Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog-Off #4: Another Five Fall

Another Five Fall


David Dalglish Interview – Soulkeeper

David Dalglish

Interview – Soulkeeper

The Midderlands – OSR Setting Mega Review

The Midderlands

RPG Setting Mega Review


Why I Broke Up with Anita Blake

The following is based on the 17 books in the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton.  This article contains spoilers if you have not read up to the most recent book.  Read with caution if you are still reading the series.

The first time I met Anita Blake, I was immediately impressed by this feisty, petite young woman – a licenced vampire hunter known as the Executioner. She embodied qualities I admire (strong, determined, willing to take risks, wry sense of humour, loyal to friends, passionate about her work and seemingly non-judgemental) and I found in her, a character similar to Buffy. To me, she was the love child of Blade & Buffy. She exuded a quiet strength, lived life as a single, independent strong woman and she loved Sigmund, her toy penguin. I could almost imagine we were alike and could have been friends, except I’m taller and have a toy puggle from the Enchanted forest, and of course, there are no preternaturals in my world. Anita was my ultimate heroine; my “girl crush”.

Anita introduced me to her world where I met Ronnie, her best friend. She loved penguins and had quite a collection of stuffed toys. I felt her frustrations with her boss Bert, observed her quiet respect for her R.P.I.T boss, Dolphand, I cautiously followed her as she walked in a world of zombies, vampires and shapeshifters. She also introduced me to the scary and cold killing machine Edward as well as the blue-eyed vampire Jean-Claude and later, to the delicious brown eyed werewolf, Richard.

In the beginning, Anita was first and foremost known as an Animator and one of the talented few who was able to raise the dead using ritualistic magic (freshly killed animals). She was able to help families confirm the outcome of a will, help the police determine if a death was non-accidental and provide closure to loved ones, where someone’s life ended prematurely.

I stood by Anita as she took down Nikolaos but not without a major cost – a cost that later led to the last strips of humanity falling from her. You see, in order to take down Nikolaos she had to take two of the four marks by Jean-Claude.

Marks? What are marks? This is a term used by Hamilton to describe the growing bond between vampires and humans. The first mark, enables the human to become stronger, faster and able to withstand their master’s (the vampire) stare as well as strengthening their bond. The second and third marks grant them almost vampiric like strength without them becoming a vampire. Unfortunately for Anita, she was tricked into receiving the first mark. Once marked, the only way to severe the bond is for one of them to die.

Anita did not want to fall in love with vampires or werewolves. Poor Anita. You see, she had a troubled childhood. Oh from the way she tells it, it does not seem all that traumatic. When she was 8 years old, her mother was killed in a car accident and it is my view, this affected Anita greatly, leaving us with an adult unable to deal with relationships, love and loss in a mature and healthy way. In addition to this, her father later married and went on to have a child. Anita’s mother was Mexican and her father white (German). When he married again, his wife was a blue-eyed blonde, and she came along with her daughter as well as having a child together. Anita grew up as the darker haired, mixed heritage girl in an otherwise ‘perfect’ blonde family, with strong Catholic ideals.

After Anita raises her dead dog, she was sent to live with her grandmother, a vaudun priestess because of this Anita being a necromancer/animator. Apparently, her grandmother thought it best to ensure Anita understood the ways of the Lord as a way to protect her against her necromancy. So here was Anita, a teenager without her mother, her father has remarried, and physically, she does not belong, and emotionally, she is distanced from her father. Furthermore, she was sent to live with her grandmother to help control her necromancy but even her strong grandmother, felt that Anita needed to embrace Christ’s religion in order to save her soul. In hindsight, I wonder if her grandmother was actually psychic?

Anyway, going back to Anita in the here and now – or back when I met her. Anita was working a case, which she did in the early days – she worked as an Animator and was also a consultant with R.P.I.T (Regional Preternatural Investigation Taskforce). Anita hunted the monsters, was a licenced vampire executioner and she seemed to have a relatively balanced life. And then she worked a case with Jean-Claude. Master Vampire of St. Louis. Whilst investigating vampires being murdered, she becomes attracted to Jean-Claude who makes all attempts to seduce her.

As her attraction for him grew, I urged her to reconsider and hold on to her humanity – he was a vampire, she hunts vampires. Vampires are their own community. Her friends and colleagues also warned her to stay clear. But then she became marked. She had a bond to Jean-Claude. She was able to understand the vampires more. She got to know them better and her role as animator and vampire executioner was often catapulted into Jean-Claude’s world.

Hmm, so anyway, Jean-Claude, the blue-eyed beautiful effeminate vampire begins to fall in love with Anita – as much as a vampire can of course ‘love’. But in between all of this, Anita meets and begins a relationship with Richard, a werewolf who struggles with his inner monster. He seems so human and does ‘normal’ things, like lectures at uni, and cooks dinner. He and Anita become engaged and despite her ongoing attraction to Jean-Claude, her loyalty and love belong to Richard. But of course, he is also a werewolf and he can’t be both human and werewolf.

After a particular difficult case, Richard ultimately turns into a werewolf on top of Anita – eww, how scary. And…well…Anita runs…To Jean-Claude.

Perhaps this is where it all starts to go Pete Tong. You see, in order to fight yet another battle, Anita, Richard & Jean-Claude form a Triumvirate and with their bonds, become a very strong group that will prove useful in running, not only the city they reside, but against other vampire ‘kisses’ (covens) that want to grow and take over other kisses. They also are supreme over other shapeshifters. The more battles they fight – against others and within their little triumvirate – the more powerful Anita becomes. Because now, Anita is like a fire – consuming everything she touches, soaking up every kind of power and lyncanthrope strain she comes into contact with. So whilst she is not just ‘one’, she is ‘one’ of everything – she has inside her a werewolf strain, a wereleopard strain, a weretiger strain etc., etc., And then, pretty much every shapeshifter is strongly attracted to Anita – even before she developed the Ardeur (which is an affliction that can only be sated, sorry fed, through sex. With lots of people at the same time).

So the Anita I met, the Anita who wanted to wait to have a sexual relationship once she was married, is now sleeping with a range of men – Jean-Claude (vampire), Richard (werewolf), Micah (wereleopard). I am only naming three here. At one stage, she was with six men at the same time. Oh maybe not ALL together, but she would wake up with two, later that day do another two and then end with a dessert of 2-3 men.

Through all of this, Anita becomes this whiney woman in a vicious circle of self-loathing. All these beautiful men are in love with her and want to be with her but she does not feel beautiful. She feels slutty. On top of all this, her power grows and she becomes an effective killer. She struggles to accept who she has become. Okay, so we have all (mostly) done something we regret and/or don’t like, but these are the choices we make at a time based on resources available to us then. These choices, these decisions influence the ‘who’ we are now. If we are not happy, let’s move on, let’s make changes. But Anita? Noooo. She continues to self-loathe, hates that the ardeur makes her have sex with so many people. Didn’t Spiderman’s uncle say “with great power, comes great responsibility?” Thing is, how has Anita accepted this responsibility? I don’t mean the responsibility to those she is sleeping with, but the responsibility of making decisions and leading different groups of people who see her as a ruler, a leader, a queen. As Anita grows, so does her inherent conflict, which at times frustrates me and is almost repetitive.

The Anita I know now, to me, has developed into a selfish woman with little to no boundaries. Anita has somehow become this ultimate killing machine – a monster. And going back to the beginning, she is pretty much everything she disliked. I wonder at this self-sabotaging behaviour you sometimes see in teens who are emotionally and physically abused. Again, this is a common theme amongst Anita’s group of friends and loved ones. Most, if not all, have been sexually and/or physically tortured. Most of the men despair at their lot in life. I just want to shout at them and tell them to ‘man up’. Which is kind of ironic, as I like a man who is sensitive and nurturing but c’mon, I also want him to get up in the middle of the night if there is a loud noise.

