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This was a good quick read. With one major plot line from the series being wrapped up. It was another out of town crime spree. Anita had been chasing the bad guys across the country and we hit the ground running in Seattle.
We get to catch up with Anita's alternate crew - It is always fun when Edward comes to play. Most of Anita's regular guys are back in St Louis - when will Anita learn it is a seriously bad idea to leave town. We are introduced to a new group of shifters - the were tigers. They are super cool.
A plot line is concluded but there are plenty of questions and mysteries to unravel for Anita Blake.
Remember how in "Bullet," Laurell K. Hamilton set up a thrilling, exciting plotline... and then just stuffed it into a single "here's what we did" sentence in the last chapter?
Well, her twentieth Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novel "Hit List" attempts to be an edgy, gritty thriller about serial-killings by vampire spies. It's not. Hamilton has toned down the plotless sex, but it's replaced with an endless stream of really boring conversations, weapons porn, weretiger politics, and Anita waving her imaginary penis at her superiors.
Edward and Anita are called to Twilightland (aka the Pacific Northwest) to investigate a bunch of weretigers who are being killed, probably by the Harlequin. And after a bizarre fight breaks out at the local weretiger.... place, Anita realizes that the Mother Of All Darkness is scheming to steal Anita's body and make it her own. You know, the same dastardly plot as the last several books.
However, Anita's attempts to root out the Harlequin are foiled by a minor arm injury. So she drops the real federal marshals, and joins forces with Bernardo, Olaf, and some minor were-bodyguards. Can they finally stop talking long enough to catch the Harlequin? Will Anita pull a new magic power out of her butt to wrap up the worst-written subplot in the whole series?
"Hit List" is boring. Painfully boring. Hamilton has toned down the sex/politics considerably, but about 90% of this book is made up of dull, repetitive conversation. If you chopped out the subplots that go nowhere (Marshal Raborn) and the dialogue that adds nothing, the entire simplistic plot would be about thirty pages long.
And about halfway through the book, Hamilton gets bored with writing lots of human characters, so she sweeps them away and bring in the serial killers and "anime-haired" werethugs. The writing is Hamilton's usual hackneyed mixture of casual sexism, weapons porn ("Light anti-tank weapon." "It's a LAW"), and Anita posturing and posing as the Greatest of Experts and the Baddest Of Assassins.
The flimsy plot does become more exciting at the very end of the book, but it also becomes hilariously silly -- one of the bad guys randomly turns good, and Anita pulls another Deus Ex Machina power out of her butt.
As for Anita, she's typically horrible. When she isn't being arrogant and bossing people around, she's huddling in a corner crying because another marshal said something mean to her. Edward has transformed into a creepy pervert who is always trying to get Anita to feed the ardeur, even letting a strange weretiger crawl into bed naked with her WHILE SHE'S UNCONSCIOUS.
Even worse, Hamilton lays out plenty of groundwork for Anita to sleep with both Edward AND serial killer Olaf, and she adds yet another traumatized were to Anita's enormous harem. None of the other main characters make even a cameo appearance, so don't expect to see any favorites here.
"Hit List" is like swimming through sludge -- slow, boring, clammy and unpleasant. It's thankfully low on sexual content, but the endless posturing and boring conversations make it a chore to read.
This book is not worth the money. The font size is huge compared to Bullet, in all honesty this is a novella with ambitions not a proper novel. If you must read it check it out from your local library or wait for the paperback because it is a rip off at hardback price.
This basically reads like Obsidian Butterfly part deux only without the pacing, plot or general entertainment factor. Its like LKH was following a power point presentation and all of the characters were cardboard cutouts trotting around a sound stage. Anita gets in a fight with the local marshalls, check. Marshalls doubt her loyalties, check. Anita shows off her super special knowledge, check. Anita meets yet another super special wer to add to her harem, check. Anita gets in a gun fight and gets injured, check. Medical people are astounded by her healing ability, check. Anita gets weirded out by Olaf, check. Anita shows her humanity by aiding a fallen officer, check. Anita angsts about everything, about a million checks through the whole book. Then all of a sudden the book ends, its like LKH got bored or couldn't be bothered anymore and wrapped it all up in about ten pages. Really? I mean really, really?? Anita has been fighting Mother Dark for how many books now and it all ends in less than three pages? The ending was poorly thought out and just lame with yet another unexplained power up and one of the enemy switching sides out of the blue. It left me annoyed, frustrated and feeling cheated that something that should have been fleshed out and detailed was treated like an after thought.
What writing gift LKH once had seems to have abandoned her in this book. Supposedly the book is set in the Seattle/Tacoma Washington area but it could be anywhere. No attention at all is paid to setting up the area or the details of their surroundings aside from a moan about it being cold in the first paragraph of the book. Maybe its because LKH is obsessed with describing her characters' eyes and hair. How many times did we really need to read that Edward's eyes were like the winter sky or moon? None of the characters are fleshed out well, not even Anita who comes off as whiney and mostly unlikable. This book had a tiny glimmer of promise but it was buried under the angst driven bad writing and hurried ending. Its almost as if Anita isn't humping someone or angsting about humping someone then LKH isn't really interested in writing her characters anymore. She's tried to write a back to business mystery novel with Hit List but it reads like a sad wannabe knock off of one of her earlier books. I used to be a rabid LKH fan but this book may be the end for me. I think from now on the first few chapters will be downloaded on my kindle app and if it looks to be more of the same, well, I don't think I'll bother.
