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One more hammer blow to the stake in the heart of a series I loved
on October 24, 2006
I remember when this series was great. Not just good, not just very good, but simply great. Sure the first two books were a little rough in character and writing style. However, the characters were interesting, the setup was clever, and the A-line police work plots made an excellent framework for the B-line character development. By book three, the series had hit its stride and was simply a great fantasy series. Then, it stumbled. The sex became a larger part of the books and the characters became less and less interesting. I don't mind the sex but, as a previous reviewer has said, it's poorly done sex. There's no erotica, no sensuality, just a detailed step by step list in prose form of the steps Anita takes to screw one of her many lovers. It's a sexual flowchart and bores me to tears.
Beyond that, the non-sex parts are beginning to feel tacked on to the rest of the story. The ballet here was occasionally mentioned but didn't happen until the end and frankly is a pretty thin A-line plot. Where are the detective stories that made the series interesting?
I used to like the personal relationships but that time has passed. Anita is so screwed up right now she's just boring and one gets the impression that if Ms. Hamilton could find a way to get rid of Richard without screwing up the trinity, she would. I would enthusiastically recommend that she do so and let Richard eat a bullet and stop bothering the reader (and Anita) with his constant whining.
What really has ruined the series for me is Anita, which is quite unfortunate as she is the main character! Where before she was a somewhat screwed up woman, always up against superior enemies but surviving because of her strength she is now an uber-powerful monster with a new major power appearing in every book. She has also become a completely selfish, rigid, and unattractive sociopath, which kind of hurts her appeal. What amuses me greatly is how all of these men fall in love with her on sight because she is (so we're constantly told) a wonderful woman who always cares about her lovers's happiness who also happens to be hot with a large chest. The physical attributes might be true, the mental ones certainly aren't. She will only accept a relationship with a man if he does exactly as he is told, never steps out of bounds, and serves whatever role Anita demands. In return, he gets great sex. That's it. The only thing that she offers is fantastic sex, which makes her into a parody of the stereotype where an attractive woman who "puts out" when needed can be completely self-involved and have men want her. She doesn't offer compassion (unless it involves some form of sex), understanding (unless it involves some form of sex), support (unless it involves some form of sex), compromise (unless on a rare occasion it involves some form of sex), or anything that raises love beyond the purely physical. In short, she better pray that the ardeur stays with her because if she ever loses the ability to bring men lots of pleasure, she'll be living in an apartment with 30 cats.