In summary, I feel Anita has not accepted any responsibility for her choices, her actions. She even said “sometimes I fear I am becoming a sociopath.” She started out as someone wanting to beat the monsters, and at first, fought hard to remain true to herself and her friends. However over time, she fell in love with vampires, adopted men who were sexually abused and/or otherwise neglected as children, took on primary lovers who remain true to her and allow her to have sex with whoever, whenever, whilst they don’t engage in sex with others. I find the way in which Anita treats the various men in her life, cruel. She fears other strong female characters and as such, those females who are in her world are ‘below’ her on the whole vampire/werewolf line or they are ‘gay’. Or they act out in jealousy of what she has (even though she moans she does not have anything).

I am confused by the way in which Anita treats those closest to her in her life and wonder what childhood incident has allowed her to develop into this self-loathing, destructive adult? I wonder what relationship her mother and father had and what family life was really like during her early years as she does not or seems incapable of having a healthy relationship with the men in her life. It seems to me she always has to be dominating yet yearns to be dominated. She wants ‘men’ yet is surrounded by men who are ‘femine’ in different ways; Jean-Claude and his gay love with Asher, the cling-on Nathaniel, abused as a young boy and ‘adopted’ by Anita and later becoming her lover, to name a few.

At first I was impressed with her selfless ability to care for and protect those vulnerable, yet this care and protection becomes sexual and I feel that Anita cannot exist in a relationship where there is no sexual attraction to her or where she is not sexually involved with them. So perhaps this is due to the Ardeur – yeah ok, but I also feel flaws in Anita’s character led her to this.

I wonder with her mother’s death whether Anita felt abandoned by the only person she knew as being able to protect her. But protect her from what? Was she being sexually abused by her father? She has little to no relationship/contact with her birth family. What was really so tragic that she has now turned into this killing machine who dominates through sex? I wonder what the BAU of Criminal Minds would make of her? I wonder what Dean and Sam (Supernatural) would do to her? Hell, I wonder what Buffy would do?

It is my view that the women of my generation today concede great status to women who move forward and show strength where there is loss of love, loss of family and major career turns. We applaud women who can be both carefree and yet committed in a relationship, who are fashion savvy and care about the environment. Many of us have watched Sex and The City and completed the ‘which one are you’ questionnaire, we know who Buffy is, we admired Jessica Biel’s toned body in Blade 3 and supported Sydney Bristow in Alias – we still wanted her to get back with Michael after he married ‘the other woman’. We still feel for Jennifer Aniston and the whole Brangelina media orgy. So why does Anita make us frustrated? Perhaps if the novels started off with Anita as this ardeur-victim-and-her-harem who then becomes this free, independent and strong scary Executioner, then we would admire her and want to be her.

Oh well, I suppose when Anita’s loved ones start dying or if Marmee Noir removes her powers and leaves Anita with nothing but her necromancy and she then begins the journey of self discovery, I will happily join her for the ride. But in the meantime, I will continue to wait till the book is available at the library and read a few chapters before deciding to buy it.

The Anita Blake series is by far, the most impressionable paranormal/urban fantasy series for me and one which inspired me to explore this genre further. Anita Blake at first was an amazing heroine – I wanted to be her friend, hell I wanted to be her. I fantasised over who would play her in a movie and I found myself wondering ‘what would Anita do’ in various situations. The first few books in this series were pure genius. Up until Obsidian Butterfly that is. From then, the books turn into a porn fest. Now I enjoy a little giddy-up here and there, but the series takes on a triple x-rating often involving multiple partners – although, Hamilton stops just short at bestiality. ‘Just’ I tells ya. For me, the first seven or so novels were well written, with believable and intelligent plot lines, developed characters, and a likeable heroine with a sarcastic sense of humour. Hamilton’s world of the preternatural is second to none – nope not even Anne Rice. Anita’s ability to use weapons and fight hand-to-hand combat is believable and what keeps me hanging on.

During my years of Facebook group forums, other web forums, and Wikipedia I have read that Jean-Claude was meant to be killed off in the third book and that the character of Anita is based on Hamilton herself. If the latter is the case, then Hamilton is one mixed up and conflicted, troubled woman and she will probably soon go off the deep end ala Charlie Sheen.

What I don’t understand is how did Anita go from this likeable, if not slightly troubled heroine, to a woman who doubts her own sex appeal and beauty, is vulnerable in ‘love’ (if you can call it that) with those around her, shares her body with others due to a ‘genetic’ addiction (the ardeur) and has turned into the monster that in the first book, she would have put down with a stake to the heart?

In the realm of vampires, werewolves etc., Anita Blake’s world at first was believable, but after book nine, it is no longer so. I have not purchased the last three novels – I borrow them from the library. I flicked through Flirt so quickly that I might as well have bought a magazine on lawn balls for all the interest it held for me.

So now you know why I broke up with Anita Blake.



  1. THANK YOU FOR SOMEONE WRITING THIS. I feel the exact same way Jo. I loved her first like 8 to 10 books. Fantastic. They were getting a little riske but I wasn’t completely turned off.. For me, it was when Incubus Dreams hit that I was just, well, grossed out. She went from the good little god fearing woman, who’d only had sex once because she had been burned to taking anyone within walking distance. I tried to read Dans Macabre but the entire thing was more of a mystery on who the “daddy” is.

    I’ve read several interviews from Anita to her fans where she directly stated that this is her story, her character, and this is where she is going and to either take it or leave it. I wasn’t really that impressed because while it is your character.. your fans are what made her popular. I also read at one point that the Meredith Gentry series was suppose to be her outlet for the sex, and that Anita was suppose to get back on track. Obviously this was not the case.

    • Jo Warne says:

      Hi – glad you enjoyed the article. I have read Merry too and there are similarities, but like a car crash, I keep going back and whinge to myself ‘why’.

      • Jo jo dagger says:

        I agree i loved these books at first.anitas world was fascinating and i loved how she treated the supernatural beings with distaste and even a your full of shit attitude i loved how her and Edward became friends and would team up.once the sex hit it was over it just got nasty obisdian butterfly was a breath of fresh air but after that try e books sank way too low for me to read.i loved this series (edward was my favorite character)but the sex killed it jean claude became lestat, richard was the first whining bitch that began to kill the you said anita went from ass kicking chick to slut and it killed me

      • Rebecca says:

        I feel like the sex in the Merry books is easier to digest because her character started out with a personality that handled it and it wasn’t super far-fetched. As Jo says, the Anita of book 1 would be absolutely disgusted by the Anita of book 10. It’s been a few years since I delved into the series again. I still own the first 10 or so books, but stopped around Dans Macabre. I remember throwing the book across the room at the book that opened with an orgy – this wasn’t “my” Anita anymore. It’s the 180 in character that just doesn’t seem like a logical progression that is hard to swallow. In the words of Cordelia, in Buffy, “spank your inner moppet (Anita) and get over it”

    • nancyn says:

      I thought I was the only one that stopped liking this seris but i feel the same way about Sooki. She started up with eric and that turned me totally off.

  2. I completely agree. Thank you for your thorough and organized analysis. You discussed all the points I had in mind.

  3. SuperIdole says:

    Gosh! I totally agree and I’ll share it with my friends who have read Anita!

  4. Very funny (wereleopard!!) — great article.

  5. Katie says:

    For me, it was Narcissus in Chains that marks the turning point, and Obsidian Butterfly is my favorite in the series because it takes her AWAY from all the men in her life. It was the first book that did that and God help me I was praying that it was the beginning of a trend, not the last gasp of independance.

    I’ve heard the tone shift in her books and the sudden shift in Richard’s characterization came when Hamilton divorced her husband, whom she based Richard on, so I always saw the rest of the series as a revenge fantasy that she didn’t have to feel bad about because Anita felt oh-so-bad about it.

    I imagine at times that she never woke up from her coma, and is still lying in a hospital bed in New Mexico, the rest of the series the hallucinations she has while under. Her guilt and self-loathing is the small part of her mind screaming WAKE UP.

