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on 11 February 2005
Anita Blake, Executioner, necromancer, lover and human servant to Jean-Claude - the charismatic Master Vampire of St. Louis, lupa of the Thronnus Roke Clan lukoi, and Nimir-ra of a pard of leopard lycanthropes, is changing...more so all the time. When Laurell Hamilton introduced her to us in "Guilty Pleasures," Book One of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, she was a 24 year-old, smart, attractive, feisty, super-independent dynamo, who raised the dead for a living. She was almost a normal 21st century career girl. Of course she staked rogue vampires as a sideline, but we all have our quirks. Anita's preternatural powers have been steadily increasing, and in "Blue Moon," book eight in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, the lines are really beginning to blur between her humanity and the supernatural. Always an uncompromising and tough lady, she has developed a hardness, a detachment, that frightens even herself.
Anita, Richard Zeeman, (an alpha werewolf and her old boyfriend), and Jean-Claude, (her present lover), had formed a Triumvirate of power - Master Vampire, Ulfric and necromancer. In other words, when the three connect, they exude tremendous force and are able to do much more magic than any one or two can do alone. The three are still bound to each other, even though Richard is furious with Anita for dumping him. She had to choose between "a flesh eater and a bloodsucker." Do you see a pattern here?
Late one evening Anita receives a phone call from Richard's brother. Zeeman had been spending the summer in Meyerton, Tennessee, studying the Lesser Smokey Mountain Trolls which live in the area, and fulfilling the requirements for his Masters degree. He has been arrested for the rape of a local women, and is obviously innocent of the charge. Richard is squeaky clean, the ultimate Boy Scout, and very gentle, especially for a lycanthrope. To make the situation worse, a full moon will occur in five days. As luck would have it, this month, August, is a blue moon month - that means two full moons in 31 days - a phenomenon which arises every 3-4 years. And we all know what happens to werewolves during a full moon, don't we? Richard has not "come out of the closet," so to speak, to his parents, his employers, or to many other humans. Basically, he needs to get out of jail pronto. Anita flies down to Meyerton to give him a hand and get him a good attorney. At Jean-Claude's insistence she is accompanied by an entourage of body guards. Colin, the master of the local vampires does not want Anita and cohorts on his turf - for any reason and has made some serious threats. So, vampires Asher and Damian, and lycanthropes Jason, Zane, Cherry, and Nathaniel are there to keep her safe - although, as always, Anita turns out to be the one who does the most protecting. Werewolves Jamil and Shang-Da are around for Richard, to assist him and to join in the Blue Moon celebrations with Verne, the local Ulfric and his pack..
Freeing Richard proves easier than tangling with Colin and crew, plus the corrupt local police, and an assortment of other heinous monsters - there's pure evil on the loose in these hills!! There are some interesting twists in character development in "Blue Moon." Anita is more vulnerable here than previously. She has to confront her mixed feelings for both Richard and Jean-Claude, come to terms with Raina's munin - the vengeful spirit who possesses her from time-to-time, make a decision about her reluctant status as leoparde-lionee of the Saint Louis wereleopards, and face her own ignorance in terms of the power she possesses. Anita fears that she is rapidly becoming as much a monster as those she hunts...and loves. Hamilton succeeds beautifully in developing this vulnerable side of Anita, without sacrificing the plot. However, at this point in the series a change was needed. There had to be more to Anita than one tough cookie who goes up against the monsters and wins, repeatedly. This is one of Laurell Hamilton's best novels - tightly plotted, well structured, including wonderful dark humor, acerbic wit, and plenty of thrills and chills.
Just a word about the sexual content in "Blue Moon." I do not find it any more excessive or graphic than what one reads in most popular fiction - bestseller lists included - nor what is shown on afternoon TV. It would not be realistic to write about a healthy, single woman of 24 and exclude sex. Anyway, I loved this book and certainly recommend it!
Jana
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on 4 November 2005
I really enjoyed this book, it gives you more of an insight into the werewolf way of life such as the lunatic cafe did.
This time however we get exposed to a more fragile side of Anita, as she struggles to come to terms with her feelings over her x richard, thoughout the whole book it becomes a 'will they? or wont they?' sort of atmosphere. However, this is a fantastic book, with lots of butt kicking and the usual events that happen when anyone gets in Anita's way, fantastic!
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This is my favourite Anita Blake so far. Richard always came across as interesting: Mr Boy Scout, everything that your mother would want you to bring home, apart from the pesky werewolf thingy.
This book expands more on the whole were-beastie culture and its implications, whilst still maintaining the old faithful in the plot line of some vamps doing some evil, in this case, the local Master, who does not welcome Anita on his turf.
In particular, I liked the fact that until the last third of the book, there is still no real indication as to why Richard has been framed for something he clearly would not do. Thus the tension is maintained.
Excellent book, nice diversion from the usual and worth the read.
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on 2 May 2001
I discovered Anita Blake on a recommendation from a friend and have been devouring the books ever since. I read 'guilty pleasures' and 'the laughing corpse' in one night and then had to wait to get the rest! - this is a good book, still has Anita, Jean-Claude and the 'regulars' as well as introducing some new chracters. It's not as fast paced as the rest of the series and for some reason seems to deperate to reintoduce you to EVERY character Anita & co have met in the other 7 books as well as a lot of new ones - and on a first reading I had problems keeping everybody stright and rembering where I'd met them and their relationship to each other. On the relationship front...without giving too much info away - Anita had been torn between two guys - Richard and Jean-Claude - each relationship had it's complications. This goes on for two books and then she makes a decision. In this book we end up torn between the two #again#. Not only have we already had two books going through this once.Anita is portrayed as being a character who makes her choice ans sticks to it - to have a sudden U-turn is out of character as well as going back to a plot device that's by now been throughly overused. Personally I agreed with the choice that she had finally got round to making so I was probably a little more cheesed off when the story backtracked... On the plus side of the ledger it's an Anita Blake novel - so expect humour,action and a book you wont want to put down. However dont read this book as a 'stand alone' buy the others first ! These books can be read as 'stand alones' but L. Hamilton likes to reintroduce chracters and it's easier to keep everybody straight if you know who they are !
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on 6 June 2001
I have read all of the books except for the latest, Obsidian Butterfly. I am surprised that other readers did not like this book as well as the others. The relationship U-turn that other fans mentioned seemed completely logical considering she is in love with two men. Secondly, I loved the addition of the new characters. Damian is great, and Asher, the tragic, romantic figure...who can help but love him? This book was greatly character driven giving all the players deeper meaning and focus. Plus, enough action to keep you interested. I am not a great Richard fan, but have grown to love the pack/pard with every new book. I also like the strength and darkness that Richard is acquiring. I actually hope to hear more from him. Why should the author choose JC or Richard? The books are great with both!
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on 16 June 2001
Apsolutely beautiful, I've only read 2 books by Ms Hamilton but this one I absolutely love. To me it seems totaly logical that she is undesided as to who to be with, she's in love with 2 men and so difficulty arises. I'm a Richard fan so I'm happy to see him back in her life. I have difficulty with people that say Anita should be with Jean-Claude because it seems to me what she really needs is some stability in her life and the only thing he has brought her is confusion. This may just be my oppinion. Read this book, but be carefull. Make sure you don't have any very important places to be because you will not be able to put it down. The idea of giving vamps rights is new and makes for a great story opening. The first person naration pull's you in 'til you don't want to get out.
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Apparently the love triangle between Richard Zeeman, Anita Blake and Jean-Claude isn't QUITE over, despite Anita dumping the werewolf to boink the French vampire. Lovely.

