Tag: laurell k hamilton

July Wrap Up

The Love Story of W.B. Yeats and Maud GonneGuilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1)The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #2)Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #3)The Lunatic Cafe (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #4)Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #5)The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #6)The End of the AffairBurnt Offerings (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #7)

The Love Story Of W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne by Margery Brady Elaine Howlin Books Blog bookstagram photo
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Books Read

The Love Story of W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne

The Love Story of W.B. Yeats & Maud Gonne by Margery Brady ★★★★☆

This was very interesting but it does focus more on Maud than on Yeats. She seems to have lived a more interesting life with her determination to see Ireland free. It’s more a chronicling of events than a story but I did discover a lot about these people I wasn’t aware of.

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1)

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★☆

Oh Anita, how awesome your early books were!! This book was voted Castle Dracula’s book of the month for July so I reread it with the group. I disliked the later books so much I had almost forgotten just how good the first few in the series were. Since this is a first in a series there is some world building though not much because the world isn’t that elaborate. We also get a lot of character introductions. It’s a great book if you were a fan of Buffy but want something more adult. It does show it’s 90’s-ness now but it’s still very enjoyable.

Anita is a vampire hunter and animator which is someone who raises the recently dead as a zombie usually for legal reasons such as finalising a will. She’s also a preternatural expert consulting with the police on murder cases where a beastie is believed to have done the deed. So she’s a busy gal!

The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #2)

The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

I enjoyed rereading book 1 so much I decided to keep going with the series. This book fleshes out the world more and we get to know the characters a lot better. I felt the Big Bad in this one had potential to be a bigger character but it didn’t work out that way.

Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #3)

Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★☆

Book 3. The series has gained momentum here and things really start to heat up.

The Lunatic Cafe (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #4)

The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

Book 4. One of my favourites in the series. A really enticing plot and not too much relationship drama yet.

Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #5)

Bloody Bones by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★☆

Book 5. Excellent addition to the series but again I felt the Big Bad was hyped up a lot then too easily defeated.

The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #6)

The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★☆

Book 6. This book is the first turning point for the series I think. The books start to focus more on Anita’s romantic relationships from here and so much drama!

The End of the Affair 

The End of The Affair by Graham Greene ★★★★☆

This turned out to be a lot more than a story about an affair. It’s more about people finding their religious identity and beliefs and dealing with loss, jealousy, and what it means to love someone.

Burnt Offerings (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #7)

Burnt Offerings by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★☆

Things are starting to get annoying now but we’re not quite there yet. We still have a pretty interesting story but we’re sinking really into the vampire world and I always thought Anita’s abilities were more interesting and had more potential for inventive storylines.

Currently Reading

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I’m very slow with reading this. I’m enjoying it but it’s not the kind of book that I feel an urgency to read. There’s no ‘oh my gosh, what will happen next’ feeling.

Her Name Was Rose Her Name Was Rose by Clare Allen

I received an ARC of this from NetGalley and have just started it. Very interesting so far.

Shadowed Souls Shadowed Souls Edited by Jim Butcher

Short story anthology with stories by Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire and Tanya Huff. I probably won’t read them all because I’m not familiar with all of the series that the stories are part of.

BookTubeAThon TBR

BookTubeAThon runs from July 30th – August 5th this year. Check out my announcement post.

The Surface BreaksThe Last UnicornThe Great GatsbyThe Bloody ChamberThe Second SexBlue Moon (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #8)Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #9)

What was your favourite read in July?

Merry Gentry by Laurell K. Hamilton

“My name is Meredith ‘Merry’ Gentry, but of course it’s not my real name. I dare not even whisper my true name after dark for fear that one hushed word will travel over the night winds to the soft ear of my aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness. She wants me dead. I don’t even know why…”

The Merry Gentry series is an urban fantasy series by Laurell K. Hamilton that borders closely to paranormal romance. It is similar to her Anita Blake series in that the main character, Merry, has multiple lovers but it makes a bit more sense here (I don’t have anything against polygamous relationships it just seems to go against Anita’s nature). Merry is more comfortable with her sexuality than Anita and is much more accepting of her multiple partners and their various interests (Anita becomes so later).

