source for free and affordable eBooks


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of THE HARLEQUIN by Laurell K. Hamilton (see her website)


    Berkley Books, June 2007

    Anita Blake gets a strange visit in her office. Malcolm, head of the local Church of Eternal Life, wants some help. What makes it strange is that Anita and Malcolm are old enemies, Malcolm is a vampire who has gotten a warning from Anita's master, Jean-Claude, and that Anita has execution warrants for two of Malcolm's parishioners. Malcolm tries to convince her that his vampires are being framed, but Anita isn't falling for it. What she is doing is getting ready for her date with Nathaniel, one of Anita's many boyfriends.

    During a break, Anita receives a package complete with a white Harlequin mask. She learns that there is a secret vampire organization, called The Harlequin, that monitors and punishes any violation of vampire laws. The white mask means The Harlequin is watching, but to Anita, it doesn't feel like she's just being watched. And if The Harlequin has something to do with framing Malcolm's vampires, they've crossed the line from policing into a power struggle.

    While she waits for more information about the Harlequin, and for the other shoe to drop, Anita has another run-in with long-time boyfriend Richard. Richard is head werewolf and a key part of the psychic alliance supporting Jean-Claude, but Richard has not been a happy camper for more volumes that I can care to count. He makes a (brief) try to fit into Anita's life, but his heart really isn't in it and he quickly reverts to obsessive and passive aggressive behavior. Putting up with jealous behavior at a time when the entire vampire establishment might be under siege is certainly not a good plan.

    There is a lot of potential in this story. Anita, with her host of internal animals trying to get out, her necromancy skills, and her army of boyfriends and lovers is an interesting and sympathetic character. And the threat from The Harlequin provides an external danger that keeps the story from deteriorating completely into an introspective mishmash. Author Laurell K. Hamilton (see more reviews of novels by Blake) always writes a good action scene and there are several really exciting scenes in this story--especially the fight with the were-tiger.

    Unfortunately, the story is slowed by Anita's continuing angst over Richard (Richard is a passive-agressive jerk who won't be satisfied with what Anita can give him. She'll do both of them a favor when she finally dumps him. Richard's obsession with whether his d**k is bigger than those of Anita's other lovers is really gaggy), whether she can play the dominitrix role for Nathaniel, and whether she can successfully have sex with the were-swan without killing him. These concerns seem to show up in every Anita Blake novel and it definitely seems past time to resolve some of the issues and get on with it.

    Hamilton is a story-teller with a serious handle on erotica. When she gets on a roll, as she sometimes does, the pages come alive. She's got to learn to slash and burn her dialogue, though, tightening what's said down to the essential, eliminating the repetition, and get on with the story. Long dialogue sections in the middle of the final showdown with Pantalone/Columbine really pulled me out of the action.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 8/26/07

    Ready to buy it? Click the button:

    Want to learn more?
    Click this link and see more reviews, similar books, and other Amazon information on THE HARLEQUIN from

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for THE HARLEQUIN from Barnes and

    Buy the eBook version from

    Too generous? Too stingy. Or did I miss the whole point? Send your comments to I'll publish the best letters I get so let me know if I can use your name. Banner Exchange