"'I don't mean to be callous, but whatever you're feeling, get over it.'

Bullet (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #19) - Laurell K. Hamilton

Bullet Review:

(Get it?! BULLET Review? Of BULLET? Don't we have some BULLET inception going on here??)

Proof positive that LKH:

A) No longer gives a sh!t for her fans.

B) Is writing out her personal sexual fantasy.

C) Has absolutely no editor/editor needs to be tortured.

This is the biggest piece of sh!t since "Incubus Dreams" and "Danse Macabre". Pointless, plotless, meandering, with more scenes talking about everyone's feelings and sexual pairings (not necessarily sex, mind you!) than anything to do with a "plot". Not sure at this point LKH even knows what a "plot" is - I'm pretty sure she thinks endless conversations with Anita asking "What does that mean?" and "Am I missing something?" constitute a plot.

Biggest entertainment value is from how ludicrous the writing is and how positively awful the book gets. A shame, because at one point a plot threatens to take over the book. Fortunately, LKH "saves" the book from having any merit by giving the most powerful necromancer in a hundred years the pitiful excuse that traveling is "too dangerous" and therefore she must stay locked up in the Circus of the Impotent - I mean, Damned.

If this can get published, ANYTHING can get published.

Full review:

"Funny how it's never your fault when you have to have sex with all these men, Anita." - Monica
"'I don't mean to be callous, but whatever you're feeling, get over it.' - Nicky

Cover Blurb:

The triumvirate created by master vampire Jean-Claude, necromancer Anita Blake, and werewolf Richard Zeeman has made Jean-Claude one of the most powerful vampires in the U.S. -with the result that assassins are coming to St. Louis to kill them all.

Whoever wrote this cover blurb needs a raise. 

No, wait. Whoever wrote this cover blurb needs to take over the writing of these Anita Blake books.

Because honestly that cover blurb has more plot in one sentence than the ENTIRETY of "Bullet".

I take that back; there IS plot in this book. It is this:

and this:

and THIS:

Just pretend that all these women have curly black hair and GINORMOUS boobs.

And when it is not any of those, it is HOURS UPON HOURS OF this:

Only with 30 other men all in various states of undress. And a b!tchy, curly-haired woman who refers to her own breasts as "creamy goodness".

"There was way too much yummy mounded goodness going on in front of me for me to be entirely comfortable meeting a roomful of strangers..."

Don't believe me? I made a break-down of how much time was spent on these things for about the first half of the book and here's what I came up with:

+ approx 1 hour spent at a dance recital for a kid who is not related to the Main Characters. Dance recital was for KIDS and focused more on Nathaniel and Jason.

+ approx 1 hour spent with Asher arguing about his power and wanting to have sex.

+ approx 45 min spent with Richard whinging about the dramaz he's endured since book 2. This is ALL RECAP for those of us who have read since the beginning.

+ approx 45 min spent on an unsexy orgy with Anita (no surprise), Richard, Jean-Claude, and Asher. It has B-D-S-M, meaning the B-D-S-M that non-practitioners or baby practitioners think is super cool.

+ approx 30 min spent with a pile of men including Richard, JC, Asher, Jason, Nathaniel, Micah, Crispin (who is this again?) and Nicky (the "bride" of Anita", because she poisoned him, isn't that CUTE?) on Anita. Belle Morte does that "appearing to everyone" bit and Marmee Noir makes a "I'm gonna keeeel you, MUAHAHAHAHAHA!" appearance.

+ approx 45 min Anita recounting the events to Max, Viviana, and Augustine and asking "What does that mean?" over and over again. While she reclines on a bed, with a bunch of naked men covered in lion goop.

+ approx 30 min of Anita facing off Haven (may I add, this is just in the living room of the Circus of the Damned, mere yards from the earlier orgy)

+ approx 30 min of Anita talking about the post-black-out orgy that Marmee Noir did for EVULZ reasons (while they are all nude and covered in goop)

+ approx 30 min of Anita arguing with Haven (wherein he whines about her not "loving him" and wanting him as her Rex)

So, uh...where's the EVUL assassins the cover blurb promised? How are Anita and Richard and Jean-Claude getting so uber powerful?

Oh right...I'm just a prudey prude who doesn't like sex. It's not like I'm a reader who maybe kinda was expecting, oh, I don't know, a STORY, a PLOT in this book. Nope, prudey prude. Gotcha.

I started reading these books about two years ago because everyone talked about how awesome they were, how gritty, how they were like the best Urban Fantasy out there (with the caveat "up until Obsidian Butterfly"). I was never a fan of Anita because I thought she was a horrible woman who acted like a child and never grew up - but damn if that Anita wasn't a Saint compared to this one.

At least she didn't ask "What does that mean?" or "Am I missing something?" EVER OTHER PARAGRAPH.

