Top critical review
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on 21 September 2010
This series has had very mixed reviews and I'm afraid I'm in the 'no' camp. The idea of a grown-up Buffy appealed but I found Anita to be irritatingly jaunty with her supposed wise-cracking and yet at the same time almost impossible to pin down as a character - but not in a complex and interesting way, just as a not very well-thought out personality.
The plot flounders around, the pacing seems a bit haphazard and the sex is very, very gratuitous (e.g. the 'freak' party, like a wife-swapping party for vampire lovers which goes on and on for chapters but doesn't add anything to the plot). I liked the idea of Jean-Claude, the sexy vampire master, however typical he might be, but then he spends most of his time locked away in a coffin.
Hamilton's style of writing will probably either appeal or irritate - and I'm in the latter group: it's very staccato. Full of short sentences. Hardly any clauses. And boring to read.
I love Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books and there are many, many similarities in the two fictional worlds (vampires 'out', sexy master vampire who owns a bar/club, were animals, vamps 'marking' their humans and bonding with them etc.) but the atmosphere and tone are quite different. Harris will never win a prize for the quality of her prose style but she does succeed where, in my view, Hamilton doesn't and that's in creating a world which we feel we can inhabit with real characters for whom we come to care and who change over the series. Perhaps Hamilton's characters do develop later but after slogging my way through this book I'm afraid I won't be giving her another chance to persuade me.
Overall, very, very disappointing.