Anita Blake, Executioner, necromancer, lover and human servant to Jean-Claude - the charismatic Master Vampire of St. Louis, lupa of the Thronnus Roke Clan lukoi, and Nimir-ra of a pard of leopard lycanthropes, is changing...more so all the time. When Laurell Hamilton introduced her to us in "Guilty Pleasures," Book One of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, she was a 24 year-old, smart, attractive, feisty, super-independent dynamo, who raised the dead for a living. She was almost a normal 21st century career girl. Of course she staked rogue vampires as a sideline, but we all have our quirks. Anita's preternatural powers have been steadily increasing, and in "Blue Moon," book eight in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, the lines are really beginning to blur between her humanity and the supernatural. Always an uncompromising and tough lady, she has developed a hardness, a detachment, that frightens even herself.
Anita, Richard Zeeman, (an alpha werewolf and her old boyfriend), and Jean-Claude, (her present lover), had formed a Triumvirate of power - Master Vampire, Ulfric and necromancer. In other words, when the three connect, they exude tremendous force and are able to do much more magic than any one or two can do alone. The three are still bound to each other, even though Richard is furious with Anita for dumping him. She had to choose between "a flesh eater and a bloodsucker." Do you see a pattern here?
Late one evening Anita receives a phone call from Richard's brother. Zeeman had been spending the summer in Meyerton, Tennessee, studying the Lesser Smokey Mountain Trolls which live in the area, and fulfilling the requirements for his Masters degree. He has been arrested for the rape of a local women, and is obviously innocent of the charge. Richard is squeaky clean, the ultimate Boy Scout, and very gentle, especially for a lycanthrope. To make the situation worse, a full moon will occur in five days. As luck would have it, this month, August, is a blue moon month - that means two full moons in 31 days - a phenomenon which arises every 3-4 years. And we all know what happens to werewolves during a full moon, don't we? Richard has not "come out of the closet," so to speak, to his parents, his employers, or to many other humans. Basically, he needs to get out of jail pronto. Anita flies down to Meyerton to give him a hand and get him a good attorney. At Jean-Claude's insistence she is accompanied by an entourage of body guards. Colin, the master of the local vampires does not want Anita and cohorts on his turf - for any reason and has made some serious threats. So, vampires Asher and Damian, and lycanthropes Jason, Zane, Cherry, and Nathaniel are there to keep her safe - although, as always, Anita turns out to be the one who does the most protecting. Werewolves Jamil and Shang-Da are around for Richard, to assist him and to join in the Blue Moon celebrations with Verne, the local Ulfric and his pack..
Freeing Richard proves easier than tangling with Colin and crew, plus the corrupt local police, and an assortment of other heinous monsters - there's pure evil on the loose in these hills!! There are some interesting twists in character development in "Blue Moon." Anita is more vulnerable here than previously. She has to confront her mixed feelings for both Richard and Jean-Claude, come to terms with Raina's munin - the vengeful spirit who possesses her from time-to-time, make a decision about her reluctant status as leoparde-lionee of the Saint Louis wereleopards, and face her own ignorance in terms of the power she possesses. Anita fears that she is rapidly becoming as much a monster as those she hunts...and loves. Hamilton succeeds beautifully in developing this vulnerable side of Anita, without sacrificing the plot. However, at this point in the series a change was needed. There had to be more to Anita than one tough cookie who goes up against the monsters and wins, repeatedly. This is one of Laurell Hamilton's best novels - tightly plotted, well structured, including wonderful dark humor, acerbic wit, and plenty of thrills and chills.
Just a word about the sexual content in "Blue Moon." I do not find it any more excessive or graphic than what one reads in most popular fiction - bestseller lists included - nor what is shown on afternoon TV. It would not be realistic to write about a healthy, single woman of 24 and exclude sex. Anyway, I loved this book and certainly recommend it!
I have been a fan of this series for some time, and so I find this a very difficult book to review. To me, this book represents a shift in genre. It is also possible that I simply mistook the genre I though they were in. Originally, Lauren Hamilton wrote what I would call vampire adventure stories. I loved them, and love them still. Hamilton has tremendous writing abilities. Her heroine, Anita Blake, was a superb job of characterization. Dialog and narrative were sparkling. And, truth be told, this is still quite true.
