Hot Best Seller

Narcissus in Chains

Availability: Ready to download

Hamilton's vampire-hunting Anita Blake faces a plethora of foes in her tenth outing. Just returned to St. Louis after six months away, Anita is still no closer to choosing between her lovers—Jean-Claude, a vampire, and Richard, a werewolf. But she has to rely on both for help after two of the wereleopards that she has been watching are abducted at a seedy club called Narci Hamilton's vampire-hunting Anita Blake faces a plethora of foes in her tenth outing. Just returned to St. Louis after six months away, Anita is still no closer to choosing between her lovers—Jean-Claude, a vampire, and Richard, a werewolf. But she has to rely on both for help after two of the wereleopards that she has been watching are abducted at a seedy club called Narcissus in Chains. Anita and her boyfriends rescue the wereleopards from the sinister people holding them, but Anita is wounded in the fight and put at risk of becoming a wereleopard herself. Richard angrily captures the wereleopard he believes is responsible and threatens to execute him. Anita must now rescue that wereleopard from Richard and the werewolves he leads, even as she mourns the apparent end of her relationship with him. Then she realizes that those who kidnapped the first two wereleopards are targeting other lycanthropes. Maybe she will be next. With plenty of steamy sex and graphic violence, this is engaging reading for vampire cultists.


Compare

Hamilton's vampire-hunting Anita Blake faces a plethora of foes in her tenth outing. Just returned to St. Louis after six months away, Anita is still no closer to choosing between her lovers—Jean-Claude, a vampire, and Richard, a werewolf. But she has to rely on both for help after two of the wereleopards that she has been watching are abducted at a seedy club called Narci Hamilton's vampire-hunting Anita Blake faces a plethora of foes in her tenth outing. Just returned to St. Louis after six months away, Anita is still no closer to choosing between her lovers—Jean-Claude, a vampire, and Richard, a werewolf. But she has to rely on both for help after two of the wereleopards that she has been watching are abducted at a seedy club called Narcissus in Chains. Anita and her boyfriends rescue the wereleopards from the sinister people holding them, but Anita is wounded in the fight and put at risk of becoming a wereleopard herself. Richard angrily captures the wereleopard he believes is responsible and threatens to execute him. Anita must now rescue that wereleopard from Richard and the werewolves he leads, even as she mourns the apparent end of her relationship with him. Then she realizes that those who kidnapped the first two wereleopards are targeting other lycanthropes. Maybe she will be next. With plenty of steamy sex and graphic violence, this is engaging reading for vampire cultists.

30 review for Narcissus in Chains

  1. 5 out of 5

    CJ

    The beginning of the end. I was fascinated with the whole human servant thing. I was fascinated with the werewolf added into the fray thing - talk about a messy love life! I thought that her powers increasing was fine - they had to if she was hanging around the kinds of monsters that were in her coterie. The twist with her being able to have a vampire servant bound to her was a nice one....after all, her power is to control the dead, and what are vampires but dead? But it was never enough. It go The beginning of the end. I was fascinated with the whole human servant thing. I was fascinated with the werewolf added into the fray thing - talk about a messy love life! I thought that her powers increasing was fine - they had to if she was hanging around the kinds of monsters that were in her coterie. The twist with her being able to have a vampire servant bound to her was a nice one....after all, her power is to control the dead, and what are vampires but dead? But it was never enough. It got to the point that every man who crossed her path fell madly in love, lust or slack jawed admiration of her whether he was human, vampire, werewolf, psychopath, you name it. She was a walking Love Potion Number 9. The only men who could withstand her powers of attraction were men who were such small side characters that they didn't matter. And her powers just kept getting bigger. First she's an animator and can raise the dead...with some effort and a careful ritual and specific tools. Then she doesn't need much effort, then she doesn't need any tools at all, then she becomes a necromancer, able to call ALL the dead. Then she becomes the werewolf's female leader, then the were leopards female leader although she's not forced to do any changing with the full moon nastiness. It gets to the point that you figure when she meets God, she'll just absorb all his powers, too. Is there any power she DOESN'T have? Because if not, I can guarantee she'll have it eventually, although I will not still be reading this series by the time she ascends to divinity. And as the sex increases, the plot decreases. I have nothing against soft core porn, I really don't. I read my fair share of it and enjoy it. But if I pick up a book to read a mystery or some fantasy and get doused with a couple hundred pages of fellatio before the plot even begins, I'm not reading what I picked the book up to read. This book marks a major turning point in the series for me. Up until this book, the series was still a good one despite the loss of the female detective angle as her social life becomes the focus of the plots rather than solving a mystery. But this book crosses over the line and from here, you need to grit your teeth to keep going with the rest of the series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    [My opinion, for what it‘s worth...exactly:] With the exception of Micah, I've read the entire Anita Blake series up to this point (Blood Noir, #16) and, in the aforementioned opinion, Obsidian Butterfly was the last decent book, after which the series should have been renamed Anita Blake, Vampire Humper since the majority of what little action takes place occurs in the bedroom, the back seat of automobiles, on the kitchen table, the bathroom floor...etc, etc, etc. Beginning with Narcissus In Chains, gone are the days when Anita spen(Blood [My opinion, for what it‘s worth...exactly:] With the exception of Micah, I've read the entire Anita Blake series up to this point (Blood Noir, #16) and, in the aforementioned opinion, Obsidian Butterfly was the last decent book, after which the series should have been renamed Anita Blake, Vampire Humper since the majority of what little action takes place occurs in the bedroom, the back seat of automobiles, on the kitchen table, the bathroom floor...etc, etc, etc. Beginning with Narcissus In Chains, gone are the days when Anita spends her time raising the dead, kicking monster butt, and slaying rogue vampires, with threat to life and limb. Instead, we’re treated to her increasingly frequent sexcapades--watching as she dips her toes (and other body parts) into the murky waters of BDSM and pseudo-beastility (I mean, really, what else do you call sex with a partially-transitioned werecreature--and we’re not talking gender issues here, but rather "Does it, or doesn’t it, have fur and a tail?"); tedious repetitions of her ambivalent and animosity-laden encounters with Richard (“He loves me, he loves me not; He loves me, He’s full of snot.”); and long discourses regarding monster--and especially vampire--sociopolitical structures. Call me provincial, call me shallow and two-dimensional, call me Al (or some other A-word), but when I pick up a book about a vampire hunter, I anticipate, well...vampire hunting, or something of its ilk, not a weird blend of Penthouse Letters, teen diary, and Royal court treatise. It’s too bad, ‘cause Anita Blake was pretty kick ass, back when she was kickin’ ass.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tilly Slaton

    This book is the beginning, the core foundation of everything to come. All of the books prior to this one were filled with death, gruesome and violent homicide scenes, bestial pornographic rape scenes to unquestionable love. Totally weird stuff, but worth every minute of couch time! This book takes the entire series, and swings it into a completely different direction. This book really rocks the boat, and takes you by surprise. The once innocent and strictly moral and you must be in This book is the beginning, the core foundation of everything to come. All of the books prior to this one were filled with death, gruesome and violent homicide scenes, bestial pornographic rape scenes to unquestionable love. Totally weird stuff, but worth every minute of couch time! This book takes the entire series, and swings it into a completely different direction. This book really rocks the boat, and takes you by surprise. The once innocent and strictly moral and you must be in love to have sex Blake, is torn from those lines of thoughts and thrown into the deep end. Everything changes. This book was a startling shock the first time around. This time, I was expecting the twists and turns and appreciated every moment of Micah and Nathaniel My two favorite sweeties! I still don’t like Richard. To hell with him! Jean-Claude gets on my nerves, he’s become even more secretive, cryptic and manipulative. A power-hungry master vampire, one-third of the triumvirate, he plays puppet master to Anita and Richard and really screws with everyone’s reality. Narcissus is an interesting character. He is the owner of a BDSM club, and although he usually tops .. Asher makes him pant with anticipation. Weird, but fun! He gave a small bow of his head. “Now enter and enjoy the delights, and the terrors, of my world.” Anita’s confusion and fear of love, as usual, leaves her cynical and stubborn. “If it works out, it’s the best thing in the world. If it doesn’t work out, it’s like having your heart torn out and chopped into little pieces while you watch. It leaves a big hollow space that never really heals.” Sucked into a war between different animal groups, Blake finds herself betrayed by a new love, her body in shock from the bloodshed, and trusting new bodyguards at her back. I pressed the barrel of the Uzi against the top of the head. “If you’re alive, don’t move, if you’re dead, don’t worry about it.” Hehe .. I think she rocks! I recommend this book to every adult! Sometimes it’s nice to spice up your brain, fall into a world that is unacceptable and continue reading until you’re beating heart pounds in your chest. This book is twisted, filled with extreme violence and moderate to semi extreme sexual scenes. In depth description of alternative lifestyles, and consequences to an addiction Blake gains from the married marks. Do not let any child or immature adult read this book, or ANY book in the series that follows. Happy Reading! And onto Cerulean Sins I go!! .. toot toot

