Incubus Dreams


Product Description
As consultant to the Regional Preternatural Crime Investigation Unit, Anita’s called in on what appears to be a case involving a serial killer – a vampire serial killer – who may be preying on strippers. She’s sure that none of the local vamps are responsible – but her judgment may be clouded by a conflict of interest. For she is, after all, the consort of Jean-Claude, the ever-intoxicating Master Vampire of the City – something that both her human friends and her ex, the alpha werewolf Richard, are quick to point out.

Surrounded by suspicion, overwhelmed by her attempts to control the primal lusts that continue to wrack her as a result of her passionate contacts with vampire, werewolf, and the shapeshifter Micah, Anita does something unprecedented. She calls for help… Review
As Incubus Dreams opens, Anita Blake may be America’s most powerful vampire hunter and necromancer. So it’s no surprise that the Regional Preternatural Crime Investigation Team seeks her assistance when a St. Louis stripper is murdered and the evidence points to unusual serial killers: a group of seven vampires. It appears a master vampire has gone rogue–and may prove too powerful for Anita Blake, even if she can gain help from not only her vampire consort, Master of the City Jean-Claude, but from the wereleopard king Micah, her other lover, and the alpha werewolf Richard, her bitter ex-lover.

It would be an exaggeration to say that Laurell K. Hamilton’s Incubus Dreams is just one sex scene after another. This twelth novel in her bestselling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series presents a wedding, a murder, and a lot of relationship angst before getting down and dirty on page 89; and the sex scenes pause on page 377 to let the mystery plot resume. The series deftly blends elements of alternate history, horror, romance, erotica, and mystery, but anyone reading Incubus Dreams for the murder plot is going to be frustrated. However, Incubus Dreams is a considerably stronger and more interesting book than its talky predecessor, Cerulean Sins, and fans will enjoy the many new developments in Anita’s complicated love life. –Cynthia Ward Exclusive Content

Interview with the Vampire Writer
With two bestselling series featuring supernatural heroines under her belt, one has to wonder if Laurell K. Hamilton is truly in touch with a world beyond ours. Hamilton
spoke with about her work, her characters, and her plans for the future.

Recent Comments
  1. JunkyardMessiah @ 9:56 pm

    I hate to slam an author’s hard work (658 pages can’t have come easy) but MAN did this book suck. I have been an Anita fan since Guilty Pleasures, but found I REALLY enjoyed the series when it took a darker turn, around Obsidian Butterfly. Cerulean Sins was great, because when Anita really started to feed the ardeur, at least she was doing it (literally) with characters I had come to know and like. The pairings were interesting and compelling, and I couldn’t WAIT to see how the delicious menage a trois between Anita, Asher and Jean Claude would play out, how they would battle the big Bad Mother of All Darkness, and what that would mean in their relationship with Belle Morte. So many delicious threads left dangling, and twelve excruciating months to wait….then finally the wait was over! Incubus Dreams was at last here!

    Cut to 658 pages and 200 typos later, and here I sit horrified and dumbfounded. What the holy (insert Anita’s favorite expletive here) was this?? It was as if Cerulean Sins never existed! All those threads I mentioned? Still dangling. No room to address them when you’ve got 500 pages of talky porn to write!

    Yes, before Anita and her lovers (some of them strangers introduced a mere half a page before Anita goes all ardeur on them) have sex, they TALK ABOUT IT for at least TWO CHAPTERS beforehand. Perhaps Anita must feed the “talkeur” before the “ardeur”. Though the sex is pretty hot, you’ll be amazed that the lovers haven’t talked themselves into a coma first. Like all die-hard Anita fans, I was expecting another great read. Instead, here’s what I got.

    100 pages of unresolved mystery story,

    200 pages of psychoanalytical musings (of the “Richard loves to hate himself more than he loves to love me!” variety).

    150 pages of sex with people you could care less about.

    150 pages of sex with people you DID care about but now can’t stand anymore.

    The character work is repetitive, with only one spark of interest–Nathaniel. His character arc is nice, and is the only reason I’m giving this book two stars instead of one.

    Jean Claude? morphs into an emasculated Machiavelli.

    Richard? a spineless repressed prude, no matter how many three-ways he’s in.

