|Laurell K. Hamilton: Narcissus in Chains|
Publishing Group (Hardcover), ISBN 0-425-18168-5
Narcissus in Chains steams, sizzles and pops like water tossed into boiling oil. Vampire hunter Anita Blake's reunion with the more-than-men in her life proves the old saw that absence makes the heroine grow hornier.
Forced to draw on the power of the "marks" that bind her magically to master vampire Jean-Claude and alpha werewolf Richard Zeeman, Anita finds herself overwhelmed by lusts of the flesh and blood. Her compulsions isolate her more and more from the mortal human beings she always considered "her kind." But Anita's inhuman needs cannot obliterate her essential humanity.
Anita's humanity compels her to defend the city's weakest weres against Chimera, a "pan-were" who can transform into a variety of large and deadly animals. Chimera seeks to build an empire of shapeshifters and loses no time in bringing Narcissus, the sadistic leader of St. Louis's were-hyenas, to heel. Chimera and Narcissus think Anita's "leaderless" pard of were-leopards will make a nice dessert after a main course of swans, bears, lions…and Richard's werewolves. Funny how the bad guys always make this mistake. But how can Anita conquer her inner demons and fight the bad guys too?
Graphic almost to the point of pornographic, Narcissus in Chains nevertheless avoids the robotic randiness of A Kiss of Shadows, Hamilton's recent foray into faerotica. Anita, Jean-Claude, Richard and all the characters in their orbits traveled far to reach this point in their relationships. Their shared history raises the emotional and physical stakes at every level. Physical joy becomes painful in its emotional intensity. Strategic decisions for the common good read as intimate betrayals. And no matter who wins, everyone will lose something. Or someone.
One of the best books in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series to date, Narcissus in Chains seamlessly integrates plot, passion and pathos. For once I didn't unravel the McGuffin by page 57. Frankly, I didn't care how the plot would resolve itself. I was too busy turning pages, frantic to find out what would happen next.
Jean Marie Ward
Click here to read the Teri Smith's view of A Kiss of Shadows.
Click here to read the Crescent Blues interview with Laurell K. Hamilton
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I have read all of the Anita Blake series and Narcissus is Chains is by far the best. I couldn't put it down because too much was happening. I have read the entire series at least 4 times and I can't wait for her to write another book in the series.
Carol M. Snody
Wow! What to say? As usual her work was a fascinating read.... I really enjoyed seeing familiar characters again. As much as I loved Obsidian Butterfly, I missed the old gang. Great to meet the new faces as well. Answered some anticipatory questions I had about Damian and Gretchen, but expected more resolution in the Jean-Claude/Richard situation. The new man in her life was a total and very pleasant surprise. And we picked up more stray monsters in this book. Complex and a demanding read! Anita really crossed some lines in this book, some I saw coming, and others snuck up on me. I didn't figure out the story ahead of time, and had to control myself not to read the last pages ahead of schedule. Kept my interest until the very end. Seriously though after all this time I should know better than to expect a simple plot outta Laurell or Anita! Definitely left me wanting more and SOON!!
I have read all of Laurell K. Hamilton's, Anita Blake Series, including Narcissus and Chains. I have also read Kiss of Shadows. I really do enjoy these books. I know that a lot of people possibly don't like the amount of sex involved, but who cares. Yes, this might be a fantasy world, but it's the excitement of adventure in Anita's life that a lot of bored people would like to have.
Hamilton is a fabulous writer, and I hope she continues her writing for many years to come.
I was surprised when I read Jean Marie Ward's review of Narcissus in Chains, as her review contains a major "spoiler." I am currently reading Narcissus in Chains. In fact, I have fewer than 100 pages until the end of the book, and I have not yet discovered Chimera and his evil plot as described in the review (applicable paragraph below). Putting the information from the review together with the first 3/4 of the book, pieces fall into place. I would suggest that future reviews on this site refrain from including such important spoilers without warnings.
"Anita's humanity compels her to defend the city's weakest weres against Chimera, a "pan-were" who can transform into a variety of large and deadly animals. Chimera seeks to build an empire of shapeshifters and loses no time in bringing Narcissus, the sadistic leader of St. Louis's were-hyenas, to heel. Chimera and Narcissus think Anita's "leaderless" pard of were-leopards will make a nice dessert after a main course of swans, bears, lions…and Richard's werewolves."
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Crescent Blues responds: I understand and share your concern about spoilers. However, Chimera makes his first appearance within the first hundred pages of the book. His "unnatural" nature (with respect to the were community) and his intent are mentioned at that time. The questions that drive the remainder of the book are: who is Chimera and how can Anita stop him when she's tangled up in everything else that's happening?
Jean Marie Ward
I am 54 years old and I just love the Vampire Hunter series books about Anita Blake. Narcissus in Chains was great, the only problem I have with Ms. Hamilton is that she writes too slow, I am ready for her next book.