  4. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    Anita Blake is spending some much needed time with her friend, Veronica "Ronnie" Sims, when she gets a call. Apparently, submissive Nathaniel went to the club, Narcissus in Chains, and got into some BIG TIME trouble. Against the wishes of Ronnie, Anita calls Jean-Claude to give her an assist. At the club, she reunites with her other lover, Richard. From there, BIG changes happen. NOTE: For some odd reason, the only audiobook version I could find is the abridgement. So I'm sure there a Anita Blake is spending some much needed time with her friend, Veronica "Ronnie" Sims, when she gets a call. Apparently, submissive Nathaniel went to the club, Narcissus in Chains, and got into some BIG TIME trouble. Against the wishes of Ronnie, Anita calls Jean-Claude to give her an assist. At the club, she reunites with her other lover, Richard. From there, BIG changes happen. NOTE: For some odd reason, the only audiobook version I could find is the abridgement. So I'm sure there are tons of nuances and scenes I've missed. If you gave me this book with no cover, no indication that this was part of the Anita Blake series, I probably would have thought this was part of a spin-off series or fanfiction or some crazy "What If?" book, so little connection does it have with any of the previous books. I've been very open that I have never been a huge fan of this series; it's had many faults, the number one being Anita Blake herself, another being the misogynistic view of women, another being pacing, writing, etc. But this book is so completely different, I am at a loss for words to describe how DIFFERENT it is. Ever since Anita slept with Jean-Claude in The Killing Dance, sexuality has been increasing in the series. A couple of sex scenes, lots more discussions of BDSM, weird sexual acts, and of course, a hearty helping of rape. And honestly, I really didn't mind it (well, minus the rape part--honestly, you don't need rape to make things Serious Business). The series was kinda moving in that direction and after all those books of dancing around the sex issue, we really needed some bedroom action, if you catch my drift. But this...this is just one long sex scene. I mean, Anita has sex at least THREE TIMES in this book. That doesn't include her makeout session with Jean-Claude and Richard at the beginning of the book nor all the mentions of the "ardeur". The previous books might have ONE sex scene, if you were really looking. Here? You have to try hard NOT to find the sex. But the amount of sex isn't even the real problem; the real problem is the lack of a STORY. Now, I realize I listened to an abridgement, so I'm missing story details, but halfway through the book, there WAS no story, no plot. And then, at the 3/4 mark, LKH realized that she needed to toss one in for kicks, so we get a showdown with Anita and Chimera. Even with all my complaints to the previous books (mostly about Anita wasting time arguing with people), at least the previous books HAD a plot, HAD a story and a focus, HAD something they were building to. Here? It was just about the sex. And the thing is, the sex isn't sexy; it's over-the-top, extravagant, silly sex. That is, when we aren't talking about rape. Because LKH Rule #31: Great way to tell people who the bad guy is is to have him rape or talk about liking rape: "'I enjoy rape. Adds spice.'" I can't complain too much about LKH's fetish for over-describing clothes, but I attribute that one more to the abridgment than her toning it down. Because we still get gems like: "He was dressed in a black vinyl shirt that looked poured on." and "Knee-high leather boots completed his outfit." I didn't find Anita so b!tchy and unlikable here, but again, gotta wonder how much got cut out in the abridgment. Does Anita really tone back on the p!ssing contests with everyone and his mother or did that end up on the cutting room floor? As for the notorious "ardeur" thing--on one hand, the previous books set it up. On the other, it just sounds like an excuse so that Anita can have as much sex as she wants and not be considered a slut. Which, if Anita wants to have sex, she shouldn't need some gorram "ardeur" to make her not a slut. And if the "ardeur" is supposed to make her more comfortable with having sex, why is every sex session like pulling teeth, one where she is constantly protesting it? And what the hell is up with Anita's obsession with handshakes? "She offered me a hand and gave me one of the best handshakes I've ever had from another woman." The other characters are meh. Nathaniel makes me want to break something; he is not a "submissive", he is a doormat. Micah needs to learn that "No means no"; and that when a woman doesn't want sex, he needs to back the frak off. Jean-Claude was barely present; Richard was grouchy the entire time; Ronnie has resorted to being one note: angry that Anita is dating Jean-Claude. No sign of Larry, Anita's daytime job, or a woman that isn't easily pushed around by the rapey men in this series. By far, the most hilarious part of the book is the God-Awful writing. LKH has NEVER been the best writer in the world, but she is at her absolute worst here. Did an editor even SEE this book? Or did it go directly to publishing once LKH had finished typing? Take a peek at some of these and you tell me: "His eyes had gone drowning blue." What color is that exactly? "He kissed me hard enough to bruise, hard enough to force my mouth open, then he crawled inside." It's Aliens!!! Quick, get Sigourney Weaver!! "The POWAH didn't just build; it exploded. It was like lying at ground zero of a nuclear explosion, the shockwaves shooting out, out, out into the room, while we melted together in the center."Aren't similes typically supposed to compare something less tangible with something more tangible? Now answer this question honestly, Anita: How many nuclear explosions have YOU been through? "He literally breathed, bit, ate the healing into me."I literally have a hard time believing you understand how to use the word "literally". "Someone was making small animal noises...and it was me."If you can't tell you are making noises, you might want to see someone for that. "It deepened my breathing, made me have to swallow my pulse."This sounds painful!! "I found my voice, shaky, but mine."Good thing, we'd hate to have you be silent for the rest of the series. We got lots more cop p!ssing matches to get into! "I drank him in as he exploded inside me."Again, this sounds IMMENSELY painful. And somewhat impossible "And I spasmed underneath him, bodies slamming against the bed, not from Richard's thrusts, but from the power of the orgasm itself. Screams spilled from my throat."Things I've learned about sex from Anita Blake: 1) Spasming during sex is normal, 2) Orgasms are strong enough to slam bodies into bed, 3) screams are now a white, translucent liquid. “’Lovers?’ I made it a question.”Good thing you let us know that was a question; I would NEVER have been able to tell otherwise. I mean, aren't questions marks meant to be thrown in at random? (BTW, that last part was a question.) "The room was black, utterly black, like being flung into blindness, nothingness, like a cave."Adjectives were buy one, get one free the day that LKH wrote this sentence. If it hadn't been for all these unintentionally hilarious quotes, I would have been bored stiff. This book isn't interesting, doesn't really push Anita into having to face the problems of the previous books, and isn't sexy. If I had been an actual fan of this series, I would have been VERY disappointed; even as a non-fan, *I* felt betrayed by this book. If you have been a fan of the books up to this point, I recommend stopping before you pick this up and really consider whether you want to continue. Of course, if you want to read some hilariously bad writing, read on!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    Gaaaaaaaaaaaaah. You know who I'm thinking of here? Marion Zimmer Bradley. That is not a compliment. Talk talk talk sex whine talk cry sex cry sex sex talk whine politics whine sex talk talk mope sex pine sex sex talk cry. Except with Anita, so there's also stomping, threatening violence, and being a total asshole. The outfits in this book are a cross between a West Village queen's fever dream, the erotic etchings of a courtier during the reign of the Sun King, and the yearnings of some sort of Gaaaaaaaaaaaaah. You know who I'm thinking of here? Marion Zimmer Bradley. That is not a compliment. Talk talk talk sex whine talk cry sex cry sex sex talk whine politics whine sex talk talk mope sex pine sex sex talk cry. Except with Anita, so there's also stomping, threatening violence, and being a total asshole. The outfits in this book are a cross between a West Village queen's fever dream, the erotic etchings of a courtier during the reign of the Sun King, and the yearnings of some sort of hair fetishist. Men's hair flows down to waists, down to ankles, can you imagine what a total nightmare it would be to participate in an orgy with that much free-flowing hair? They deliberately take their hair out of braids before climbing into bed! INSANE. I know from experience that it is no damn fun to have your boyfriend accidentally pin your hair while moving around, and my hair was shoulder-length and there were only two of us. I now imagine all of these ridiculously unerotic sex scenes ending with all participants stuck in a giant snarl. Like a hairball hocked up by a massive cat. And then Anita goes into conniptions about whether or not she had sex. This is a woman who has been sexually active for about six years. If she doesn't know what is and is not sex, I don't know what she's doing roaming free. Anita, you went to third base with one guy, second with another, and the others squirmed around you. Man up and deal. Stop whining. Also, I am damn tired of Anita being talked round to a point of view over the course of fifteen pages, then if she's left alone for two seconds she reverts to her previous stance. Usually this stance is "no, don't wanna" even when someone has patiently gone over every avenue with her and it's taken thirty pages to get her to see reason. It's like listening to someone compromise with a toddler. There is nothing admirable about Anita's inability to make choices and stand by them. Sometimes she manages to reverse herself twice within one page, and she always ALWAYS takes her indecision out on someone nearby. She is a whiny brat, and J-C is too patient and accommodating. Richard on the other hand? Totally delusional and quite regularly dangerous in his idiocy. I think J-C is a dull fop who lays down for Anita like a brocade doormat, but even now I feel a weird pity for him, that he had the misfortune to hook up with these two morons who are going to get him killed. He must rue the day. Probably tries to kill himself every few weeks out of frustration. The saving grace of this book is that when Anita is having sex with a cat-person, most anatomical features of cat breeding are not carried over. That will probably happen in book 14, though. Shudder.

