Anita Blake is a vampire hunter. But when someone else sets his sights on her prey, she must save them both from the inferno.
As Burnt Offerings unfolds, Anita agrees to help track down a possible psychic firestarter. She's also policing the local werewolf pack, though she's split up with their alpha, Richard. Then Jean-Claude, the vampire Master of the City and her lover, needs her help to confront a visiting delegation of the vampires' ruling council. They wonder how he got the power to destroy a council member and believe him dangerous to the hierarchy.
This fast-paced, urban fantasy includes gore, hardboiled mystery and a romantic triangle. The vampires and werewolves are as three-dimensional as the human characters, allowing us to join Anita in wondering who the real monsters are and to understand how her increased personal involvement with them is alienating her from her human colleagues. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
But i have to admit, i enjoyed the first few Anita Blake novels. I liked her, like how a small girl can kickass, and eventually even enjoyed how some of the monsters really aren't monsters... but over the past few novels, the books have degenerated into way too much magic that simply seems silly, her sexual relationships with a vampire and werewolf, and plots that are completely predictable (the main reason why i enjoyed her first few books because they weren't predictable).
Hamilton's development of Anita was absolutely fantastic, as well of Dolph and the rest of the characters. But now with Richard, who was developing nicely in the beginning, is just absurd now. Alright, i can understand the fact that he has a plastic Barney the purple dinosaur view of the world, but does he really have to sound and act that pathetic?
And Jean-Claude... who was once a great character who was trying to win Anita and who could set things in motion, is nothing but a boy toy now and doesn't even play any significant role... sure, he's got a lot of lines in the books, but his power is so dependent on Anita, that he's no longer that sinister vampire we were with ulterior motives. Trust me, i can appreciate the irony that Anita, the Execution, fell in love with Jean-Claude, Master of the City... but their relationship doesn't even seem equal now... not even close.
And the love triangle is sooooo old. I guess there's one thing i learned from this series, and it's that some women have similar fantasies as men do: both find physical attraction very important (i am literally sick to death of reading about how nice these guys nippples are... SICK TO DEATH), and the desire to have more than one love/lust (which Nancy Friday's My Secret Garden also seemed to agree with). But this love triangle is getting old, repetitive, and just BORING. And the last few books were nothing but about this love triangle. Really, i wouldn't be surprised if in an upcoming book Anita will have a double penetration night with these two men.
Jean-Claude, who was such a commanding character, has now turned into someone who gains no respect from readers. When I first read of him, he was so strong and powerful as the Master of the City but now he is being reduced to a boyish plaything with no guts and no substance.
Richard's character, even though too sensitive and childish, has been the constant in her series. He may not be the most mature man in the series but at least his identity hasn't swayed. He still remains true but Jean-Claude and Anita are starting to become transparent and boring.
The book is based on the Vampire council coming to St-Louis and before this book, I always thought the council to be a formidable group but the encounter with them seems pointless. It doesn't appear to have pushed the story along except to make the council out to be a sadistic bunch of idiouts and to make Anita look like a Goddess who can do or say no wrong. It was almost a shame to have read this book because now I have no respect for this ominious Vampire council. To think they were even afraid of a mere human female.
Even though Anita Blake has "powers", it is starting to get a little dry when she can even start to beat out the werewolves, wereleopards, vampires, etc. She seems to be unbeatable and the problem with the story is that avid readers don't enjoy reading a story where the main character gets away with everything.
The author has time to redeem herself, however. Anita can always wake up in the future books and realize that she has a choice to make - animator, vampire executioner or whore.
Several interesting things happen in the seventh installment. The most important part is that there are a few new characters. The ones that I think will play important roles in the other novels are Asher, Jean-Claude's former best friend and nemesis, and Nathaniel, a were-leopard with submissive tendencies. Asher is the one that intrigued me the most. Hundreds of years ago, he and Jean-Claude had loved the same woman. Asher blames Jean-Claude for Julianne's brutal death. This is a great subplot -- one that I hope Ms. Hamilton delves deeper into in the other novels. I wonder if this love triangle foreshadows the future of Anita, JC and Richard. Asher is gripping, almost as sensual as JC, and I look forward to reading more on him. I don't yet know what to make of Nathaniel. I'll have to read more on him, though I must say that I'm not crazy about the aforementioned character thus far. Another good thing about this installment (other than Asher and his subplot) is that we are reacquainted with some of my old-time favorite characters, like Larry and Dolph. Though others were notably absent (I missed Edward!). And, of course, I was happy to read that the relationship between Anita and Jean-Claude has solidified into something loving as well as sexual. They're so cute together! Also, there are a few semi-erotic scenes in this novel and I think I know where LKH is headed. Burnt Offerings is another great installment, but it didn't grip me the way the previous six novels did. There are things that I did not like about this one. The thing that bothers me most is that this book has far too many subplots. I felt that LKH was going around in circles, not really stopping to delve into a particular subject. The story was hard to follow at times. Also, I don't like the direction the characters Richard and Dolph are headed. Richard is understandably hurt and angry with Anita, but his ranting and whining are too over the top for me. And since when did Dolph become a vampire hater? His attitude with Anita has changed since she started dating Jean-Claude. I do miss their friendly banters. Other than that, this is another great Anita Blake novel and I look forward to reading the next one.