    • Disgraceful says:

      Hahaha, that sounds more like something out of a creepypasta, but sometimes we wish those were real.
      By the way, I finished kiss the dead, it was so….eewww, a lot of recycled plots and the worst of all, she turned her habitual narration of Anita repeating infodump about everyone she met next or everything that happened next into…filler! I know it sounds estrange, but filler is always a dreaded stuff, I can recall like 10 times that she described the eyes of micah or nathaniel or she whining about Sin’s nickname or whatever other sh..t, and just because! The first time we get it, don´t know why she considered oh-so-important to remember it each effing time.
      The weird part is, everything was so…kind of retarded, I like like the first third, with the police stuff, her relationship with Zerbrowski and even Brice, but Larry…mmmh, weird don´t know what to make with everything out of those happy cop moments.
      Is like if that book was made stupid on purpose to mock their readers or something, is unnerving.
      Uuuuh! write a review on it, I would want to hear your opinions, of course, unless you are sick of the series, lol!

  6. I think only the new fans would have liked the series had it started out that way. What drew most of us was the storyline and well the only storyline now is having sex with as many people as possible. It’s basically porn because the plot sucks and its all sex. Also the only one of our favorite characters from the beginning who hasn’t changed is Edward. Jean-Claude, who I loved for his arrogance and the danger he represented has absolutely no personality whatsoever. Most of these men have no personality. They are all Anita’s zombies who worship her. Hmmm maybe that’s what happened, Anita’s necromancy has turned them all to zombies.

  7. Amie says:

    I think it’s an interesting question, to see Anita pull herself out of the ardeur and build herself into the kick butt character that we used to know and love would be great. It comes with the added bonus of us having the original Anita back, and hence a reason to look forward to the next book. The current Anita is so far from the original Anita it isn’t even funny, she has become the villain and its a shame that it wasn’t intended, and that her author doesn’t realise this fact because now the character (and also the author) seems to be advocating murder, rape, racism and a whole host of other crimes.

    Her constant whining and complaining is infuriating, as is the flat dialogue and horrid writing. The plot is gone, and the characters are bland and faceless. It is really so disappointing because I used to love the series, I used to wait for the next book with baited breath. Now I read the snark and chapter reviews done by others who are willing to brave the books, and add a bit of humour to the whole disappointing situation.

    Reading her blogs and tweets though helped open my eyes to see it’s not just Anita changing for the worse, I think you’re very right to expect a Charlie Sheen like meltdown on the horizon, and something tells me it won’t be a long wait.

  8. ChibiNeko says:

    Bravo! I couldn’t have put it better myself!

  9. Lia says:

    I recently discovered the books and devoured them in a week but I only read 1-7 because I ggogled Anita after reading Bloody Bones. I was absolutely horrified when I learned what ultimately happened to her. I finished Burnt Offerings yesterday and I’ve been moping around feeling depressed about the series. There is an urge to read the rest of the books but I don’t think I could stomach all her sexual escapades. Thank you for voicing all the heartache I felt. I miss the strong Anita and I miss the mysterious Jean Claude.

  10. Gen says:

    I have carefully considered things liek this (and more, as you will see) and I think the answer involves three things. Consider them well, even if they make you laugh.

    1) Substitute LKH’s name for Anita Blake.
    2) Think on how women are treated in society (image, delegation and arenas of power)
    5) Menopause.

    1) AB = LKH in many, many ways. In fact, there are so many parallels you’d have to be brain-dead not to notice. From background history and attitudes to likes/dislikes and even fears.

    2) Women are desexualized, dehumanized and devalued as we age. Been like that for a long damn time now.

    3) LKH’s age screams menopause and, by the per-menopause hit (which can happen years before real symptoms) AB suddenly had massive hormone spikes.

    I’m not trying to be cute here, but if you were a creative, intelligent woman struggling with a lot of emotional issues and felt trapped in your own history, regretting your life choices, and made up a fantasy character to help you cope like a “do-over”, that character was a hit and took off, and you hit menopause you might write this shit, too.

    I have a lot of compassion for this woman but she’s not a trail-blazer. Others beat her to this stuff. She didn’t invent a genre, she created a series of books. She did not reinvent sex, or the wheel for that matter. At some point, it’s like watching America’s Funniest Home Videos when the old guy folding the lawn chair smacks himself in the crotch. Not funny, just painful.

    Insert wince here.

    • Cheralee Stover says:

      Oh my goodness, you must have seen that article where she claimed to have invented the genre! I recall reading that and then literally throwing the newspaper at her arrogance! LKH is welcome to write what she likes, but honestly, it’s been trash for awhile. I picked up Crimson Death(?) and was happy to see such a thick book. Uh, no. It still sucked. I haven’t read anything for several years, but I didn’t need to. She repeats the backstory. FOR. EVERYONE. EVERY. TIME. THEY. SHOW. UP.

      • Rebecca says:

        OMG Cheralee, thank you for that coment. My first thought when she finally got on a plane was “well, that could have happened on the first few chapters, like the third at most…” Half the book is character backstory and Whiney relationship discussion and rumination. LKHs life must be dull AF right now if that’s what’s happening there… I’m really sad this is what the book has come too, and with every new release I hope things will go back to the good stuff (which is so not the sex in this case). I’m actually looking for book series similar to the early Anita Blake books, because I think I give up.

  11. Gen says:

    My forehead hurts from all the face-palming, I’m not sure where to begin and this might be a long one. You’ve been warmed, kindred spirits, so you may want to join me in a cup of coffee because I feel as if I’ve been dragged indelicately… behind a truck.

    I just finished reading “Hit List”, given to me as one of my birthday presents from a friend who knows I’ve followed the series in the past. Some people are touting this as the return of the old Anita. Me and my aching forehead are here to tell you that it’s not. If you must read this one, curious masochists, check it out of the library and at least you won’t feel duped for spending the hard-earned money in a horrible economy.

    Aside from the typical choppy-at-times and occasionally repetitive-phrased writing style (Anyone else remember how many times she “wasted her smiles” in Flirt? Gah!) it seems La Hamilton really does read the criticisms of her fans. In fact, I’d say she slowly ingested and somewhat regurgitated them.

    **There may be spoilers below. If that bothers you, please stop reading now. Peace! ***

    Suddenly, she’s gone from “I’m the only woman in the world with my vagical splendiffery” to being “polyamorous” (an incorrectly used term here as Anita’s been practicing a loose version of Polyandry , or one woman with more than one man) with an acceptance that her “sweeties” may or may not have others in their lives, including (gasp) women – and that it’s probably okay because the ’emotional upkeep” is just too hard on her. How dare men have needs, too! Honestly, does she even realize how harsh a light that is? Tailored for interrogations, not romances, but sadly it’s what I’ve come to expect and it seems I am not alone.

    Think ten books ago, Narcissus in Chains. It read like a warning from the ghost of Christmas future and now it haunts like ghost from Christmas past. I can tell you without fear of contradiction that it read like an enthusiastic beginner’s half-baked guide to BDSM, from its definitions to principles. I wondered then, and perhaps rightly so considering there have been blog entries in which she refers to herself as a “Dominant” to others (don’t look for them, the entries have been mysteriously deleted with the redesign of the site), if perhaps she had recently found a new venue for exploration and, in her newness as a practitioner, maybe she didn’t quite have a handle on it enough to be touting it. And rightly so. Reading was sloppy and choppy, peppered with buzz words and little understanding of the concepts at work. We all get (no pun) turned on to new things now and again, but few of us run with scissors, especially in public. Take the tip.

    Apparently now she’s doing this with the concepts of Polyamory in “Hit List”. The book is filled with the steady stream of catch phrases and not-quite-solidified concepts. Not only are we treated to half-masticated, incorrectly strung concepts of Poly, suddenly LKH decides she’s going to prove she is aware Anita’s not the only woman on the planet. How does she do this, you ask? By including more female characters. However, she does it in a way that seems so stunted, unfleshed, forced and disingenuous that I think I owe a few friends I defended La Hamilton to over the years apology emails and perhaps dinner thrown in for good measure.

