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message 1: by Synopthis! (last edited Feb 12, 2014 08:22AM) (new)

Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake is just an average woman. Well, not average. She is an animator, a person endowed with the ability to raise zombies and put them to rest. She is also the Executioner, licensed to kill vampires who cross the law, and a consultant to the police department. It is because of this that she is tapped to solve two different cases: the slaying of several vampires and a gruesome murder with a supernatural killer. These cases lead her deep into the underworld of St. Louis. Can she get out alive?

This is the first book of the Anita Blake series and it gives you a little taste as to what comes next but you will still be shocked by the way the series plays out. From other reviews you've probably gathered that the series get 'slightly' more descriptive in terms of Anita's liaisons, to the point where plot might as well be an afterthought. But in this novel Anita is single!

She is introduced to Jean-Claude, a very important character but who plays almost a minor role, being out of action for most of the book, but still able to influence things as you will see. She also meets Edward, who is Death to her Executioner and an uncomfortable ally. These two characters, Jean-Claude and Edward, are diametric opposites and Anita is in the middle. Conflict?

We are also introduced to her way of life, solving crimes in the afternoon, animating at night, trying but failing to sleep in the morning. We meet some of her co-workers at the office of Animators, Inc. and the squad that she consults with, the Regional Preternatural Investigation Taskforce, or RPIT. And we get a feeling for the average level of gore Anita encounters on a daily basis. So warning, if you are squeamish and do not like to read about graphic descriptions of corpses, dead or undead, turn away while you can. Anita Blake is addicting.

All in all, a modest beginning to the series that intrigues you so much you have to read the next one. See you then!

message 2: by Synopthis! (last edited Feb 12, 2014 08:21AM) (new)

Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #2) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake is once again embroiled in two different problems. Problem 1: a client, Harold Gaynor, wants her to raise an old zombie. So old it will require a much bigger death than a chicken to raise. And he's no taking no for an answer. Problem 2: Another supernatural killer is on the loose with a taste for human flesh. And he likes families. Does Anita have the strength to get through this?

In this novel we get a better understanding of Anita's origin story. We also get a look at the man who mentored her in the ways of animation and vampire slaying, Manny. Except he has some secrets of her own. And we learn the depths of Anita's powers...or do we?

Her true adversary (or prospective lover?) Jean-Claude has a minor role in this book but enough that we can still be as powerfully drawn to him as Anita is. So as you can guess, we are not yet seeing the steaminess that some of you might be expecting, but never fear! It soon will come. And you might very well get sick of it so enjoy the PG-13 rating while you can!

I say PG-13 because the goriness of the series is in full form in this book. Laurell K. Hamilton does not just tell you there is a dead body on the floor. She describes it in great detail and horrific imagery so that you are almost tempted to vomit along with Anita, but it serves to drive your desire to see the killer caught.

In any case, you will be hooked! See you at the next one

message 3: by Synopthis! (last edited Feb 12, 2014 08:23AM) (new)

Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #3)  by Laurell K. Hamilton
It's a fight for the city and which vampire will control it. Jean-Claude is the current Master but his identity is secret. Anita is sought after by other contenders who wish to challenge Jean-Claude but will she take the opportunity to rid herself of his influence or protect the city from other vampires who might not treat humans as kindly?

In this book we get a definitive sense of Anita's mettle and values. She is tested: will she reveal Jean-Claude and get rid of the vampire who wishes to make her a servant or stay loyal to him, ostensibly to shield the city from greater evils, but just maybe because she has feelings for him.

To complicate matters we meet Richard Zeeman, a man who becomes a major character in the series from the get-go. He seems like a normal guy (although I think Anita overlooks a huge issue from her first encounter of him, namely him naked in bed with another woman) who just happens to know about the things that go bump in the night. But why does he know? Why is he caught up in this whole thing?

We learn a little bit more about vampires and their human servants, what the relationship means and what powers they get from it. We also learn some more vampire trivia like how a person becomes a vampire.

All of this happens while you are trying in vain to close the book so you can finally go to sleep. Some people work you know!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments The Lunatic Cafe (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #4) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake dives deep into the world of shapeshifters. Not only is she dating a werewolf. She also has a case involving a missing werewolf, a police investigation with a victim who has been eaten by a shifter, and the shifter community wants her to look into the disappearance of even more shifters. How will she claw her way out of this one?

Lunatic Cafe gives us a deeper understanding of what it means to be a shifter just as the previous books gave us insight into vampires. Its not just traditional werewolves in this one, in fact there are alternative methods to becoming a shapeshifter.

But its not all about them. In this book Jean-Claude makes his move and forcibly inserts himself into a romantic triangle which may have unintended consequences for all involved. Anita will need to make a decision ... or maybe not. You'll see what I mean later.

Speaking of later, at this point in the series I would advise you to get out a notebook and pen (our whatever you actually use to take notes with) and start a list of every character you run into no matter how minor. There will be a quiz! Just kidding, but Laurell K. Hamilton starts introducing characters in bulk and kind of expects you to remember who they are even if they appeared for only 5 pages 2 books ago.

I should go make a list myself. Buh-bye!

message 5: by Synopthis! (last edited Feb 12, 2014 08:25AM) (new)

Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #5) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Let's travel with Anita Blake to far and distant lands. Well, if by far and distant you mean about a couple hours out of town in Branson, Missouri. Anita has got a job to do, raising centuries-old zombies in a mass grave. No, wait. She has two jobs, raising zombies and helping the local police with a case with multiple bodies and a supernatural killer. Sorry, apparently she has three jobs, raising zombies, helping the police, and ... you know what, she is just busy. Will her work be the death of her?

Anita struggles with the different facets of her life in this book, juggling her personal life with her animation work and her animation work with her police consulting work. She has also taken on the role of mentor to young Larry Kirkland, animator/vampire executioner-in-training. She tries to shield Larry from the difficulties of the life he has chosen while also trying to teach him and is understandably having issues.

Richard bows out of this book so that Jean-Claude can have a starring role. We learn more about what drives Anita towards him and he develops more of a foothold in her heart. The lopsided love triangle becomes more isosceles in nature(thanks geometry!) and we are all left wondering how Anita is somehow in the almost unprecedented position of being able to date two gorgeous guys at the same time, with them fully aware of each other, but not angry at her. Huh?

