Saturday, 25 April 2015

Book Review: Blood Noir by Laurell K Hamilton (Anita Blake #16)

When Anita Blake takes a trip with Jason, a young werewolf who is her friend and sometimes lover, there are consequences both in Jason's small hometown and in Anita's life with Jean-Claude. As master vampire of the city, Jean-Claude has appearances to maintain, and if his lover has gone off with someone else, the other vampires are led to certain conclusions: maybe Jean-Claude is getting soft. And if Jean-Claude is vulnerable, maybe Anita - who seems to amplify the powers of any man she stays with - might be stolen away from him, by force if necessary.

My Review:
This is the last Anita Blake book that I bought in bulk way back before the series changed from urban fantasy to erotica. I was determined to read and review them all as I paid money for them, even though I didn't much like where the series was going. Now that I'm at the end of the books, it is sad in a way. I like quite a few characters and would like to find out where their stories lead but frankly, erotica bores me and I can't justify skipping huge sections of a book to get to the bits I like. So unless I get them for nothing, the adventure ends here for me!

OK on with the story. Jason is a character that I've always loved and during the time that Anita was torn between Jean Claude and Richard, I was hoping that she might end up with Jason as he is a good match for her. Of course it was not going to happen when both of these rivals have control over Jason, but it was a nice thought! Anyway, Jason and his possesive girlfriend have split up because of her jealousy over his ties to Anita, Asher and Jean Claude. Jason's abusive father is dying and he feels he must go and see him, and Anita agrees to go with him to pose as his girlfriend, to prove to his father that he isn't gay. As usual Anita is full of insecurities about being alone with Jason and what their relationship actually is. Jason hits town at the same time as a rich playboy who looks like him, leading to a lot of mistaken identity and angst as Jason tries to confront his father.

It was good to get Jason as the star of a book though having Anita having one of her hissy fits over what Jason means to her made me roll my eyes. Does she have to have these issues in every conversation about sex? I mean you think she'd be dealing with it by now with all the sex she's had but she is still as uptight as she was in book one! The mistaken identity storyline did get a bit annoying for me in places but it was a nice change to have Anita on the road with someone more interesting than Micah. Jason's parent issues show a more serious and vulnerable side to him which I liked and it explains how he ended up with Jean Claude. The other interesting development was the idea that Anita can eat rage as well as lust, taking all that anger from Richard which had made him such a dick through most of the series.

However one thing I fault LKH on constantly in these books is repetition and Marmee Noir is a prime example. She invades Anita's mind, messes with it and Anita needs rescue. This is just so damn boring when you are seeing it for the umpteenth time in nearly every damn book in the series. It never changes, it never becomes interesting and it always causes the same reactions in Anita. Seriously boring by book 16! What is the POINT of this stupid Mother Darkness crap? The whining and fighting that we always see with Anita and whoever she is fighting with this time is just the same as always. Richard has the same hissy fit he's been having since book 6. Anita has been having the same anxieties about sex since we met her. Why does this drive me so crazy? 
Because there is so much that you can DO with these characters except sex and complaining! New adventures, new bad guys who aren't visiting Jean Claude just to try and overthrow him, Anita actually doing a days work in those interesting jobs she has! There has been little character development in those like Richard since book 6 when he embraced his beast. The few good characters who have developed have all become complete tossers like Dolph and Ronnie. The characters are not growing and evolving. The plot is not moving on. The whole thing is just stuck in a never ending rut and needs a giant kick up the arse to get it moving again. Stagnated plots and characters have killed a series that still has the potential to go somewhere.

But I believe that is it for me. I can't hang in there any longer hoping for change as the only changes we ever see is a new lover as dull as the last new lover, a new decibel level for Anita to reach during sex and the same angst and fights dressed up as 'new' problems. I'm done. Goodbye Anita-it was fun for a short time at least.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

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