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2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
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on 20 November 2016
This is more of a 'link' book, it leads on from the previous and sets up the characters for the following books. It shows how things became what they are, useful in understanding the following books but not essential. A good read nevertheless
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on 11 April 2017
Loved the story line amazing writer the book had a lot of twists it kept you interested all the way through
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on 17 June 2017
As always another amazing book from an amazing novelist. Action and sex packed. Amazing storyline as always. I love Anita!
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on 6 June 2017
Vampiric excellence!!
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on 13 February 2006
I’ve been a fan of LKH’s Anita Blake series since Guilty Pleasures first arrived in the UK.
The series has had it’s high points (Guilty Pleasures, Lunatic Café, Obsidian Butterfly) and it’s lows (Narcissus in Chains, Cerulean Sins, Burnt Offerings), but I’ve stuck with it.
But - and it pains me, and brings no pleasure to, to say this - Incubus Dreams is the worst book of the series.
In fact, it’s one of the worst books I’ve ever read.
The Anita Blake started off as action/thriller/horror detective stories, but now they are thinly disguised porn.
If you’ve read the synopsis, that’s not the story. The story runs like this:
Anita Blake whines.
She has sex.
She develops a new and mysterious magical power.
She whines.
She has sex with someone different.
She develops a new and mysterious magical power.
She whines.
She has sex with a few randomly selected male characters different.
She develops a new and mysterious magical power.
She whines.
One or more of her seven official lovers whine.
She has sex with someone new.
She develops a new and mysterious magical power.
She whines.
Repeat for 700 pages. And that’s a day - one day, in Anita Blake’s life.
It’s not the sex that makes this book bad (I like erotic fiction). Neither is it the amount (every 2-3 chapters - bear in mind the chapters are very short - Anita’s panties are off). It’s just that all the shagging serves no purpose.
Like a good porno movie, events in the story are only there to give a reason for Anita Blake to have sex with random - and I do mean random - men she meets. Characters you’ve never heard of appear, seemingly with the only reason to give Anita someone new to have… well… to have.
Reading this you feel like you’ve been sold an anthology of trashy erotic fiction, after being told it’s an action/detective/horror novel.
On the other hand, the blurb could have something to do with the story. I’m about 500 pages into this 724 page tome and there have been two scenes which might - MIGHT - be relevant to the serial killer of vampire storyline (a plot that’s a throwback to the first Anita Blake book, Guilty Pleasures). That’s a trick that LKH has used in Cerulean Sins and Narcissus in Chains - realised she’s 200 pages from the end of the novel, and thought "Damn. Better pack the plot in here."
I’m say this as a big, and loyal, fan of Anita Blake: I wish I hadn’t have bought this book. Cerulean Sins and Narcissus in Chains were bad, but this…
I hope that LKH brings back the Anita Blake I know and love. Until then, I’m staying away from this series.
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VINE VOICEon 30 November 2004
I've been hooked on Anita Blake since the brilliant Guilty Pleasures and yet, 11 books later, I want to be free! This is better than the last 2, but it's still absolute junk. The book starts well, and by about chapter 6 it is quite gripping. But then Hamilton completely loses the plot (metaphorically and literally) and writes 500 pages of violent sex... vampires, lycanthropes, tables, hamsters...you name it. It's really, really boring (pun intended) literature. And yet, 50 pages from the end, we lurch back to the plot - although by this point I'm surprised Anita can walk - and Hamilton manages a thrilling ending. Why not, Ms Hamilton, miss out the pornography and just write good ol fantasy thrillers?
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on 15 October 2004
Too much sex and soap opera, not enough plot. Things happen but not enough is resolved. And I find myself getting very tired of how much of a MarySue Anita is becoming. When she was a vampire hunter trying to choose between a couple of boyfriends, that was interesting. Now she has a half a dozen on the go all at once, there just isnt room for anything but sex and relationship stuff. Yes, seeing everyone react to her changed status is kind of interesting, looking at prejudice and the dynamics of poly and BDSM relationships when out in a police world, but that wasnt what got me into these books and it will not be enough to keep me here.
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on 29 September 2004
I love the Anita Blake series, I really do, but this Incubus Dreams has way to much sex, uninspiring sex, and too little plot. I kept thinking, as I was reading the book that this was a set up for another book. Now I wish I had waited for the paperback. It had too little Jean-Claude for my tastes and when he finally appeared, he was different. They have very little tension left between them and I was just disappointed. I'll probably buy the next book, but Ms. Hamiliton, please give us a bit more plot. And does Anita really need to be so...ardeured?
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on 30 December 2004
Unsatisfying doesn't begin to say it. Incubus Dreams is by far the worst book in the Anita Blake series. I know its hard to believe, but this one is worse that Cerulean Sins. More than that, it's a lot worse.
There is no plot after about chapter five. No conflict or anything of interest after Anita takes a look at the body near the Dumpster. When I read that scene, I thought: "here we go, Anita's on the case. Great!" But I was wrong. She wasn't on the case at all. She spends most of the book shagging everything in trousers.
The ménage thing with Stephen and Richard was a strange but good idea when it happened way back in the series, but now Hamilton has tried to upstage it by having Anita start another ménage-a-whatsit. All it does is make everything even more complicated, and doesn't make anything more interesting.
This is a bad book for a lot of reasons--too many to list. It should be put in a new category: Soft Porn.
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Many pages. Many sex scenes. Teeny weeny plot.

Laurell K. Hamilton stumbles further into the depths of literary Hades with "Incubus Dreams," a dreary erotic horror-fantasy thriller... or is it, thrilling horror-fantasy erotica? Probably the latter -- the most colorful thing about it is Hamilton's insistently graphic sex scenes. Squeezed between the bouts of sex is a tepid little plot, which seems to be suffocating under pressure.

Anita Blake's life hasn't been the same since she acquired the "ardeur," which basically requires her to have sex constantly. Now she's coming to terms with the fact that she has a male harem, and quite an assortment of new powers. However, her old job still exists -- strippers are being mysteriously drained of blood.

To make things worse, the St. Louis police department is getting suspicious of Anita's increasingly supernatural connections -- she's getting too chummy with the werecreatures and vampires. So (between random sex scenes), Anita calls on help to find whoever has murdered the strippers.

There's a lot of sex in this book. A LOT of sex. So much that the actual plotline can be covered in a mere twenty minutes, if you skip the sex. In fact, Hamilton's strippers-being-sucked-dry plot seems almost like it was hastily tacked between assorted sex scenes. What's worse, the tantalizing plot hints at the end of "Cerulean Sins" are left dangling.

A few flickers of Hamilton's wit do show through, given Jean-Claude's acid comment about Anita having "accidental" sex. The pace is slower, and Hamilton seems to be cluing in a little on some of the things that made her past two books so unsatisfying.

Unfortunately, she hasn't caught on that her graphic, weirdly un-erotic sex scenes add nothing to the book. The consummation of the triumvirate (yes, consummation) is enough to make you cringe, and that's the only sex scene that really stands out.

Anita is obviously having an identity crisis -- it's like Hamilton is trying to meld different personalities together. The result? A very weird lead character who spends most of her time being crabby and whiny. Fans of werewolf Richard may be pleased, since Hamilton seems to have lost her disgust for him, but Jean Claude spends too much time clucking. And Micah? A laughable excuse for a love interest. Who needs a personality when you can have gonads?

Hamilton's latest is an improvement over the ghastly "Cerulean Sins," but it feels as if she wants to have her cake and eat it too -- change the Blake series to erotica, yet retain her old "feel." And certainly this time around, it isn't working.
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