If you've been paying attention, you'll know that the title 'necromancer' has been applied to Anita in past books. This might seem like a fancy title that can probably be used interchangeably with animator. But in Bloody Bones we find out what it really means. We also find out about the other things that inhabit the earth besides vampires and werewolves.

Intrigued? I hope you are!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #6) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Things are coming to a head for Anita Blake. She has a case where a vampire asks her for help and in order to help she must learn how to use her powers of necromancy, which she has avoided (except in terms of raising zombies). Richard's battle with the alpha of his pack is coming to a close and Anita must force him to see that the only way out is death. Also, there is the little matter of someone putting a contract out on Anita, no biggie.

This is a pivotal book in the series. Anita makes several decisions here that change the course of series thus far (Namely the PG-13 rating). She also takes on new roles some of which she does not even know she has taken on, and will not know until the following book.

One of her decisions is Jean-Claude vs Richard. Richard is her humanity. With him she can see the picket fence, safety, and happiness. Of course that is if she ignores half of his being, the werewolf half. If she chooses him will she have to give up the more dangerous aspects of her life? Jean-Claude is her dark side. He is passion personified and more than that he understands her ruthlessness, the part of her is the Executioner. But would choosing him make her a monster as well? It is a total angel vs demon on shoulder argument. What ends up happening can make you look at 'love triangle' in a new light.

So are you ready for this series to transform from mystery caterpillar into a adult (and I mean adult) butterfly? I hope so!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Burnt Offerings (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #7) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake has done extraordinary things. Too extraordinary. The Vampire Council is now aware of her and have sent members to St. Louis to suss out the situation. Will they be satisfied by what they see or is Anita too dangerous to live? Amidst the political machinations of the Council there is an arsonist loose in the city and he seems to be targeting the supernatural. Can Anita put out all of these fires?

In the vampire world sometimes it is better to be a small fish in a vast ocean, otherwise you might attract the attention of larger and fiercer predators. But after the events of previous books and with the new triumvirate Anita becomes too big a threat to ignore. Which is unfortunate because Anita is on the outs with Richard ever since his ascension to pack master and her subsequent choosing of Jean-Claude. This upsets the power of the triumvirate, a power they will need to survive the Council's visit and protect their people.

Speaking of people, Anita finds herself responsible for the well-being of several new characters. We have seen Anita in this kind of situation with Larry, her protege, but in this book we see to what lengths she will go to in order to protect those under her charge. Her charges, I should point out, seem to need her to protect them so much that you wonder how they functioned without her all these years to become adults. Then you get the answer: they didn't function very well. Still, it is a little strange when you see grown-ups acting like children. Well maybe that is just coming from the biased point of view of a person who doesn't have to deal with vampires and shapeshifters and assorted others trying to kill me everyday.

I also want to take the time to point out something that you probably already noticed but I can't help but address. This series takes place in the 90s. And Anita has awful fashion sense. I have to restrain myself from laughing every time she talks about a car phone or has to pull over and find a payphone to call back a number that paged her on her beeper. Her beeper! If I had been born later than I was I might be very confused about all this but as it is I just find it funny and wonder at how far we've come. But Anita has no excuse in terms of wardrobe. She wears fannypacks! Not even ironically! (Can you wear a fannypack ironically?) Maybe I'm being unnecessarily cruel and fannypack lovers everywhere are uniting to protest this unjust condemnation of their favorite accessory.

Just do me a favor and whenever you are reading this series and Laurell K. Hamilton describes an outfit to you, please, please, please, picture it in your head. It will be worth it.

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Blue Moon (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #8) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Are you ready for another road trip? Richard has landed himself into some trouble in Tennessee and Anita comes to save the day. But the issue is more complicated than it seems. Both the local corrupt cops and the Master of the City desperately want her to leave. And the marks between the triumvirate seem to be growing stronger. Can Anita solve the mystery behind it all or will she and Richard leave Tennessee in a body bag?

In the last book Anita took on the role of Nimir-Ra, or wereleopard queen. Here we see how she is managing this new title along with her other role as lupa to the werewolves. It is particularly challenging for her as she is not a shifter and can only level the playing field with lethal force, aka guns and knives. Also, her connection with Richard through the triumvirate is allowing her to access powers that she should not have and does not know how to control. When you add this to her inherent necromancy that she also does not know how to control you have chaos. Lovely, page-gripping chaos.

Anita tries to reconnect with Richard, attempting to smooth over things since she picked Jean-Claude and ... ran away when he changed into a werewolf and ate someone. This goes differently than she planned. Actually a lot of things go differently than she planned. Suffice it to say that the prudish Anita of the first book will be very surprised by the behavior of present Anita.

One might say that the same is true for all of us. The younger you would not have imagined the life present you has. But Anita is living a kind of blessed/cursed life. Almost (and I really hate to use this term but it applies) the life of a Mary-Sue. Every single character wants to sleep with her, and I am being deliberately vague when I say character. Usually this kind of writing can get really tiresome after a while but for someone reason it doesn't with this series. Oh sure, later you'll be tired for Anita (she gets quite a workout if you know what I mean) but the thrill and the mystery is still there, making you pick up the next book.

So do it! Pick up the next book and enjoy.

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #9) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Edward, aka Death, is calling in a favor. Anita goes to New Mexico to repay him but discovers that something that can stump Death might be more than she can handle. There is a killer on the loose that no one can make head or tails of (does he have a tail, for instance?) and he has a big body count. Plus, there is a vampire who thinks she's a goddess and Edward who thinks he's a family man. Will Anita help them all figure it out in time?

Anita can't deal with her love life (Richard or Jean-Claude, them or someone else, supernatural or human) so when Edward calls her she come running. Except now she has to deal with Edward's love life. Who would have thought that Death could have one? This and more we learn about Edward in this book. We get some clues as to Edward's origins and see how he works and lives when Anita is not around.

As we are learning more about Edward, we see Anita completely cut-off from her St. Louis life. But is this a good thing? The triumvirate gives Anita extraordinary power and when she is avoiding it or actively blocking them she makes herself weaker. With the book's current bad guy or actual day-to-day life Anita cannot afford to be weak.

