"Incubus Dreams" Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita Blake returns, sort of.

This is not the Anita of Guilty Pleasures, the first in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. This is, however, the Anita of Narcissus in Chains.

Anita is once more wound around several men. There is a mystery, as vampires are killing people in St. Louis, again. But the mystery takes such a back seat that it isn't resolved by the end of the book, although it comes to a stopping point. Anita was once a strong, independent woman, but all of that has changed. The book only covers a few days, and Anita does almost nothing independently. It's rather disappointing that one of current fiction's strongest women has suddenly become co-dependent on so many men.

When I first heard Laurell Hamilton speak, she said that the fans in Europe wanted more sex and less violence. She seems to be giving them that. I don't mind sex, but I want more of a plot than Anita's struggles with her sex life and various lovers. I was disappointed in Incubus Dreams, but will likely check out the next Anita Blake book, just because the first ones were so entertaining.

Incubus Dreams is the latest installment in the Anita Blake series. At least that's what the cover says. However, the real Anita Blake is missing in action. The hard back version is 658 pages long and for us Anita fans, it has been a long wait. But this book disappoints.

The book starts at a wedding. Anita spends some time complaining about the clothes and the makeup. She spends a few pages at a murder investigation - very tame by Blake standards. Then back to the wedding reception. She has problems with how she has treated Nathanial. She spends time complaining about having to dance. It just goes down hill from there.

There is very little story here. The whole book is (except about 50 pages near the end where she helps some cops kill a vamp or two) Anita having sex with various folks (including Nathanial and Richard for those who care - but of course not at the same time given Richard's homophobia).

I'm worried looking at the past few Anita Blake books that Laurell Hamilton has lost the big picture. Sure - a bit more sex and romance is fine. But the author has completely removed the action. Hard core porn books don't sell in mass markets for a reason, after a couple of pages it is BORING.

There's not much here to review. The main story is supposed to be a group of serial killer vamps, but they don't really play much part. A chapter in the middle of the book with a woman who wants her son raised so his murderer could be identified has promise. But Anita refuses, beats the woman and her husband up then has sex in her office. So much for that story line.

Where's the scary Anita from book one? Or the scary Anita that so impressed Edward? She's not to be found in the pages of Incubus Dreams. Very disappointing.

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