights that the police have missed. Anita thinks like both a cop and a monster, according to some, which is what makes her so insightful.
- As of Cerulean Sins she has Federal Marshal status which allows her to now enter any preternatural crime scene she so desires, or follow a vampire or other non-human crime suspect across state lines.
- Supernatural Experience - Anita holds a bachelor's degree in preternatural biology and is a trained vampire executioner. She also has a well-worn two-semester background in comparative religion. These courses often told her useful tidbits about other cultures/mythologies, and throughout the series she learns vastly more about vampires, lycanthropes, and other preternatural] creatures. RPIT relies on her for information about a wide variety of supernatural entities.
1. Guilty Pleasures (1993) ISBN 0-515-13449-X
2. The Laughing Corpse (1994) ISBN 0-425-19200-8
3. Circus of the Damned (1995) ISBN 0-515-13448-1
4. The Lunatic Cafe (1996) ISBN 0-425-20137-6
5. Bloody Bones (1996) ISBN 0-425-20567-3
6. The Killing Dance (1997) ISBN 0-425-20906-7
7. Burnt Offerings (1998) ISBN 0-515-13447-3
8. Blue Moon (1998) ISBN 0-515-13445-7
9. Obsidian Butterfly (2000) ISBN 0-515-13450-3
10. Narcissus in Chains (2001) ISBN 5-558-61270-3
11. Cerulean Sins (2003) ISBN 0-515-13681-6
12. Incubus Dreams (2004) ISBN 0-51513449-X
13. Micah (February 2006) ISBN 0-51514087-2
14. Danse Macabre (June 2006) ISBN 0425-20797-8
15. The Harlequin (2007) ISBN 978-0425-21724-5
16. Blood Noir (2008) ISBN 978-0425-22219-5
17. Skin Trade (2009) ISBN 978-0425-22772-5
18. Flirt (February 2010) ISBN 978-0425235676
19. Bullet (June 2010) ISBN 978-0425234334
20. Hit List (June 2011) ISBN 978-0425241134
21. Kiss the Dead (June 2012) ISBN 978-0425247549
22. Affliction (July 2013) ISBN 978-0-425-25570-4
23. Jason (Dec 4, 2014) ISBN 978-0-515-15607-2
24. Dead Ice (June 9, 2015) ISBN 978-0-425-25571-1
25. Crimson Death (October 11, 2016) ISBN 978-1101987735
Anita also appears in the Marvel Comics/Dabel Brothers adaptation of Guilty Pleasures. Each issue contains roughly 40 pages of the novel adapted into a 28 page comic book. A hardcover compilation of the first six issues has been released with a new Anita flashback short story written by Hamilton.
There is also a 2 issue story "First Death" which is set 2 years prior to Guilty Pleasures, that fills in the details of her encounter with Valentine and Edward mentioned in Guilty Pleasures.
Anita is a pet form of the name Ana, the Spanish version of Ann, meaning "favoured grace". It can also mean "leader" or "without guile".
Katerine derives from the Greek name Katherine, meaning "pure".
Blake is of Old English origin and its meaning is "black; pale, white". It was originally a nickname for someone with hair or skin that was either very dark (Old English "blaec") or very light (Old English "blac").
"I don't date vampires, I kill them."
- - Anita (Guilty Pleasures)
"Most women complain that there are no single straight men left. I’d just like to meet one that’s human."
- - Anita (Circus Of The Damned)
"You don't volunteer for slugfests with vampires, it shortens your life expectency."
- - Anita (The Lunatic Cafe)
"When the monsters are involved, it’s never just one dead body. One way or another the dead multiply."
- - Anita (Bloody Bones)
"Richard was an alpha werewolf. It was his only serious flaw. We’d broken up after I’d seen him eat somebody."
- - Anita (Blue Moon)
"I was covered in blood, but it wasn’t mine, so it was okay."
- - Anita (Obsidian Butterfly)
"Raising the dead is easy. Love is hard."
- - Anita (Micah)
"I’ve earned my reputation, but if you really did your research on me then you also know that I don’t raise zombies for kicks, or thrill seekers, or tormented relatives unless they have a plan…"
- - Anita (Flirt)
- One of the most notable inconsistencies concerning Anita is that she seems to count her relationship with Jean-Claude as having started when Jean-Claude first started circling her, instead of from any of the more usual relationship milestones, such as first date or first kiss.
- Anita's age does not correspond with the timing of the novels. In Incubus Dreams and Danse Macabre, she should be 26 years old, but she is stated to be 27. In Hit List, she should be 28, or 29 at most with the previous inconsistency, but she's stated to be 30. See the inconsistencies section of the Timeline article for details.