Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Berkley Hardcover
"Anita Blake is back in St. Louis and trying to live a normal life-as normal as possible for someone who is a legal vampire executioner and a U. S. Marshal. There are lovers, friends and their children, school programs to attend. In the midst of all the ordinary happiness a vampire from Anita's past reaches out. She was supposed to be dead, killed in an explosion, but the Mother of All Darkness is the first vampire, their dark creator. It's hard to kill a god. This dark goddess has reached out to her here-in St. Louis, home of everyone Anita loves most. The Mother of All Darkness has decided she has to act now or never, to control Anita, and all the vampires in America."(Note to new readers: If you are just beginning the Anita Blake books, it is highly recommended you start from the beginning with Guilty Pleasures and read your way to Bullet - with this being the 19th book in the series, Hamilton doesn't waste time with rehashing who each character is. You may be lost if you don't know who is who.)
When it comes to reviewing books by Laurell K. Hamilton, you either LOVE her writing or you HATE her writing - there is very little in-between. I am in the category of LOVING her work. I started out with the Merry Gentry books and absolutely loved her writing - then I moved on the Anita Blake, which I think is an even better series.
For those readers who are more interested in "plot" driven books vs. "character" driven books, then this may not be the book for you. Because this is the 19th book in a series, I am all about the characters over the plot, although I do realize you have to have some type of plot to keep the story moving.
For those readers who have turned against Hamilton's work because of all the real and metaphysical sex, again this may not be the book for you because Bullet is full of both kinds of sex. Personally, the sex is entertaining and takes me away from my everyday problems. The ardeur is present in this book, but it is not as prevalent as it was in the beginning. Anita seems to have more control over the ardeur and is able to feed on the power much better. Of course, there is lots of sex in the book - after all, it is an Anita book - but the majority of the sex is present without the ardeur.
The plot of Bullet is to keep Anita and her vamps and weres safe from the Mother of all Darkness. Supposedly Marmee Noir was killed off a few books ago by a bomb exploding in the "cavern" where she had been asleep for thousands of years. It is learned in Bullet that many on the Vampire Council absorbed bits of the Mother's power and energy. Now the European vamps want to take over and stomp out the American vamps.
After being absent for the majority of the past few books, Richard and Asher are again on center stage. We learn that Richard is beginning to finally accept the fact he is one of the monsters and he starts to work with Jean Claude and Anita instead of working against them. It is a nice change of pace from the arguments and fights found in the beginning of the series. Asher is finally stepping up to the plate and making demands on Jean Claude and Anita, up to the point of taking his werehyenas at going to Narcissus, but I am getting a little tired of Asher's continued pouting - he seems to have picked up where Richard left off. Jean Claude and Anita decide they must keep Asher in their power base, so they give in to a few of his demands.
Up to this point the wereleopards have been my favorite form of weres, but I am starting to have a soft spot for the tigers - brown, red, white, golden, blue - there is just something about them that appeals to me. Saying that, I am glad Anita finally took care of the problem with Haven (Cookie Monster). Nicky is kind of growing on me as a Bride - once I wrapped my head around the idea of a reverse "bride of Dracula"- interesting concept.
The Harlequins make a repeat appearance in Bullet - or at least one of their wereanimals does. The Harlequins are leaning more toward the side of Anita and her group and away from the Vampire Council. I even saw Belle Morte in a different light, especially when she seems as scared of the Mother of all Darkness as everyone else.
I enjoyed this book very much, but as I stated earlier, I am a big fan of Hamilton's work. My only complaint would be the book was not long enough - I would love to see more books closer to the 500 to 600 page range, like Incubus Dreams (2004; 650+ pages) or Danse Macabre (2006; almost 500 pages). I hate that I will have to wait another year for the next installment, but I will be right there on the drop date to buy my copy of the 20th book. Anita rocks my world ...