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The Harlequin (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter) (edition 2008)

by Laurell K. Hamilton

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2,884662,004 (3.61)52
Member:CarolinaS
Title:The Harlequin (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)
Authors:Laurell K. Hamilton
Info:Jove (2008), Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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The Harlequin by Laurell K. Hamilton

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The first 10 Anita books were some of the best written ever. After that the series took a serious nose dive and the characters became cardboard, the writing cliche, the action left, sex - not even hot - became the emphasis, and all the coolness melted off. The Harlequin is actually the better of the later bunch, as it does have a sampling of a story. Too much sex still, but there was an inkling of a story and a small attempt to go back to the old Anita roots. Still a lack of detectives, necromancy, the original Anita, and again the characters blend together without their original, distinctive personalities. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
This time it isn't the Council itself coming to visit, but rather the long arm of vampire law: the Harlequin. These are the silent assassins of vampiredom -- the Justicars, for those who know White Wolf, who enforce the Council's law, observing and eliminating vampires who break the rules. this book is closer in tone to the older books than any book has been in a while, since "Obsidian Butterfly" at least; there are still some pretty graphic sexual scenes, but they don't dominate the book the way they have for the past few books. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Who is Jake? I don't remember him appearing anywhere in the story until suddenly at the end they know his name. I get that he's all big and bad Harlequin member but I don't remember him being mentioned anywhere before in the story. Is he a bodyguard? He certainly isn't a friend, is he? Anyway, the boogeymen of the vampire world set their sights on St. Louis and the vampires therein. Anita and Richard finally come to terms that they just won't work as a couple, or anything at all. Jean Claude and Anita gains power again when they fight. Rafael becomes food. Haven joins the St. Louis fold. Nathaniel continues to gain confidence, Micah is still favorable to whatever Anita has in mind. Asher has also gained in power, gaining an animal to call. So much happens in this book it is hard to say where this story will go, but I will say this, the Mother of all Darkness will remain the key to everything. ( )
  mariahsidhe | May 12, 2016 |
Non Stop thrills ( )
  TheYodamom | Jan 29, 2016 |
There's actually a plot in this one! ( )
  Belles007 | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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To Jonathon, who never freaks about my choice of research. He took away my serial killer books, at my request. When I was ready he gave them back. He's helping me understand that just because someone else thinks you're a monster doesn't mean that you are. Even if that person says they love you. Here's to finding love that builds you up, instead of breaking you down.
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Malcolm, the head of the Church of Eternal Life, the vampire church, sat across from me.
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wikipedia.com- The events of The Harlequin take place one week after the events of Danse Macabre

The Harlequin shows Anita and Jean Claude coping with a threat from Vampire Council enforcers. Desperate, Anita calls Edward for assistance. Edward arrives the same day, bringing Olaf and Peter (now 16), who we last saw in Obsidian Butterfly.

The Harlequin exists to police and punish vampire leaders who violate various rules, such as Malcolm's resistance to the blood oath. It was formed by the Mother of All Darkness, modeled in style on the Commedia dell'arte and by action on the wild hunt. It is composed of very old and powerful vampires who are capable of not just manipulating the behaviors and emotions of humans or younger vampires and lycanthropes, but of Jean-Claude, Anita, and Richard. Under this influence, Richard and Jean-Claude nearly kill each other, and Anita must also be repeatedly resuscitated. Anita keeps them alive by feeding on first Rafael (and through him, all the wererats in the city); Belle Morte; and later, all the swanmanes in the United States via the swan king, Donovan Reece. Anita's second triumvirate also comes through, with Nathaniel and Damien "eating for five" so as to provide healing energy to Anita — and the others through her.

However, the Harlequin appears not to be following its own rules, so by vampire law Jean Claude's people can strike back. Edward doesn't actually kill a Harlequin, Anita does through a psychic link that she accidentally creates while trying to remove a sort of vampire spell that one of the Harlequin has put on her in order to keep track of her and Jean Claude's etc. movements. They subsequently end up killing the human servant of that vampire after Anita has fed on Donovan the king of the swan manes. They recover in time to face off with the remaining members in Malcolm's Church of Eternal Life. They not only succeed, but determine that the Harlequin members were planning to take over Jean-Claude's territory and not operating on official Council orders.

Anita almost allows the Mother of Darkness to become a full flesh being by allowing her anger to fester.

Anita also leaves her former allies, the werelions, to potential death. At a point where Anita and many of her other allies are injured, sex is demanded from the werelion Rex Joseph so that Anita could gain the power to heal. The rex refuses because he is married and values being faithful to his wife. In a scene reminiscent of The Godfather series, Anita decides that this is a betrayal of their alliance and decides to abandon Joseph.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425217248, Hardcover)

Readers haven't seen anything yet-new in the "fabulously imagined series" (Publishers Weekly) from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

Anita Blake is about to face the challenge of her life. Into her world-a world already overflowing with power-have come creatures so feared that powerful, centuries-old vampires refuse to mention their names. It is forbidden to speak of The Harlequin unless you've been contacted. And to be contacted by The Harlequin is to be under sentence of death.

Long-time rivals for Anita's affections, Jean-Claude, Master Vampire of the City, and Richard, alpha-werewolf, will need to become allies. Shapeshifters Nathaniel and Micah will have to step up their support. And then there's Edward. In this situation, Anita knows that she needs to call the one man who has always been there for her...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:00 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When vampire hunter Anita Blake confronts The Harlequin, terrifying, powerful creatures feared even by the centuries-old vampires, rivals Jean-Claude, Master Vampire of the City, and Richard, the alpha werewolf, must become allies.

(summary from another edition)

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