I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Just returned to St. Louis after six months away, Anita is still no closer to choosing between her lovers—Jean-Claude, a vampire, and Richard, a werewolf. But she has to rely on both for help after two of the wereleopards that she has been watching are abducted at a seedy club called Narcissus in Chains.
Anita and her boyfriends rescue the wereleopards from the sinister people holding them, but Anita is wounded in the fight and put at risk of becoming a wereleopard herself. Richard angrily captures the wereleopard he believes is responsible and threatens to execute him.
Anita must now rescue that wereleopard from Richard and the werewolves he leads, even as she mourns the apparent end of her relationship with him. Then she realizes that those who kidnapped the first two wereleopards are targeting other lycanthropes. Maybe she will be next.
Stick a fork in me, I am finally done. Done reading this Anita Blake novel, which I have found less satsifying than previous offerings. Call it 2.5 stars for my reading experience.
Many people of have told me “the Anita Blake series is fine until you hit book 10.” That’s this one, and I’m certainly aware that the series is moving in directions that I’m less interested in.
Now, those of you who do not read fantasy or urban fantasy may find the genre silly, what with its legions of vampires, werewolves, witches, zombies and other creatures. In the cold, everyday light of life, they are indeed silly. But they are also fun and they make a wonderful alternate world to explore imaginatively.
However, sometimes these fantasy worlds take a turn that seem ridiculous even to those of us who are dyed-in-the-wool urban fantasy junkies. That’s what’s happening to Anita Blake for me. Anita has changed from the young woman in book one who was afraid that someone might glimpse her underwear! Now she is a sexual adventuress who maintains intimate relationships with several men at one time, despite having misgivings about it every 4 or 5 pages.
I’m fine with a woman being able to love more than one man and I found Anita’s dilemma, being torn between Richard & Jean-Claude plausible. But Anita’s bedroom is getting crowded and she acquires more bed fellows than she knows what to do with!
Hamilton still delivers some excellent lines of inner dialog: “Maybe they know what I know, that the true way to a man's heart is six inches of metal between his ribs. Sometimes four inches will do the job, but to be really sure, I like to have six.”
Will I still continue to read? Well, my cousin gifted me with an armload of Anita books, which are still loitering on my bookshelf, so probably. But I’m definitely taking a break before tackling the next book.