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10/03/2004 Entry: "INCUBUS DREAMS--Anita "Does" St. Louis (Shelley)"

Incubus Dreams

I was torn when thinking about INCUBUS DREAMS and finally realized why: this book is both a discommend and a recommend from me. It is discommended to anyone who has not been following the series. Without the last several books in the series, INCUBUS DREAMS is more like "Anita Does St. Louis", i.e, lots of sex and perhaps not enough context without the back story.

And that is the main flaw with INCUBUS DREAMS. For readers who have been following the story arc, INCUBUS DREAMS pulls together alot of the relationship threads that have been developing. This is definitly a relationship book; Anita is forced to deal with her relationship with the men in her life and also her relationship with her new powers and the fact that so many of them are channeled through sex. But INCUBUS DREAMS does not stand on its own within the series, this book definitely requires the books that are before it for a framework.

Most of the Anita Blake books have a strong action or mystery plot that goes along with the character developement. In INCUBUS DREAMS, the action part, involving a serial killer who targets strippers and may be a vampire, is rushed and short-changed. In fact, it reads as if the book should have been longer (and it is already a very long book) but the author had to compromise in order to get it to a reasonable size. Not being psychic, I could be wrong on this, but I kept thinking the mystery had gotten squeezed out, and indeed, it is left with a bit of a cliffhanger and the feeling that it will be revisited in another book.

There is a lot of sex in this novel--to the point where it is tiring. But I think part of that was deliberate. While some of the sex is sweet (like a wonderful scene with Anita and Jean-Claude) and some results in Anita growing and realizing things about her relationships, some is necessary work brought about by the powers Anita is gifted (burdended?) with. Anita is not quite comfortable with the demands that power makes on her, nor is she comfortable with the fact that she is definitely not living the white-picket fence, monogamous existence she had been brought up to believe in, and her discomfort carries over to the reader.

INCUBUS DREAMS was interesting and kept me turning the pages, but it was not a stand alone novel, and I would not recommend it to someone new to the series.--Shelley

--INCUBUS DREAMS review page

Replies: 2 Comments

The key issue with Incubus Dreams as well as books 10 and 11 is that they have no plotline whatsoever. They are absolute rubbish. If you liked books 1 to 9 then you are not going to like any of the books following it to date.

Posted by John Mason @ 10/24/2004 01:11 PM ET

I'm with you on the recent Anita Blake books being crap, but reviews on this site for them are skewed towards enjoying the direction this series has taken. The reason for the one-sidedness is simple: those of us who can no longer stand this series don't bother reading and reviewing the books!

Posted by Preeti @ 10/24/2004 01:24 PM ET

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