Well praise The Lord!! I wasn’t expecting this to say the least. The last Anita Blake book was disappointing and with the way I’ve heard people talk about how the series gets quite bad at around this point I was seriously worried. Maybe the last book was just a bump in the road for me or maybe this one is the last one that will appeal to me. I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see what narcissus in chains brings to the table.
This was interesting in that we got to see more of Anita’s friend Edward, also known simply as Death. He was always a bit mysterious and while he appeared in a good few of the books so far we never really got to know anything about him. In this book he calls in a favour that Anita owed him and so she travels to his home in New Mexico to help him out with some brutal murders going on in the area. Much to Anita’s surprise, and everyone else’s, Edward lives the life of good-boy, bounty hunter Ted Forrester who is ever helpful to the police in the locality. Ted also has a lovely, sweet fiancé who has two kids from a previous relationship that Ted has taken under his wing as a would-be Stepdad. Shocked anyone?
At first Anita is disgusted thinking that Ted has just taken his disguise way too far until she eventually learns that what may have started as a disguise has possibly led to Edward feeling more than even he thought he could.
The murders she’s called into help are particularly brutal even for an Anita Blake book. The victims are torn limb from limb and gutted while still alive and the survivors are flayed skinless creatures that have had tongues, eyeballs and other appendages all removed. Not pleasant as you can imagine.
A lot of parts of this book were downright creepy. The flayed survivors were horrible, the nursery scene in the hospital was horrific and the various scenes in Obsidian Butterfly were also quite disturbing to say the least. What was truly atrocious to me though were the scenes of child abuse towards the end if the book. It was hard to read to be honest and I nearly put down the book in disgust. I realise that there are people out there that are just that horrible that they can abuse children but I’m not sure if it ever needs to be described in a fictional book you’re reading for entertainment purposes? It makes me extremely uncomfortable but maybe that’s just me.
Other than that the book did have a good storyline although I must say although I didn’t miss the highly charged sexual moments between Anita and seemingly every man or beast she met in the last book I did miss Jean-Claude and Richard. A girl needs a little love in her life. It does seem that every man Anita comes across falls madly in love/lust with her though. For a woman who at the end of the day is more than a little bloodthirsty and a whole lot crazy she gets a lot of male attention.
It was better than the last one but I still worry about the future of Anita Blake..