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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little long, but a very good read
This was the first Anita Blake/ Hamilton book I read so I did find some of it a bit confusing, but on the whole I really enjoyed it.The whole world of vampires, lycanthropes etc is very erotic anyway, so for me a vampire novel must have a good dose of sex.

Now that I've read the first three novels I can see where the criticisms of other reviewers have come from...
Published on 14 July 2008 by Mrs. H. Graham

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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Staggering "Danse"
Writing a bestselling series seems to be a sign of creative doom, because sooner or later the author starts writing for the sake of the series, not because it actually takes the story anywhere.

Sadly this is the case in the latest moribund volume of the Anita Blake series, "Danse Macabre." The entire plotless, meandering mess seems to have been written for two...
Published on 31 Aug 2006 by E. A Solinas


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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Staggering "Danse", 31 Aug 2006
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Writing a bestselling series seems to be a sign of creative doom, because sooner or later the author starts writing for the sake of the series, not because it actually takes the story anywhere.

Sadly this is the case in the latest moribund volume of the Anita Blake series, "Danse Macabre." The entire plotless, meandering mess seems to have been written for two reasons: money, and to blow a big raspberry at Laurell K. Hamilton's readers. Given the only real plot development is a pregnancy scare, it doesn't seem worth it.

Anita has a new dilemma -- she might be pregnant, which isn't surprising for a woman who has spent the last few books being shagged left, right and every way to Sunday by every vamp, human and lycanthrope imaginable. What's more, many powerful vampires are arriving in St. Louis, including a vampiric ballet troupe in Jean-Claude's territory.

As if this weren't bad enough, the ardeur seems to be showing signs of seeking out new sex partners for her, and is affecting her lovers as well -- and her lycanthropic and vampiric edges are starting to affect those around her. Can Anita regain control of her increasingly unstable life?

Those desperately hoping that the plot will return in "Danse Macabre" can hang their heads and weep. There isn't a shred of actual plot in this book that isn't connected to the ardeur in some way -- no detecting, no zombies, no nothing. In fact, the biggest chill in this entire book is the pregnancy scare.

This isn't a plot in the sense that it really goes nowhere and nothing ever really comes of it; the book is left open-ended for the inevitable next volume. Even Hamilton doesn't seem to know what to do with the plot, since the writing is repetitive and often rather colourless.

And it's crammed with voyeuristic vamps, endless sexathons, and the suggestion that the ardeur might be binding Anita's lovers to her. As if the whole ardeur plot weren't nauseating enough, the Masters show up with more hot lovers so Anita can satisfy the strengthened ardeur. How very nice of them -- for Anita, not for the readers.

What's more, Hamilton has tossed out even the pretense of civility. The book starts with an appalling scene where, for daring to criticize Anita's hedonistic ways, Ronnie is dismissed as a bitter prude who is just jealous that Anita gets to bed all these hot guys. It would be a hilarious scene, if it weren't for the obvious razzie to her readers.

Anita herself remains an empty shell, who alternately fusses about whether she's a slut and hisses at anyone who says she is. The women are all nasty and catty, while the men uniformly adore her. The only exception is Richard, who really does seem like the only quasi-normal person in the whole book. Hamilton obviously expects us to scoff at his prudishness, but instead I found myself sympathizing with him.

"Danse Macabre" has a cool title, but not much between the pages. Between the nonexistant plot and porn subplots, it's hard to see why anyone would want this dance.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly this series is still going downhill..., 12 Sep 2006
By 
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I am a true diehard Anita fan but even I am having trouble justifying spending time and money on the series having just read this latest installment.

I have to say that I agree with all the other reviewers who say that there is almost no plot to this book whatsoever. I also noticed that it is poorly edited so that in places I felt I had missed a part of a conversation or a scene and found myself skipping back over pages to see if I had accidentally missed something. But no, it's just badly put together.

It seems that Hamilton is more concerned with giving minutely detailed information about the appearance of her characters (so many new people are introduced in this book starting with the exact different shades and length of their hair right down to the shoes they are wearing) while little thought is put into actually making them do anything.

The sex is really getting ridiculous at this point. Anita has gone from being the uber-virgin of the earlier books to the sorts of orgies only seen in illegal hardcore porn in this latest installment. It has gotten to the point that rather than being titillating it's now just boring.

