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Another installment in the Anita Blake series: some very nasty very powerful vampires come to town and put Anita, Jean-Claude, Richard and the rest in mortal danger. Anita gets yet more Mysteriously Powerful and there's some more shapeshifter politics. I found it gripping while I was reading it, but have no strong wish to read it again.
It suffers from the two main flaws of this series: Anita continues to be implausibly and increasingly powerful and irresistible; and the sex-and-relationships chapters take up so much of the book that very little other plot takes place. The early books were thinner but had a lot more (non-sexual) action packed into them.
I want to like that the series shows working polyamorous relationships, but I'm a bit dubious about most of it being on Anita's terms and no-one else's. Some of her lovers seem to be little more than a name placeholder for all the character development they get. In addition, I don't think it's a spoiler to say I really wish the author would either kill Richard off or allow him to grow up a little. The nearest I came to giving up on the book were the chapters with him in.
On the good side, Edward appears again in this one. I've always liked Edward, probably because Anita isn't having relationship angst with him.
After working my way through the first 13 books in the series, just to get to read the 14th book, this being the one my darling husband bought for me in February, I have finally finished it ready for review!
The book I will now review is - "The Harlequin by Laurell K Hamilton".
The story starts with the leader of the "church of eternal life" visiting Anita Blake in her place of work, not too unusual you might think but as with most of these books don't take everything at face value!
The leader f the afore mentioned church is actually a master vampire, and the church is the only one in the world that can guarantee eternal life! The fact that Malcolm would visit Anita is the amazing part....this is where it starts to get confusing!
Anita is a necromancer, which in her official title means that she raises the dead for a living, she can also control any dead creature or person, or vampire....well, you get the idea, thus making her a powerful person.
Alongside this she is a federal marshal, a vampire hunter/executioner and also lover of the vampire master of St Louis, Jean Claude, I know it sounds like a conflict of interests, but it seems to be working!
After she finally starts to feel that her life, albeit on the complicated side, is starting to work there is another spanner thrown into the works, one that even in her vampire executioner capacity has her stumped.
Turns out that even vampires have to answer to a higher force, these being the self titled "Harlequin", though until you are contacted by them, you are not to mention their name aloud.....think Voldermort, but with bloodier consequences!
When the Harlequin are in town, even they have to abide by the rules of the top vampire Marmee Noir, this being that they must first make contact and show their hand so to speak, this is done so by leaving a calling card, this being a mask, white for contact, red for war and black...well, you get the picture!
But what happens when the people who are supposed to be neutral turn out to be anything but?
After being completely disappointed by the previous book I was dubious about starting this one so soon, but soon became glad I did.
The book starts as they all seem to do, with the ménage of lovers that Anita seems to be collecting, falling all over each other to be her main squeeze, so to read about her least dominant lover Nathaniel insisting that they actually have a real date was fun to read about, especially her discomfort with it!
This book I different from the previous few offerings in the respect it actually has a storyline separate from the shenanigans of Anita and her sex life, I have no problem reading about the sex but when it is constant there seems to be a lot lost in translation, so with this book concentrating on other matters, it made it a much more interesting read for me.
I loved the fact that within this book, alongside the new characters that were being introduced, there were a good few older characters brought back in, my favourite's being Anita's friend and fellow supernatural exterminator Edward and serial killer Olaf, never before have I read about a character that actually makes my blood run so cold!
The story is interesting from the start and fast moving to boot, though if this were a certified film it would be an 18 due to the sex and violence content.
Price wise this is available fro www.amazon.co.uk for the price of £6.99.
For more information visit - www.orbitbooks.net
This is a great read for anyone into this genre of horror, and a welcome addition to what I previously thought a slightly jaded series of books.
Thanks for reading x