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Red: A Modern Fairytale Retelling
by Jessi McPherson
Everyone has read the tale of Little Red Riding Hood… Such a carefree, naïve girl who fell victim to the wolf and had to be saved by the Huntsman. I’d like to set that story straight. It all began with a girl, a curse, and wolf. We all have a hero inside. All it takes is to believe. Cara knew the legends of her village but she never thought she’d become one.
Okay, so I read the most recent Anita Blake novella, Flirt , by Laurell K. Hamilton, a while ago. I have to say, it failed to ‘wow’ me. It’s definitely a filler book and, if you plan to follow the Anita Blake series, not one you can really skip because we wind up with a new member to Anita’s ever-growing harem of men. The novel focuses more on Anita’s moral standards with reasons why she’ll raise a zombie and what reasons she won’t raise a zombie for and its centered around a little luncheon flirtation after Anita is asked in two different client meetings by two very different people to raise two zombies for reasons that Anita can’t, won’t and isn’t willing to do for no amount of money. One of those clients doesn’t take Anitas’ no for the answer it is and, having throughly researched her, hires some not so friendly werelions to persuade Anita to change her mind. The lions, Jacob and Nick, corner Anita back at the cafe she had her friendly flirtatious lunch at and Anita picks up on their ‘bad news’ mojo right away. Her lion also perks up and through a series of conversational foibles, Anita finds out her Regina is in heat and sending up the red flags for ‘Come and get me’. While fighting for control over her Regina, Anita finds out her client went to some very big extremes in order to ensure her cooperation with the raising of the zombie and now her lovers are in danger. Skip a few pages of big font and Anita finds herself cut off from her men and in need of a feeding and normal food won’t cut it. Anita has to choose between the two lions that first accosted her and settles on Nick since he seems the most drawn to her and the most willing of the two to share her with other men. Lions are extremely territorial wereanimals and sharing is just not in their natural makeup. The other lions feel Anita and Nick hopping on the aurder feeding wagon and try to stop them but wind up losing one of their own badies. The power of a wereanimal death gives Anita what she needs to free herself, break the spell the werelion witch had cast that blocked her from her men and, oh yea, raise an cementary to take care of her pesky client.
This story was brief, filler fodder and seemed only to answer the Cookie/Haven dilema Anita has been struggling with. The cartoon at the back was almost not necessary but Laurell seemed to want to share the background for her idea as much as tell a story. Would I recommend this? For something to read while waiting for better, yes. And I guess, I’d almost have to recommend it for anyone following the series otherwise we’d be missing some important pieces when Bullet comes out. Do I wish it had more of the first Anita novels? Hell yea. I don’t mind Anita becoming more comfortable with the life she has and the gift she has but I miss the mystery. I miss the suspense and the tension of sexual possibility. Now its just an inevitable occurance and a rather graphic one at that. I am happy though that Hamilton has toned down a smidgeon the sex machine that Anita has become over the last couple of novels. Here’s hoping Bullet brings back some of what I fell in love with in the first novels.
Pick up a copy of Flirt and the first six Anita Blake novels by clicking on the images below and ordering one from Amazon.com: