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Topic: Anyone reading SKIN TRADE, the new Anita Blake Vampire Hunter? Spoilers!!

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Subject: Anyone reading SKIN TRADE, the new Anita Blake Vampire Hunter? Spoilers!!
Date Posted: 6/3/2009 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2009
Posts: 91
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Just finished it and am wondering if anyone else has read it? If so, what did you think of it?

 



Last Edited on: 6/7/09 8:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/4/2009 1:42 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,757
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i finished it a couple of hours ago.  given that it's one of my favorite series, of course i liked it.  i'm pleased she's back working with the police, and Edward, though it still seemed like 'police-work lite' compared to the earlier novels.  but since this isn't posted (at least yet) as a spoiler thread, i don't know what else to say.

Date Posted: 6/5/2009 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/11/2007
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i really liked it but i'm hopless fan...i loved them all.  any book with Edward in it is guaranteed to rock!  um, i don't want to spoil anything so i'll just say i'm not sure i'm happy about Marmee Noir's role in this book.  That doesn't spoil anything does it?

Date Posted: 6/7/2009 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2009
Posts: 91
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Sorry...didnt' think to add SPOILER to the topic, have now so please feel free to comment.

Have a feeling I will be the odd man out on this thread.  Wasn't thrilled with the book.  haven't been thrilled with any since Cerulean Sins. But as i discovered on the fan board, I'm one of the minority on that score.   As with the last 5 or so books, this was not a page turner for me.  However, at least this one did  not go flying across the room to slam into the wall when I really had more then I could take, the last few books did.  I guess that's a plus for this one at least.

Thanking all the heavens that the sex scenes were at least brief and to the point. Amazed at Anita's choice of partners.  Half expected Bernardo to be on the menu in this one once I knew she was not taking any of her regulars with her.

Guess "mommie dearest" will not be croping up any longer.  Was really expecting a major show down between her and Anita. Really thought that was way Laurell was add new abilities to Anita's list.  A bit put out with the way that ended, so Anita isn't the one to do in Mommie?  That was a book I was looking forward to reading, oh well.   Really wondering who did that.  Suspecting Belle but hey guess that will have to wait for another book for that to be explained.  What else is new? Seems like more and more is just either mentioned and not really explored or we are left to wonder what happend. Oh well... 

Much that I didn't expect croped up in this one with regard to her status with Jean-Claude.  Not so sure how I feel about that bit of info, it was sort of dropped in our laps, but then since this book took place out of town.  Guess there really wasn't much that could be explained. Sorry that J-C was sidelined, again, in this book.  Really miss the interaction between the two of them. But then again, since much of that lately as been in bed, maybe it was for the best?

For me, this is the last book I buy in hardcover, or likely any cover.  think I will wait my turn with the library next time.  This makes the 6th book that I've paid for, and this one I didn't get a new release discount for at Borders either, and was not thrilled with. Way too much money to pay for something I haven't really enjoyed.  At least this on I was able to give to my daughter so she didn't have to spend her money on it. She was waiting till payday to purchase hers.  Now she's having a hard time reading it too. I think we will both be on the waiting list at the library next time.

Again...I'm likely to be in the minority on this one. I adore the first 11 books and have read them over and over again, and will continue to do so. But it seems that with the last 5 or so books, sex has started taking the place of any real story/plot developement.  With this one instead of sex it was, "I don't think like a girl", "Cops don't trust me any more", "Everything with power want's to test me", "I didn't do it on purpose", oh please give me a break or a real story to read. After a few hundred pages of that, it gets boring. Thats what this book did for me, bored me to tears.  That's what most of the last 5 have done, I give up.  Roughly $125 in the past 5 years to be bored, disappointed and begging for a real plot.  I'm just done. 

Date Posted: 6/7/2009 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,399
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Plot wise, Anita has been fighting with things bigger in power than her,  And now she is one of the top in power.  Hmmm.

I'm just glad that the gratitious sex scenes seem to have been edited out.  Sex for plot, fine.  Sex just for sex?  At least make it good erotica.  Sex with no foreplay and men she doesn't even like?  Screams poor editing.

I also like the earlier books better.  But this was a step in the correct direction.  Felt the storyline was more controled.  Work and Edward always help connect Anita to the world.

 

Date Posted: 6/8/2009 4:14 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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I've kinda wondered if her fame has allowed her to send books to publishing with little or no editing?  Whether or not a person is still a fan, IMO the last handful of books could have been improved by a good editor.  Although I haven't read this one yet :-)

Date Posted: 6/8/2009 5:20 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,399
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Considering how terrible her website is, it sure seems like her publisher's are not controlling the editing or the website. 

