by Laurell K. Hamilton

Cover image

Series: Anita Blake #13
Publisher: Jove
Copyright: March 2006
ISBN: 0-515-14087-2
Format: Mass market
Pages: 245

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Micah is not the true sequel to Incubus Dreams. That's coming soon. Instead, it's a side story, and apparently the first of a series of such side stories in the Anita Blake world. It's not, however, sufficiently to the side to be much worth reading if you haven't already followed the series. There's an extremely obnoxious and flat rehash of the current state of Anita's life at the beginning, but not enough to give you the feel of what's going on without having read the previous books.

Micah is also not really a novel. Hamilton is losing her ability to write short books, so it still grew into a 245-page book with large printing, but this is really a novella. It doesn't have much plot complexity, it follows a very linear story, and it takes Anita and Micah out of St. Louis to set up a self-contained interlude. Given that, the $7.99 cover price is something of a rip-off, although I wouldn't mind if the story were good.

Unfortunately, it really isn't. The concept was promising. Some of the better Anita Blake stories have involved getting her out of St. Louis and the complexities of her relationships. The blurb showed a clear focus on her skills at raising the dead rather than all her other vampire/werewolf connections and weird sexual issues. I was hoping it was going to be a return to the style of the first few Anita Blake novels. Alas, after the painful life recap, the romantic dithering over being alone with Micah, and then the extended discussion of the scars on Micah's psyche caused by having, er, a massive member, my hopes were at a low ebb. When they finally got to the graveyard scene, it ended up as little more than one of the dead-raising scenes in recent books inserted to pace out other events and give Anita a different background against which to worry about her love life. There was little mystery, no investigation, and no depth.

Hamilton does still do some things well. I still like Anita's banter and snark, and I think Hamilton writes good descriptions of how power feels to her characters. Anita's necromancer abilities are some of the more interesting of her varied powers, in part because they're not as overdone. Fantasy is not awash in heroes who raise zombies.

I can't, though, escape the disappointment that this interlude is neither a return to an earlier style of Anita Blake stories nor a break from the sex obsession of the current main storyline. Add that to being overcharged for a long novella, which would have been a medium novella if all the uninteresting and awkward recap had been snipped, and Micah leaves a bad taste in the mouth. There are no positive signs of recovery here.

Followed by Danse Macabre.

Rating: 5 out of 10

Reviewed: 2006-06-20

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