Review: Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton

Serpentine (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #26)Ser­pen­tine by Lau­rell K. Hamil­ton
My rat­ing: 3 of 5 stars

I’m hav­ing a lit­tle trou­ble fig­ur­ing out a rat­ing for this, the 26th (!) book in the Ani­ta Blake series.

On the plus side, the book kept me engaged to the point of being a dis­trac­tion when I need­ed to do oth­er things. Also, Hamil­ton dealt with my main com­plaint about the series quite nice­ly. I’ve found that the explic­it sex scenes take up too much of the books now, and they’re not want I read for–if I want­ed explic­it sex I’d go seek out some erot­i­ca or porn. With this book, she’s final­ly fig­ured out how to “fade to black” at the right time.

On the minus side of the equa­tion is the fact that she left out a vital piece of infor­ma­tion about the key mur­der. I can’t explain more with­out spoil­ers, so I’ll just say pre­pare to be dis­ap­point­ed. And once again, her char­ac­ters engage in emo­tion­al pro­cess­ing to the detri­ment of the plot. In fact, one of the key char­ac­ters points out that they’re get­ting into a “ther­a­py ses­sion” instead of deal­ing with the crime at hand. I’ve lived polyamory, and it is com­plex, and it does require loads of com­mu­ni­ca­tion between part­ners at all times. Poly peo­ple do fre­quent­ly end up explain­ing our lives to out­siders when we’d rather get on to oth­er mat­ters. But there are lim­its, and every lit­tle bit of that doesn’t need to be shown up front in the book! Final­ly, she seems to have bought in to the Robert Hein­lein school of end­ing a book. It feels like she went, “Oh crap, I’m approach­ing the num­ber of words I’m con­tract­ed for! Bet­ter wrap all the plot threads up with a bow!” Things are paced well until sud­den­ly, it’s all hurtling toward the fin­ish line.

So a three-star over­all, and I think I’m being kind.

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