Thursday, May 29, 2008

Blood Noir by Laurell K. Hamilton

Blood Noir Book CoverBlood Noir - Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, book 16 by Laurell K. Hamilton

.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 (see previous commentary)
16. Blood Noir

Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)
Flame Height: 5.5" out of 9"

UPDATE: In her blog of Thursday, June 12, 2008, LKH gives her own explanation for "What's the book about?"

Well, hell. After recently expressing my concerns about some of LKH’s blog content, this commentary is going to seem like I’ve left the stands and am now on the playing field for the sport of LKH-bashing. This is soooo NOT appropriate behavior for fangirls, is it? Aren’t I supposed to be defending MY author at all costs and beyond all logic? Am I not betraying her if I do not express the opinion that every single book she writes is the Best Book Ever and is now my All Time Favorite? Well, since this is MY blog, and I consider this my book diary, then I’d only be lying to myself if I was less than honest-- about LKH's books or those of any other author.

Blood Noir was an… okay read. I didn’t hate it, I didn’t dislike it. It was just okay. But I confess a bit of disappointment because this just wasn’t an LKH book.

Jason's mother calls to tell him that his father only has weeks to live. There are a lot of issues between them and his mother suggests he bring a girlfriend to try and convince his bully of a father he's not gay. Since Jason and Perdy have split up, Nathaniel volunteers Anita for the job.

That’s the setup, now here’s the summary of Blood Noir:

Blood Noir is an extended conversation between Jason and Anita (pages 1-196), followed by a couple of disconnected metaphysical incidents (pages 197-309), followed by a couple of VERY loosely connected scenes where Anita gets to shoot and kill (pages 309-336), then the final wrap-up (pages 337-340).

Anita and Jason talk before sex, they interrupt sex to talk, they talk after sex, they talk in cars, they talk in the plane, they talk in their hotel room, they talk at a gathering of Jason’s old girlfriends, and they talk at the hospital. They talk about their relationship with each other, they talk about their relationships with their families and friends, they talk about the other men in Anita’s life, and they talk about Jean Claude’s power structure. They talk and talk and talk and talk... and talk some more. And when she isn’t talking to Jason, Anita is THINKING about talking with Jason.

Now, don’t get me wrong, getting to know the characters better is a very GOOD thing and I really DID enjoy that aspect of it. LKH’s characters are like old friends to me. But what makes this a very non-LKH like book is that nothing else is going on during the first 58% of the book where this extended conversation takes place. It’s NOT intertwined with any larger action or mystery plot, or even a metaphysical emergency. It’s just two people talking nearly non-stop as they travel from St. Louis to and around Ashville, NC (that’s a whole ‘nuther issue- I’ve never been there, but her description doesn't sound quite right). They do interact with other people, but the first half of this book is mainly devoted to Anita and Jason talking to each other.

I will say however, that the sex during these first 196 pages is just that—sex. No metaphysical manifestations or increase in Anita’s power, which is a welcome change of pace even if the scenes still felt a bit... less than passionate

This is a single layer, simple story. No complexity, no layers, no multi-dimensions. If she was a new author, I’d say she showed promise with her characters, but needs to give them more story to work with. Yes, other authors have been semi-successful with not much more than that, but this is Laurell K. Hamilton and that is NOT how Laurell K. Hamilton writes, at least not the writing that has landed her on the Best Seller lists all these years.

Honestly, this book does not feel like she put her best effort into it. As if her only goal was to get word count/page count down each day and adding any other layers would have slowed her down from meeting that daily goal.

If she’s developing that kind of tunnel vision, then I sincerely hope that she has built increased intervals between books into that new contract she just signed. I'd like to see her slow down, and take time to CREATE and THINK, to CRAFT her stories again instead of publishing stream of consciousness thoughts. Seriously, thought processes DO change as we get older (she’s only a few years younger than me.) And what worked for her before-- sit your ass in that chair and write x number of pages-- may not work for her now that she’s getting older. Or is it burn-out? Or she’s not “hungry” anymore? I dunno. I only know that Blood Noir is, BY FAR, not her best effort in the ABVH series.

