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 series now, and they’re not what 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 upfront in the book! Finally, she seems to have bought into 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 read overall, and I think I’m being kind.

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Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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