In her tenth adventure, nothing can save vampire hunter Anita Blake from a twist of fate that draws her ever closer to the brink of humanity.
After the events in the last two books (Blue Moon and Obsidian Butterfly), it would seem that Anita is ready to face Jean-Caude and Richard, but that would be wrong. It seems that no one in the triumvirate is ready (with the possible exception of Jean-Claude) for the consequences of the growing power from the sharing of the marks. Shapeshifters are missing and Anita is beginning to experience side-effects of the bond she shares with Richard and Jean-Claude. Another variable is introduced in the form of another lycanthrope, a male wereleopard with a pard of his own he wishes to merge with Anita's.
The story moves the reader along as quickly as any of the other books, no failure there at all. Jean-Claude and Richard remain as contradictory as ever, a strong praise for consistant chracterization... and in any good story or drama there has to be some change, but Anita's is too dramatic. She abruptly changes from prudish to wanton, although there IS some precedent for this, the groundwork having been laid with the introduction of Richard in the first place, it seems forced. The objection that there is too much "kinky sex" has some merit... this particular book leans heavily toward the erotic end of the spectrum that LKH has skirted and touched on with the previous books. The book would be much shorter were it not for the graphic descriptions involved in the sexual encounters. Anita has been shown as stubborn, brash, blunt, and , to be fair, she HAS been shown to have strong sex appeal and a repressed sensual nature. She has crossed legal lines and is afraid of losing her 'humanity' as she perceives it, yet she forgets what got her into this end of the business...Read more ›
That being said, Narcissus in Chains was a terrific book to read and held my attention throughout. It is difficult to try to make the world of Anita Blake seem plausible with all of the strange supernatural challenges she faces, but the author spins the tale in a delightful and intriguing manner.
The frustration with this book and with many of the Anita Blake series is that Anita has a lot of good friends, but she doesn't seem to appreciate them. She holds out on Dolph, the police sergeant who is investigating a huge shootout at her house despite the fact he's giving her tremendous breaks. Rafael, the powerful lycanthrope leader gives her his unqualified support in a shaky situation at considerable risk to himself and she doesn't say thank you. Sylvie, the feminine but secretly vicious lycanthrope also undertakes a lot of risk to herself to support Anita, and yet she fails to appreciate it. I want to reach into the book and shake Anita for being ungrateful.
There are also many subplots that are left unresolved which frustates the reader. Dolph asks Anita for help and we don't find out what happens or if she follows through. Richard, her former fiance who should be her husband if I had anything to say about it, relates a tragic tale of one of his subordinates who inadvertently kills her husband on her wedding night.Read more ›
I could, maybe, have liked this book more, if it actually contained Anita Blake, Vampire Executioner. The sleazy nymphomanic with all of supergirl's powers, but without the risk of kryptonite, kind of left me wondering "Did LKH just use her left-over sex scene notes from Merry Gentry, or what??" It seems like LKH has forgotten that they are two different series. I certainly did not recognize this Anita as The Executioner.
I will say that I liked that the reactions from the people Anita cut off during her 6 month stint away from everyone, and the changes and/or developments that occurred during that time was introduced. Things definitely would have changed in six months, and it was logical to reflect that.
Also, the break-down of Dolph was unexpected, and different. I defintely felt sorry for him.
Those are about the only 2 things I liked in this book.
The Micah thing was COMPLETELY unbelivable-Anita went from basically being a rape victim in their first tete-a-tete (she asked him to stop several times), and afterwards never even questioned her lack of reaction to it. After that, he was a permanent fixation. There was no background to him, he was just a there, flat and two-dimensional. The Anita I had known would have killed him, even afterwards, just because he had basically stolen her willpower, and that would have terrified her. She had always prized her self-control, and now doesn't even raise an eyebrow that she doesn't have any?? Whatever.
Sleeping with Nathaniel completely grossed me out. Anita had said all along how he was anyone's meat, and that she would always protect him, but I did not see much of that. Instead, she took advantage of his severely messed-up psyche and never looked back, at least not seriously.Read more ›