But apparently the melodrama is not over yet in "Blue Moon," the eighth novel of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. Laurell K. Hamilton does succeed in creating some suspense and some intriguing supporting characters with their own woes and worries, but her writing alternates between choppy and painfully florid, and her heroine rapidly ascends the ladder of Mary-Suedom -- she's allegedly smarter, sexier, stronger and more powerful than anyone else.

Anita receives a call from Richard's brother -- Richard is now in jail in Tennessee, accused of raping a local woman. So Anita heads out to Tennessee with a band of vampires and weres, including Asher, Damian and Jason. They're all intent on proving Richard's innocence, and there are only a matter of days until the "blue moon" exposes him as a werewolf.

Oh yeah, and because of Anita's charming and polite personality, the Master of the City regards their arrival as an act of war. Can't blame him, considering what a reasonable, diplomatic person she is. Uh huh.

Unfortunately Richard's frame-up is at the center of a town-wide conspiracy, and a search for an ancient artifact using illegal means. And Colin (aforementioned Master) is determined to mess with the invading group, even to infecting one of the weres with a corrosive decay, while a werewolf first-one-to-catch-Anita-gets-to-rape-her jaunt in the woods leads to a new encounter with Richard. Unfortunately, his family has gotten drawn into this mess.

"Blue Moon" is one of those novels that is overflowing with promise, but only turns out mediocre. It actually is quite strong for the first half -- obviously-untrue rape charges, a sinister town conspiracy, and brewing tensions between two groups of werewolves and vampires. You can almost overlook Hamilton's obvious contempt for women, cops, and anyone who doesn't live in a major city (according to Hamilton, Tennessee is entirely populated by misogynist racist rednecks).