Case in point, Edward did not just call Anita in to help. He also called in Olaf, a human but also a deadly killer of women. Edward has strange friends. Anita and Olaf battle constantly, only keeping from coming to blows when Edward steps in. Anita got pulled into this mess by killing one of Edward's friends. What will he do if she does it again?

Will Death and the Executioner finally have their showdown to prove who is best? Find out!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #10) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita is back in town and is taking a well-deserved vacation from violence but the world does not seem to care. Two of her leopard charges have been abducted and she needs to go to the very people she is trying to avoid for help. Turns out there is a new group of shifters in town (or groups? Or... actually just read and find out) and they do not play nice. Will Anita be able to protect her loved ones?

This is what I love about the Anita Blake series, just when you get comfortable with the way things work-pivot! In order to rescue her pard, Anita strengthens the bonds of the triumvirate, or "marries the marks". This pushes the triumvirate to a whole new power level. Every one of the trio is getting and giving parts of their personalities and in Anita's case, she is gaining some very interesting powers. What you need to know is that we go from R to NC-17 from here on out. This doesn't really offend me but I know some people can get very irritated with the amount of adult content about to head your way. You have been forewarned.

Anyways, Anita doesn't get to go back to her old life as if she had not spent six months avoiding everyone. No, she has to face the consequences of her actions. If you were frustrated with Anita and her rigid rules and ideas of morality you will be given your reward in this book. She realizes that some of her actions were selfish and is forced to adjust to certain realities that she was not able to before. Anita is a constantly evolving character, which is strange and amusing because she presents herself as a very stubborn and unmoving person!

Another interesting element in this book is Richard. The other pivotal book, the Killing Dance, occurred as the pack was in turmoil due to Richard and the old alpha, Marcus, battling it out for the title of Ulfric. Here we see that Richard is still not quite comfortable in his role and that the turmoil has not ceased. Richard has even stricter guidelines of morality than Anita and will not budge, even though his pacifist stance is costing him and his pack a great deal of trouble. Anita struggles to make him see that he must make a show of force. Or at least allow her to do it for him.

I hope you have been memorizing the characters you've encountered. It's about to get interesting.

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Cerulean Sins (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #11) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita has settled down into her new life, feeding the ardeur every twelve hours with either Micah, Jean-Claude, or Nathaniel (or any combination of them) and of course the traditional solve crimes and raise zombies. This changes when an emissary of Belle Morte, the source of Jean-Claude's line and a member of the council, comes to visit ahead of schedule. Musette, a renowned lover of pain, tries to inflict it where ever she can. If this weren't enough Anita is called in to consult a series of crimes seeming to involve a shapeshifting psychopath. Her relationship with Dolph is deteriorating due to his increasing hatred on non-humans and she might not be able to stop him from pinning the crime on any shapeshifter he can find. Will Anita be able to protect her loved ones from this double threat? Or is there a bigger threat on the horizon?

This book, unlike the others in this series so far bears a title that is not seen in the books. Usually the title refers to an establishment or in the case of one book, a phrase. The reason Cerulean Sins is not any of these is because the establishment bearing its name was edited out, supposedly because that place and its storyline was a little too racy. I know, right? Too racy! So you might read a summary of this book which mentions an erotic video store that is nowhere in the book. Don't be alarmed, that was a summary before the book was edited to exclude that storyline.

Back to business! Musette, Belle Morte's favorite torturer comes to town. She is there to evaluate as Anita recently inherited the ardeur which brought her to Belle's attention. She is also there to cause as much trouble as she can and the only way to protect Anita's people may be to bend the rules that Anita herself set in place. This is yet another instance where if you were frustrated by how selfish Anita seems, i.e. having a harem of men but not allowing any of them to see other people or satisfy their own needs, you will be thanked for your patience.

Two people in Anita's life are also having their own personal crisis. Dolph, upset that his son is dating a vampire, is growing increasingly intolerant of all non-humans. This is troubling for many reasons but mainly because sometimes Anita is not very human. The sticking point between them seems to be the many different lovers she has, none of which are human. Another person having a meltdown is Richard. He, like Dolph, sees himself as a monster and engages in self-destructive behavior. He broke up with Anita in the last book because she was more comfortable being a 'monster' than he was. Both Dolph and Richard represent the Anita from earlier books. Over time the lines blurred for her, to the point where she wonders if she is a sociopath or a monster herself, but when we look at Dolph and Richard we see that she had to change, had to evolve because if she had not she would be in the same situation as them: too high on their horse too help anyone.

As for the greater threat I mentioned earlier... I can't spoil it! Read on.

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Incubus Dreams (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #12) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Life is going along swimmingly for Anita. She is getting a better handle on the ardeur, patching up her relationship with the police, raising zombies, and attending to the needs of her many lovers. Sort of. So what is the problem? Well, like usual there are supernatural killers on the loose, that is a given. Also, a given, Anita's power gets raised to a new level and she must learn how to adapt or those she love could pay the price. The power can either strengthen the bonds between her and her loved ones or tear them apart. The power can help her with her police work or her zombie raising or it could become a huge impediment, making her dangerously useless. Will she overcome these challenges in time to face what's ahead?

So, like I said Anita gets upgraded. But not just Anita. Due to their triumvirate Jean-Claude and Richard also achieve new heights. This is all new territory for everyone involved so a lot of guessing and hypothesizing occurs on how to deal or feed these new powers, because they definitely need to be feed. Since everyone is sharing pieces of themselves with each other does that mean Anita should behave more like a vampire or will her body force her to act more like a lycanthrope?

The reason for the upgrade can be best summed up by saying that Anita discovers that those she has come to count on also have lives. She never tries to be too selfish, of course she fails, but to her credit she tells everyone to do whats best for themselves and then just assumes they have the tools to do so. For instance, Damian. She has become Damian's human master and he, her vampire servant. She assumes from her own experience with Jean-Claude that Damian will be able to live somewhat normally and independent from her but realizes that not everyone can ignore the ties that bind.