If you are new to the Anita Blake series I heartily recommend you read no further than book 9 (Obsidian Butterfly) as the earlier books are still by far some of the best vampire/supernatural fiction I have read (and I have read A LOT).

Will I buy the next book when it arrives? Probably. Will it be worth reading? I doubt it.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars don't bother unless...., 13 Oct 2006
This is only worth it if you want to read fantasy that is based round many sex scenes, cut with monologues or overly contrived conversations that exist merely to persuade the main character to agree to sex in the first place.

This volume was an overlong vignette covering a day or so where Anita has a bust up with her friend, goes to her lover's 'lair' where the main part of the action occurs. Then in the last few chapters they go to a ballet and end up back at her lover's lair again.

Danse Macabre does not have a true beginning/middle/end setup, and as such cannot be considered as a standalone volume. You really do have to have read other Anita Blake volumes to get what's going on. Any character development achieved in this piece could have equally well been knit into a book that actually had a story.

The Anita Blake books that anyone will enjoy:

1. Guilty Pleasures (1993)

2. The Laughing Corpse (1994)

3. Circus of the Damned (1995)

4. The Lunatic Cafe (1996)

9. Obsidian Butterfly (2000)

That's right, there's only 5 out of 14 - the numbers refer to their position in the series. These books have more complex plots than any of the others and don't centre round sex, unlike Danse Macabre.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Should be star less, 25 July 2006
By 
OneCatEvil (Swindon, Wiltshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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As a fan I have spent the last few months waiting for this book. I wish I hadn't.

The Anita Blake books are (or have been) Vamp-kicking, paranormal investigations, raising the dead - you know interesting stuff that you can't put down and now its just all sex with random partners and boringly long chats where nothing gets resolved - in fact the series has turned into the Merry Gentry lot that I stopped reading because of this.

It starts with Anita thinking she's pregnant, she goes to the circus to meet the 'Pomme' candidates, a few people try to seduce her, she agrees to have sex with some guy she's just met, Anita uses her own power (very briefly) for once instead of the triumverate, the mother of darkness gets a couple of look ins, then its back to the sex, the ballet is interesting but its made into a bigger part of the book then needed. I must admit at points during this book I felt I had missed vital bits of information because I couldn't keep my mind on reading it - The sign of a very bad book

All in all an incredibly disappointing book from Ms Hamilton with the most interesting bit being when Anita almost kills herself. Save your money don't bother with this one.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Plotless and pointless!, 9 July 2006
By 
G. Jones (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This latest book in the Anita Blake series is the worst so far except possibly for the novella Micah.
One of the reasons I think the books have been deteriorating is the move of the focus away from the cases and the crime solving. In more recent books it has taken a back seat and in this book it is completely absent removing the most interesting part of the books.
Danse Macabre is basically supernatural porn, while an element of this in earlier books was fine an entire book full in place of a proper plot is a joke.
The bulk of the book deals with Anita's possible pregnancy and the growing demands of the ardeur which requires her to find more men to bring into her bed. I was constantly irritated by the fact that the male characters have been mostly relegated to being nothing more than adoring idiots, seemingly everyone has to fancy Anita. Anita's powers grow even more (surprise surprise!)At this rate by the next book she will be omnipotent!
I'll probably keep reading the series in the hope that it returns to it's former brilliance but it seems unlikely.
If you love and miss the earlier Anita Blake books then I recommend the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher to fill the void.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Do something, already!, 19 Aug 2006
By 
Yes, I've been an avid fan. I loved the old books. However, all I wanted was for everyone to stop talking and generate a plot line worth reading. I've never waded through so much inane, pointless, boring, never-ending conversation in my life. I Just Didn't Care. I wanted the characters to get up, get out, and get lives. They deserve a plot, something to CHEW on. (Pun intended.) They've worked hard for it over the years, and now LKH isn't delivering.

This was the first LKH book I intentionally didn't buy, but borrowed from the library. I learned my lesson after Micah. I was 11th in line on hold, and my name came up very quickly. I can only surmize that this happened because everyone else on the list decided to turn it back in before finishing it, just like me. Enough already!