    Asher? Missing in action.

    Jason? Harmless brother-figure.

    Micah? still a well-endowed yes man.

    Nathaniel? Surprisingly still interesting.

    Damian? Quickly-forgotten sextoy.

    Requiem and Byron? (“Who?” you ask?) Two unknowns who get more action than poor Asher.

    Save your time, your expectations and your twenty bucks. Donate it instead to Proofreaders of America, or any organization that could help LKH find a decent editor. Sorry to vent, but man am I pissed at spending hard-cover money on this! >:(

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  2. Giddyup @ 11:48 pm

    …..well, the sex scenes in this book were major snoozers that’s for sure! Hamilton was never a great writer to begin with and I read her AB book series for entertainment value only. No more. This book is no longer bad in the good sense, it is just plain bad. Badly written. Badly executed. Boring, mechanical sex scenes. Pretty vampires and weres that sound so gay it ain’t funny. And this is what you’ll get from this offering in a nutshell:

    * Sex with vampires and weres

    * Anita gets some new powers brought on by (you’ve guessed it!) sex

    * Some vampire or other is killing strippers, this is supposed to be the “plot”, however, the “plot” lasts for about 30 pages in the 600-plus book.

    * More useless sex scenes in which Anita has conversations with her boy toys while having sex

    * Inner-conflicts before and during the sex scenes (why bother? just accept that you’re a slut and get it over with!)

    * Rain-making, back-breaking orgasms

    * Pretty boys with long hair “spilling” all over the place

    * Conclusion to the vampire stripper killer “plot”. A bad conclusion at that.

    And there you have it. A waste of time, money and energy for a reader. SOMETHING mind-altering in a very bad way. Either Hamilton was under the influence of something while she wrote this or she didn’t bother to create something that was at the very least plausible. Even for her who is not a good writer to begin with, she’s obviously waaaay out of it.

    What’s worse, I have the sneaking suspicion that these non-plot stories are going to monopolize the series from hereon in. I read the sample chapters of her next AB novel on her website and I have already decided that I’m off Anita Blake for good. Danse Macabre will be an outstanding novel for Jerry Springer/Maury Povich fans but not for the rest of us who prefer something a little less trashy and vulgar. It is laughable when Hamilton describes her latest efforts as erotica. Erotica?? Emma Holly, MS Valentine, Lucinda Carrington….. they write erotica!! Hamilton writes cheap porn that not even Penthouse readers would be turned on by it. My advice? Don’t waste your money on this garbage. If you must read it, do what I did and make a trip to the library. But whatever you do, do not spend your hard-earned money on this tragedy of a book. And if you already bought it and are regretting it, don’t buy the next one. The three sample chapters were simply something horrendous that not even Danielle Steele could outdo in trashiness, and I don’t think it’ll get better!! Remember: say NO to crap!!

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  3. Kaley Watson @ 1:41 am

    Incubus Dreams represents a turning point, at least in this readers mind. I’m done with the series! A once interesting series has devolved into a chaotic mess where the author doesn’t even bother trying to write a coherent plot or storyline any more.

    What’s touted as character growth reads more like character assignation. Anita Blake and the huge supporting cast of characters have been transformed into two-dimensional cardboard cutouts loosing all of their original uniqueness and appeal in the process.

    And lastly, if the author chooses to write nothing but erotica that’s fine, but market it as such and quit hiding behind the mystery and suspense elements dangled as bait in the dusk jacket.

    This one time fan is done and moving on.

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  4. Eon @ 4:38 am

    Before I begin, I have to say that this was the first Anita Blake book that I’d read in a long time. I had stopped at Obsidian Butterfly, which read like a frog that had been floating in the pool too long: dead, bloated, and gross. Since then I have had no desire to read one.

    So here I am one day, browsing through my Amazon Recommendations, when I see Incubus Dreams with its rating: a whopping two and a half stars! Huh!? Well, Hamilton had never been a literary genius, not by far, but I knew she’d been really popular despite that. Curiosity got the better of me, as it tends to do. You know how they say curiosity kills the cat? They aren’t kidding. Because after reading a majority of the 500 reviews here, I had to read for myself. After all, I thought, I’m an aspiring writer, I should know what not to do, right?

