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Topic: Anita Blake novels question

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Subject: Anita Blake novels question
Date Posted: 1/3/2013 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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I've heard a lot of people express frustration and say how much they hated the Anita Blake novels after a certain point.  I'm currently reading these right now, and I think I'm past the "throw it against the wall" point most people have talked about.  Anita has the ardeur, she's sleeping with 2 main men, sometimes more, etc.  Is the ardeur and sleeping with more than one person the part that most people don't like?  'Cause I read erotica and have no problem with multiple partners, menage, and some of the other themes, so have no real issues with that.  I can acknowledge that the series has changed a lot since the beginning, though.

The thing I don't like about the whole thing is the fact she kills people without hesitation, lies when necessary, and yet is such a PRUDE about sex.  The first few books I wanted to throw the books against the wall because of her whole "chaste" thing.  Now, I'm equally frustrated with her "I'm having sex with multiple partners, but still don't want any of those partners to have sex with anyone but me--and god forbid Jean-Claude and Asher get it on" attitude.

Any other thoughts?  I'm currently reading Cerulean Sins, book 11.

Date Posted: 1/3/2013 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,447
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I think it is the lack of foreplay that pisses me off.   Gratuitous sex that isn't hot?

Part of it, to me, was the shift was so sudden. 

And the editing.  Several books were done without an editor.  LKH really needs one.  Why have a sex scene that does not add to the plot?  Sorry, got distracted by sex with someone I hate.  

Okay. I still read her books. But I really do not respect her as an author anymore. I will no longer pay for the cost of the hardback. I'll wait for the library or paperback.

Last Edited on: 1/4/13 1:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/4/2013 2:14 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
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I loved the early Anita Blake books; I think it was somewhere around the 11th book I started to get frustrated and annoyed with them. Anita doesn't feel like the same character I first fell in love with. I didn't mind the chaste thing so much; it's actually the ardeur and all that which I can't stand. It was fine for a book or two, but now it's every book, and the sex scenes aren't really all that well written. Plus, as Emily mentioned, there is the editing.

From what I understand, Laurell's earlier books were edited by her first husband before submitted; it's possible that's why the earlier books are better. And even though she says her husbands have had nothing to do with the way Anita's story goes, I still have to wonder...

Date Posted: 1/4/2013 3:21 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
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Well, when you get to the books where Anita having sex actually resolves the plot .... you might get tired of them.

Not to mention there are actually TWO spearate storylines in TWO different books where she is able to fix the terrible trauma of 2 different men who can't have normal sex because their penises are TOO BIG. Snark. I was already laughing to myself when I read the first book with this plot line in it, imagine my snark when I read the second one.

Anita's magic hoo-ha can fix anything.

I like other erotica, by the way. I just got tired of Anita.

She also doesn't do a whole lot of detecting anything except ardeur in the later books. I stopped reading about 4 or 5 books ago myself.

Also, I'm damn tired of reading about her taking showers. And then everybody goes to sleep. Then they all wake up and have sex. Then they get in the shower. See where the story is going?

Last Edited on: 1/4/13 3:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/4/2013 4:03 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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Yeah. She so rarely actually works. Or detects.

I've read erotica. And I just have to say that Anita is not erotica. Or not well written erotica. It's sex, lots of sex. But not erotica. It often does not even move the plot or the character. Magic hoo-ha is so true.

It is a bad sign when I am aware of the editing, or lack, while I'm in the middle of an action scene. That is such a bad sign. It's like a train wreck that I just cannot stop watching.

Date Posted: 1/4/2013 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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Oh, I definitely wasn't trying to claim that Anita was erotica.  Hardly.  I was just saying that I don't have a problem with some of the things like the ardeur, menage, multiple partners, etc.  that is part of the books.  I think some (maybe many??) mainstream readers may have a personal problem with that since it's not "appealing to the masses"--like the reason JR Ward put of writing a m/m Black Dagger Brotherhood for so long, because it was not socially acceptable to the masses.

I guess I'm just wondering if most people's problem with the books is the socially unacceptable parts.  I don't like (but can put up with some) bad editing if the story is something worthwhile.  I do agree that I would like to see her solving crimes more, but it's not to the point I'll stop reading...yet. 

