on June 10, 2004
I was a big fan of the first few Anita Blake novels, which is surprising since i don't like most fantasy novels, and absolutely hate vampire novels (don't like the erotica in them... which seems to be what all vampire novels written by women are).
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.
on January 3, 2006
I really enjoy reading the Anita Blake Series, but Burnt Offerings was not as entertaining as her previous books in the series. Anita Blake seems to be losing her identity and cascading down into a mixture of smut and invulnerablity. I don't mind a slutty character but she had such high morals in the beginning that throwing her sexually to the wind at this point seems sort of unbelievable.
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.
on July 14, 2004
Anita Blake is involved in vampire politics in Burnt Offerings. She meets the vampire council and its quite unconventional methods. The council, especially Yvette, wants Jean-Claude to replace Oliver (from Circus of the Damned), but for sinister reasons. To make matters worse, a pyrokinetic (someone who can call fire physically) has burned various people and vampire establishments with the hope of illegalizing vampires again. Anita and Jean-Claude have to put a stop to this before it is too late. But first Anita has to deal with Fernando, a wererat and son of a sadistic vampire. Fernando is the kidnapper and rapist of various were-leopards and other shape shifters. By doing so she has to become the were-leopards' leader and protector -- something that does not sit well with ex-boyfriend Richard. He decides to make her as miserable as he has been since she broke up with him. Her hands are quite full. Will she be able to save the monsters, even those who aren't worth saving? There various twists throughout the novel...
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.
on April 15, 2004
The story centers around the Vampire Council and the legalities of vampires as citizens, and uses a lot more of vamp and lycantrope politics. As much as I like seeing more of lycantropes *other* than werewolves, the fact that Anita is the shining hero for them too just annoyed me to no end. 5 stars of 5 for all characters except Anita, 3 stars of 5 for having to put up with the Superwoman Lead Character.
As much as I like the series, Anita Blake is the most annoying, superwoman, I can outdo everyone around me, hypocritical, hyper-feminist character I've ever had the displeasure to read. I was starting to root for the bad guys to take her out. However, I kept reading because I really like Jean-Claude, Edward, Larry, Dolph, Jason, Stephen, and other supporting characters, and wonder about what happens to them, even if they don't have enough sense to tip Anita in the nearest tar pit and move on with their lives. If the series gets any more Anita-Worshipping, I may have to periodically gag in between chapters. The friend who got me started warns me that it does, and that after the next two novels, I should give up rather than continue to read the author's worship of Anita.
As you can tell, there are NO strong female characters allowed in these books, other than Anita herself. Any female who seems to be a dominant character soon meets an unfortunate demise or fate worse than death, usually at Anita's hands because of course, she's the Ultimate Evil of the novel. The only recurring female supporting character is Ronni, Anita's best friend. Despite initial promise in the early books, Ronnie is little more than a puppet for her so-called best friend to dangle about when she needs to have girl-talks. And the men all seem to be joining Anita's harem, which is annoying, since she's a rather hypocritical wench when it comes to the bedroom.
*bah* If my friend hadn't promised me that the book after the next is an Edward centered novel, I'd give up on this series while I was ahead. Edward, for those who haven't read it, is a sociopathic assassin. Scary that he's more truly heroic as a character than Anita Blake, isn't it? ;-)
on February 15, 2004
I have read all of the books up to this point and am beginning to get a little bored with the whole Anita/Jean Claude/Richard scenarios. I think it's a little weird that Anita dumped Richard because she saw him change into a werewolf and eat his arch enemy...Richard was the one with morals until she nagged him into killing for the sake of his pack. It seems a little odd that she just dives into bed with Jean Claude, who is a vampire, who has actually murdered people without guilt or resentment for it. I think Anita needs to sort out her priorities. I don't like reading about her and Jean Claude together...he is a boring character to me, He wears frilly clothes and leather boots up to his knees (HULLOOOOOO....that is NOT a good fashion statement to be making, even if you ARE a master vampire!)Why can't Anita just date a REGULAR guy? I get that she has such a stress filled, action packed life, but she is the vampire executioner and she is being hypocritical and weird by sleeping with Jean Claude. This book was good but I am getting a little bored of Anita and Jean Claude. Also, I think Ms. Hamilton needs to start updating her fashions and appearances...The last time men with hair down to there waist was in was like 1987 and almost EVERY male character in these books has insanely long hair. Sometimes I can't help but picture them as women, as a lot of her descriptions peg them as being "more pretty than masculine". I hope her books start getting more up to date and Anita gets a break from Jean Claude and Richard(Even though I do like Richard with Anita more than her lace wearing, knee high boot toting vampire lover)...the book was good, but not something I loved.
