Having established Jean-Claude as Master of the City in Circus of the Damned, in The Lunatic Cafe the attention shifts to Richard... Richard, Anita's science teacher and romantic interest... as well as beta wolf to Marcus in the local werewolf pack by way of a bad batch of lycanthrope vaccine. And while Anita learns to deal with her beloved getting furry once a month, she's handed a missing-lycanthrope case and a naga skin.
The Lunatic Cafe is the first of the Anita Blake novels to pay significant attention to the werewolf population. It's a whole new world for Anita, and for the readers as well, but it all fits together very well; Hamilton manages to invent her own rules while keeping the reader feeling as if they are only discovering the reality behind the legends.
And those rules work. The lycanthropes are just as alien, just as terrifying, just as monstrous, as the vampires... while still retaining their own unique qualities and flavor, both as a type of creature, and as individuals. Or, in other words, some werewolves are assholes, and others are quite friendly -- but they'll all eat you for dinner if they happen to be hungry and you look tasty.
This novel is definitely one of the better Blake novels, with the introduction it provides to a new segment of supernatural society and the political conflicts within the lycanthrope society becoming a concern. It is also the first to begin hinting towards a larger plot underlying the episodic nature of the books.
This novel is well worth a read, although vampire junkies will find somewhat less sustenance here compared to the first three novels. In my view, however, this represents a broadening of the series and its possibilities rather than a limitation.
This entry was published Thu Oct 07 15:52:27 CDT 2004 by Matthew
and last updated 2013-08-15 12:22:27.0.