  6. 5 out of 5

    quinnster

    It's really sad the direction this series has gone. The first few books we SO GOOD! Scary and tense with a little sexual tension, but mostly just scary and tense. Then she introduced Richard and things started to go downhill. I don't mind a little romance in my blood & gore, but this is ridiculous. If I wanted to read supernatural porn I'd read the Merry Gentry's series. Wait, I already did. So why would I want to read this crap? It's no longer about the baddies that come out at n It's really sad the direction this series has gone. The first few books we SO GOOD! Scary and tense with a little sexual tension, but mostly just scary and tense. Then she introduced Richard and things started to go downhill. I don't mind a little romance in my blood & gore, but this is ridiculous. If I wanted to read supernatural porn I'd read the Merry Gentry's series. Wait, I already did. So why would I want to read this crap? It's no longer about the baddies that come out at night. It's all about her threesome with Richard and Jean Claude or lack thereof and all the 'magic' that comes with it. It's SO BORING. They go on and on and round and round the same crap they've been circling around for the last 4 books! And everything takes FOREVER! She knows that someone is in danger and she must save them, but before they get to where they need to be they discuss things that have no bearing on the problem at hand and then generally someone has to try to have sex with Anita. And this time, Hamilton recognizes her long-windedness but still doesn't seem to do anything about it. Apparently, she thinks it's good storytelling. IT'S NOT! It's PAINFUL. And come on, I know I'm a bit behind on this series having started it late, but this book was written in the 2000's. Why is everyone dressing like they're going to a bad gay bar in the 80's? The descriptions of the clothes sound like horrible 80's rejects. Silver mesh shirts & pants? On men. Men with hair down to their waists with vinyl shirts and pants. Ew. "There was nothing feminine about Richard." Well, except his hair and his pathetic attitude. And she repeats herself constantly. Twice in one chapter she writes that very powerful shapeshifts can partially shift. She's ALWAYS (I don't think there's been a book without this) says something about seeing something horrific and "my mind simply refused to understand". And then she'll go on to explain how the mind isn't meant to see such things and tries to protect you from understanding what you're seeing. I KNOW!!!! YOU'VE ALREADY SAID THIS!!!!!!! It's so annoying! I don't think I can read anymore of this series. I can't stand Anita and her wishy washy morals and her sociopathic attitude. She's tired and done and really, just a projection of Hamilton wanting to play out her sexual fantasies. It's not about monsters and scary things anymore. Boo.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jilly

    Just your average book named after a transvestite, sado-masochistic were-hyena. I swear that market is getting flooded! My Internet is out until Monday and I'm using my phone, so I'll keep it short. Anita is still annoying, Richard is still a dick, Jean Claude is still awesome, and Nathaniel is still sweet.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    This is probably my favorite book in the series. I loved loved loved this one. I know many people think that after Obsidien Butterfly things went down hill and there was nothing but sex sex sex all the time, but if you look at the emotions involved and Anita's blossoming power in this book it is more than any book yet, plus there is nothing wrong with liking a little bit of sex (or alot) with your reading. So Since I do like those things I name this book my absolute favorite and I'm sure there a This is probably my favorite book in the series. I loved loved loved this one. I know many people think that after Obsidien Butterfly things went down hill and there was nothing but sex sex sex all the time, but if you look at the emotions involved and Anita's blossoming power in this book it is more than any book yet, plus there is nothing wrong with liking a little bit of sex (or alot) with your reading. So Since I do like those things I name this book my absolute favorite and I'm sure there are many people out there who would agree with me. I mean Narcisus what a wacko yet kinda cool, then there is Chymera who is mentioned many many times after this book and plays an extemely important part in Anita's future this is definetly not one to miss.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Damecatoe

    TOTALLY SPOILERY, BEWARE Hamilton managed to work in at least two Triple Word Scores with use of terms that resonate well with genre fans: ouroboros (remember Scully's tattoo, anyone?) and oubliette (yay! Jareth would be so pleased). But the newest term created for the Blakeverse? Panwere. Because it was not enough to have werewolves, wereleopards, wererats, wereswans, weresnakes, weretigers, werehyenas, weredogs and werebears. Nay, we also have to have someone who can shapeshift into TOTALLY SPOILERY, BEWARE Hamilton managed to work in at least two Triple Word Scores with use of terms that resonate well with genre fans: ouroboros (remember Scully's tattoo, anyone?) and oubliette (yay! Jareth would be so pleased). But the newest term created for the Blakeverse? Panwere. Because it was not enough to have werewolves, wereleopards, wererats, wereswans, weresnakes, weretigers, werehyenas, weredogs and werebears. Nay, we also have to have someone who can shapeshift into multiple animals. Oh, and also, he must have split personality disorder. (Just roll with it, it's faster that way.) When the books began, Anita was 24 and she was an animator (meaning she could raise zombies). Then she became a human servant to a vampire. But then she killed him (which nearly killed her) and was freed. Somewhere along the way, she went from being just an animator to a necromancer (like an uber-animator - she can now also raise vampires). Then she became a human servant again. And since she was dating the werewolf king (called an Ulfric), she was deemed his lupa (like a werewolf queen, I guess). And then she killed the head wereleopard in town and became the wereleopard's Nimir-Ra (queen). So, when this book began, Anita was 26 and a necromancer human servant to the Master of the City and the werewolf king's lupa and the wereleopards' queen. (See how I said to just roll with it?) During the course of the book, Anita is accidentally impaled on the claws of one of her wereleopards, so it seems she might become their Nimir-Ra for like real, yo. She exhibits all sorts of new powers that confirm this suspicion. But come the next full moon, she doesn't shapeshift and it turns out that much as her vampire sweetie has an "animal to call" (being wolves), she (through the marks of being his human servant) has gained an animal to call of her very own - the leopard. How convenient. Oh, and she has also become a Master Necromancer, in that she now has a vampire servant. And did I mention she is now also a succubus? Yeah, that one would take too long to explain, so just keep rolling. New folk that want to sleep with her: the new Nimir-Raj (leopard king) in town. And that panwere I mentioned earlier. Of course.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Harmonybites)

