1) The sex was better written than any of the other books
2) The character development within the sex scenes was superb, and in some cases better than the other scenes
3) The plot was woven in with the sex in such a way that this time I did not think I was reading two stories taped together
4) The plot was a good plot - very much worth reading, and seeing how Anita's federal marshal status is changing her was very interesting
5) Nathaniel's strip show - that was better than any of the sex *melt*
6) Richard, oh yes, she is repairing Richard - thank the lord, there is a god
1)The sex, if LKH would just lay off the screaming it would be even better. It is possible to have a quiet orgasm and since Anita always seems to have screaming loud ones it might be interesting to see her attempt to internalise one just for a bit of variety.
2)I like Requiem and Byron, but did she have to shag them? Just about everything else I could take, but that pushed it too far. I liked the guilt it caused, and the interesting character traits the triumvirates are swapping, but I think I would have prefered and almost rather than an actual to illustrate that. Funny how Jason I can cope with, but not Requiem and Byron.
3)Damian - brilliant at the beginning, but it was as if she could not be arsed to write him towards the end. we kept hearing about him, but she never really wrote him in again. We had reported closure, but were not shown it which I think was bad writing.
I loved the plot in this one. It showed us more of vampire society; how it works and why. It showed us how dangerous Malcolm actually is even though he's not an aggressor. It blended with everything else that was going on and left hooks for further books. I really liked it.
Now to the characters.
Firstly Anita: she seems to be coming to terms with herself. Hallelujah! Now she's really worried about being a sociopath rather than a nympho, but I think that's probably a lot to do with the ole sharing thing they have going on and the fact that Richard worries about that the most. She's taking all her responsibilities seriously rather than just the ones that seem important to her. The scene where she cried because of Arnet was one of the most telling in the entire book and it proves that however hard she tried to be she can still hurt just like a normal human being.
Richard: oh its so nice to see Richard not being a complete idiot. I've felt for him in the last few books, but in this one I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. He fed his beast and admitted that he enjoyed it; he let himself be food; and he's accepted that he needs the triumvirate as much as the other two. Our Richard might actually be growing into the person he needs to be. He can still be an arse, and he and Anita are never going to be snookums again, but he's trying.
Jean-Claude: his honesty seems to be working well. Now if he can only convince Anita that the fourth mark is a good idea they can take over the world. He is at his sexiest in this book and the scene with him, Anita and Richard was just sizzling. If we could just have more of him and Asher then I'd be in heaven.
Jason: brave boy; very, very brave boy letting himself take the brunt of Richard's anger. He is also possibly the only male character who is not sexually messed up in some way, because even Micah has his insecurities about him and Anita that you see when they finally make love without any 'metaphysical shit' going on. Jason knows what he likes and what he wants and is not afraid of it. There is someone out there for him, I just know it, and I hope LKH knows it too.
Micah: he is so a comfort zone, and yet LKH gave us a peek behind the mask in this one as well. He's hiding something and I think we may find out more about him in subsequent books. There's pain there we have yet to see that isn't all about Chimera I don't think. He needs Anita as much as she needs him.
Zerbrowski is coming into his own. He used to be Dolph's sidekick, but he's a full fledged character of his own now. In fact I'd say he's a richer character than Dolph. He is loyal to Anita even though he has seen her do things that would make a lot run, and I think he will stay loyal no matter what happens.
Damian: he's complex and I loved the peek into his psyche when he became part of the triumvirate. I'm glad he's enjoying his new powers, and I hope he managed to be one of Anita's men, but remains socially independent as well - i.e. I hope he shags other women. He is so dependent on Anita and she will need him to feed the ardeur, but I think he needs to be partially seperate or he will diminish.
Gregory: not in it that much, but we had a wonderful insight into his character. He tries to be tough, but he's really not, and he hides behind bravado.
Nathaniel, oh how I love him. Right from the start where he needed Anita to bail him out with Arnet at the wedding, and then how he forced Anita to acknowledge him as a boyfriend rather than a pet. The fact that we find out how good he had been, how much it has cost him to be what Anita wants, and how much he needs her. When we first met him he was needy and pathetic in the true sense of the word, now he is needy and capable of doing something about it. We've seen glimpses before, but in ID we finally get to see the strength in Nathaniel; probably the reason he is not a basket case.
Now to the questions I am left with:
In ID Nathaniel gains a more human lycanthrope form. Is this an indication that the more dominant/powerful the lycanthrope is the more likely they are to have a half and half form, or is it experience that allows them to do it. See the way I'm looking at it, Nathaniel's new form could be due to the power boost Anita gave him with the tiumvirate, or it could be to do with the fact that Anita could have transfered some of Richard's experience to him through the links. What are your thoughts?
In the Ronnie subplot (at least I think it was there), children were mentioned, and the fact that the woman is not a lycanthrope is important. However, surely lycanthropy would be passed on by getting pregnant. Did I miss something? Wouldn't the child have it and then pass it to the mother through the placenta? Or did I miss that detail when I skim read a couple of the earlier books?