But these are no longer simply vampire adventure. The sexual theme that has previously created some interesting character dynamics has suddenly become a strong, primary focus. The book is ostensibly about Anita coming to the rescue of Richard, her werewolf more-than-friend, but it is much more about Anita's changing sexuality. This is quite intense, and really makes this book into a kind of tough girl's romance story. There's nothing wrong with that, just not what I expected.
If you are considering trying this out as your first Hamilton novel, get some of the earlier volumes and read those first. Hamilton starts right in the action, and too many of the references will be confusing without some background.
Is this a well-written book? Yes. But I think the focus on sex (and I'm not talking missionary position stuff here) weakens Anita's character. Hamilton seems still a bit awkward with this material, but makes up for a lack of slickness with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm.
Romance fanatics and those who are not put off by a lot of sexuality will no doubt love this book. Those who are a bit more timid and just wanted a great vampire/monster novel need to approach Blue Moon with more cautious expectations.
The biggest challenge facing Laurell K. Hamilton in her Anita Blake Vampire Series is upping the ante volume after volume. In this 8th volume our heroine drops everything to rush to Tennessee where Richard has been arrested for attempted rape. Obviously somebody is trying to frame Richard, who was down studying Lesser Smokey Mountain Trolls to finish up his M.A. degree in biology. "Blue Moon" focuses on Anita as the lupa of the Thronnus Roke Clan lukoi and Nimir-ra of the pard, although her being a necromancer, animator, vampire hunter and human servant all come into play. Her ability, and willingness, to call the munin becomes crucial. Hamilton continues to expand the roster of monsters and their ilk with not only a sorcerer and a psychic this time around, but also a full-fledged demon. The final fight between good and evil in "Blue Moon" is rather anticlimactic, since the most important development in the book happens in the aftermath of the battle.
I think that this is an excellent move on Hamilton's part, because the constant attempts to top the confrontation with evil from the previous novel ends up tampering with the credibility of the story being told. This novel is about Anita's relationships, not with Richard and Jean-Claude, but rather with the supporting cast of Jason, Nathaniel, Zane, Jamil, Cherry, Asher and Damian. "Blue Moon" is not a great novel in the series, but it is certainly above average and whets our appetites for the next adventure. One thing that is absolutely clear now is that the Anita/Richard/Jean-Claude triumvirate is never, ever going to be over. Final warning: while the level of graphic violence has abated a wee bit, the sexuality of these novels has increased big time. These are novels for adults and I pity the Buffy fans that stumble upon this series, misled by the "Vampire Hunter" title which is more of a marketing ploy that an accurate description of our heroine.
Apparently the love triangle between Richard Zeeman, Anita Blake and Jean-Claude isn't QUITE over, despite Anita dumping the werewolf to boink the French vampire. Lovely.
But apparently the melodrama is not over yet in "Blue Moon," the eighth novel of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. Laurell K. Hamilton does succeed in creating some suspense and some intriguing supporting characters with their own woes and worries, but her writing alternates between choppy and painfully florid, and her heroine rapidly ascends the ladder of Mary-Suedom -- she's allegedly smarter, sexier, stronger and more powerful than anyone else.
Anita receives a call from Richard's brother -- Richard is now in jail in Tennessee, accused of raping a local woman. So Anita heads out to Tennessee with a band of vampires and weres, including Asher, Damian and Jason. They're all intent on proving Richard's innocence, and there are only a matter of days until the "blue moon" exposes him as a werewolf.
Oh yeah, and because of Anita's charming and polite personality, the Master of the City regards their arrival as an act of war. Can't blame him, considering what a reasonable, diplomatic person she is. Uh huh.
Unfortunately Richard's frame-up is at the center of a town-wide conspiracy, and a search for an ancient artifact using illegal means. And Colin (aforementioned Master) is determined to mess with the invading group, even to infecting one of the weres with a corrosive decay, while a werewolf first-one-to-catch-Anita-gets-to-rape-her jaunt in the woods leads to a new encounter with Richard. Unfortunately, his family has gotten drawn into this mess.
