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The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K Hamilton is the fourth book in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. It retails at an extortionate £7.99, and Amazon have it available for just under £5 at present. To be honest, these aren't the best gothic fantasy books I've ever read, so I'm not quite sure why the price tag is so high everywhere! Still, as far as the books which I've read so far from this series go, this one is actually decent, and certainly better than the last one I read.
In the last book, the vampires got a bit irritating towards the middle of the book. Relationships were unnecessarily complicated, and we had to sit and read about all kinds of vampire politics which didn't make absolute sense. In The Lunatic Cafe, we get to meet a whole new cast, as well as rendevousing with familiar favourites.
Anita winds up falling for a werewolf in this book, though of course I'd be giving it away if I explained who and how! The way this werewolf comes into her life is a little strange really, especially considering his later reactions to the person (or creature) who 'introduces' them to one another. That aside, it's interesting to see a more personable side to Anita. She's given a depth in this book that she lacks in the first three.
There's a lot more action in this book and a lot less confusion. Either Hamilton writes werewolf politics clearer than she does vampire ones, or they're just easier for us simple mortals to comprehend. I know it's all fantasy, but even fantasy needs to be consistent and make sense if we're to remain engaged with, and able to follow, the story.
There are inconsistencies in this book, the same as there are with all of the books in this series, but few enough for the story to flow smoothly enough. There's a lot of action, and plenty of horror and gore to contrast against the lover's tiffs and soppy romance. I definitely thought this was a step up from book number three, but it still isn't quite up there with the likes of Anne Rice or Charlaine Harris just yet. In some ways these books are akin to the Jeffrey Deaver Lincoln Rhyme books: you know they're never going to be great reads, but you find them entertaining and worth a read all the same.
After borrowing the first 5 books from the library, then realising that they needed to go back sooner than I realised, I decided to get really stuck into reading them and getting them out of the way......I have so many books in my to read pile I am very quickly running out of sleeping space and my hubby is starting to complain!
The book I will now review is - "The lunatic café by Laurell K Hamilton".
Anita Blake is the local "expert" on all things supernatural. Not only does she have an affinity with the dead, can raise whole graveyards of corpses (which is unheard of!), is being actively wooed by local "Master of the city" and all round dead guy vampire Jean-Claude, she has just found out that her actually boyfriend becomes hairy once a month, usually at full moon!
Her life seems to get more complicated by the second, and the latest chain of events will only add to her workload!
Not long after discovering that her boyfriend Richard is actually a werewolf, does she discover he is an Alpha, meaning he is next in line to run the entire pack for the area, all he has to do is fight and ill now pack leader Marcus, which he refuses to do, but Marcus has other ideas relishing the idea of a fight to the death!
Couple this with the fact that Lycanthorpes (people who can change into animals at certain times of the month), have been going missing, and they have decided that instead of going to the police they really want Anita on the case, she is going to be very busy, and probably in a lot of danger for quite some time to come!
Will she locate the missing Lycanthorpes, will she commit to Richard even though he isn't "human" enough for her, or will Jean- Claude finally come and claim what he thinks is his?
This is another fast paced and jam packed book, that literally hit's the ground running, with there being a death or two in the first chapter!
The blossoming romance that is featured quite heavily within this book should make Anita a more rounded and slightly softer character to read, but the author has succeeded in making Anita seem even harder than before hand, though whether this is deliberate or not is undecided!
The book is easy enough to read, but is very fast paced and with there being a constant introduction of new characters, you really have to concentrate on the story, though I do like how there are whole paragraphs scattered throughout the book, revisiting previous books and storylines, this is particularly helpful if the storyline starts twisting with a previous character or area, as et not covered in this particular book, but within previous!
As with the other books within the series (well the ones I have read so far anyway!), this is very gory and very descriptive in it's gore, the murder scenes and victims particularly gruesome, though there is not very much sex at all, but more sexual tension which I know is building to something bigger down the series!
This being the case this is not a book for children!
Pricewise this available from www.amazon.co.uk for the sum of £4.99 plus P&P.
For more information visit - www.orbitbooks.net.
This is a good, if somewhat involving book that you will feel you never put down, but actually don't read very quickly!
