May 28, 2015

Book Review || Jason (An Anita Blake Novella)

Anita Blake #20.5
Laurell K Hamilton

Published: December 2014

Headline, Paperback B Format, 255p.
ISBN: 978-1-4722-2698-3

Enjoying pain with your pleasure is something you either get, or you don't.  And if you don't then no amount of talking is going to convince you it makes sense.

My name is Anita Blake, I'm an Animator, a Vampire Executioner and U.S. Marshal for the Regional Preternatural Investigation Team.  And I have a complicated domestic life.

Jason Schuyler is one of my best friends and favourite wolves.  J.J. is his lady love, an old flame from childhood who dances at one of the top ballet companies in New York.  She's accomplished, beautiful, and she's crazy about hime, too.  Neither of them wants to be monogamous, so what could go wrong?

J.J. is enthusiastically bisexual; she plans to keep sleeping with women, because Jason can't meet her desire for a female lover, but she can't meet Jason's need for rough sex and bondage with another woman because she doesn't understand just how rough he needs his sex to be, so Jason asks me to help him explain.  With some encouragement from a few other lovers in my life I reluctantly agree, and J.J. makes plans to fly into town for an experience that none of us will ever forget.

Note: there are some minor spoilers below.

So what did I think of this novella?  I think it is complete and utter crap.  That's it in a nutshell.  It seems that the further on in the series we get, the more frivolous and unnecessary the sexual content has become.  It's now just a super erotic series with a side of murder/mystery that was once the basis of the story.  It never used to be like this...

In the beginning, as all good stories should start, Anita was very moral and wasn't the type of girl to just jump into bed with a new boyfriend, let alone a whole stable of strangers.  But once the ardeur reared it's ugly mug it was game over - although NiC is one of my favourite books.  However the longer this series goes on, the worse it's getting. 

But I digress.  Back to the review of this book.

I have two main issues with this book.

1) the abundance of unnecessary sex : Basically, Jason was just a book about sexual preferences.  How rough is rough?  BDSM, vanilla, topping, the list goes on.  It was okay for the first 66 pages where Anita is discussing sex and sexual preferences with Jason, Nathaniel, Envy and Domino.  Even in Chapter 2 when Anita, Jason and Nathaniel pick J.J. up from the airport it's still actually sex free.  Talking about sex.  Fine.  Then we hit Chapter 3 and it's back to hitting the sheets.  Although this time there is some major girl on girl action instead of just Anita being the belle of the ball.  I just rolled my eyes and skimmed because this novella is literally a how-to for Anita in regards to pleasing a female lover.

Though for all the negatives about this series, there is one positive aspect to these books.  They are very, very, open about their LGBTQ characters.  I think nearly everyone in the Anita-verse, well, main characters anyway, has at least dipped their toes into LGBTQ waters.  Our only outstanding complete heterosexual - homophobic? - character is Richard.  But that's another post ;-D

2) lack of originality : For the majority of the books post-ardeur the author seems to be stuck in a rut.  Anita has bad guys to fight, but feeding the ardeur takes priority so she jumps into the arms - and shorts - of the nearest man in her life and boffs his brains out, before going out to solve the mystery de-jour.  The men in her life are still getting pissy with things, and the characters seem to be in this never-ending loop.  It needs to stop.

I think what this series needs is an injection of fresh ideas.  I mean, seriously.  Anita has beaten Marmee Noir, the freaking Mother of All Darkness, for Gods sake.  She's defeated the originator of the Vampires and yet she can't seem to get out of her own way long enough to figure out how to remove the ardeur!? Pleeease.  {serious eye rolling happening here}

However the story, while blah, was not my only problem.  Let's talk about the physical copy next.  I borrowed Jason from my library (the edition listed), but the type was really odd.  It was so large and weirdly spaced out.  Just to show you how truly annoying it was, I took a photo of it against my paperback copy of Narcissus in Chains. 

As you can see it is so spaced out.  Was this just to allow it enough pages for printing?  I would have rather had this as a short story at the end of Affliction instead of paying for such a pathetically small book.

Overall there was nothing that endeared this instalment in the series to me.  I keep hoping that we will see a more story-based, action packed, book.  And yet I still faithfully purchase the paperbacks - wouldn't waste my money on the hardcovers - in the hopes that it might one day revert back to a less sex oriented series.  I have Merry Gentry for that! ;-D

I give Jason a begrudging 

What did you think of Jason?  Do you think that LKH should just finish the series?
Let me know down below ;-D

Until next time,

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