Another example is Nathaniel. He has been feeding the ardeur for awhile now but never to the point of actual fulfillment. Anita has been doing this on the assumption that once the ardeur is under control she can release him into the wild so that he can also live a 'normal' life and become independent. What she does not take into account is that he is a person with feelings and he might not want to be released. Also that it might not be fair to keep feeding off him without a little reciprocation. These are just examples picked...randomly. I promise! (crossing fingers)

One issue that is brought up in this book that I have just been waiting for with bated breath is the Church of Eternal Life. It comes up briefly in other books but in this one we get a look at some of the inner workings of the church and learn how it can function alongside the totally separate group that is Jean-Claude's vampires. What we find out is that it doesn't. Function.

I know, right? Read the book to find out more!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Micah (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #13) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Due to a last minute emergency, Anita needs to travel to Philadelphia to raise a zombie who is a witness for the FBI. Because of her ardeur she needs to take along one of her guys, in this case Micah. But Anita has never really been alone with Micah for that long. In the words of Anita (more or less) "Raising zombies is easy, love is hard." Or is it?

This book, really a short story in the guise of a book, is called Micah for a reason. We learn about Micah's origins and how he became the man/leopard he is today. Anita's relationship with Micah has always been mysterious in that it seems perfect. They are both the same height, he is Nimir-Raj to her Nimir-Ra, and he gives where she takes. He told her from that start that he would do anything in order to be with her. So why does Anita still feel on edge with him? Is it because of her background, her inability to let a good thing be?

So zip through this one (which I can't imagine you will have a problem doing as it is 100 pgs or so) and join me for the next book!

message 14: by Synopthis! (last edited Feb 14, 2014 05:43AM) (new)

Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Danse Macabre (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #14) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita does a lot of things in the heat of the moment. Like have unprotected sex. Several times. Actions have consequences though and Anita is late. Pregnancy would normally be a life changing event, capable of putting the world on hold, if only it didn't come at the worst moment, during the visit of several Masters of Cities for the final performance of a vampire dance troupe. Can Anita and her allies keep it together until the dance is over?

Don't worry, you are still reading an Anita Blake novel. I understand the confusion though. Firstly, the novel was preceded by Micah, a short story posing as a full-length book. It did contain some valuable information though. We learned previously that Anita has not gone unscathed in her previous encounters with shapeshifters. Instead she has become a carrier of 4 different strains of lycanthropy: wolf, leopard, lion, and ... mystery flavor. In spite of all logic and chemistry she has not become a shapeshifter but she carries the possibility of all 4 strains inside her. This becomes somewhat of a problem but I'll let you find out the particulars.

Another strange occurrence in this book is the absence of any sort of case. No one calls her about a killer on the loose, no zombies need raising. The main story here is obviously the possible pregnancy. How will it affect her life? And who among the many (the very very many) is the father? It would be a strange upbringing for a child to say the least but I am of the personal opinion that if anyone could do it, she could.

The thing which prevents Anita Jr. from being the star of the book is the visit of the other Masters. They are not just coming to view the ballet. They are also coming to view Jean-Claude as he has just achieved a new power level, soudre de sang, basically the head of his own line. This has some side effects for the other members of the triumvirate and everyone linked to them. Due to that and her lack of 'food' not tied metaphysically to her, Anita is in the market for a new pomme de sang. So all the visiting Masters are also bringing candidates for her to audition.

Let the magical hijinks begin!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments The Harlequin (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #15) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita knew there was something wrong when Malcolm, head of the Church of Eternal Life came to see her. She just didn't know how wrong it could get. Suddenly a straightforward warrant to execute some followers of the Church becomes a conflict with the Harlequin. Who is the Harlequin? Formed by the Mother of all Darkness, they are the force that polices the vampires, makes them obey the rules of the Council. This is what sends vampires, young and old, running to their coffin to hide. Will Anita run and hide?

A few books ago we discovered that the Church of Eternal Life was doing a bad thing, not blood oathing its members. Which basically means that the vampires have nothing holding them back from behaving very badly. Jean-Claude then issued a demand that after a certain amount a time all the members must be blood oathed, either to him or to Malcolm. The only other option is death. In this book we have come upon that deciding moment. But the Council has also gotten word of the Church and sends its own police to investigate, the Harlequin. While the Harlequin is in town they decide to also check up on Anita and her triumvirate, always a source of mystery for the council. As a neutral body of the council this should be relatively safe for them. But somehow the Harlequin is not acting particularly...neutral.

Anita must call upon all her many allies, including Edward, in order to come out of this one alive. That's right I said Edward, remember him? Personally I am a big fan of Edward's character so whenever he comes back into the picture I do a little dance of joy. This book is no exception. But Edward brings along some issues of his own. Will this complicate the whole Harlequin situation or help?

Speaking of complications we cannot ignore the Mother of all Darkness, the first vampire and a shapeshifter as well. She has been slumbering for many years but now she is waking up. This is a bad thing for everyone and I do mean everyone. She is the reason we are all afraid of the dark. And she is inexplicably intrigued by Anita. She comes to her in dreams and visions. But what does she want?

I've got goosebumps! What will happen next?

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Blood Noir (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #16) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita was just trying to do a friend a favor. But somehow accompanying Jason to his father's deathbed turned into media chaos. Jason is an uncanny match for his cousin. That wouldn't be such a big deal if it weren't for the fact that his uncle is somewhat of a celebrity and bidding for the presidency and his cousin was scheduled to also be in town that week to serve as groom in the wedding of the century. Now Anita looks like the other woman which does not look good for for many reasons but mostly because she is publicly known as Jean-Claude's girlfriend. If you didn't think that was enough, never fear-The Mother of All Darkness plans to make things interesting.

This is how the book Micah should have been written. I am all for exploring the background of side characters, if it is done properly. This was the perfect demonstration of that. We learn all about Jason and how he came to be the man/werewolf he is today. Anita even discovers new sides to him and has to rethink how she feels about him. But this is not the whole book, just a facet of it. There is still lots of heavy-duty plot to accompany this background information.

