this is a spoiler heavy post so I'll try and make it the same color as the background so you'll have to highlight the spoilery bits if you so choose...
I did not hate this book. I enjoyed it actually and thought it head and shoulders above Incubus Dreams on many levels. I do get sick of hearing people bitch about LKH. It’s like it’s become a pastime to cast around and look for reasons to be offended by her books. Seriously, life is too short to purposely cast around looking to be offended. The market is filled with paranormal books of all kinds to read if LKH isn't flipping your switch anymore.
Okay, onto the review (first the positives and then the negatives): First and foremost, Anita is actually growing and learning as a person. She admits when she’s wrong! LKH fleshes out Jean Claude a lot more as well as Nathaniel and even Asher.
Yes, Asher is still a bit pissy in the book but LKH actually gives him a reason for it, character motivation! Which is very nice and has been absent in the last two or three books. Richard is even not a stupid, whining ass in DM. He says a lot of things that make sense and even Anita realizes this.
There’s also evidence that she’s been edited this time out as well. Her ideas are much more fleshed out and there aren’t as many story threads dangling.
This is not a mystery really. It’s pretty much a diary of two days in Anita’s life. As such it’s more “we ate ice cream, we had sex, we slept, we knifed some people, we wrapped Meng Die in a cross wrapped coffin, we had sex” etc. In that way, it’s fine but it’s not that compelling.
The sex is written FAR better than it was in ID. There’s generally a reason for (most of) it and it’s almost all with people you know. I think LKH likes to write sex and that’s fine, she needs to work on it a bit harder though. She tends to overuse phrases (although I didn’t notice her using spill once). This is a common thing, I do it too. But my editor will call me on it and make me fix it. I don’t know if her editor told her and she ignored it or what.
Clearly LKH likes dominant men. And hey, good, cause I do too and I write them as heroes a lot as well. This is nothing new or unusual, authors do this all the time.(spoiler ahead:) Nathaniel ordering Anita to suck his cock was pretty fucking hot. So sue me.
OH and there’s BOYSMUT! YAY! (more spoilers ahead) Jean Claude has anal sex in a threeway with Anita and another man when they feed the ardeur. And it works. It was however, not Asher, which annoys me. I’m not sure why LKH did it that way, perhaps it made it easier for Anita. There was a bit of self reflection on Anita’s part about JC and Asher, which I appreciated and I’m hoping to see a real threesome in a future book, heh.
I’d give this book a 6 of 10 where I gave ID a 3.5. It’s a much better book although it’s not nearly as good as Blue Moon.
Now onto my problems with this book – story holes. Not so much like in ID where there was a set up for a mystery and you heard nothing until the end and it was solved like an afterthought, but stuff that I could not see the purpose at all for.
There’s a mermaid/siren with some odd incestual stuff which squicked me and frankly, I didn’t even see why it was included. It took page space from the Mother of All Darkness storyline which actually IS interesting and I wanted to know more but she didn’t give much.
The Auggie storyline was pointless except to provide the boysecks scene. As such I was fine with it but I didn’t think LKH did enough with it. He provides some backstory about The Mother of All Darkness but not enough to warrant his presence.
There’s also a vampire dance troop thing that is utterly senseless. It was interesting for the moment and everything (and gave her another reason to have a three way in the car with Jason and Nathaniel). It brought some dream sequence thing with the Mother but again, there wasn’t enough story to warrant their presence.
I used to love Damian. But Damian has become the Anita Blake version of Kenny. “You’re killing Damian!” “Feed or you’ll drain Damian!” He’s a shadow and he calms her down, big whoop.
Not even a glimpse of Jamil. I was hoping she’d fuck him because he’s hot. Not enough wolves although we do get a lot of lions for some reason.
Oh and the pregnancy thing. Here’s the deal, I don’t buy books with pregnancy in the title unless it’s Erin McCarthy. I don’t mind pregnant characters or even babies but if it’s going to be used in a book, do it. It was so clearly a gimmick here that it was teethgrindingly annoying. I thought Richard’s response was really good though and there was some great back and forth dialog between Richard and Micah that made me laugh. “Stop being so perfect!” Exactly. I won’t tell you the outcome, though.
Oh and fuck, I believe Anita will soon be God’s intern. She’s now got three animals in her system, a few animals to call, some vampires, a new triumvirate with Nathaniel and Damian and (spoiler ahead) she was almost the “Regina” to the “Rex” of a werelion pride
. Everyone wants to fuck her. All women are jealous of her. It’s just annoying. And pointless.
Which brings me to my biggest annoyance with what the series has grown into. They’re pointless books now. We’ve got so many characters that she’s left the ones you really care about by the wayside. Each book she gives us 20 new ones. What about Edward? What about Shang Da and Jamil and Sophie? Belle Morte? They’re all shadows now and we’ve got these new people who are all about Anita. No one seems to be a strong enough character in the books now, they’re all about Anita 24/7.
The strength of the mysteries has faded and she’s lost focus on anyone but Anita’s pussy. And Anita’s pussy is boring.