The novel opens with Anita being called upon to rescue Nathaniel, her house leopard, from a local S&M club. After months of enforced separation from Jean-Claude and Richard, months spent learning to control her powers, Anita is suddenly thrust back into the world of the monsters and forced to contend with her enemies once more. And with her allies, as well, for not everything has been peachy with her boys while she was gone.
If Obsidian Butterfly provided a vacation from Anita's insane sex life, Narcissus in Chains is proof that it was only a vacation. Almost the entire plot of this novel revolves around sex and monster politics; the formulaic murder mystery is little more than an incidental sketch, and the new type of monster -- werehyena -- is sufficiently absurd to ruin any sense of threat. Any monster whose howl is a barking laugh just doesn't come across as threatening.
The novel is written as if the author as only recently become aware of real-world sado-masochistic practices and seeks to explore them, but is still unaware of anything deeper than the outer layers of costume and props. There is no depth to the story, no subtlety. Anita has long ago crossed the line from injecting her sexuality into the novels by implication, as a subtle undercurrent to a murder mystery, and is now allowing it to define her actions.
Unfortunately, certain characters are introduced here that will reappear, and in fact play major roles in future books. For that reason, anyone intending to stick with the series should read this book. However, I recommend reading it from a library, or borrowed from a friend. Nothing that happens is worth actually buying a copy.
This entry was published Tue Oct 19 16:03:49 CDT 2004 by Matthew
and last updated 2013-08-15 11:09:31.0.