    Well, I certainly got my money’s worth in THAT respect. ID reads as though Hamilton went online and found A) the worst possible NC-17 Anita Blake fan fiction she possibly could and B) the most annoyingly whining personal Blog of some teenager and put them together as a book. It is just that bad. I tried to read the whole book, especially since my opinion kept changing, but I put it down when I hit the sex scene that literally spans five or six chapters. At that point, I no longer cared if they ever found out who killed the strippers.

    As for the things most reviews are complaining about, these are my opinions:

    1. The sex. There is NOT too much sex in this book. There is too much BORING sex in this book. If there’s going to be a lot of sex it should at least be exciting, but this was not. Anita asking to be f—-d when she’s still “tight”…after the three other guys had already been in her pants that day, it’s debatable whether she’d ever be tight again.

    Aside from being boring, much of it was entirely gross. And well, what was with all the conversation? During the sex? Not just conversation between the participants, either. It seemed as though everyone and his brother had to stick in their two cents…or two grand, as the case might be. No one ever just walked in on the sex scene, said “Oops, sorry” and left. No, they had to stick around and make observations!

    This book tries to be porn, erotica, and romance all at the same time, and fails to be any single one of them. It hasn’t the follow through for porn (she does get out of a few of the sex situations, which you don’t in porn). It hasn’t the artistry for erotica. And this “love” Anita is claiming isn’t romantic. I have nothing against alternative lifestyles, but I simply don’t find it romantic, and the sex most certainly isn’t, either.

    2a. The characters. Hamilton doesn’t have the ability to keep her characters organized to save her life. That many characters in a story CAN be done, and it can be done well, but not by this woman. Every time I thought I would start to like a character-Requiem for example-they would become another Anita worshipper, telling her how wonderful she is and how much they want to sleep with her.

    There really is no honest character development here. Some people have cited Nathaniel, but I found his “development” entirely unbelievable. Somehow he goes from breaking down in tears when Anita won’t sleep with him to getting angry and slamming cupboard doors when she bites Micah. It was as though Hamilton kept changing her mind how she wanted him to be.

    And his hair! Now, look, I am all for guys with long hair, I really am. It’s one of the things I liked about the Anita Blake books. But ANKLE-LENGTH!? Nuh. Just nuh. That’s so stupid, it doesn’t deserve the “uh” half of nuh uh. After awhile I began to develop the notion that Hamilton has been watching way too much anime.

    2b. Original characters. Okay, I’ve always wished someone would kick Richard in the ass, so I don’t much care what happens to him. Although I found him more tolerable in this book, but not by much. But most of her original characters have been ruined. It’s really odd having Jason as the font of wisdom here, although it’s more believable than Jean-Claude “I don’t share you lightly, ma petite”. Pfft, yeah! His jealous act would have been more convincing (maybe) if he hadn’t just been urging her to sleep with Richard. Asher was absent, and we should probably be grateful for that, considering where her characters are going.

    Even Ronnie was reduced to a pathetic excuse for a human being. And her conversation with Anita…hoo boy. That’s rich, real rich. Anita “I’m-so-afraid-of-love” Blake giving her friend advice in the vein of “Give love a chance”. Might have gone over better if she hadn’t just been going on and on for several pages of inner monologue on how she always screws love up because it scares her.

    2c. Anita. My god, the woman has become such a c–t. Aside from being a hypocrite, complaining a lot, and being judgmental of everyone and everything, she was in full on “offend everyone” mode. If, by about page 400, you haven’t yet been offended by her attitude, you will be.

    The set up: Anita goes to a STRIP club to investigate the death of a STRIPPER. She shows up in a white t-shirt with a black bra you can apparently see really well beneath it, a skirt so short she keeps complaining about it, thigh highs, and a pair of heeled, knee high boots. But the reason the cops think she’s a stripper too MUST be (at least in her eyes) because they are male and therefore sexist jerks.

    3. The errors. An editor did not see this manuscript. There is hands down no way an editor saw this manuscript. The publisher couldn’t have seen it either. I’m having my doubts that the AUTHOR saw this manuscript.

