Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

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Book Discussion & Recommendation > Does Anyone Else Still Enjoy Anita Blake?

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Andy Dainty (Kosmopolite) | 42 comments By that I mean after book 5.

I think the world is well-developed and interesting, many of the characters are strong enough to have more stories written about their pasts and it is one of the few.literary example of a working (if dysfunctional) polyamorous relationship. Am I online in this?


Andy Dainty (Kosmopolite) | 42 comments (alone. not online)


Pixie Rose (pixierosedragon) | 54 comments I still enjoy Anita Blake. I am actually re-reading Bullet right now. I always enjoy seeing how Anita is going to balance all the men in her life...I think it's a good thing she is not bisexual. I mean, can you imagine the juggling act she would have to do then?


Kari | 30 comments I don't actually get why people put the stop on book 5 - I mean as far as I remember , isn't book 5 the first time they have sex AT ALL? I might understand around book 13\14 or so, but why book 5? I mean book 9 (I think), Obsidian Butterfly was a great book mostly about Edward and I loved that! It wouldn't be the same series without it for me.

I have read the Anita Blake books for over ten years now, and I'm as in love with them now as ever. Well sometimes I do miss the cops stuff - but Dolph went all nutters and stuff so it had to go on the back burner - I enjoyed the vampire politics and the power plays alot.

LOL I remember reading the first of her Merry Gentry series books - boy was I taken aback - I must have been on book 7 or 8 maybe, or later, when I read the first one - and the sex is SO different from Anita Blake - the whole society is different - which I find very intriguing - and I love the mythos stuff, and the worldbuilding whihc is amazing!

So in comparison I can't really say it gets alot with Anita Blake until well after Obsidian Butterfly at least - book 14\15 maybe? here's very few books I don't find to be of the same standard - but so much of it is also about Marmee Noir , which I thought was very interesting, but did get a bit boring after like ten books about it, lol.

I am really looking forward to her next book "Kiss the Dead" coming out in only a few short days! Looks like a very interesting plot\story-line too with the kidnapped girl :-D

So yes - you're not alone! We're still here! And I hate it when people bash it - but then again people are allowed their opinions, although I feel if they don't like it, they shouldn't read it, or bother going on and on about how much they think it sucks. But thats people for ya, lol.


Andy Dainty (Kosmopolite) | 42 comments Yeah, book five she first has sex, but I think the ardeur turns up a book or two latter. I think it'd be really interesting to see the ladies read book 1 then something like Obsidian Butterfly for the comparison...


Kari | 30 comments Andy wrote: "Yeah, book five she first has sex, but I think the ardeur turns up a book or two latter. I think it'd be really interesting to see the ladies read book 1 then something like Obsidian Butterfly for ..."

That would actually be really fun! I'd love a fresh look at them from someone else.


Carolyn F. I love the books and even more after an audiobook re-read. I'm of the minority who actually had to force myself to read the first book several times before I got into them and once she started having sex I enjoyed them more. Can't wait for the next book.

I also really enjoy the Merry Gentry books too.


message 8: by Tangled (last edited Jun 02, 2012 04:30PM) (new)

Tangled  Speculation (TangledSpec) | 55 comments I keep reading each new book that comes out, but I don't know if I I really enjoy them or if I am just too obsessive not to keep up with a story I've followed for so long. I didn't stop liking the books when she first became polyamorous (which spellcheck corrects to polygamous), but there was a point a few books back where I could no longer care at all about any new men and I miss time that would have been spent with the older loves. I don't think she should have to limit herself to one partner, but I wished she'd narrow down the heard and focus on the main relationships. I miss the older plots. I don't read it for an excuse to string together porn scenes (though I keep reading each book so I shouldn't complain).


Andy Dainty (Kosmopolite) | 42 comments Polyamorous, not polygamous. Sorry. I was in one kind of relationship and not the other.

I tend to agree that some books:
1) Sideline men I want to see more of, and
2) Are largely driven by the sex.

Yet in others, the sex and relationships are just elements in her life she has to deal with around what's going on. The book's quality and makeup do vary wildly.


Michele (mogle) I've actually avoided this series because I heard about the, um, "condition" she develops later and wasn't sure I'd be comfortable with it--especially after I got attached to her as a character from the first few books (as you do).

Is it worth it? Should I just read the first few, as has been suggested in many places?