Date Posted: 6/8/2009 7:44 AM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2009
Posts: 91
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Denise...I agree a good editor would be a wonderful thing for this series.  Not too sure how much editing LKH allows on her books. Know from her blog that she does get the books back for re-writes, but from what I understand she doesn't have a dedicated editor so they change from book to book.  Sad, if it was the same person they would be familar with the series and would better understand what is needed.  My daughter, studing English/Library Sciences as her majors, has commented on the exact same thing for the last few books.

Emily...Laurell completely controls the website, well should I actually say Jon and her assistant handle the website with Laurell approving content.  Laurell is admittedly not very tech savey and is unable to do the actual work herself. The rules she has for the fan board that are so very close to censorship, with mods that are outragously strict enforcing them, that I stopped going there.  Do wish Laurell would go there and really read what a fair number of her fans are saying. She might be a bit surprised to see we are not all thrilled with what she has been writing lately and exactly what it is we are unhappy with.

Date Posted: 6/9/2009 12:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/11/2007
Posts: 94
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I really thought anita would be the one to take out the MOAD too.  I was disappaointed by that.  and does she really not have a consistent editor?  if so that explains a lot of the inconsistencies (otherwise know as yabbi's but i don't use that term). 

I too have been to laurell's forum and i didn't think the rules where that bad...I've had plenty of people tell me (nicely) that they hate how the books are going.  I always found it a little odd that people who really dislike her stuff are on there talking about it but...big fights seem to start whenever someone asks why.  Well anyway, my point was i don't think you're alone...even on her forum there are i hate (whoever) threads and people who dislike the way the plot seems to be going.

I miss Jean-Claude!  and all the other st. louis vamps...the next book better be at home!!!  I think it would be good if a few people took requiem's cue and moved to another town, even though I'll miss him.  And i'm so glad haven has a regina and isn't shacking up with anita.  i like him but i agree we need less men in the bedroom.  or at least to stop adding to them....and we could have of the arduer stuff off screen couldn't we?

I loved seeing edward interact with the cops and him have to deal with the cops thinkning he's anita's bf.  it was so funny.  and i like that there are other humans who can feed off things...anita doesn't seem so "all powerful" now....there are other powerful humans out there we just don't see them a lot.

Date Posted: 6/9/2009 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2008
Posts: 10
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I liked the book but I feel that there are so many characters in the stories that most are being neglected. No Micah, no Nate, barely any JC. I miss her interaction with the lycanthrope and vamp communities.  It's getting hard to keep up with the story b/c of so many new characters being added in every book. I visit the message board but some people take it way too seriously.

Date Posted: 6/9/2009 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2009
Posts: 91
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My daughter just finnished the book. While it was not one of her favorites, she didn't hate it. When I told her I was getting a bit tired of the same issues coming up again and again, ie, 'the cops don't trust me', 'anything with power needs to test me', 'I don't think like a girl'. "not in total control of my new powers', 'I didn't do it on purpose', etc.  Same themes that seem to be used over and over again. My daughter reminded me that conflict make for a good story.  Hmmm that made me think. At this point is there any area of her life that is not in constant conflict. That sort of reminded me of my much younger days when i used to watch day time tv.  OMG! Thats it!!! Thats what has been bugging me the most about recent books, this has turned into a soap opera!!! Something I stopped watching 20 years ago.  The more I think about it the more it fits. Huge casts, everyone sleeping with everyone, ( or in this case Anita), at least a few of them not happy about it, (lets not mention Richard-Thanking all the gods he was NOT in this book), and over lapping relationship issues. Nothing ever goes the way it should. Hells bells, we even had a preganancy (sp?) scare and didn't know who the father was.  I finally figured out why I'd been so very dissatisfied with recent books. some days I am just a bit slow!

Date Posted: 6/10/2009 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 12,167
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One of the things I really liked about this one was that it wasn't set in St. Louis.  It allowed for fewer characters to be involved in the story, which I do appreciate.  Loved the fact that it was several hundred pages before Anita had sex with anyone.  I'm thrilled that she's actually doing police work, even with the recurring conflicts with the police, etc. 

And Edward - lots of Edward.  He's probably my all time favorite character in the series, but he's been sadly MIA.

