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

I don't even know where to begin with this one. It's really that bad. A book about nothing that sucks you into the abyss of Anita Blake (pun intended). An almost sublime urban fantasy version of daytime tv with Anita Blake, who fills in for Laurell Hamilton, filling in for Erica Kane. I don't even know why it's called "Bullet"- maybe for the assassins?

Imagine a Seinfeld episode done in pathos- that's what this is. I literally finished off a bottle of tequila trying to slough through this thing- good booze gone to waste. Bullet is a bunch of random sub-plots wrapped around a half-baked premise of giving Anita even more superpowers... and it still never goes anywhere. It's a 350 page set-up for the next epic tale where she no doubt cures cancer all over the world by using the ardeur on everyone. If anyone thinks I'm being snide, check out Hamilton's own blog about the book: she starts out asking the question of what readers can expect from "Bullet", and avoids answering her own question. When even the author knows there's nothing to say, that's called a `hint-and-a-half.' Maybe it's called "Bullet" because she's under soooo much pressure- you know, staring down the barrel of a gun. Naw, that's not it...

She couldn't even so much as repeat the teaser blurb, because that would be misleading. In fact, the blurb got rewritten to remove all references to assassins being sent to St. Louis to kill Anita & Co. because, well... Somewhere in here there's supposed to be a threat upon the group from Mother of all Darkness so she can return to the world and Anita is being 'forced' to becoming the new Master of Tigers to stop her. *sigh* Maybe it's called "Bullet" because MoaD has Anita in her sights? Nah- that one gets buried under so much other garbage you keep forgetting about it...


Speaking of trash- here's what you can expect to find littered between the covers: *Potential Spoilers Alert*

Assassins- 10 pgs
Belle Morte/Mother of all Darkness Attack- 16 pgs
New Were-victims for the Ardeur- 60 pgs
Rotting Vampire Attack (in another city)- 28 pgs
Asher/JC/Richard Angst- 79 pgs
Anita Angst- pretty much every page
Sex on a String- every other page
Great Big Death Scene- 4 pgs

Swoon!- at the idea of JC and Asher getting together! They actually do, but if you sneezed you'd miss it.

Thrill!- to the astounding lack of plot as the two main storylines combine for less than 10% of the book! If this is supposed to be about MoaD returning and sending killers after Anita, where the heck are they?

Facepalm/Headdesk!- to the ripoff of The Last Airbender cartoon series! Yeah, Hamilton has sunk that low! In order to beat Belle Morte, Anita must shag the young tigers into their full power: Black Tigers are Waterbenders, Blue Tigers are Airbenders, Red Tigers are Firebenders, White Tigers are... some kinda metallic, but still Firebenders since they do lightning, and Gold Tigers are Earthbenders- just like the anime! And guess who gets to absorb all of that power in the afterglow...?

Gasp!- at how quickly the shocking, overhyped, tear-jerker of a fatality unfolds! And it occurs smack in the middle of the book, leaving an already flat story to go careening downhill. Actually there are two deaths here, but neither of them are of any real significance. Put it this way: the first one you'd be hard pressed to remember who they are even after being told, and the second one hadn't even been seen for several books, and quite a few chapters are spent trying to build them up into some kind of overwhelming threat needing to be dealt with. Here's a clue: he's a formerly married were- as of this book- who's desperately in love with Anita and doesn't like sharing. The whole drama is soooo traumatizing yet new boytoys- and girls- arrive within hours to fill in the gap (rim shot!). Maybe it's called "Bullet" because both these guys died from gunfire...

I can't even think of any real spoilers to talk about- nothing happens! People come and go, group sex ensues, Asher whines about JC, Richard gets grumpy, Anita gets more weres to sex up for fun and profit, more superpowers are just around the corner... bet you never saw any of that coming! And as if it couldn't get any worse, all the other plot lines are left dangling until the last chapter, where you get a four-page exposition summing everything up. Assassins, Rotting Vampire, New Weres- all wrapped in a bow and shoved aside to make room for the impending new powers...

Wait- I know why it's called "Bullet". Reading it will make you want to eat one.