Andy Dainty (Kosmopolite) | 42 comments As Felicia and others gave said, the first few (I would say up to 5 or 6) are excellent urban fantasy for any taste. After that, you can choose to continue, but accept that in some books the ratio of sex-to-plot is pretty high, or stop when the first makes you uncomfortable.

I'd say her character in the early books is worth getting to know, one way or the other; from sociopathic colleagues to stuffed penguins.


Michele (mogle) That's good to know! I'll keep her first few on my list then, and try to keep from being disappointed with any later books.


Tangled  Speculation (TangledSpec) | 55 comments Michele I am going to agree with Felicia and Andy. The first few books are good. There isn't some nasty cliff hanger when they start to be more about the sex, so you can always stop reading when you notice the shift.


Courtney | 26 comments I started reading the Anita Blake books about 10 years ago. I haven't stayed up to date with them (just finished Skin Trade #17) and I don't enjoy them as much as I used to. As has been said the first 5/6 books were great. I really loved her working with the police and how each book dealt with a case.

Her "condition" and ALL of the men in her life are a bit off putting to me. Not because she sleeps with them, though. Its mainly because there are so many and most of them don't seem to get any plot love. I couldn't care less about the majority of her men. It also feels like every other book she's adding at least one new man to her life and that just means I get to see less of the ones I actually adore.

I don't know if I'm still reading them because I still like them or if I'm just determined to see it out seeing as I'm 17 books into a series. I was never able to get into the Merry Gentry titles, though. Maybe I'll give them another shot at some point.


Andy Dainty (Kosmopolite) | 42 comments Merry has the sex built in from the start (and better reasoning for it), has an arc-plot and a finishing point (apparently) planned out, I think Anita will continue for as long as Laurell can string a sentence together.


Tangled  Speculation (TangledSpec) | 55 comments Courtney wrote: "I started reading the Anita Blake books about 10 years ago. I haven't stayed up to date with them (just finished Skin Trade #17) and I don't enjoy them as much as I used to. As has been said the fi..."

I feel the same way. In some ways, it reminds me of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plumb series (which I also still read). By now I know the formula, and it's kind of comfortable, like an uncle who tells the same corny jokes every time you see him. You know what's going to happen and when, and you can say the punch line in your sleep, but it's part of your routine, so you go with it. I have a hard time giving up on a series once I've bought into a story.


Pixie Rose (pixierosedragon) | 54 comments I loved the Merry Gentry stories, although I was sad to see it end. No one really wants to see their favorite characters go away. Anita is still one of my favorite people though. Laurell continues to write her as a real person, with real character flaws, although I will be the first to admit that some of the plot twists have been somewhat unbelievable. Some things I read, and I'm like, srsly?!? I liked her facebook page though, and Laurell is really great about writing you back if you have questions about certain things. That is, if she can tell you without giving away future plot.


Kathryn Handel | 53 comments Andy wrote: "By that I mean after book 5.

I think the world is well-developed and interesting, many of the characters are strong enough to have more stories written about their pasts and it is one of the few.l..."


(SPOILER ALERT)


I still read every one that comes out but I'm not as much of a fan as I used to be. I think it was around 8 that I began to go "ughhhh." The books used to have more plot... Now don't get me wrong, I love the smut, I love the BDSM, the raunchier the better- But please give me SOME story! The worst one of all had to be the book all about Micah... You know... the one where he breaks down because his ex left him for being "too big." It just gets silly. I do enjoy the Edward storyline though.... and dammit I can't leave a book unread in a series so I'll keep reading them as long as she keeps writing them, but I'm getting them from the library now instead of buying them.


Andy Dainty (Kosmopolite) | 42 comments Pixie: according to Wikipedia, Merry hasn't ended yet. There's one due out for Christmas this year.


Pixie Rose (pixierosedragon) | 54 comments Andy wrote: "Pixie: according to Wikipedia, Merry hasn't ended yet. There's one due out for Christmas this year."

Oh, I know, I get all my updates from her facebook page, so, yeah...but thanks...I was more referring to an actual ending vs infinity of stories.


message 21: by Crisp (last edited Jun 03, 2012 10:03PM) (new)

Crisp (crispi) | 115 comments Kathryn wrote: "Now don't get me wrong, I love the smut, I love the BDSM, the raunchier the better- But please give me SOME story!"

This. I really enjoyed her books up to Obsidian Butterfly, and I think I read all of them up to Skin Trade.

After Obsidian Butterfly the books got shorter and shorter on story - until at one point there's like 3 chapters of sex and then one chapter of wrap up. Augh.

