Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Bk 10)
Narcissus in Chains - Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Bk 10 Author:Laurell K. Hamilton Six months have passed since Anita has seen either Jean-Claude or Richard. Six months of celibacy. Six months of indecision. Six months of danger. For her body carries the marks of both vampire and werewolf, and until the truimvariate is consummated, all three remain vulnerable. — But when a kidnapper targets innocents that Anita has sworn to pro... more »tect, she needs all the help she can get. In an earth-shattering union, Anita, Jean-Claude and Richard merge the marks- and melt into one another. Suddenly, Anita can harness both their powers. She can feel their hearts... hear their thoughts... know their hungers...
Nothing can save Anita from a twist of fate that draws her ever closer to the brink of humanity-to finally surrender to the bloodlust, the beast and the desire transforming her body and consuming her soul....« less
V C reviewed Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Bk 10) on
Helpful Score: 13
This is definitely where the books start dispensing with the plot and make straight for the sex scenes. If you read for the nookie, keep going. If you sort of miss the old Anita who kicked more ass than she tapped... well.
Number 10 in the Anita Blake series. While I am a huge Anita Blake fan, I didn't like this one so much. We are introduced to Micah, the wereleopard alpha who Anita is immediately is attracted to (& having sex with). As if she didn't have enough men in her life, she's added another alpha male. We are also inroduced to the ardeur - the curse that Anita has inherited as a result of her ties to Jean Claude. Anita's relationship with the wereleopards is getting weird, she's having random sex with strangers, and her personal life is a mess (as if it could get messier). Not sure I'm liking where LKH is taking the series.
The Narcissus referred to in this book, "Narcissus in Chains", is a hermaphrodite who owns an S&M Club. He/she is a nasty piece of work who loves to seriously torture people, vampires, werecreatures; anything that moves. She is called to Narcissus' club to rescue two of her friends, Nathaniel and Gregory, who are being tortured by some patrons of the club. I use the word "patrons" loosely because they're into real torture not playful sadism and they happen to be wereserpents. (Whoever heard of such a thing? I've never encountered "wereserpents" in anything I've ever read but Hamilton puts them to effective, evil use in her plot). They're a nasty bunch who pop up to give Anita and friends grief at the end of the book. Getting Nathaniel and Gregory out of the torture room proves much harder than initially thought.
The bizarre plot just moves on from there with more twists and turns. Richard's group of werewolves is falling apart mainly due to his attempts at democratic leadership. He's also announced to his group that Anita will no longer be the female leader in the near future and that he's looking for a replacement. To make matters even worse between them, the werewolves have imprisoned Gregory in a deep, dark, very smelly pit in preparation for his execution. The charge? Anita's murder. Even though they know Anita is alive, the fact that they misunderstood a previous event and voted for Gregory's death still stands. Talk about stubborn! Richard refuses to interfere though he has all the power to do so. He cites the groups' votes as more the be-all and end-all, refusing to take up any veto power. But I knew part of his refusal was his animosity towards Anita.
Then Anita finds herself under the increasing power of the ardeur and finds she needs more and more "food" as time goes by. Yep, Anita is well on her way to becoming a living succubus. Not only is Anita needing to feed the ardeur through sex with more partners but she finds herself drawn to drawing blood from her too willing victims and reveling in the sight of that blood. Is vampirism next on Anita's agenda? We must read and see. But frankly, after this book and others that came after, I think Anita has her hands full just with the ardeur. That and all the rescuing activities she gets involved in.
Oh, and I forgot she also has boyfriends. Jean-Claude is her main boyfriend and Richard has been delegated to a working relationship though most of the time it hardly works due to Richard's rage, stubborness and idealism.
So, lots of stuff is going on in this book and despite the increasingly weird subplots, I enjoyed it. There's some steamy sex here and there but if you're looking for really steamy, hot sex, read Hamilton's "Danse Macabre". "Narcissus in Chains" is stronger in plot and has such interesting characters. The only thing I didn't like is seeing Anita starting to become harder and more dominant in her actions and personality. I know characters need to grow but do they have to get worse instead of better? I also saw this negative part of Anita more prevalent in "Danse Macabre" and it was all I could do to keep myself from reaching inside the pages and smacking her.
This was another page-turner in the series. I couldn't put it down and really enjoyed that a new character, Micah, has been thrown into the plot. Truthfully, I've gotten sick of Richard and his whining and really don't understand how someone like him is in charge of the wolves--if he were to be written out, I don't think I'd be too heart-broken. We don't usually learn a lot about the guys (in-depth), but considering the story is in first person narrative, that's totally understandable. We get enough by Anita's perception of the people around her. (It's not like the guys are suddenly going to confess their deepest-darkest secrets to her... how many of us actually know guys who voice their feelings like what goes on in Anita's head when she talks about hers anyway?)
A couple of plot-hole(like?) complaints with the series that I've noticed are that Anita keeps calling herself a "Sociopath", yet is constantly worried that she is one or is becoming one. Well, I have good news for her. A true sociopath wouldn't have those kind of questions, so she's in the clear. Yay for her?
Also, most of the lycanthropes tend to follow some sort of trend in developing the instincts of their particular "breed". Ummm, last I checked, lions are the only "pack" cats, so why are the leopards doing this? Sure, cats can all be social, but the don't have the "need" to be like these seem to.
I've seen reviews on this book and others further on in the series as becoming something like soft-core porn. Well, in my opinion, it just wouldn't fit with Hamilton's writing style to make short-work of of how Anita feels and what she experiences during the core of a story and what has happened to her. This descriptiveness is what allows the reader to understand her character, whether we can relate or not. If a person wants to find read a story about a monogamous relationship they should find a nice, safe romance novel. You know, the kind where the guy was a player (which seems to be okay with our society) until he meets the "girl of his dreams"--even though we're not sure if those stories didn't hit the 50% divorce rate once we've read how they professed their undying love for one another. (After all, there are a plethora of romances out there with storybook endings that we should figure at least half of those characters love lives probably failed--if they were really real of course ;P)
I also continue to be impressed by Hamilton's creativity and bringing so many different types of mythical and fantasy creatures into her stories. I've always been a fan of Dungeons and Dragons-like things and it's rare to see an author use the different creatures I've like that particular game/stories have used but for a different fan-base. This explains why there can be so many different lycanthropes--authors like Hamilton are only limited to their imagination, and if they want to create new creatures I say go for it. It gets boring having to read the same old thing all the time about the same old critters.
Overall, I'm enjoying this series. It's different yet maintains a quality that a lot of other paranormal stories don't. Hamilton is a great writer who has easily become one of my favorites.
I felt this book had a lot of different plots and it is something I enjoyed. The name of the book is the only thing that I would have changed. Narcissus the owner did not have but one main part. He was not a main character in this book. Otherwise, it was a good book.