Cerulean Sins

by Laurell K. Hamilton

Cover image

Series: Anita Blake #11
Publisher: Jove
Copyright: April 2003
Printing: September 2004
ISBN: 0-515-13681-6
Format: Mass market
Pages: 529

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This is the eleventh book in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, and this is not a series that you can easily read out of order. There is some recapping of what came before, and some basic introduction of the characters, but recommend starting with the first Anita Blake book if you're going to read the series. The recap is more for those who don't remember the previous books than for those who haven't read them.

Cerulean Sins continues the trend of the Anita Blake series in becoming more about sex and less about the detective work that started the series off. I generally don't mind this, personally finding Anita's complex relationships as interesting as the mysteries, but that means I like the theory and results of those relationships not the angst about them. The angst level was a bit high in this book for me, particularly since Anita wasn't doing that much about her worries, although thankfully Anita does still eventually get tired of complaining about things and just does something about them.

There were suprisingly few events of significance in this book, particularly compared to earlier books in the series where Hamilton has been willing to shake up Anita's life quite a bit. There is a mystery to be solved, and it is, but it feels like an afterthought and isn't at all well-connected with the rest of what's going on. The danger (from the vampire side of things, this time around) has more meat than the mystery, but even it is clearly a preliminary match in preparation for a confrontation coming (hopefully) in the next book. In short, this felt like it was the middle book of a trilogy, something that Anita Blake novels have so far avoided. I was disappointed.

That's not to say that I didn't still enjoy this book. The Anita Blake series is one of my favorite series for light reading, full of great banter and a nice kick-ass feeling when Anita finally gets fed up with something and is rude enough to cut through the labrynthine vampire and shapeshifter politics and do the right thing. Even though nothing that felt really significant happened in this one and most of Anita's problems were still left unresolved, there was lots of banter and ass-kicking to be had and greatly enjoyed. Cerulean Sins is a bit below the level of quality set by earlier installments in the series, but it was still worth the new paperback purchase.

Those who have read the Anita Blake series already know whether they like it, and those who haven't read it won't decide to based on this book. This installment hasn't changed my intention to buy book twelve when it comes out.

Followed by Incubus Dreams.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Reviewed: 2004-10-19

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