Part of this plot is the Mother of all Darkness or Marmee Noir. Last time she tried to manifest into being in St. Louis which would have been a catastrophe of epic proportions. In this Just wow. She is not going to just sit back and accept defeat (actually sitting up would probably be an improvement as she is trying to break out of her coma-like state). She has decided that she needs Anita's powers in order to break free, despite what it might do to Anita in the process.

But poor Anita. She has a lot on her plate already. There is the ardeur of course, will she will have to try to feed on just Jason for the course of the trip. Then there is the fact that she now has 5 strains of lycanthropy in her system, the newest being the rare form of a tiger. These strains tend to pop up and try to express themselves by forcing a change that Anita is incapable of doing, without dying anyways. And she still has to try to convince Jason's parents that she is his serious girlfriend and thus prove that he isn't gay.

Jeez that's a lot! Hope you are prepared.

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Skin Trade (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #17) by Laurell K. Hamilton
For some reason the monsters seem to love Anita Blake. A serial killer, Vittorio, recently chased out of St. Louis, has sent Anita the head of another executioner from Las Vegas. Now Anita must go over there to stop him. But as always it isn't that simple. Las Vegas happens to be the location of one of the strongest weretiger clans. Due to an unfortunate metaphysical event Anita is very much tied to the weretigers, an issue that could impede upon her police work. Plus, Marmee Noir is forever knocking on Anita's shields, just waiting for an opportunity. Can Anita regain control or will she just surrender to the tidal waves of magic headed her way?

After the last book where Anita was basically date raped into having an orgy with two strange weretigers by Marmee Noir, she has been saddled with an additional metaphysical burden: not just one weretiger but all varieties of weretiger. During her blackout she also put out a mating call to all weretigers and thay are dying to answer. The question is why would the Mother of all Darkness care about a bunch of weretigers? We learn here why this might be and also what Marmee Noir's end goal is. And possibly what the Mother of all Darkness is afraid of?

But that is a side issue. The main issue should be (at least in Anita's mind) the case. Vittorio has changed his pattern of killing strippers and has targeted several police officers in Las Vegas. This leads to a massive police investigation involving several justice departments. And all of them have heard the rumors about Anita's personal life. This makes it difficult for her to work with the police even though she has a badge stating that the crime is in her jurisdiction. They all seem to think that she just sleeps with everyone she comes across, which isn't entirely a falsehood. Luckily Edward comes along to help. He brings with him the characters we discovered from Obsidian Butterfly, Bernardo and the other serial killer Olaf.

This makes it even harder for her to work on the case. First she has to keep all her powers in line, then she has to avoid the weretigers or be forced into an awkward ardeur/beast-calling situation, while still following through on the case, and now she has to tiptoe around crazy Olaf who has a crush on her. The bright side (I'm looking at it that way, Anita is not so sure most of the time) is that in Las Vegas the law states that the executioner needs to serve warrants with a SWAT team which in this case is staffed by operators, humans, and practitioners, psychics and the like. I think this is a huge step for Anita. It means that people are taking her profession seriously and are taking appropriate measures, aka psychics, and not relying a pure human ingenuity to win battles. It also gives me the illusion that maybe, one fine day, I won't have to be worried each time I read an Anita Blake book that one of my favorite characters is going to die.

...Nah, I live for the thrill! Strap in, it's going to be bumpy.

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Flirt (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #18) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake deals with grieving clients fairly often. After all, they are the people most likely to want to raise someone from the dead. But some clients want more from Anita than she can or will provide. Can Anita persuade them to take no for an answer?

In this book we see the type of clients Anita gets on a daily basis at Animators Inc. That is until something goes horribly wrong. One of her clients is privileged and rich, a deadly combination in this case because clients like that are not used to having their wishes denied. In order to get out of this pickle Anita must embrace all her abilities, even if she has to cross certain ethical lines.

This is a great short story done right!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Bullet (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #19) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Now that the two most powerful threats to the world's peace are dead, Anita Blake can resume regularly scheduled life. This means going on dates with her loved ones, attending family functions, etc. But did they act too soon? It becomes clear to Anita that the threat is not yet gone and may be even harder to destroy than before. In order to save the world from monsters she may have to become a monster herself. The only question is: will there be anything left of her when she is done?

This is more like part 1 of a longer book than a complete novel. In it, we identify the threat and formulate a plan to deal with it. But the book ends before the plan comes to full fruition (at least in my point of view) and the great evil is not defeated. But Anita does do several important and monumental things here that I understand why this book is a tale of its own.

First of all, and I think most importantly, every character that has an invisible question mark hovering above their head (for the most part) is decided upon, for good or bad. By this I mean Anita finally gets an answer from Richard as to whether or not he will work with the rest of the triumvirate. Asher finally loses his cool about being on the losing side of all of his relationships and demands either his due or his freedom. Haven forces things to a decision regarding whether or not he will be Anita's Rex as Micah is her Nimir-Raj. All of these questions are answered and more.

Secondly, Anita finally meets representatives from all the weretiger clans. For some reason Laurell K. Hamilton has decided that the werelions are the most powerful race of shapeshifters in Anita's world and coincidentally Anita has ties to all of them. We learn more about this powerful race and why it is so important that Anita has the powers that she does. In order to face this upcoming threat she may need to harness the combined force of this race, embrace old enemies, and overcome some of her ... sexual squeamishness. Not that she hasn't many times before but you know how it is.

And if you don't, read and find out! See you for part 2.

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Hit List (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #20) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Crime sleeps for no one. Anita Blake has been called to crime scenes of a rampaging serial killer in Seattle when she really should be focusing on stopping the Mother of all Darkness. But maybe she could do both? Because this killer seems to be only targeting weretigers, the source of Anita's new power, and the crime scene suggests that the killer is part of the Harlequin, Marmee Noir's soldiers. Now Anita must discover the Harlequin and stop them...before they discover her.

Welcome to part 2. This book really completes the puzzle as we see the characters we didn't get to in part 1. I am talking about, of course, the hit squad or 'marshalls" Edward, Bernardo, and Olaf. Who better to have with you when facing the biggest threat known to man than Death himself? But Olaf is a big problem as always. He has been hearing rumors about Anita's harem of men which could change the way he sees her in his mind, taking her from prospective date to whore. And to Olaf there is only one thing to do with a whore. This complicates things when things are complicated enough, as Edward will have to protect her from the Harlequin and Olaf.

