It took me a little over a month to read this 722 page book. That’s because I set it aside more than once to read something else. Then I made it my bedtime read, and read other books during the day. I just couldn’t take much of this book at one time. In fact, I considered not finishing it a couple of times.
When I first started this series, I was very enamored of it. Edward, the assassin, quickly became my favorite character, though he wasn’t in every book. I was never in love with the Master Vampire, Jean-Claude, but I just personally don’t see the appeal of a man who is pasty white, has long girly hair and wears frilly clothing. So when Richard, the Werewolf, came into the books, I was glad to meet him. Unfortunately, he became a little tiring.
I’d been hearing/reading that as the books went along the sex was amped up, and by the time I got through Blue Moon, the eighth book, I could definitely see that. But sex in books doesn’t bother me and I didn't mind.
And then came book 9, Obsidian Butterfly, in which Edward was involved in a major part of the storyline, and I particularly enjoyed that entry in the series. My journal entry at that time:
In this book, Edward calls in his favor from Anita and she travels to Arizona to assist him in investigating a series of mutilation murders. We get some insight into Edward's character and a glimpse at his long-buried human side! Jean-Claude only makes one brief appearance in this book, and Richard doesn't appear at all other than in conversation. And quite frankly, I did not miss either one of them! Terrible, I know, since Jean-Claude especially is such a central character, but I've never much cared for him or their relationship. In Arizona, Anita meets another of Edward's occasional back-ups, Olaf, who is a cold-blooded serial murderer who starts out hating Anita but comes to respect her in a creepy way, and I suspect that he will show up later in the series as well. An interesting character.Then came Narcissus in Chains, and it seemed like it was nothing but sex, violence and gore. Micah was a nice addition, I decided I liked him better than Jean-Claude or Richard. But the magic was gone, and the next book, Cerulean Sins, just dragged. It was the first one I’d read where I wanted it to end sooner rather than later.
So that brings us to Incubus Dreams. Anita is called on to investigate when a stripper is found dead, the victim of several vampires who appear to be on a serial spree. But that storyline is really in the background. Up front and center is the “ardeur”, which despite having read every book I seriously cannot even begin to explain or understand completely. Basically Anita is becoming less human and more supernatural herself, and the beast within her must be fed.
Anita’s sexual partners start piling up in this book. Seriously, the first 200 pages were like one long extended sex scene. I don’t think in the entire book there were hardly more than five pages in a row that did not have a sex scene. In addition to Jean-Claude, Richard, and Micah, we now have Damian, and Nathanial. And some other random characters who’s names I don’t even remember who fill in when the ardeur must be fed and the others aren’t available. I’m ok with sex in a book, but I want some story around the sex. Not just a bunch of sex scenes loosely linked. That serial killer storyline probably only took up less than a quarter of the book.
Am I done with Anita Blake? I don’t know. I have the next three books. My understanding is that Edward does not make another appearance until Skin Trade, which comes after those three and which I don’t have. I may continue with the series, but not for awhile.
(I purchased this book new at Walmart.)