This book marks the first appearance of Nathaniel the were-leopard, with his lavender eyes and vanilla scent. I'm tempted to take two stars off the rating just for that.... Otherwise, this is still classic Anita Blake, before it took a dive off a precipice in Narcisssus in Chains. Anita's life had gotten much more complicated in the last book where she finally broke the books-long sexual tension and became Jean-Claude's lover. Naturally that has all sorts of fall out as does her taking out Gabriel, the leader of the local were-leopards. Yes, back then, actions in the books before did have consequences in the Anitaverse. This book offers a lot of action--a lot of violence really, some of which is disturbing. On the other hand, it's not all blood and guts. One aspect I really liked in this book was the exploration of Jean-Claude's past with Asher and Julianna. This is a book where I still liked Anita for all her flaws--and the world Hamilton was building.