by Laurell K Hamilton, fantasy (2006)
Jove, $7.99, ISBN 0-515-14087-2
Sometimes, it does seem like very successful authors are comparable in some ways to successful movie stars in the sense that very few people dare to tell these authors that they are embarrassing themselves in public. Like a successful movie star, someone like Laurell K Hamilton (or Stephen King or Tom Clancy - any megasuccessful author, really) has a huge number of fans who will love everything the author puts out, channeling their own neuroses or fantasies onto the characters written by the author and therefore making the author the central cult-leader authority father or mother figure in their way of thinking. I don't know if Laurell K Hamilton wants to be the new L Ron Hubbard - probably not, I suppose - but I have this disturbing feeling that she has completely lost the plot altogether and maybe the one foot she has on the ground is dangerously close to joining the other foot in dangling happily up in the air in self-indulgence.
The dedication of Micah is a bastardized Latin sentence that pretty much says that people who are putting her down can go kiss her butt because she doesn't care. That's fair enough if she at the same time insists at first that she doesn't write gratuitous sex scenes and all her sex scenes have a function that doesn't solely involve cheap thrills, and when she's backed against the wall, she's now saying that she's writing more sex scenes (apparently non-gratuitous ones, of course) just to show those "vocal minority" that are constantly telling her that she is writing boring porn. Then there's the well-known admission from her part that Richard is based on her ex-husband and Micah is based on her new husband who is a fan of her books when she met and married him. When an author so happily airs her dirty laundry like that in public, it is hard not to remember the stains of those linens when I am reading Micah and wonder just how much of the hilariously ridiculous nonsense going on in there that are probably based on real aspects in the author's "I have found marital bliss again!" life.
Is it fair to speculate about the author's real life? Most likely not. But what else am I supposed to think? Micah isn't a story as much as it is a painful vomit of words splashed all over the pages of the story, with Anita playing an insanely insecure and irrational woman. Her boyfriend is too perfect! Something must be wrong! AAAAAH! Her boyfriend books her the best room ever in the best ever hotel! HOW DARE HE! AAAAAAH! And then, once Anita has worked herself up into a flurry of batcrap crazy neurotic hysteria, she suddenly remembers that she has to have sex every five or six pages and then she's hot for Micah again. Reading about an insecure, jealous, and miserable woman psychotically bent on being as unhappy as possible for the weirdest reasons is very, very boring. Anita Blake's inner psyche in this book is one long monotonous whine of a woman who is seriously in need of a reality wake-up/shut-up bitch bitchslap of all bitchslaps. It gets to a point where this book isn't about Micah as much as it is about Anita Blake venting and whining non-stop about how Micah is being nice to her. Since Richard, based on Ms Hamilton's now-ex husband, is happily character-assassinated when Ms Hamilton is no longer happy with that man in real life, I can't help but to wonder whether we should all try to keep the current happy husband from reading this book because Anita seems to actually hate Micah at times just because he treats her nicely.
As for Micah, another reason why I wonder about the current happy husband is because Ms Hamilton plagiarizes herself, lifting a huge chunk of a conversation between Anita and Richard in a previous book and merely changing the name of Richard to Micah. Oh, and Micah has a sad past because, you see, he has a huge penis and all those wimpy ladies in the past run away because they cannot handle such a humongous whopper. I tell you, I am so touched by poor Micah's traumatic past that I start composing a letter to the UN advocating mandatory lobotomy to men with huge members over a certain length (maybe seven inches?) so that they will all never feel sad again. Do bear in mind that Anita and Micah are supposed to be pogo-dancing for a year now. Do bear in mind that she has had so many lovers that she has probably heard enough "as wide as a highway" jokes thrown her way. Then all of a sudden in this book Micah is too big for her and she ends up... bleeding. Eeeuw. Do I need to read all of this? And why is Ms Hamilton focusing so much on Micah's giant penis in his backstory? It's really sad that the entire personality of Micah, Anita's best boyfriend that is based on the author's greatest love of her life, revolves around his monster penis.
You are probably wondering what the plot of this story is. Well, here's the plot. In the first chapter, I learn that Anita's boss has to be by his wife's side since that woman has problems in delivering her brat to this sad and terrible world. Anita therefore has to take his place at a zombie-raising gig. If you want to see how this is resolved, skip right to the last chapter to learn that Anita has magically discovered a new super-duper magic in her that will magically make things right again. In the meantime, she spends the climax of the story unconscious, only to wake up to discover that she can once more save the day through no actual effort of her own. She's special, after all, and she gets all these magical gifts at the most convenient time, snort. In this very short story, padded in the middle are repetitive and un-erotic graphic description of all kinds of sex, some quite gross in my opinion, and plenty of ridiculous and often irrational mental rantings and whinings from Anita. On the bright side, at least Anita is getting it on with only Micah instead of inviting all the hentai monsters, their alien horny tentacles, and a few trolls to her hotel room like she would have if the author isn't rushing to put this book out before Christmas so that she will get plenty of money to buy her own Micah plenty of beautiful combs and gold paint for Christmas.
You have no idea how relieved I am to have borrowed this book from the library. If I've spent money on this book, I'd be screaming bloody murder, especially when this book is so padded to the point that the fonts are huge, words are double-spaced apart, and blank pages preface every new chapter. Since I've spent zero dollars on this book, I can only turn the pages in awe and amazement at how far the author has fallen. Since her books seem to be blatant reflections of her current preoccupation with sex and her happy inserting of the males she fantasize about as sex partners for Anita Blake, I find myself wishing that the author has kept up some boundaries between herself and her reader. I don't want to know where Anita likes to take it up and I certainly don't want to look at the author's photo and wonder whether that aspect of the story is autobiographical. And I certainly don't want to look at her real-life Micah in those wedding photos at her official website and then giggle and eeeeeuw when I remember what the fictitious Micah did to Anita Blake here and there.
Because Micah is so skimpy and pointless in terms of plot, canon advancement, and characterization, its only value is a giggle-out-loud look into the psyche of an author who seems to delight in using her writings as an outlet to channel her sexual fantasies and frustrations as well as her insecurities and ambitions of conquest of all desirable males in the northern hemisphere and then some. I know it is really rude and even cruel to come upfront and say all this but how can I pretend that Micah is anything else but that? It's a showcase of the author's latest basket of dirty laundry and she's charging $7.99 for a peek. I suppose, therefore, that this book is worth a look when Jerry Springer is on a hiatus even if you're not one of those creepy die-hard fans who spend hours analyzing her books and arguing with fellow die-hard fans about who makes the best boyfriend for Anita Blake. Ms Hamilton promises more of such short books in the future featuring the other men/monsters/trolls/Ewoks in Anita's stable so the "Ally McBeal does monster hentai" fun promises to last a little more longer.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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