Oh yeah, the Harlequin. It is curious that they are killing weretigers, as Anita and her men have already revealed they have located some remaining gold tigers and she has become the Mistress of Tigers. One would think that the Harlequin would focus their attention on another matter. But it becomes clear that the Harlequin have used the weretigers' grizzly murders in order to lure Anita away from her support team and capture her for Marmee Noir.

This complicates things for Edward. Yeah, I mean Edward. He feels responsible for Anita's current problems for many reasons. One is that he introduced Olaf to Anita and did not predict how attracted Olaf would be to her. The other reason was that he was offered a contract for Marmee Noir and refused it, on the grounds that he was not sure if he would come out of the fight alive. The result was that an unexperienced team tried to kill Marmee Noir and only succeeded in destroying the body not the pesky, pesky spirit. If Anita is killed or captured, by either Olaf or the Harlequin, his rage, grief, and guilt may be a truly terrible thing.

This book is so worth the wait. Hurry up and devour it!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Beauty (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #20.5) by Laurell K. Hamilton
In this day out of the life of Anita Blake, we see how she interacts with the men she loves when her life is not on the line. It seems strange that with all the proof she has in the men that surround her, Anita does not see herself as beautiful. Jean-claude works in this scene to change her mind.

I can't even call this a short story, more like an excerpt. But I'll take whatever scraps of Anita Blake I can get! Anita goes home from work, looks at her schedule of men ( yes, she has to have a schedule otherwise risk ignoring one man for too long) and sees that it is Jean-Claude's turn. Oh, Jean Claude. He was our first, the man we started the series with, hoping that they would finally get together. Now I think we and Anita got more than we bargained for.

So enjoy this scrap and move on to the next full length novel!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #21) by Laurell K. Hamilton
It's happily ever after for Anita Blake. Or it would be if people would stop poking the sleeping bear. A simple case of a kidnapped girl turns into a mind boggling plot against the vampire establishment. The establishment now being Jean-Claude and his kiss, or followers. It seems that some vampires thought that the fall of the European Senate would mean freedom for all vampires. Of course we all know that without someone to restrain them, vampires can be ... deadly. Will Anita be able to sniff out the threat before it is too late?

In order to insure the fall of the Mother of all Darkness, Jean-Claude drew together all the American vampires into an alliance and became the leader of the American Vampires. However some vampires were hoping that will the fall of the European Senate and the Mother of all Darkness vampires would be able to roam freely, serving no master. These vampires have joined together and have turned a mass of ordinary looking citizens, young and old, that are willing to sacrifice themselves for their cause. Which in theory sounds good but when put into practice it is the same as when the Church of Eternal Life failed to blood oath their members: a disaster.

But this is a side plot. The real story is more about Anita's relationships with her men (and one woman!) and their relationships with each other in this time of relative peace. Asher once again arises as a problem for the group. He needs to be constantly assured that he is foremost in his lover's affections, ordinarily not a problem, but in this case his lovers are many and all of them are polyamorous. His jealousy puts a rift in Anita's harem, one that can turn ally against one another, violently. But how can Anita or even Jean-Claude solve the problem when they are not willing to discipline him violently in return because of the love they have for him?

Another issue is Cynric or Sin as he would like to be called. This is the youngest of Anita's lovers and because of is a source of a guilt for her. Even though she only slept with him as part of one of her blackout orgies she became irrevocably metaphysically tied to him. Now he lives with her while attending his final year of highschool (yikes!) and still wants to be treated as one of the older guys. This is mix of Anita's issue with his age and Cynric's coming of age. Like all teenagers he seems to be going through strange phase. I submit to you as evidence his nickname: Sin. Kind of melodramatic huh? Well, then again one of Anita's lovers is called Devil who's cousins are also called Envy and Pride. So...never mind.

Basically this book seems to detail the beginnings of happily ever after. If, that is, Anita can stop everyone else from ruining it.

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Affliction (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #22) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Reunions can be bittersweet. This is certainly the case for Micah and his family, who were estranged because he was trying to protect them from Chimera. Now that Chimera is dead and his father is ill, Micah comes home hoping for forgiveness. But Sheriff Callahan's illness stems from being bitten by a flesh-eating zombie. What is worse is that there seems to be more of them. Can Anita use her first and greatest power to defeat them or will the zombies takeover?

Hooray! I have been eagerly waiting for Anita to go back to her zombie-raising roots. It has been several books since she has even raised a zombie, supposedly her job. Now she has to embrace her necromancy in order to confront...a zombie apocalypse. Another hooray! This is a combination of one of my favorite fiction themes with my one of my favorite series.

But it is not all zombie fun and games. There is also the requisite relationship examination. In order to smooth things over with Micah's relatives, Anita is referred to as his fiancee. But neither Micah nor Anita want to exclude Nathaniel so they call him their significant other. This raises questions in Anita's mind that she has tried to avoid for awhile. Who would she marry if she had to choose? Could she marry all of them? Would she even want to marry all of them? Who among her lovers is she in love with and who does she just love?

Another issue brought up is the Harlequin, recently turned from enemy into ally. When Anita defeated Marmee Noir, she (and through her Jean-Claude) inherited the Harlequin as bodyguards. The trouble is that Anita and her group are trying to change things for shapeshifters, make others see them as people and equals through practice and through the Coalition for Better Understanding Between Humans and Lycanthrope Communities, while the Harlequin and more old school. They are of the mind set that shapeshifters are animals and lesser, humans being even lower than that. This puts Anita in a difficult situation as she is in their view human and is asking the Harlequin to work with her existing lycanthrope bodyguards.

Basically this book is awesome and I struggled to go about daily life while reading it. Have fun!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Dancing (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #22.5) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake has always had a good friendship with Sergeant Zebrowski. So when she and two of her lovers, Micah and Nathaniel, are invited to the Zebrowski's annual barbecue Anita kinda of has to go. Will she be able navigate her way through the social pitfalls or will she fall flat on her face?