Now for that last 42% or so of the book--- spoilers and all. Okay, I don’t normally give spoilers, but since there are only two events of note in the book, and they occur towards the end, it’s kind of hard to NOT mention them. Although, much of it is a bit… random… and confusing… so I can’t promise there’s much sense in my ramblings.

If you are reading this in Firefox, you should know that much of the code I use for my scrollbox (i.e. custom colors) is ignored by FF. So if it looks weird, switch to IE. If you’re already using IE7… Hee, I FINALLY found something that no one can tell me is better in FF.

**YO! Thar be SPOILERS AHEAD-- Scroll to see ‘em**

Remember in The Harlequin, Anita was given a charm to wear that would protect her from Marmee Noir? Well, when a weretiger stripper shows up at the bachelorette party for one of Jason’s old girlfriends, Marmee Noir decides she wants a little weretiger sumpin’ sumpin’. She makes Anita, who discovers that she carries multiple tigers among her inner beasts, take off the charm and Anita, Jason and TWO weretigers (seems she needs them in more than one color) proceed to lose themselves in two solid days of mindless (literally) ardeur and Marmee Noir driven sex (no, we don’t read all the details of what happens during those two days).

Then, after regaining a few of the memories that Marmee took away from her during that time, Anita frantically tries to find the charm so she can be protected again. Um… the charm didn’t work, remember? Marmee made Anita take it off, so it doesn’t make sense that she would feel protected with it back on.

It’s kind of interesting to learn about the weretigers. For instance, you know how Anita has those metaphysical emergencies where she has to give her beast to someone? Turns out that female weretigers also do that so they can carry a baby to term. But I have to admit that Anita becoming a queen to yet another weregroup is getting a bit… excessive.

The Marmee Noir sexathon also severs the ties between Anita, Jean Claude, and Richard. Presumably it leaves her tri with Nathaniel and Damion untouched since no one mentions them dying. Evidently JC’s marks are wiped out and Anita gets Marmee Noir’s marks 1 and 2 instead. Or not. Because Anita DOES link up with JC and Richard again after she feeds on Richard. So, really, either Marmee did NOT give Anita the marks, just overrode JC’s marks 1-3. Or she DID give Anita the marks, but somehow did not get rid of JC’s marks 1-3. I dunno. I was hoping JC would explain it.

Oh, and Richard-- I’m not sure how I feel about all this. Richard shows up to find out why the link between the triumvirate has been severed. Of course, he’s his usual pissed-off self, but they’ve finally figured out that Richard is angry all the time because the marks gave him Anita’s anger just like she carries JC’s ardeur. So, another metaphysical emergency blows through and Anita, who fed the ardeur through Love in The Harlequin, now discovers that it (the ardeur) has evolved and she is also able to feed from Anger. Specifically, Richard’s Anger, or rather, she is able to take back all of HER anger.

Let me repeat that-- Anita has taken back her anger from Richard. And what we find is that the Anger that was so strong in Richard was overpowering the ardeur that Richard had inherited from Jean Claude!! Yep, you read that right—Richard has his very own ardeur!

Could this be the pivotal moment in the series? The logical resolution to Anita’s ardeur that LKH said would happen? Anita knows how to control Anger because she’s lived with it all her life. So, if that Anger overpowered the ardeur in Richard, shouldn’t that mean that, through controlling the anger, Anita will now have control over the ardeur?

And Richard with the ardeur riding him? Well, it turns out HIS ardeur is closer to Auggie’s in that it rolls Anita with more Love than Lust. ::shrugs:: Could be… interesting… eventually. But it was kind of “I love, Love, LOVE you” sappy in this book.

But here’s why I hesitate to get too excited about all these developments. The end of The Harlequin was a MONUMENTAL moment for Richard—he confessed that he thought Anita and JC were evil and then ran away and left their asses hanging out to face-off with the enemies. This was a HUGE moment- I actually gasped out loud when it happened! But it’s not mentioned in BN. Whatever came AFTER that is not mentioned in BN. Everything is same-old same-old between JC, Anita and Richard when he appears in BN to save her ass. Where’s the fallout from The Harlequin? This was just too important to ignore!

