Thursday, February 11, 2010

Flirt by Laurell K. Hamilton

Flirt is the eighteenth installment of the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton.

Premise = What happens when Anita tries to flirt on her own? Nothing really good, a smaller body count then usual and only one real sex scene (short).

I have been reading about Anita Blake since about 2002 and and it started off hot and heavy. The minute I put one down I would have to pick up the next. I only took a few breaks in order to catch up on the series which started in 1993. Anita has been through her ups and downs over the years, as has her creator. Reading Anita is a habit that I cannot break even though the series is not all that any more. With the past two books it has started to get better, but nothing like it was. Now we have Flirt, and it is a short take on a brief moment in the life of Anita Blake. It worked. It has it's problems, but it worked much better then quite a few of her other books over the past few years.

My biggest problem with the Anita series is the fact that forty-eight hours in the life of Anita Blake was taking 400ish pages to get to the end. Sex scenes, while very very good, could run eight pages. Silent tension could run upwards of ten. This is not James Joyce's Ulysses and thank God for that, so let's move the story along please.

Then there is Anita's whining over the state of her life. She's got a gazillion men in love with her and are okay with one another (with the exception of one and he hasn't been around much), hot sex whenever she wants, people who just want her to be happy, and the only one really complaining is her. Stooooopppppppp the whiiiiiiiinnnninnnggg!!! Pleeeeeaasseeeee!!!

Why do I still read the Anita Blake novels if these things make me nutty? I feel like I have invested so much of my time in them that to stop now would be akin to quiting a sport because I wasn't willing to put in the time and effort for the inevitable pay off in the end. I feel that I might miss something really good in Anita's world that I have been waiting for for a really long time = Her to just be happy. I feel like she is so gloom and doom that she invites trouble, granted her conflicts are what keeps the books coming and moving along, but simply being happy would be nice once in a while.

Small Spoiler Coming

Guess what? We got it at the end of Flirt and I was so happy about it. This Anita novel is short (about 150 pages), which means all the tasty fat that both helps and hinders the much larger novels is all but extinct in this one. Thank You! It only covers about a 36 hour period, and Hamilton didn't waste Anita's time on annoying indecision. Yea!

The other interesting thing about this book is that at the end Hamilton explains how she came up with the idea of the novel, and how she fleshed it out, and what helps her write. She kept that section short, but it was actually quite interesting and insightful as to how her mind works. Oddly, I felt some strong similarities between her thought process and mine.

Enough though. Let me get down to the basics.

Things I like:

1. It was short and sweet. The was no real trimming of the fat needed.

2. I enjoyed the afterward at the end explaining her process in regards to this novel.

3. Anita didn't whine as much. Woohoo!

Things I didn't like:

1. There was some dialogue in the beginning that was exactly the same between two characters who were asking Anita for help. I understand that they had many similarities between them, but they would not have the exact same words.

2. It was predictable. Maybe it is because I have read all the other novels, but I new who the bad guy was. I knew who was going to do what and when, a little boring.

3. Fear that Bullet won't be as good.

To Buy or Not To Buy: Don't buy if you have been dissappointed in the last few Anita novels. Borrow from the library or someone you know, or wait for paperback. Buy if you are invested like I am. It does give an insight into Hamilton and how she works which is really pretty interesting.

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