    This for me is where the series went to crap. Before this I'd rate no book in this series lower than a four, but this one falls off a cliff. I held on and read to book 18, Flirt, because I had genuinely loved the series until this book, and back then once I invested in a series I kept with it, and with the books published up to The Harlequin, momentum kept me going, at least until I had to wait for the next book to be published. But Hamilton did something here that made me want to hurl the book against the wall This for me is where the series went to crap. Before this I'd rate no book in this series lower than a four, but this one falls off a cliff. I held on and read to book 18, Flirt, because I had genuinely loved the series until this book, and back then once I invested in a series I kept with it, and with the books published up to The Harlequin, momentum kept me going, at least until I had to wait for the next book to be published. But Hamilton did something here that made me want to hurl the book against the wall. I thought, she didn't just do that! But she did, and it wasn't an aberration or anything that was ever "fixed" and so completely changed the direction of the books from fun paranormal noir to soft porn. To explain what went wrong and how I felt, first I have to explain what originally appealed to me, then what Hamilton did here, and thus get into spoilers. So if avoiding them is important to you, you might not want to read beyond the next paragraph. When I grew up there was no Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who appeared not long before the Anita Blake novels appeared. (Although Anita as a necromancer had appeared even before that in a short story.) There weren't many kick-ass action heroines around, so growing up I really appreciated them. I loved Anita's voice at first. She was a tough-as-nails take-no-crap woman in a male-dominated milieu and I found it easy to root for her. She had her vulnerabilities and hangups, but I thought Hamilton was pushing her in an interesting direction. I liked the dynamic between Anita, Jean-Claude and Richard. Jean-Claude, the vampire, started out fairly menacing, and the whole plotline with the different marks, with Anita struggling to remain human, resonated with me. Richard the werewolf represented something different: someone struggling himself to remain human, but perhaps in vain given his basic nature. And you could see Anita struggling not just between the two men, but what they represented. Learning that not all such "metaphysical" creatures should be seen as monsters, but struggling with the darkness within herself and where to draw the line. And I liked that Anita had a web of relationships beyond men she was romantically involved with, such as Dolph her colleague on the police force and her friend Ronnie Sims. Spoilers Start Here--for this and future books All that changed with this book. In this book Anita becomes a "succubus" because of the ardeur that forces her to have sex to feed it, and forces men to have sex with her who are drawn by it. So the fuel that drives the plots of the Anita Blake series from here on, a series that had been focused on a independent, tough take charge heroine... is rape. I hated that. And this book also adds one of my least liked regular characters in the Anitaverse--Micah--as well as marks the increase in importance of Nathaniel, a character I loathe. After this book Richard and Jean-Claude become more and more marginalized until in some books all we get are brief telephone conversation with them. And the sex takes over until there's little plot or scenes beyond the bedroom and Anita has an entire harem of men never developed beyond eye and hair color. That hadn't changed up to book 18.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Faye

    First read: June 2006 Re-read: December 2017 Rating: 4/5 stars This is the book where the Anita Blake series takes a huge turn away from the urban fantasy/police procedural plots that endeared the character and the world she lived in to an awful lot of fans and introduced a concept changed the way Hamilton wrote this series for years to come. *SPOILERS AHEAD* Anita returns to Jean-Claude and St. Louis after her self-enforced six month absence. Following the events of Obsidian Butterfly/>*SPOILERS First read: June 2006 Re-read: December 2017 Rating: 4/5 stars This is the book where the Anita Blake series takes a huge turn away from the urban fantasy/police procedural plots that endeared the character and the world she lived in to an awful lot of fans and introduced a concept changed the way Hamilton wrote this series for years to come. *SPOILERS AHEAD* Anita returns to Jean-Claude and St. Louis after her self-enforced six month absence. Following the events of Obsidian Butterfly Anita has realised that avoiding fulfilling her part in Triumvirate with Jean Claude and Richard has done more harm than good. She finally bonds fully with them, and in doing so unleashes new powers that flow between the three of them, most significantly, gaining Jean-Claude's Ardeur - his vampiric ability to feed through lust and sexual contact. At the same time, Anita is trying to focus on being a true Nimir-Ra to her wereleapord Pard (and meets the enigmatic Micah, who seems to be trying to hold together another Pard on his own) while also trying to quell a rebellion that Richard seems intent on ignoring in his Pack. There is so much going on in this book, and here we start to see the different roles Anita has to take on come together. While her personal abilities as Necromancer and aide to the local police take a backseat, her roles as Nimir-Ra, human servant to Jean-Claude, and Lupa come to the fore, along with the revelation that Damien, a vampire she saved, is now also reliant on her for life-force and his continued sanity - becoming in effect a 'vampire servant' to her. Almost as a bonus feature, there is a short mystery element towards the end of the novel that feels like Anita of old. I loved this section, which is why I understand why so many readers left the series after this book. It signals huge changes in plot, in tone, and in genre. Honestly, I still personally enjoy this series (as evidenced by the fact I'm doing a whole series re-read up to Dead Ice which was the last new Anita Blake novel I read.) For me, the only book where I considered quitting the series was Incubus Dreams which is yet to come in my re-read. Overall I still find Anita's world fascinating and Narcissus in Chains was an entertaining page turner which added more depth and detail to that world and the characters within it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fangs for the Fantasy

