Home Series Ratings - Quick View Excerpts Anxiously Awaiting Review Policy Disclosure Policy

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Anita Blake Series

I've been re-reading the Anita Blake series and I think it's time I gave a small review of each book in the series. I gave an overview of it here, but I'd like to talk just a bit about each book.

1. Guilty Pleasures 7 of 10
The book that started it all. Anita doesn't think much of "the monsters". Her job is to kill the bad ones, and she doesn't spend much time around the good ones. That could warp anyone's point of view, I think.

2. The Laughing Corpse 8 of 10
We have to learn about all the "parts" of Anita Blake. The last book focused more on the fact that she is a vampire executioner, this book teaches us a bit more about the whole zombie raising thing.

3. Circus of the Damned 9 of 10
Where we first meet Richard. Also, where we begin to learn a little bit about shapeshifters. And where Anita and Jean-Claude begin learning a bit more about each other.

4. The Lunatic Cafe 9 of 10
The book where Anita's life starts becoming a tangled web. We learn a lot more about the werewolf culture in this book, as well as the shapeshifter culture in general. There's a lot going on all at once as far as the plot lines of this book, but also as far as the longer plot lines of the series.

5. Bloody Bones 8 of 10
Anita is out of town for most of this book. This book deals more with vampires, and we learn more about vampire culture in this one.

6. The Killing Dance 10 of 10
Lot's of Edward in this book. And lots of Richard and Jean-Claude. A few plot points get tied up in this book, but that just opens up more plot lines going forward. This is one of my favorite books in the series.

7. Burnt Offerings 10 of 10
Back to vampire drama, and lots of it. Also a lot of police action. We also get a lot of history we didn't have before, adding even more to the long term plots of the series.

8. Blue Moon 10 of 10
There have been times, when I've re-read this series, that I've skipped this one. It happens out of town and it's easy to convince myself it's not that important to the series. In reality, it is very important to the series, and I'm glad I read it again on this read. I realized I've skipped it because it deals with some pretty rough stuff, not because it isn't important. Most of what we learn in this book has to do with wolf and shapeshifter culture, but there is a lot of soul searching about good vs evil in this one as well. And a whole lot of relationship stuff, between a whole lot of people. Not to mention the metaphysical leaps that Anita makes. And a new friend who turns out to be very valuable to Anita. It's not an easy book to read, but it's very important to the series.

9. Obsidian Butterfly 10 of 10
Another out of town book, and one of my favorites in the series. We learn a whole lot about Edward, and the plot in this book is so well conceived that it would be a great book all by itself without the rest of the series involved. It's also a nice break before Anita has to go back to the tangled mess that has become her life.

10. Narcissus in Chains 10 of 10
Tangled mess? We only thought Anita's life was tangled mess before. After this book, it is truly tangled. Though in some ways, it's tangled in a much better way than it was before. This book is a hugely pivotal book in the series. If you are squeamish about sex then stop at Obisidian butterfly. If graphic sex doesn't bother you then the rest of the series is still good, but this is the book where everything changes and the various plotlines head off in completely different directions.

11. Cerulean Sins 6 of 10
Probably necessary in order to get where the series is going, but not one of the better books in the series. Lots of uncomfortable stuff. The last book focused a good deal on shapeshifters so this one goes back to the vampires, though the shapeshifters are still around, of course. And really, we've learned most of what we need to know about vampires and shapeshifters, now the plots are more about the preternatural community in general, and the brand new metaphysics that Anita and her various guys seem to be creating.

12. Incubus Dreams 9 of 10
A lot of people don't like this book. And there are parts of it that I also didn't care a lot for. But I think the overall book is a good one. Sex is going to be an integral part of things until Anita gains a whole lot more control. Jean-Claude had enough control that it didn't completely rule him during the first part of the series, and I'm hoping that Anita gains more control so that eventually the series can move away from it. But for now, sex and how Anita feels about that sex is a big part of the series.

13. Micah 4 of 10
When I read this one the first time I think I'd have given it a one of ten. Reading it in retrospect I'll give it a four, as I do appreciate some of what I learned in the book. But still, it's not really that good of a book.

14. Danse Macabre 9 of 10
I loved this book. Okay, not the sex so much, some of that I just skim through at this point. (Not that it's bad sex, just that sometimes I'm more interested in the plot than the sex.) And really, let's just shoot Richard and put him out of our misery. But the plot of the book, the whole idea of vampire dancers and how good they could get with centuries of practice and the ability to fly? And, the whole metaphysical puzzle of what is happening within Anita... it's not only great worldbuilding, it a plot that spans books in a way that can boggle the mind. Plus, with the addition of the other "Masters" and the plots that they can bring as well, it's another very well done book.

15. The Harlequin
16. Blood Noir (2008)
17. Skin Trade (2009)
I'm going to do an extensive review of The Harlequin and Blood Noir later, and then I will do a post that will assume you've read the whole series, and I will talk about the questions I hope to see answered in Skin Trade.

I've given this series a 9 of 10 in the past and I stand by that rating. Yes, there is a lot of angst and a lot of sex in the later books, but the plots and the worldbuilding and the depth of character are still excellent, in my opinion.

No comments:

Post a Comment