Danse Macabre - Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series Author:Laurell K. Hamilton It was the middle of November. I was supposed to be out jogging, but instead I was sitting at my breakfast table talking about men, sex, werewolves, vampires, and that thing that most unmarried but sexually active women fear most... Anita Blake needs to be concentrating on a dangerous situation: The ardeur, the sexual power that flows between An... more »ita and Jean-Claude, Master Vampire of the City, and Richard, the volatile werewolf who loves her passionately, is reaching new levels, perhaps evolving into something altogether new. The ardeur seems to be choosing new lovers for Anita, acting with a will of its own. As Jean-Claude says, the ardeur is hunting powerful prey. The unexpected effect of this is that Jean-Claude?s own power as a master vampire has grown to new levels - and Richard, never predictable, is changing, too. But as the days pass, Anita?s less interested in vampire politics than in an ancient, ordinary dread she shares with women down the ages: She may be pregnant. And, if she is, whether the father is a vampire, a werewolf, or someone else entirely, she knows perfectly well that being a Federal Marshal known for raising the dead and executing vampires is no way to bring up a baby?« less
The problem, for me, wasn't that DANSE MACABRE was 300 pages of sex. The Anita Blake Series has become increasingly more sex- based, due to the ardeur that Anita carries and needs to feed. The sex in the book is nothing great, although there are a few attempts to put the people involved in situations and positions that I find would be hard to accomplish for any mortal human. But since everyone in the book is some type of supernatural being, it didn't seem to be a physical impossibility. So, if you can understand the fact that sex is an integral part of this book, you won't have a problem.
What makes the book not that great is the fact that, underneath the sex, there's just no real plot. Jean-Claude has invited a number of various Masters of the City to St. Louis for the showing of an all-vampire ballet/dance troupe. As such, the same Masters have all brought various candidates to become Anita's pomme de sang (read blood & sex dinner). That's the general plot. Unfortunately, the entire book only covers forty-eight hours, and although we know the gist of the storyline, nothing ever really happens. Besides, of course, the sex.
There are lots of hurt feelings in the book. There's a pregnancy scare. There's the typical characters (Richard, Jean-Claude, Asher, Nathaniel, Micah, Jason, Claudia, assorted vampires and werewolves and wereleopards and wererats). There are new characters (the succubs mermaid and her family, the werelions, the Masters of the City). There's crazy sex, ardeur sex, powerful sex, painful sex.
When you strip away the sex, there's not a whole lot else there. Although I will say that DANSE MACABRE could have used a good editor, just to get rid of the repeated phrases that are prominent throughout the book.
Yes, I finished the story, and no, I didn't hate it. But it wasn't all that satisfying (the sex, although large in number, isn't anything to write home about) or fulfilling (almost nothing is resolved at the end of the book that was brought up at the start).
Would I recommend buying a copy? No. Should you borrow it from a friend or the library? If you're an Anita Blake fan, then yes, to see how the storyline (what there is of it) continues. Let's hope the next book has a little more meat to it, and less screaming sexual gratification.
The gloves came off with this book. No more pretense that this is anything other than a salacious read. Outside of the sex, which there was actually a little less of than in other books, this one was mainly what I would describe as character development. It's not a spoiler to say that the pregnancy issue took up a good part, and other discoveries were made as well.
Although I was glued from page one until the last, this reminded me a little of Days of Our Lives. The conversations which go on for days on end, with nothing being resolved. The fixing of one problem only to come across another. That was a bit tedious, and sometimes I found myself wanting to scream.
I didn't finish reading this one. It was all arguing and sex. I really like some of the characters, but not enough to keep me reading.
I wish that Hamilton would write them like she did in the beginning of this series.
So many great possible story lines are explored in the first 50 pages, it's sad when the best ones (usually those without possible sex) are ignored. I dislike the way the author goes through and tries to tie up lose ends when she gets to the point where she thinks the story is done. My only hope is that she might bring one of these lose ends into the next book. I guess I just have to wait and see.