On the encouragement of one friend I picked up Skin Trade when it came out, and it seemed to get back to a better balance. I haven't read the subsequent books yet so I've no idea if she's continued on her upward trend.


Andy Dainty (Kosmopolite) | 42 comments Yeah, the last few have really picked back up in the plot-to-sex ratio. Now it's a settled part of the story, it's just become part of the stuff she has to deal with. I thought The Harlequin was a real turning point.


Samantha | 76 comments I enjoy them but they are in the category of over the top sex for me, not romance.


Heather (ravenhd77) | 8 comments I stopped reading them around about the time that she hooks up with Micah and the reason was that it started out much more focused on the urban fantasy/PI fiction kind of thing and morphed from that (with a bit of sex in the background) to a romance novelesque type thing. Which if that's what you want to read, is fine, but i wanted the detective story/urban fantasy stuff not "i'm part succubus now". It was so contrary to her nature in the beginning that it kind of ruined the series for me.


Bek (bek_worm) | 5 comments I have read them all but really only enjoyed the first 6 or so. The sex is ridulous and over the top. She is so not the person she used to be when the books started which is disappointing because her character used to have integrity.


Kathryn Handel | 53 comments Bek wrote: "I have read them all but really only enjoyed the first 6 or so. The sex is ridulous and over the top. She is so not the person she used to be when the books started which is disappointing because h..."

Yeah, I mean I'm all for character development and change over time but she's done a complete 180 and not in a good way. :-/


Kalyn (ladykphoto) | 22 comments I have loathed Richard since the moment he appeared in book 1, and honestly find the parts with him more unlikeable than the ridiculous sex scenes. I did stop reading a few books after Obsidian Butterfly (my favorite, so far) but after hearing from a fairly reliable source that the last few have somewhat mellowed out, I may reread them.

I got into the series because Anita had such a strong personality, and I agree with Bek and Heather. She just isn't the same. Or at least wasn't.


Sue-Ann Cooper (ysabelkid) | 9 comments Kalyn wrote: "I have loathed Richard since the moment he appeared in book 1, and honestly find the parts with him more unlikeable than the ridiculous sex scenes. I did stop reading a few books after Obsidian But..."

This. At least, the part about Richard. I detest that smarmy, self-righteous prick, and her having sex with him just fuelled my anti-Richard-the-controlling-asshole rage.

On the other hand, I have fallen for so many characters within the universe (although oddly, I don't find Jean-Claude as appealing as most people - Jason, Nathaniel and Edward are my personal favourites).

As others have said, the books have varied in quality from around Obsidian Butterfly - after that they went into full-on sex mode, with the occasional plot-driven novel. Still, when she actually writes characters and not sex scenes, the Anita Blake world is enriched. I empathise strongly with Anita's sense of justice and doing whatever it takes to keep loved ones safe - maybe that's also why I'm so drawn to Eve Dallas of the In Death series.

Now it's just about finding that 'good' Anita book among the later installments; I'll keep reading when new ones come out just so I can find her again.


Kari | 30 comments Personally I don't find Anita's character development to have been such a dramatic turn - the only thing she does change on is her view on sex, and to me that was just a healthy development for her.

Some of the books describes some really dark moments in Anita's life (a good portion of them being the asshole of the name Richard - who I liked in the beginning but hate thoroughly now)

So to me personally her life, with sex or not, follows a logical character development - and yes while it is true that some of the books have been very heavy on the sex - some of it has been very important to the political part of the storyline - her power and the uncertainty as to what she will truly be is fascinating, and it's growing with almsot every book, which I find riveting.

I love the act that her standards get expanded as a direct consequence of new realities she has to deal with - and it does bring up alot of issue along the way like the friendship issue, the baby issue, Dolphs major issue - all stuff that keeps me interested in her life and how she tries to keep her loved ones safe and the how far she is willing to go. As the enemies turns more powerful she doesn't really have a choice but to be even more powerful or do things she thought se never would do, but just didn't truly envision a situation where she would have no choice.

So to me Anita is still Anita, just changed by time and experience just like any other person - and its why I love the books (although yes there were about three books in a row that got a bit boring due to the high sex-plot ratio, but it still worked, and its balancing out now which is great)


Kristen (KGreene978) | 16 comments I still read them, but for a while I wasn't enjoying them as much as I'd enjoyed the earlier books. There was a few books where the main plot wasn't advancing much at all, and I almost stopped reading. But I've found the more recent books to be better. I think I'm one, maybe two, behind in the series because I always waited for the books to be released in paperback before buying them.

