When I started reading the Anita Blake series, I was impressed. Hamilton had lots of imagination and wrote books with fascinating characters, depth, great stories, action and sexual tension. The first books were good, the next few novels among the best of the dark fantasy genre. But lately, Hamilton... When I started reading the Anita Blake series, I was impressed. Hamilton had lots of imagination and wrote books with fascinating characters, depth, great stories, action and sexual tension. The first books were good, the next few novels among the best of the dark fantasy genre. But lately, Hamilton basically strings one sex scene to the next and connects them by adding a few scenes about the relationships of the characters and Blake's problems with those. Since the leading character by now has half a dozen regular lovers and jumps between the sheets with several more in every book, there's not much room left for anything else. So while earlier books had great erotic tension and sex scenes in addition to an interesting story, plot is now mostly missing from Hamilton's books. Danse Macabre is even worse than any of her former novels in this respect. Hamilton writes that she could fit only half her plot idea into the book and that she'll write the next book with the rest. That's pretty obvious. The minimal plot used is that a vampire ballet is coming to town and all the other Masters of the City in America have been invited along. Here the inconsistencies start. We know from earlier novels that vampires can't trust each other and mutual visits usually lead to deadly power games. How likely is it that all of the masters would meet just to watch a ballet? The rest of the "plot" is centered around this: The mermaid wife of a vampire tries to seduce Anita (so now we have gay sex added to the mix), she and her husband insist that Anita sleep with their son to free his powers, another master rolls her, which leads to sex (what else), then tries to get her in bed with his two lion shapeshifters ... And, of course, Anita "has" to sleep with most of her regular lovers, too. As a result, what could have become at least a story about the conflicts between the vampire clans, simply became a string of secuction and sex scenes between Anita and almost everyone who plays a role in this book. I've seldom read a more boring book and frankly said, when sex becomes something as automatic and often unemotional as what Hamilton writes nowadays, I can't even find it very erotic anymore. The only plus this story has is the actual vampire ballet, which is written with a lot of imagination and great atmosphere. Unfortunately, it doesn't play that big a role in the book that has been named for it and it's not that original an idea either, since Anne Rice already had a vampire theatre decades ago. So what's left are some characters that I've come to like and therefore like to revisit and the one atmospheric scene in the book, the ballet, but that's it. I really wish Hamilton would return to writing books with a plot. She used to be great at that.