On the other hand, I didn't miss Richard at all.  Or Micah.  Or Nathaniel, for that matter.  Yep, less boys, more Edward.  That's the ticket.   :)

Subject: Just some random LKH thoughts regarding buzz saw...uh skin trade
Date Posted: 6/11/2009 3:14 AM ET
Member Since: 6/3/2007
Posts: 37
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Haven't read it yet, as I don't buy these in hardback.  I will read it from the library, I'm on the waiting list. .  But I am the opposite of most people who have the love/hate thing going on w/ LKH. I've been reading her for years, since the mid 90's.  I loved and devoured the old AB vampire hunter books.  but I wasn't horrified and didn't stop reading when her style changed so drastically.  I loved Cerulean Sins and Narcisis in Chains and Incubus Dreams.  But I have gradually started liking the books less and less.  It wasn't  so much the added   "porn " content,  so much as the lack of good writing.   I didn't mind less police story... because I love character driven relationship books,  but  her writing seems to have gotten soooo much worse.    So much repeatitive phrasing and wording.  Just boring.

I just loved it when she has scenes with JC,  I guess I'm one of the few left who liked Richard.  I love Jason, Asher and Nathaniel.  I loathe Micah.  Edward...eh...he's alright, but I never found him as interesting as some others did.

I have heard that there a sex scene involving a minor.   Not sure how I feel about that....even in paranormal/fantasy/fiction......for me...that has an ICK factor that really bothers me.  With that,  it may be the end of my reading the AB books.  Not sure.....but I think LKH may have crossed a line.  I will still try to read it,  but that scene may be the ultimate wallbanger book killer. 

 

Date Posted: 6/11/2009 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2008
Posts: 5,639
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I just finished.  I really liked it.  It took me a couple of days to read, which for me is unusual, so it is a slower read .  I  ditto the  whole Edward thing, although them pretending to be a couple felt a little weird to me.

   There is a 16 year old guy, but it doesn't go into any details, and Anita was creeped out by it too. 

I thought Victor was intriguing.  I don't know about  Domino and Crispen.  Jury still out on them. 

 

I do miss the other guys though.

 

It's funny, with Sookie series I find myself in the Eric camp.  Most series, I am strongly in favor of one guy or another.  With Anita, at first I was Richard, but all her guys have grown on me.  I wouldn't want her to give up any of them really.    Maybe I have a secret desire to have a harem of guys?  heheh

Date Posted: 6/11/2009 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,757
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as soon as i saw the teenage boy, i knew we were going there.  at least it was done ok.

even though i'd just re-read the one before it, it took me a few days to realize that was two in a row that weren't in St. Louis.  maybe that's why the less sex - she's not at home with any of her sweeties.  i guess we'll see in the next book set at home.

in any case, i'm quite glad that they picked up the loose end of Vittorio.  i was really annoyed when that book ended with the real bad guy getting away.  i was also very happy to see Edward again, and since Obsidian Butterfly was the last book before the focus changed, in some ways it was good to see Olaf & Bernardo doing the Marshal thing again too.  though Olaf is still just wrong.

it was interesting to see Anita meet human psychics that are more powerful than her.

Marmee Noir - i never really expected a showdown between her and Anita.  as it's been shown several times, she'd whup Anita good.  but i'm not sure she's gone yet either.  she'd already left her body before the explosion, and though she was prevented from having Anita help her, i wouldn't be at all surprised if she turns up again.  (kind of like The Traveler from when the council came to St. Louis.)  though perhaps if she's now less powerful, we might get that showdown after all.

but ugh.  there were at least three (and i think more) glaring spelling errors that a spell check would have caught, and that always annoys me.  even if you don't want to have the spell check on while you type (and i don't, so i get that), doing a check at the end shouldn't be that difficult, right?

Date Posted: 6/11/2009 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,399
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I agree that it isn't the sex that puts me off.  It is the lack of editing.  The stories wander.  The sex is not linked into the plot.  There is a difference between writing and editing.  It is a different skill set.  A good editor can make a book or story collection.  A lack of one can make the flow of the story stumble.  LKH's lack of editing causes me to pause and notice the mistakes.  Having a fan edit a book does not count as good editing. 

This one appears to have some editing.  Not enough.  And it pissed me that all this potential is lost. 

 

Date Posted: 6/11/2009 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2009
Posts: 4
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I'm remembering something Laurell said at one of the Wolf Howls...there is no set editor for her books. something that I think a dedicated editor is necessary for. There is/can be someone different for each book. Now, how do you catch descripencies between the books, characters names, spellings, etc if you don't know the 'world' that the book takes place in? Also it seems to me that the biggest issues with the writing/plots have come up since the shift from crime driven plots with personal life sidestores to personal life plots and then whatever else added. Since she shifted the focus of the books the real writing issues seem to have started. The 'fix' seems easy to me, but then, I don't have to write it.

Always sad to see anything, books, tv, movie series, etc. 'jump the shark'.  But, it always seems to happen.  Oh well...I still love the first 11 books and always well.  Guess that has to be enough.