Being sociable has never been one of Anita's strengths. To further complicate things she is bringing three people to this function: two lovers who also love each other, and a four-year old, Matthew, who is the son of a deceased vampire who belonged to Jean-Claude and whose family the group now takes care of. To say that the situation is challenging would be putting it lightly. Still, this is another charming look at a day in the life of Anita Blake.

Hope you enjoy!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Shutdown (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #22.6) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Richard Zeeman is both Anita's ex-fiancee and current lover. So when he asks Anita and Micah to have lunch with his new's awkward to say the least. But if Richard wants his new relationship to work then he must explain why he is still seeing his ex. Check please?

This short story is basically a summary of how Anita's relationships work. If you were ever confused or needed a refresher as to what is going on in the series I would recommend this piece. But this is in essence a classic case of Richard trying to deny to himself what he wants in life. He always chooses women based upon some ideal he has of a perfect relationship and either they don't live up to it or they can see that he does not live up to it.

It's something at least to tide you over until the next full-length Anita Blake!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments The Girl Who Was Infatuated With Death by Laurell K Hamilton
Anita Blake gets all sorts of strange clients but usually they are regarding dead people. This client is different. Rhonda Mackenzie wants to hire Anita to find her seventeen-year old daughter and stop her from turning into a vampire. While this is not in her usual job description, turning a minor is against the law. Can Anita find her before it is too late?

This short story brings up some of the questions we all might have pondered when thinking about vampires or extraordinary measures in general. If your life was about to be cut short and their was another option would you take it despite the consequences? Anita herself doesn't know how to answer this question. She used to think that all vampires were monsters but lately, thanks to Jean-Claude, she has had a change of heart. Speaking of Jean-Claude, she has been avoiding him since the events that happened in Tennessee. This case just might force them to work together and maybe resolve their differences?

Find out and have fun!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Selling Houses by Laurell K Hamilton
We know how life is for an animator, a vampire, and a shapeshifter in the world of Anita Blake. But how about an ordinary citizen? How about someone in real estate? Abbie is a mastermind when it comes to selling houses but something is different with the house that belonged to the Garner Family. It could be because of what happened to the Garners...

This was a fun little look into the life of a normal person that just happens to be living in a world where vampires, shapeshifters, demons, etc run amok. While we know what kind of challenges that presents for Anita, we often overlook what every day life must be like for everyone else. Take someone who sells real estate for example. Usually when you are looking at a house that agent is supposed to tell you if the house was the site of a violent crime or is rumored to be haunted. In this world those types of warnings cannot be ignored and could make life difficult for the seller.

Kind of interesting right? Give it a look!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Angel's Ink (The Asylum's Tales, #1) by Jocelynn Drake
Gage Powell is just trying to keep his head down. Sure, he might be a great tattoo artist with a reputation for extraordinary and sometimes magical tattoos, but he doesn't aspire to anything more than that. Anything more would mean that the Ivory Tower, stronghold of witches and warlocks, is sure to look his way and that would be a disaster. Especially since he left them all 10 years ago and promised under pain of death to do no more magic. But things are not working out in his favor. A magical tattoo Gage designed goes wrong and he must try to fix it before he pays for it with his life. His former mentor has appeared out of the blue and is trying to kill him-again. Trixie, his employee, friend, and long-time crush is in danger of something from her past and comes to him for help. And people are noticing.

The world that Gage lives in is kind of difficult to wrap your brain around. What I got out of it is that some time ago there was a Great War in which humans, witches and warlocks, fey, vampires, werewolves, etc. fought for supremacy. The victor turned out to be the witches and warlocks who have since been using their powers to subjugate everyone else. When a human shows signs of magic the Ivory Tower takes him and trains him through questionable means to become yet another cruel master of the universe. Gage was one of these people but he decided that he didn't want to live as though he were better than everyone else and use his powers to control people. So he escaped the Ivory Tower and became the first person in memory to do so. Which the Tower is not happy about.

In his new life Gage runs a tattoo parlor called Asylum where he is an artist as well as his two friends Trixie, an elf who for some reason is hiding that fact, and Bronx, a troll who also doubles as a sort of bouncer. In this world tattoos are not just ink and pretty designs. People can also get potions inserted into their skin along with the ink. These potions vary from good-luck charms to protection spells and curses. The difference between a witch or warlock and a magical tattoo is that the with or warlock is the source of the magic while only the potion is the source of the magical tattoo. And so Gage is allowed to use these potions as long as he never uses his inherent magic for anything other than self-defense. Or else the Ivory Tower will take the opportunity to remove the blot from their perfect record.

At first I was prepared not to like this book. I'm not a really big fan of reading books that are solely from the male perspective. The world-building was also, as I mentioned, a little hard to understand. But after the first few chapters I became hooked. There is a lot of exciting stuff that goes on but I don't want to ruin it for you. Suffice it to say that I had lots of trouble putting this down and it wouldn't have necessarily been that if the main character had been female.

So give it a chance like I did! You won't regret it.

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments Dead Man's Deal (The Asylum Tales, #2) by Jocelynn Drake
Gage Powell has a lot on his plate. He has to find someway to help the Queen of the Summer Court conceive a child so that the King will stop trying to make Trixie, Gage's girlfriend, his consort. Then there is the problem wherein the local mafia, led by a dark elf, has blackmailed, threatened, and overall coerced Gage and his friend Bronx to work for them. And last but definitely not least, the Towers are ticked off about something...and they know of the perfect whipping boy to take it out on.

So as I said Gage is quite a busy guy in this book. It definitely makes for an exciting read. While trying to solve one problem he is ambushed by another, then another, and so on till you wonder when this guy is going to snap. But there is one problem that I didn't mention up top, one that is eating away at him that nothing can solve. He used magic to kill his enemy, Simon, and that means that someday he will drop dead and spend a year in hell. After the year is up he better hope someone preserved his body or else he will be dead for real, if he survives at all.

But back to the main event, the Ivory Towers. They let Gage go but only as long as he his magic use strictly towards self-defense. Over the years Gage has gotten pretty creative with the definition of self-defense and only the fact that his guardian is part of a secret movement to reform the Towers has kept him alive. But now the Ivory Towers are facing a possible uprising and are taking a closer look at Gage, him being the only one they know of with enough motive and knowledge to be dangerous. Now he has to try and solve all his problems using as little magic as possible.

