Black Moon Inn Hardcover – 1998
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I expected there to be a let down after Anita made her big choice in the previous novel but "Burnt Offerings," the seventh in the series definitely tries to top what has gone before, as several members of the Vampire Council arrive in St. Louis intending to deal harshly with Jean-Claude. Remember back when Anita killed Oliver, the ancient vampire who wanted the U.S. to strip away the rights given to vampires? Well, it seems Oliver was a member of the Council and Jean-Claude has refused to take his place as custom dictates. Plus, the triumvirate established between our heroine and her two paramours is also potentially threatening to the Council. Then there are a couple of vampires with mondo grudges against our little group. Meanwhile, there appears to be a pyrokinetic arsonist running around and the anti-Vampire groups are escalating their attacks.
This story continues Hamilton's interest in providing graphic sexual violence as she continues to up the horror ante. But her novels continue to end the same way, with Anita discovering she is more powerful than she or anybody else thought and turning the tables on the bad monsters at the last minute. Each time this trick gets turned it becomes less and less impressive, and if Jean-Claude or Richard or someone else were to save the day once it would not be a bad thing since it would break what is becoming the standard formula of these novels. The political intrigues of the Vampire Council are quite interesting, and the powers of the Traveler and the Master of Beasts suggests bigger and badder vamps yet to be met. Or maybe, horror or horrors, Anita's dad will show up (he is not at all happy about Jean-Claude).
In "Blue Moon," the eighth volume, Anita drops everything to rush to Tennessee where Richard has been arrested for attempted rape. Obviously somebody is trying to frame Richard, who was down studying Lesser Smokey Mountain Trolls to finish up his M.A. degree in biology. "Blue Moon" focuses on Anita as the lupa of the Thronnus Roke Clan lukoi and Nimir-ra of the pard, although her being a necromancer, animator, vampire hunter and human servant all come into play. Her ability, and willingness, to call the munin becomes crucial. Hamilton continues to expand the roster of monsters and their ilk with not only a sorcerer and a psychic this time around, but also a full-fledged demon. The final fight between good and evil in "Blue Moon" is rather anticlimactic, since the most important development in the book happens in the aftermath of the battle.
I think that this was an excellent move on Hamilton's part, because the constant attempts to top the confrontation with evil from the previous novel ends up tampering with the credibility of the story being told. This novel is about Anita's relationships, not with Richard and Jean-Claude, but rather with the supporting cast of Jason, Nathaniel, Zane, Jamil, Cherry, Asher and Damian. "Blue Moon" is not a great novel in the series, but it is certainly above average and whets our appetites for the next adventure. One thing that is absolutely clear now is that the Anita/Richard/Jean-Claude triumvirate is never, ever going to be over. Final warning: while the level of graphic violence has abated a wee bit, the sexuality of these novels escalates greatly from this point on in the series (to the disappointment of many fans). These are novels for adults and I pity the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans that stumble upon this series, misled by the "Vampire Hunter" title which is more of a marketing ploy that an accurate description of our heroine.
Burnt Offering (1998) is the seventh novel in this series. Anita is hired by Captain Pete McKinnon of the Fire Department to investigate a series of unusual fires. He had been referred to Anita by Sergeant Rudolph Storr, leader of RPIT (Regional Preternatural Investigation Team).
McKinnon thinks these fires have all the signs of a firebug, a pyrokinetic arsonist. He had previously encountered such a psychic talent and does not want to repeat those experiences.
After McKinnon left, Anita receives a call from a co-worker asking for a ride. Larry -- a vampire executioner trainee -- had gone to the morgue to stake the bodies of two vampire victims who did not want to rise from the dead. After completing that job, a hospital attendant had wheeled in another body to be staked.
Since the third body did not have the proper paperwork, Larry refused to stake it. While they are waiting for the paperwork to be recovered, Larry went to talk to the medical examiner. When he returned to the morgue, he found the attendant trying to stake the body with his own equipment. He removed her from the body, but then she tried to stake him.
Anita takes Larry home and puts him to bed. Then she returns a call and learns that Nathaniel has been hurt by a violent customer. Steven was on Nathaniel's contact list and had called Anita from the hospital.
Unfortunately, Zane is trying to take Nathaniel home. Anita has to shoot Zane twice to get his attention. She arranges for other werewolves to guard Nathaniel and Steven while they are in the hospital.
Anita finally gets to her date with Jean-Claude at Demiche's, only to find out that the Vampire Council has sent representatives to Saint Louis. They would like to know why Jean-Claude has not taken the Council seat formerly held by Oliver. Anita meets two of the Council reps at the restaurant and is not impressed, but she does make an impression on Balthasar.
Blue Moon (1998) is the eighth novel in this series. Daniel Zeeman calls Anita at three in the morning to tell her that his brother is in a Tennessee jail on charges of rape. Since he is innocent, Richard is refusing to talk to a lawyer. He is also refusing to see his mother and brother.
The problem comes from the blue moon -- a second full moon in the month -- that will cause him to turn to Were in the jail cell unless he gets out earlier. He has five day to get out of jail or his characteristic stubbornness is going to make headlines, such as Teacher Goes Were.
Anita throws some clothes into a bag and makes some phone calls. She arranges for a Tennessee lawyer to take the case. Then she catches a plane to Myerton.
Unfortunately, there are a few hitches to her plan of going to the jail and bailing out Richard. The local vampire master believes that the whole affair is a setup to kill him and take over his territory. Anita insists of going anyway, but Jean-Claude convinces her to take some backup. So she steps off the plane in Myerton with a werewolf, three wereleopards and two coffins, containing the vampires Asher and Damian.
These tales introduce new factors in the storyline. Burnt Offerings brings Vampire Council representatives into Saint Louis to interfere with local affairs. Blue Moon takes Anita out of her usual ambiance into an even more dangerous milieu.
As usual, these novels are full of action, violence and sex. There may be less sex than other books in the series, but still plenty of sexual innuendo.
The next installment in this omnibus sequence is Nightshade Tavern.
Highly recommended for Hamilton fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of preternatural creatures, Vampire violence, and Were customs. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin