Blood Noir: Too much drama, too little actual plot

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews Laurell K Hamilton Blood NoirBlood Noir by Laurell K. Hamilton

I probably shouldn’t be plodding on through this series at all. I haven’t truly enjoyed an Anita Blake book in years. Lack of editing hasn’t done the series any favors, and while I don’t mind sex in novels, Laurell K. Hamilton still hasn’t figured out that sometimes you can gloss over periods of time when nothing much is happening plotwise. (“Three weeks later…”)  I don’t need a play-by-play every time the characters get it on. It just fills up pages and crowds out the plot. I miss the days when her novels spanned several weeks or months of time, and when the plot filled out the whole book rather than being sandwiched around the endless sex.

Due to my longing for plot, it took me a little while to realize that Blood Noir isn’t actually very good. I was so pleased to see a story, I didn’t notice at first that it wasn’t a very interesting one.

Blood Noir starts out with some sex, in which Nathaniel completely breaks BDSM protocol but no one seems to mind, and in which Anita tells Jason that when his girlfriend only wanted to have sex in the bed, she was killing his spirit. Then Anita proceeds to have sex with Jason. In the bed. That spirit-killing wench! Then, Jean-Claude gets emo about how his family is dead so he can’t take Anita to meet them. (Since when was Jean-Claude an angstbunny?)

Moving on to the plot, it’s a drama-laden mess of lookalike cousins, rabid paparazzi, and a paternity twist that I saw coming several hundred pages before anyone in the story figured out the obvious. Then — I forget exactly how — Anita gets tangled up with some weretigers and gains another power-up, as if this woman needed any more powers.

A few positive points: Blood Noir helped cement my theories as to what Marmee Noir is trying to do to/with Anita. Also, Anita gets a short scene in which she actually gets to kick some butt.

However, ultimately, Blood Noir is forgettable and cheesy. I was sucked in at first by the fact that there’s actually a semblance of a plot, but by the time I was halfway through the book, I was trudging.

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter — (1993- ) There are omnibus editions of these available. Publisher: Introducing Anita Blake, vampire hunter extraordinaire. Most people don’t even bat an eye at vampires since they’ve been given equal rights by the Supreme Court. But Anita knows better — she’s seen their victims… A serial killer is murdering vampires, however, and now the most powerful vampire in town wants Anita to find the killer.

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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