"Blue Moon" is one of those novels that is overflowing with promise, but only turns out mediocre. It actually is quite strong for the first half -- obviously-untrue rape charges, a sinister town conspiracy, and brewing tensions between two groups of werewolves and vampires. You can almost overlook Hamilton's obvious contempt for women, cops, and anyone who doesn't live in a major city (according to Hamilton, Tennessee is entirely populated by misogynist racist rednecks).
Unfortunately, halfway through everything comes unravelled -- instead we get an endless stream of absurd situations that emphasize one thing: "Anita is the awesomest most powerful person ever, and everyone wants to have sex with her." Rapist werewolves, sneering at her ex-boyfriend's new woman, being possessed by sex-mad werewolf ghosts, and magically fixing everything just by being so awesome and loving. It's actually pretty nauseating to read someone so spectacularly Mary Sueish.
And Hamilton's writing isn't up to saving the story either. The more hardboiled bits are pretty passable although rather choppily written. But when she tries to wrap that hardboiled prose in lush, sensual prose the results are laughable and appallingly awkward ("The two of us knelt bathed in power. A wind trailed Damian's hair across my face, and I knew the wind was us"). And it doesn't help that Anita constantly tosses off clunky fortune-cookie witticisms ("Love sucks. Sometimes it feels good. Sometimes it's just another way to bleed") and appalling similes (a vampire sucking blood is "like a feeding thing." Well, what else would it be?).
The biggest millstone is Anita: abrasive, arrogant, absurdly hypermacho, and pulls superpowers out of her butt at least twice a day. She's also as airheaded as a ping-pong ball. She causes all the plot's problems by howling verbal abuse at the Master of the City, but it never seems to occur to her that this trouble might be her fault. And it's hard to sympathize with someone who whines about how angry it makes her that her ex-boyfriend, whom she cheated on, is having sex with someone else.
The supporting characters are far more likable -- the fragile vampire Asher manages to be far more endearing than Anita ever does, and the werewolf Jason is quite charming at times. Unfortunately most of the vampires are either there to be ego buffs to Anita (Jean-Claude) or damsels in distress (Damian).
"Blue Moon" is a solid urban fantasy riddled with cracks -- and the Grand Canyon in the middle is the alleged heroine. It's a decent light read if you can focus on the supporting cast and the creepy noir moments, and ignore everything else.
on March 26, 2002
"Blue Moon" by Laurell K. Hamilton finds our heroine, Anita Blake, necromancer and vampire executioner, at a crossroads in her life. Can she live with the things she has done? How far has she fallen from God's graces? As Anita examines her life, she is involved in yet another dangerous adventure, which sweeps the reader away into Anita's weird and wonderful world.
I have trouble saying this book was excellent, because I am not a Richard fan, and though I have tried really hard to like him, I just can't do it. So, because Anita betrayed Jean-Claude, her super sexy vampire lover, with Richard, who could not be more wrong for her, the entire book was tainted for me as a result. With that said, however, it is still a thrilling and fun-filled read that I did enjoy, just not as much as all the others.
In this 8th instalment of the series, Anita receives a call informing her that her ex-fiancé, Richard Zeeman, junior high science teacher and alpha werewolf, has been arrested for rape in Tennessee. Anita drops everything and goes to help Richard, despite the fact the local Master Vampire has forbidden her to enter his territory.
When Anita arrives, she starts trying to solve the mystery of who would want to frame Richard for rape and why. It becomes immediately obvious that the local police are corrupt, and are trying to run them out of town. But that's not all Anita has on her plate. Colin, the Master Vampire, is giving Anita and her entourage serious problems, threatening them and harming their people. Anita also has to observe the appropriate werewolf politics as she deals with the local werewolf pack. Add in several of Richard's angry ex-girlfriends and a demon and you have one heck of a story!
One thing I really enjoyed in this book was getting to know some of the secondary characters better. We get to see a lot of Anita's wereleopards, Nathaniel, Cherry, and Zane, Jason and Jamil the werewolves, and two of Jean-Claude's vampires, Asher and Damian. Though I liked the inclusion of these seven people as integral characters in the story, I couldn't help but miss Jean-Claude.