    So she ingested the criticism that Anita and her magical vagina are not the only noteworthy females on the planet and threw in a few female characters as an afterthought. Not quite. It’s as if she created an awareness of other females to prove how cool she is, how misguided fans have been, how wrong the critics really are. As long as the woman isn’t as pretty or interesting an Anita they are not a threat and therefore spared the usual treatment women get in her books. This time.

    Unless Ms, Hamilton is intent on making us hate Anita Blake by showing us, first hand,. how easy it is to become just like the females she’s been hell-bent on destroying (you know, like Belle Morte?) and I seriously doubt that was her angle (and if she claims it, I call bullshit) I have to hang my head.

    I want it on record that when La Hamilton started to lose her damn mind I defended her. With the release of each book, I grew quieter and quieter. And now, here we sit, me and my hurt head, drinking coffee. Which is what I get for defending a woman who created a cool world with a handful of neat characters that had so much potential – and that’s what I argued for, fellow fans – and then literally drove off the road in what has been a series of slow-motion accidents. But enough about me and how much my bank account’s gonna match the ache in my head with the apology dinners I’ll need to host or buy after having finally seen the light.

    Critics and critical fans, I bow to you, I give up, You’re right. I can no longer defend La Hamilton. I won’t be arguing with you anymore. You don’t have to worry I;ll take you apart, fallacy by fallacy. Have at it. With this post I’m out of the mix so rightly carry on as I retire my wordy sword of truth.

    I’m thoroughly sick of LKH insisting she invented the genre or calling herself sex-forward. She includes sexual content and – viola – she’s suddenly the only one doing it right or well. She uses BDSM in a book, she behaves as if she invented a movement that hit its peak possibly in the mid-nineties. Now she’s gonna do the same to Poly, which existed well before her in books and real life practice, and it’s just irritating. Not only is she actually behind the trends but it smacks of bravado echoing a needy ego, and it detracts greatly from any talent she may actually possess.

    Yes, I believe she has talent. She has yet to develop that talent because her own needs get in the way. Books can be therapeutic but they are not to be confused with actual therapy. That’s right, I give up now. You heard me. I finish this post, a small novel in itself, and then I effin’ give up.

    It seems LKH has absorbed the criticism that all these guys deserve to have actual lives. She invents women for them, like Cardinal for Damian, as an afterthought. She also grants them better situations with the wave of her hand, like placing Requiem in Philadelphia as temoin and lover. That’s great but like I said it’s an afterthought, not carefully crafted, tossed in and juxtaposed, and these little mentions stick out like shards of glass instead of some conclusion.

    They represent the unhappy fact that La Hamilton is more than aware of her detractors and really wants to please her fans, she just doesn’t know how. Because at this point I truly believe that Hamitlon books aren’t for others. They are for Hamilton.

    I read a few reviews. Some of them are thrilled that Hit List has a plot but it must be a plot that I didn’t catch. I see an outline of what could have been a cool and interesting plot with metaphysical rehash, too much Anitacentric conversation and sex thrown in as glue to hold it together.

    And here is where I address you, Ms, Hamilton, and I hope you find this, read it and understand. You are a talented woman. You created a cool world with a few interesting characters that hit a nerve in some of us. We willingly suspended our disbelief because you hit a chord with us, you made us care. made us care. You are not the best writer and you are in dire need of an editor but sometimes that’s not so bad, giving your work a grassroots kind of feel that keeps me watching old Doctor Who even with its bad sets and props. But you do yourself and your fans a great disservice when you allow the ache inside you, the hungry needs of your own insecurities and ego, run the show on any level. You take whatever talent you have and ruin it. Why? Because nothing exists in a vacuum and neither do you.
    Believe it or not, I adore you as a person. I find you flawed and interesting because of it. I like your “never say die” spirit. I like that you reach out in an effort to grow. Just stop reaching backward. That time is gone. The eighties are over. The nineties came and went. We live in the new millennium, you’re just south of fifty, there is no going back so let’s move forward now.

    Because strong women are sexy. They just are. Whether they are fictional characters or authors who bleed on a page. Stop being so afraid of men that you must emasculate them. Stop being so threatened by other women that you only give them life in two dimensions. Stop turning your head when you see something in you that you don’t like. Stop limiting yourself to writing on a college freshman level and allow yourself to grow and change. Start writing with your gut, make it real, and I promise you that you will never regret it.

    I’ve had a long run and a good career. I leave behind an excellent record of fallacies broken, arguments won and insights keenly made. I acknowledge that I have been formidable. I understand that I was wrong. I offer sincere apologies to all my fellow book club readers who both feared and were excited by our jousts. You’re right. I ‘m wrong. There will be no more dances because that music has stopped. I retire as self-appointed Champion to the worlds of La Hamilton. Hit List, it seems, included a silencer and truly found its aim.

    She who groks the coffee
    Avid watcher of many documentaries
    Retired Wordsmith

  12. Rowena says:

    I agree with you in a broad sense, we differ in a few particulars but ultimately feel cheated in the same way – and I have not read past Danse Macabre mostly for these reasons.

    I came to the series off the back of the Meredith Gentry books, which I thoroughly enjoyed after accepting that many ‘easy reads’ contain repetitive descriptions and that the books are primarily a way to write pretty porn. I’m a sexual woman and feel no shame in it, so as the books proclaim themselves erotic fantasy immediately, you know what to expect.
    I read online that Merry was Hamilton’s outlet for sex, which she felt she needed as her other heroine was so repressed. Despite this (I like a book with some slap-and-tickle), I ventured into Anita’s world. At the start, she actually reminded me a lot of my older sister, and my affection for her kept me reading when I could have been put off by Anita’s rigidly Catholic view of sex, and her ‘in order to be a strong woman I must show no one my emotions or dress pretty’ attitude. Her good qualities (for me) included her sense of humour and badass nature; her bullishness and such only made her seem more human, flawed as we all are.
    As the series progressed, I was pleased to see her take the stick out of her a** (somewhat, I grew very tired of her constant angsting about how slutty she was for sleeping with a couple of guys), relax and date, but even more see her realise that those she’d written off as monsters could not be compartmentalised in such a black and white manner – an obvious and traditional metaphor within many works that include the supernatural.
    For me, the ‘throw up my hands’ moment came when I read Incubus Dreams. It had been coming on over the course of the previous two books, but it was at this point that I wasn’t sure I could be bothered to keep reading the series. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for character development – even if the character develops into a ‘bad guy’ – but I had gone beyond my capacity for suspending disbelief. Instead of incorporating original Anita’s good points and, through differing experiences, have her grow as a person, she became less human not just in the narrative but also as a rounded character. I have no problem with the heroine becoming a non-human, as I don’t have species arrogance, but to become a cardboard cutout…. No.
    As I said before, I enjoy sex in my books and probably have a higher tolerance for it than many, but this was ridiculous. Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter? More like Anita Blake: Porn Star (sorry). My main issue was that Anita’s core values had been erased. It’s believable that she would evolve her view of sex, but at the character’s base she is a chaste woman. Whatever you think of people like that is irrelevant, the narrative did not do enough for the reader to swallow such an extreme change.

    As such, I am indifferent to getting or even reading the rest of the series (shame, as someone bought Blood Noir for me already), I held on for a few more after book 12, just in case, but it doesn’t sound like anything improves. At this point, I would’ve been fine with Anita actually getting killed off and us following one of the other, more likeable, characters. Although they too suffered something of a flattening.
    Sorry that this turned into a rant, guess I needed to get my reader-betrayal off my chest.

  13. Ambra says:

    Thank you. Thank you for writing this!

  14. Tanya says:

    I was so unhappy with parts of this series, and just unsure of why! This helped to point out many of the things that have gone so wrong with such a promising series. I am wondering about Dolph’s character – because she bases so much of the books on her personal life, and issues, is he her representation of how she truly feels about Anita lately, and just can’t bring herself to admit it? I say this because he developed a deep hatred for Anita fairly quickly with little explanation. I know he’s upset because she is dating the monsters, but still. I feel like I went from one book where they had a good relationship, and the next he hated her with a depth that was disturbing. Did I just miss the signs or was this unexpected for anyone else?

