Fewer Calories, Less Taste
review continued from previous post
Micah, Hamilton’s latest offering, promises the story of Blake’s wereleopard partner. In a previous novel, Micah appeared more or less out of the blue and was instantly recognized by Blake as her soulmate. Micah is short, standing eye-to-eye with the petite necromancer. Notable for his size (short he ain’t, if you catch my drift) and eyes (permanently in shape-shifted leopard form), Micah manages to insert himself into Blake’s life and bed without greatly upsetting her other partners, a considerable feat. He has a mysterious past, hinted at but not explored until now.
But Micah’s life story turns out not to be the mystery explored here, or at least not primarily. We get his past, which is interesting but not particularly noteworthy. Instead, the focus is on the pair’s current relationship, put to the test by their first trip together without any of the other weres or vampires around. Micah makes the event into a luxurious honeymoon, with Blake having conniption fits over what this means about their relationship. We’ve come to expect this sort of introspection from Blake, but here, without any complications from other characters, there’s not a lot to explore. Her discomfort with the situation quickly becomes old. Get over it, Anita. Micah means a lot to you. Quit throwing hissy fits and sleep with him!
Meanwhile, the central plot about a zombie-raising gone wrong is simple, again lacking the marvelous personal and political convolutions that make the other novels so messy and wonderful. And Blake herself is oddly powerless, finding the zombie too strong to control. I guess this is what bothers me the most. Throughout the novel, Blake seems adrift, along for the ride. Her “damn the torpedoes” attitude, so much a part of her person, is strangely missing here. In bed, she is tentative. (Will he fit? Yikes!) In power, she is bereft. C’mon, Anita, take control! Pull out that gun and blast that zombie into scummy little necrotic blobs!
The underlying problem seems to be Micah. As a character, he lacks the complexity to stand up to Blake. His psychological issues aren’t as richly explored as those of Richard, the werewolf king, and his power can’t stand up to Jean Claude’s, the master vampire. His length and breadth, while greater, can’t make up for his smaller stature overall. He is, in the end, just a little guy.