    Occasional errors are forgivable. It happens. But this…how on earth to you mispell the word “deity” wrong SIX times on ONE page!? And then proceed to spell it wrong throughout the rest of the book. Word processors know the word “deity”. It’s Latin derivative. There’s no reason it should be mispelled, absolutely none. That, along with a host of other words that never should have been mispelled.

    And the commas! Oh lord…here’s a woman who can’t use a comma to save her life. Now, she’s always had trouble, but this was by far the worse. Commas where they don’t belong, not where they do, commas in place of other proper punctuation…there were some sentences that were so chopped up by commas that I could not understand them no matter how many times I read them. There were also a lot of places where she put periods instead of question marks. NOT something you should be doing with 15+ books published.

    4. Rampant Anita Worship. Okay, it’s not entirely true that the characters never tell Anita when she’s done something wrong. But it depends on your definition of wrong. It goes something like this: Micah and Jason scold Anita for refusing to sleep with Nathaniel; Micah and Nathaniel scold Anita for refusing to sleep with Damian; Jean-Claude scolds Anita for getting out of sleeping with Richard; and so on and so for.

    What was really rich was Nathaniel’s little speech, where he thanked Anita for allowing him to do all the cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping. I think the phrase we’re looking for here is “Ri-ight”.

    5. Ardeur/super powers. Okay, as if the ardeur isn’t a dumb enough plot device to begin with, it just gets worse as the book goes on. Hamilton raises her fans hopes for a page or two, allowing them to believe that it will all be okay now, because Anita has control over the ardeur. Except control apparently makes it worse, not better. And here’s this convienent triumverate that she’ll kill (most especially Damian, apparently) if she doesn’t feed the ardeur. Sexual Deus Ex Machina…who’d have thought?

    And it’s also true that Anita’s powers grow constantly, especially towards the end of the book. Eventually she can raise a whole cemetary with the wave of her hand…no exageration. This reminds me of the Blade movies and why I never wanted to watch them: the phrase “All of their strengths, none of their weaknesses”. That fits Anita well. She’s got all the benefits of being a were and a vampire and none of the downsides. And although Hamilton tries to convince you that Anita thinks of the ardeur as a downside, if you’re actually buying it, you won’t be by the time you get to the scene with Jean-Claude in his office.

    There were numerous other little things that made me wish someone would put me out of my misery. For example, having known a few witches, I can say with some confidence that none of them would want a Halloween themed wedding, not if it involved Jack O Latterns, paper skeletons, and bright orange bridesmaids dresses.

    There was too much repetition, as well. Hamilton knows how to write a lot without really writing anything at all. Anita’s constant circular ramblings had me rolling my eyes and laughing the whole way through.

    I did laugh quite a bit, in fact. Of course, something tells me that about 99% of what I was laughing at wasn’t meant to be funny. If “evil chocolate” didn’t have you rolling on the floor, “accidental sex” will. When you’re reduced to the phrase “accidental sex”, it’s time to quite.

    Hamilton likes to spew excuses for this trash; she’s doing it to be ‘contrary’, she had to scramble to meet her deadline, she didn’t get to show it to her writer friends.

    Well, Ms. Hamilton, you shouldn’t need people to hold your hand through this anymore. You should be able to do it by yourself. And the deadline excuse is crap. A woman who makes as much money as you do doesn’t have to worry about deadlines. If you publisher isn’t going to drop you for the tripe you’re writing, then they won’t drop you for missing a deadline.

    But if this is simply to be ‘contrary’ then I hope you lose every reader you’ve got. This book is a slap in the face to loyal readers. It’s childish, selfish, and wrong. Obviously you don’t write for the love of writing and sharing it with others; for you, it’s all about having your ego stroked.

    I try not to have anything personal against any writer, I really do. But everything I’ve read has given me the impression that Hamilton cares nothing for her fans. The fans themselves feel that way. They’ve recieved no reassurance that this isn’t all Hamilton’s need to be ‘contrary’.

    I may be young (19) and my readership is internet based and small (a few hundred perhaps). But the connection between writer and reader is special. It’s true, a writer opens their world to their reader, but the reader takes that world, and therefore the writer, into their heart. You don’t abuse that, not for your need to be ‘contrary’.

    I hope for the sake of Hamilton’s readers that this is like the book equivalent of the flu: it has to get worse before it gets better. But I won’t hold my breath.

