Okay, I had high hopes for the next book, Bullet, in the Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton. Well, to be honest, not that high but lets just say – hopeful. I was really hoping LKH would get back to the style of writing I fell in love with in the first Anita Blake books. The wonderful mystery, the sexual tension, plot not centric on sex and characters that didn’t constantly mope or fall into Emo fugues – the basics that really drew me into Anita’s world. Gone are her friends like Dolph, Zerbrowski and what happened to Larry Kirkland? We rarely hear anything anymore that has to do with these peripheral characters that supported Anitas’ world.
I guess the answer to these missing characters is that Anita’s world has greatly changed and for the reader that means either you have to move with these changes or essentially mourn the loss of our Anita, as we knew her, because this is the direction Laurell K. Hamilton is going. She has fully embraced the sexual side of Anita, even if Anita still sometimes struggles with her growing harem of men.
This book could have had a 70’s porno theme track to go with it for the amount of sex we, the reader are treated to. And not just the straight Vanilla sex the average romance reader expects. Oh no, LKH and Anita are falling into a ‘try-anything’ catergory and she’s getting her freak-on like nobodies business, because, let’s face it, there’s always someones life depending on it.
I’m not a prude mind you. A tastefully done sex scene works in most romances, paranormal, historical or otherwise but I don’t normally sign on for what has gone far beyond Erotica to Porn. Maybe its shock value, maybe its Laurell sharing the world she lives in vicariously through Anita but I don’t want to know about Anita having sex with women or Anita have sex with 2 or 3 men having sex with each other in that kind of detail. I get the whole Succubi angle but I think the phrase ‘less is more’ actually would work better for this series because right now the plot is suffering terribly for Anita to get her jollies on to save a life. Even though we lose some semi-key characters in this novel of the series, I can barely remember the story line for this book because the main thing that stood out was sex, sex and more sex.
Not to mention the ridiculously docile and complacent switch we have with the oh-so-troubled Richard. It is like he had a lobotomy or else was body-snatched when we weren’t looking. He’s done a complete 180 and have miraculously come to terms with almost every one of his annoying hangups. I know, I said annoying, so I should be happy with this turn-about but the way it was done was so out there I kept waiting for it to be a weird dream sequence or some vampire power messing with him and it wasn’t. He really is a new man – just what Anita’s been asking for. Isn’t it nice how the ardeur keeps fulfilling all of Anita’s wishes and fixing her life so it works?
In the mist of Anita’s sexual revolution, we’ve got the return of Mommie Dearest and she’s not playing around now. She’s out for a new body and she’s looking for Anita to be her chassis. Marme Noir is using other master vampires of her line to feed and amass enough power to take over Anita. Some masters are scared. Some masters are willing to run free under Marme’s rule. And this is where our miniscule mystery comes in, such as it is, since we know the whole who-what-when-where-and-why of it almost from the first mention of the murders. See, that’s about all I can mention of it because that’s almost all that LKH devoted to the mystery. Oh, and some assassins were hired to take out Anita, Jean-Claude and Richard.
On top of all this, Anita is supposed to be meeting the other tigers that her little queen called. Obviously this means, yea, more men for Anita and more working through the issues the new men could come with, no pun intended. The masters who are running scared offer themselves up to Jean-Claudes triumvirate. Apparently, there are rumors going around that Anita may be the new Master of Beasts. That all she needs is the last tiger color of gold to move up to that power level. This meeting cumulates into so many things that if you do read this next installment of the series, I don’t want to spoil it for you.
Would I recommend this book for die-hard Anita fans?
For something to read, sure. For entertainment value, not so much, unless reading hardcore porn scenes is what you are looking for.
Will I read the next Anita Blake book?
The jury is still out on that…
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:
I have been a long time fan of Laurell K. Hamilton. I discovered her first Anita Blake book , Guilty Pleasures, in 1994 and was hooked from page one. I posted an abstract on SvhOOng back in Janurary 2008 and want to share it with all of you. It sums up the novel better than I could do today. Enjoy~
Welcome to the new law – Vampires have been granted equal rights under the law in the United States of America. Most of the world thinks they are people too.Vampires just have pointy teeth, don’t need a steady supply of oxygen and function with a permanent iron deficiency and therefore should have the same rights as everyone else. What those people don’t know, is that they are the monsters that walk among us.
As the regional vampire executioner, Anita Blake, bears the scars they inflicted on her and has seen their victims. She is an Animator which gives her a leg up on the big bad uglies so she helps out with the special police unit – R.P.I.T – Regional Preternatural Investigative Team. R.P.I.T was created to take on the crimes that are determined to involve non-humans – whether they are the victims or the killers. Anita is called in when even the experts have no clue. They’ve learned that more people die when she is not brought in sooner. If she can keep the death toll down, then one more crime scene, one more nightmare is a price she is willing to pay.
Laurell K. Hamiltons, “Guilty Pleasures,” takes you into a dark world of lust, violence and the mystical with a wit that carries through the pages and leaves you wanting more. Anita’s complexity and spunky can-do attitude mixed in with a huge chunk of stubbornness gets her into more trouble than she can take on as she is unwillingly drawn into investigating a series of Vampire murders.
Someone is hunting down the most powerful Vampires in the city of St. Louis in a bid to take over the city and now the vampires have come to the one person they fear the most – the Executioner, Anita Blake, for help. Laurell K. Hamilton shares the world view through Anita’s eyes which is peppered with beauty and spoiled by the beasties that walk the night. If you are looking for the ultimate Science Fiction Paranormal novel that rises from a great recipe for fantastic reading – beauty, death, lust, blood, guts and gore topped off with mystery and hard hitting humor – snuggle up for the night, grab your favorite stuffed penguin and prepare to meet Anita.
Anita’s Tag line: I don’t date vampires. I kill them.
I hope this review sends people to my Amazon.com link below and that you pick up this novel. It is a really good read. It knocks Twilight out of the park – sorry Twilight fans but its true – Anita came first and kicks Bella’s butt on the morbid mopey self reflections but she does it with style and humor that very few can touch. And the love triangle – its amazing! How Anita resisted the oh so sexy Jean-Claude kept the pages turning as I waited for her to give in and allow some fang sinking to get it on. The alternate historian take on the United States just makes any true sci-fi-fantasy-paranormal fan take notice with the major “what if?” proposed in such a way that draws you in.
So if you’re up for a great read and don’t have a copy of the book, click on the image below to purchase Guilty Pleasures from Amazon.com