"Incubus Dreams" Laurell K. Hamilton

Book Cover

Anita Blake returns, sort of.

This is not the Anita of Guilty Pleasures, the first in the Anita BlakeVampire Hunter series. This is, however, the Anita of Narcissus inChains.

Anita is once more wound around several men. There is a mystery, asvampires are killing people in St. Louis, again. But the mystery takessuch a back seat that it isn't resolved by the end of the book, althoughit comes to a stopping point. Anita was once a strong, independentwoman, but all of that has changed. The book only covers a few days, andAnita does almost nothing independently. It's rather disappointing thatone of current fiction's strongest women has suddenly becomeco-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. Sheseems to be giving them that. I don't mind sex, but I want more of aplot than Anita's struggles with her sex life and various lovers. I wasdisappointed in Incubus Dreams, but will likely check out the next AnitaBlake book, just because the first ones were so entertaining.

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Through Violet Eyes" Stephen Woodworth

"C Is for Corpse" Sue Grafton