But wait… there’s one final random metaphysical development… Are you ready?
Somewhere during the Marmee Noir induced sex binge, Jason became Anita’s animal to call. Seriously. They can read each other’s thoughts and everything. How? Dunno… since the sexathon is pretty much a big blank to them (and us), I guess no explanations needed to be created at this time.

So that was pages 197-309. Now let’s move on to part 3. Throughout pages 1-196, Jason kept being mistaken for one of the governor’s sons. This is the week before one of the son’s wedding and all the prenuptial activities are taking place in the same hotel that Jason and Anita are staying in. Turns out that, even back in high school, the three boys were nearly identical. Although, actually, other than Jason's sisters, EVERYONE born in Ashville eerily resembles each other.

Jason has to constantly show his ID to prove he’s NOT the governor’s son. At an impromptu press conference where he tries to clear up the confusion, Anita is recognized as JC’s girlfriend and Jason as Ripley, the stripper. The tabloid press makes a HUGE assumption on national TV that the girlfriend of the Master of St. Louis has left him to run off and elope with one of his strippers.

Which brings us to page 309-- Anita and Jason are drugged and kidnapped. Anita wakes up to hear Jason being tortured. But the bad boys have underestimated her by assuming she’s not dangerous and they’ve left her tied up in a bathroom... where there are scissors and throwable chemicals. She escapes, grabs a gun and kills them.

Turns out the governor’s son has eloped with the wife of another master of a city and that master doesn’t believe that Jason isn’t the governor’s son and Anita isn’t his wife, or maybe he believed the governor’s son had already dumped his wife and was with Anita now but knows where his wife is, or… uh… shoot, I don’t quite know WHAT the reasoning was, just that it didn’t make sense. So he sent his henchman after them.

But now they are dead, Federal Marshal Anita Blake has been stripped of her weapons while the other Federal Marshals conduct an investigation, and eventually the other master of the city, minus his wife who really DID marry the governor’s son, mysteriously disappears.

And that’s a wrap.

Bottom Line: I think Blood Noir should have been a novel-lite like Micah was. I wouldn't have had a problem with a novel-lite, especially if the conversation had been tightened up and the menace and metaphysical elements were introduced earlier in the book. As published, those elements did not feel integrated into a cohesive story.

So how does a fangirl defend this book? No disrespect intended, but honestly, I can’t. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t a Laurell K. Hamilton book. I can only hope that it is an aberration and that LKH’s next ABVH book will be co-authored by her infamous Muse rather than Word’s page count.

And now, I’m off to read other reviews for Blood Noir. I’ve avoided nearly all of them so they wouldn’t color my own opinion. But now I’m hoping someone will point out something I missed or will give me a new way of looking at certain scenes.
Piquant Opines: RT, Darque Reviews, Graeme's, A&F, BlogCritics: ABVH series and Blood Noir review

Have you read this book? Feel free to review or link to a review in the comments. Even if you don't agree!

22 comments:

Holly said...

I don't read LKH at all (never have) but I just wanted to let you know that I'm looking at this in FF and the scroll box looks fine. I even read the ENTIRE spoiler part just to make sure it didn't screw up at the end, which means I am now confused as shit and think my eyes may bleed soon (WTF..weretigers and anger and ardeur and...just..wow. Too bad they don't remember the sex).

Just saying. :P

Holly said...

Oh, and I should probably clarify and say this would probably have been a great review/summary/whatever if I actually read the series and knew WTF was going on. LOL

=)

Madame Butterfly said...

Bev, I've never read LKH, but as always, I love reading your reviews. They are so entertaining. I feel at this point I missed the boat and could never catch up with all you guys. 16 books in the series? It would take me weeks to get caught up, although when I read your reviews, I'm kind of itching to try.

I hate to break it to ya, but I see the same colors and what not in IE7 as I do in FF with the scroll bars. But I'm so jealous! I need to figure out how to do that; it's so cool.

Bev(QB) said...

So, even in FF, the scrollbox and scrollbar are the same color as my normal background? No blue scrollbar?

Well, shoot. Every place I learned to change scrollbox/ scrollbar colors said that FF ignored them and only IE users could see them. But I wanted my scrollboxes to be low contrast so I did it anyhow.

