Sunday, May 4, 2008

Blood Noir-Laurell K. Hamilton

Blood Noir
Laurell K. Hamilton
Berkley, Jun 2008, $25.95
ISBN: 9780425222195

Jean-Claude’s pomme de sange Lycan Jason visits his master’s human servant vampire executioner and living vampire who feeds off of sex, Anita Blake to ask his friend to accompany him as his pretend lover when he visits his dying estranged father. Anita agrees when Jason informs her that his father refuses to speak to him not due to his lycanthropic condition, but because the older man believes his son is homosexual.

Jason and Anita arrive to find out that Keith Summerland, who looks like Jason’s twin, is getting married this weekend. Pretending affection in public Jason kisses Anita in front of a reporter causing a scandal in which other Masters consider grabbing the seemingly weakened Jean-Claude’s territory. To prevent this Jean-Claude will have to display anger in public and punish his errant servants.

Meanwhile first vampire Marmee Noir, the Mother of All Darkness and asleep for a millennium, is attracted to Anita’s powers. She strikes at Anita and Marmee Noir makes her have sex with two shapeshifters including a were-tiger. Anita feels another metaphysical tiger in her body. Jason and Anita still worry about an enraged vampire because Keith married the wife of the Master of the City; and the Master Vamp wants the interloper dead. The authorities fear for the lives of Jason and Anita while she also has to deal with Marmee Noir without the help of Jean-Claude

BLOOD NOIR is very different in tone than the previous books in the Anita Blake saga as the heroine for the most part costars with one man rather than her usual male queue. This allows the audience to see another side of the vampire slayer as she shows she can relate to a man with being in love with him; an extraordinary concept. Although well written, too many key unanswered questions involving Marmee Noir exist, which subtracts from an otherwise strong tale as Anita proves to herself she can enjoy without love sans guilt. Blake fans will appreciate how far the star goes for a friend.

Harriet Klausner

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