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Danse Macabre (2006)

de Laurell K. Hamilton

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
4,126642,332 (3.4)20
It was the middle of November. I was supposed to be out jogging, but instead I was sitting at my breakfast table talking about men, sex, werewolves, vampires, and that thing that most unmarried but sexually active women fear most ... Anita Blake needs to be concentrating on a dangerous situation: The ardeur, the sexual power that flows between Anita and Jean-Claude, Master Vampire of the City, and Richard, the volatile werewolf who loves her passionately, is reaching new levels, perhaps evolving into something altogether new. The ardeur seems to be choosing new lovers for Anita, acting with a will of its own. As Jean-Claude says, the ardeur is hunting powerful prey. The unexpected effect of this is that Jean-Claude's own power as a master vampire has grown to new levels - and Richard, never predictable, is changing, too.… (més)
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Jean Claude has invited a famous vampire ballet troupe to town and in order to make the event as grand as possible a number of Master Vampires are visiting as well. There will be a smaller reunion with some of Jean Claude's closer friends an then after the ballet, a grand event with everyone in attendance.

Of course, Anita, Jean Claude, and Richard will need to put on a show of united power so that the visiting vamps don't try to make a play for their territory or their people. And naturally, things won't go so smoothly as they plan. Anita is still struggling to adjust to her new succubus powers and triumvirate, which means that Richard and Jean Claude are trying to manage their own new increase in power.

Add to that the unexpected complication of a pregnancy scare and matters will just end up being really stressful for Anita as she tries to manage the feelings and expectations of her various boyfriends.

There's lots of sex in this one, and it's really beginning to lose any of its appeal. All the sex scenes are just so awkward. They all occur in crowded rooms with strangers looking on. Typically, Anita is forced to fuck someone new or someone she doesn't even like which is frankly not sexy at all. At one point, she grabs someone who is actively addicted to the ardeur and has a lot of trauma associated with it. This was extremely disturbing to me.

This book doesn't have a plot so much as it has a number of excruciatingly long conversations in large rooms full of dozens of people. The most common phrase in Ms. Blake's dialogue is, "What does that mean?" something that is uttered almost constantly by all characters even when the meaning is blatantly clear. It's really annoying once you notice it and acts as an artificial conversation extender.

Richard's really annoying in this one too but so is Anita. I'm really sick of LKH having these intense, never-ending conversations that she uses as character development not only because they are boring to read but because they never stick. There have been at least three previous books where Richard has an extremely childish conversation at the end of which he promises that he's going to try harder to not be a controlling asshole and then immediately goes back on it.

Anita does the same thing in this book except this 180 takes place mere moments after she's finished one such conversation and swears to work harder to solidify their power so that everyone can be safe. After which, she tries to kill herself? It's all so annoying. I don't think these long, drawn out conversations are ideal for character development, but if that's how you've decided to do it, the least you should do is respect the conclusion of these convos. I'm so sick of Anita being like, "But I don't want to have sex with strangers anymore!!! But if I don't, I and everyone I love will die. So I guess I have to." And then seconds later being like, "BUT I DON'T WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH STRANGERS."

I get it. I also would not want to have sex with strangers. However, as a reader, I really need to see character development in different ways than the characters just blurting out their wants, desires, and motivations. This is not how people communicate. And it's boring.

Also, the book concludes in the most anticlimactic way possible. Anita is trying to squeeze in one last feed before joining Jean Claude at the party where all the other Master Vamps are hanging out. This is the party that the whole book has been leading up to. Literally, she fucks Asher and then passes out and wakes up a couple days later. I guess Jean Claude didn't need her to be there that badly? We don't even find out what happens at the party. What a bummer.