  15. vivian says:

    I have given up on the series…i began to hate her character and how rough she is.

  16. Dalilah says:

    I also believe everything went to hell with Narcissus in Chains. She went from being a strong character that may be a heroine to being a stupid girl. The writer destroyed her character just like George Lucas destroyed Darth Vader with the most recent Star Wars movies. So terrible…

  17. Marina says:

    I totally agree with you! I’m from Italy and last year i have read the first 9 books of Anita’s series… i’ve stopped after reading few pages of the 10th booh, because i was sick and tired of seeing Anita sexing with more and more men! the only one of them i’ve really loved was Jean-Claude. I actually fell in love with him ahahah 😉 but everytime Anita found a man who seemed to be the one right for her, she almost ‘had’ to ruin the relationship because of her insecurity. but, on the other hand, i have to say that none of the men did really understand her hidden fragility… however, i really enjoyed your post, and i add the fact that i admire hamilton’s style, and the philosophical considerations that sometimes inserts in the novels. Bye!

  18. Sleeping Neko says:

    Thank you! I am so glad someone else feels the same way I do. I had become utterly disgusted with the character Anita. I hated how she demanded the men be faithful to her alone while she screwed any thing male that moved. I hated seeing all of the men falling at her feet like love besotted fools. (Besides that is Asher’s ability not hers >.>)

    I hate how such a strong female character turned in to such an aggressive, ruthless, nympho, and a complete bitch.

    She literally has gone through men faster than anyone I have ever seen; and yet, none of them satisfy her. She forever gets scared, feels like they are too young (though I must confess her ‘rolling’ a 16 year old literally screamed rape. But, I really liked how the blame was not hers but someone else’s and now a 16 year old follows her around like a puppy. But, at least she is concerned about what happened.)

    Getting back on topic: She lost her morals and her *sweeties* are fine with that. She knows nothing of the men in her life; she would like to think she does but, she doesn’t.

    LKH swears she researches her backside off and I really find it hard to believe as I had been involved in a four way relationship once and it was a frigging nightmare! damned impossible to even try and spend time with every person and give them the attention they deserve. So tell me; how the hell does she keep the men with her when anyone else would have walked away from being ignored for so long?

    Honestly 10 men? LKH is having some serious delusions of grandeur with Anita as I do not know anyone who would tolerate so much competition and being ignored for as long as it would take to keep all 10 happy. Nor would they all stay faithful as they are guys and have needs and their hand just does not compare to the real thing and I am positive they yearn for someone to cuddle with.

    This whole serious fell to hell and I do not believe it has any chance of returning. Anita as we knew her has died and has become a harridan, a shrew, and a nympho with a whole damn subscription of of mental health issues. She has become a monster and needs to be put down.

    I will miss the way Anita used to be; this new Anita really needs to go and die.

  19. Denali says:

    While as everyine makes a valid point take it from someone who understands “anitas” character. Her challange in relationships, being self centered, reluctance at first to admit to herslf that sexual growth is healthy and that she enjoys it. Im very tired and wish i could put into words what im trying to descrube but my coherant thoughts elude me. All in all I am a bipolar woman who finds great comfort that this woman can put some of my thoughts into a fictional heroine. She helps me thru dark days and centers me with ideas that have made my life so much better. Jmo.

  20. Kat says:

    I can thoughtfully say that I enjoy reading the LKH series I think it’s very colorful and it does have a great story line. Why do you all quit when it starts to pick up? Realize Anita is not becoming a monster or anything, but realize and think about whether she is realizing her own self and finding out who he is. The differing Anita we see in the newer books is the Anita Blake coming to terms with who and what she is and is accepting what se cannot change. Change happens in everyone and it is LKH’s way of expressing the inevitability of change. Like Nathaniel: who was at one time a child who knew not what love and respect were just only the inevitable torture inside us all that we try to hide deep within ourselves. Now he is seeking help and learning how to be more dominant and get over his past. Richard: all throughout the series he was a self-loathing asshole who torments himself because he cannot accept who he is on the inside and is disgusted in what he is. In the book before Hit List he apologized and reveals that it was not his humanity that he was afraid to lose but his self entirely and that he had sought help and now he was becoming more at ease and all right with his self. Jean-Claude was hurt because for years all he had was Asher to keep him sane and eventually Juliana came into his life. Whil he was away visiting a dying mother Belle Morte in a jealous rage tries to get the church to “purify” Asher which left him angry and losing Juliana to being burnt a witch at the stake calling Jean-Claude’s name. Anita was a woman never given a chance for love and TRUE acceptance. A good example is her family who all dislike her choices and doesn’t accept her necromancy, a part of her true being, eventually her inner self and Anita have a show down and self preservation wins. She is human not a super hero. She may kick arse but we all have inner issues needing to be fixed. Life does not need answers to choose what happens. The issue with Requiem was a simple fix: send him elsewhere. If anything he chose what was to be done to preserve himself from anymore heartache. It was actually a LONG time coming because he and Jean-Claude had mentioned it several times over the passed books and it did finally happen. She does still have morals but truly to understand the depth of what LKH means you have to look deep. Is your life more easy to sacrifice than your moral high ground? I believe Anita is put in the situations she is in not because she is a cold blooded killer or a monster but exhaust she can take the hit and slowly work through the problems. Most of the men in her life love her and are more than willing to share what she has to offer because it’s okay to love more than one person and it’s okay to let your heart be free for once. You may get dissed and scorned but the people who love you are there for you and that’s what Jean-Claude, Jason, Nathaniel, and Micah are there for. They help her be strong when she can’t do it anymore. She here to show us that we may have problems and differences but that shouldn’t stop us from being strong and accepting that we need people to love us in our lives and that being soft, emotional, or just plain crazed because something happened is okay because sometimes we are strong but we can’t be a rubber ball or a brick house and stay standing strong and bouncing back. That we need love to support us in everything we do and that needing people is okay to accept. We are not superheroes, like Anita we are human as well and have our own problems and inner turmoil that we as humans must deal with.

    • Kae says:

      Thank you for being one of the few people to stand up for this series on here! While I admit that there have been repetitive moments in the series, there is always some level of development within Anita herself, as well as the groups and the other individuals in them. I love this book series, and I will continue to read it for as long as she writes them!