on July 8, 2003
The main reason I am giving Burnt Offerings only 3 stars, where I have given all the rest in the Anita Blake series 5 stars, is because it took me so long to read. I'm talking months. This is because I would read a chapter, then go on to a different book, then come back to it a few weeks later and read a few more pages, then abandon it again, and so on and so forth. I'm not saying I did this because the book was bad (it isn't that bad, really) - it's pretty much just because nothing that exciting happened. Throughout the last installment, The Killing Dance, I couldn't wait to get to the next page to see what would happen (especially between Anita and Jean Claude), but I never felt that way with Burnt Offerings. It felt like more of a chore to read it than a pleasure. The same old stuff is happening here: Anita is having major problems in the love department; she is having major problems with the Wereamimals; and she is having major problems with the vampire council. And once again, every male character in the book seems to want to sleep with her. Nothing new here. Despite the summary on the back of the book, this installment seems to have more to do with the Pack than vamps - which is okay, I guess, but I can only take so much of the Wereamimals.
Call me crazy, but my two favorite characters in the series are her mysterious "friend" Edward, and her sometimes partner-in-training Larry - both 100% human. Larry appears in the novel only briefly, and Edward not at all, which is a shame if you ask me. As much as I love Jean-Claude and Richard, I think Anita should start spending more time with her fellow humans. Maybe then she won't have so many problems. Then again, we also wouldn't be getting any more new books from Hamilton. If you have read the entire Anita Blake series thus far, you should definitely still read this one (you wouldn't want to skip one, no matter how much you may not like it). If you have never read any of the books in the series, do not start with this one - it most likely will not get you hooked. Start with Guilty Pleasures and work your way up. It's a great series - and even the best series have at least one in the bunch that's not as good as the rest. Be warned: this is it.
on April 2, 2002
LKH has done it again! She has introduced us to new characters that bring out more of Anitas personality and we see Anita thrown into a "mothering" role which is new to her. For most of the book, Anita finds herself acting as lupa to the werewolf pack since Richard is away. They are no longer dating but she is still lupa until she is replaced by Richard. She is also needed as protector of the wereleopards since she killed thier leader in another book. Anita is having to learn to deal with her personal life with Jean-Claude, the Master Vamp of the city and her boyfriend, and the question and comments that friends are making about the pair.
In the middle of everything, Jean-Claude's home is overrun with council members from the Vampire Council which "governs" vamps worldwide. They think Jean-Claude is a threat to the council since he was able to kill one of the more powerful council members (from an earler book). Anita tries to help and finally wises up towards them and starts to turn the members "games" against them. How does she do it?!
In this book we learn more about certain were animals that we have been seeing in other books. It makes those characters more loveable and/or likeable.
on February 25, 2002
"Burnt Offerings" is the seventh book in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, and it is just too much fun to miss! Hamilton takes her readers on a non-stop, action-packed thrill ride that will captivate readers from the very first page. This book is immensely entertaining - filled with heart-pounding action and suspense and highly erotic romance. Not for the faint of heart, readers will find this book to be a truly satisfying read.
The book begins as Anita, tough-as-nails necromancer and animator, agrees to help the police find a psychic firestarter. She is also policing the local werewolf pack, acting as their lupa, despite her split with Richard, the pack's alpha. In addition to this, Anita suddenly finds herself as the protector/leader of the local wereleopard pack (Anita killed their alpha, Gabriel, in an earlier novel).
Then Anita's boyfriend Jean-Claude, the city of St. Louis' super-sexy Master Vampire, has his home invaded by the immensely powerful and frightening Vampire Council, the ruling body for all vampires. Anita and Jean-Claude confront them together, and must defend themselves against wild accusations claiming that Jean-Claude is a threat to the hierarchy, planning to set-up his own rival council. They also must explain how they were powerful enough to destroy a Council member some months ago.
The Council members present, the Traveler, who inhabits the bodies of those around him, and Padma, Master of Beasts, and their many violent and twisted associates have been torturing and raping Jean-Claude's people. Tensions run high as Jean-Claude and Anita barter for the safe return of all their people and from that point on, the action and violence escalates.
Anita and Jean-Claude aren't exactly sure what the Council wants from them, but they aren't too sure they'll get out of this alive. Richard arrives to assist them, though he is hurt and angry with Anita and the world in general. But these three must find a way to get along, because the only way that they are going to keep from getting killed is if they work together!
