le 26 juin 2004
Once again, Laurell K. Hamilton hits a home run with this exceptional novel. The Lunatic Cafe is the fourth Anita Blake installment and my favorite thus far. Though this one has a bit of a slow start action-wise, it has a far more compelling plot that centers on Anita's personal life. Anita is dating Richard, something that doesn't sit well with Jean-Claude, the vampire Master of the City. Jean-Claude wants Anita as well and he, too, wants to date her. She's always said she wouldn't date one of the monsters, yet she is involved with a werewolf. But Richard has great human qualities. He is a schoolteacher, a genuinely nice guy, a boy next door of sorts -- minus the small fact that he's the leader of a pack of shape shifters with a secret and animalistic penchant for a mixture of blood, sex and violence. Jean-Claude is the proverbial bad boy -- a fearful leader and a shameless seducer who doesn't bother to hide his monstrous side, but irresistible all the same. In order to keep Jean-Claude from killing Richard, Anita acquiesces to his proposal of dating both men at the same time. But the reader knows that Anita is attracted to Jean-Claude, no matter how much she denies it. If this interesting little love triangle isn't bad enough, she has to find out why eight shape shifters and lycanthropes are missing. There are various twists throughout the novel...
This is the most exciting part of the series I've read thus far. Laurell K. Hamilton keeps you in suspense from beginning to end. Richard is a great character, but he's nowhere near as compelling and sensual as Jean-Claude. I am still hoping that he and Anita will get together. The building of tension is so slow it's torturous! But the aforementioned tension is delectable beyond compare. The characters are always excellent. The most interesting character in this series is Edward. He's a caricature of a character with an unreadable personality. Perhaps this is intentional, but I'm not sure. I hope to get to know this character in a deeper level in the future. Anyway, as said earlier, this is the best Anita Blake offering. I cannot recommend The Lunatic Cafe enough. A great summer read to enjoy resting on a hammock overlooking the sunset.
le 10 mai 2004
Up until this point, the main character in the series, Anita Blake, has been staying away from love. Anita is an animator and vampire slayer, who has been wooed for quite some time by the master vampire of the city, Jean-Claude. On the previous book, "The Circus of the Damned", we saw Anita moving away from the enchanting vampire to start searching for love in what she thought was a normal human. She was surprised when, after a vampire tore out the throat of his suitor, he did not die. Richard is a werewolf, and Anita is trying to reconcile this information with her own feelings for him. Anita's reluctant acceptance of love may have to do with the moment in time in which Laurell K. Hamilton wrote this book, since she was pregnant and delivered a baby girl named Trinity.
With each book, the reader gets a clearer idea about what the place in which Anita lives in is like. For example, we find out that there are creatures that we did not know existed in this world, like dragons, gargoyles and trolls. Also, we learn that discrimination against lycanthropes is illegal but existent nonetheless. In this case, everything starts when the husband of one particular lycanthrope shows up at Anita's office looking for help, since his wife is missing and he cannot go to the authorities for fear she will be fired if the "secret" comes out. In addition to this, Dolph, who works with the preternatural unit of the police department, summons Anita because there has been a murder of suspicious nature. Anita determines that the murder was committed by a shapeshifter, denomination that includes werewolves.
Besides the "usual" type of situations Anita faces, she has to deal with her relationship with Richard, and his battle for the leadership of the wolf pack with an alpha male called Marcus. Jean-Claude will not go away without a fight, and he is trying to get Anita to date him instead of the werewolf. To complete the picture, there is a female vampire that is in love with Jean Claude and thinks that the only way to get her prize is to eliminate her competition. Anita describes this situation perfectly: "Bully for me!"
Hamilton is perfecting a world and a character that grab the attention and the heart of the reader without letting go. As the story progresses, we learn more about Anita's past, her relationship with her mother, her previous experience with love, etc. Also, the reader comes to cherish some of the characters that at first seem unlikable, like Edward, the "gun for hire". A friend told me that the series will get kinkier as it progresses, and I already saw this happen in this book, but this change in tone matches perfectly the mood of the main character. The truth is, I cannot get enough of Anita Blake!
le 24 décembre 2003
As with the previous three books in the series, this book is a tremendously fun read, mostly because the character of Anita Blake is one of the best characters in fiction since Randall P. McMurphy in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest". The background world, the other characters, the plots and such are all okay, but nothing particularly out of the ordinary. It is Anita that makes this series work, and boy, does she.
