A year or two ago, I began reading Laurell K. Hamiltonís Anita Blake books on the recommendation of a trusted friend. To date, there are twelve books in the series. The first five books, maybe six, were wonderful. Inventive, entertaining, well-written. After that, there was more sex than plot. On the hope that the next book would return to the style of the first books, however, I kept reading. When I saw that two new Anita Blake books would be released in 2006, I was skeptical, but my interest was piqued. Danse Macabre> is officially the thirteenth book in the series. Micah is being billed as a stand-alone book featuring Anita Blake.
After finishing Micah, Iím not so sure I agree with it being a stand-alone book. It features all the same characters, takes place in chronological order, after the twelfth book, Incubus Dreams and talks freely about events that have taken place earlier in the series. A bit of background, if you please: Anita Blake is a Vampire Executioner. In the alternate reality Hamilton has created, Vampires are legal citizens in the United States. If a Vampire goes rogue, however, a warrant for execution comes down, and Anita is called in. She is also a necromancer, making her money by raising zombies (for last will readings, last goodbyes, etc.). In previous books, she has formed two triumvirates, each giving her new powers. One such power is the ardeur, the need to feed off of sex and lust. Until she gets control over it, Anita needs to keep ďsuitableĒ men handy, just in case it flares up, or sheíll have sex with the closest man.
The namesake of the so-called stand-alone book, Micah, is one of Anitaís live-in lovers, a wereleopard. Early in the book, Anitaís colleague asks her to take his place raising a zombie for the FBI. The man was on their witness list for a high-profile mob case and was killed before he could testify. The job is out of town, however, and since Anita canít be away from her pomme de sang (apple of blood) for too long, one of her many dedicated lovers - this time Micah - comes with her. When Anita realizes that this will be her first time alone with Micah, she becomes nervous, scared, and certain that sheíll do something to ruin their relationship.
Meanwhile, there are people whose job it is to keep Anita from letting the recently departed testify, and that makes her job harder than normal - and normal for Anita isnít usually very easy.
While Micah wasnít as good as the first few books in the series, it was closer to what drew me into the series in the first place. There is only one sex scene, albeit a long and titillating one; therefore the plot and characters were once again the major focus in this book. I hadnít quite realized that when the supporting characters in the other books arenít busy getting busy, they are a major part of why the books are so good. Micah and Anita alone canít carry an entire book, and Micah seems to move very slowly.
Like all the other Anita Blake books, Micah is told from Anitaís first-person point of view. Sheís a tough-talking, jaded young girl, and it comes across in every paragraph. If youíve read and enjoyed the previous books, by all means, check this one out too. The tiny glimpse into Micahís past, and how he became a lycanthrope is mildly entertaining. Donít, however, start the series here, or youíll never get any further.