A big issue seen in this series is the might and seemingly apathetic nature of the Ivory Towers. In the Great War warlocks and witches came out on top and have stayed there by using their magic to force everyone else into submission. When people encounter someone from the Towers everyone immediately runs and hides. The Towers creates chaos and destruction wherever they go, sometimes just cause they feel like it. The trouble is that this kind of behavior leads to unrest, unrest to thoughts of revolution. Can the world really face the Ivory Towers again and hope to emerge victorious? Or will they jsut be crushed under its heel.

This is another series I will have to watch out for. Seriously, I can't wait to find out what happens next!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1) by Cassandra Clare
Clary Fray and her best friend Simon are out on the town when Clary sees something very strange, three teens attacking and killing another who then vanishes. What is stranger is that Simon didn't see anything at all. So when one of the killers, Jace, comes to see Clary and find out what she knows Clary is naturally wary...and curious. Turns out there is a whole other world hidden from human/mundane sight where demons, vampires, werewolves, etc, run amok and it is the job of Shadowhunters, to protect humanity and keep 'Downworlders' from defying the Covenant. And when Clary's mother is found to be missing with a demon in her stead it seems like Clary imight be a part of this new world. Can she navigate this strange territory and find her mother or will the monsters get her first?

As Clary has discovered (and will continue to find out), things are not what they appear to be. There are basically three races: angels, demons, and humans. Everyone else is a mixture of the three. Shadowhunters for example are a mixture of angels and humans. They take on the responsibility for keeping everyone else in line. Mundanes or humans are kept from seeing or knowing any of this through the use of glamour. So when Clary suddenly starts seeing things it becomes clear that she might not be as mundane as once thought.

In the book there is a love triangle that you can see coming a mile away. Clary finds herself drawn to the mystery and excitement of Jace. Her best friend Simon is obviously in love with her but has not yet brought it to her attention. Jace is kind of a closed book but it seems like maybe he is interested in Clary too. But this is not your ordinary love triangle. A big wrench is thrown into the works that may change everything. Or not, life is complicated.

Basically the book was kind of predictable but it was alluring enough that I just had to keep going. It's definitely worthy enough to continue reading the series!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2) by Cassandra Clare
Things have gotten very complicated for Clary Fray. Her mother is in a coma, her father, Valentine is an evil Shadowhunter whose goal is to wipe out all Downworlders by any means necessary, her best friend wants to be more than just friends and Jace, the guy she has developed feelings for, is her long-lost brother. How could it get worse? Well, Valentine is using the Mortal Instrument he acquired to control demons and steal a second Instrument, someone is killing Downworlder children and pinning it on the vampires, and the Clave is investigating the goings-on at the Institute in New York City and can find no better person to blame for all the recent mishaps than Valentine's own son, Jace. What could Clary possibly do to help?

So yeah, complicated. Clary certainly has a lot to figure out. Here we see her getting more into her new role as a Shadowhunter and learning skills she didn't even know were possible. Luckily her uncle Luke, a werewolf is by her side most of the time to help her navigate.

Luke is certainly a better guardian than Jace. The realization that they are related has come too late and now the two have to deal with some rather strange emotions. Poor Simon thinks that this is his opportunity to make his move now that Jace is not an option. Will Clary move on or will she continue to obsess about Jace?

All of this and a mystery to solve. This book was all over the place but it you can't say it isn't interesting!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3) by Cassandra Clare
Clary Fray has finally found a way to wake her mother up from her magical coma...maybe. First she will have to travel by Portal to Alicante, a city in Idris and the place where Shadowhunters began, and meet with a warlock. But Valentine has plans of his own for Alicante and puts into motion a scheme that will eliminate all Shadowhunters who are not loyal to him. The only hope for the city is to join forces with Downworlders and fight. Clary will have to put aside her mission and try to bring these two long-standing enemies together. But what could she, new to this world and young to boot, possibly bring to the table?

And so we travel to Alicante. Jace, the brother she wishes she never had, does not want Clary to go and in his attempt to stop her somehow ends up bringing Simon, newly turned vampire, into Alicante. This is a problem because Downworlders are not allowed into the City of Glass. So now Jace will have to protect Simon from the Clave. Or perhaps this will be the start of good Downworlder and Shadowhunter relations? ...Nah, that's no fun!

Because we are going to the ancestral home of Shadowhunters we get to learn more about their origins. We even learn more about the beginning of the Circle and how exactly Valentine came to be the force of evil he is today. But will all this discovery uncover secrets better left in the dark? Or will the truth set us free?

We get a lot of answers in this book and some amazing action to boot so read quickly!

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Synopthis! (synopthis) | 33 comments City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4) by Cassandra Clare
It's time for happily ever after...right? I mean, Valentine is dead, his evil plot did not succeed, Sebastian aka Jonathan Morgenstern and Clary's real brother and half demon is also dead, the Downworlders have seats on the Shadowhunter Council and Clary is free to date Jace. So what's the problem? Well it could be the fact that bodies of Shadowhunters keep showing up, Jace is pulling away unexplicably, and Simon is facing the consequences of bearing the Mark of Cain. That's solveable though, right?

Clary starts out super excited. She has quit highschool (probably to her delight and to everyone-else-above-eighteen's horror) to pursue her Shadowhunter training full time. Her mom and Luke are tying the knot and her friendship with Simon is back on track. But then she notices that Jace seems to be keeping his distance. When she asks he avoids or changes the subject. Which, yes, is typical guy behavior, avoiding talking about feelings and the like, but Clary senses there is something more to it.

Then we shift to Simon's point of view, something which we have not seen a lot of prior to this book. He has his own set of issues. On top of becoming not just a vampire but a Daywalker and also the bearer of the powerful Mark of Cain, Simon finds himself dating two beautiful girls at the same time. Normally this kind of thing would never have happened to him but becoming a vampire also improved his looks and overall appeal toward the opposite sex. So he has that to figure out and he has to somehow explain all of this to his clueless mother. Clary is definitely not the only main character anymore.

Again, not very suprising but still endlessly entertaining. Don't miss out!

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