Thursday, June 4, 2009

Blood Noir - Laurell K. Hamilton

Blood Noir
Laurell K. Hamilton
Berkley Books
Copyright Date: 2008

According to the jacket of Blood Noir:
Now the old bastard's dying and I wont have time to forgive him before he goes...

Jason Schuyler is a werewolf. He's also one of Anita Blake's best friends, and sometimes her lover. And right now he needs her - not to be a vampire hunter, or a federal marshal, or a necromancer, or even for her rank in the werewolf pack, but because his father is dying. He needs Anita because she's a pretty woman who loves him, who can make him look like an everyday guy, who agrees to go home with him and help him say good-bye to the abusive father he never loved. The fact that Jason is about as much an everyday guy as Anita is a pretty woman is something they figure they can keep under wraps for a couple of days in a small town. How hard can that be?

Really by now, Anita Blake should know better.

Marmee Noir, ancient mother of all vampires, picks this weekend to make a move. Somehow she has cut the connection that binds Anita and Jean-Claude, leaving Jean-Claude unable to sense what is happening. Dangerous even as she sleeps, buried in darkness for a thousand years somewhere beneath the old country of Europe, Marmee Noir reaches out towards power. She has attacked Anita before, but never like this. In Anita she senses what she needs to make her enemies tremble...

Blood Noir ended up being one of the books for the TBR challenge lite, although when I bought it the day it came out last year, I'd fully intended to read it right then. In fact, I got half way through before I put it down. I don't exactly remember why though now. I think it was due to the fact that I kept buying new books I didn't want to wait to read (still a problem).

Anyway, it took the release of the new book Skin Trade, a couple of days ago to get me to pick Blood Noir up again. I'm really glad I did now that I've finished it. I can't wait to read Skin Trade now, either, but I've committed to reading The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan first.

Blood Noir, the sixteenth book in the Anita Blake series is really Jason's story. A recurring character through the series, he really comes into his own here as he takes Anita to visit his family because his father is dying of cancer. Of course, nothing goes smoothly for them. It ranges from being mistaken for somebody else, to the return of Marmee Noir.

This book is shorter than some of Hamilton's books, but the pacing was fast, so the story didn't seem to suffer any. I will definitely agree with some of the reviews I've read that there is a bit too much sex, but that's been the case in all of the books since Narcissus In Chains. It's just become part of the book style now for me.

I think for readers from the Romance section of the bookstore that the sex isn't going to be a problem either. Perhaps that's one reason I noticed it less this time: because I've been reading more of the paranormal romances where sexual activity is more or less expected. I'm not all that familiar with the expectations of readers of the horror section of the bookstore where the Laurell K. Hamilton books are shelved these days, so I can't really say.

Either way, I did enjoy reading Blood Noir and I found that I couldn't put the book down as it raced towards the climax this afternoon/evening. Still, I don't think it's my new favorite of the series, a position held jointly by Danse Macabre and The Harlequin.

My other reviews of Laurell K. Hamilton's novels:
Swallowing Darkness (Merry Gentry)
A Lick Of Frost (Merry Gentry)
Skin Trade (Anita Blake)

Other vampire-themed novels/series I've reviewed:
Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs
Dark Lover - J.R. Ward

Other reviews:
Books And Other Thoughts: A Trip Out Of Town Gone Bad


Jill said...

Nice review! I enjoyed this one, too, although a longer book is always welcome IMO. I am on the waiting list for Skin Trade at my library. I'd be more impatient if I didn't have so many books to read already! Thanks for the link. :-)

Unknown said...

Skin Trade is turning out to be absolutely great. It's already keeping me up past bedtime.

Jill said...

I'm so glad to hear it! Her books always keep me up past my bedtime. She is a master of pacing and suspense - I keep thinking, I'll close the book as soon as...but before I get to that point a new plot strand has picked up and gained momentum. She gets me every time. :-p

ElenaG said...

My last read Anita Blake was Danse Macabre, a while ago.

I think if I'd kept with them I wouldve also come to accept the many sex scenes. I just found with that last book I read there was not even a plot anymore, and I gave up. Plus I guess I'm more a fan of sexual tension in general.

Would I need to read the books in between before I can pick up this one?

Unknown said...

Hard to say. Possibly not, but there are some developments that have progressed from that book to this one.

I don't remember if Marmee Noir played a role in Danse Macabre or not, but she's become an interesting twist in the plot in the last two books at any rate.


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