Friday, October 10, 2008

Anita & Jason Take a Trip

Jason Schuyler is a werewolf. He's also one of Anita Blake's best friends, and sometimes her lover. And right now he needs her- not to be a vampire hunter, or a federal marshal, or a necromancer, or even for her rank in the werewolf pack, but because his father is dying. He needs Anita because she's a pretty woman who loves him, who can make him look like an everyday guy, who agrees to go home with him and help him say good-bye to the abusive father he never loved. The fact that Jason is about as much an everyday guy as Anita is a pretty woman is something they figure they can keep under wraps for a couple of days in a small town. How hard can that be?

Really, by now, Anita Blake should know better.

Marmee Noir, ancient mother of all vampires, picks this weekend to make a move. Somehow she has the cut the connection that binds Anita and Jean-Clause, leaving Jean-Claude unable to sense what is happening. Dangerous even as she sleeps, buried in darkness for a thousand years somewhere beneath the old country of Europe, Marmee Noir reaches out toward power. She has attacked Anita before, but never like this. In Anita she senses what she needs to make her enemies tremble...

Title: Blood Noir
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake, Book 16
Start & Finished: 6/10/08
Published: 2008
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 352
Genre: Paranormal

Laurell K. Hamilton’s sixteenth book in her bestselling Anita Blake series Blood Noir was originally meant to be a short novella like her 2006 release Micah. However Jason, the laidback werewolf who is “everyone‘s best friend and bed-buddy,” had much more to reveal than the author thought he did!

The vampire executioner Anita Blake burst into the publishing world with her cross and her gun at the ready 15 years ago in Guilty Pleasures. Saving innocents, kicking bad guy butt, and raising the dead for a living, she has since gone through many changes and could even be considered “one of the monsters” that she so despised to begin with. Or at the very least, she has become so firmly entrenched in the supernatural world that she’ll never be the person she once was and sometimes that’s not a bad thing. Then again, sometimes I do miss the more dangerous edge to the books that has been replaced with lots and I mean, lots of sex (there is a reason but it’s kind of complicated to explain- let’s just say Anita is kind of a living vampire now that feeds off of sex instead of blood).

Officially, Anne Rice was my introduction into the paranormal but Laurell K. Hamilton was my introduction to this type of paranormal mixed genre that has become so popular over the past few years. It’s because of Ms. Hamilton that I discovered Charlaine Harris and MaryJanice Davidson (who in turn made me discover Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, etc.). As the “queen” of the mixed paranormal genre, Hamilton has been around for awhile and many of her fans have been with her from the beginning (she also has newer ones thanks to the graphic novels that have recently come out based on her series) but over the years, some of the original fans have become disappointed with the direction the plot has headed. Most of them still keep coming back because they love the characters in the world that the author has built though. I am kind of in the middle because while I love the characters and reading about them in every novel, I too am getting tired of the repetition.

Blood Noir had a little more of action in it than I was expecting, so that was a pleasant surprise but there were plenty of parts that only over the past three or four years have become normal for the series. From this, you would probably think I hated the book but the thing is I really liked it; I like all of Hamilton’s books! My problem is that the author writes one book of each series every year and recently the Anita books have lost the “substance” that would tide me over until the next book came out. Now it’s getting where there is more of a romance plot than anything else and the books are, dare I say it? Brain candy.

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter
1. Guilty Pleasures (1993)
2. The Laughing Corpse (1994)
3. Circus of the Damned (1995)
4. The Lunatic Cafe (1996)
5. Bloody Bones (1996)
6. The Killing Dance (1997)
7. Burnt Offerings (1998)
8. Blue Moon (1998)
9. Obsidian Butterfly (2000)
10. Narcissus in Chains (2001)
11. Cerulean Sins (2003)
12. Incubus Dreams (2004)
13. Micah (2006)
14. Danse Macabre (2006)
15. The Harlequin (2007)
16. Blood Noir (2008)
17. Skin Trade (2009)
18. Flirt (2010)
19. Bullet (2010)
20. Hit List (2011

Links: Laurell K. Hamilton (Wikipedia), Anita Blake (Wikipedia), Myspace, Author Blog (What’s Blood Noir About?),
Interviews: The Dragon Page (podcast), Capes and Cowls

Laurell K. Hamilton Reads From the Book (4 parts):

Picture Explanations
Jet: Anita is scared of flying but she flies with Jason to his hometown.
Hospital: The reason for Jason visiting is his dad is dying.
White Tiger: Anita has several different strands of Were in her and Marmee Noir "gifted" her with a white tiger too.


