Review by Alexius White
Ok, two crazy clients walk into Anita Blake’s office. Both clients want their late spouse to be brought back from the dead as zombies. Which client is crazier? This is the question that hangs in the air for the first half of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Flirt. Flirt is the 18th work in the Anita Blake series. It is not a novel or a graphic novel; rather, Flirt is a novella. It is the second novella in the series; the first is Micah written in 2006.
Flirt spans three to four days and covers different areas in St. Louis. Flirt is the second work in the series that I have read. The first was Circle of the Damned. Needless to say a lot has changed over the course of the series. One of the changes being, Anita and Jean-Claude are a couple. Although, neither is sure who wears the pants in their relationship. Another change is that Anita is now one of only a handful of people who are able to carry several different were-DNAs in them. Anita is a carry of a were-lion, nimir-ra, werewolf and a were-leopard just to name a few. Though the novella doesn’t say so, I think carrying so many different were-animals in her and having Jean-Claude power in her has made her preternatural gifts even stronger. It is this preternatural strength that has drawn the crazies to Anita’s office.
The first crazy to come to Anita’s office is a man. He wants Anita to bring his late wife, who died in a fire, back as a zombie. He has heard about Anita’s preternatural strengths. He believes Anita’s strong enough to bring his wife back and do two other things the other animators can’t perform. One is that to brings his wife back his wife without any burn scars; the second is to erase all memories of her death from his wife’s memories.
The second crazy to show up at Anita’s office is a woman. She wants Anita to bring back her late husband. The novella doesn’t say how he died. She too has heard of Anita’s preternatural strengths. She chose Anita to bring her husband back because she is the only animator who can make him feel. She wants her husband to be bought back to life so she can kill him again by chopping him up into little pieces. (I don’t know if that counts as murder, the novella didn’t say.) Anita turns them both down. Yet, one of them doesn’t handle rejection will. Enter the were-lions mercenary pride.
There were several things about the novella I liked and a couple of things I really didn’t like. The main things I liked (and it is honestly one of the main reasons I like the series) is the different preternatural being. The novella focused mainly on the were-lion. I like that Anita’s were-lioness wants to make the mercenaries fight each other in order to protect her partners. The second, thing came at the end of the novella. There are hundreds of zombies walking out of their graves all of them with red eyes. Apparently, not having a protection circle up during a zombie rising allows bad things to get into the zombies.
The main two dislikes I have for the novella is the pace and the sex. The pace of the novella drags at time and at other times it is fast. It’s almost as if the author wasn’t sure how fast to make it until the end. The second dislike is all the sexual references. Yes, I know that series is classified as an erotic, urban fantasy, but seriously who thinks about sex while trying to fight off bad guys and saving her friends.
Overall, I didn’t hate the novel or love it. I was just kind of neutral in the end. I do feel it should have had a different title. However, I will say I don’t like to read or watch anything that makes me want to press the fast-forward button. I give it 2.5 stars.