This book was at least as good as the first three in the series, although I suspect that some fans will feel that it spent too much time (that is to say, any) on the soap opera that Anita's personal life is becoming, at the expense of the cover-to-cover action that we've come to expect. Others, myself included, will find the closer look at previously unexplored aspects of Anita's character fascinating, and will point out that there is no shortage of action here.
Although this is book four of the series, and I have read the previous three, I have the impression that one could read this book without having read the others without being hopelessly confused. Hard to say, though. Probably best to start with "Guilty Pleasures" and be safe.
le 31 octobre 2003
A Review by Rachel
Anita Blake has fallen in love with the leader of a local pack of werewolves but the master if the city (vampire) will not let it happen. Anita tries to keep them from killing each other and keep her self out of line of fire and try to find out what happened to eight missing lycanthropes.
I loved how this book had no drags and that almost every little thing led to something big so it had no wasted time or drags. All the characters had an important role that made the story really came a live and with Anita's wits I really got inspired by the fact she looks out for her self and doesn't let a man do stuff for her even if she is having a hard time with it. The third best thing about this book was that there was not only a few high points here and there but they were every ware. Danger and suspense incased this book and won't let you go until you pass out from lack of sleep.
I would recommend this book to any vampire, lycanthropes, and mystery and romance lovers. It's a real adventure to read and it is very smooth to read.
le 15 avril 2002
LC is the fourth book in the Anita Blake series. In this book, Anita has her hands full with things other than Zombie raising.
She sees herself falling in love with Richard, an alpha werewolf who is next in like for "top dog", but finds out that he is having problems facing the fact that he has to kill the Ulfric to take over his post. This makes her very angry.
Next, she finds herself being called in by the police to help solve a potential lycanthrope attack. After getting to the scene, she walks into a turf war with the two police departments involved. Fun Fun Fun.
NEXT, Anita goes home only to be drug into a meeting with the current Ulfric, Marcus. He wants her to find out what has happened to 8 missing wereanimals. She reluctantly agrees to help him where upon she is introduced to the dark world of thier lives.
And that is just the beginning!!
This book is jammed full of situations that Anita has to work with.. including a jealous female vampire who is in love with Jean-Claude who is, in turn, in love with Anita. It was a great book that shows Anita at her best!
le 22 mars 2002
Life is tough when you are the best animator and registered vampire killer in the St. Louis area. For one thing, the police keep calling you in the middle of the night. When Anita Blake settles in for a big date with werewolf Richard Zeeman, the interruptions are non-stop. The first is from Jean-Claude, the jealous vampire Master of the City. In the middle of dealing with the enraged undead, Anita is saved by the pager when she gets her second interruption. She's wanted at the site of a suspected preternatural attack to help the police investigation. What Anita finds at the crime site is no better than what she left at the theater. The evidence she finds points to a rogue lycanthrope - mean, nasty and very hungry.
Heading home she is interrupted again. This time it's Marcus and Raina, leaders of Richard Zeeman's wolf pack. They and the leaders of every other family of lycanthropes in the St. Louis area as well. She is hardly sympathetic when they explain that someone is stalking the weres of the city. Eight shapeshifters have disappeared. Concerned about Richard's own safety, Anita undertakes the investigation.
Done yet? Nope. Back at her apartment Anita finds that her buddy Edward the bounty hunter is back in town. His assignment this time is to track down the makers of a snuff film. A particularly gruesome snuff film that starts a werewolf, a were leopard and a very short-lived human. With badness going on in every direction Anita must find the solution to all these crimes before she, Richard, and many innocents become victims as well.
Aficionados will recognized the usual intricate Hamilton plot. What they will not be prepared for are the complexities introduced by her love for Richard Zeeman. Forced to deal with Richard's own nature she must realizes she must find he own definition of what is monster and what is not. This new twist adds considerable depth to a complex tale.