I tried to think of ways of describing this book and then it came to me.
Its like a One Night Stand. It feels good at the time, but at the end it feels kinda hollow and makes you think why did I do that again?
Don't get me wrong its better than the sex-saturated previous books but I felt that it was unfinished or lacking...I like that Edward's in it, I don't like that Edward has been somewhat 'tamed' by the love a woman, feels a bit cliched to me. And like some other reviewers have said, I am getting tired of LKH's 'stock phrases' you know the ones I mean.
"eyes had gone as pale and distant as a winter's sky' "tightened things low down in my body"
I think I used to be able to look past it because the stories were exceptional but now...? I'm not so sure, I feels lazy to me, and a lot of the scenes just seemed rehashed from previous books, her encounters with Raborne and Bernardo etc. If I have to see her assert herself once more through a combination of feminine wiles (that she refuses to believe she has) and macho bravado I might call it done. I do prefer Meredith Gentry in that respect as a person she makes no excuse for who/what she is...and she's more likable for it.
Thats not to say there wasn't anything good...I could feel the restraint in the first scene (of almost sex) with Ethan I was very excited when they didn't have sex. Although again, I am wondering if there's anything Anita can't do..she's rapidly gone from someone to identify with, to someone who just bitches and complains when there is really no need. The scenes with Olaf were delicious - something clearly has to be done about him...but otherwise this book continues the downward trend started in Micah and strange candy.
I would wait for it to be in the library, I read it in about 3 hours in the evening. Add in the stock phrases, repeated scenes, there's a lot that you DON'T have to read to get the gist of the book.
Not the worst book in the series, but certainly far from the best. Given a real choice 2.5 stars would have been my real rating, but i've rounded up rather than down because, despite it being weaker than many of the previous novels, its still readable and enjoyable enough.
First of all, its a little shorter than most of the other novels in the series (excluding Micah and Flirt which, despite what they are marketed as, are both novella). The story starts out of state and with Edward as company, not a bad thing as most of the books with Edward end up enjoyable if not brilliant, but this might be the exception. The story isn't amazing... it felt a little disorganised to me and had so much potential which just wasn't met. The ending was also very anti climactic... in fact given that it was sort of the showdown between Marmee Noir and Anita it was downright tame.
I expected more from this book, and I know you should never go into a book with too many expectations. All the same, I did expect it to be a little more interesting that it turned out to be, but thats simply based on some of the previous novels. What i just don't understand with this author is their ability to one minute turn out a masterpiece and the next turn out a flop. Its so incongruous... I wonder if its fair to blame the author or if its the editors piling on pressure that is to blame?
Anyway, if you've followed the series thus far I do suggest reading it. It's still got some good moments and if given a chance to return the novel I probably wouldn't. I'm not likely to revisit it soon, but I imagine I will in the future at some point.
Overall rating 3/5 - an average novel in the series, nothing special but not terrible either. Certainly not the worst book from this author.
If you get past the sexual content, you will find a gripping tale of hunting monsters and strong characters. I find Anita Blake series enthralling. Every book gives you a new monster and it is always scarier than expected.
I was getting bored of all the metaphysical sex taking up all the space where a decent story used to be, but although this book didn't go that route, the story didn't feel fully formed either. The relationships between characters have become very superficial somehow and the climax of the book was over and done too quickly for me to invest in it. I really miss the style of the first eight books, which seemed more fully formed with more 'flavour' to the individual stories. I wonder if there is now so much pressure to publish, that the author is unable to produce at her own high quality rate.
I picked up my first Anita Blake paperback perhaps 10 years ago, these stories are a supernatural detective story or whodunnit. The cast is varied with vampires, werewolves, elves and witches to name just a few.
There have been some excellent stories as we have seen Anita grow from 'merely' raising the dead to becoming something much more.
However, as the books progressed, the stories started to concentrate on Anita the person; the changes that were taking place to her and the relationship she has with the men in her life, rather than interesting storylines and sorting out the bad guys. The action has increasingly moved away from violence to the bedroom and while I dont consider myself a prude the sheer volume of these encounters beggars belief.
I can cope with all the above but the major problem over the last 3 or 4 books is that the stories have become thin in comparison to the sex and touchy feely stuff (I am a bloke I dont have a great capacity for this).
I introduced my wife to the Anita and Merry Gentry stories and both of us have become disilusioned with the direction the stories have gone - she read Hit List and advised me not to bother.
Hit List was going to be my last try with Anita so I wont be reading any further Anita Blake or Merry Gentry stories - sorry Laurell but you have lost a loyal fan.
If there are any readers out there interested in something in the same genre but without the bedroom gymnastics, then take a look at the Chronicles of Galen Sword by Judith and Gareth Reeves-Stevens there are 3 books so far in the series with the promise of more if the authors can find the time.