I have a love/hate relationship with the Anita Blake Series by Laurell K. Hamilton. I love the idea: A woman named Anita Blake is known as the Executioner. She is a necromancer and vampire hunter in a time when the vampires are known by the world and laws are made for them. And laws protect them. She is judge, jury, and executioner but when innocent vampires start to die, Anita agrees to find out who is doing it (Guilty Pleasures plot).
I love the characters: Anita Blake, a witty, no-nonsense, action orientated woman. Jean-Claude: a vampire and strip club owner (where the strippers are vampires) and who feeds on sexually energy proving to be a very seductive and mysterious man. Yes, sexually energy, why not? As the series continues you are exposed to other supernatural creatures that pull you into their world and you cannot help but continue reading.
Now the hate part. The first few books are fast paced, full of humor and energy with just enough sex but not too much to distract from the plot (awesome!). When you are reading something, the book should never exceed the plot to sex ratio (see graph and video below). When there are too many sex scenes and not enough plot, well, you have gone from reading a novel to reading porn/erotica (I have nothing against erotica but that was not what I was looking for when reading this series). Sure, there were scattered sex scenes which added to the suspense and character interaction in the beginning of the series but by the time you pass book six you start to think, “Is this really necessary?”
When you open one of the most recent Anita Blake books to a random page, you are most likely opening to a sex scene. Really, go to a bookstore and try it out. Then keep flipping through that same book, 9 times out of 10 you will land on a page where Anita Blake has gone from strong independent woman to crazy nymphomaniac.
The sex scenes became formulaic, boring and lasting over 10 pages. I found myself skipping the sex scenes, which meant that I only read one fifth of the book. What hurt me the most is that I really loved the plot and the characters but they were discarded for more naked people! Anita builds her own personal harem (you go girl but please, focus on the story!) and then the plots turn into “Blah Blah wants to have sex with Anita because….well just because.”
My suggestion: Read the first few books, they are great, but don’t get attached! When you reach the point where the sex scenes go on forever, STOP! Throw the book down and cherish the memory you had of the first few books. But if you like to read erotica, then by all means continue. They get juicier the farther into the series you go (and I would suggest the Meredith Gentry series by her as well which focuses on the fairy courts). Also, read the graphic novel, the drawings are beautiful.
For the Plot to Sex Ratio: please refer to the graph and video (fast forward to 40 seconds, very similar idea)
- Indulging in Guilty Pleasures (insanityreignssupreme.wordpress.com)