Seriously, woman, you've been in this field for 4+ years, and you've been doing the horizontal tango with paranormals since like book 4. YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS ALREADY.

But no, Anita Blake hasn't grown one twit since Book 1. She's still the same angry, violent, clueless woman. She still has hangups about having sex, which is weird given she's been having sex for more books than she was not. And, in her defense, I don't care for how often she HAS to have sex or HAS to add a new partner. But beyond that - shouldn't she be used to this thing by now?

I guess I could talk about the other 50 billion men that are in this book. Oh and three women. Because Anita's world is almost 100% male. I'm not even joking; I canNOT even attempt to write all the male names that I came across. Beyond Micah, Nathaniel, JC, Richard, Asher, Damien, Jason, and Haven, there were loads and loads and loads more. Guards, potential sex partners, Masters of the City. Sure, a couple of token women like Claudia and Cardinal and Viviana were thrown in. But when you can count the women on two hands and the men outnumber them 30:1, you have a problem.

And these men! Good God, LKH can spend 80 paragraphs on their clothes:

"Jean-Claude's black leather pants looked poured on, and his boots rose up over his thighs like a second skin. I didn't have to see the back of his boots to see they laced all the way up his leg."

In short, he looks like a fisherman going out to wade.

and the special shade of green their eyes are:

"I gazed up into those midnight blue eyes so dark that a few shades darker and the blue would have been lost to a black. But they were forever the blue of the sky just as the light begins to leave but darkness is still a few breaths away."

Sorry, blue.

But I still couldn't tell them apart in a lineup. Other than their One Defining CharacteristicTM:

Jean-Claude: Calls Anita "Ma Petit"
Richard: Manly man
Micah: Kitty-cat eyes
Nathaniel: Ankle-length hair
Asher: Most beautiful angsty bisexual EVAH
Jason: Anita's sometime lover
Damien: GREEN eyes, greener than anything that was ever green

And that's all there is to these characters now. In the course of this book, two characters die (leading Anita to spend hours upon hours wangsting over their deaths), but I honestly barely remembered one and didn't give two sh!ts that the other one died. I was actually grateful as he was one of her boytoys - until she went and acquired a new one. Named Mephistopheles.

Dear Ms. Hamilton: STOP USING STUPID NAMES FOR YOUR CHARACTERS. You are in your 40's, not some emo, angsty teenager writing out her wet dreams.

Or maybe...

I really could go on and on about all the individual stupid things in this book. The latent misogyny and sexism (once again, ALL WOMEN buy the latest fashions and dresses because!). The inability to understand what makes a person gay or bisexual (and no, it's not because they were abused by the opposite sex and are "taking a break"). How everyone has sex for every reason EXCEPT for how they want to get lucky. How the word spill has been violently abused to describe everything EXCEPT LIQUIDS.

""All my scrambling in the pillows during the orgasm had spilled me to one side of the mounded pillows, so that they hid the other two men."

But now I want to rag on the writing. Because people...THIS GOT PUBLISHED. UNDER A BIG NAME. AND PEOPLE BOUGHT IT HARDCOVER PRICE.

Top 5 LKH Quotes That Make You Question Life, the Universe, Everything

1. "I felt myself smile, and it wasn't a nice smile." It was a not nice smile. A smile that would smile it's way into your heart, smile and then smile as it smiled at you.

2. "It tasted good enough that I knew I was a lot hungrier than I knew." I also knew that this book would be worse than I knew.

3. "If I craved it and gave into it, I would be the monster. I didn't want to be the monster...was that monstrous? ...the only difference between being the monster and being powerful was choosing not to be the monster. Not today. But there would always be tomorrow and another chance to choose." Ah, Anita Blake, Philosopher. Actually, given how this series has devolved from Vampire Hunter to Vampire Humper, that would be an improvement.

4. "We'd discovered that if you left the drink in the screwtop cups that helped stirred them up, you never really got the cups clean. The remains of the protein powder solidified in the cracks and crevices, and you just had to throw out the cup." Because it's more important that a VAMPIRE HUNTER novel talk about how to clean the crap out of a protein shake cup than about killing Vampires.

5. "Tell me you don't want him, and this stops here. But if you want him the way I felt you want him, then don't lie to yourself or to him. Want him or don't want him, but if you want him, let yourself want him." 

What "progress" "Skin Trade", "The Harlequin" and even "Flirt" made to "bring Anita back" is completely gone here. And the sad thing is, it didn't have to be this way. At one point, Anita gets a call to consult, and the story thread is just as good as anything in the earlier books. The only problem is that Anita chickens out of going to Atlanta to DO SOMETHING, saying it's "too dangerous" for the most powerful necromancer and 80 of her guards to leave and, I dunno, hunt some vampires.

These books are the bottom of the barrel, the only entertainment value being in noting how many times the word "spill" is used and, my favorite, Anita Blake Bingo. And yes, I did win, even if it took me to the very end of the book.