Wait. I'm whining because people can see the box the way I want them to see it, aren't I? DOH!

Holly: Too bad they don't remember the sex
No.... no, in this case, it's probably a good thing.

MB, this is where I learned how to do it:
http://blogger-tricks.blogspot.com/2007/09/scroll-box-for-labels-new-blogger.html
You have to play with it to get the sizes, but it works the same no matter what you are putting between the div and slash-div.

You can also follow his link to build your color codes.

And this is where I double-checked (I luv this kids site):
http://www.lissaexplains.com/css.shtml

Really, if I don't know or am not sure what I'm doing in CSS (frequently), I google what I want, but I usually end up finding my answers on one of those two sites.

Oh, and I have a non-public test blog where I can screw around with stuff before I bring it over here.

Thanks for the FF 411 you guys!

Bev(QB) said...

MB: Bev, I've never read LKH, but as always, I love reading your reviews. They are so entertaining. I feel at this point I missed the boat and could never catch up with all you guys. 16 books in the series? It would take me weeks to get caught up, although when I read your reviews, I'm kind of itching to try.


Actually, I started at #9- Obsidian Butterfly, loved her storytelling style, then went back and read them all. My first new release was #10- Narcissus in Chains. THE pivitol book in the series.

You could easily start with those two and you'd have a pretty good idea of what everyone is talking about.

Or I would say you could also start with the novel-lite, #13- Micah. I think it's pretty standalone and you will be able to tell whether you are interested in her voice or not.

ABVH is of particular note because the popularity of Urban Fantasy can be traced directly to the popularity of this LKH series. She wasn't the first or the only author to feature a kick-butt heroine in a cross between sf/f, horror, and romance genres, but she made it popular enough that we now have an entire sub-genre name for it- Urban Fantasy.

LOL... I must try to remember that not everyone is as obsessive as I am.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the problems you site in this book, were some of the main reasons I stopped reading Anitas...

The big pivotal important story lines that were left hanging in one book, only never to be mentioned again in the next made me nuts!


The stream of consciousness which while present in a lot of the books (since OB) became unbearable for me by ID... The constant yakking (internal too) rather than DOING something, the navel gazing, angsting, etc... Well... It exhausted me...

Of course having Anita turn into someone I couldn't really root for anymore, was the capper. For me, I have always had to root for the protagonist in a book (especially if its told in first person), I just don't root for Anita anymore..

Wytherin

Bev(QB) said...

Oddly enough, I don't always root for Anita either. She pisses ME off sometimes, too. Then again, for me, it's the fact that I can get pissed off at the main characters and still want to read the books that makes these stories so addictive to me. For me, that just makes them more three dimensional.

I agree that some of the books could have used some tightening up. But this was the first one where it really bothered me.

jade_kristen said...

I'm still waiting on Blood Noir. I ordered it through Doubleday and they aren't even shipping it until June 3rd.
I didn't feel the need to rush out and buy this one the way I have in the past. It's not necessarily that my passion for this series is dwindling as much as the fact that I knew this book would be different.
I didn't mind the book Micah and I love the character Micah, but in that book when they were isolated from most of the other characters it felt like something important was really missing for me.
I had a feeling that Blood Noir would feel the same to me. I like so many of the characters that when they're not there I feel a little cheated.
Also Anita never seems to do well with the one on one with her male characters. I think she's gotten so used to dealing with them two or more at a time. It seems that to me in the one on one situations she always seems slightly uncomfortable... especially during the sex scenes.... even more especially when that sex scene isn't with one of her main men (JC, Micah or Nathanial). I know your in run-on sentence hell right now. lol. I'm just feeling too lazy to find a better way to word it.

I'm still looking forward to this book as part of the series, but I didn't feel the need to rush out for this one.

Bev(QB) said...

Jade, I think Micah was much better than this. It really should have been a novel-lite, too.

I think you are right that Anita seems awkward when she's first alone with any one man, except Jean Claude. And this book was no exception, although she did admit she was uncomfortable in this one. I think it's just too intimate for her comfort. And we all know Anita doesn't do intimate very well.

Anonymous said...

