The engaging start of a wonderful series that morphs into erotica partway through.
If you like V.I Warshawski, Kinsey Milhone,and other female gumshoe...moreThe engaging start of a wonderful series that morphs into erotica partway through.
If you like V.I Warshawski, Kinsey Milhone,and other female gumshoes, and you like some fantasy, you will definitely like this series in the beginning. Normal world, normal woman, except that vampires (and other supernatural critters) are real, some have civil rights and coexist with humans more or less peacefully, and the protagonist is a 5'2" gun toting butt kicking necromancer. Her day job is raising the dead for a company that specializes in it so that answers about wills, etc., can be settled once and for all. Her other job is a vampire executioner which makes her a federal marshal, because you can't just run around and stake some poor vampire on sight unless you want to get arrested. The monsters are living among the humans now, and Ms. Hamilton does a wonderful job of looking at exactly what that would entail. What about mixed marriages? What kinds of jobs would vampires have? How would the ACLU fit into this? What about religion? And so on and so forth. At this point, Anita Blake's world is black and white. Vampires bad. Humans good. There are no shades of gray for Anita. This book reads like a decently written female detective book with the small twist of the kind of world the detective exists in and how that impacts her investigation and her life.
You must start with the beginning in this series or you'll miss some fascinating twists and turns as Anita's world starts to acquire shades of gray and she starts to grow up a little bit. What happens when the monsters go out of their way to rescue you from the humans who want to kill you? What happens when the scariest thing in your world is a human, not a monster? What happens when the monster thinks you're kinda cute and asks you out on a date?
Later in the series, Ms. Hamilton gets so busy exploring the social interaction side of things (what happens when ALL the monsters want to date you. At the same time.) that the mystery solving part goes bye bye, which is a shame. And right around Narcissus in Chains, Ms. Hamiltin abandons any pretense at plot and starts writing not so vanilla porn. But the series right up to that point is a solidly written, engaging and nicely layered series that can be addictive.
And the fact of the matter is that not one of the other authors who have picked up on this oh so popular genre of female with unexplored powers doing something dangerous in a supernatural world has come close to what Ms. Hamilton managed to accomplish with Anita Blake.(less)
Best of the series - this book takes a closer look at Edward and his world. Anita makes some surprising and frightening discoveries about the mystery...moreBest of the series - this book takes a closer look at Edward and his world. Anita makes some surprising and frightening discoveries about the mystery man in her life. If you were ready for a break from the vampire politics,the hot and heavy romance and the soul searching that came with said romance, this book is for you. This is the first step in the author's contention that the real monsters are not always the ones with fangs and super human powers, and she presents this with a skillful subtlety that vanishes later in the series. I thought Laurell K Hamilton was a solidly good writer until this book; after this book, I thought she was a gifted writer. The books that come after Obsidian Butterfly never manage to reach the level this one seems to effortlessly float to.(less)
The beginning of the end. I was fascinated with the whole human servant thing. I was fascinated with the werewolf added into the fray thing - talk abo...moreThe beginning of the end. I was fascinated with the whole human servant thing. I was fascinated with the werewolf added into the fray thing - talk about a messy love life! I thought that her powers increasing was fine - they had to if she was hanging around the kinds of monsters that were in her coterie. The twist with her being able to have a vampire servant bound to her was a nice one....after all, her power is to control the dead, and what are vampires but dead?
But it was never enough. It got to the point that every man who crossed her path fell madly in love, lust or slack jawed admiration of her whether he was human, vampire, werewolf, psychopath, you name it. She was a walking Love Potion Number 9. The only men who could withstand her powers of attraction were men who were such small side characters that they didn't matter.
And her powers just kept getting bigger. First she's an animator and can raise the dead...with some effort and a careful ritual and specific tools. Then she doesn't need much effort, then she doesn't need any tools at all, then she becomes a necromancer, able to call ALL the dead. Then she becomes the werewolf's female leader, then the were leopards female leader although she's not forced to do any changing with the full moon nastiness. It gets to the point that you figure when she meets God, she'll just absorb all his powers, too. Is there any power she DOESN'T have? Because if not, I can guarantee she'll have it eventually, although I will not still be reading this series by the time she ascends to divinity.
