Thursday, July 09, 2009

Book: Danse Macabre

Well, six hundred and twenty reviewers on Amazon can't be wrong. Two stars!! Although maybe a little overrated. (the reviews are ruthless, it's sort of amusing)

I particularly like this reviewer's comments: "All of this stuff is thrown into this book without any real sense of a story or pretty much a point to anything. There is no plot in this book. There is, however, variations of the same ol' same ol' sex scenes that make trashy, low-budget porn movies seem like works of art in comparison. Sometimes I think the author opens up a file containing a previously written sex scene and all she does is change the setting and its characters and voila! A book has been written!"

Oh, Anita. You and your cadre of codependent men are tiring. Even if you are kind of amusing. And the copy-editing practice is useful. An example:

"Ma petite, if you could fetch scissors from the bathroom drawer, we can look at his wounds."

I did it without being asked.

No, no, you dummy -- he just asked!! Gah! People! What does it take to get this woman her own copy editor?? Even the titles of her books on her website have typos (Lunitic Cafe instead of Lunatic Cafe... The Harliquin instead of The Harlequin)

So why do I keep reading this? Past glory, I suppose. The first 8 books are pretty great. Great supernatural police detective stories, with a fascinating main character. Anita Blake used to KICK ASS. She used to kick butt and take names. She was fierce, conflicted, ruthless, a major pain in the ass -- but likable and fun to read about. She had interesting moral dilemmas. She had complicated relationships. The other characters were amusing, interesting, sexy and scary. And she used to write about great monsters. Really, really fantastic, scary monsters. I very much enjoyed the first 8 books.

But then... who knows what happened? Now it's pretty much, as the reviewer stated, the same ol' same ol' sex scene, with various characters. Anita is a self-admitted gigantic pain in the ass. This woman will argue with a rock. It's exhausting. I skipped pretty much the entire last quarter of the book, just skimming to get to the end.

I picked this up from the library because I really just needed something light, amusing... and I really like to copyedit her writing. I'm a geek. But it's actually tiring to read these books anymore. There is no plot; or rather, what plot there is is so poorly played out and is such a small part of the book, there isn't any point to even including the plot. (notice that I haven't mentioned the plot? Not worth mentioning). Also, the writing is confusing, and the storyline and connections between all the characters are byzantine. You need a roadmap to keep it all together... but it doesn't really matter because the characters are pretty much interchangable at this point.

Sigh. Jean-Claude used to be so hot. Anita used to be so badass. I miss that. I also miss how the author used to spend pages describing all the weapons Anita would wear. How awesome is it that a little five-foot-two girl was armed to the hilt? And had awesome scars, also described in detail. That girl could take a lickin' and keep on tickin'. Now she takes a lickin'... but it's a different kind of lickin', if you know what I mean.

It still makes me smile when Ms. Hamilton (the author) describes the fashions everyone wears. It's a quirk of her storytelling that she elaborately describes these amazing clothes (straight out of 80s-era David Bowie, very Goblin King). She used to describe Anita's running clothes. Now she describes the clothes Anita takes off. Oh well.

So... I won't say that I won't read another, because I'm sort of fascinated with what will happen with all the characters, but I might just get the rest from the library and skim through them all. Sort of like fast-forwarding through a movie just to see what happens at the end.

I'd be back on board in an instant if the author would kill off some of the men and get Anita back in police (er, Federal Marshal) gear.

Anita is sort of inspiring, however, in that she is a giant pain in the ass. Sometimes I wish I were a bigger pain in the ass. You know? I'd like to be demanding, harsh, rigid and highly volatile. That sounds kind of fun.


Tammie said...

HA. i just laughed out loud. for real.

then i read parts of this review to jay, who also laughed out loud.


Daphne said...

T: Glad you enjoyed it. It's fun to snark about books. :) these books are very snark-able. Although the first 8 really were pretty good.