I do love the characters and the story, so I don't know if I'll ever walk away from the books, but I am glad that the everything finally started moving forward again.


Jack | 32 comments I have read all of these books, except the book that came out yesterday (June 5), and only because I'm reading Kushiel's Dart. I have to say that books 10 through 19 REALLY dragged for me. It was basically trying to sift the actually story out of the plethora of orgies. That being said, the last book, Hit List, was AWESOME! It was definitely a throw back to the earlier books. I'm hoping Kiss the Dead is similar.


hikari | 13 comments The only Anita Blake story I've ever read was the Marvel comic adaptation of Guilty Pleasures.

I should probably get round to reading some of the actual books at some point.


Laura Grace | 2 comments I read the books all the way up to Skin Trade in High School. I kind of lost interest because it seemed that she was slowly losing the emotional connection to the men in her life and had replaced it with a physical connection only, which made me sad. I recently have been buying the on my nook and re-reading them all.


message 34: by Felicia, Grand Duchess (new)

Felicia (feliciaday) | 548 comments Mod
I was thinking of picking up the new one, but I just REALLY can't deal with Jean-Claude and his total emasculation. I mean I LOVED HIM SO MUCH and then it seemed like her magical vagina was just undermining everything they built. If they were REALLY a team, and she had to have sex with 10000 other guys, I think I'd be ok continuing, but I just couldn't deal with how he'd be ok with the situation. Does it get balanced in the latest books? I stopped around 11.


hikari | 13 comments Felicia wrote: "I was thinking of picking up the new one, but I just REALLY can't deal with Jean-Claude and his total emasculation. I mean I LOVED HIM SO MUCH and then it seemed like her magical vagina was just un..."

I remember someone once telling me she had a habit of basing her male protagonists on her current bo, so I wonder if that might have something to do with it?

I could be misremembering or they may have been wrong, of course.


Andy Dainty (Kosmopolite) | 42 comments Felicia wrote: "I was thinking of picking up the new one, but I just REALLY can't deal with Jean-Claude and his total emasculation. I mean I LOVED HIM SO MUCH and then it seemed like her magical vagina was just un..."

Jean-Claude is still one of many men, but the vampire politics has come to the fore again, so he has to step up and be Master of the City again.


Rachel (poppysocks70) | 40 comments I only ever read the first one. It just wasn't my cup of tea.


Rachel | 10 comments Stopped reading them as well...cerulean sins was my last book. I like some smutty books, but the complete and total focus shift to sex (which I felt was not even well written) lost me.


Michelle ♣ Ndayeni (Ndayeni) | 64 comments Rachel wrote: "Stopped reading them as well...cerulean sins was my last book. I like some smutty books, but the complete and total focus shift to sex (which I felt was not even well written) lost me."

Cerulean Sins is where I stopped as well. I loved the series at the start, but was so disappointed with Cerulean and it's token excuse for a plot which mostly just served up excuses for Anita to start having sex with every male she came across. If there had been any real explanation or reasons given for why she went from being prim and prudish like she was in book 1 to the total slut she became by Cerulean I might have been ok with it, but, to me at least, it just seemed like a sudden and complete character/personality change with little or no reason for the change.

That said, I probably will give the series another go at some point, but it's fairly far down on my TBR list atm.


message 40: by Jack (last edited Jun 11, 2012 07:20PM) (new)

Jack | 32 comments Michelle wrote: "If there had been any real explanation or reasons given for why she went from being prim and prudish like she was in book 1 to the total slut she became by Cerulean I might have been ok with it, but, to me at least, it just seemed like a sudden and complete character/personality change with little or no reason for the change."

Reading the later books, Anita still struggles with adding more and more men to her bed, though a couple of them she finally comes to term with. I think it was dealing with the fact that "feeding" off of the same couple of guys was detrimental to their health and definitely after creating Nicky she was way more careful to keep it fed.


Kari | 30 comments Well I'm reading her latest right now, couldn't even put it down before like 69% - it's definitely changing from heavy sex focus until more about the emotional stage of keeping this many men - the storyline is much more sound now than it was for a few books, but then again I've always loved Anita and always felt that her men had a logical place due to the ardeur and all.

