Nicole Reads A Lot

so many books, so little time

Blood Noir Review

I recently finished Blood Noir, the latest book by Laurell K. Hamilton. Last week, I discussed my impressions of the series and my fears about how this book would be. Blood Noir was a lot like what I expected, but also somewhat better. There was a lot of sex. Sex sex sex. Anita has sex. With men. And weres. And vampires. Did you know? Anita has sex. Good for her! But sometimes you wonder what else she has in her life except for hot guys and lots of sex (NTTAWWT). There was also the repetition of phrases and concepts that I am convinced Hamilton has trademarked, such as:

  • “Pretty to think so”
  • “…things low and tight in my body”
  • moving in human form with muscles that are not found in the human body

This time, though, there was also some genuine character development to go along with all that sex. Most of it was reserved for the character of Jason, but even Nathaniel, who wasn’t around for a lot of the book, was shown to have grown up. Even Anita seemed more likely to think her actions through. I like that she doesn’t take anybody’s crap, but that she is also able to understand how certain situations require a level of diplomacy and compromise that do not come naturally to her. Also, I like that she still sometimes mucks up really important situations. It keeps her interesting.

I hated that so much exposition and calling people by their full names. I know that we’re about fourteen books into this series at this point, but these instances were glaring and really detracted from the story. I would prefer a brief character index or something, because these kinds of insertions are never seamless. Or maybe the newcomers should step away from this book and look at at least half of the preceding books. If you come into a series late and make no effort to catch yourself up, you deserve whatever confusion you feel. Also: congratulations on discovering the internet. You win a Google.

I have to say that I kind of hate Richard now. He seems really unable to focus on anything other than Anita and her sex life, and the fact that he hasn’t been able to accept how she’s changed over the last gazillion novels really makes me think poorly of him. He either needs to accept how Anita’s life is going to be and participate or remove himself as much as their triumvirate bond will allow. He’s tiresome. Being hot and angry will only get you so far, and then you’re going to need something to fall back on. A crushing sense of guilt and self-loathing are probably not the crutch you want to reach for. Jean-Claude, the third and most powerful member of the triumvirate (so far, Anita’s gaining power pretty rapidly), didn’t play much of a role in this novel, either, but the news that Anita’s actions had far-reaching consequences for him at least set the stage nicely for future installments of this series. I’d also like to know why Marmee Noire is all up in Anita’s (dream) grill. It would be great to find out eventually why Anita is so special, and that her accumulation of all these powers is leading somewhere interesting (other than a bedroom).

I haven’t given up on Ms. Blake & Co., even though each glimpse of their lives seems a lot like the episode before it. Is Hamilton sick of this character? Has she had trouble writing Anita lately? Something’s off, but I’m hanging on for at least one more installment. I’ll have to read the next book in the Meredith Gentry series, because I’m not actually sure whether those books are any more convincing than these.

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Tuesday night

In book news, I picked up Laurell K. Hamilton’s newest Anita Blake book today at the library. I haven’t started to read it yet, but I hope it’s good. Lately, the books in this series have seemed like nothing other thanĀ  exercises to see how many sexual partners Anita can have at once (I thought that was Merry‘s thing!), and I’m hoping there’s more plot to this one. I haven’t read about a repeat of the blog incident, so maybe this one will be good (or maybe Hamilton has just learned to step away from the keyboard).

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