The series is told in the first person from Merry’s point of view. Merry is a faerie princess turned private investigator in hiding from her sadistic aunt, Anadais, Queen of Air and Darkness and of the Unseelie court.

There are currently 9 books in the series.

A Kiss of Shadows (Merry Gentry, #1) A Kiss of Shadows

A Caress of Twilight (Merry Gentry, #2) A Caress of Twilight

Seduced by Moonlight (Merry Gentry, #3) Seduced by Moonlight

A Stroke of Midnight (Merry Gentry, #4) A Stroke of Midnight

Mistral's Kiss (Merry Gentry, #5) Mistral’s Kiss

A Lick of Frost (Merry Gentry, #6) A Lick of Frost

Swallowing Darkness (Merry Gentry, #7) Swallowing Darkness

Divine Misdemeanors (Merry Gentry, #8) Divine Misdemeanors

A Shiver of Light (Merry Gentry #9) A Shiver of Light

******Beware of Spoilers Ahead!!******

I’ve tried my best to avoid spoilers but some points may appear as spoilers.

In the first book, Merry is called back to the Unseelie court and pitted against her cousin Cel in a race for the throne. Her aunt decrees that whichever of them can produce an heir first becomes the next ruler. Hence the multiple suitors Merry acquires. The fae have gone into decline in recent years, unable to produce offspring, slowly dying and losing their magical heritage. Since Merry is part mortal she is more fertile than her faerie kin. Some believe she will save the race and some believe her mortality will infect the race and push them closer to death. Many attempts are made on her life but she ultimately achieves her goals.

In true Laurell K. Hamilton style, the books have a lot of action and a lot of sex. Later books focus mainly on sex and have little story progression. The series starts well with the first four or so books but it seems to slow down then. There are some great scenes in later books but there is too much focus on sexual encounters, stunting the story. The last three or four books I found especially disappointing with the final book feeling like something Hamilton had been forced to write or just had no enthusiasm for. They begin to feel like books written solely for sex with a few plot points thrown in to make it seem like there’s a story. A bit like porn.

Having said that, I really like the series and would count it among my favourites but it is likely to lose that place if the next book (if there is one) follows the same path as A Shiver of Light.

All of the books mentioned are available from Book Depository with free worldwide shipping.

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Anita Blake: The First Death by Laurell K. Hamilton

https://static3.comicvine.com/uploads/scale_large/10/108980/2321112-anita_blake_vampire_hunter__the_first_death__2__2007_.jpgTitle: Anita Blake: The First Death
 
Author: Laurel K. Hamilton, Jonathon Green, Brett Booth, Wellington Alves
 
Genre: Graphic Novel/ Urban Fantasy
 
Series: Anita Blake #0.5
 
Goodreads Rating: 4.07/5
 
 
Synopsis: Her fans have been asking for it – now, Laurell K. Hamilton delivers a look into Anita Blake’s past! Written by Laurell K. Hamilton herself, along with Jonathon Green, The First Death takes place almost a year before the events being chronicled in Guilty Pleasures. Witness the first meeting of Anita and Jean-Claude, Anita’s first time inside Guilty Pleasures, her first serial-killer case, and an early encounter with Edward. Prepare to be thrilled by this original story produced especially for comics! Collects Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: The First Death #1-2 and Anita Blake: Guilty Pleasures Handbook.
 
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What I thought about the book: Set before the novels, we see when Anita meets Jean-Claude for the first time and how she gets the cross scar on her arm. She tells this story in one of the books as well (might have been Guilty Pleasures, not sure), so this fan-requested look into Anita’s past that we’re getting is one we’re familiar with. I got excited when I saw Edward on the cover, I think he’s one the most interesting and underused characters in the series. I thought this would be a story of Anita’s early days on a job with him but he’s barely in it!!
I got excited when I saw Edward on the cover, I think he’s one of the most interesting and underused characters in the series. I thought this would be a story of Anita’s early days as a hunter with him but he’s barely in it!!
Bit of a waste of time to be honest. The artwork is great though.
 
