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Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)
Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.93
103 used & new from $0.58

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars what exactly does a pulse taste like?, December 2, 2012
KtD started off like a classic AB novel: a teenager was kidnapped by vampires, RPIT, police procedure, a rescue attempt, court-sanctioned executions, and vaguely mysterious new vamp in town with a semi-understandable agenda. I should have known it was too good to last. If you though the horny nurses in Hit List were bad, you haven't seen anything yet. Lust-filled doctors and detectives, vicious psycho twats all trying to steal Anita's harem and be mean to her. Life is so hard!

Anita began to wax not so poetically about being one of the guys, wearing a seatbelt, dealing with the jealous haters, how hard it is to be a monster, and what's it like to be a cop. Dear Lord, why is she still having the same conversation with herself about the exact same issues from book 1? Oh and by the way, Anita is A COP. With cop friends. Who give cop face. And blank face. And sometimes even blank cop face. Cops put it ALL on the line, running toward danger. Cause that's how heroes roll, y'all. These cops back her up. They have backed each other up for years!

And that's where KtD got really weird. Anita kept droning on about how she and the SWAT team had so much history, they were a unit forged in the fire... where did these guys come from again? In previous books I do not remember a single scene when Anita actually becomes friends with any law-enforcement type (aside from RPIT), usually she goes out of her way to alienate everyone. Where did these SWAT buddies come from? All of the scenes about what it's like to be a cop felt like I was reading the self-aggrandizing diary of someone who worked in law enforcement. One such paragraph would have been enough, but LKH described the exact same emotion over 15 times.

The "erotic" scenes just fail. I wish LKH would master the art of fading to black. Her descriptions of sex are terrible, and the oral scenes are particularly cringe-worthy. The BDSM info-dumps are hilariously awkward.

SPOILER
SPOILER

Anita had the usual spats defending her love life to strangers, cut ties with Larry, spent time congratulating herself about her ridiculous relationship with Micah and Nathaniel, had some poorly-written sex, got in an emo fight with her teenage concubine, had an obligatory cameo with J-C, had an obligatory fight with Asher, had more sex, spent a lot of time wangsting on people I barely remember (Pride, Devil, Sin, Jade, Nicky, Crispin, Cardinal), and had a bomb scare. I have no idea what happened to the kidnapped teenager. Then it was finally over, thank God.


Hit List (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)
Hit List (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
76 used & new from $1.50

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars somewhere over the rainbow tigers, vampires die, December 2, 2012
Is there any phrase less sexy than "you need to eat"?

If you ignore all the paragraphs about physical descriptions of everyone (including their clothes, hair, and weapons), descriptions of what it feels like to have imaginary were-creatures trapped in your body, non-stop dialogue about sex (including when to have it, who to have it with, why you should have it, or why you shouldn't), the ardeur, Anita's ego-stroking run wild, rainbow tigers and their ridiculous politics, and pissing contests with every single new character... what is left? If you could delete all of those useless paragraphs from this story, would you be left with enough pages to tell a coherent story? It's a bad sign when you finish a book and must google a plot summary, it was a bunch of scenes where people jump from here to there, with very little happening. There was so much tedious droning I kept forgetting what the point of the story was.

SPOILER
SPOILER

Another new man in the harem. Sigh!

Dear Old Edward: please hunt down and kill New Edward and New Anita. She has turned into something you used to kill. I don't get why New Edward would reduce the world to ashes if New Anita died.

Regarding Olaf, I find it strange that Anita has an "out of sight, out of mind" attitude. For such a morally superior character, it confuses me that she finds it acceptable to "work" with him at all. It's okay that he rapes and tortures women, as long as he doesn't do it in the USA?

Just when I think LKH cannot surprise me any further, she does. I didn't expect MOAD to be sucked to death. I expected the rainbow tigers to create a mystical lens which would enable Anita to shoot beams of sunshine out of her eyes, destroying the undead. At least she used an existing power without pulling a new one out of her nether regions. That's progress, right?

This series took a wrong turn when the focus shifted away from solving supernatural crimes to having Anita vs. the universe. Watching her overcome everything, and everyone, is dull. There is no tension because nobody important ever dies (except one forgettable character), and AB overcomes all obstacles without having to give up anything.