Date Posted: 6/11/2009 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,399
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You'd think that someone at her level of fame would have a dedicated editor that she could work with. 

Supposedly the shift in writing came when she began to have more control over the process.  Whoops.

Note to publishers and writers out there, editors are important.  Otherwise you get flames like LKH gets.  Not good to piss off your fans by your poor editing skills. 

Date Posted: 6/17/2009 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 6,378
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Even with respect to just this book, a good editor would have helped.  There are a few glaring places where Anita goes off on some tangent that is the exact same tangent from 50 pages before.  A good editor wouldn't have to know the series to at least help out with some of the internal mess.

That said, I'm a huge fan of this series and a sucker for every one.  I liked this one, and thought the development of Olaf as a character and his relationship to Anita was interesting if totally creepy. 

Date Posted: 6/20/2009 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 2,928
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I'm currently reading it. It' s decent so far, better than the last few. I am glad she's back with the police and that there is a story line that is based on something more than sex and vamp/shifter politics. I love the series as a whole, but it's almost too complicated now with the over abundance of additional characters. It's hard to keep everyone, their powers, their stories, their hang ups (and I could go on here) all straight. The books don't come out fast enough for me to stay on top of the story and I haven't liked the last few enough to re-read them before new releases come out.

Oh and I'm glad she made some of the swat team tall. It's so annoying to have Anita explain over and over again how her "sweeties", hate that by the way, are short. There are more short people in these books than all the others I read combined LOL.

 



Last Edited on: 6/20/09 1:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/24/2009 7:22 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 2,928
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Now that I have finished it, I have to add that I'm just annoyed. Not as annoyed as I have been by books in the past, but still annoyed. I agree with the previous posters that there is too much conflict. It's almost as if LKH had all of these great ideas and characters and has tried to fit them all into one series. Alot of it would work seperately, but together it's like a big cluster @#$%

If it's not the ardeur, it's her beasts trying to get out. The sex just seemed to be an add in with this book. It's almost like LKH though, hmm have to put sex in here somewhere, and then just fit it in at random. And after reading good erotica, I think she needs to learn how to write a good sex scene. The whole bumping the cervix comment threw me, ouch and who says that in the middle of a sex scene? It was all kind of painful and definitely not a turn on. 

I guess I am just tired of Anita's mess. I'm tired of the what's wrong with me, I didn't mean to, I'm a bad husband, everyone hates me and thinks I'm a slut, blah, blah, blah. I just miss the books that weren't a big jumbled mess. I think Terri is right, it's one big, poorly written soap opera. I hate what the author has done to this world. I hate that Anita collects powers and men like some women collect coupons. Well, it was a good 17 book run, but I don't see myself purchasing any future books in this series. I think I just officially took it off my must read list.

 



Last Edited on: 6/24/09 7:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/24/2009 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2009
Posts: 91
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Heather...I competely agree with you. What makes me scratch my head and wonder is, how in the world is this staying on the best seller lists? Anita's world today is not the one I got hooked on many years ago and it is not one that I look forward to visiting any longer.

When I was on the fan board it always amazed me how no matter how bad the book was there were people who praised it from the rooftops. I just don't get it.

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 6:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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I got a call from the library this afternoon and they have it on hold for me.  Somehow I'm not as excited as I usually am about running down to pick it up.  I think I'm getting a little burned out on LKH.  I'm hoping she'll surprise me with this one and it won't be "more of the same" but we'll see.

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 10:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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I miss Jean-Claude too.

I was actually disappointed with the Edward/Brenardo/Olaf characters this time around. They went from hard-ass to standing around bickering and talking about feelings. Where was all of Brenardo's bad-ass knife skills? Instead he acts whiney the whole book. And I thought Edward added little to the story, nothing special anyways. Remember Circus of the Damned Edward? I miss him.

And the wrap was was a little to quick. I'd have liked to have read more than just a point by point list, which is what it seemed like it was. Maybe some resolution with Jean-Claude?

The whole plot seemed kinda loose. They were just running here and there, chasing this and that. No real, I dunno, storyline going on here. It reads like it was written by the seat of her pants. She used to put together a pretty tight story, but now they're starting to seem all over the place.

I have to say I liked this one even less than the last few. Which I hate to admit because I'd consider myself a big LKH fan, or at least a huge Anita fan. I've read quite a few urban fantasy/paranormal series but nothing that can quite fill that spot :( 



Last Edited on: 6/29/09 10:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/1/2009 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2008
Posts: 10
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Wow! i'm so surprised so many didn't really like the book. I have loved every book in this series. I like the fact that new elements are added. I do miss some of the characters but if every book were the same I'd be bored.

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