How Laurell Hamilton manages to pick up all these threads, tie them together, and rush headlong to a pulse-stopping conclusion is something that must be read to be enjoyed. Once again Hamilton pushes at the boundary of the typical girl meets monster story to create something that is the best of horror and romance. Readers will be delighted, as usual.
le 21 mars 2002
"The Lunatic Cafe" is Laurell K. Hamilton's fourth Anita Blake - Vampire Hunter novel and it is an enormously entertaining and fun-filled read. Non-stop action, stylish horror, and sensual delights mix seamlessly to create a page-turning novel readers won't soon forget. A word of warning though - all it takes is one visit to Anita's violent and seductive world and you'll be hooked. This addictive series will leave you craving more, until you've bought all 10 Anita Blake books regardless of whether you can afford them or not (it happened to me!).
This instalment in the series finds Anita, hard-boiled necromancer, animator, and vampire executioner, enjoying her budding romance with Richard Zeeman, junior high science teacher and alpha werewolf. But when she finds out that Richard is involved in a life and death struggle for leadership of the pack, she is furious with him for not telling her about it. However, Anita doesn't have long to dwell on it because, as always, more trouble comes her way.
The police beep Anita, requesting her expertise on a preternatural murder, but on her way to her car, Anita has a nasty run-in with Gretchen, one of Jean-Claude's vampires. Gretchen is hopelessly in love with the incredibly sexy Master of the City, Jean-Claude, and she sees Anita the one thing standing between her and her true love. Anita manages to get away, but not before Gretchen has promised to kill her!
Anita finally makes it to the murder scene, where the deceased appears to be the victim of a lycanthrope attack. Unfortunately, however, Anita has walked right into the middle of a police turf war between the local sheriff's dept. and her squad. Guns are drawn and harsh words exchanged before they come to a tense agreement and allow Anita to see the body.
Arriving home ready to end her night, Anita is forced into a meeting at the Lunatic Cafe with the current werewolf pack leader, Marcus. Surrounded by dozens of other were-creatures, Anita doesn't feel too secure, but Marcus has a strange request for her. Eight shapeshifters (lycanthropes) have disappeared recently, and Marcus wants Anita to find out what happened to them. She reluctantly agrees to look into it, and quickly becomes entwined in the strange and violent world of lycanthrope politics.
The story really takes off from here, sending the reader on a fabulous adventure alongside Anita as she deals with the two men in her life, fights off Gretchen the jealous vampire, helps the police solve their murder, and tries to find eight missing lycanthropes.
With so many different things happening at once, one might think that the book would become confused and hard to follow, but Hamilton skilfully ties all the different threads together into one fantastic story. Anita's adventures are always thrilling and suspenseful, sometimes quite sensual, and will keep readers glued to the pages.
Every visit with Anita and the gang is like a holiday to a magical new world, where you can forget all your troubles and get completely caught up in the alternate reality Hamilton creates so brilliantly. With its compelling characters and red-hot storylines, this is a series you do not want to miss. "The Lunatic Cafe" is a fabulous chapter in this exceptional series, so buy it today!
le 18 novembre 2001
No more marks should equal no more powers, right? Sure, whatever. But alas, Anita is getting stronger, much more so than anyone realizes.
The fifth book in the series is more of a soap box love triangle thing than about the gore and raising zombies. After the bloodyness and violence of the 4th book, it's a nice change, which came at a perfect time. Although Anita gets really beat up in this book and there is violence and death, the usual.
Oh, yeah... Finally, for the second time, Anita Blake-tough as nails Animator a.k.a. The Executioner-has found love. Really, she has. We all know him as Richard Zeeman a.k.a. jr. high teacher; a.k.a. werewolf and second in line for the pack. Who could resist an idealistic-at times really annoying, strong, dark handsome werewolf? Anita sure can't, she can't get enough of him. Hmmm, yeah.
Of course Jean-Claude is duly pissed and there is some...tension...between the two. By some occurrence, the current pack's leader Marcus, whom Richard is fighting for leadership, offers Richard's services to Jean-Claude. Since the wolf is Jean-Claude's animal-each master vampire has power to call their own animal like Oliver had with snakes-he can also control werewolves as well. Basically, Richard is supposed to do what the Master of the City wants. I emphasize supposed to. Of course, that doesn't happen. A lot of anger and jealousy happen' here.
To add to the chaos of confusion, Marcus, the leader of the wolf pack and Raina, the alpha female wolf wants, needs Anita's help in finding out who is killing lycanthropes, werewolves specifically. In the past weeks, 8 werewolves have disappeared or ended up in violent death. With help from Edward and some reluctance help from Richard, Anita plunges forth.