And as the sex increases, the plot decreases. I have nothing against soft core porn, I really don't. I read my fair share of it and enjoy it. But if I pick up a book to read a mystery or some fantasy and get doused with a couple hundred pages of fellatio before the plot even begins, I'm not reading what I picked the book up to read.
This book marks a major turning point in the series for me. Up until this book, the series was still a good one despite the loss of the female detective angle as her social life becomes the focus of the plots rather than solving a mystery. But this book crosses over the line and from here, you need to grit your teeth to keep going with the rest of the series.
The very worst of the lot. She hit a new low with this one and it's a true tragedy to see how horrible this book is when compared to her earlier books...moreThe very worst of the lot. She hit a new low with this one and it's a true tragedy to see how horrible this book is when compared to her earlier books in the same series. The series had been going down hill since Narcissus in Chains and bottomed out here, where you have to hold out til page 480 before plot even makes a pretense of beginning. That alone is simply inexcusable, but then, just as I had hope for a plot, it disappeared in a cluster of shadowed and dewy eyes fringed with smoky lashes, long silken waterfalls of hair and alabaster pale skin. And that's the men. All I can hope is that Hamilton was kidnapped by Jude Devereux, who tied her up in the attic, wrote the book and got it published under Laurell K. Hamilton's name.(less)
still ick. I get the feeling that we're going to get treated to a book for every guy in the Blake hism....and since every guy she runs across either f...morestill ick. I get the feeling that we're going to get treated to a book for every guy in the Blake hism....and since every guy she runs across either falls in love with her, lust with her, or admiration and fear of her, this series won't run out of men for new books anytime soon. Way too much yakking going on and way too little action. Ms. Hamilton writes phenomenal battle scenes, and you won't get enough of them here. (less)
It's all been said before, but it bears repeating. Career suicide. It is a testament to her writing skills that she still had fans after this fiasco....moreIt's all been said before, but it bears repeating. Career suicide. It is a testament to her writing skills that she still had fans after this fiasco. In fact, it's so horrifically uneven when compared with her previous work that the only explanation is that there was something else going on - either she was so far past a deadline she just had to turn it in "as is", she meant this to be 2 or 3 books but couldn't decide how to wrap up or edit the story to make it fit into one..... something. Because Hamilton is so much better than this. The plot starts oround page 400. Before that, you have to drag yourself through sex scene after sex scene after sex scene - and she does her best to make them inventive, but it's like eating nothing but triple hot fudge sundaes with double whipped cream and a jar full of cherries on top every day three meals a day. For 8 months. After a while it doesn't matter how good it was in the beginning, you need something else. Maybe a little plot with all that sex? And very little is resolved at the end of the book. I had no problem with the talky Cerulean Sins and I had no problem at all with the "female P.I. in a tweaked world where vamps have civil rights and supernatural creatures exist solves supernatural crimes" turning into a much more layered look at just how a human would function in a world like that when caught between the humans and the non humans. I found that fascinating. The harem got to be a little yawnful after a while - you could pretty much count on any man who met her falling in love or at least lust or severe admiration with her. But all in all it was a wonderful series. The best in the bunch is Obsidian Butterfly where you get to take a closer look at the one man who really turns Anita's bones to jelly (and not in a good way) and see how he functions and manages two very disparate worlds. I swore I was done buying her books after this one; I would get them from the library but I would not be buying any more. The ones that came after Danse Macabre were not nearly as bad as Danse, but they still are not up to her previous standards. I am one of those annoying people who reads series in any old order because missing the back story doesn't bother me, it tends to intrigue me and send me off looking for the previous books to see how the character got from A to C. But with this series I was warned to read the books in order or it would ruin some pretty phenomenal plot twists. The advice was excellent. You need to start with Guilty Pleasures and move in order from there with this series.(less)