Friday, 29 July 2011

Hit List

Level: Explicit
Genre: Fantasy/Horror > Vampires/Urban Fantasy
Obtained: Borrowed from a friend
Reviewed by: Nic Echo

About the Book:
The 20th installation of the Anita Blake series has Anita on another out of town adventure. The Harlequin, a secret vampire police/assassin force, are murdering clanless tigers so Anita and other federal marshals are trying to put a stop to the killer. However, Edward and Anita quickly figure out that the Harlequin are only killing these tigers so that Anita is away from her power base in St. Louis. With Anita weaker, the Harlequin hope to capture her so that Mommy Dearest, the mother of all vampires and the night made alive, can possess Anita's body and live within her.

Rating: 3/10
I have to admit, as far as the later Anita books go, this one wasn't too bad. However, that is not saying much. First off, we are still stuck with are protagonist whining about how everyone thinks she is a skank and whatnot, but that is not likely to change any time soon, is it? Well, I guess we will start out with a few pros and cons. One pro is that there is less sex. Yes, there is only ONE sex scene in this entire Anita Blake book. Although that is amazing in itself, do not get too excited. Even though there is less sex, Hamilton still has not blessed us with more plot in its place. So what do we get instead of endless descriptions of mind dulling and repetitious sex? Dialogue. And not even good dialogue. I would say that, at least, 75% of this book is dialogue of "As you know, Bob" variety. First off, no one likes reading that crap. Plus, the characters in these dialogues already (or should know) what is being talked about so not only are we being fed boring drivel, but Hamilton has made her characters thick and/or forgetful. Or perhaps they just like having the same conversations over and over again. Also, most of the information that we are getting from these lines of dialogue is stuff we have known about from the early books. Now, I can see a little bit here and there from the last couple books, but there is a key phrase there: a little bit! We do not need an entire chapter of Edward and Anita telling us who and what the Harlequin are. A paragraph at most would do. Now, Hamilton does have a reason for giving us information from way back in books 1-4. According to her blog, she is trying to make sure new comers aren't confused. Uh... this is book twenty! If they are stupid enough to start that late in the series, it's their own fault. Don't make us suffer for their inability to read the series in the right order. Anyway, back to the review...

Another pro that we come across is Edward is back. Who couldn't love Edward as a character? He's a cold, mysterious assassin that hunts the deadliest of monsters and has not been sucked into Anita's doom crotch yet. Although Edward and Anita have not yet had kinky and extremely loud sex, but Edward is becoming worse and worse each book he is in since The Harlequin. He is constantly chiding over Anita, and honestly the old Edward would have killed the new Anita by now. Speaking of once cool characters, Olaf makes another appearance as well. I do like that he seems to be going back into his serial killer ways more, but I am sick of him. I do not see why he was in the book except that Hamilton could put him in it. Honestly, I think she just keeps spewing out books with Edward and Olaf because she knows people are more likely to buy those books.

The other pro/con I have is involves the Mother of all Darkness. The good news is that this exceedingly drawn out plot line finally comes to a close. The bad news is that it is summed up in about eight pages or less. Actually, it's worse than that, but that involves

Anita actually destroys the MoaD with love. I kid you not. While Anita is sucking the big bad vampire down, she is able to keep her in check because Marmee Noir never knew what it was like to be loved. And these are supposed to be dark and gritty books. They are so dark that no characters ever die except peons, and enemies are killed with freaking love! Argh!

Now, I will admit I did enjoy the scene where Edward and Anita are being chased by the Harlequin. Our heroes are in a car as the villains keep blocking them in, and Edward actually uses a tank gun. However, as far as cool bits, that's pretty much it. Meanwhile, Hamilton is still messing up the English language with her atrocious grammar, and she brings out more inconsistencies in her series. We are also forced to read pages upon pages of physical descriptions. Now, I like details like this, and even I think it is overboard. I swear we learn that Edward has blue eyes twenty times in the first chapter alone.

So all in all, this is a better than Hamilton's recent stuff, but still not good. There is more plot than Bullet and a lot less sex, but instead Hamilton decides to bore us to death with endless character descriptions, pointless dialogue, and chunky writing. The ending was rushed, as usual, and every character seems to be a moron while Anita wangsts. So basically, you have the same stuff she has written recently. All you have to do is exchange some of the sex for more boring dialogue. 

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