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08/29/2004 Entry: "LKH's INCUBUS DREAMS--Loads of Sex, Little Plot (Suzanne)"

Incubus Dreams

It's a big book. Lots of words. Lots of sex. Not much plot.

I was hoping for better from Laurell K. Hamilton's INCUBUS DREAMS. I've been sticking with the Anita Blake series, and finding the last few books still readable if not up to the level of the first books in the series (up through BLUE MOON). Unfortunately, I'm seeing a big decline in quality in this one.

In past books Hamilton has created some core characters that we get to know and care about. Instead of concentrating on this core group, she has Anita in way too many sexual situations with characters who are strangers to us (and to Anita!), and then these characters are never developed further in the book. Except for a very sweet and sexy scene with Jean Claude, most of these sexual situations in the book are weirdly unerotic to read. Even the big Jean Claude, Richard and Anita three-way (that many of us have been looking forward to!) is a dud.

The plot is an afterthought, or at least it seems so, since it takes up relatively little page space in a long book. There is a group of serial killer vampires who move from community to community preying on strippers, and Anita is in the thick of things as usual. There are hints and portents of trouble to come, and a master vampire of tremendous power who never shows up (I assume he or she will turn up in the next book).

Cerulean Sins
Anita's emotional state is...well...undescribable since it's all over the map. In CERULEAN SINS it seemed she was at least moving forward and coming to grips with her powers and her sexuality, but I'm now having trouble seeing who Anita really is in the arc of this book. One of the things I used to like about the series was Anita's sarcastic and wry sense of humor. In this one, there are just too many Anitas warring with each other, and waaaayyy too much whining going on.

There were an amazing amount of spelling and syntax errors in this advance reader copy. "Wretch" for "retch". "Loose" for "lose". I wouldn't mention this, expecting the errors would be corrected in the hardback, except I seem to remember there were lots of problems like this in CERULEAN SINS. These errors just drive me nuts and can really cut down on my enjoyment of a book.

There are some of us so invested in Anita that we will probably continue reading the series, but not with the anticipation of former years. I certainly won't buy the hardbacks--I'll put my name on the hold list at the library for the next one.

I'll be very interested to see if any of you have a different response to the book.--Suzanne

--INCUBUS DREAMS at Amazon (release date: 27 Sep 04)
--INCUBUS DREAMS review page


Seduced by Moonlight

I'm not sure if I read more than one Anita Blake book. However, I've been following the Merry Gentry series with its Seelie/Unseelie courts, politics, etc.

My reaction to the last one I read SEDUCED BY MOONLIGHT struck me in the same manner as what you describe. Enormous amounts of sex or sexual scenes, with a plethora of partners, and our heroine morphing into some sort of goddess personality...

Bizarre fantasies at best. The irony is still there, but there's something vaguely repulsive about the violence and sex and their intermingling...--Leila


Replies: 1 Comment

Just to clarify - your review of Incubus Dreams was based on an advance reader's copy?

I was (un)lucky enough to read an ARC of Cerulean Sins, that was full of grammar, spelling, and syntax errors. There was little to no coherent plot, and bad character building. I was much relieved to read the actual release of Cerulean Sins, which, while not exactly Shakespeare, was much better than the ARC.

Here's hoping the actual ID will be less painful.

Posted by Sam @ 08/30/2004 01:18 AM ET

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