So, it occured to me Saturday that I hadn't finished everything I had set out to do... Of course, I had planned to watched the X-Files season seven before reading Danse Macabre, but for whatever reason I picked up the book instead of the DVDs.

Oh, well, on with the review, or rather comments.

I picked up the book, and I wasn't eager, but I started to read. I was actually pleasantly surprised. The first chapter started off well, and I was beginning to think that maybe Hamilton was going to get the Anita series back on track.

Then Micah and Nathaniel come in and suddenly it is BashRonnie time. By the time everything was said and done I realized Hamilton wanted me to think Ronnie was just such the bitch - I mean she was dissing Nate and she spilled Anita's secret. Guess what? Anita was being WAY more of a bitch first, and by the time Ronnie spilled the secret I really couldn't blame her. Hell, had I been Ronnie I'd have probably punched both Anita and Nate.

Okay, I'll agree with others that I've seen say there were some bits in chapter one that seemed preachy, but it was in character for Anita to be that way, so those things only vaguely annoyed me. I think that is mainly because in chapter one I did see Hamilton actually trying to address some reader concerns. I'm not saying she done it well, but I could tell she was trying. At least until...

Notice how things were going pretty well until Professor Nate and his side-kick; the walking penis, show up. Although I am forced to admit after that crap with Ronnie things did get better. Honestly, I expected Micah and Nate to annoy me every time they were on the page from then on, so I was surprised when they did not.

Nope, I didn't even mind the interactions (*sigh* I'm trying to keep this non-spoilery) between Nate and Richard which bothered many readers. Of course, that might be because I've often felt that Richard really needed a good swift kick in the ass (no, he still didn't get one). Actually, I still wish Hamilton would pull something out of her ass to completely cut Richard loose and just replace him. Except that I'm afraid she would replace him with Micah, and (the following is something I never thought I'd utter) I'd rather have Richard. But I've said it before, for Richard to truly fit in and accept his life as it is his character will have to so completely change that it will no longer feel like Richard.

Seriously, after the Ronnie, Anita, Nate, and Micah mess, I expected to spend the rest of the novel regretting even buying it. That surprisingly did not happen. You see, Incubus Dreams was a big ol' clusterfuck. Honestly, there is no other way to accurately describe that novel with one word. Not only was there no editing, the characters had me scratching my head because they were so far out of character. Then there were the continuity errors which drove me batty. Why is it that I can remember Hamilton's continuity better than she and her staff can? No, that is a serious question.

Anyway, perhaps because of the mess that was Incubus Dreams I had very low expectations when it came to Danse Macabre. And I'll admit that is part of it, but not all of it.

Even as far back as Obsidian Butterfly the Anita novels started making me go "WTH?" alot. Narcissus in Chains had more than OB, but then there came Cerulean Sins. I didn't really love CS, but after two books of going "WTH?" a lot, CS was a nice change.

The thing was that CS (like Danse Macabre, only less with DM) gave me hope that the series was going to get back on track. So, I was completely blindsided by Incubus Dreams which was a rather large trainwrecking of the series. And that is why I don't have high hopes after finishing DM, only small grains of hope.

I believe I will do things with the next Anita as I did with this one. Several months before the books release I will spy on spoilers and comments people are making about the book, and if I get ye old Incubus Dreams feel I will skip the book, but if I get CS/DM vibes I might give Anita another try.

In closing, I'm not sorry I purchased and read Danse Macabre, though if this was my first Anita book, it would also (hands down) be my last Anita book. But at least the editing was better (not great, but better) and contrary to popular belief I found most of the characterizations spot-on, which was something (after ID) I was not expecting.

Hamilton does need to come up with something different, though. Damian (Damien) in danger is so old that I almost laughed out loud at the end of DM. I know, I know, I was supposed to be on the edge of my seat in worry. But honestly I knew Anita would do with Asher what she needed to do and Damian wouldn't die.

Sorry to the rabid Asher fans of days gone by, but I actually did enjoy that last scene, except for the Damian bits. However, the end (aside from that stuff in the beginning with Ronnie) is the weakest part of the novel. It seems without a real plot, Hamilton simply had no idea how to end the novel.

Or possibly I was just a bit miffed, because things ended before the ever-so-hyped party. Honestly, I was really wanting to read about that party from the first moment it was mentioned, but Hamilton chose to end things before. BOO!