I got this book from the Chautauqua Library bag sale in July 2014. I hesitated to add it to my Chautauqua shelf as it is not typical of their recommenI got this book from the Chautauqua Library bag sale in July 2014. I hesitated to add it to my Chautauqua shelf as it is not typical of their recommendations. It is the first book in the Anita Blake series that I've read. In fact, it is the first Laurell K. Hamilton I've read. And it does not leave a strong first impression in terms of writing ability. If this were the first book pitched in the series, I don't think it would have been published. In fact, I think it is only because the series is so well established that this book slipped through the cracks. It feels like an inkling of an idea with underdeveloped characters and interactions. Why did I keep reading and give it three stars? The book was an easy read and felt compulsory. I finished it in a little over 24 hours. This probably has more to do with my current state of mind than with the actual merits of the book, but a book is never read in a vacuum. If you need a book that will require minimal thought and remove you from your own world, than this is it. And the plot does pick up in the second half.
If you start with this book, as I have done, you will feel plunked down in the middle of the series. However, Hamilton gives just enough information to connect the dots of this other-world she has created. While I was reading, I wondered if this would be annoying to faithful readers of the series. I know that I have read many series where I started to get annoyed by the recap - I wanted a new book, not a rehash of the ones I'd already read. Looking at other reviews, this does seem to be the case here, so patrons of the series, be warned.
Hamilton provides an Afterword in which she describes her writing method and the inspiration for this book. The glimpse into her creative process is interesting, as is the exploration into various view points that is included. However, the moment that sparked this book is just that, a moment. Within the book itself, it does not feel full enough to support a complete novel. It works much better as an anecdote or the comic included in the last pages.
Overall, would I recommend the book? It's a bit like a cheap wine cooler. The quality isn't there, but it's not necessarily trying for it. Instead it offers a brief escape with some fun flavors. ...more
This book had some good elements but wasn't quite the page turner that I was hoping for. It was interesting to read about fractals and then observe thThis book had some good elements but wasn't quite the page turner that I was hoping for. It was interesting to read about fractals and then observe them in my own life. However, the entire "puzzle" of the book was built around this concept and I didn't find it in-depth enough to sustain the mystery of the story through the entire book. In fact, toward the end of the book, it felt repetitive and unnecessary for the story.
I did get to hear Rosen read parts of this book aloud at Chautauqua (during my mom's and my 2012 vacation). The phrasing flowed and I think if I had listened to the audio of the book rather than read it I would have rated it 4 stars. The audio version would have allowed me not to get bogged down in some of the slower parts of the novel and would have highlighted the well-written phrases....more