    I normally begin my reviews with a summary of the book’s plot. So I’m going to scrape some plot out here to write about Anita has, after the drastic events of the last book, decided to end her 6 month separation with Richard and Jean-Claude and re-bound the marks since without the marks being properly linked all three of them are walking around with a great big target painted on their foreheads. Unfortunately, because Jean-Claude is an incubus, uniting the marks means Anita gains the I normally begin my reviews with a summary of the book’s plot. So I’m going to scrape some plot out here to write about Anita has, after the drastic events of the last book, decided to end her 6 month separation with Richard and Jean-Claude and re-bound the marks since without the marks being properly linked all three of them are walking around with a great big target painted on their foreheads. Unfortunately, because Jean-Claude is an incubus, uniting the marks means Anita gains the adeur, becomes a succubus and gains the mystical ability of having to have sex every 5 minutes. There’s also a new force in town kidnapping shapeshifters and making a play for Anita’s leopards, a new Nimir-Raj in town interviewing to lead the leopards and a battle that results in Anita being clawed by a wereleopard. She now has to not only rescue her leopards and keep her people safe – but deal with both the demands of the ardeur and the urges of her beast. I’m going to say something that will shock a lot of people who have read this book. This book had potential. No, really, it did. We had Anita and Richard finally realising they need to work something out with Jean-Claude and stop doing the whole running for the hills thing (or the turn into acid thing). With the addition of the new leopards we could have actually developed Anita’s connection with the leopards and actually give the Pard a culture on par with the wolves (there’s a reason why Anita keeps using the wolf words for the leopards – because they don’t have words! They even shifted from a French Heraldic naming system to a Hindi naming system). We could have had an exploration of the political implications of an alliance between the vampires and the werewolves – and even working the hyenas into the system and where that left the rats. Especially with them developing a “Shapeshifter coalition”. Part of that could be pointing out that Chimera isn’t actually much of a threat and it’s only because the big hitters abandon the weak groups. They could have developed the sheer mess Richard had made of the pack – perhaps even working with Raina’s munin rather than making it another one of Anita’s arsenal of one-off-powers we forget about until they’re needed. We could have had a greater examination of what marrying the marks meant beyond just the ardeur and even some more definition as to what powers Jean-Claude and Richard actually have. We could even have had Anita remembering she’s a Necromancer or, y’know, has a job. Because there was actually a lot more to this book than the ardeur and the endless humping, though it is the first step down the road that leads to all the books being consumed by humping. But none of it was developed – there was just a lot of random, seemingly pointless, events that didn’t develop into anything, added nothing to the characters and nothing to the plot. Damian and Gretchen being released from the coffins – not developed. Gil, the werefox, what was the point? Faust and Meng Die introduced – why? The Swan-King and the Swanmanes – added nothing. Even the core of the shapeshifter coalition could just have had Christine (a pre-existing character) turn up and say “shifters going missing” and covered everything that was needed there. Ronnie and Anita going out dancing? Pointless. Paris strutting her stuff at the Lupanar? Pointless. Richard’s angst about some werewolf killing someone on her wedding night? Pointless! Even that whole leadership challenge was covered in the damn epilogue! Chekhov’s gun,folks! Or Chekhov’s damned arsenal in this case! Wait, I’ve got to have a tangent here – by all that is holy stop resolving issues in the epilogue! An epilogue exists to tie up minor loose ends! The epilogue exists to bring some confirmation on side issues. The epilogue does not exist for you to brush over huge great big sections of the plot and world! Why set up Anita as Bolverk and have an angst ridden scene where Richard concedes that he can’t be evil enough to be Ulfric and needs Anita’s help if all of Anita’s help and all of that conflict is solved in the epilogue?! These random pointless events not only cluttered the story but also made the pointful events that were foreshadowing for future books – like Dolph’s family issues and Asher’s bitterness seem just like extra clog and filler. Even parts of the plot like rescuing and healing Gregory just dragged on for chapter after chapter with no good purpose. It’d fit if there weren’t so many distractions – but there always are. Read More

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lahnna

    *le sigh* So, this is one of my least favorite novels of all time. In and outside of the Anita Blake series. I began reading this series as a senior in high school (about 2002) and was enraptured by this giant world of were-folk, vampires, and our favorite ball-busting, vampire staking, caustically witty Anita Blake. I followed the series dutifully and enjoyed every page. Obsidian Butterfly was wonderful with more Edward! But I got to this novel and became extremely dumbstr *le sigh* So, this is one of my least favorite novels of all time. In and outside of the Anita Blake series. I began reading this series as a senior in high school (about 2002) and was enraptured by this giant world of were-folk, vampires, and our favorite ball-busting, vampire staking, caustically witty Anita Blake. I followed the series dutifully and enjoyed every page. Obsidian Butterfly was wonderful with more Edward! But I got to this novel and became extremely dumbstruck and disappointed. What happened? Where did Anita go, and who is this crazed sex fiendish psuedo were-queen, vampire servant woman? The change to the writing style happened so drastically that I knew there was no going back. It seemed that Hamilton realized she would make more money punching out vampire bodice rippers than actually formulating an effective plot.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cat Russell (Addicted2Heroines)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. "I crave you more than you will ever crave the man in your arms." Another re-read for me. I had forgotten how good this one was!! No detective work this time, but still a lot of wonderfully entertaining problems arise. I'm just going to sum up the fun stuff and what annoyed me. Anita has been gone for six months distancing herself from her men and spending time with Marianne in an attempt to sort things out and focus on gaining better control of her magic. When in need of assistance rega "I crave you more than you will ever crave the man in your arms." Another re-read for me. I had forgotten how good this one was!! No detective work this time, but still a lot of wonderfully entertaining problems arise. I'm just going to sum up the fun stuff and what annoyed me. Anita has been gone for six months distancing herself from her men and spending time with Marianne in an attempt to sort things out and focus on gaining better control of her magic. When in need of assistance regarding problems with her pard, Jean-Claude and Richard are quickly brought back into the mix. While becoming reacquainted they secure their triumvirate by performing a power orgy in the middle of a BDSM club. As a result of this we are later introduced to the infamous ardeur that basically transforms Anita into a sex-crazed succubus. Anita finds her Nimir-raj in Micah (yaaaay!). I would rather have Anita as a Nimir-ra with her leopard clan than being Lupa to the wolves. The leopards are a messed up bunch but they are much more interesting than the wolves . . . well, Jason being the exception, of course. While I adore Micah's character, there are a few things that bothered me about him . . like how he's willing to bend to Anita's every need, making him seem almost fake, like when he was immediately ready to jump into bed with Jean-Claude because he thought that was what Anita wanted (creeeepy). The other thing that bothers me is that he is described as short, even for a woman, with long curly hair and a delicate, feminine face. It's hard for me to put that image together in my mind. Come on, he's the king of his clan so why does he have to be so girly? I was very surprised by how jealous Jean-Claude was of Micah. I actually liked that side of him. I've always been undecided about how Jean-Claude really felt about Anita. I couldn't help but feel that he craves her power so desperately that he's more interested in how she can enhance their abilities instead of truly caring about her. But this story made me feel like he really does genuinely love her. "He is an entree, a very, very main course, and I wish to be the only entree at your table." Now on to Richard, our morally superior, narrow-minded, self-tormenting boy scout. He was extremely disappointing all the way around. He really pissed me off not standing up for himself or what happened to Gregory. I really wanted Anita to punch him one more time on the other side of his pretty face. I'm not even going to get started on his lame suicide attempt. The clan should have chained him to the ceiling in Chimera's newly remodeled club o' torture before they departed. He would have made a charming addition to the dangling, bloody, flesh ornaments that decorated Chimera's room. I also didn't like how Anita handled the situation with Elizabeth. She left Nathaniel alone when she was given direct orders not to and the damage it caused was severe. So I expected Anita to react immediately when Elizabeth appeared again but instead she allowed her to humiliate her some more in front of everyone before she took any action. That just wasn't an Anita Blake move. Overall I love, love, loved this book. I don't know what made me decide to start re-reading this series (even though I'm doing it out of order) but I'm glad I did. Now I'm on to more Anita Blake - the executioner, federal marshal, Nimir-ra, Lupa, Bolverk, necromancer, human servant, succubus. Am I forgetting one?

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pam Nelson

    Holy Fucking SHIT! Things just got real, I love Nathiel and I love Micah oh and I love that JC (Jean-Claude) kind of took the gloves off and showed Anita that she isn’t the only big bad. And that he was protecting her from a lot of shit. The Ardeur has reared its head and the three have to figure out how to feed it without Anita give up who she is. Whinny Richard. He is going to get a lot of people killed if he can’t step up or allocate to those who can. Will she change? I am sure we will know. Holy Fucking SHIT! Things just got real, I love Nathiel and I love Micah oh and I love that JC (Jean-Claude) kind of took the gloves off and showed Anita that she isn’t the only big bad. And that he was protecting her from a lot of shit. The Ardeur has reared its head and the three have to figure out how to feed it without Anita give up who she is. Whinny Richard. He is going to get a lot of people killed if he can’t step up or allocate to those who can. Will she change? I am sure we will know. On to the next!