Anita really never did close relationships with anyone well... When you think back to the early books, her friendships were really offscreen (with Ronnie only making brief appearences)... Anita mainly was by herself or in a working situation...

If I was to take that further and to try to make some sense out of Anitas change of personality (yada yada I know its supposed to be metaphysically based but its hard for me to change gears), I would say that the very reason Anita has so many lovers but no real love (and I don't think Micah or Nate count, one is her servant(micah) the other her child (nate, which is why them having sex is icky for me) ), is that if she is has sex with everyone, there is no real intimacy with anyone..

I can't think of any relationship that Anita has that hasn't been a power struggle going on. If you can think of one, tell me.

If you really get down to it, I don't think Anita really has ever loved anyone, not even herself..

I know I am supposedly a haterz of Anitas books, but I really never minded the Micah character, although I don't really "get" what they see in each other. other than someone to take care of the dirty little details (micah) and almost a Daddy figure (anita)... That just doesn't scream romance to me,...

At heart, I am a romantic, and if there is bumping uglies going on, I want some romance to it. Merry actually has that, you get the feeling she truly loves MOST of her men (even if its in a long time friends way)...

wytherin

Kris said...

I got this one yesterday from the library. I am starting it today. I enjoy her books as well. I will come back and let you know what i thought as well. Sorry it was not what you wanted. :(

ames said...

I used to be a big LKH fan. And this is the first review I read for BN. I think I can honestly say I'm no longer interested and will wait to see if the next one gets a better review.

Carolyn Jean said...

I always enjoy LKH, and I'm on Cerulean now. And reading this review, I am just so impressed with the abundance of LKH's imagination. I mean, not that I don't totally believe your critique. I know you are a way more diehard fan than most, so I totally take it seriously.

I think you are right about the page count thing. I read her site sometimes and her page counts just blow me away. We all know what she is capable of as a writer, and I'm sure we'll see that again soon! But great review!

Bev(QB) said...

Wytherin: If I was to take that further and to try to make some sense out of Anitas change of personality… I would say that the very reason Anita has so many lovers but no real love… is that if she is has sex with everyone, there is no real intimacy with anyone.

I agree with you completely. In fact, remember Jason told her that, too.

I can't think of any relationship that Anita has that hasn't been a power struggle going on. If you can think of one, tell me.

Micah- he’s the only one that can tell her she’s wrong without her hackles rising up. It’s as if she knows that, since he doesn’t argue just so he can be right, that when he disagrees with her, she should probably pay attention.

I would have said Micah and Nathaniel, but there is a developing power struggle between her and Nathaniel.

BTW, I have to “age” Nathaniel in my head. First of all, I don’t get the whole complete submissive thing. It’s just not something I can relate to. Secondly, he’s just too damned young and if I don’t age him, it squicks me out. My two oldest kids are 21. Come to think of it, I age Jason, too.

Kris- I’ll be watching to see what you think. I seem to be having a run of favorite authors not meeting my expectations—LKH, Bertrice Small, Lora Leigh. I’ll get to those other commentaries one of these days.

Ames-Honestly, if you are in the bookstore, just read pages 197-309 for the metaphysical stuff so that you’ll know what’s going on should LKH remember to include those events in later books.

Otherwise it just depends on how much you enjoy Jason—which I did, but not 196 pages of Jason and Anita in earnest conversation.

Carolyn Jean- And reading this review, I am just so impressed with the abundance of LKH's imagination. I mean, not that I don't totally believe your critique. I know you are a way more diehard fan than most, so I totally take it seriously.

She DOES have an amazing imagination and I DO hold her to a higher standard because of it.

That’s why it seems that this book was written more with daily page counts in mind rather than crafting the type of complex story that she is capable of. And, while my opinion really doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in the grand scheme of life, I also hope that, since I AM such a die-hard fangirl, and if other fans share my opinion, then what we are saying might have some significance.

I hope, truly hope, that she’ll be back on track with the next book. She did mention in her blog that Edward, Olaf, and Bernardo are in it. We know she won’t do Edward and Olaf, and we know she CAN’T do Bernardo because he’s fully human, so there must be some story that is not ardeur driven in the next one.

red sea said...