Need Me - Being Trevor's Toy
Need Me - Being Trevor's Toy
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars short and sharp, November 21, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is the first I've read of hers in the 1st person perspective. It was a short glimpse into a passionate love affair, and ended at just the right spot, any further would have seemed like self-insertion wish fulfillment. For such a short story, DeCorte does a solid job of character building. This is the way E.L. James wishes she could write.


Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy
Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $7.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 50 ways to bore the audience, November 8, 2012
I told myself I was not going to review the rest of the trilogy because there wasn't much left to say. I've had a change of heart after getting into a ridiculous argument with someone (who hasn't read the books), who told me that just because I felt FSoG was bad, didn't mean it was badly written, and that a best-seller with 5 stars reviews must be a good book.

My subconcious stood up from her deck chair and hurled the complete works of Dan Brown at their head, just to prove them wrong. Best-sellers indeed! Then my inner goddess pulled a Macbook Pro out of her satchel and wrote this review:

The problem with Fifty Shades is not the victim blaming, child abuse, sexual abuse, BDSM-lite, or unhealthy relationships. It's not the poor quality of the writing, ridiculous prose, technical errors, or the tedious amount of repetition. The problem is that neither the plot nor the characters are very interesting, nobody is likeable or believeable. They do not grow in any meaningful way, aside from Christian growing 8 inches every 4 pages or so.

What are Ana's goals? What does she actually want, or do, that does not revolve around Christian? What obstacles does she actually overcome? She faced no challenges prior to graduating, and she easily landed a job. She has no wants, no desires, no plans for herself, and that makes for very boring reading. Whenever something unpleasant pops up, Ana tells Christian, and he scares it off, or solves it with his wallet. Ana does not advance as a person.

SPOILER ALERT
SPOILER ALERT

Look at her interactions with the secondary characters. Why does Kate have so much power over Ana? Aside from snapping at Kate a few times, Ana cringes and debases herself, and gives Kate her way. If anyone needs a good spanking it's Kate for being so pushy. Ana never has to find a way to handle working with Jack, a real person would either learn to deal with his advances, or quit and suffer the financial consequences of unemployment. Christian just fires him. Why doesn't Ana just tell Mrs. Robinson to go pound sand if she hates her so much? Instead, each time Mrs R contacts her, Ana alerts Christian so he can deal with it. The Leila plot failed to introduce any tension into the story.

Christian's issues are equally stupid. I can accept he was emotionally scarred by his early trauma and was a self-destructive person until he learned how to let go in the arms of Mrs. Robinson. It's not his background that's the problem, it's his ridiculous way of viewing life: "The scary world might harm Ana so I MUST KEEP HER SAFE."

Ana might die in a car crash so he won't let her drive. She might drown so he straps her into a life jacket. She might starve to death so he nags her to eat. She might pull a muscle from their bedroom gymnastics so he gets her a personal trainer. She is a doormat, so he fires people who give her grief. Yet for all his problem solving, Christian never learns that some problems cannot be solved with money, you need to communicate, and let people grow so they can handle life. He's the parent who wants to Ana-proof the world. Christian never learns to compromise. He never stops imposing his will on others by interfering in their lives financially. Who would actually put up with that?

Christian overcomes his biggest obstacle through deus ex machina and we're expecting to believe that he no longer needs to dominate women, and he will happily live a life with Ana, feeling emotionally and sexually fulfilled, without imposing the type of pain that gets him off? There is no sense that Ana is interested in Christian as a person. What do either of them really want or do, aside from having lots of sex? The sexual content is not that wild or good either. This series is the sum of all crap, or "triple crap" as Ana would say.

(For a truly hot pain-filled angsty romp try Claudia D. Christian)


Break Her
Break Her
Price: $3.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars over-hyped, November 4, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Break Her (Kindle Edition)
I was wary of all the glowing reviews but decided to chance after this story popped up in my Amazon recommendations.

For a story that only refers to the main characters as "him and her", the author did a decent job of getting me emotionally invested in the outcome. The antagonist was more believable than the protagonist. The inner speculation about the crime of rape was interesting and compelling to read, but I found the premise for this story completely unbelievable. Parts of it were boring. Also...

