Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Vampires, Were-creatures and Steamy Bedroom Action!

Anita Blake - Vampire Hunter - Laurell K Hamilton http://www.laurellkhamilton.org/

There are a lot of books in this series (music to your ears if you like a badass necromancer like Anita who helps the police with their supernatural cases in this parallel world where humans and supernatural beings co-exist in society).  I had already read books 1, 2 & 3 when I was given Blood Noir for Christmas - although I don't normally read books out of chronological order - I cracked open No. 16 in the series and was immediately struck by how the style had changed since the early books - a bit more fun and playful - certainly more racy - LKH was giving Charlaine Harris http://www.charlaineharris.com/ & her Sookie Stackhouse series a bit of competition.

One of the main things you need to know about Anita is that she is very 'chippy' - she has mexican heritage and so is very anti-prejudice, she works with the police, but cant stand the 'good ole boy' mentality, she is friends with a lot of supernatural creatures: were-rats, were-leopards and (in later books) is part-of a were-wolf pack, she's even reached some kind of truce with the vampires - in fact she is the main squeeze of  Jean-Claude the Master Vampire.  Anita never makes promises she can't keep and almost never leaves home without her Browning (loaded with silver bullets) and at least one knife - her  cross helps to protect her, but so does the voo-doo magic she inherited from her grandmother.  Anita thinks like a cop, but also like a monster and it seems that it is this particular intuition which helps her outwit the 'bad guys' every time - she has friends and colleagues who have taught her martial arts and weapon skills, but often it's her affinity with the monsters which helps her the most .... & gets her into the worst trouble! 

There is a lot of racy action in Blood Noir - Anita has developed ardeur which means she needs to 'feed' on sex in the same way that a vampire would need to feed on blood - and it seems as if this gives her a large appetite for sex, with multiple partners, sometimes more than one at a time!  So probably not the book for sheltered young teenagers to read! but nothing more shocking than people will have seen if they watch the True Blood series on TV.  There was a little more emotional soul searching than I would have liked, it held up the action in places, but hey! perhaps that is to make sure the reader does not view Anita as a slut!  Anyway I found it a fast paced read, and was curious to see what had happened in between this book and where I had left off, so next I read The Lunatic Cafe (4th in the series).

This book did not disappoint:  Anita was still working for her agency and assisting the police in their supernatural cases ~ in this story there seems to be a serial killer wreaking vengeance on were-creatures ~ Anita and her training partner Ronnie are both investigating from different standpoints.  Jean-Claude is still trying to get close to Anita but she is beginning to fall for Richard ... until she accidentally stumbles across his biggest secret.  At the Lunatic Cafe Anita meets a variety of were-creatures, some she has already befriended and several she would rather never meet again, but for some reason the pack leader wants to hire Anita for an assignment.  The plot is complex and unpredictable and kept me guessing to the end - the only thing I could be sure of was that Anita would come out on top!  Book 5 is already calling to me!

Regarding TV - there are a lot of good series starting in January.  I am loving Mr Selfridge  ITV1- it is like Downton Abbey or Upstairs Downstairs meets Mary Portas!!  It is glamorous, gossipy and has costumes to die for!  Revenge is back - series 2 - how delicious!  I am also very keen to see The New Normal and My Mad Fat Diary - both on E4 - I'll let you know what I think when I have watched them.

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