  16. 4 out of 5

    ***Dave Hill

    (Original review, Dec 2006 http://hill-kleerup.org/blog/2006/12/... ) Overall: 3/5 Story: 2/5 Re-Readability: 4/5 Characters: 2/5 The tenth installment in the Anita Blake novels is where the series really, truly, goes off the rails. This is as far as I’ve gotten, both in my original reading and in this current rereading of the series — though I’ve every attention of going on from here — but this book exemplifies what’s gone wrong with this series from its initial excellent start. 1. If t (Original review, Dec 2006 http://hill-kleerup.org/blog/2006/12/... ) Overall: 3/5 Story: 2/5 Re-Readability: 4/5 Characters: 2/5 The tenth installment in the Anita Blake novels is where the series really, truly, goes off the rails. This is as far as I’ve gotten, both in my original reading and in this current rereading of the series — though I’ve every attention of going on from here — but this book exemplifies what’s gone wrong with this series from its initial excellent start. 1. If things don’t seem complicated enough, through in another major, critical crisis. 2. Tell, don’t show. For a book supposedly chock-full of action (violence and sexual), people spend a lot of time talking. And explaining. And describing. And delving into mystical backstory. And stuff that’s not moving the tale forward (just complicating it). 3. If two people have talked about something, make sure that one of them talks about the same thing with someone else, preferably immediately following. Use some of the same phrases, too. 4. When in doubt, have Anita sleep with it. Or, if that’s too icky, shoot it. Or, if that’s inappropriate, get angsty about her desire to sleep with it and/or shoot it. 5. If last book’s menace was the most evil, perverted, nasty, unspeakable, powerful critter one could imagine in one’s nightmares, make sure that the menace in this book is at least twice as evil, perverted, nasty, unspeakable, and powerful. 6. Since Anita barely handled last book’s menace, make sure her powers get similarly escalated (in size, number, or both) this time. She is, after all, an Animator, Master Necromancer, Vampire Hunter, Vampire Servant, Triumvirate Member, Lupa of the Werewolves, Lover of the Master of the City, Nimir-Ra of the Wereleopards, Associate of the Cops, Bad-Ass, Smart-Ass, and, eventually, Were-Partridge of the Pear Tree. 7. If Anita seems to be reconciling with someone she loves, make sure they do something particularly repulsive or treacherous. If someone seems to be getting closer to Anita, make sure she does something ultra-violent to drive them away. Rinse, repeat. 8. Come up with another vampire power. Or two. Or three. 9. Come up with another were-species. Or two. Or five. These tendencies had been in the series before, almost from the start. But they’re highlighted by the preceding volume, "Obsidian Butterfly," that both gets Anita out of St Louis and manages to focus (more) on a single member of her supporting cast, Edward. Returning to her home city and its cast of zillions, Anita not only is ready to make the same mistakes, she has some months of neglect to clean up after, too. Thus, everything gets longer and more complicated and overblown. This book so badly needs an editor to cut out about 1/3 of what’s going on — cast, crises, and metaphysics. The book is bloated with them, all held together by Anita getting herself into a mess by either being too ruthless or too soft or both. Folks worried that there isn’t enough sex can rest assured that Anita’s being overcome by a lust curse, alongside yet another love/lust interest entering the game. Folks worried there’s not enough violence can rest assured that were-critters can be shot at and tortured ad infinitum, and so they are. There are about three books in this one, as well as about three weeks of action, but Hamilton mushes it all together into a volume that's huge but still almost incoherent in its twisted knots. It’s little wonder the protagonist keeps forgetting the twenty impossible things she has to do before breakfast (or sunrise), because there are so many that the readers forget, too, and it’s a wonder the author doesn’t. So why, with all of that, do I keep reading these books — in fact, rereading them? Because there is some good stuff in here. The sex? Meh. Out-of-control (or all-about-control) passion leaves me cold here, as graphic as it is. The romance? Okay, if repetitive from every other previous installment. But the action scenes are pretty good, too and the magic/supernatural stuff (aside from its ever-escalating and occasional deus ex machina natures) is rich and interesting. The cast, always metastisizing, is, individually, well-drawn. The overall theme of What is human? What is a monster? Is it what you are, or what you do? And which of those do you have any control over? remains throughout, profound in its implications, and paradoxically muddied yet enhanced by Anita’s ever-increasing stable of associates, dependents, and powers. It’s like eating that third piece of very sweet and rich dessert — I know I shouldn’t, I know it won’t taste as good as the first piece, and will likely give me a stomach-ache, but I just can’t help myself.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Wanda

    Stick a fork in me, I am finally done. Done reading this Anita Blake novel, which I have found less satsifying than previous offerings. Call it 2.5 stars for my reading experience. Many people of have told me “the Anita Blake series is fine until you hit book 10.” That’s this one, and I’m certainly aware that the series is moving in directions that I’m less interested in. Now, those of you who do not read fantasy or urban fantasy may find the genre silly, what with its legions of vamp Stick a fork in me, I am finally done. Done reading this Anita Blake novel, which I have found less satsifying than previous offerings. Call it 2.5 stars for my reading experience. Many people of have told me “the Anita Blake series is fine until you hit book 10.” That’s this one, and I’m certainly aware that the series is moving in directions that I’m less interested in. Now, those of you who do not read fantasy or urban fantasy may find the genre silly, what with its legions of vampires, werewolves, witches, zombies and other creatures. In the cold, everyday light of life, they are indeed silly. But they are also fun and they make a wonderful alternate world to explore imaginatively. However, sometimes these fantasy worlds take a turn that seem ridiculous even to those of us who are dyed-in-the-wool urban fantasy junkies. That’s what’s happening to Anita Blake for me. Anita has changed from the young woman in book one who was afraid that someone might glimpse her underwear! Now she is a sexual adventuress who maintains intimate relationships with several men at one time, despite having misgivings about it every 4 or 5 pages. I’m fine with a woman being able to love more than one man and I found Anita’s dilemma, being torn between Richard & Jean-Claude plausible. But Anita’s bedroom is getting crowded and she acquires more bed fellows than she knows what to do with! Hamilton still delivers some excellent lines of inner dialog: “Maybe they know what I know, that the true way to a man's heart is six inches of metal between his ribs. Sometimes four inches will do the job, but to be really sure, I like to have six.” Will I still continue to read? Well, my cousin gifted me with an armload of Anita books, which are still loitering on my bookshelf, so probably. But I’m definitely taking a break before tackling the next book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    TheVampireBookworm

    And my love/hate realtionship with Anita Blake novels continues.. On the one hand, Anita finally lost her inner monologues about whether she should sleep around more or not. Finally, thank goodness. On the other hand, she started to sleep around. I kid you not, the first third of the novel was just her getting naked with people, not really contributing to the main story, just to someone's libido. I thought I wouldn't finish it because it became boring and tiresome. But fortunately stuf And my love/hate realtionship with Anita Blake novels continues.. On the one hand, Anita finally lost her inner monologues about whether she should sleep around more or not. Finally, thank goodness. On the other hand, she started to sleep around. I kid you not, the first third of the novel was just her getting naked with people, not really contributing to the main story, just to someone's libido. I thought I wouldn't finish it because it became boring and tiresome. But fortunately stuff started picking up after Anita balanced her hormonal levels and the story which I grew to like begun. Supernatural stuff at its finest. Action, vampires, wereanimals, just name it. Just like the old days. So if you're like me and don't really need the hot scenes in this series, eyeball a third of the book and start from there. It should be good for you from there because Hamilton knows how to write an engaging supernatural story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anna 'Bookbuyer'

    Anita has found a mate for her leopard self! Micah! So happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She also got the ardeur though... :( Poor Anita. It will work out for the most part in the end though. Micah is exactly what she needs. An uncomplicated man. Well after she killed the bad guy he was. Why can I never remember names. I know he was Orlando but who else was he? Started with an R? I think? Narcissus is pregnant? OMG. I agree with Anita not sure he should be breedin Anita has found a mate for her leopard self! Micah! So happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She also got the ardeur though... :( Poor Anita. It will work out for the most part in the end though. Micah is exactly what she needs. An uncomplicated man. Well after she killed the bad guy he was. Why can I never remember names. I know he was Orlando but who else was he? Started with an R? I think? Narcissus is pregnant? OMG. I agree with Anita not sure he should be breeding but it's not really our business. Poor Werehyenas. There lovers were tortured. :(