I know the books just get worse from here. I know that. And yet, I expect I'm still going to keep going. ( )
  Juva | Dec 26, 2021 |
Synopsis: 'Danse Macabre appears to take place a few weeks after the events of Incubus Dreams and almost immediately after the events of Micah, assuming that the series of serial killings that Anita's friend Ronnie refers to as occurring two weeks earlier are the killings Anita investigates in Incubus Dreams.
Unlike the previous thirteen novels, neither Anita's role as a Federal Marshal nor her job as a zombie animator plays any part in this novel. Instead, Anita must juggle a series of problems arising from her own increasing power, Jean-Claude's vampire politics, and her own personal life, complicated in this case by Anita's apparent pregnancy.
First, Anita believes that she may be pregnant. This forces her to confront the difficult choice of whether to bring the child to term, as well as whether to inform the various potential fathers. (Richard, Nathaniel, Jean-Claude, Asher, and Damian).
Richard and Nathaniel are the most likely candidates for fatherhood; Micah had a lycanthrope vasectomy (silver clamps on the vas deferens); vampires in this world are capable of fathering a child, either via sperm created prior to their death for the newly dead, or if their body temperature is kept elevated for a long enough period of time to create new sperm, but the likelihood goes down with age. A vampire over the age of 100 is not a likely candidate.
Micah and Nathaniel are willing to rearrange their lives to take on the primary parenting responsibilities. By contrast, Richard proposes monogamous marriage and expects that Anita will stop being a vampire executioner and federal marshal.
A child of Anita's would have a significant risk of birth defects. Previous books have mentioned "Vlad Syndrome", occurring in children of vampires, which in severe cases results in death of both the child and the mother. Anita is also at risk of "Mowgli Syndrome", which can occur when a shapeshifter has intercourse in animal (or part-animal) form. Not all details are discussed, but it is noted that the fetus can develop at the rate of the beast instead of human — which could put Anita past the legal abortion threshold in only a few weeks or months, depending on the animal.
Second, Anita's increasing powers continue to lead to new problems. In particular, Anita is attempting to select a pomme de sang from a variety of candidates, leading to a series of conflicts between various persons who wish to join her harem of lovers. In addition, she discovers that her ardeur has been shaping both her own and her lovers' feelings and personalities, making Anita question whether her love for Micah and Nathaniel is real. Finally, Anita discovers that she may be a pan-were, and that in addition to being the dominant female of the local wolf and leopard pack, she may also become Regina, or Queen, of the local werelion pack, leading to a conflict between the lions eager to become her Rex, or lion king.
Third, Anita is involved in a variety of conflicts relating to vampire politics, largely relating to Jean-Claude's decision to invite a vampire ballet and several master vampires to St. Louis.
Augustine, the master of Chicago, Illinois, attempts to force Anita to love him, and hopes to control the local were-lion pack by introducing a dominant were-lion of his choosing.
Thea—who is not only the wife of the master of Cape Cod but a siren—wishes Anita to sleep with one or all of her three sons, in the hope that Anita can bring them into their power.
Merlin, head of the vampire ballet, attempts to mentally dominate all of the master vampires and lycanthropes present at the performance, for reasons he will not reveal.
Meng Die is becoming increasingly jealous of Anita's irresistibility to the men in their circle, to the point where she attempts to kill Requiem
Both Belle Morte and The Mother of Darkness continue their attempts to dominate Anita.
Ultimately, Anita resolves most of these conflicts:
After reluctantly deciding to have the baby, Anita ultimately learns that she is not pregnant, and that her positive test result was caused by her unique body chemistry.
Anita learns to accept that her love may be manufactured in part by the ardeur, particularly in the cases of Nathaniel and Micah, both of whom have had their personalities shaped by the ardeur to meet Anita's needs (and vice versa). She accepts that she possesses several metaphysical "beasts," and rejects Haven, a dominant were-lion that Augustine hoped to use to dominate the St. Louis pack.
Anita is also able to navigate most of the challenges raised by vampire politics.
Using the ardeur, Anita and Jean-Claude bind Augustine, increasing their own power. They also turn the tables on him by feeding not only on him, but on his entourage. (Although Anita now loves Augustine, she is sufficiently stubborn that this love does not gain him an advantage).
Anita promises to sleep with Thea's oldest son to see if she can raise his powers through the ardeur.
Anita defeats Merlin's attempt to dominate the assembled vampires and shape-shifters, and questions him for information about the Mother of Darkness.
The combined threat of Anita, Jean-Claude, and all of their vampires is enough to make Meng Die agree not to kill anyone for the night.
Anita is able to evade Belle Morte and the Mother of Darkness's attempts to control her, although she continues to fear them.
Unresolved plotlines
Due to the small amount of time lapsed in this novel (the events last only a day), Anita is unable to resolve any of the plotlines left open in Incubus Dreams, and leaves several questions unresolved in this book as well.
Although the epilogue to Incubus Dreams stated that Anita intended to investigate the Stevie Brown murder soon, the narration does not reveal whether Anita has made progress in her investigation.
Danse Macabre does not reveal whether Gregory and Stephen have learned anything about why their father has reappeared, a plotline that was mentioned, but not resolved, in Cerulean Sins and Incubus Dreams.
Anita mentions that Jean-Claude has bound a few of Malcolm's vampires to his own service, but there is no apparent resolution of the threat presented by the remainder of his vampires, none of whom are blood oathed to anyone.
Anita does not appear to have made any progress on her hunt for Vittorio and his vampires.
Although The Mother of Darkness continues to make threats, it remains to be seen when she will actually awake, or what will become of Belle Morte's challenge for council leadership.
Anita has now promised to sleep with Thea's son in an attempt to raise his powers as a siren.
Although Anita has sent Haven back to Chicago, she nevertheless needs to select a lion to match with her inner lioness, and any lion of sufficient power to match her may threaten Joseph's hold on his pride.
Although Anita suspects she is now a pan-were, she has not yet shifted form, and doesn't know if she will assume the form of a single animal, all the species with which she is infected, or none of them. In addition, blood tests show that Anita has an "unknown strain" of lycanthropy, which she has not yet identified. And there is a possibility that she got an additional one with the blood transfusion at the end of the book.'
Review: What a wild ride! How can this much have happened in 24 hours?! The incessant anger from Anita is getting old. The toe shoe on the cover reminds me of a vagina--probably not an accident. ( )
  DrLed | Dec 25, 2021 |
I really loved Laurell K. Hamilton's early Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series books but I did feel like she lost the thread a bit in the middle of the series. I am glad to say that it seems like she is focusing more on the story line and less on the sex of late which makes the books better in my opinion. I think Anita is a great character and Laurell K. Hamilton can write a great plot but her overly complicated sex scenes can somewhat take away from the book. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
This book could have been a lot shorter. Anita whined through most of the book about how feeding the ardeur and being a succubus was so horrible and how she doesn't do casual sex, but she has to or the vampire and wereleopard connected to her will die, and blah, blah, blah.

