Sunday, July 24, 2011

One Book Forward then One Book Back or Why I keep reading Anita Blake

I don't know my fellow reader if I have ever told you I have been married to the same man for nearly 30yrs.  I have shared with my friends that is has been the most difficult and rewarding thing I have ever done in my life....sticking it out all these years even when there were a lot of times I wanted to throw in the towel and give up or just kill him.  I feel that way on a MUCH smaller scale about Laurell K. Hamilton and Anita Blake.  For the last 10 years I have loved her and then wanted to kick her to the curb only to come back and try again.  Why?


Well, when I first met Anita I admired how tough, smart and strong she was.  I loved how she worked in a male dominated field and not only kept up with the guys she beat most of them.  I envied the sexy men she got to pick from and the amazing sex she had.  The balance between the sexy men and the very gory and tough thriller kept me turning pages and buying the next book.  It was like the first couple of years of my marriage.  I never knew quite what to expect.  Sometimes it was exciting and sometimes it was dirty but most of all it was so very satisfying.

Then about 10 books in things started getting overblown.  Little issues that I had been able to ignore early on because my love was so new was now starting to bug me.  The biggest problem I had was the stories were getting away from the suspense and thriller and became more about the goth, S&M sex.  I love sex but too much of ANYTHING makes it less interesting or fun.  The other thing that began to really bug me was all the moralizing that was going on.  Anita is a remarkable woman on so many levels.  What is up with the constant self recriminations, the constant struggling with the inner demons?  Oh My God, how can a woman who can look a monster straight in the eye and put a bullet in its heart then turn around and whine because she is going to have mind blowing sex with the most gorgeous men to walk the planet.  Really?  I am not reading this series because I imageidentify with Anita.  I read this series because I fantasize about BEING Anita.

I thought with "Bullet" Anita was beginning to work through her crap and we would move on and get back to a good relationship. The story still had more problems than resolutions but we were back to fighting monsters and the thrill was returning.  It was good enough that I had really high hopes for "Hit List".  Boy was I disappointed.  The big bads introduced in Harlequin were way too easily defeated.  After all that we had gone through with the Mother of All Darkness, all the fears that she was undefeatable she was completely destroyed in less than 500 words and a metaphysical prayer circle.   Oh! and what was the point of the misogynistic Marshal? Outside of giving her an opportunity to cry about being picked on and misunderstood he served no purpose.  He was sent away on a stupid road trip just to get him out of the way.  I think that was because even Ms. Hamilton was sick of the pissiness and pettiness.

So why do I keep reading these books?  Because when Ms. Hamilton is on a roll nobody is better and there are glimpses of that creativity and brilliance in every single book.  Anita is so freaking cool I can't help but want to see if she will work through her crap with each installment.  Bottom line, I like Anita.  What I have learned is to just take her for what she is, a screwed up but very interesting girlfriend.  She is a train wreck and I am human.  I want to see it/her.

So, I admit it. Even though he can annoy the crap out of me I love my husband and we will be together until the end.  I like Anita and I will read her story until the end with hopes and curiosity and as in my marriage I will probably bitch when she lets me down… again.  Like I said, I'm human.

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