Published by Berkley Trade on August 3rd 2004
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
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Anita Blake may be small and young, but vampires call her the Executioner. Anita is a necromancer and vampire hunter in a time when vampires are protected by law—as long as they don't get too nasty. Now someone's killing innocent vampires and Anita agrees—with a bit of vampiric arm-twisting—to help figure out who and why.
Trust is a luxury Anita can't afford when her allies aren't human. The city's most powerful vampire, Nikolaos, is 1,000 years old and looks like a 10-year-old girl. The second most powerful vampire, Jean-Claude, is interested in more than just Anita's professional talents, but the feisty necromancer isn't playing along—yet. This popular series has a wild energy and humor, and some very appealing characters—both dead and alive.
Okay, so some of the girls asked that I do a review of the Anita Blake series because I mentioned some things that intrigued them.
It’s not a finished series and usually I would reserve judgment on a series until it comes to its conclusion just in case the author was going somewhere I wasn’t expecting.
Kind of like that scene out of Austin Powers where Austin’s in the bathroom stall with a bad guy and a big Texan man is in the next stall and can only see Austin’s feet. He hears Austin Powers grunting as he fights the guy, saying, “Who does Number 2 work for?”
The Texan guy, thinking that Austin is taking a crap, decides to pitch in and give encouragement to someone who is obviously struggling.
“That’s right! Show that turd who’s boss!”
Well, that’s what reading Anita Blake is like.
You’re sitting in the next stall with someone who, nine or so books ago you thought was really nice and normal. Suddenly they start to struggle and you want to be encouraging, or you want to tell them to give up, take a laxative and come back later. The thing is, at first you’re wary to because maybe something else is going on. Maybe a brilliant struggle for life and death is happening but you just can’t see it. Maybe at the end of the series, you’re going to come out, see what’s left over in the stall and proudly proclaim:
Jesus Christ, what did you eat?
The first 10 books are filled with mystery and intrigue. They’ve got great characters and really interesting storylines. They’ve got action. DAMN have they got action! Obsidian Butterfly, in my opinion, the last good book is such a thriller in so many ways.
They’re a little bit sexy and you find yourself wishing a little more sexy would come your way because it’s kind of really hawt.
But then something happens after book 10. It happens so quickly that you’re kind of in a headspin, looking around going, “Am I still reading the right series? Have they printed a different book under the same name?”
Because suddenly, they’re no longer mysteries. There’s no longer any real edge-of-your-seat suspense. Suddenly, you think you’re going to go a little crazy if you read another freakin’ sex scene. Suddenly the writing is so poor, so transparent! The characters are so unlikable and so unrelatable that they might as well be from another galaxy.
You’re just walking along one day, admiring the view, when suddenly – OH CRAP! ANITA JUST HAD SEX WITH A WERELEOPARD IN ANIMAL FORM!!!!
You’re minding you’re own business, enjoying a cup of coffee when – FUCK! SHE JUST HAD A THREE WAY WITH TWO MEN! ANALSEXANALSEXANALSEX!!!
You were about to get ready for work when, out of nowhere – CROTCHBUCKETS! SHE’S JUST HAD A MASSIVE GROUP ORGY AND BEEN ‘SPITTED’ BY TWO MEN! FAAARK!!!
Then you wonder if you can still walk into a church after reading these books. They become so appallingly bad that you wear them like a badge of pride. “Oh, you think THAT book is shocking? Has she ever had sex with an animal while a whole room full of people look on?” “Oh! You think THAT’S shocking? Did that character ever have seven consecutive boyfriends and nine casual fucks at the same time?” “Really? That character is THAT powerful? Did they ever defeat an evil villain with the power of their crotch alone?”
Speaking of which, this is one of the major, MAJOR flaws of Anita Blake. Her Cooter. The Crotch of Doom as some of the girls call it. Almost every man she comes across, she has to sleep with. And then he loves her. He’s addicted to her. He can’t get enough of her. It’s ridiculous. That girl had better have a TV screen in her forehead, beer leaking from her nipples and a bellybutton that dispenses sandwiches. Otherwise I just ain’ buyin’ it!
She amasses power like it’s spare change. She goes from being a powerful animator of zombies, to a necromancer who can control ALL dead things (including vampires), as well as being a lupa (Queen of the Werewolves, Namira-Ra (Queen of the wereleopards) having six strains of were in her but none of the downsides like actually changing. She becomes a succubus. She is a human servant part of a powerful Triumvate. Then she makes her OWN triumvate with her own Vampire to call and an animal to call. It’s just RIDICULOUS! You’re wondering where it stops!
This stops her from having any character growth. I thought Anita Blake’s flaws were going to be dealt with at some point. I thought her pride, arrogance, lack of impulse control, insecurities etc were going to be addressed through circumstances and a learning curve. No. She just becomes so powerful that it doesn’t matter anymore.
And the books are just basically sex. That’s all that happens. Everyone has sex. All the time. And then they all argue. A lot. Anita wears a skirt, so three out of seven of her boyfriends take issue with that and then argue with Anita and amongst themselves. Anita chips a nail, so at least five of her boyfriends go mental and start blaming each other.
I really don’t know why this mess continues. It’s beyond ridiculous. I think LKH just wants to see how much she can shock us now. What more can she do to play with our heads? So Anita has brain sex with another woman. So Anita has sex with a sixteen year old. It doesn’t matter anymore. In the end, Anita never takes responsibility for ANY of it. She never really sits down and says: “Regardless of everything – I want to be with THIS person and THAT person. I want to do THESE crazy sex acts because that would get me hawt. Then I want to try it with five men at once.”
No. It’s always the situation. She’s always “made” to do it. This makes me lose so much respect for both the character and LKH. You want fantasy smut in your story? Fine. Put it in there. But don’t make it so that the character never CHOOSES the fantasy smut. Don’t make it so that each and every time, the character is forced by circumstances to do these crazy, smutty things. WTH?
And lastly, don’t push feminist bullshit down our throats when every other woman in this series is either a bitch, psycho, cow or pathetically weak! If Anita was a real woman than she’d stand up to a little damn competition. Instead she fights with every other woman around like it’s some kind of damn pissing competition.
I kept thinking that maybe LKH was behind that stall, doing something that didn’t seem apparent to me. From what I could see so far, she was struggling to get something out. I kept wanting to yell at her for it, but then I thought, maybe there’s something epic happening. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s just because I can’t see enough from my stall in the bathroom of life.
No, my friends. In this instance, she’s not wrestling a man into a toilet bowl for information. She’s not leading us through some epic, well thought out drama that’s going to unfold brilliantly if we just hang on and keep reading.
She’s just shitting with us. Well and truly, and enjoying the money we pay her for the pleasure of reading this crap.