One thing that’s done really well in this book is the character development. We really get to know Meredith and her guards/lovers a lot better, particularly Rhys, Frost, and Doyle. I felt like it was getting into more of the meat of the story, rather than the last book that needed to include a lot more world-building.
I decided to read this series after going through all of the books in Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. I knew going into the series that this one would have more sex in it than the early Anita Blake books, and I’m going to reiterate that to anyone who reads this. This isn’t the series for you if you don’t like reading erotica. Seriously.
Even more so than the other books in the series so far, this one was intense. It really stretched the limits of the kinds of things that Hamilton had included in the books up until now, including things like a teenage girl opting into becoming a vampire, her parents wanting Anita to stake her before she “rose”, an ages-old pedophile vampire, and weird fairy mythology and magic. Not to mention the mass graveyard that’s the premise of the story to begin with.
It was in this book that I really started to root for Astley and Zara to get together. Until that point, I had been hoping that it wouldn’t turn out to be a love triangle … but then Nick came back from Valhalla and I really started to find him irritating.
A large portion of this book is spent tracing down Norse mythology and looking for an earthly entrance to Valhalla. I think this part was both a strength and a weakness of the book (and of the series overall). I liked the tie-ins and the modern takes on some of the mythology, but it seemed at times like it was a bit forced.