Mind you, there is one part of the story line dealing with porno/snuff film. That's Edward's reason for being, he's been hired to kill the lycanthropes involved in the killing of a human girl in a film. It's not crude, it's just frankly stated. While not necessary, it does reveal a little part of Richard's character, which is really important in the story.
The sacrifice? Her new relationship with Richard as well as Jean-Claude. As Anita learns more and more about the world of werewolves, she rethinks Richard's proposal of marriage. Yeah, he asked her to marry him.
Jean-Claude of course is very pissed and threatens to kill Richard but Anita complies with his terms of dating BOTH of them at the same time, he may let Richard live. Oh, yeah, it gets really interesting. It's the only reason I like Richard; you'll enjoy what Richard brings to the story if your a Jean-Claude fan.
It's interesting how Hamilton is able to only give small bits of information and yet maintain such intense interest. You really don't know Jean-Claude or Anita, but each gives a small glimpse of who they are and what they are, what they believe. Great writing at its best. Great sci-fi fantasy with elements of moral, ethics and belief aspects about everything, yourself, the world. All the humor, sarcasm, intelligence, the aura of the other books is still ever so present. You won't be disappointed; it just gets better and better.
le 11 juin 2001
Welcome to exotic world of Anita Blake, vampire executor. In this fourth book, we find Anita with a little time on her hands since business tends to fall off during the Christmas season. Funny, people aren't as interested in raising the dead while they're celebrating. Anita is in the beginning stages of her relationship with Richard, that cute junior high science teacher who just happens to be a lycanthrope and still avoiding the seductive master vampire (my favorite) Jean-Claude.
Things should be slow-right? Wrong! First off she has to deal with a jealous, female rival for Jean-Claude's affections. Gretchen, is a female vampire who is determine to be the only lady in Jean-Claude's life. Gretchen's view on competition? Easy, just kill them. Only Jean-Claude has forbidden it. Gretchen decides to do as she pleases, and she pleases to kill Anita. Next we have someone who is killing shape shifters. The local police think it's a bear, but Anita knows enough about the supernatural to say otherwise. Then we have Richard trying to hide a growing internal conflict with the lycanthropes. It seems Richard is next in line to lead the pack, but to do so he must challenge the current leader and kill him. Richard doesn't want to do this, but faces being killed himself. Last we have Raina, the seductive lycanthrope and Gabriel, the sadist lycanthrope, who are making porn films featuring members of their pack. Who cares that some of their films just happen to turn into snuff films?
What's a girl to do? If you're Anita Blake, you set out to deal with jealous vampire girlfriends, try to make the man in your life see he shouldn't keep secrets from you, and help the police find who is murdering innocent people. If you haven't read Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, find book one, get started, and be sure to read them order. As someone who doesn't normally read this genre of writing, I was fascinated enough to buy and read all nine books in a two week span (thanks to fellow reviewers JP and Joss). One word of warning, this series seduces you. I don't think many will be able to read the first book without wanting all of them!
In this fourth Anita Blake novel our heroine no longer bears the marks of Jean-Claude or any other master vampire and is exploring a relationship with Richard, the middle school teacher. Of course there are problems: Richard is a werewolf whose pack leader is threatening to kill him, Jean-Claude will not take "no" for an answer and has a female vampire who wants to kill Anita, and Dolph wants help identifying the something that is killing lycanthropes (shapeshifters). "The Lunatic Cafe" is the name of the hangout where the werefolk meet and Anita is finding out more about their kind than she really wants to know. Good thing they want her help in finding out who is butchering their kind, although her involvement is certainly a mixed blessing.
As always with Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake novels, she managed to bring everything together by the end of the story. With each book in the series I become more convinced that the "Vampire Hunter" label is to attract fans of Buffy, but Anita is really an Animator (she was a Vampire Hunter in the time BEFORE the first novel) and these books are considerably more gruesome. One of the subplots in "The Lunatic Cafe" concerns a pornographic/snuff film with werewolves and a human girl, with Edward showing up to avenge her death. These are very intense horror novels and Buffy wannabees picking these up without having a clue as to what awaits them inside are not going to sleep for a week. Hamilton has created an alternative reality where monsters have legal rights, and she explores this world with creativity and intelligence. Her heroine endures a lot of physical damage in these books and the mysteries she investigates are always complex. This is a first rate hooror series that deserves its reputation and its growing following.