There was one long drawn-out sex scene in the middle of the book that was anything but sexy. I like erotica (hell, I write it myself and have edited it for others). But the sex in this series has become less and less erotic. Maybe because Anita _has_ to have sex it's become perfunctory. The sex scenes don't tell us any more about the characters. Everyone _has_ to fall in love with Anita. It seems to be part of her vampire-esque and succubus powers, so there's a lot lacking. And a lot of woe is me, is it really love or is it just the power?

There was a thin plot of Jean-Claude inviting all the masters of the city to town to see a vampire ballet troupe, things were building, lots of power plays, and then ... nothing. Anita and Asher go overboard with feeding both blood and ardeur and she ends up in the hospital and we never resolve what was going on with Merlin and his mind tricks so strong that he was gaining power over the lycanthropes and the vampires.

There was also a lot of time spent on the possibility of Anita being pregnant because she's having sex all the time and not taking precautions, although she says she's on the pill. how did she get pregnant, I know it's not 100%, but still ... super lycanthrope sperm? And I swear in the early books she said still have some sperm left--now all of a sudden that's a possibility too.

No crimes to solve, no raising the dead. A thin plot with no climax and lots of boring sex. Blah. This could have been a really interesting book with all the Masters of the City in one place, all the intrigue and power plays, but it fell flat.

I still have a few other books in the series, I may go onto the next one, but I'm definitely not buying any more in the series.

Spoiler Alert:

Turns out she's not pregnant. Most of the book with her not wanting to be pregnant and the men in her life really happy about it. More whining from Anita. ( )
  jezebellydancer | Aug 30, 2021 |
pb
  5083mitzi | Apr 3, 2021 |
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To Jonathon, who comforts me while I weep; who holds me close while I scream; who understands why I rage. Because he knows how to weep, understands that pleasure can come from a scream, and has his own rage to battle. They say opposites attract, but not for me.
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It was the middle of November. I was supposed to be out jogging, but instead I was sitting at my breakfast table talking about men, sex, werewolves, vampires, and that thing that most unmarried but sexually active women fear most ... Anita Blake needs to be concentrating on a dangerous situation: The ardeur, the sexual power that flows between Anita and Jean-Claude, Master Vampire of the City, and Richard, the volatile werewolf who loves her passionately, is reaching new levels, perhaps evolving into something altogether new. The ardeur seems to be choosing new lovers for Anita, acting with a will of its own. As Jean-Claude says, the ardeur is hunting powerful prey. The unexpected effect of this is that Jean-Claude's own power as a master vampire has grown to new levels - and Richard, never predictable, is changing, too.

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