Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Burnt Offerings

Level: Explicit
Genre: Fantasy> Urban Fantasy > Vampire
Obtained: Purchased at Border's
Reviewed by: Nic Echo

I actually like this cover and think it works well for the book. Not only does this draw your eye, but it has a sort of poster feel. There is also an obvious sexuality to it, which again works really well with the book's content. The one major issue with this cover is the woman's stomach is so hidden in shadow that it looks as if it isn't there most of the time so you are left with an illusion of a pair of chopped off legs in the flames. I mean, look at the German cover below. It is basically the same cover except the colours are brighter, not as close of a crop, and the torso isn't so shadowed. While I do like the colours of the US paperback more, the shadows in the German one work much better since it looks more like a body than just random legs.
About the Book:
Anita has always led something of a dangerous life, but now the danger has hit a new level when The Vampire Council comes to call. They are accusing Jean-Claude of trying to start a new council in America, but even if Jean-Claude convinces them otherwise, The Council will be wanting their payment of blood and sex.

Rating: 6/10
 Burnt Offerings has many of the same downfalls that The Killing Dance had, mainly the repetition. The enjoyment of the plot is able to make it more bearable, but the repetitiveness is still pretty in your face. The good news is that there is a lot less focus on the metaphysical abilities (though this may be a downfall to those new to the series). However, the sex, rape, and torture are at an all time high. Now, when I first read this, I hadn't minded, but I was also in high school then and although the Anita Blake books did feature a lot of rape and torture, they weren't in the spotlight as often as the later books where it seems every person is obsessed with sex and violence. Now, that isn't to say that there aren't some terrifying and gruesome things that The Council does, such as skinning the back off of someone or breaking bones through the skin of the legs. Still, the sex and pain went on much too long.

Honestly, there were two things that made this book slightly better in my mind: Asher and Warrick. Warrick has been one of those characters that have stayed in my mind for years even though he was only featured in one book. Part of it is his love for God, but we have seen that plenty of times before. No, the thing that made me remember him is when we see his animal to call, and he is so thrilled even though his animal to call is butterflies. Yes, precious, beautiful, delicate butterflies. I adore this touch that Hamilton brought. It is such a simple thing but managed to bring so much to a character, and speaking of characters, let us talk about Asher. This was the Asher that I had fallen in love with. He was snarky, emotional, and dramatic without being whiny just so we could have some "tension." Here I could feel his anger and loss, feel the weight of being mistreated for centuries. Sadly, there was still one major issue I had involving Asher. At the end of the book, Jean-Claude and the others have to pay prices to The Council. For Anita, she is required to let Asher take blood. She ends up "seducing" Asher out of it by touching and caressing his scars, and he ends up so moved that he cannot bear to harm her, even though he had been planning on killing her for a long while now. Anita is just that awesome. Can I get some more eye rolls, please? Yeah... Oh, and JC and co. manage to get out of every one of The Council's demands as well. The really nefarious ones I am okay with (such as Yvette wanting to rot on Jason), but every single one? Ugh.

Anyway, Burnt Offerings had a lot of issues yet it was still fairly enjoyable. It had a lot of the sarcastic feel the earlier books had, but the issues mentioned really bring this down and are likely to put many off. Still, several of the characters managed to up it a bit more, and it still remained fast paced and gruesome. It is no where near as a bad as the later books, but it still fails to hold that certain darkness the early books did. I would still recommend it if you liked the Anita Blake books so far, but it may also be a stopping point for many.

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