SPOILER
SPOILER
SPOILER
SPOILER
SPOILER
SPOILER

Early on it's set up that the villain plans to be good to his word, she will survive, and says that he is rarely hired to psychologically break his targets through rape. The villain seems to honor his employment contracts (from what I inferred anyway), so if his agenda was to kill her the entire time, why the rape-a-thon?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 15, 2012 3:34 AM PST


Love Blind (A Dark Love Story)
Love Blind (A Dark Love Story)
Price: $2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars inconsistent, November 4, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As usual, wonderful characterization and a setting you can easily picture, but I found the overall premise for this one lacking. Ms. Christian is talented with angsty love stories, but I felt that Josephine doth protest too much. Her feelings about Julio Alberto's motivations just did not make sense to me, it seemed she kept saying, "no no no" just for the sake of saying no. The ending was not very believable for a vampire story. I still enjoyed the prose though.

I was puzzled by the names used; Julio Alberto (Julian), Vivian, Phillip, and Nephilim. Again? Maybe recycling the names was a nod to her other works, but I think she would be better served coming up with fresh names for her characters. I dislike it when Stephen King calls all his villains Roland so maybe this is a writer thing I just don't get.

The author blogged about "Love Blind" on my birthday so it was my present to me. If you are a die-hard Christian fan you'll probably enjoy this, however I really wish she would hurry up with Devil's Descent 3.


Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey

978 of 1,051 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 50 ways to yawn, March 8, 2012
A poorly written exercise in wish-fulfillment from the biggest Mary Sue who ever Mary Sued, after Bella Swan. Considering it started out as a Twilight fanfic, I am not surprised that nothing actually happens in this story, aside from loads of 1st person angst. BellAna does not do anything, aside from fall instantly in love with a perfect billionaire and constantly nag him justify his sexual inclinations.

The one bright spot was the emails.

The erotic scenes veered from almost decent to terribly bad. The lip biting, crooked smiles, inner goddess, and subconscious were AWFUL.

I've read several self-published stories that started out as fanfics, before the authors re-worked them into original fiction. They always falls flat because these stories may make sense in the fandom universe they were created for, but don't have the strength to stand on their own. There is not enough going on in FSoG to make a convincing story because nothing really happens.

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

Beauteous Ana, from a relatively normal background, made it to the ripe age of 21 without masturbating? What bizarre Puritan universe have I stumbled into? Christian became a total pushover. I thought he spent 5 years being tutored by an adult domme and then trained 15 women on his own? Why does he give up so easily to Ana's whims? She can barely handle a light spanking, why would he let himself be pushed into the final scene of the story? If Ana really believed that he had an abusive childhood, and (in her mind), he was sexually abused as a teen, why would she constantly badger him to talk about it with her, within days of meeting him??

Like others have mentioned, the location said Seattle but it was obvious the author lives across the pond. Write what you know! This could have worked better if placed in the UK. Some of the dialogue choices were truly awful:

"His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel... or something." (For real?)
Comment Comments (28) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2014 7:16 PM PDT


Devil's Descent II: impure (A Psychotic Love Story)
Devil's Descent II: impure (A Psychotic Love Story)
Price: $4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars "If you try to deny me I'll rip you open.", March 8, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The opening scene of Devil's Descent: II didn't hook me, but since the previous installment did, I read on. I'm glad I did.

Constructive criticism:

1. The part where DD:II catches my interest is halfway through the battle in the cemetary. Everything before that didn't interest me: the Resurrector stuff, Elvis night at the tavern, and Grandma's vintage wardrobe were not very appealing to me.

2. A few scenes had me laughing out loud; Julian's petulant behavior through the psychic notes, and the trading of insults where Lily calls him a rather nasty name, and his indignant response, were really quite funny. I LOVED the conversation outside her house about nudity. It was creepy, chilling, yet oddly endearing.

