Lorena's Reviews > Hit List

Hit List by Laurell K. Hamilton
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's review
Jul 18, 11

did not like it
bookshelves: paranormal, fantasy
Read in June, 2011

Oh, Laurell. What happened to turn this series from interesting mystery (featuring fascinating lesser-known creatures of a variety of mythological and folk traditions) into involuntary cautionary style book on how NOT to write (featuring mostly Rainbow Weretigers)? Just for fun, let's point out some of your more egregious crimes against the coherently written word...

1. When even your own characters feel the need to comment self-consciously on the fact that the only name you can come up with for your mysterious super-villains is "the ones who can't be named," a la Harry Potter, maybe it's time to actually sit down with a thesaurus and try to think of something else to call said super-villains.

2. It defies all credibility that Anita's cohorts in the Marshal service would be "impressed" by things like Anita reciting facts about serial killers that are included in any common news story on the subject. E.g.:

"Statically [sic] speaking, over ninety percent of all serial killers are male. Using he as the pronoun is probably accurate, but, you're right, I don't know that it's a he. Though female serial killers are more likely to use poison or a gun; a blade is more typical of male serial killers. ... You seem surprised that I knew that." He leaned back in his chair and looked at me, but now it was an appraising look. "I'd been told that the only reason you have more executions than anyone else in the preternatural branch is that you're fucking the monsters, so they talk to you, but maybe that's not all of it."

3. It also defies credibility that said Marshals who deal exclusively with supernatural creatures would need several pages of explanation from Anita about how a werewolf wearing a cape and a mask would have a different appearance than a human in the same outfit. Wait, a SNOUT would make a mask stick out more? And the hind legs would bend differently in an animal? And what's this about dogs not tracking supernatural creatures because they are afraid of them, something you'd think someone else in the service would have noticed by now? Stop your crazy talk, you kooky sex-having lady! We don't believe you, even though we must have observed the same thing ourselves every single day in the field!

4. You should not waste everyone's time explaining commonly-used words or expressions as part of your plot. It smacks of filler, and it is tedious and unnatural conversation. E.g.:

"Jealous" I asked. "Of what, the men?" "You're jealous of something. If it's not the men, then what the fuck is it?" "Are you calling me a homosexual?"

Yes, she is indeed attempting to mock you for your perceived homophobia and/or homoerotic leanings. Good that you could pick up on that. Similarly:

"I learned a long time ago that I can't prove a negative." "What the hell does that even mean?" "It means I can't prove that I didn't sleep with someone. It's easier to prove you did something than that you didn't. You know that from court cases, every cop does, but cops love rumors, they fucking love 'em, so either way, believe what you want, but if you're not going to believe the truth, don't ask."

EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT "CAN'T PROVE A NEGATIVE" MEANS. You do not have to explain it in a long, drawn-out paragraph. There's another whole page of discussion about what "don't take this the wrong way" means, but I will lose the will to live if I have to type it all out here, so you'll just have to trust me.

5. Keep track of your own plot points. It seems a tad unprofessional to have a character specifically say at the outset that he has "three" shape-shifter forms, and then after having sex with Anita and her Magic Vagina, to marvel that he has added ANOTHER form, so that now he has...THREE! Also, while we are on the subject on the Magic Vagina...

"Gods, so tight, so wet, so warm." I wanted to say that sometimes after oral sex I seemed to tighten, but I had no words outside my head as he pushed the head of himself inside me.

First of all...I realize that most men don't generally possess a LARGE repertoire of vaginally-related compliments, but I'm beginning to think that the main reason Laurell introduces new men into Anita's harem is so that they can all take a turn saying this exact same thing the first time they have sex with her (and several subsequent times as well). Secondly, good for Anita, finally realizing that maybe she doesn't have to say every damn thing she thinks aloud, especially when the reader has already read the thought before it was spoken. Also...good for recognizing that it may not be the perfect moment to be casually discussing your perfectly normal physiological responses. Some people in the throes of passion might find that off-putting.

6. Finally, there is a huge, gaping hole in your universe's theology. Namely:

"You've seen my cross glow. You know blessed holy water works. I've never understood why you don't wear something." "Holy water works because a priest blesses it; a cross works only if the wearer has faith in God. I don't." I let the theological discussion wait for another day.

Why? Why let the theological discussion wait for another day? The fact that a man doesn't believe in God when, in your world, God has a clearly manifested and scientifically demonstrable power, makes no sense at all. Exploring why that is would be far more interesting than reading another paragraph of "commonly used acronyms spelled out and discussed at length" or "people persistently commenting on how it is so charming that Anita remains emotionally hypocritical and humorless."

I apologize for the length of this posting, but I trust that it will serve to prove my point about how very tedious the full-length book is...
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Margali (new)

Margali Don't apologize, that was a great review! I've never read any of the Anita Blake books, because sadly, by the time I had heard of them, they had already taken a turn for the terrible, and I can't bear to start.

message 2: by Wminbc (new)

Wminbc Oh Simone...we must become friends...you have totally made my day...while I sat here eating my protein bar at coffee break reading your review and laughing my butt off...I gave up on this series after Blood Noir...ridiculous that she could even be tight any more with all the action that girls magic vajayjay gets???? That, and now I just hate too many of the characters. Loved your review and your serious committment to the Anita series...have an awesome day!

Derek Amused beyond belief by your review! I agree whole-heartedly with each point you made. I lumber through each new addition to this series, hoping for a return to the Anita of books 1 through 4 when the moniker "Vampire Hunter" series was not the misnomer it has become.

message 4: by CJ (new) - added it

CJ Love the review!

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