Unfortunately, halfway through everything comes unravelled -- instead we get an endless stream of absurd situations that emphasize one thing: "Anita is the awesomest most powerful person ever, and everyone wants to have sex with her." Rapist werewolves, sneering at her ex-boyfriend's new woman, being possessed by sex-mad werewolf ghosts, and magically fixing everything just by being so awesome and loving. It's actually pretty nauseating to read someone so spectacularly Mary Sueish.

And Hamilton's writing isn't up to saving the story either. The more hardboiled bits are pretty passable although rather choppily written. But when she tries to wrap that hardboiled prose in lush, sensual prose the results are laughable and appallingly awkward ("The two of us knelt bathed in power. A wind trailed Damian's hair across my face, and I knew the wind was us"). And it doesn't help that Anita constantly tosses off clunky fortune-cookie witticisms ("Love sucks. Sometimes it feels good. Sometimes it's just another way to bleed") and appalling similes (a vampire sucking blood is "like a feeding thing." Well, what else would it be?).

The biggest millstone is Anita: abrasive, arrogant, absurdly hypermacho, and pulls superpowers out of her butt at least twice a day. She's also as airheaded as a ping-pong ball. She causes all the plot's problems by howling verbal abuse at the Master of the City, but it never seems to occur to her that this trouble might be her fault. And it's hard to sympathize with someone who whines about how angry it makes her that her ex-boyfriend, whom she cheated on, is having sex with someone else.

The supporting characters are far more likable -- the fragile vampire Asher manages to be far more endearing than Anita ever does, and the werewolf Jason is quite charming at times. Unfortunately most of the vampires are either there to be ego buffs to Anita (Jean-Claude) or damsels in distress (Damian).

"Blue Moon" is a solid urban fantasy riddled with cracks -- and the Grand Canyon in the middle is the alleged heroine. It's a decent light read if you can focus on the supporting cast and the creepy noir moments, and ignore everything else.
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VINE VOICEon 30 December 2007
Richard is in jail back home in Tennessee, accused of rape. So Anita goes to help him out. But there's just a few little problems on the way. The local police are framing Richard for some reason; Richard's bodyguard werewolves don't trust Anita; there's a full moon a few days away, and if Richard is still in jail then, his cover will be blown; the local Master vampire Colin thinks this is just a takeover bid, and refuses Anita permission to visit his territory; and to top it all, Raina's munin is beginning to possess Anita. And when Anita is finally forced to do something that she thinks makes her one of the bad guys, it's a bit of a problem, because she has to battle a demon, who has power only over bad guys...
Rather more sex and rather less detection than I would have liked. But it's still a gripping series, with some good twists, and a couple of new monsters. Anita finally seems to have solved the problem of choosing between Richard and Jean-Claude: the obvious solution, but with some less-than-obvious consequences.
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on 22 July 1999
Blue Moon is a great book, but it does have its downside. The minor characters are described wonderfully, and are easy to like.For example:Jason,Cherry,Asher,and Zane.Anita is cool,as always.But what bothers me is how drastically they changed Jean-Claude's personality.After reading all the AB books,I really don't think that he dates Anita just for power,though it's a good bonus.I don't like the munin part much either.It seems like it was solely created so Anita and Richard could kiss and make up.It was kind of spur-of-the-moment,like Hamilton had decided she didn't like Jean-Claude halfway through the story.But I admit,I am a Jean-Claude fan.Still,if Anita doesn't make up her mind soon,I hope she just runs off with Edward. Despite all that,I still love th AB books,and will be happy to read any other books in the series that come out.I only hope the next one is better planned out,and has more Edward. ^_^
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on 4 November 1998
Anita is still her difficult self, which makes her a great character to follow. She shows her really human side when she has trouble handling her pard and members of the lukoi, and of course, the munin. I was glad she was away from Jean-Claude for a while. I was happy that she was getting more involved with Jason. I really like his character. Even though I like Asher, Damian fascinates me, with his tall pale body, fiery red hair and green eyes. His unexpected devotion to her was a cool unexpected twist. Finally! An Asian werewolf comes in-Shang-Dah. Been waiting to see one. I wondered how come the munin didn't effect him, though. I would like to know what happened to one of my all-time favorite characters--Edward. Where is Death? Is he coming back? (My favorite three are:Anita,Edward and Jason, who ties with Damian.)All I can say is, I can't wait to see what Anita does next!
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