Bernardo's got a giant dick and long, lustrous hair, of course she's gonna do him!

Anita's the one who picks fights for no reason, not the other characters. Every harem-memeber but Richard walks on eggshells around her and abides by her insanely selfish demands.

The only thing Micah's "perfect" at is being a doormat. If it were a female character who agreed to "any conditions" to be in a man's life, including going along with one-way monogamy, watching him screw other women in front of her face, and having no independent life whatsoever, no one would consider it a positive relationship, or tolerate a man calling two women who lived with him his "wives" because he "wears the pants and made the decisions". The only time he "disagrees" with her, it's to give her the excuse to do what she wants to do anyway, like have sex with her mentally incompetent ward. Micah doesn't have enough dignity to be a regular guy, and he certainly makes no sense as an alpha.

The confrontations between Micah, Nate, and Richard are so obviously Laurell praising the subservience of her second fan-boi husband, in contrast to the independence of her first.

Anita's never been capable of relationships of equality, she eventually turns all her men into broken children, even if they didn't start out that way. She wouldn't sleep with JC until he feared her, she wouldn't sleep with Richard until she broke his heart and confidence, Nate, Micah, and Asher came broken-in for her conveniece.

Good luck tring to mentally age nate when his personality is that of a sexually abused toddler. Laurell never seems to tire of the crypto-child-porn of this relationship since she continually emphasizes his childishnes by having Anita read him children's stories, having him call her "my most favoritest toy!" right before an orgy, and saying that he needs a "babysitter" because he can't be left alone. The fact that no one calls her on the abuse of power in this perverted relationship, or can criticize it in any way without bieng called "jealous" is yet more evidence of the Mary-Sueism of the entire verse.

--red sea

Bev(QB) said...

red sea: Bernardo's got a giant dick and long, lustrous hair, of course she's gonna do him!

Yep, he's her type. Except that he's human and, other than feeding the ardeur from a distance as JC does at Guilty Pleasures, it was speculated in one of the books that it would be dangerous for Anita to feed off a human-- she could easily drain them unto death. So, while I'm not ruling it out, by the rules LKH already established, Bernardo would be off-limits.

Anita's the one who picks fights for no reason, not the other characters. Every harem-memeber but Richard walks on eggshells around her and abides by her insanely selfish demands.

No argument there.

As for the rest, well I guess I have no response because you are as passionate in your vilification of Anita, Micah, and Nathaniel as their fangirls are in their own positive opinions.

Our antithetical interpretations of the characters, particularly Micah, seem to indicate little chance of a compromise between us. So, I guess this is where I drag that old chestnut out-- "Let's agree to disagree".

Anonymous said...

can't think of any relationship that Anita has that hasn't been a power struggle going on. If you can think of one, tell me.

Micah- he’s the only one that can tell her she’s wrong without her hackles rising up. It’s as if she knows that, since he doesn’t argue just so he can be right, that when he disagrees with her, she should probably pay attention.


My wording of "power struggle" was poor, I really meant that she doesn't seem to have a parity relationship with anyone. Even Micah is subservient to her wants and needs, and that just bothers me... I guess if I am going to swallow(sorry, couldn't resist) something as romance, I need more of a meeting of equals.

I realize that this isn't real life, and that in real life, there are a lot of relationships that don't have that equality thing going, but those relationships bug me also, and its why I haven't been able to read most Harlequin romances since I was 12, I don't like doormat characters, be them male of female...

As I have said before, I have to root for the protagonist in a book, especially if the book is in first person. I just don't root for her anymore.

I see why people dislike Micah, but he is just a non starter for me. Nates character by LKHs own description is just so broken in so many ways, that Anita having a sexual relationship just seems wrong. Because there is no way she can give him what he needs, and she knows it, yet does it anyway... Yet another reason for me to dislike Anitas character...

I still occasionally read LKHs blog and see her mention that she sees herself being friends more with Anita, than with Merry. I try very hard not to go into personal territory about LKH, but that just puzzles me.. Anita doesn't strike me (as the way she is written anymore) as someone who could be a good friend to go hang out with. She is just so unlikeable these days...

