Oh yes Dear Readers, it is rant time once again. Woo! Today’s topic is the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. If you’re also an old school Anita fan then there’s a 99.9% chance you feel the same way I do about the series and what it has become. I’ve had issues with the series for a while now but I have continued to read it in spite of that. I just finished reading Bullet, the 19th book in the Anita Blake series, and my feelings for the series has now gone from annoyance to pure rage.
The series went from having these intricate and thrilling plots, to being nothing more than plot-less erotica. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some erotica, I have entire bookshelves dedicated to a huge variety of it, so I assure you I’m not some prude with sexuality issues. My problem is that the series started out as a paranormal thriller and turned into erotica, it did a massive 180. Fans want change, they want character development, they want plot development, but they do NOT want the series they love so much to be turned into something entirely different, something unrecognizable. At the book store the Anita books used to be in the horror section, they aren’t there anymore, they have been moved to the romance section. Yeah, that says something doesn’t it?
The major problem with the series is that it used to have remarkable storylines and amazing character development. Anita was this badass, independent women that real women could look up to. Now all Anita does is whine and have sex with strangers. That’s not character growth, that’s character decline. The books no longer have strong mysterious plots, in fact, they don’t have plots at all. The latest books have gone nowhere, they haven’t brought the story forward. Instead of pushing the story forward Hamilton does what every author does when they have run out of ideas, she rambles on for pages on end and then she adds new characters. I am so sick and tired of a new group of useless characters being added every book. It turns into the same damn thing every time – Anita meets the new people, she has sex with them, then the book ends and we never hear from them again. Totally pointless.
That’s not where my issues end. Most authors pour themselves into their books – what they’re feeling, their personal hardships, their hobbies and interests, their insecurities and so on and that’s usually wonderful, it gives a book soul and adds reality to it. But in Hamilton’s case, she pours WAY too much of herself into her books, and it’s irritating. Anyone that follows her on Twitter knows that she is obsessed with the gym and working out, which is great, props to her, but was it really necessary to have nearly an entire chapter in Bullet about her character’s workout? No. Who gives a flying fuck if Anita can run around the track a bunch of times? No one. Who cares if she can punch and kick a bag? No one. There was no need to have pages and pages explaining her exercise routine in detail. It was nothing but boring and unnecessary filler. It’s bad writing from someone who has run out of ideas. Also, from what she shows us on Twitter, Laurell is a massively massive drama queen, and that reads in her latest books and it’s not enjoyable. Yes, writing is therapeutic, but you shouldn’t be writing every issue you have into books that have no need for it. Bullet has more drama in it than any of the other Anita books, when the characters aren’t fucking each other, they’re talking about their feelings and it is SO tedious. It’s fantastic in small doses, every book needs it, but when you have chapter after chapter of whiny and moody characters going on and on about their emotions it becomes too much. The vampires and weres in the series went from being badass and scary to being a bunch of whiny bitches.
Laurell K. Hamilton should have ended the series years ago on a high note or at least taken a break from it, instead she cashes in on her success and continues to drag it out. Every new Anita Blake book continues to make the bestsellers list, but it’s not because they’re good, it’s because fans of the old Anita continue to buy the new books hoping that they will be like the first books. But we’re disappointed every time. Part of the problem is Hamilton’s publishers, they give her a deadline, they force her to rush the books and write them as fast as possible. You can even pre-order the books before she is finished writing them! Insane! That means she’s creating forced crap. I’m starting to think that she doesn’t care about her incredible series anymore, she doesn’t care about fans of the old Anita, that she only cares about making more money and making that pretty bestsellers list.
To further prove my point, to give you a peek at how unhappy Anita fans are, let me show you something. Here are the Amazon ratings, the AWESOME first books compared to the horrible newer ones:
As this clearly shows, fans LOVED the first books in the series, they absolutely loved them. But the new books, they hate them, there are hundreds of 1 star ratings. Why? Because the new books are terrible. Someone should show Laurell this, maybe she’ll get the hint.
And so I bring this longwinded rant to an end. Will I continue to read the new Anita Blake books? Probably, because I still hold onto that pathetic hope that one day the books will be good again. It’s lame, but I still hope. Laurell K. Hamilton is a talented writer, those first few books in the Anita series were beyond amazing and they are what made her famous. I just wish she still can reclaim that old spark again because right now she is a withering flame.