Date Posted: 1/4/2013 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,447
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First, I am still reading them. Addicted to the mess. For me, it is the editing.

And the very public mess that LKH has made on the Internet. She has been a very vocal and nasty over reviews. Surprise, you fired your editor and hired your best friend who is a total fan and never objects to any of your wants, then readers actually notice the problems in the editing? Readers actually questioned that your writing changed when your ex-husband no longer helped you edit? And you actually verbally attacked the reviewers on Amazon AND on your website?

Last Edited on: 1/4/13 9:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2013 1:21 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2010
Posts: 284
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Oh no. You all have me scared now. I have the first 18 books of this series and have been putting off reading it. The main reason I've waited is because I tried reading the Meredith Gentry series and gave up after the 4th or 5th book. I wanted to like LKH and I thought they were well written but it just got to be too much for me. Too many new characters introduced in each book. Too many different species of characters in each one. I finally had to call it quits. Normally I have no problem with multiple partners or m/m or f/f scenes but I just couldn't get into MG.

I know I haven't helped this discussion at all but you have helped me with my dilemma. It sounds like the AB series will be more of the same issues for me and I don't want to get sucked in. I think it's time to post these books and make room on my shelf for books that I won't have to wonder about like this.

Date Posted: 1/5/2013 1:46 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,447
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First off, LKH started writing these way back in 1993 when there were very few sexy vamps.   Now there are many more choices.  I would definitely send new readers to BDB, Jim Butcher, or Charlaine Harris.   Kinda expect that Shelia has worked her way through those.

Then there is the huge mood shift with the ardeur thrown in.  And all that guilt.

I think part of the appeal was the combo of sex and violence.  Very powerful combo. 

I definitely prefer stories that have Edward.  His character seems to help focus the book.

Date Posted: 1/5/2013 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2011
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My problem got to some plot issues. Some of the books where just filled with nothing but sex and threw in a little plot which she did a horrible job and resolving . I haven't read the last four or five books because of it. I love her Meredith Gentry series though.

I hate her controlling and hypocritical attitude about her able to be a sexual "whore" and her men must be tied down to her.  I especially hate when she whines to Richard about his affairs but doesnt want to give up her own.

Last Edited on: 1/5/13 12:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2013 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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First off, LKH started writing these way back in 1993 when there were very few sexy vamps.   Now there are many more choices.  I would definitely send new readers to BDB, Jim Butcher, or Charlaine Harris.   Kinda expect that Shelia has worked her way through those.

Yep.  All caught up on those other series, except haven't gotten my hands on Cold Days yet.  I usually go back and read an established series when I'm caught up on my must-reads, as many of the older books are on my massive TBR pile. 

I hate her controlling and hypocritical attitude about her able to be a sexual "whore" and her men must be tied down to her.  I especially hate when she whines to Richard about his affairs but doesnt want to give up her own.

Yes, this!  I don't like that she is so rigid in a lot of her beliefs.  She seems to roll with a lot of the paranormal stuff that comes up, but won't budge on the sex stuff.

Date Posted: 1/7/2013 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 6,378
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I always thought Edward saved the day in terms of plot but in the most recent one (Hit List, I think?) with Edward it did not help one little bit.  Like so many I read them all - but this one was really terrible in terms of plot.  About 5 pages of interesting plot stuff and insights into Edward, 100 pages of "oh no, Anita has to have sex, who is she going to have sex with, can her men get here in time?" and the rest a very detailed description of every single man's haircut and what he was wearing.  Sheesh.  Yeah, I'll read the next one when I get it off my WL, because I am an addict, but I won't spend money on it.

Now BDB, I have on preorder.

Last Edited on: 1/7/13 7:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/8/2013 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
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I don't have much to add other than I like most loved the 1st books (maybe thru 8?) and finally gave up at some point.  There are soooooo many things wrong w/ the books IMHO.  The editing, the PLOT (which is kind of important!), the sex scenes are horrible.  

BUT-- Sara--magic hoo-hoo... OMG I spit out my water I was laughing so hard.   That rarely happens to me!  