3. I'm not particularly interested in Jonathan, Robbie, Cricket, and Mrs. Walker. They haven't grown on me yet. After reading the first book, I expected DD:II would still closely follow the charted path of "Wicked Seduction" but DD:II has veered sharply off that path. I can still see the original work peeking through but DD is starting to make its own way.

4. Ms. Christian has a habit of starting and ending chapters with a line like this: "unfortunately for X, it wouldn't work out that way". IMO her work would be stronger if she dropped that habit. It reads as amateurish and something you'd expect from a fanfic, not a published work. A lot of her work has flashbacks and contains these loud hints on what will happen next, which kills the tension. Trust in your storytelling skills! You don't need to include "next week in Devil's Descent", the story is good enough to have me patiently checking your website for updates on book 3's release.

Am still very intrigued by Julian and Lily, the author's blog has mentioned a release date of April 2012 for book 3 and I hope that is accurate.


Cry for Me (A Dark Erotic Novella)
Cry for Me (A Dark Erotic Novella)
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars where can I find my own repressed Russian?, February 26, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Interesting and erotic. You learn just enough about the main characters, and the sexual descriptions are well written and don't come across as corny. It's definitely a short read, would be interested to see the author return to this couple a few months into their contract.

Although I dislike blondes, Sevastian won me over with his tender considerations; "Was it so bad? I made sure the knots weren't so tight that your arms would go numb. I even blindfolded you, so you wouldn't be distracted by my coming and going late at night."

There were a few scenes with stilted dialogue that didn't flow well, but hopefully that's just growing pains for this author. If you liked this one, check out the other stuff she's written as Claudia D. Christian.


Devil's Descent I: purgatory (A Psychotic Love Story)
Devil's Descent I: purgatory (A Psychotic Love Story)
Price: $4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars promising beginning, I'm hooked, February 23, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Devil's Descent: I begins in medias res, which is not one of my favourite methods of story telling. I enjoyed it, but it's difficult to remain objective because it would be hard to follow if you're unfamiliar with the author's Buffy fanfic, "Wicked Seduction", which was tragically left unfinished.

I'm trying to review DD on its own merit but it's difficult. The love triangle of Ian, Julian, and Lily was inspired by Angel, Angelus, and Buffy. The plot of DD:1 mirrors the first 7 chapters of WS. I've read WS many times, so I knew where each chapter was headed before it got there. This is not necessarily a problem, and the author does acknowledge on her blog that she took elements from her fanfic to inspire DD.

It's still a wonderful story, and I was surprised to find myself so engrossed in this retelling.

Constructive criticism:

1. Characterization is wonderful as I've come to expect from Ms. Christian. Julian is a fantastic villain. Lily is a very curious heroine, and the glimpses into her soul reveal someone much darker than the character she was based on.

2. I dislike the sexual descriptions which use "mewling", or anything related to cats or dolls. Major turn off, but your mileage may vary.

BEGIN SPOILERS - BEGIN SPOILERS - BEGIN SPOILERS
BEGIN SPOILERS - BEGIN SPOILERS - BEGIN SPOILERS

3. After reading book 1, we don't learn very much about the backstory, aside from the info dumps in the first chapter. Julian's introspection on Ian, Vickery Hill, and Resurrectors was confusing. I've now read the first two books of this series, but have not gotten a clear understanding of what a Resurrector actually does. If I didn't know the plot of WS and what a vampire slayer is, I'd be lost. The entire concept of Vickery Hill was rushed out in chapter 1, and hard to follow.

4. I think the problem is that since the author has been working on this story since 1999, (the Buffy fic was almost completed) so the plot is clear to her, but not so clear to the audience. I'm not sure if telling the majority of the story via flashbacks was the best choice, considering it kills the tension. We can infer what Julian did NOT say to Lily 2 years ago, based on her reaction at the end of the present day's events.

MAJOR, MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW
MAJOR, MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW

5. If DD runs true to WS, I suspect that we're in for a delightfully naughty explanation of how Julian enslaved Lily, but it will come crashing down when she catches him with another woman. Acrymydion will fatally sever the bond between the lovers. How they come back to life is something that WS never explained. I expect the story to then jump to present day, after the dark shadow enters Lily's home, and Julian is outside her door. I'm wildly curious to read how this ends.


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