Anita's relationship with Jean-Claude is highly passionate and actually very touching. Jean-Claude accepts all of Anita, the light side of her nature as well as the dark, and his devotion to her is really lovely. Anita and Jean-Claude's scenes together are full of passion and sensual delights for the readers.
Hamilton does an amazing job of portraying all of the characters, monster or human, as rich and real individuals. Half the time, the monsters show more compassion than the humans, and Anita begins to wonder who the REAL monsters are. The character development is a strength in this book, as we learn more about not just Anita, Jean-Claude and Richard, but also the new and interesting secondary characters.
Reading these Anita Blake books is pure pleasure for me! For a few hours I get to join a wild and wonderful world of shape-shifters and vampires, and pretend for a little while that I am a part of it. Hamilton so skilfully portrays her deep and vivid characters, that it is easy to forget that they aren't actually real people. So buy this book today, I guarantee you won't regret it!
on December 6, 2001
HOLY COW!! Talk about x-rated.
I thought the last two were incredible, this one rocked me off my feet! The 7th is by far her best to date. No more introductions, no more allusions, she just gets to the story. Hamilton doesn't even let you recover; she hits you again and again with non-stop, heart-stopping action. I could not put it down; it occupied every chance I had to read and then some.
It begins right off into the action and you don't know what to expect. While it does move rather quickly, it keeps you on your feet and wanting more. The way that LKH is able to intricately incorporate such themes and stories into one book is incredible, amazing. Be careful, so much happens at once that you might get overwhelmed: be calm, breathe deeply and read responsibly.
Well, well, well. Who would have thought-Anita and Jean-Claude, together, forever? Woa, talk about hot and heavy. Anita gets a little frisky...and freaky. She's getting so much stronger and tougher but it's cool. Hamilton gets down and dirty, no more mister nice guy. The series starts out sooo PG-13, but Burnt Offerings should be given a triple X rating. Oh, yeah. It's that good. Buffy who? Read on...
It's about sex, sex, sex, and more sex. Even though half the people are naked or half-naked or, um, other things, it isn't done in a gratuitous or obscene manner, it just is. Her characters are so real and vivid, you imagine what they look like, she gives that free range of motion.
It's playful, sexy, sweet. She's so far deep in the rabbit whole that she's not sure if she's become or becoming like one of the monsters. She is not only involved with the werewolves but now a lot more with the wereleopards. That's only part of the book.
What starts out to be a pyrokinetic burning down buildings, spirals towards the arrival of the Vampire Council and some freaky perverted things. Plus, they but one or two objective: one, to kill Jean-Claude. Why? You'll have to read it.
After THD, Richard and Anita are somewhat estranged, in other words, Richard is majorly pissed at Anita for sleeping and dating the Master of the City, otherwise known as the wonderful Jean-Claude.
Although I didn't like Richard in the beginning, he's starting to grow on me, no pun intended. (...) Your half laughing and half gripping the book so hard because you can't wait what happens next. They still have really strong feelings for each other and they nearly jump each other's bones in front of people...wereanimals mostly. Modest, chaste and shy Anita do that? Hell yes!
It's got everything for everyone, a bit too much for people who can't handle it, but it's a series that just gets better and better. Granted, LKH gets graphic and very descriptive, but be open-minded. Don't read so much in pattern but what the story is telling you; jeez, some people just can't enjoy a great story/ series w/o analyzing every aspect of it. Just read it with out prejudice and certain expectations and trust me, you'll love the series as much as I do.
on September 30, 2001
As ususal, great characters, good character development and nice circumstantial detail on the world of Anita Blake. Unfortunately, the plot is not as strong as usual.
Representatives of the Vampire Council roll into St Louis ostensibly to investigate The Master of the City's activities, but in practice the point was more to perpetrate the various atrocities Ms. Hamilton had dreamed up between novels. It's not hard to imagine that "living" a few thousand years would up these folks' entertainment threshhold, but at times they seem like the S&M Frat Boys (and Girls) from Hell.
Overall, the novel seemed rushed and to lose it's way. Plotlines appear and are then discarded with annoying frequncy reappearing only as afterthoughts in the conclusion. Where I normally have no problem suspending disbelief with Hamilton's work, some points dealing with human/monster political relationships in this novel really rang false.
Not Ms. Hamilton's best work.
So, why do I still rate it a 4? Many points important to later novels are revealed here and even a mediocre effort by L.K. Hamilton is a darn entertaining read.