Stuck on a bus for nine hours each way this weekend, I decided to polish off the last unread Anita Blake novel on my bookshelf. Sadly, I have broken and this will almost certainly be the last Anita Blake novel I purchase. It is, I believe, the single worst book I have ever managed to finish (through no other options presenting themselves on the bus) in my life. Terrible does not begin to describe the utter utter pointlessness of this story. Bilge, tripe, shite - words that don't come near. It is TERRIBLE.
For those of you new to the world of Anita Blake, I will attempt a synopsis. She started as a rather prim, single, sexually inactive vampire hunter who was also an animator (ie. she can raise the dead) in a version of the world where vampires and werewolves etc are legit. The early books are pretty good horror murder mysteries with a little romantic friction built into it. And then it all went wrong. Very very wrong indeed. Somewhere around books 5-7, the author decided to ramp up the sex and Anita was possessed by the ardeur, an almost uncontrollable need to feed magical energies through sex. This has resulted in an increasingly uncontrollable parade of various sexual angles for stories which have boggled the mind. Anita is now a three-out-of-four bound human servant of a vampire but SHE has her own vampire servant as well, she is part of two supernatural triumverates of immense power, she is the head woman and enforcer of the local werewolves and queen of the local wereleopards, she houses FOUR seperate strains of lycanthropy, she is not just an animator but not a necromancer AND a succubus. It goes on and on and on. Its ridiculous.
In this book she is, I kid you not, trialling fuckbuddies to feed her hunger whilst she is worried about being pregnant. Of course she finds out she has not one but TWO sorts of foetal abnormalities, but hey, she's not pregnant anyway, so whats the problem. Oh and she sends just about anyone she is near mad with lust. We have a bisexual ass-sandwich, a good old four way, some exhibitionist stuff, some borderline suggestions of woman on pimped out teenager sex, some attempted incest. And in the end NOTHING HAPPENS except, of course, Anita gains yet more powers, breaks more supernatural rules and is every more special and unique than she was before.
This book didn't even attempt to have a story. It was just one long series of very long, very dull, very complicated inter-character debates about the nature of her powers, how they might test them, the consequences of the testing, the way the people felt about the powers, the testing and the consequences of the testing and then how others felt about the way they felt. And after that went on for literally dozens of pages, poor old Anita has to have a shag again.
What makes this worse are two things. One, Laurel K. Hamilton doesn't know when to fade to black. Ever. So you get everything is vein-popping, cum-spraying, ass-pounding detail. The second is that in the middle of the book, Anita tries to will herself to not have any powers, which would kill her AND I WANTED HER TO SUCCEED!! Anything would be better for the once awesome character than to be tied to this albatross of a storyline forever.
Please. Kill the character. Please.