"Blue Moon" is most definitely worth reading despite the problems I had with it, which are more due to my personal opinion than actual flaws in the story. Hamilton has once again created a fast-paced and exhilarating tale that will completely absorb readers. When you need to escape from your everyday troubles, Anita's wild world of vampires, werewolves and zombies is the perfect solution. So don't miss out on the fun, buy this book (and all the others) ASAP, I guarantee you won't regret it!
on October 5, 1999
I love this book, as I love all the books in the Anita Blake series; however, I must admit that I was disappointed with some aspects of it. Let me just say first that I thought that it was very brave of LKH to take the characters in a different direction after having them already firmly esconced in the readers mind as were. But let's face it, Anita (no matter how much I love and admire her) is not a goddess. How many more "undiscovered" powers can she have? That's getting way to out of hand as far as her dominance over everybody else goes. How can she possibly be more powerful than Jean-Claude, a MV, or Richard, an Alpha? It's just wrong.
I also don't like the twist in Jean-Claude's personality, he's a vampire 'nuff said. Sure he can fall in love, but he's tending to lean towards "mother hen-ish" where Anita's concerned, c'mon she's the freaking Executioner, JC knows she can take of herself!! I applaud the fact that Richard now has some testicular fortitude where Anita's concerned, but now he has lost his respect for women in general. Love Asher, LOVE HIM! Possibly more than JC; however, everybody can't be in love with Anita, it's just wrong. Also, missed Edward tremendously in "Blue Moon", but am ecstatic to hear that "Obsidian Butterfly" is HIS book, so they say. Sadly enough, also missing Zerbrowski, though the gods only know why!
Loved the Norse mythology viewpoint taken with the werewolves, EXCELLENT!! I excel at myth and was completely freaked when I read about the lukoi titles, my commendations LKH.
One last criticism about "Blue Moon", the plot sucked. What was with the whole "spear" thing that never even panned out? That was just too unbelievable, much better job in "Bloody Bones" with the fight over the land for the land's sake; and the demon at the end bombed, how could Anita have "set it's soul free"? Tone down the superpowers, she is human!! Maybe not as human as Larry, but she is not invincible!! I'm sorry, I love her but now she's too unbelievable, how can she be the State Executioner, an animator, part of the RPIT, lupa, Nimir-ra, and yet maintain her position as top-dog (no pun intended) in the Triumverate?? LKH, please "humanize" Anita again. I realize that she has a "disassociation problem" when she kills, but she's not a bloody superhero! I suggest that you bring in a new character that's a threat to Anita, as in a woman who's her equal, and better, someone just as rough and tough as she is who will give her a run for her money and jeopardize her relationship with oh, let's say, the Master of the City. Thanx for the good reads, it's been a real slice.
on October 28, 1998
This book is a heartbreaking disappointment. The tone of the book is excessively dark and the characters are flat and numb. No reason is given for the change from the last book to this one, although they are set only a few weeks apart in the Anitaverse.
There is almost no real plot except to get Anita away from JC and have her hook up with Richard. Why this couldn't be accomplished by an actual story I don't know. Instead we get a never ending stream of plot devices designed to force the story along, and excuse some really slimy behaviour. The trolls, Richard's imprisonment, and the 'mystery' are all poorly done after thoughts. Richard has also been reduced to a walk on in his own book.
The big 3 characters are different people with the same names. There is no explanation given for why these pod people have replaced the characters we have known and loved for so many books. Thinking, feeling characters that were carefully developed and who actually grew from book to book have been jettisoned.
Anita throws loyalty and trust out the window with no thought or remorse. She has become a cartoon super hero who is all about violence and attitude. She is hard, cold, and vicious, -- why exactly would anyone want to spend time with her ? Her powers keep growing, and she never needs help or support. In short she has become Rambo and the Terminator all rolled into one. She was a fully developed character, she now has the same emotional depth as a frying pan. With her total self-absorbtion and complete lack of perspective she is like an armed 3 year old.
Richard has had his angst and wimpy, whiney behaviour removed, but it hasn't been replaced by anything. So he has been given real vices and a calculating meanness to simulate a personality and a backbone. His true moral dilemas have been reduced to the pallid fear that his mother will find out what he is. All Anita's & Richard's problems have been swept under the rug, and ignored. There is nothing between them but throbbing genitals, and stupid wolf politics.
