rating: 4 of 5 stars
Well, I’m not sure this was enough to get me back into the Anita Blake fold, but I did like the book. Very much. It made me realize some things about the series, though.
I hate Anita Blake. I think I’ve always known this, and I believe this is where my problem with heroin(e) started. All the guys want to screw her, and all the girls want to be her. And poor Anita Blake, she just can’t figure out what to do with this wacky, crazy life of hers. But, as much as she doesn’t want to be a “victim” she’s just a crazy slave to her unfortunate, but of her own making, circumstances. Whine. Whine. Whine. It has been this way since Circus of the Damned, and it hasn’t really changed except for the circumstances have gotten more complicated.
Yet, what I have really liked about the books were the other characters. Okay, Jean-Claude and Edward, mostly. Asher some. The rest of them I could give a toss about, really. And, what has really irritated me about the path the books were on was that she diminished Jean-Claude’s power to raise Anita’s. Either he is or he is not the shit. Right? I know characters change throughout the series, but she has watered JC down so much that I’m almost wondering what purpose he serves. I know Richard fans have similar complaints.
Back to this book: It had plot. I know! A plot that centered around something other than who Anita was going to screw. Don’t get me wrong, there was screwing. And, you know, I thought I was pretty well innoculated from the name issue thanks to JR Ward, but something about her screaming “Wicked” during sex still made me laugh out loud. But we got tbrough 300 pages before there was screwing, so take that for what it’s worth. Sadly, though, I didn’t find the sex hot. There were parts that were luke warm, but never reached hot. That’s what happens when you make sex something other than what it is supposed to be (ie. food). It becomes common. Mundane. “Oh, huh. She’s getting off with someone she either doesn’t like, doesn’t trust, or doesn’t want to add to her stable.” To me, that’s kind of the equivalent of eating vegetables. You do it because you have to, not because you’re really digging parsnips.
The only character here who had actual growth was Edward. There were some plot issues here as well, and it seemed like Hamilton lost the thread towards the end. The end of the book was the weakest part by far. Bernardo, Olaf, and Edward just drop off the face of the Earth. What happened to them? No goodbyes? Suddenly, she’s back in St. Louis, new playthings in tow, and life is back to some shade of normal. Okay. Um….right. But, there were some good parts, which is more than I can say for the previous 6 books. It did read very much like Obsidian Butterfly so if you didn’t like that one, you’re probably not going to be much for this one either.