Sorry not to get back to this sooner, but it seems the kids actually expect you to pay attention to them on vacation. LOL.. Of course I was the one who wanted to go out to dinner, but the kids nixed it for going to the public library since our place has no wifi (horrors!)... They seem to miss the computer more than I do..

Wytherin

Bev(QB) said...

Ironically, I avoid a lot of romance novels because I can't tolerate the Navy Seal/Special Ops/Ranger alpha male hard-ass/asshole. I even begged for something different in http://cubiesconfections.blogspot.com/2007/11/but-ya-gotta-have-fr-ie-ie-ie-nds.html

So, on the one hand, urban fantasies in general, with their kick-butt heroines, and ABVH specifically, are like the antidote to that archetype.

But on the other hand, I agree that Anita is TOO controlling. I do not understand how so many guys can say, "Okay, cool, you go getcha some wherever and whenever and we'll all be celebrating our celibacy while we wait for you to aim some our way. And, oh, btw, that annoying tendency we have to be gay or bisexual? We're sooo over that! I mean, really, what could another man give us that you can't?!"

Yep, that bugs me. In real life, those guys would have laughed in her face and said, "Fuck you. Have a nice life. K. Thx. Buh-bye." Hopefully, Richard will continue to get it elsewhere.

And, yeah, like I said before, the only way I can save myself fom being completely squicked out with Nathaniel and her relationship with him is to age him in my head. But even then, I can't connect or relate to him.

As I have said before, I have to root for the protagonist in a book, especially if the book is in first person. I just don't root for her anymore.

That's not always the case for me, I actually prefer characters who are flawed and who fuck up. Which explains why I still have such booklust for the ABVH series-- can't get much more flawed and fucked up than that! LOL

Anonymous said...

That's not always the case for me, I actually prefer characters who are flawed and who fuck up. Which explains why I still have such booklust for the ABVH series-- can't get much more flawed and fucked up than that! LOL..


For me, flawed is fine.. Sookie is flawed, most of the romance heroines I have loved (SEP, Cruisie) are flawed also.. Flawed is one thing, but LKH has turned Anita into that Navy SEAl asshole you don't like in traditional romances.

as for laughing in her face, I totally agree and its part of why I don't really buy the Anitas anyway.. The one way I was able to stick with them up through ID, was thinking that there was a whole lot going on offscreen, that none of the guys were telling Anita..

Like Asher and JC having a loving relationship that included sex.

Its part of why I still can buy the Merrys, because its not merry telling them they can't have sex with anyone else.. Of course if that changed, it would bother the crap out of me too..
wytherin

Bev(QB) said...

LKH has turned Anita into that Navy SEAl asshole you don't like in traditional romances.

BWHAHAHAHA! Except for the fact that THOSE assholes are usually true blue monogamous!

As for Asher and JC, I was disappointed, too. LKH said at a signing, and then even Anita admitted in a book that she assumed that Asher and JC were going at it like bunnies, but that a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rule was in effect. So, yeah, I was disappointed when they admitted that they weren't because JC was afraid of what Anita would say. AAARRRGGGHHHH!

Bad author... no cookie!

Anonymous said...

I have been a HUGE fan of these books for a long time, but lately I'm just grossed out. The fact that LKH took Anita from a virgin to a girl who does anything in pants (and could care less that all the guys seem to be doing each other at some point) is
a little gross for me. I don't consider myself a prude but there is a point in there where all the last few books seem to be about is how many orgies and sex-a-thons she can do with how many people, I just disappointed. I loved the story until it just turned into one big orgy. I have to admit that I won't be buying anymore of this series. I am just done. Also as a fan I am frustrated because I feel like she is just not trying as hard to make a good STORY anymore, it's just about freaky sex with everybody and their werewolf. So I give up.

Bev(QB) said...

Anonymous, I agree with you that there needs to be a balance between the sex and the storyline. I thought she'd found that balance in The Harlequin, but... well... Blood Noir? As I said above, she needs to forget her daily page count and take the time to CRAFT her stories again.

Oh, and borrowing Wytherin's OCD a moment, Anita wasn't a virgin in the early books, she was a "good girl". She had sex with her ex-fiance in college.