Donna's Reviews > Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
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Sep 13, 08

Read in January, 2008, read count: 2

** spoiler alert ** Summary ~ Anita Blake may be small and young, but vampires call her the Executioner. Anita is an animator and vampire hunter in a time when vampires are protected by law--as long as they don't get too nasty. Now someone's killing innocent vampires and Anita agrees--with a bit of vampiric arm-twisting--to help figure out who and why.
Trust is a luxury Anita can't afford when her allies aren't human. The city's most powerful vampire, Nikolaos, is 1,000 years old and looks like a 12-year-old girl. The second most powerful vampire, Jean-Claude, is interested in more than just Anita's professional talents, but the feisty necromancer isn't playing along--yet. This popular series has a wild energy and humor, and some very appealing characters--both dead and alive.
Introduces: Edward the hyper-violent bounty hunter/freelance killer of the supernatural. Ronnie, best friend/private investigator; Phillip – stripper/vampire freak, soon to be zombie, eventually dead and buried for good; Irving Griswold – reporter by day, werewolf by – well all the time. Note: foreshadowing, Louie, a wererat, is briefly mentioned; he will later play a much larger role in the series
Notables: Jean Claude has given Anita the first two vampire marks.
Bad guys: Zachary – vampire murderer, Valentine
Big Bad kill ~ Anita kills Nikolaos by taking off her head with a sword
Reviews ~ "Guilty Pleasures" is the first of the Anita Blake series. What makes the series unique is the strong, tough-minded character of the heroine and narrator. Before "Guilty Pleasures" vampire stories rarely had female leads, let alone one with the hard-nosed style of Anita Blake. She is a professional animator (one who raises the dead) and a licensed vampire killer in an alternate earth where vampires have come out of the closet (coffin?) and are active participants in American life. She is also on contract to the police - the "Spook Squad" which investigates crimes in which the supernatural beings are suspected to be the criminals or to have played a part.
Hamilton's vampires are of the Anne Rice genre. They are beautiful, deadly and follow their own code of ethics. Many humans have become enthralled with them, but many are deeply suspicious. Many of the vampires work for or in nightclubs; the city of St. Louis in this universe seems to have a really kinky nightclub district! The vampires do drink blood, human, and by no means necessarily from consenting adults. The drinking of blood doesn't have to be associated with sex, but sometimes is. To Anita they are monsters who, when they go out of control, must be killed. But U.S. law protects vampires that behave themselves. Even so, when someone starts killing the vampires of St. Louis, authorities make little progress. Angered, two of the strongest vampires in the city, Jean-Claude and Nikolaos, convince Anita to hunt down the killer.
Jean-Claude is one of the modern romantic vampires, easy to look at with fine manners and style. Nikolaos, on the other hand, is a thousand year old sadistic horror in the body of a thirteen year old girl. Her powers are unimaginable and dark hungers hide under her innocent looks. The vampiress takes an immediate dislike to Anita's feisty style and our heroine spends as much time dodging Nikolaos' efforts to injure and enslave her as she does seeking the killer. 400+ yr old Jean-Claude comes under attack as well as he tries to help Anita.
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