  21. Jezz says:

    I used to love the AB-books. Sure, Anita wasn’t perfect (who is?) and I disagreed with some of her views, but then, that’s the way with ‘real’ people too. And I really enjoyed the books until obsidian butterfly and narcissus in chains because LKH up until that point had no real need to enhance her stories with sex. Yes, it was added in at book 6, but it wasn’t an integral part of the story, it was until that point for me more a sign of character development. AB learned, very reluctantly, but learned, to let people into her life. She wasn’t so closed off in herself anymore. The sex fit into the plot, but you could skip it.
    Then the universe and life of AB started to resemble one of her zombies: as gloriously alive as they seemed at first, the decay started and the good things rotted away.
    All became about sex and we drown to this date in new faces and all of them become lovers. Now there are books where you skip the sex and get left with only 10% of the page count. Then some pretty faces disappear and characters that one came to hold dear fade silently into the night or turn into ‘bad’ people. Some we might wish to disappear, keep getting dragged back up. I have absolutely nothing against the idea of multiple partners, to each what floats their boat. But AB’s numbers are ridiculous.
    Especially since casual is not AB. (Or was, who knows anymore?) But I keep getting the impression, that AB is earning her keep on her back now. The invention of new twists and turns in the ardeur (that JC masters quite well without all the drama or a harem for a long time now) seem only to be there to shove new males into our vision and enhance how desirable AB is.
    It wasn’t needed. There were a number of men, more than enough up to book ten, who were interested and would have been more than enough. There wasn’t even need for more male eye candy. There was JC, Asher, Micah, Nathaniel, Jason, Damian and on and off Richard and that were more than enough. Instead there are new boy-toys (and they are no more than that) and you get no depth from them, you don’t grow fond of them, they are just pretty pictures in your mind. Bland and interchangeable.
    And dear characters get the boot or twisted into annoying, needy, bitchy whiners. Even good friends like Roonie and Larry get turned into jealous, judgmental people. They are made not to fit anymore.
    It’s now a world where AB is right and shiny and everyone hates her, because all the pretty boys only like AB.
    She has no more friend-friends, only friends with bennies, enemies, people who want her, people who are jealous of her and people who love her. It’s all gone to extremes, no more shades of grey. It all reads more like porn or propaganda for AB and her current lifestyle.
    I think one of the problems LKH has with adding plot, that’s not sex or lifestyle or prejudice against Anita and her life, is simply this: What could you possibly throw at her now?
    She can kill about everything, she’s become so powerful. If not by bullet or knives, she has an arsenal of magic at her command and if all else fails, she can simply sex it into submission. Outside the mess that’s been made of her personal life, there simply are no more challenges.
    I am one of those people who love to read about more than the plotshare of character info. But now there are too many and some got pushed into corners, have developed in ways I simply never saw them going and feel they have been placed there to be out of the way or create unnecessary conflict. Others get dragged back specially for that. Yes, I mean Richard. Jason was made to be able to act in his place, the self-loathing king of temper-tantrum drama could have taken a graceful exit to his off book happy ending. Now I just wish someone would just blow his head off.
    But I am beginning to repeat myself.
    Sure you always want more of a good thing, but only as long as it’s good. I keep hoping for the turning point back to better times and indeed some progress has been made, but still it’s not up to the standards it was. For some things it is to late I think. But I’d like to see the sea of lovers weeded out, JC back to a more integral part of AB’s love (I have nothing against Nahtaniel, I like him a lot. Micah is a neutral with me), where I feel he should be. I’d like to see her powers reduced so there could be a return of real plot and challenge. I wish Richard gone for good, Asher in therapy, her friends back to being AB’s friends. For every name and character to shine there are simply too many, some things should be more background noise than center stage. But I fear it wont be that way.
    I guess hope dies last, because I still read the books from the library. Once I was so excited and invested I could barely wait for the newest book. Now I fear what might be in the next. Will it be better? Will it get worse? It’s a sad lingering death to one of my all time favorites. It just wont rest in peace.

  22. Kirana says:

    Thank You so much!!

  23. Nat says:

    As early as Circus of the Damned the Lamia said: “A woman should always have more than one man.” The author give clues -constantly-at what to expect in the next novels. My first contact with the series was the beginning of Danse Macabre. I meet the changed Anita first, so the experience was quite different. I accept the character as it is. Not that I approve her lifestyle, but I don’t expect a naive girl in my readings. The story line is interesting. I agree it goes from the detective novel to porn, but is 2013, not the 90s, and the book industry have changed, let’s say…. they are “Greying.” -.- .

  24. Victoria says:

    I was given the AB series by a cousin of mine when I was 11 years old. I only read the first four books at that time (it was too early for me) especially because I’ve been raised in the catholic school system. At that time in my life, all the sex bits would have made Anita evil to me. “Sex is bad” is drilled into you since grade five. But, as I’ve grown as a person, I’ve found that the continuation of the plot followed the change in perspective in my life. The only thing that can make you evil in the eyes of God is the intent to be evil, or, rather, the lack of intent to do goodness. My friends, now, have great difficulty in understanding the ability to love more than one person. To be tender to more than one person; the best way to be tender is through sex. That’s how I feel, and reading LKH has made me realize that other people feel the same way. It’s made me feel not alone.

  25. Fred says:

    While I respect your opinions, I have to disagree for the most part. I know far too many women who base their entire lives around sex – sex is their relationship. There’s nothing wrong with sex, I like sex – it’s an important part of any relationship. Everyone has self-doubt, and everyone is damaged in some way, though not usually to such extremes as Anita. I find that the later books – the orgy ones everyone complains about – deal more with relationship issues (of Anita’s particular blend – no sex without love) and the Ardeur itself seems to me to be more of an addiction allegory than ‘oh, she’s a slut’. It’s clear that she’s not just having sex, she’s falling in love with many people – what’s wrong with that? Am I the only one who reads this series as more than just porn?
    Having said all that, I’m glad Richard finally ‘manned up’ cos he was fairly whiny – Asher is tending toward the same… but people are whiny and bitchy and annoying and homophobic and stupid. They’re people.
    I find that I’m enjoying the series as much as ever and will certainly be reading the next book.
    Each to their own.

    • Rose says:

      I go back and reread the series every couple years, ending with a first read-through of the newest book or two for the first time. I don’t want to put them down, and I certainly don’t want to wait in between books.

      No, I would never recommend this series to anyone developing their sexual identity or anyone who couldn’t handle graphic details of violence. But these aren’t young adult novels, they are clearly adult.

      To me, the ardeur is a trial that Anita learns to control. We all have things that crop up at inconvenient times, things which we feel are controlling out lives. By book 20, Anita is firmly in control of the ardeur (as long as someone else doesn’t play with the metaphysics). She is on the fourth crime scene in the fourth city when the book opens. And she didn’t bring anyone with her for food. Yes, she feeds the ardeur while she’s in that city, but it’s not the same raging lack of control from earlier books. Even better, she’s realized that with control, there is always a price.

      She’s also had to face that the ardeur for her is like a physical hunger, but for the ones she feeds on, it acts like a drug. Studies have shown that sex, sugar and drugs all light up the same areas of the brain, so why would it be a reach for London or Requiem to be addicted? Anita has issues with the way she takes away Nicky’s free will, she has issues with the possibility that anyone who acts as her food could become addicted. While she’s able to control most of it, there’s always some things we can’t control, and I love the way that this has developed.

      Anita was homophobic. She didn’t like that she was, but she didn’t try to say that she wasn’t. Gradually, she’s come to accept that Jean-Claude and Asher will be intimate, even in front of her. Nathaniel and Micah are intimate in front of her. No, she’s not a point where she is completely comfortable being intimate with another woman, but it seems like she’s getting closer, and if she never crosses that line, that’s ok too. She’s able to put aside her own comfort and save the black tiger from her abusive Master, and that’s what important.

      Anita is discovering that she needs to have a certain level of control, but she’s also finding that she needs to let go of the control at times. Nathaniel was a walking piece of meat, but she didn’t show a shred of interest in him until he started to grow a backbone. When he finally gets to a point that he is willing to top her… That growth is amazing! Yes, she’s careful to differentiate between dominant, switch, submissive, top and bottom, and I think that’s great. It’s wonderful that the point is made that Anita never does anything to someone else that she hasn’t first experienced. Yes, she bottoms, but she’s a fantastic dominant.

      Yes, LKH is very repetitive about description in case someone picks up a book without reading the rest of the series first. But most authors who have at least 10 books in the series do that, both as a way to connect the new reader to a character and to convince them to pick up the earlier books.

      I don’t know where the series is going now, but I’m about to sit down and read books 21-24 (for the first time) in the next couple days after rereading 1-20 in the last 2 weeks. I hope she keeps writing for a long time, because there are so many paths that Anita can take, and there are so many ways that the characters are still growing.

  26. Millie says:

    I could not agree more with the writer. Ms. Hamilton has already established the point that sex is not a sin, not evil, no matter how many partners you have (read – past present and future). It would be really refreshing if the story would go back to the same lines as the first 10 novels. More focus on the plot than Anita’s sex life, meaningless conversations where either she is convincing someone else or others are convincing her that having sex with multiple people is not a sin, detailed description of what everyone around her is wearing or what they look like etc. News flash for Ms. Hamilton “We have already read what they look like, what kind of clothes they wear and what happened to each of them in the past…… please write something that we can actually enjoy. It has gotten to a point that I skip several pages in between since it has gotten really boring. Also, has anyone noticed that the Anita Blake book series started depreciating after Hamilton started publishing the Merry Gentry Series (Narcissus in chains released in 2001, and the first book in Merry Gentry series A kiss of shadows came out in 2000).

