The Harlequin (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter #15)


by Laurell K. Hamilton

Reading a new book in a favorite series is like visiting old friends. You get to see how they’ve changed and developed since your last visit, and hopefully come away satisfied.

Unlike the previous installment in the saga of Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, The Harlequin has more plot than monster porn. Not that there isn’t sex, because it wouldn’t be an LKH novel without that, but the sex takes a back seat this time, and instead we’re treated to the return of Edward, the only man Anita doesn’t want to draw down on.

If hired killers can mellow, than Edward has, a little, in this outing, but then, fatherhood (even step-fatherhood) will do that to a person.

That aside, this is a great novel, and seems almost a return to the “old” Anita, the one who solved crimes. This time she’s going up against a secret sect of vampire enforcers, and trying to protect the members of the vampire church, of all things. Jean Claude is there, but not prominent, and the pack has actual development, and not just handsome body parts.

Great read, great to revisit Anita’s St. Louis.

Incubus Dreams

Incubus Dreams: The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series

Laurell K. Hamilton

I’ve been a fan of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series since 1998, when I spied a copy of The Lunatic Cafe on the shelf at the Barnes and Noble in Sioux Falls. Of course, I immediately had to go back and read the rest of the novels in the series, which was, at the time, only four books long.

Now, eight books later, I’m still addicted to Hamilton’s cast of characters and soft-porn storytelling, but I wish there was a little bit more story in this offering, Incubus Dreams.

To be fair, it is a transitional novel, and it does that job well. Anita, in this incarnation, is finally beginning to make peace with who and what she is. In fact, for the first time, she’s beginning to show real signs of maturity.

The plot, what there is of it, isn’t very obvious – there’s a string of murders, of course, but there are vast stretches of the novel where they’re not even mentioned, and the solution, when it comes, is sort of a throwaway, but the character development is much more interesting – Nathaniel is becoming three-dimensional, and Richard is ‘back’ in a sense.

I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next.