  1. My path was very similar to yours: Anne Rice and then Laurell K. Hamilton and then on to Charlaine Harris and so on. I'm behind in this series by a couple of books now--but not for lack of interest--just too many other books in between. :-)

  2. I had my eye on this one....the cover grabbed my attention.
    great review! I havent read this author before.

  3. I think it's strange that I am so funny about this genre...I never could get into Laurell K. Hamilton.

  4. Wendy: I have to read the LKH books as soon as they come out lol. Everything else gets put on the backburner.

    Naida: This was the first time the covers were like this. It's the only one that doesn't fit in with the rest of my collection!

    J. Kaye: My godfather's mother gave me a few books and Obsidian Butterfly and Blue Moon were in the bunch. I read them and loved them so I had to read the rest. I'm all caught up now. I just think how she pretty much helped create the "mixed genre" is really cool.

  5. Great post! I had a similar journey to yours. I stopped reading LKH, not from disgust but there are just so many great books to read now! But I see LKH as the total mother of this genre. I'll always have a soft spot for her, and I did just get the next of hers I haven't read (Cerulean Sins) and I plan to read it soon!

  6. I won this one not long ago, but have a few to get through in that series before I get to it. I think the last one I finished was Obsidian Butterfly.

    By the way, I've nominated on my blog as one of my list of 7 for the "I Love Your Blog Award" Come check it out Here!

  7. Carolyn Jean: If it's the one I'm thinking of, that's one of my favorites from the series. Can't wait to hear what you think about it!

    Shaunesay: I have all but three of her books (besides the graphic novels based on her Anita series which I really have been meaning to get) and I've (or hubby has) been buying them the very second they come out lol. Aw thanks for the award! I feel so loved!

  8. I'm with you on the "still there, but disappointed" front. But, I must admit, Jean-Claude will keep me coming back for more every time. I just hope there's more of him in the next Anita book!

  9. I did enjoy the Anita books for awhile(and some of the early Merry Gentry books,too)but had to give up on her after Danse Macabre.

    Laurell K.Hamilton forgot about plot lines at some point and started to drown all of her characters in pools of overly passionate sex:) Still,she did get into the paranormal genre and paved the way for folks like Charlaine Harris,Kim Harrison and even Stephenie Meyer,to a certain extent,so her books were a good starting point at atleast.

    Thanks for the review,Lady Tink. I've been waiting to hear some feedback about this one(the cover art is quite a change from the usual LKH look-it reminded me of
    one of those Saw movies or Hostel)and your take on it was good to see.

  10. Chelle: You can say that again! It's not that I don't like it, I just know she can do better. Even though I like Jason a lot, there wasn't nearly enough Jean Claude to suit me ;o)

    Lady T: Oh I love her Merry books because they started off the way they are now. I still rush to buy her books when they come out but all of those other authors that she inspired with her earlier books seem to get read first. I kind of have to agree with you on the cover. Maybe this would be appropriate for one of the earlier books in the series but certainly not this one.

    Lenore: I don't really like this one for two reasons. One it doesn't fit in with the rest of the book covers in both her series and two, it doesn't really fit the story either. One of the earlier Anita Blakes, most definitely, but not this one :(

  11. I need to catch up on this series! I think I've only read Book 3 or 4... shame on me!

  12. I was a bit puzzled by the cover of this one, too - it is a cool image, but it doesn't seem to fit at all. I did like the book, though, and I'm glad you liked it too! I agree - I would like more substance to tide me over as well.

  13. I completely agree that LKH opened me up for such great authors such as Charlaine Harris and Maryjanice Davidson.

    I understand what people mean when they say that the sex is getting a little tiresome and repetitious but no matter what, her books are always good, and once Anita gets the ardeur under control, then hopefully we'll get back to the better plots. But it all fits no matter what.

    * Side note: Just got done reading Stephenie Meyer and was a little dissappointed in the lack of sex from Bella and Edward. Maybe LKH's influence? I dont know. :)

  14. Melody: I can't remember when I first got all caught up with this series but I think it was in 2006 when I re-read them all. I'd like to do that again but this time, maybe get more sleep when doing it lol.

    Darla D: It is a neat image but all of the other books, even the Merry ones look sort of the same but this is out of left field almost! Well... the UK edition isn't much better.

    Madison Lush: It does fit, you're right about that but I do find myself wishing for at least a compromise between the sex and having the kinds of plots like she did when she first started writing this series. I haven't read the Twilight series but I have the first two and I recently won the fourth. I plan on reading them sometime before the movie comes out though.



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