  27. Alexis says:

    I realize that this review is rather old, but it’s so much an accurate reflection of my own thoughts about this unfortunate series that I just had to comment.

    I totally agree–the Anita Blake series, past around the tenth book or so, is nothing but a sequence of increasingly disturbing incidents of sad, desperate sex (which are all, apparently, forced on to Blake by circumstance,) socially under development, immature outbursts, destructive power struggles and self-loathing. I remember downloading all twenty books after falling head over heels with the first two, and I couldn’t quite make it through the twelth (Incubus Dreams.) I ended up deleting all of them in the midst of a furious impulse to rid myself of some poison.

    These books are rampantly anti-woman, filled with transparent characters and plotlines and tasteless sex scenes. Literally, the sex in the final ten to twelve books is just nonstop and way over the top. It’s like she must have sex with every man she meets, and said man inevitably falls in love with her. Not to mention the fact that every man she gets romantically involved with is always revealed to be a victim of some horrific abuse or another, and every woman she meets is viciously villainized, trampled upon and made out to be a bitch simply to satisfy the drive of Blake’s sick jealousy issues. It’s disgusting and unhealthy. I think Blake is on her way down a serious downward spiral leading to nothing but monstrous mental instability and her life in shambles around her–or at least she would be, had the author intended this character to be even remotely realistic. As it is, she’s just going to continue to be more and more power hungry, immature, sex-crazed, jealous and sad, and never suffer the consequences of any of it being that there is no end to this psychopathy.

    Anyway, I just wanted to compliment this particular review of the series and announce that I will now be venturing on a tiring journey to reread the entire twenty-three book series *shoots self in head.* I want to write a review of the whole thing as I saw it and go into great detail with why this character is terribly developed and why the series is unbelievable and sends a distructive message to anyone impressionable who may be reading it. I want to make a hard, factual and cited list of these instances and do my own careful critique of the books and Anita Blake herself. Maybe I’ll throw in a bit of psychoanalysis.

  28. kelsey says:

    I started reading this series with high hopes. Anita seemed like a girl you would want on your side. She was kindhearted, loyal,funny and kicked butt.I felt things going alittle wonky around obsidian butterfly, then I read narcissus in chains and got really uncomfortable with were anita was going. She became someone who anita in book one would never recognise, would hate, would warn her friends away from.
    I read reviwes of the books after narciss, and I have decided to stopped reading now,make up my own ending,no ardure,Richard manning up,anita making up with her friends and the police. I do not want to start hating a women I think of as a friend.
    I think I will reread Kim harrisons hollows series. Rachel has character development, but not into something she wouldn’t recognise.
    Will keep looking at reviews of new anita books to see if everthing after narcissus was a fever dream….here’s hoping!

  29. Shadewolfe says:

    Yup, pretty much the same reasons I stopped reading Anita Blake. My last book purchased and read was Micah.

    And then when money got tight, they were the first books to go from my collection. But I think Micah was a really good place to stop all things considered.

  30. Vivica says:

    I know this is old, but I agree with so much of this.I’ve always thought that Anita was whiney and incredibly judgmental though.I hate how much the personalities of so many characters have been changed or stripped away.The last book I read, and I don’t even know which one it is, but the part where Jason changes was the last straw for me.It wasn’t much, but I couldn’t keep reading after he realized that he didn’t want to find someone and be consumed by love like he’d always said he did, that he had been lying to himself.I hate the way people through around the term Mary Sue, but that’s what Anita Blake is to me now.There aren’t consequences for her, every man wants to be with her and they let her treat them terribly while they still follow her around trying to get her attention, she’s the best animator, and every time they are in trouble it’s okay because Anita gets a new ability usually through sex, or figures how how to use a power that centuries old vampires couldn’t figure out and saves the day.She’s even a better killer than Edward?I don’t think so.I pushed through so much with this series;so many pages of mediocre erotica, so many mistakes, like Hannah’s name becoming Candy, and so many changes like in The Harlequin Slyvie tells Anita that she’s cute but “I don’t do girls” even though she was lesbian since the character was introduced as I’m sure anyone who’s read the series knows, but with that one line, that he was lying to himself, I was done.I felt she wasn’t even trying anymore and I couldn’t keep hoping she would write a good book again.I didn’t mean for this to be this long, but I had to vent.

  31. Vlad says:

    Okay I agree with you about the series but as of today Anita has accepted who she is the story is not so much about sex anymore though it is there.

  32. Teni says:

    I too suffer from what Hamilton has done to my dear Anita. As many of you I was taken by her strong personality and her unwillingness to endure with male BS. I had always wonder why it took Hamilton 7 books to get Anita to have sex, but now that I have read your comments my questions have been answered. The sex, he orgy, the men, the lycanthrope strains, the arduer…are all too much for Anita, still trying to understand why Hamilton did that much to her. Could it have been a trend at that point to have sexual content in books? Was this a PR decision? Or did she feel Anita was going that way? Either way I, one thing I know and have admitted to my self just recently after finishing Danse Macabre: I lost respect for Anita because all of the men she was taking into her bed, and far worst, the way she was taking them, often made me stop reading. I hated that she felt jealous and insecure of other women, and I hate that Hamilton would bash them. It forced me to ask my self, is it because she is woman? Would I rather see her still being a “virgin” or married to Richard? Are the other women a reflection or Anita;s own self hatred? These questions make it hard for me to put Anita aside. Yes, I miss her bad ass days, but don’t we all change a little with love and sex? Can I not allow her that? I’m sticking to her in the hopes that she uses her guns more than her sexuality, in the hopes some men can move on, instead of sex-trapping her, in the hopes she would throw a rant other than because somebody else wants her body. I know, petty little hopes of mine…

  33. Lauren says:

    This is so accurate, even several books later. (Unfortunately.)
    I too loved the series up until book 11. Book 10 was my favourite as it had my favourite character Edward throughout.
    I think though that Anita needed some love and sex, I’d have preferred fewer lovers for her. I like that LKH explores Anita’s transitioning to being vulnerable, allowing herself to love, though she can be selfish. But Anita to me has always seemed somewhat hypercritical, as she seemed to be the least judgemental person in the world while at the same time being the most. What I liked most and miss most about the earlier books was how hard she was, the violence, I liked that a woman could do the dirty work. Though Anita always having to prove she’s the toughest gets tiring. Anita’s become too powerful, too sexed up with no life. There’s not many places the story can go and remain believable. I feel like LKH has written this huge world, with an enormity of characters and brought them to the point that she doesn’t know what to do with them any longer. Horniness is the main theme that comes across through all the later books, and some insights into therapy that would be concurrent to her real life though I’m not speculating into how many lovers she may keep.
    I could go on and on but I’ll leave it here.
    Just some food for thought.

  34. Tigi says:

    So true!

    And the problem doesnt stop on personal level, but her lack of respect, when it comes to law, is shocking. I believe she should have been convicted so long ago, yet it seems LKH wants me to think its okay to kill or torture anybody if Anita is the perpetrator.

  35. Cobalt-Blue says:

    I agree, and I actually had one of my characters in my Cadre 5 novels reading the series and wondering about Anita herself. Especially since the character was wrestling with a sense of empowerment while feeling “on the outside”.

  36. Derek J. says:

    I agree, the character is amazing, but the sex totally got in the way. I will still go through the new books and see if Edward is back. He’s a bad ass Mother F…. and you you the kill count will be high.

  37. Rakky says:

    I’ll join the list. Just reread the novels and incubus dreams is where I gave up. Such a shame but at least we have some very good books up till then!