  20. 5 out of 5

    mlady_rebecca

    This is still one of my favorite books in the Anita Blake series. Part of that is that it was the last book I read when I first discovered the series and read them in one great rush. (In other words, "Cerulean Sins" was the first book I had to wait for.) But a lot of it is the fact that I like the possibilities this book opened up. This book represented a turning point in the series, one that many readers disliked, but I was quite fond of. There is an underlying theme in these books. This is still one of my favorite books in the Anita Blake series. Part of that is that it was the last book I read when I first discovered the series and read them in one great rush. (In other words, "Cerulean Sins" was the first book I had to wait for.) But a lot of it is the fact that I like the possibilities this book opened up. This book represented a turning point in the series, one that many readers disliked, but I was quite fond of. There is an underlying theme in these books. Anita goes from a very black and white closed off individual in "Guilty Pleasures", to an individual who sees the world in shades of grey. She stops seeing the "monsters" as other and starts judging individuals on their own merit. She also slowly releases all her self-imposed restrictions on who and how she can find love. (Minor spoilers, although not enough to tag the whole review.) After the Tri married the marks in the first few chapters of the book, I would have been satisfied with things moving forward as a threesome, but I'll admit in retrospect I like this twist much better. I love Jean-Claude's lover's list and the fact that it was realized in future books. I love the fact that, even with the ardeur, Anita still makes the men in her life earn a place at her side. She's not a woman of casual lusts, no matter how things look from the outside. I also love that this book managed to visit with most of the characters we've come to love. Except for Animator's Inc., I think everyone (in St. Louis) was on stage. Of the vamps, we saw plenty of Jean-Claude, Asher, Damian, and even Gretchen, plus we were introduced to Meng Die and Faust. Additionally, this was the first real introduction of Belle (from a distance). With the wolves, we saw plenty of Richard, Jason, Stephen, Sylvie, Jamill, Shang-Da, and even a hint of Irving. Oh, and Raina, can't forget her. With the leopards we saw plenty of Nathaniel, Gregory, Cherry, Zane, Elizabeth, and Vivian and we were introduced to Micah and his pard. With the wererats, we saw Raphael, Dr. Lillian, and a hint of Louie, plus we were introduced to Claudia and Bobby Lee. We saw Ronnie and Zerbrowski and Dolph. I'm very very impressed that everyone was on stage like that. We also had both vamp and furry politics going on, as well as a (very connected) RPIT case. Overall, I love this book and all the possibilities it brought out for the later books in the series, especially the next two - "Cerulean Sins" and "Incubus Dreams". Can't recommend enough. (Review date: 03/25/2009)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Denisa

    3.5, closer to 4 though. I have no idea how to rate this book. Everyone seemed to hate it so I started it with really low expectations. What can I say, I was surprised. Some were good surprises, some not so much. On one hand, there were a lot of things that I didn't like. The long, maybe useless descriptions were annoying (but I got used to them by now). I didn't like the "new" Richard and how he seemed to change from the guy I was used to. I didn't like the sexual relations 3.5, closer to 4 though. I have no idea how to rate this book. Everyone seemed to hate it so I started it with really low expectations. What can I say, I was surprised. Some were good surprises, some not so much. On one hand, there were a lot of things that I didn't like. The long, maybe useless descriptions were annoying (but I got used to them by now). I didn't like the "new" Richard and how he seemed to change from the guy I was used to. I didn't like the sexual relationships (if you can call them that way) and all they implied. But well, that's kind of the only stuff that I didn't enjoy. The good part is that all these changes were logical, Hamilton was really good at explaining everything and made me see the rationality behind all these changes. Can't say I liked them but they made sense. On the other hand, there were a lot of things that I really enjoyed. This book made me "feel" more than any other book of this series. It made me smile, frown, love, hate, yell etc. For me, that's one of the most important things in a book: to make react. It was long but really fast paced. It was very well written. It's everything I began to expect form this series. I just couldn't bring myself to rate this book any lower. Despite all the things I disliked, this was a damn well written book. Despite all the people who hate it and say that this is the beginning of the end, I just see it as a new beginning, a pretty big plot twist (for lack of a better word) that made some people hate this series and some just a bit more curious. I say it's worth a try :)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    It's funny, while rereading these I'm noticing that Anita is kind of a hypocrite. Maybe because I'm older now then when I last read them but I'm seeing Anita in a whole new light. But luckily, because there's so many other characters that I still love, it didn't hinder my enjoyment of the series. In this installment, Anita is dealing with the fallout of having left for almost 6 months while trying to get her metaphysical shit together. And of course, when she comes back she expects ev It's funny, while rereading these I'm noticing that Anita is kind of a hypocrite. Maybe because I'm older now then when I last read them but I'm seeing Anita in a whole new light. But luckily, because there's so many other characters that I still love, it didn't hinder my enjoyment of the series. In this installment, Anita is dealing with the fallout of having left for almost 6 months while trying to get her metaphysical shit together. And of course, when she comes back she expects everyone to just be happy that she's back and she doesn't understand that she left people in some pretty effed up situations. I think this is what annoyed me the most. Just how she didn't understand why people were mad at her for just ditching them? I was so happy when Jean-Claude called her out of her naivete. Narcissus in Chains also introduces a new character - well, many new characters - but one important one - Micah. I remember when I first read this book, I hated Micah with a fiery passion. But now, I've come to like his character - even though I still think he's extremely passive. I can easily understand people's qualms when it comes to this series but I still love it and I will continue my reread because I really want to get caught back up.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I liked most of the previous Anita Blake books (the exception being Blue Moon), but this really is were the series shifts. The hint at the end of OB that Anita wants to get her life under control is not fulfilled here. In fact, it is almost like Anita has become a totally different character. There is no real plot to this book, honestly. The melding that occurs seems to have been pointless, and just made Anita weaker, in the form of enslaving her to sex. Considering that Hamilton always teased with the I liked most of the previous Anita Blake books (the exception being Blue Moon), but this really is were the series shifts. The hint at the end of OB that Anita wants to get her life under control is not fulfilled here. In fact, it is almost like Anita has become a totally different character. There is no real plot to this book, honestly. The melding that occurs seems to have been pointless, and just made Anita weaker, in the form of enslaving her to sex. Considering that Hamilton always teased with the idea of Anita being in a real relationship with two men at once, there seems no point to having Anita gain the ardeur, unless it is to have her sleep with more than two men. This makes it a bad plot device. But my main problem is that in the hardcover edition, the Anita/Micah shower sexual encounter shows it as a rape, and then I am suppose to believe Anita loves Micah? Anita from the earlier books would have, at the very least, shot Michah or turned him into the cops at the end of the books. If you are looking for a book that is just pointless sex, read this. If you are look for a book that deals with a plot that has sex, and handles sex and rape in an adult manner, this is not the book for you.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    This is often noted as the first book in the great decline of Anita Blake, but I noticed that it many of my GR friends have given it 4/5 stars. For me, this book was a weak book. It was weak because it lacked the horror and fear element. My favorite Anita Blake books are the ones with a very strong horror background. This was also a weak book for me, because really I couldn’t figure out why there was the conflict. It seemed to be a weak set up. And finally, the back and forth between Richard and This is often noted as the first book in the great decline of Anita Blake, but I noticed that it many of my GR friends have given it 4/5 stars. For me, this book was a weak book. It was weak because it lacked the horror and fear element. My favorite Anita Blake books are the ones with a very strong horror background. This was also a weak book for me, because really I couldn’t figure out why there was the conflict. It seemed to be a weak set up. And finally, the back and forth between Richard and Anita was just tiresome. It added nothing to the story and honestly, if my best friend was going on and on the way Richard and Anita do – I would refuse to listen to it. Enough. Enough already. The sex didn’t bother me, but there really wasn’t a lot of it in this book. Anita’s personality was still likeable to me, even though Richard with Anita annoyed me, I still like Richard and all of the men. I do like the addition of the leopards – but when is Anita going to raise the dead again? I likely will wait a good while before I go on to #11, and I may just skip ahead to the books that have Edward and Olaf in them. Oh and the idea of were snakes really really disgusts me. Bleh.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (Book Lover's Cozy Cafe)