JC has been tarted up and made to act like a silly high school stud overplaying his hand with an older woman. He is also kept off stage for most of the book, and smeared so as to make Anita's betrayal more palatable.
Most of the time in the book Anita is by herself with these minor 'weres' who are the only ones who get any character development. We get a 'were' sociology course instead of a story to fill the pages. Perhaps the series should be titled 'Anita and the Weres' instead of 'Vampire Hunter'
Of the major characters only Jason shines and grows, while staying Jason. Damian is just used to drop a plot device like a bomb, and even Asher has been reduced to an empty lapdog who joins the long line of all those who are mooning after Anita.
The last chapter should be a severly punished criminal offense. The timeline is jumbled, Anita takes so many contradictory positions she should be inside out, and then she waffles and sends us all back to the beginning of their relationships again. She ends up doing a navel gazing dance that is supposed to get her off the hook with the audience. What it really does is keep her from taking responsibility for her own actions and moving forward.
Finally how is it possible to write this book without a reunion scene in St. Louis ? That nothing has been resolved or even dealt with is a childish ploy by the author to make sure we all tune in next week to see who 'shot JR'. It also illustrates the lack of truth in this story and the disrespectful way both the characters and the fans have been treated. I feel insulted and used.
I also wonder what is next for Anita the beserker -- cannibalism ? With her prudishness still intact -- I imagine she will eat around the naughty bits.
on November 4, 1998
While I've enjoyed all of the Anita Blake series, her relationships and confusion with same have taken center stage over the past two installments, making me wonder just where our heroine's focus was going to be throughout the rest of the series. Well, I'm happy to report that Anita is back on track! The tone and flow of this book are reminiscent of the first fast-paced novels and even the strange tension between Anita and her various admirers is resolved. Er...sort of. My only regrets are that we didn't see Larry and Edward, but I'll accept the trade off that Anita is finally going to go back to her magical roots and learn something of her powers before tripping into greater trouble. Of course, her powers and influence are starting to edge on the absurd....as Jean Claude says, its getting so you can't do anything with or to the local monsters without getting her permission....but I like the directions she took in this book (I also like the status of relationships at the end). This is a terrific read!
on July 21, 1999
Blue Moon is a great book, but it does have its downside. The minor characters are described wonderfully, and are easy to like.For example:Jason,Cherry,Asher,and Zane.Anita is cool,as always.But what bothers me is how drastically they changed Jean-Claude's personality.After reading all the AB books,I really don't think that he dates Anita just for power,though it's a good bonus.I don't like the munin part much either.It seems like it was solely created so Anita and Richard could kiss and make up.It was kind of spur-of-the-moment,like Hamilton had decided she didn't like Jean-Claude halfway through the story.But I admit,I am a Jean-Claude fan.Still,if Anita doesn't make up her mind soon,I hope she just runs off with Edward. Despite all that,I still love th AB books,and will be happy to read any other books in the series that come out.I only hope the next one is better planned out,and has more Edward. ^_^
on March 20, 2000
I thought Blue Moon was a much better book than the one that came before, Burnt Offerings. The book was faster paced and finally deals more with the triumverate that is shared by Anita, Richard and Jean-Claude and how it is beginning to affect each of them. So in that regard the book was fine. I did have a few problems with the book that kept me from giving it five stars. First, throughout the book, we see Anita's powers grow and it seems that everytime you turn a page it's something new. Everything was thrown in too quickly and I think Hamilton should have introduced these new powers in later books. Second, as a result of these growing powers, Anita healed almost everyone in the book! It seemed that no matter how bad you were hurt, Anita could fix it. I found this hard to accept.
But other than that the book was pretty good. Many peolpe have said that the book was too graphic, especially the sex scenes. But what people don't seem to grasp is: this is how Anita creates or brings about the powers of the marks. It was primarily based on lust and will continue to be so! That is why, when I see people saying that Anita should choose between Richard or Jean-Claude, I say she can't! She is bound to them both, and it is this struggle that we will see in future books. As the series continues we will see Anita's humanity and morals put into question. And Blue Moon is were we see much of that beginning to happen. So for those who say is was too graphic, there is a reason for it. I love the Anita Blake series and look forward to the next book and what awaits our heroine!