Bloody Bones Unabridged CDs  - Laurell K. Hamilton "Why do I put up with you? You insult me at every turn."

Well, LKH broke the formula with this book. Anita actually TAKES a client and leaves St. Louis to head to Branson, Missouri, where she is being paid to raise an entire graveyard to see who owns the property (because, of course, Anita is the only one in this entire world who can do anything). While she is there, she learns that something is killing young boys AND a vampire is on the loose.

This book, more than any of the earlier books, set my teeth on edge. Anita has to be one of the most rude, most obnoxious protagonists I've ever read. As I continue to read through this series, instead of growing fonder or closer to Anita, I find myself gathering an arsenal of weapons to take her out.

What does Anita do that strikes the wrong chord with me? How about this for starters:

"I admit, I took comfort in the fact that I was better dressed than most of the girls. Petty as hell, but I had been chunky in junior high."

You are in your mid-twenties. You have a great career, two of the hottest guys fawning all over you, you are highly skilled in your field, and YOU ARE GLOATING OVER BEING BETTER DRESSED THAN GIRLS HALF YOUR AGE?!?!!! (Girls, may I add, whose bodies are changing, whose parents are picking out their clothes, who aren't able to slip into Victoria's Secret with their uber fashionable friend, Ronnie.) F@#$ you!

"But, Crystal, that is no reason to dislike Anita."

How about stupidity?

"It hadn't been my idea to date the Master of the City. Jean-Claude had given me two choices. Either he could kill Richard, or I could date both of them. It had seemed like a good idea at the time."

When had dating Jean-Claude EVER seemed like a good idea? Jean-Claude was the guy she spent several books trying to AVOID. And here's the woman who'd rather shoot first, ask questions later, who'd rather do her own thing than listen to and obey ANYONE including her boss--and her choice, when faced with the death of her boyfriend, is to date the guy she supposedly hates, instead of, oh, I don't know, SHOOTING THE PANSY VAMPIRE AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE!?!!?!?! (I know she supposedly "loves"/"lusts" him and she's probably dating him because she's an idiot female using Jean-Claude's stupid offer as an excuse to makeout with him, but I believe that as much as I believe that Peeps are magical fairies descended from Yoda of Vulcan).

Or how about false modesty?

"I'm not the kind of woman to elicit jealousy on sight. Not tall enough, not blonde enough, not Nordic enough, not exotic enough. I'm pretty, but I'm not beautiful."

Yeah, you are so normal. It's not like you are dating two hot guys--one a Master Vampire, the other an Alpha werewolf. And it's not like that bartender guy you just met asked you to his bed. And of course, random men at a construction site wouldn't catcall you or anything...

"The construction workers were appreciative. Whistles, catcalls, and one offer to check under my skirt."

Oh...RIIIIIIGHT.

(By the way...is this 1960? What construction workers are going to be THAT openly sexist? I've worked in a male-dominated field and NO MAN has EVER done anything like that to me, because they know they'll get a nice, fat harassment settlement.)

What about being judgmental? Does that count?

"She always this judgmental?"
Larry nodded. "Usually."

Or what about knowing she gets away with crap when everyone else can't?

"I could get away with being a pain in the ass, and most people wouldn't take a swing at me."

Or what about demanding very rudely to be called "Ms." instead of "Miss", but when someone asks her to refer to him as "Mr. Sterling", Anita refuses and calls him by his first name? I think I agree with Jean-Claude, who provides this review's title: "Why do I put up with you? You insult me at every turn."

But enough about Anita. We're used to that by now. What else upsets me about this book?

How about the fact that LKH feels that a novel is just non-stop action scenes piling one on top of each other until they explode into one big shootout at the end that SOMEHOW solves all the previous mysteries?

How about ignoring that a child is missing (and thought to have been captured by a pedophile vampire) in order to have some vampire posturing?

How about the fact that nearly every male in these books is a stripper/hottie straight out of a magazine and if this were a men's novel, people would be criticizing the male gaze?

How about how we can't have a person enter the scene without a blow-by-blow of what horrible fashion they are showcasing?

"[Jason] was wearing black leather pants tight enough that I knew he wasn't wearing the underwear anymore."

How about how, in books that are supposed to be celebrating a woman's sexual freedom, Anita is embarrassed to look at Jean-Claude's naked body--not for being caught, but just for looking and admiring?

"I was spared another glimpse of [Jean-Claude's] naked body. Now that the hormones were receding, I was embarrassed."

If this doesn't clarify what I didn't like about "Bloody Bones", I have no idea what will.

"But, Crystal, why are you rating this 2 stars? It sounds like you really hated this book."

Yes, the dislike/hate for this book runs strong. However, there were things I liked. I liked Larry and how he is learning and coming into his own. He feels like the Anti-Anita: he says some rude things occasionally, but he also has boundaries and knows when to say things and when not to. I actually really liked Jason; he seems pretty no-nonsense, confident in his position and straight-shooting (for the most part). I also thought the initial mystery was pretty interesting (too bad it got buried in vampire posturing and overlong shootouts). I liked being away from St. Louis, being away from Anita's relationship drama (though, Jean-Claude does appear and bring it with him).

When I started reading "Bloody Bones", I thought this would be my favorite of the 5 books I've read. But if I had to list only one reason why I didn't like it so much, it would be Anita. I just do not like her as a character; I don't care whether she survives; I don't care about her dating life; I don't care if she ends up as a rug at the end of the book. If I weren't trying to follow the series to the turning point in "Narcissus in Chains", I would probably abandon the series right here.

If you are already a fan, I doubt you will be as annoyed by this book as I was, particularly if one of the reasons you are reading these is because you like Anita. Newcomers can probably just jump in at this book and not have too much problems catching up. If you weren't very sold on this series with the earlier books, however, I don't think this one will suddenly change your mind about Anita and the series.