Cerulean Sins
by Laurell K Hamilton, fantasy (2003)
Berkley, $22.95, ISBN 0-425-18836-1


While I have successfully resisted even looking at the second Merry "And Shagging Every Creature Alive" Gentry book, I have been staring at this book at the bookstore for some time now and like the trainwreck lover in me that can't resist watching Buffy even when that show is down the drain, I really itch to read this book. How lucky for me that the library has a copy and I get to borrow it instead of wasting $22.95 on it.

The book starts out promisingly. Anita Shagalot is in a graveyard. Oh, has Ms Hamilton finally remembered that Anita Shagalot has a career? How nice. There's someone out there killing werewolves. Wait, is that the same guy that killed werewolves in Blue Moon? At the rate this book is going, I say we give the werecreature-vampire killer a medal. A meanie vampire (female, naturally) is in town. Hmmm, maybe this vampire hasn't read Burned Offerings and Circus Of The Damned. And there are more subplots. All are interesting, but the execution is the pits. But does it matter? Because everything in this book, once again, is an excuse for Anita Shagalot to, well, shag a lot.

Nasty vampire wants to hurt Asher. Ooh, what can Anita Shagalot do? Have sex with Asher, of course! Jean Claude is in trouble, so Anita Shagalot must have sex with him to save the day! Jason the wereslut is in trouble - here comes Anita Shagalot's mighty femi-talia to save the day! Are you in trouble, ghoulies and monsters? Stand at attention and wait for the Mighty Shagalot's femi-talia to save the day! (If you're a woman? Well, tough. Please have the grace to die silently - we want to listen to the Shagalot orgy taking place next door.)

The author may as well put a signpost over Anita Shagalot's femi-talia: "Save The World, Insert Your Penis Here".

Micah is still looking like a reject from a third-rate drag queen cabaret that has been booed out of town. Jean-Claude Ma Petit Can't Shut Up is still an effeminate wimpy whose vocabulary seems to main consist of ma petite - shut up, fool. I like Jason, but he is really pathetic in here. All the males are pathetic, come to think of it - they are all losers who just stand in line and wait for the Mighty Shagalot to straddle them and go honky. Anita Shagalot is no longer the heroine I know - she's now some lifeless emotionless sex machine. She's also self-absorbed and unlikeable, and some of her actions here make me wince. Her transformation from self-effacing hardass to some psychotic bitch seems to come out of the blue. For all the power she's purported to have, the sole value of her seems to lie in her willingness to have sex. There's something very demeaning about this, come to think of it.

Some old friends reappear, some suffer from character assassination (Dolph) while others (Ronnie) just serve to remind me of how good this series used to be. It is as if Ms Hamilton really hates her books now and is churning them out out of contractual obligations and she is determined to make her fans suffer along with her.

As in the trend of this author's previous books, the plot disappears after a few starting chapters only to resurface towards the end for a neat, unconvincing closure. The thick middle is padded with nonsensical, tedious psychobabbles that will only please indiscriminate fanboy and fangirl shippers who only start reading this series because "Jean-Claude is so hot! Richard is so hot!" - only these people, I'm sure, can enjoy the tedious 'Shipper babbles and 'Shipper-bait sex scenes while those who read Anita Blake books for the plot and a mighty but vulnerable heroine who kick ass with interesting secondary characters will wonder what the heck has happened to this author. Cerulean Sins isn't even good monster porn - it's just a tedious, repetitious, plotless book, as sexy as frozen tuna and just as hot to read.

A giant wereshark from Planet X has indeed eaten up the author, methinks. The only way she can redeem this franchise to kill Anita, Richard, Micah, Asher, and let Edward and Jason set up a PI/mercenary detective agency where Jason stumbles until Edward steps in and saves the day by blasting away everything in sight with his powerful guns. Come to think of it, let's have Edward killing all these losers. How about it, Ms Hamilton? Let's hear it from Edward - kill these suckers, kill 'em all!

Rating: 34


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