I want the old Anita back! Please!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cool chick to porn star, 10 Aug 2006
By 
Ms. Tamara M. Trye (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I was not looking forward to this latest novel after reading the last books she had written. I had enjoyed 'Obsidian Butterfly' only because Anita left all her men behind and she got got to be the tough Anita that we all loved without all the complications. After this book, forget it. She returns to the vampires and warewolves adds more men to her life and the plot seems to go out the window. 'Danse Macabre' was all about Anita's men and the angony that she might be pregnant. I found the book to be really boring the interesting bits about the Anita universe used to be her job and the cases she worked on but that was all pushed aside. I am sorry that Laurell K. Hamilton seems to think that plot doesn't matter and instead thinking that it would be fun to see how many people Anita can sleep with in the shortest time possible and still not have the readers think she's not a slut. I used to be a fan of Anita from the early books but now I can't go back to the ones I used to love because I feel like they are tainted. My advise to everyone is not to waste your money and if you are curious because you feel that just maybe the series still has life in it, then forget it. It doesn't.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Did she ever get out of bed???, 7 Dec 2006
By 
I was introduced to Anita Blake quite late on, I think Ms Hamilton had actually written ten by the time someone pointed me in her direction and I read all ten very quickly. Up until this one though (micah not withstanding) I thought her writing and character building was going from strength to strength, I could even cope with the ardeur. But this one is complete hogswash, the characters become even more predictable, we all know that they are rather well endowed and we all know that Anita sleeps with most of them, Im with Richard on this one!!!

I was really really dissapointed, but i will give the next one a read and hopefully Anita will get out of bed and kill a bad guy, if she has the energy after all the sex.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly awful :(, 11 Aug 2006
By 
Ms. Joanna M. Ferris (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I've been a huge Anita Blake since the beginning. I seriously thought it was one of the strongest series i had ever read, in any genre but particularly in this field. It was so unsual to find something so gripping and so enjoyable. The last couple of books before this one have been weak but I hung on in there, in the hope that all would sort itself out soon enough but this really was the most shocking waste of money, I'm considering just shipping it off to the charity shop and i *never* give away my books! There is absolutely no story - not even a weak pretense at one. The Danse part of it is about 2 pages long and i *still* have no idea what the point of that even was. I have lost all idea of why exactly she needs to "feed" every two and a half pages (honestly, not a clue!) and if i read the phrase, "he brought me screaming" one more time I may scream myself...and not in a good way. I was a die hard fan. I'm not anymore. It's that simple.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, 4 Nov 2006
By 
Thank you everyone for agreeing with me. What an awful book.

A story line was introduced so that Anita Blake inherited a vampire power through her necromancy, where by she could attain power from sex. This was a two edged sword, in that she could also become weaker if she didn't feed it. This could have been handled differently, adding a little spice, but the author just got carried away.

This is one of the saddest things I have had to come to terms with; that at first the Anita Blake books were something eagerly awaited for and that this dismal effort has finally put the last nail in the coffin.

This series started off as Buffy the Vampire Slayer but much much more. There were great monsters and side characters, suspense, horror, sexual tension, gruesome details and kick-ass action. Now? Well now it's just boring porn. The first part of the series had simmering lust, and then when they started to get a little racier it was brilliant. The sex scenes were very well written, the characters were great and, while they expertly left you still feeling a little flushed, there was more than enough substance to the story so that all the requirements of a good horror yarn were filled.

All that has faded away. The only thing that has been left to wonder about is how many more wereanimals/vampires will Ms. Hamilton decide to put in Anita's bed at the same time? It's almost amusing how much the series has degenerated into a classic porn theme. Not much story, just an opening line of, "I'm here to fix your washing machine," or rather, "I'm here to feed the ardeur off you," and then she right on down to it.

I know that I'll probably buy the next book in the series, hoping that she might come to her senses and decide to put back the plot, but I can't help feeling that I'll be disappointed. Me thinks that maybe Ms. Hamilton is working through some personal issues in her writing. Here's hoping she'll find an alternative source for her therapy.
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Danse Macabre (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)
Danse Macabre (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter) by Laurell K. Hamilton (Mass Market Paperback - 27 Mar 2007)
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