    this was an intense book, so much going on. Anita poor Anita it's hard to be a badass when your badassness is running on low. Richard at first I was like oh awesome he's becoming cool, calm and collected and getting with the program ummmmm WRONG!!!! This man was more up & down and more emotional than a woman on PMS. Jean Claude was as usual as calm and cool and sexy as always except when he attacked Micah now that was a trip.... OK so what is it with he shifter boys, they all seem to be rea this was an intense book, so much going on. Anita poor Anita it's hard to be a badass when your badassness is running on low. Richard at first I was like oh awesome he's becoming cool, calm and collected and getting with the program ummmmm WRONG!!!! This man was more up & down and more emotional than a woman on PMS. Jean Claude was as usual as calm and cool and sexy as always except when he attacked Micah now that was a trip.... OK so what is it with he shifter boys, they all seem to be really hung....do you think it's because it's a shifter thing???? I think so poor JC not getting commended for his man size... (I'd still do him regardless, over 500 years of sex, you know that boy knows how to make a girl cream and scream better than any shifter out there :) ). Nathaniel I have to agree with Anita I've always seen him as a helpless child. So her getting sexual (though she's not actually having sex with him) still is weird. Micah now he was and still is an interesting character...he's a dominant but he's definitely not as dominant as Anita, though there are few who are more dominant than her. But now that her and Richard are officially threw, wonder how things are going to go now.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Heather Codename: ♕Dutchess♕

    This book is probably the worst of the series so far. I couldn't even get through it. It got to the point where after chapter 8 (I think) I said screw it and skipped to the last few chapters and read them. You can't have a good book if you can't take the sex out and have a decent story line. Then there's the small fact that in the beginning, Blake was strong in her faith and believed in what she was brought up to believe through her religion. Now, she's pretty much her own This book is probably the worst of the series so far. I couldn't even get through it. It got to the point where after chapter 8 (I think) I said screw it and skipped to the last few chapters and read them. You can't have a good book if you can't take the sex out and have a decent story line. Then there's the small fact that in the beginning, Blake was strong in her faith and believed in what she was brought up to believe through her religion. Now, she's pretty much her own god. Not to mention the fact that she has to fuck everyone she comes into contact with. No matter how many times she gets attacked by a were, she never gets infected. She's practically a female version of Blade when it comes to the vampire issues she also deals with. Seriously Laurell K, bring the books back to what they were because now, you're just getting sad and pathetic. If it weren't for the fact that I hate stopping a series once I get involved, I'd stop. However, I have too much love for Asher and Jean-Claude to stop.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    oh dear. After possibly the best, tightest, most suspenseful Anita Blake book yet (Obsidian Butterfly), we get this WEIRD story. At first I liked it because Anita's back in St Louis and it looks like she's reuniting with both JC and Richard and apparently everybody is going to be OK with that (after god knows how much drama to get there). But then she gets attacked, contracts lycanthropy (supposedly), and wakes up with strange naked men, one of whom she pretty much immediately screws in the show oh dear. After possibly the best, tightest, most suspenseful Anita Blake book yet (Obsidian Butterfly), we get this WEIRD story. At first I liked it because Anita's back in St Louis and it looks like she's reuniting with both JC and Richard and apparently everybody is going to be OK with that (after god knows how much drama to get there). But then she gets attacked, contracts lycanthropy (supposedly), and wakes up with strange naked men, one of whom she pretty much immediately screws in the shower. I mean, WHAT??!!! Who is this person? Where is Anita the badass, super-Christian little prude who didn't believe in premarital sex?? As many other reviewers have commented, this book seems to be the beginning of something else entirely. As if Hamilton is tired of writing the gory, suspenseful, kickass lady detective-meets-monsters stuff she's been putting out for oh, 9 books, and now wants to write erotica? I was thrown. She introduces it as a new metaphysical condition Anita suffers from as a result of being bonded with JC (who is apparently an incubus)... the ardeur... yuck!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeanny

    5 stars kindle version This book marks the start of the rest of the series & the evolution that is Anita Blake & her life. -____________ 4 stars

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sofi

    Not very happy with this one. Before this book I already knew Anita had screwed up, don't need to be a genius to know that.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa H.

    One of the things I initially liked about the character of Anita Blake was that she had a moral compass, and her job as an animator (the kind that raises the dead, not the kind that draws Bambi), her consulting position with the cops, and her burgeoning skills as a necromancer all kept putting her in positions where she had to evaluate her behavior and decide if she was still one of the "good guys." Not that I'm saying I'm the kind of person who carries multiple guns, hangs out with vampires and One of the things I initially liked about the character of Anita Blake was that she had a moral compass, and her job as an animator (the kind that raises the dead, not the kind that draws Bambi), her consulting position with the cops, and her burgeoning skills as a necromancer all kept putting her in positions where she had to evaluate her behavior and decide if she was still one of the "good guys." Not that I'm saying I'm the kind of person who carries multiple guns, hangs out with vampires and/or shapeshifters, or has power over the dead, but I empathized with her conflicts. She did things she later regretted, yet knew she would have done exactly the same thing in the same circumstances, even knowing that she'd be torn up about it later. Most of the time if you asked her to justify her position on an issue, the only thing she could come up with it "it's the right thing to do." I can understand that. I'm bad at parsing the philosophical underpinnings of my decisions, but I know "right" when I feel it. As the series continued, Ms. Hamilton started to lose me with what I call "Ayla syndrome": as in Jean Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear series, where the main character is credited with increasing numbers of skills and discoveries (Ayla discovers fire. Ayla invents sewing. Ayla tames horses), Anita is given new abilities at virtually every juncture. Up to a point, it makes sense: Anita puts herself into situations or asserts authority without perceiving the consequences of her actions, and only by virtue of dumb luck, strong skills with firearms, and her metaphysical abilities (and later training) she manages to avoid getting killed and most of the time saves the people she cares about, with the result that she usually wins the respect of former enemies (or kills them!) But as we went along and new skills and/or complications continued to pop up and get integrated into her world, it began to beggar the imagination that one person could encompass all of it. The only explanation I could come up with was either that these people Anita's supposed to love have lied and/or kept major important facts from her (which in past would have been cause for her to terminate the relationship - one way or another), or that Ms. Hamilton couldn't figure out how to keep things fresh without adding on new complications. The other thing that started out believable and degenerated to "completely unacceptable" (in my opinion) was Anita's sex life. Now, I like a good sex scene as much as anyone else, but the sexier Anita became, the more uncomfortable I grew. At the beginning, Anita was holding out for marriage, because that's the way she was raised and how she felt about sex. She acknowledged her attraction to certain men, but she was not into casual screwing around. With two extremely hot men wooing her, she didn't even sleep with one of them until the 6th book. The woman had standards. In NiC, tho', she gets overcome by the "ardeur", AKA, the lust-monkey power of her vampire lover, Jean-Paul, which compels her to fuck pretty much anyone. "Oh, geez, honey, I know I used to be a good Catholic girl, but now that I have your love buttons on me I just can't say no to a nekkid man." It's very disappointing, especially since the book just previous to NiC, Obsidian Butterfly, was very good, almost a noir treatment, and I thought Hamilton had made a real leap in her writing. Maybe that was it. Or maybe Hamilton divorced her old husband and started fucking some young stud* and felt she had to write about her quality orgasms. Of course, she also started another series around the time NiC was published, and it's almost pure soft porn, so it's not like she didn't have an outlet for all the sexual energy she was putting out there. * Wholly speculative. Please, Ms. Hamilton, don't sue me. So I will say this: Hamilton's Anita Blake books are fun, the writing from the first (Guilty Pleasures) up to Obsidian Butterfly improved markedly, but don't bother with NiC (or Cerulean Sins, which is where I gave up entirely on the series), 'cause you'll be disappointed. So saith me.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.