Cerulean Sins, the eleventh entry in the hugely-popular Anita Blake series, finds everyone’s favorite vampire hunter keeping house and kicking butt.
Anita Blake is trying to get her life back to “normal” after a break-up with her werewolf lover. She has settled into a pattern of domesticity, which means that the new man in her life, the leopard shapeshifter Micah, has no problem sharing her with Jean-Claude, Master Vampire of the City. Things are as peaceful as they ever get for someone who raises the dead, when Jean-Claude receives an unexpected and unwelcome visitor: Musette, the very beautiful, very twisted representative of the European Council of Vampires. Anita soon finds herself caught up in a dangerous game of vampire power politics.
To add to her troubles, she is asked to consult on a series of brutal killings, which seem to be the work of something un-human. The investigation leads her to Cerulean Sins, a vampire-run establishment that deals in erotic videos, videos that cater to very specific tastes. Anita knows one creature of the night who has such interests — Jean-Claude’s visitor. But if Anita brings Musette down, the repercussions could cost her everything she holds dear.
Once a sworn enemy of all monsters, Anita is now the human consort of both Master Vampire Jean Claude and leopard shapeshifter Micah. When a centuries-old vampire hits St. Louis, Anita finds herself needing all the dark forces her passion can muster to save the ones she loves.
Anita Blake returns to find hell hath no fury like a vampire scorned.
“Neither love nor evil conquers all, but evil cheats more.”
MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT:
I really liked this installment in the Anita Blake series. I will choose character development and character relationship growth any day over plot and this installment was exactly that. There was plenty of politics, relationship building, and DRAMA.
I can see why people have started to not like this series and why people have quit it. I’ll flat out say it: This series is not the same as the first ten books. The structure is totally different. While I like the change, I can see why people who prefer plot would not.
Anita annoyed me a lot during this book. I understand that she values her morals and doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize her soul. I even agree with her on that. But the constant back and forth with what she considers okay and what she doesn’t is tiresome. One day she is saying that she wants to be in a ménage à trois with Asher and Jean-Claude. The next day, she is running away from both of them because she is scared. It is frustrating.
I believe that Jason was spot on about Anita and her relationships:
“You fought Jean-Claude, because you were afraid of him. Then Richard came along, and I think you loved him, really loved him, and that scared you, so you backed off. I think you dated them both to keep from falling in love with either of them.
Richard grows more distant, more caught up in his own personal angst, which leaves the field open for Jean-Claude. So suddenly you have Nathaniel bunking with you. I know, I know, he’s your pomme de sang, your house leopard, but it was still interesting timing.
Somewhere in all this, Asher comes up on the radar, maybe it’s Jean-Claude’s old memories, maybe not. But whatever caused it, you’re drawn to him, but he’s so full of anger that it’s not a threat. He’s almost as full of self-loathing as Richard is. Then suddenly Richard walks away for real this time. You’re left with just Jean-Claude, and Nathaniel, but Nathaniel isn’t enough of a romantic threat to keep Jean-Claude at bay, and suddenly there’s Micah. Out of the blue, instant lust, instant housekeeping. You have Micah, and now Jean-Claude is back to sharing you with someone else, and you’re safe again. You can’t fall madly in love with Jean-Claude, or anyone else, because you’ve divided your world up into different parts with each of them. Because no one man has your whole world, no one man can rock your whole world.”
I am happy that Anita acknowledged that Jason was right… but she has a long way to go. She understands her problem in her relationships but she doesn’t do anything to fix it. She won’t give herself completely to the boys but she won’t let them go either. Asher started to tell Anita that he can’t do it anymore and he is right. Who wants to be in a relationship with somebody they are always having to tip-toe around because they are scared to lose them? It is unfair to the boys. Anita knows this, but she just continues on the same path she has always been on. I am getting tired of waiting for her to completely say yes or to completely say no.
Overall, I really enjoyed this installment. I am interested to see where our new characters are going to come in later on and if Anita will finally give into her relationships or not. I will be continuing the series with Incubus Dreams.