Series Review-Anita Blake Vampire Hunter

Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series ( with  Spoilers)

Author Laurel Hamilton

Genre : Urban Fantasy

The first book in the series: Guilty Pleasures

I love books in series-. I can’t describe the joy of jumping into a new book but knowing about the main characters  – their strengths and weaknesses, their unique personality quirks, their loves and enemies. I enjoy picking up in a world that is familiar with secondary characters you have grown to love just as much as the hero or heroine over the course of several books. But most of all, I like the fact that I know exactly what I am letting myself in for when I start reading the first chapters- no nasty surprises.

So when I read Book 10, Narcissus in Chains, of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, I thought I had picked up a book from a parallel universe and remains one of the biggest disappointments in my book reading life.

While I understand that a character can’t stand still over a period of a time particularly in a long standing series but a complete change  personality and morality is a little hard to accept.

The good

The first few books in this series by Laurel Hamilton still remains some of my favourites and Anita Blake one of my favourite heroines until Narcissus in Chains. Anita in the first few books is a sarky, independent strong woman who happens to have the power to raise the dead but also works as an official Vampire Executioner with the preternatural agency. The world of Anita Blake is one where Vampire and supernatural beings live with humans and own businesses etc. Anita has a strong sense of right and wrong, is tough as nails but has compassion for those people who can’t look after themselves. A grown-up Buffy with an edge if you will.

The first ten books deal with her difficulties balancing a her life with her job with the preternatural agency and a normal life with human friends and needs. Initially, she obviously dislikes vampires but develops a close friendship and romantic bond with the vampire Jean-Claude and a werewolf Richard. The first ten books are action-packed, with good mysteries, a lot of romance and tension. These books were first written in the nineties, well ahead of their time with a non-conflicted, strong woman who knows what she wants. She is also a woman of mixed heritage, which was a rare thing in fantasy when I first picked up Guilty pleasures in the early 2000s.

The bad

And then, it changes. I remember picking Narcissus in Chains and reading the first chapter wondering if I had picked up the wrong book. The book starts off in a sex club and surprisingly gets weirder from there. The action had gone, as had the mystery and romance- to be replaced with the ardeur ( or lots of sex with lots of people in lots of places),

Anita changed over the next few books. She went from being a woman who did not need a man to a woman who needed lots of men to keep her going. She slowly turned into a supernatural creature with a variable morality and although I would have found that fascinating except the sex kept getting in the way.

I no longer wait for the next book in the series to come out as I used but I do still check out the reviews, in the hope that Anita can find her way and become the hard-ass vampire executioner that I used to love.

The ugly

A lot of violence and in the later books sexual violence

Perfect for Fans

The first ten books are still my favourite and anyone who loves urban fantasy will enjoy these books (eg the Dresden Files ) and the rest of the series from book 10 would appeal to people who enjoy more a erotic touch to their urban fantasy.

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