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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.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Harlequin and Blood Noir (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Books 15 and 16) by Laurell K. Hamilton

The Harlequin
8 of 10
In some ways The Harlequin was just more of the same things from previous books. But thankfully, the ending promised changes that (for me) will be very welcome.

We get a little bit of Edward, and we again get to deal with his own personal dramas. Edward stepping into a father role - a very scary thought. I'm not sure I completely agree with his choices, but I can see that it's probably the best he can do.

And there is, again, a lot of Richard drama. Richard just needs to grow the hell up or he needs to be written out in some way. I have no hopes that he is ever going to be emotionally stable enough to fit into Anita's life. Her men all have to be able to get along with each other or it just won't work. And Richard isn't going to grow up enough to do that. That means he just needs to go away. Please.

I'm also not very happy with Dolph. I think it is time for him to either lose his badge or be transferred somewhere so his prejudices won't cause harm to the department. His superiors are aware of his problems, he's been suspended and he's been sent to anger management classes. I know Anita is trying to take it easy on him because she once considered him a friend but if she isn't careful that is going to get one of her friends (or maybe even herself) killed or falsely imprisoned.

The plot in this book is once again a good plot. LKH keeps creating plots that are thought provoking and that often have a myth or legend to back up the idea of the plot.

My biggest complaint about this book isn't the sex, it's all of the "therapy talk" that happens. It takes up entirely too much of the book, and some of it happens when the bad guys are around. Listening.

Blood Noir
7 of 10
So many questions were raised in The Harlequin that did not get resolved in Blood Noir. A lot of that is because Anita was out of town, but some of it feels like they just weren't answered. I am hoping to see more answers in Skin Trade.

Blood Noir isn't terrible, not like Micah was, but it was not one of the better books of the series, either. I could have completely done without Richard, though I guess we needed to see what happened as that is likely going to build on whatever happens next.

I'm conflicted about this book. The plot in this book is terrible, but the metaphysics part was (mostly) good. I had wanted to see some of the "lessons" Asher gave Anita about topping Nathaniel, so I was a bit disappointed to discover that happened in between books and we weren't going to see it.

But the main crime plot was.... well, Jason just happened to look like someone who is dating someone who just happens to be a vampire who is married to someone who just happens to be a Master of the City somewhere else. Right. That's just too big of a stretch for me. One of those eye rolling things. LKH is usually much better at coming up with plots. (Select the spoiler text to view it.)

But, some of the metaphysical things that happened once again point to growth and change that would be very welcome, I think.

I am looking forward to Skin Trade. I am expecting a few things to be dealt with, wrapped up, in Skin Trade. Not everything, but there are a few plot points that have spanned 7 or 8 books now, and it's a bit overdue for those things to be tied up.

The series rating remains a 9 of 10 for me.

1. Guilty Pleasures
2. The Laughing Corpse
3. Circus of the Damned
4. The Lunatic Cafe
5. Bloody Bones
6. The Killing Dance
7. Burnt Offerings
8. Blue Moon
9. Obsidian Butterfly
10. Narcissus in Chains
11. Cerulean Sins
12. Incubus Dreams
13. Micah
14. Danse Macabre
15. The Harlequin
16. Blood Noir (2008)
17. Skin Trade (2009)

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