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This book coming straight off the back of Harlequin was a wonderful change of pace. Where Harlequin was all vampire mystery and suspense, Blood Noir is very emotional.
I loved the character development between Anita and Jason. This is book 16 in the series and we are still growing and changing with Anita. It is the highest compliment to Hamilton that Anita hasn't grown stale and her companions are also growing and developing. When we first meet Jason in the series he is a far cry from the young man Anita accompanies home in Blood Noir. Jason's backstory grows even more intriguing as we learn of his family and home life as a child.
All of the Anita Blake books are a guilty pleasure, a really addictive series! Anyone who likes beautiful & sexy vampires need look no further. The "Merry Gentry" series also by Laurell K Hamilton is another addictive read. In total I have read and re read both sets multiple times and I enjoy every page!
Don't bother with this one, just pretend it never happened and move straight on to Skin Trade! The three whole lines of actual plot that you need to know about are reiterated in Skin Trade, so don't worry about missing anything. Anita's character changes into some kind of "Uberslut" for this one, the plot is thin, and Richard gets annoying to the point where I actually shouted "oh for Heaven's sake just SHOOT him!" If you like porn on the other hand....sigh, in fact, come to think of it, if you do like that sort of thing, go buy a Black Lace book, and if you like Lycanthrope porn, go buy Sherrilyn Kenyon! (The "one with Vane and Bride") - just save your money when it comes to Blood Noir - really, it's not worth the effort of turning the pages.
Please note high sexual content. I find Anita Blake a strong female character. Story is filled with suspense and thrill. I like the cop element to the story and complexity of various characters. Funny at some moments.
If you love where this series is blatantly heading - supernatural romance with multiple people - this is right up your alley. Will not put any spoilers but suffice it to say, much less of the first few books emphasis on life in a supernatural world and how to live in it, and more of explicit sex scenes. having said that, better written than the previous few.
I have been loyal to the Anita blaker series since the beginning. There used to be a good balance between plot, action, gore, character development and sex. Now it seems the everything is gone to make room for metaphysical battles aka mumbo jumbo, inner conflict dialogs, long arguments with whiny characters (Richard) and sex. I can only hope the series turns back to its roots, Anita Blake zombie raiser bad ass vampire executioner ! Come back we miss you.
I like the way Anita's character is developed; I am always wondering what exactly is happening in the plot. Lauren is a genius. I.have read all of the Anita books and the 7 in the Merry series and am bereft because I don't know what to read now!