The latest in Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, Serpentine continues the series with the planned wedding of “Ted” and Donna. Of course, things never go quite according to plan, and there are the usual supernatural complications that seem to follow Anita whereever she goes. Since we’re talking about book 26 in a series, this is not the place for new readers to start.
Further, we’re talking about a series where the closest thing to a Dark Lord threatening the world was killed off something like 10 books ago.
Kiss the Dead
When the best think you can say about a book is that you don’t remember reading it a year later, it’s not very flattering. That’s the only way I can describe Kiss the Dead, another Anita Blake novel from Laurel K Hamilton. Even reading the plot summary on Amazon just now failed to bring back any signifiant elements of the story. So why am I writing this review, you ask? Even the fact that a book is that forgettable is useful information.
I have spoken before in this forum on my declining respect for, and interest in, the Anita Blake series. Nonetheless I have consistently picked up the latest book when it was released, hoping for something of a turnaround or change in direction. So far I have been disappointed, though not enough to make a firm commitment to refuse the next installment. Danse Macabre may well be bad enough to break that barrier.
Micah didn’t really do much for me. About equal parts sex, relationship angst, and supernatural spook. Nothing really to recommend it especially, though the sex didn’t grate nearly so badly as in the last full-length novel.
Incubus Dreams is the latest Anita Blake book, and weighs in at a surprising 600+ pages; most of the prior books in the series have been 300-400 pages. The Anita Blake series has been having difficulty lately, with many of the fans hanging on desperately to the hope that the current trends – that is, towards more sex and less of everything else – will reverse themselves. Unfortunately for those with such hopes, the cover does little to suggest improvement; a woman in lingerie, blindfolded and bound to a chair.
Cerulean Sins continues the annoying tradition of more sex and angst, less violence.
Narcissus in Chains
The novel opens with Anita being called upon to rescue Nathaniel, her house leopard, from a local S&M club. After months of enforced separation from Jean-Claude and Richard, months spent learning to control her powers, Anita is suddenly thrust back into the world of the monsters and forced to contend with her enemies once more. And with her allies, as well, for not everything has been peachy with her boys while she was gone.
Obsidian Butterfly takes Anita out of her usual territory when Edward (bounty hunter, assassin, and scourge of the preternatural), invites her along for backup in a New Mexico monster-hunt. It’s a rare chance to learn something new and interesting about Edward, who has been a consistent figure of mystery in the novels to date. And it does not disappoint in the least.
Fans of the series will appreciate the fact that the sexuality in this novel has been toned down significantly.
When Richard, the perpetual Boy Scout, gets himself thrown in jail on rape charges just a few days before the full moon, something doesn’t quite add up – and it’s Anita to the rescue. Another pack of werewolves and a hostile Master of the City in Richard’s college town don’t exactly simplify the situation, and when an endangered species of mountain troll joins the fun, this book has all the elements of a quality Anita mystery.
In Burnt Offerings some of the eggs laid in Circus of the Damned end up coming home to roost. Specifically, the vampire “Council” is visiting in order to investigate Jean-Claude’s intentions following the death of Mr. Oliver. Normally, when you kill a member of the vampire council, you assume his seat. But Jean-CLaude didn’t kill Oliver; that honor belongs to Anita. The only problem is, Jean-CLaude isn’t a strong enough vampire to hold the council seat – and if they find out Anita did the killing, she’ll be next on the menu.