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Laurell K. Hamilton
book cover

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Book 11
2003, April, Berkley hardcover
Buy from Amazon.com (hardcover)

Who recommends: Shelley, Linda, Laurie, Barbara, Suzanne
Who discommends: Preeti

In CERULEAN SINS, Anita has to protect her paranormal friends from a threat from Jean-Claude's past, a group of visiting vampires that includes the head of his line. Plus there are some grisly murders for her to solve. The two plots join up for a satisfying conclusion.

And yet I feel that CERULEAN SINS is another step in the decline of the Anita Blake series. I had to laugh when Anita added another couple of notches to her bed-post. Also when she goes on and on about how dangerous and cold she is. This self-deceiving character is living in a wish-fulfillment fantasy world. Which wouldn't be so bad if LKH was playing Anita for the irony, but increasingly it seems that LKH is dead serious about having the reader buy into Anita's delusions. Anita lives in a world where her sexuality and power trump that of everyone's around her. It's so over-the-top and self-indulgent. This lack of believable world-building wouldn't be so frustrating if I hadn't loved the earlier books so much.

I still read the book in one sitting--not many writers can touch her for her page-turning stories--but spent much of my time responding in disbelief at the way this series continues to go. Even though the Anita Blake books seems to be a cash cow for LKH, I would love to see it wrapped up quickly before it becomes more of a joke.

Anyone else read CERULEAN SINS yet? I know this series is really polarizing fans who were united in their enthusiasm when it first began. You have only to read comments about the Anita Blake books on this site's blog to see proof of the divided opinions.--Preeti (20 Apr 03)

I also read CERULEAN SINS. I enjoyed it a lot. Unlike many here, I do not care if Anita has a heram. But then again, I am in the please kill Richard camp - I find his continual refusal to deal with being a werewolf and his putting them in dangerous situations to be beyond irritating. I do think that one of the reasons I do not find some of the stuff particuarily jarring is because I noticed the trend of Anita turning into a kind of super hero early on and just have enjoyed it partly because it is so over the top. I actually find it a little more strange that she is still so uptight about some aspects of her sexuality than I find it odd that she keeps developing her magical powers. She dominates Nathaniel and he gets off on it but they are not having sex? She engages in some very sexual behavior with others, but there has been no penetration so it is not sex? Oh, please, buy a clue.

All in all, I find these books to be totally engrossing, fast moving, with some of the best one liners. Any plot quibbles I have are not getting in the way of my enjoyment so far. So much is going on that I note some of the stuff that might throw me out of another book, but then tend to just cruise on by it on my way to finding out what happens next. But then, like I said, I kind of enjoy the fact that these are so over the top.--Shelley (22 Apr 03)

I don't care if she f***s a lot of different men, either, just that she's such a holier-than-thou hypocrite about it. If I thought that this was a blindness of character that LKH was deliberately creating, it'd be one thing; but I believe that the blindness extends to LKH. And I find it ridiculous that Anita is such a sex object.--Preeti (26 Apr 03)

I was a little irked when Anita was going over her feelings for all the men in her lives and she mentioned Richard as being the one true love. YUK!! How disappointing and unfair to Jean-Claude. But somehow LKH has managed to make me accept a world in which Anita HAS to have so many lovers. If it had been like this from the beginning I would never have continued but I seem to be hooked.--Linda (23 Apr 03)

I've never been real pleased about how many lovers she has though realize the ardeur isn't giving her a lot of choice. I wish it hadn't been introduced into the plot but since it has, I've adjusted to it. I wish that someone would shoot Richard and put him out of our misery.<g> Anita still loves him the most? Blah! Jean-Claude has turned out to be pretty darn understanding with her, and though that takes some of his scariness away, at this point that's ok. He deserves her total love but I think she's going to try to change. Though that love scene, when the ardeur was on her but he had just woken up and didn't have enough blood in him...total turn off. The picture in my mind just grossed me out. :-( I know I'm not an erotica fan, although I have been getting used to a lot of it, but that was just too much!!

Micah seems so nice and understanding, it's hard to believe he's an alpha anything.<g> I don't mind him, he just happened on the scene too fast for me in the last book.

Now that I've done all my complaining, I enjoyed this book more than the last one and still had trouble putting it down. I'm still hooked and will continue seeing what happens. I actually enjoyed most of it!! Lots of action and variety in the plot. I would recommend it, though it's not for everyone. As for it being over the top...it always was and that never bothered me. <g> --Linda (25 Apr 03)

I borrowed CERULEAN SINS from the library twice and finally managed to finish it the second time around. Put me down as a recommend (with many reservations). Though while reading I longed for the old Anita--the funny, ardeur-less, mortal version of Anita--I still managed to enjoy it on some level that I can't decently explain (the sex? the return of the gore? I don't know.) It was better than OBSIDIAN BUTTERFLY, possibly because there was so little of Micah the meek (who has zero personality) and because Anita did go back to raising the dead and helping the police on the gruesome chase for a murderer. But, feh, what Laurell K. Hamilton has done to Richard burns me. She should just write him out already and be done with it rather than turning him into a self-pitying, self-destructive pain in the ass. The ending was rushed (as usual) and there was way too much of the ardeur awakenings for me. Despite everything, it was a page-turner, but I'm relieved I made the decision to leave it on the shelf at B&N; and borrow it from the library instead.--Laurie (2 Jun 03)

I liked some of CERULEAN SINS very much (more sex with Jean Claude than in recent books ;-) Hamilton is another author who, at the beginning of her last few books, seems to start out with all the right moves and then kind of bogs down from there. I liked Anita's recognition that she needs to come to grips with her hangups, and I see the growth in her character as a positive. Also, I don't mind gratuitous sex; I say, bring it on!!--Suzanne (26 Jan 04)

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