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My Rating: 
2 paws

The Life of a Necromancer’s Toy Penguin

Since it’s World Penguin Day today I decided to honour Anita Blake’s toy penguin, Sigmund. Poor guy has been through a lot (FYI I’m only part way through this series so if something has happened to this little guy, don’t tell me!!!).

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/35/ed/6c/35ed6cf9dae64f5f18b35ef9d891ba9d.jpg

We first meet Sigmund in Guilty Pleasures, the first Anita Blake book by Laurell K. Hamilton. Anita cuddles up with him in bed after a rough day on the job (which is pretty much every day for Anita). 

“I locked the door, for what good it would do me, and went to bed. The Browning Hi-Power was in its second home, a modified holster strapped to the headboard of my bed. The crucifix was cool metal around my neck. I was as safe as I was going to be and almost too tired to care.

I took one more thing to bed with me, a stuffed toy penguin named Sigmund. I don’t sleep with him often, just every once in a while after someone tries to kill me. Everyone has their weaknesses. Some people smoke. I collect stuffed penguins. If you won’t tell, I won’t.”
Laurell K. Hamilton, Guilty Pleasures

Sigmund isn’t Anita’s only penguin but he is her favourite. He’s the one that keeps her safe at night. She’s even tempted to take him on a ‘sleepover’ to Jean Claudes. Unfortunately, he and his buddies tend to get a little bloody when the bad guys dare to break into Anita’s home (and make it all the way to her room….the jerks!).

anita blake vampire hunter sigmund

He has had made such an impression with fans, he’s got some awesome fanart now!

sigmund by DayanElohim on DeviantArt

https://i0.wp.com/pre09.deviantart.net/97e8/th/pre/i/2015/121/a/0/waiting_for_anita_by_darkness4lucy-d2zsuiv.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/img00.deviantart.net/fa33/i/2009/234/d/d/anita_blake_and_sigmund_by_rakkaus_kuolema.jpg

He doesn’t appear as much anymore sadly. I’m pretty sure he only existed to show that Anita was a complex individual with many facets. She’s a merciless vampire hunter but she’s soft and squishy too…. by now her character is very well established and we don’t see things like this so much.

You can get your very own Sigmund from Hamilton’s website store.

As far as the Anita Blake series goes, I’ve almost given up on it. I finished The Harlequin (book #15) this year and I just don’t know how I feel. You can read my review for the book here. The series becomes less about story and more about sex with a lot of men in later books. Book #26 is expected to be released this year, for the series to get that far something must happen right?…. Right?? I just don’t want to give up on the series! Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment.


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The Harlequin – Laurell K. Hamilton

30225Title: The Harlequin
 
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
 
Genre: Paranormal Romance
 
Series: Anita Blake #15
 
Goodreads Rating: 3.9/5
 
 
Synopsis:

‘They will play with us, then destroy us… They are what we fear in the dark.’

The first warning is unexpected, calculated. The second warning is a gift: a plain white mask, carefully wrapped. But white is good – white means we are only being watched.

It seems the power that connects me, Anita Blake, with Jean-Claude Vampire Master of the City and Richard, leader of the werewolves, is attracting very unwelcome attention – from creatures so feared no vampire will willingly speak their name. They are known as the Harlequin, and they have the authority to pass judgement upon me. It is forbidden to speak of the Harlequin unless you’ve been contacted. And to be contacted is to face a sentence of death.

 
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What I thought about the book: So this chicks vagina is quickly becoming the centre of the universe.
The really annoying thing about where this series has gone is that she still writes a good suspense plot it just gets completely hidden behind all the pointless meandering sex scenes. There are too many men as well. I can’t seem to care about any of them. She could kill off half the characters at this stage and I’d think ‘meh’.
BUT I still don’t want to stop reading this series!! I’ve made it to book 15 and I really really loved it at the beginning. I binged the first 10 books. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment.
As far as this book is concerned, I really liked the idea of the harlequin and the ending was good. There needs to be more actually fighting and less metaphysical fighting, though. It’s weird to picture everyone just standing around in a room making weird faces because they’re all feeling stuff instead of doing stuff.
 
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My Rating:
2 paws

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