Date Posted: 1/10/2013 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 8,195
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I loved these books up until Anita got her ardeur problem. I read some pretty steamy romance and some erotica, so it's not that issue for me either. I really enjoyed these books before the change because I liked Anita's focus on actually trying to solve the murder cases. Her necromancy was interesting too. One of my favorites was the one about the Obsidian Butterfly. I don't know why, but I really liked that one. The last one I read was book #16, Blood Noir. I have books 17-22 in my TBR mountain, but I just haven't made the move to pick up Skin Trade yet and resume the series. I had to stop reading them for a while. I guess I read too many of them in a row, and the darkness of them started to grate on me, as did the characters. But the flagrantly gratuitous random sex scenes with absolutely no chemistry were what really put me off. Does Anita ever actually get back to her detective work in any of these later novels? (Which is what I actually liked about the series in the first place!)

Date Posted: 1/10/2013 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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Not really.  I miss both her work and the police work.

Date Posted: 1/12/2013 12:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
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I have to agree with everyone though but the main thing I got tired of were all the repetitive shit she throws in just to fill up space.  You can only read the same internal struggle so many times before you want to strangle yourself.  Oh and when she does the anit's so tight and so wet thing that is so annoying.  By now Anita should be as loose as a 3 dollar hooker in east St. Louie!  Sometimes I wonder if LKH takes a drive to the east side to hang out with said hookers to ask tips, lord knows she could use some.  You guys reminded me of the LKH Hit List Drinking game I saw last year on goodreads Shelia maybe this will help you out or you could just end up so drunk you'll never finish the book.  This pretty much sums up everything thats wrong with the series! 

ETA: Oh I forgot to mention that like Emily I still read the series just to see where Anita will go next.  It is very much like a train wreck you just can't stop watching.  *sigh* I stoped paying for them though after Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Bk 10) this is where I noticed the up skip in weird sex, and where Anita stoped being the Anita I loved. 


 I'm pretty sure it was this one I saw if not its very similar:

Let the alcohol poisoning begin!
Drink When . . . you read this common phrase / description;
* Someone's hair is `spilled around their shoulders' - 1 drink
* Someone's hair isn't just black, it's blue-black - 1 drink
* Somebody asks the conveniently open-ended question: `what do
you mean?' thereby prompting Anita to spout a long diatribe, explaining everything that's happening and happened in the plot up to this point, including everyone's private motivations - 1 drink
* Anita says: naked puppy piles OR naked kitty piles - 2 drinks
* Anita says that someone has `kitty-cat eyes' - 1 drink
* Anita describes Jean-Claude as being femininely beautiful, yet still utterly masculine and male - 1 drink
Drink When . . . during one of the (many) sex scenes
* Someone says; "so tight" or "so wet" or "so warm" while they have sex with Anita - 1 drink per term or CHUG! if someone says all three at the same time.
* Someone is so big that Anita straddles the line between pleasure and pain - 1 drink
* Anita says, "I screamed my orgasm into his mouth" - CHUG!
* Anita calls all genitalia `bits', because deep-down she's still a country-girl prude, aw shucks! - 1 drink
* Anita orders someone to "just shove it in!" - 1 drink
Drink when Anita . . .
* Anita calls the cachet of men in her life her `sweeties' - 1 drink
* Someone comments on Anita's stunning good looks, and Anita deflects by claiming such praise is `girly mind games' or she is paltry compared to the handsome men in her life - 1 drink
* Anita meets an attractive and powerful woman, who is dead by the end of the book- 1 drink
* A white middle-aged cop infers that Anita is a wimp/slut, and Anita takes the negativity in stride, claiming it's a `guy thing' - 1 drink
* Anita is reluctant to have sex with a stranger because, deep down, she is still a country-girl prude . . . but she soldiers on and has sex anyway (*ahem*, to feed the ardeur) - 1 drink
* Anita blushes (usually in the prelude to sex) and a man is utterly charmed by her naiveté and ability to still be embarrassed, aw shucks! - 1 drink
* A guy compliments Anita on her large breasts (to which she all but replies, "what? These old things? Aw, shucks!") - 1 drink
* Anita tries (unsuccessfully) to justify sleeping with a sixteen-year-old boy (nope . . . still fantastically creepy and inappropriate) - 2 shots
* Anita is accused of becoming `one of the monsters' she was sworn to kill - CHUG!
* Somebody (often female) challenges Anita's status as tiger queen or Nimir Ra, and claims that Anita cannot take an animal to call . . . resulting in an orgy - CHUG!
* Anita adds a new `sweetie' to her harem (reluctantly, of course) - CHUG!
* Anita has sex with a gorgeous stranger because the ardeur needs to feed and said guy is somehow down-trodden/outcast/misunderstood etc, but he appreciates Anita's blatant arousal of him (she likes me, she really likes me!) - CHUG!
* Anita gets a new scar that she doesn't care about because she has so many already and they're proof that she survived something nasty, plus she's not a girly-girl to care about how pretty she is - 1 drink, or CHUG! if Anita recounts the story of how she got the holy-cross scar on her arm to some poor, unsuspecting paramedic who just asked her if she wanted an Aspirin?
Drink when Edward . . .
* Anita calls Edward `good ol' boy Ted', and mentions that he wears a cowboy hat - 1 drink
* Edward wonders who would win in a fight-to-the-death between him and Anita, but doesn't live out his fantasy because they're friends - 1 drink
* Discussions about how Peter wants to be a stone-cold-killer, just like his step-daddy - 1 drink
* Edward mentions that he has modified his weapons - 1 drink
Drink when Bernado . . .
* Bernado or Anita mention that Bernado has a big dick - 1 drink, 2 drinks if either of them use the phrase `hung like a horse' (because his name is Bernado Spotted Horse. Get it?)
Drink when Olaf . . .
* Olaf does something utterly creepy, forcing Anita and Edward to threaten to kill him if he steps out of line . . . without ever actually pulling the trigger - 1 drink
* Anita muses to herself that one day Olaf will go too far and either she or Edward will have to kill him - 1 drink
Drink when, as a reader you . . .
* Don't have a clue who half of Anita's sexual `sweeties' are. Domino? Nicky? Bobby who? When did Anita have sex with a married guy? Huh? - 1 drink per man you can't remember reading about in previous books, but who is now a part of Anita's harem
* You grind your teeth and keep muttering `where are Jean-Claude/Nathaniel/ Asher/Jason/Micah/Richard?' - 1 drink
* You don't understand why Anita claims to miss all her sweeites so much, but doesn't even take five minutes to make a phone call home and say `hey!' - 1 drink
* You had such high-hopes for the Marmee Noir storyline, thinking that she could be the big-bad evil to turn the series around . . . only to have all your expectations dashed in one hurried and anti-climactic finale that basically ends in `happily-ever-after' - CHUG!
* You sigh and wonder whatever happened to vintage Anita Blake. The non-slutty ass-kikcker of yesteryear - 1 drink


Last Edited on: 1/12/13 12:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/12/2013 5:00 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
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hah!  yep, alcohol poisoning indeed.  though the only one still making me go eww is this one:

Anita tries (unsuccessfully) to justify sleeping with a sixteen-year-old boy (nope . . . still fantastically creepy and inappropriate) - 2 shots

i admit, i'm still buying them, now in ebook, and i'm picking up the HC used somewhere to add to my keeper collection.  though i'm not sure *why* i'm still collecting the HCs, old habits i guess.

Date Posted: 1/12/2013 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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Anita tries (unsuccessfully) to justify sleeping with a sixteen-year-old boy (nope . . . still fantastically creepy and inappropriate) - 2 shots

OK, I just got done with Bullet, and that's before Hit List, and in Bullet the 16 year old is now 17.  Still kinda creepy, but not as creepy as 16.

I never understood why Jason was never more than a friend.  Jason was/is one of the most attractive characters to me.  I think I have a crush on Jason.  I wish he was one of Anita's sweeties.

Another one they could have added to that drinking game was "drink every time Anita insists on someone calling her Ms. Blake instead of Miss Blake".