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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Anita Blake Series by Laurel K. Hamilton

Most people seem to like the first books in the series, but once you get past Obsidian Butterfly there are people who are really really really angry with Laurel K. Hamilton for taking the series in the direction she did.

If graphic sex turns you off then you probably need to stop after Bloody Bones or maybe The Killing Dance. Obsidian Butterfly is fairly non-sexual and one of my favorites, but the books after Obsidian Butterfly jump into a whole 'nother world.

The only book in the series that I absolutely did not like was Micah. Now, don't get me wrong, I like the character of Micah, but I hated the book. Hated it. I was so afraid that Blood Noir was going to be like Micah (going out of town with one guy), but thank goodness it was not. I liked Blood Noir. Didn't love it, but I liked it.

Remember how I talked before about how an author gets to let her characters grow and change and evolve when she has so many books to work within? Well, this is the perfect example of that. Anita grows in ways that are, well, mindboggling.

Laurel K. Hamilton created a wonderful alternate world where the Vampires and Shapeshifters have come out of the closet and live side by side with humanity. And she brings it all alive. Very alive.

But what I think Laurel K. Hamilton may have done better than almost any other author is to fully explain the duality of the shapeshifters. To understand how their human parts and their beasty parts manage to survive inside of the same psyche.

She does the same thing with the vampires, too. She gets across the idea of bloodlust, of how a vampire feels when they want to feed. The visual of the artery in the neck moving around like a cherry, just wanting to be bitten. Maybe that visual doesn't work so good here on the blog, but when Mrs. Hamilton writes it, you get it.

This is also one of my top ten favorite series.

Don't read them out of order, though. The books must be read in the proper order or they will make no sense. I'm not going to rate each book individually for that reason. If you're going to read the series you can't skip books (with the exception of Micah) or you'll miss very important long term plot points.

I'm giving this series a nine in large part because of the earlier books. I don't enjoy the later books as much as I did some of the earlier ones, though I'm not one who hates the later books. I may not like them as much as I liked some of the earlier ones, but Anita and her guys are still growing and learning and having adventures and I'm still interested in where the series is going.

Series Rating: 9

Anita Blake series

   1. Guilty Pleasures (1993)  
   2. The Laughing Corpse (1994)  
   3. Circus of the Damned (1995)  
   4. The Lunatic Cafe (1996)  
   5. Bloody Bones (1996)  
   6. The Killing Dance (1997)
   7. Burnt Offerings (1998)
   8. Blue Moon (1998)
   9. Obsidian Butterfly (2000)
  10. Narcissus in Chains (2001)  
  11. Cerulean Sins (2003)
  12. Incubus Dreams (2004)  
  13. Micah (2006)  
  14. Danse Macabre (2006)  
  15. The Harlequin (2007)  
  16. Blood Noir (2008)  

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