Thanks for reading x
Anita Blake, animator and vampire executioner has a date, but first there's a client to deal with in her office at Animators Inc, a desperate husband looking for his wife. 'So your wife is a lycanthrope and would lose her business if it came out.' An animator by trade, Anita isn't keen to take the job so passes it onto her best friend Ronnie Sims who's a private investigator, but is anything Anita's involved in ever that simple? No, the missing woman isn't the only werewolf to disappear, but now to the interesting part, Anita's date is waiting. 'He saw me and smiled. The smile was very bright against his permanently tanned skin. His last name, Zeeman, is Dutch, but somewhere back in his ancestry was something not European. Not blond, not fair, not cold. His eyes were a perfect, chocolate brown.' Now Anita's may be dating Richard, but a certain master vampire, Jean-Claude, first introduced in book 1 of the Anita Blake series, 'Guilty Pleasures', is about to make his presence felt. '"Somehow I didn't think Guys and Dolls would be your cup of tea, Jean Claude." "Or yours ma petite." The voice was rich like cream, with a warmth that only two things could give it: anger or lust. I was betting it wasn't lust.' And Jean-Claude's not above goading his rival despite or rather in spite of Anita's refusal to date him. '"Have you seen her bedroom, Richard? Her collection of toy penguins?"' But Anita hasn't the time or patience to referee, she's being beeped by the Regional Preternatural Investigation Team, (R.P.I.T), or 'Spook Squad' - a special police unit who need her preternatural expertise, but before she can leave? '"What's going on Richard?"' He gave a quick shake of his head. "My business not yours." "If someone'
;s threatening you, it is my business." He stared down at me. "No, you aren't one of us. I won't involve you."' What secrets does the lovely Richard have? And why does Jean-Claude know more about it than Anita? She's not a happy bunny, sorry penguin. '"You either share this problem, or we don't date anymore."' Our heroine may only be 5ft 3ins tall, but she takes life on the run, fully armed and ready to rumble and Jean-Claude is still stirring up trouble. '"If you harm Richard Zeeman, I'll kill you." "He means that much to you?" There was surprise in his voice. Great. "No, you mean that little." Harsh, but Anita, if you're quite finished flirting with the boys? There's a crime scene to visit. 'I kept staring at the deputy and his gun. I wasn't going to glance away a second time!" That is if she can get past the police guard, tensions are running high at the crime scene and Anita's stuck right in the middle with you. 'Ragged furrows ran down the right side of his face. One claw had sliced over the eye, spilling blood and thick globs of eyeball down his cheek.' And you think you've had some bad nights! Oh, and just so you know: '"Are witches the only people that can curse people?" "Occasionally somebody will run afoul of a fairy. One of the old Daoine sidhe, but you'd have to be in Europe for that. England, Ireland, parts of Scotland. In this country it'd be a witch."' The police aren't the only ones who want some attention; the leader of the local werewolf pack wants a meet. He's no boy scout and his mates a bitch in every sense of the word and so of course Anita just has to offer her protection to a lower pack member, a move that could prove a little unwise if not fatal before the nig
ht is through. '"If I understand the law. You have to go through me to hurt Irving, is that right?"' It's a good job she's needed, but even so Anita can't keep her mouth shut. '"Chill out fur face, you're not my leader, and I'm not a pack member."' Someone's itching for a fight and for once it may not be Anita, but then the night is young, the body count low and the beasts are shifting. '"One of the old wives' tales that is true is that a lycanthrope has to feed after shapeshifting."' And then there's Edward, who always manages to show up when there's fun to be had. He's on the hunt and has a special kind of film he wants to show our heroine. 'Curiosity killed the cat. Here was hoping it didn't do the same for animators.' Where are we in the scheme of things? Why, at the end of Chapter 13 and life's about to get complicated! Want to step into The Lunatic Café and watch the fur fly? The Lunatic Café Paperback 367 pages. ISBN 0-451-00293-5 1996. Ace Books Published by The Berkley Publishing Group (a member of Penguin Putman Inc.) Cover Art by Lee Macleod Fantasy This book is number 4 in the Anita Blake series, which so far has reached 10 books in total. Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake books: 1. Guilty Pleasures * 2. The Laughing Corpse 3. Circus of the Damned 4. The Lunatic Café * 5. Bloody Bones 6. The Killing Dance 7. Burnt Offerings 8. Blue Moon 9. Obsidian Butterfly 10 Narcissus in Chains A * denotes a review I've written on DooYoo just for you! Laurell K Hamilton Website: http://www.randomhouse.com/features/lkhamilton/ If you'd like to read about more Vampire Tales visit my page at: http://www.geocitie
The first thing I have to comment on is the fact that Laurell K. Hamilton is one of the best vampire book writer ever. She makes the book come alive before your very eyes. In case you haven't read the other books in this series I'll give you some background information. First, in the USA, vapires are legal. That means they cannot be killed without a warrant and you have to be licensed to kill them. Second,Anita Blake, the main character, is a licensed vampire executioner, a prenatural expert, and a zombie raiser. And for the twist,a very powerful master vampire named Jean Claude is in love with Anita. Anita is in love with a schoolteacher named Richard, who happens to be an alpha werewolf. In this book, a number of werewolves are missing and the local pack wants Anita to find them. The pack happens to be run by Marcus,a werewolf who wants Richard dead. This is very hard for Anita because she wants Richard to just kill Markus and get it over with. But Richard thinks there is good in everyone but he doesn't know Markus is just a sadistic animal. Anita is almost a cold-blooded killer so if it wouldn't cause trouble for Richard in the pack Anita would kill him herself. Anita goes to help the police with a crime scene(which she does alot) and realizes the body is a shapeshifter. She finds out through careful investigation that the shapeshifters or werewolves are being killed by men hunting them on a large piece of land. She, Richard and a couple of other lycanthropes went and slaughtered the people that were hunting this were-animals. For once Anita didn't go to jail and didn't apend too much time in the hospital.
Don't fall in love with a werewolf, it interferes with your work. Especially when you're a preternatural expert like Anita Blake. The local werewolves have come to her for help after a number of them have gone missing - perhaps because she's dating the leader of the pack.