Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review: Jason

Jason (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter - Book 23) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Publication Date: 12/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Jove
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Pages: 304

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Jove)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Laurell K. Hamilton on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter

  1. Guilty Pleasures
  2. The Laughing Corpse
  3. Circus of the Damned
  4. The Lunatic Cafe
  5. Bloody Bones
  6. The Killing Dance
  7. Burnt Offerings
  8. Blue Moon
  9. Obsidian Butterfly
10. Narcissus in Chains
11. Cerulean Sins
12. Incubus Dreams
13. Micah
14. Danse Macabre
15. The Harlequin
16. Blood Noir
17. Skin Trade
18. Flirt
19. Bullet
20. Hit List
20.5. Beauty
21. Kiss the Dead
22. Affliction
22.5. Dancing
23. Jason

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, Jason, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


"Enjoying pain with your pleasure is something you either get, or you don't. If you get it, then you don't really need it explained, because you know how good it feels, and if you don't get it then no amount of talking is going to convince you it makes sense."

But sometimes you have to explain the unexplainable, especially if the love of your life needs to understand, or she'll leave you. Jason Schuyler is one of Anita Blake's best friends and favorite werewolves, with benefits. J.J. is his lady love, an old flame from childhood who dances at one of the top ballet companies in New York. She's accomplished, beautiful, and she's crazy about him, too. Neither of them wants to be monogamous, so what could go wrong?

J.J. is enthusiastically bisexual, with an emphasis on the female side of things. She plans to keep sleeping with women, because Jason can't meet that need, just like she can't meet Jason's need for rough sex and bondage. J.J. doesn't understand why Jason isn’t content to go elsewhere for a need she can’t fulfil, so Jason asks Anita to help him explain.

Anita is having her own relationship growing pains with her only female lover ever, Jade. Jason suggests that J.J. might be able to help Anita with her girl problem, while she helps him with his kinky explanations. With some encouragement from a few other lovers in Anita's life she reluctantly agrees, and J. J. makes plans to fly into town for an experience that none of them will ever forget


Laurell K. Hamilton brings readers a short novella from the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, Jason. This is a novella that essentially lets readers see inside the head of a succubus. It's full of everything sexual. From talks at the breakfast table to full on poly-amorous adventures. Anita is somewhat into BDSM and she's exploring the bi-sexual side of things. Jason, a friend and lover is having an issue with love of his life and he needs Anita to help him work it out, in more ways than one.

I have read several of the books in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, and I've liked them all. The first few books in the series are really enjoyable reads for anyone interested the paranormal. The premise however has changed over the course of the series and Anita has undergone a lot of character growth and has become a lot more sexual in nature, as have the books. The latest novella in the series, Jason continues to explore Anita's sexuality and preferences. Some readers are going to enjoy that. Hamilton has a huge following with this series and in part the sexual content is a big draw. But some readers are going to find it more of the same old thing.

Anita is a succubus and as such I expect the books to carry a high concentration of sexuality. You can't really write a succubus character and not have that. That's what it all about. It's central to that type of paranormal character. So, I wasn't surprised at the overall sexiness of this particular story. But there were a few things that didn't quite match up to what I generally expect from this author. 

Usually, Hamilton gives readers the strong sexual stuff, but she also gives them another avenue to explore, like a mystery of some type or even some zombie related issues for Anita to solve. Not this time. Perhaps it was the shorter format or maybe Hamilton just wanted to write a story that was completely focused on Anita's sexuality. Whatever the reason, there isn't a whole lot other than sex going on in this novella. It does help the reader see into Anita's psyche where it comes to sexuality but that's about it.

Anita is a lot of things when it comes to sex. She has tons of sexual partners, she likes it rough, she is exploring both men and women and she has some BDSM tendencies. That'a pretty hard sell in some ways, but she is a succubus so I guess that is supposed to explain it all. I just felt like I needed a little more reason to believe that one person could be all those things. 

I read erotica and though this book doesn't go that far, I don't think I've ever read a character, succubus or otherwise that is quite as active as Anita in this book and in the last several books in the series. I feel a little let down by that for some reason. I think I would have liked it better had she settled into one of those sexual activities and not all at the same time. Then Hamilton could have honed in on what Anita needed sexually and explored that in a lot greater detail. This novella just felt a little too full of too many different things, sexually speaking.

The sex scenes were, well sexual. Anita has some pretty amazing men in her life and now she's exploring women. I wanted to enjoy the sex scenes and I had a hard time with that because, Hamilton doesn't really call anything what it really is. Yep, there is a bit of terminology issue that I find kind of funny. I understand the need to use a different word for some things, to try to make it sound new and refreshing, but sometimes I want to hear those words. I want to know exactly what this character is doing, where he or she is doing it, and why it felt good to do it that way... LOL. I'm not talking dirty, nasty, descriptions, but a little less "going" and a little more "coming" if you know what I mean would have served this book well.

Bottom Line:

If you are a fan of the series and have read every book, than I expect you'll probably read this one as well. If you have possibly had some issues with the last few books in the series, this is probably a little more of the same. I wanted more plot, I wanted one aspect of Anita's sexuality to explore and I honestly wanted better sexual language. More correct terminology and less trying to say something without really saying the word. The F-word can explain a lot, but there are a lot of other words that were needed here, that reader's just didn't get. This one just wasn't my cup of tea, but it might be yours!

Jason is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 3 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Laurell K. Hamilton is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of two series that mix mystery, fantasy, magic, horror and romance. Her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels from Berkley Books began with GUILTY PLEASURES (now a hugely successful graphic novel from Marvel - the first sexy paranormal comic ever!) and continues with the SKIN TRADE, number seventeen in the series, in which Anita's complex personal and professional relationships with a master vampire and an alpha werewolf continue to evolve. There are now more than 6 million copies of Anita in print worldwide, in 16 languages. Hamilton's Ballantine series features Fey princess and private investigator, Merry Gentry and there are now six novels exceeding one million copies in print. Divine Misdemeanors, the eighth in the series will debut October 29, 2009. She lives in St. Louis County Missouri with her husband Jonathon Green, daughter, one pug dog and one boxer/pug dog.