But then again I don't think she's a slut at all, and she wasn't necessarily prim - just had major issues which she's been basically forced to deal with and get over due to extenuating circumstance. I like that.


Crisp (crispi) | 115 comments I don't think the main complaint is that Anita turned into a slut - most complaints seem to be about the lack of actual PLOT - that was the most frustrating thing. Chapter after chapter of her having sex and then AGONIZING over it again and again... then oh hey let's kick some ass, the end.

I will pick up the rest of the books to read - but it'll have to wait till I've waded through the long list of books I've stacked up (thanks to VGH :))


Kari | 30 comments Crispina wrote: "I don't think the main complaint is that Anita turned into a slut - most complaints seem to be about the lack of actual PLOT - that was the most frustrating thing. Chapter after chapter of her havi..."

Well my responce was mostly one to Michelle's comment, though I have heard it many times before elsewhere.

I never really had that much problem with the change of plot - I got a bit sick of alot of sex , and some of the emotional stuff is boring(like the agonizing part, but that also what I like - its characterbuilding to me, although it can become ALOT, lol), but to me there was always plot, just not criminal\work-with-police plot. I guess because I also read the Merry Gentry series, I'm a bit used to it - and they are pretty much the same like the few books that have been in the past of not much progression, and mostly getting allies and men in service through sex (they're fae so its a different society all together, which I find really intriguing), so in comparison I don't find the Anita books to have that much less plot - just a different type of plot that differed alot from the beginning of the series.

But to each its own - I think readers that preferred the system of the first books are going to like the new one- the focus is at least changed for this one, and someone said its a pattern of the latest books (as said I don't really care about the difference in plotsystems, so I don't notice it, so I can't say when they started to shift focus, lol.)

I found Felicia's comment about the emasculation of Jean-Claude very interesting though - do anyone else feel this? Personally it has never entered my head, and I still can't see it (but then again, as one might have guessed, I'm a bit Anita-blind, lol) anyone have any insights on this view?


Amy | 28 comments The Anita Blake series used to be my *favorite* series for a long time, but I stopped reading several books ago. I just got continually frustrated with the lack of progress, lack of character development, and the poor writing. I don't mind sex, but at least make it good sex. Instead, it's angsty-talk and poorly written. I used to love Jean-Claude and I agree that he's been emasculated. He's scared to do a lot of things because he thinks it will make Anita leave him/punish him. And Richard just drives me crazy these days. I had hopes that the latest book would be better because the mystery was back - we'd get to see the detectives again and maybe even the original pard. But then I saw a review of it on Amazon that dashed those hopes. It's really disappointing, especially because I used to love the series so much.


Laura | 3 comments Count me as another that gave up after Cerulean Sins.

+1 on Crispina's comment about the problem being the loss of focus on the plot.

This was a problem for the Merry Gentry books too. Sure there was lots of sex from the get go, but at least in the first two of those books, basic plot threads were resolved. I can't remember which but with #3 or #4 it started with a standard murder mystery, but it went completely unresolved. And the abundance of laughably boring sex scenes: When the difference between one scene and the next is what eye color the guy has and whether his penis resembles granite or alabaster, its not really as much fun anymore.


Samantha | 76 comments I like her concepts of worlds but she doesn't seem to be able to let go of characters and explore other people within the universe she has created.

I would love to see how other people in Merry's world live but I don't really get a chance to.


Amy Kinard (strangemodegirl) I can't remember where I finally stopped reading them. It got to the point that it seemed like there was no real plot anymore, just sex. I don't mind sex, but, I do like a good plot and her books just stopped doing it for me. And same with the Meredith Gentry series. I think I read the first 4 and then stopped.


Jess | 3 comments I still enjoy both series of books. Actually, I think the Anita Blake series has gotten better as Anita accepts herself more and more. I love the story, and I don't miss Anita's hang ups about sex that were an important thread through the first books of the series.


Erin (wellreadmoose) | 27 comments I've just started with the Anita Blake books (ok, I read the first one). I was so pleasantly surprised that the book wasn't a giant sex fest (not that there's anything wrong with that), that I immediately requested the next one from my library system. I'm sad that it'll eventually head that way though. I've been told that it's good up until Obsidian Butterfly so I'll read that far and then decide if I'll continue.

It was just a nice change to find an urban fantasy book with a female protagonist that wasn't all about sex.


Jack | 32 comments I'm kind of sad that Kiss The Dead is turning into a book like the last 10 she wrote (excluding Hit List).


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