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  5. L. J Lewis @ 5:36 am

    Hi, my name is Miss Amii, and I am a masochist. I keep reading Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series even though the last five installments aren’t worth reading. I read Guilty Pleasures in one day. Contrast that to the THREE YEARS it took me get passed Narcissus in Chains, and after getting to the halfway point of Incubus Dreams, I can guarantee that this book will never be finished.

    People have pretty much said almost everything there is too say about this novel: no plot, ridiculous levels of pointless, skanky sex, awful characters, even more powers for the already God-like Anita… But as I closed the cover on my last book by this author ever (‘cuz quite frankly, I don’t care if she has a comeback later. Her treatment of this series and her fans is just too appalling.) it finally hit me why the Anita Blake series has failed. All the pointless sex is just a cover for the fact that this series has failed to evolve!

    I mean in the beginning Anita was a smug, self-righteous, emotionally immature, violent and abrasive woman, but we forgave her flaws because she fought the good fight. Now just about every flaw she has been multiplied by 10, she’s a hypocrite and uses people ruthlessly on top of everything else, and she only fights the good fight if she isn’t busy getting every opening on her body plugged with supernatural male-private-parts.

    As much as everyone giving this mess five stars crows that Anita has evolved out of her “formula” of solving the supernatural mystery she’s presented with, certainly when everything Anita does is ultimately just an excuse for that stupid arduer to rear its ugly head and get Anita involved in yet another sex sandwich the novels have fallen into just a different formula. And speaking of this pattern of action, arduer, orgy, traces of the old Anita Blake series is there. It’s just it seems like just when something of significance is about to happen, the action stalls in its tracks so Anita can be serviced by one of her worshipful harem members. So far, Anita has gone to a crime scene, had a meeting with clients at her workplace, and had a fight with a vampire at a night club. The ideas are there, but oops! her comes the arduer, and everyone gets sidetracked by Anita’s wonderful gushing fingernail ripping orgasm, and the plot threads are never heard from again.

    Seriously, this series is just going around in circles. The issues and themes this series has explored since the beginning have never been answered or resolved. “Who are the monsters?” “Am I a monster?” “Can I still be a good girl when I sleep with monsters?” “What is love?” Blah, blah, as someone described this endless psychoanalysis as the “therapy chair” these issues had been run into the ground because frankly Anita is not good at making decisions and sticking with them. I mean, what is this, the third time Anita Blake and her off again on again boyfriend Richard have gotten back together? Relationships are never resolved because ultimately Anita shoves her guys into the nice little cubbyhole where she wants them, the status quo is maintained, and the author tries to fool us into thinking otherwise by shoving major plot points aside and replacing it with something else. How else can you explain the absolute laziness of placing the triumvirate of Anita-Jean Claude-Richard on the backburner to explore a ridiculous and poorly thought-out triumvirate of Anita and throbbing twitching erections #13 and # 24…. I mean Nathaniel and Damien other than being a reason to have Anita have yet another threeway with even more underdeveloped guys.

    The same bait and switch tactics I mentioned above also apply to Micah, the most wussy and useless were-animal leader ever who is Anita’s empty “soul-mate”. I mean what has he contributed to this series besides being a perfect lap dog (or cat) for Anita and having certain parts that would make a bull envious?

    This is getting kind of long and I could probably write a book the size of Incubus Dreams to explain just how much of a burning wreck this series has become, so I’ll just briefly touch on some of the other stuff that made me laugh or snort:

    1) Men who cry when Anita Blake denies them access to her something that rhymes with “Carolina”.

    2) Not only is it the best “Carolina” in the world, it has magical powers that can make you look like Brad Pitt

    3) How ironic it is that while Anita Blake bristles under the male, patriarchal establishment or the MAN, she is the biggest misogynist in this series. She can barely behave civilly around other women.

    4) Anita has sex on the floor with Damien while a couple of her harem members look on. I kept hoping they’d hold up scorecards. And the description of the “mess” on the floor made me feel queasy.

    5) Hamilton has a style for writing sex that I’d normally appreciate as she doesn’t use vulgarity or purple euphemisms, but she has a talent for making the sex as painful as possible.

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