  38. Kendrick hundley says:

    I agree completely I love this series all the way up to obsidian butterfly and then it changed from being a story about a strong smart funny bad ass chick solving crimes and kicking asses to a porn marathon and the crime investigating and action has taken a backseat and her animater job is nonexistent it just seems like the Arthur want to fit in as much sex as possible

  39. Dina says:

    I loved reading all the comments and never thought there were so many people that agreed with me. I have reread the whole series a couple of times and always found myself losing interest around book 10. However, not wanting to give up I stupidly keep pre-ordering the next one. Her latest book Crimson Death may have finally cured me of this. Just like Dead Ice, nothing happens except talking, talking and more talking about who she’s sleeping with, who’s sleeping with others and every messy emotional shit that could ever occur. I get that she is obviously in a polyamoures relationship and is seeing a therapist, but does every book have to be about her sessions? I was more than halfway through both books before anything remotely monster or vampire hunting took place, and when it did it was spectacularly bad. All she does now is complain and kill off characters. I am sad that was once one of my favorite characters is now a completely different character. RIP Anita Blake, as you are now no longer a vampire hunter but a portrait of an author who has completely forgotten her readers.

  40. Ophelia says:

    Just a quick question: can anyone recall in which book it was the Anita started sleeping with a woman & included her into her harem? Thank u

  41. Chastity says:

    I agree. I loved the first 8 or 9 books… then things became too complicated. I also think the latest books over explain things that are happening with Anita’s power base. I realized the phrase “I don’t understand” or “I’m not sure I follow” is repeated by Anita far too much. Especially if I understand something metaphysically, faster than she does. I’m no metaphysical expert. I also think the Hamilton should have killed off several main characters for the sake of story progression. While I don’t personally choose a polygamous lifestyle, I honestly don’t think that’s the failure of the story. I think the arduer overcomplicates the story and functions too much as filler. Page quotas are a drag, but at least make it more substantial than sex.

  42. Brent says:

    Ok so I have read a handful of these books. Jumping the gambit from I think the third book to the 6th and 7th to the 12 and maybe one or two more… I think. Generally I’m unimpressed however I drive a lot and devour audiobooks and they aren’t the worst. Maybe entertaining at best.. Most of the comments above ring true but I’m wondering if anyone has noticed something that has come to bother me (although I may go start at book one in case it’s my missing Anita’s development). I find Anita’s behavior absolutely confusing, which brings her fictionality to the forefront. Disappointing. One second she seems shy about even modest exposure and in the next she’s nude having a lycanthrope orgy. Maybe it’s actually the writing then? Just finishing obsidian butterfly and the big bad artifact smugglers have threatened rape several times early on, get her and Edward to the their compound, make him strip topless but leave her fully clothed?? Again I’m not saying it needed to happen but Anita keeps ending up in situations over and over where I’m like “she’s screwed now” and the chapter ends and I’m left hearing the trombone ” waaaaah waaaaaah”. Something about her character just isn’t consistent and it’s just really frustrating. Do I make any sense?

    • Ranada Givens says:

      Anita Blake as a character can be all over the place at times, but as someone who HAS READ ALL 25 BOOKS I get it. In life we all grow, no matter good or bad. We all are conflicted about something that we are doing in life. If you would have made it further into the series she starts to go back a little to her old self but not quite. She grows. She even admits that there isn’t enough of her for everyone. She still has the same issues she started with just on a different level. Hell, she’s getting married to Jean Claude and having a commitment ceremony with Micah and Nathaniel. I love this series because she isn’t a one dimential character that stays the same throughout the series, and that’s believable. As she gets older and thanks to the powers she is constantly on a learning curve. Some people say they will never do something then they do. Its human behavior. The sex isn’t a major factor in the end, in the end, it’s her love for the men in her life that matters. She’ll protect them at whatever cost and they the same

  43. Paul W. says:

    The issue that I have is that Hamilton’s greatest strength as a writer is also her greatest weakness. Sounds crazy, right? But it’s true. Her strength is that she describes everything in replete detail, which is terrific if you’re writing action. For instance, in “Circus of the Damned,” Anita leads a group of Police officers into a former hospital where there is a vampire-proof vault, still in use. This one little scene–actually minor to the plot–is drawn out over four or five short chapters. It puts you right in there, with them. You can smell the blood, taste the tension in the air and wish you had a gun in your hand too.

    So how is writing like this a weakness? As more and more characters become involved in the plot, we get detailed descriptions of each. When they’re in fancy dress, we get told precisely what everyone is wearing, as if we’re going to remember.

    When Jean-Claude wants to go to bed with Anita–just to sleep together–she puts him through a Freudian interrogation, twisting his words around to suggest he’s saying X, but really means Y. This nonsense goes on for whole chapters! Three, four, five….when she finally gives in and hops into bed with him. And don’t forget how she spends two or three chapters begging Asher to join them….only to chew him out in the end because he did something she didn’t expect. One wonders why Jean-Claude bothers with her at all.

    Then there’s the sex. Minor at first, as the series progresses it becomes increasingly integral to the plot. And because Ms. Hamilton describes everything in replete detail, leaving NOTHING to the imagination, the sex quickly becomes triple X rated. I don’t have anything against sex, but if I wanted to read porn, I’d buy porn.

    I don’t have anything against Anita’s character changing over time, even if it doesn’t go the way we’d expect or want it to. But on the other hand, she has way too many men. She is “stuck” with Jean-Claude–who isn’t such a bad character, by the way; he is incredibly humane–and is lucky to have Asher. Her triumverate of power (with Nathaniel and her vampire servant) is interesting, but how many lovers does one person need? And how many can one person function with? It’s like Ms. Hamilton can’t say no or enough.

    This is why I’ve lost interest in the series.

  44. Cat says:

    RIGHT!?! I got to the point around book 10 where I just started skimming descriptions and stuff because it was word for word identical to the previous book. I will agree. Books 8-16? Sucked. Epically. So much self doubt. So much dithering. Just. Make. A. Damn. Decision! This is someone who shoots first and asks questions later? Methinks not.

    To be fair, if you power through things do pick up again around book 18/19. But I definitely still just skim the 5-6 chapter sex “scenes” (read BDSM Orgies). Fingers crossed it picks back up. Someone recommended these as being phenomenal but frankly, I find them juvenile and repetitive.

    Can anyone tell me if the Merry series is any better? Or will I be wasting my time getting hooked on something I finish only to find out who gets the proverbial axe?

  45. nisha says:

    soo happy to see it is not only me who thoroughly enjoyed the series til it went south. Anyone have suggestions of something that is a sufficient replacement?

    • Kels says:

      I used to love the series but have had to move on. I’m not sure what you’re looking for but Auryn Hadley’s Rise of the Iliri, Wolf of Oberhame, Gamer Girls, and new Death’s Muse are all good. Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniels and Innkeeper series are pretty good reads too.

  46. WearyLeah says:

    I agree about the monotony and everything is sex, sex and sex. Laurell K Hamilton has let her second husband convince her she wants an “alternative” sex life, you see the struggle she writes about Anita not wanting it but all of the main characters push her and tell her it’s what she wants so eventually she thinks it is. She has even watered down Edward (Ted), now that he is in love he acts like Anita’s best gal pal. I have found another author to replace her, Faith Hunter and her Jane Yellowrock series is good! I will probably never enjoy reading another series as much as I did in the early days of Anita Blake but watching it becoming stripped of everything that made it special is painful. We invest our time, money and emotions to escape to the paranormal fiction world and we deserve to enjoy it.

    • Tinu says:

      So many people who feel the same but author has totally lost it. AB needs to break up with Nathaneil and kill off Asher. That would be a good start. I would be happy if she takes fourth mark and realizes it cures her arder problem so we don’t have to read more sex scenes. It would be double good if she learns JC knew it but stopped short so that she could be more docile and easy to handle due to being dependent on him to control it. And deals with him accordingly. She let herself be manipulated so much and yet at the somehow still turns out to be Mary Suish that it’s exasperating. In the least she should let Anita learn to control her powers herself and be rid of extra baggage.

      Maybe LKH should dump her second husband too- he sure did a number on her if theories of his influence on her writing are close to truth.

      Yes I skip the love scenes and stupid emotional drama. They are tiresome.

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