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Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 10) Hardcover – October 1, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Hamilton's Anita Blake, police consultant, executioner, necromancer, private eye and wereleopard protector, returns in her amorous 10th adventure, driven more by conflicting desires for the lovers she neglected in her last outing, Obsidian Butterfly (2000), than by the urge to solve any mystery. Once again, in a world where vampires and werecreatures are protected by law, Blake attempts to resolve her libido's constant crisis. Plunged into the netherworld of a leather D/S (dominant/submissive) bar, Narcissus in Chains, by the abduction of one of her inherited wereleopards, Blake finds herself deep into shapeshifter politics and a were creature power struggle that is all a metaphor for her own inner struggle. Whom should she choose werewolf Richard or vampire Jean-Claude? Or should she take a new lover? Who cares? Blake is eventually infected by the "ardeur" from the vampire clan and tinged with shapeshifting abilities from the were clan. As she becomes more like the fantastic creatures she protects or kills, she, alas, doesn't get any more interesting as a character. Her obsessions with lust serve mainly to overwhelm a rickety plot. Blake needs to put her clothes back on and get back to work. Too much flesh and not enough plot leads to the old but so true saying, "Less is more." (Oct. 9) Forecast: With a 15-city author tour and 100,000 first printing, this should be as successful saleswise as previous books in the series.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

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. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; Berkley hardcover ed edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425181685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425181683
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (696 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #769,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of two series that mix mystery, fantasy, magic, horror and romance. Her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels from Berkley Books began with GUILTY PLEASURES (now a hugely successful graphic novel from Marvel - the first sexy paranormal comic ever!) and continues with the SKIN TRADE, number seventeen in the series, in which Anita's complex personal and professional relationships with a master vampire and an alpha werewolf continue to evolve. There are now more than 6 million copies of Anita in print worldwide, in 16 languages. Hamilton's Ballantine series features Fey princess and private investigator, Merry Gentry and there are now six novels exceeding one million copies in print. Divine Misdemeanors, the eighth in the series will debut Octobe 29, 2009. She lives in St. Louis County Missouri with her husband Jonathon Green, daughter, one pug dog and one boxer/pug dog.

Customer Reviews

Because it would make me more disappointed in the plot and character development in NIC.
Mickey
Don't get me wrong, I don't mind sex in books as long as it doesn't interfere with the plot and story.
Dreamthiev
I don't like Jean Claude either anymore, and I sure as heck don't like Anita's new lover, Micah.
L. J Lewis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

310 of 353 people found the following review helpful By G. Richardson on October 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book represents, for me, just about the final nail in the coffin of what began as one of the neatest series ever. All the things that made me love the series to being with, and kept me buying them (with increasing reluctance) as they came out, are now pretty much dead.
Great plots/suspense/humor? There almost isn't any. All of the fascinating and funny stuff in the early books, attempting to integrate monsters into modern American life with all the questions about the legal rights of the undead, etc.., have been pretty much forgotten.
Great action? What made the early books so tense and exciting was watching the gutsy little human woman go up against awesome evil creatures with vast superhuman powers, and somehow come out on top. Now Anita is the mighty Queen of werewolves AND wereleopards, Master of Vampires, the greatest necromancer of all time, always right, all-powerful, and everybody, but everybody wants her hot bod <yawn>! I find myself almost rooting for her poor victims/enemies, especially now that the distinction between Anita and the "bad monsters" isn't that clear anymore.
Great support characters? The terrific Jean-Claude is now Anita's faithful little pet; merely one of her many lovers, he dutifully shows up to explain stuff and help out a little when needed, and then scampers back to his coffin at daybreak with a pat on his head. What a waste! Richard, who showed signs in Blue Moon of finally coming to grips with his bad furry self, is once again the self-loathing bleeding-heart trapped in a predator's body.... another waste! The only thing left to wish for, for those of us who cared about the Richard character, is to see him get the first cure for lycanthropy, marry the nice scientist from Blue Moon, and get the heck away from the Executioner.
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103 of 116 people found the following review helpful By DnKoenigin on November 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I was one of the fans waiting anxiously to read NIC. I heard the opening chapters read in Dallas, and, if I remember correctly, asked for a cigarette when it was over. It was that viscerally gripping.
The drivel that it devolved into in the finished work was a complete disappointment. I found it barely readable.
A few of the highlights (or would that be lowlights?):
1) The atrocious grammar, spelling and foreign language errors that have plagued the series from Day 1 were SO pronounced that, unlike in most of the earlier books (which also abounded with sloppy mechanics/editing), I couldn't ignore them. There was no story going on to distract me from them
2) Major characters exhibited illogical and contradictory behavior reeking of plot device (not only contradictory to their behavior in previous books, but from chapter to chapter in this book).
3) A new major character was introduced, apparently as a continuing romantic interest for Our Heroine. However, this is one of the creepiest "romantic" characters (if he can be dignified by the term character) I have ever encountered. From his description, he sounds more like a sideshow attraction than a romantic leading man. And I DON'T mean tentacles! (Now THEY were sexy.)
4) The endless tedious, joyless, loveless carnal acts.

5) The Anita-who-isn't-really-Anita. Plot device, again. It has been maintained, in various discussion fora, that, in NIC, Anita has "come to terms" with her sexuality. This is not in evidence on the page, as she continues to indulge in juvenile "THAT wasn't sex" arguments throughout the book.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By megan scott on November 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I WAS a huge Anita Blake fan - I loved the strong fiesty female character, the snappy dialogue and the original plot lines of earlier books. However, I found this book unsatisfying and shallow. It seemed to be a bunch of loosly linked erotic sex scenes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a prude - if Anita sleeps with everything (and it seems only a matter of time!) thats fine by me. I was dissapointed in the poorly developed plot and the lack of meaningful interaction between the major characters and also the complete lack of a convincing, or even a mildly interesting, antagonist.
LKH's convenient creation of Narcissus and his bunch of merry werehyenas was just so unconvincing. The ultimate bad guy, who is anti-climatically revealed, comes across as if it was a last minute insertion in the book. I get the feeling LKH's editor said -'Hey Laurell, this book is really flat and lacks suspense, graft on a mysterious bad guy and give it a lift!'
One redeeming feature of this book is 10-12 pages of interaction between Anita, Dolph and Zebrowski. It reveals the reasons for Dolph's antivampire views and also reveals something of Anita's feelings and priorites to Zebrowski. This type of character conflict - where the ideologys and firmly held views clash - is what I have previously found so interesting in LKH's novels, and is so absent in this one. (The scene about Jean-Claude's long-term imprisonment/torture of Gretal and his justification to Anita is another such example.)
The book's ending was convinient and anticlimatic. There was no sense of surprise or suspense in the revelation of the ulimate bad guy. You just knew that the ever more powerful Anita (whats next - she will leap tall buildings in a single bound?) was in no danger.
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