Cassy's Reviews > Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
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's review
Jan 15, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: books-in-2010, fantasy-sci-fi, favorites
Read from January 17 to 21, 2010 — I own a copy , read count: 2

** spoiler alert ** This is the second time I've read this book but it's been MANY years since I've read it (we're talking about seven.) I'm really glad decided to reread it because I had forgotten had good Hamilton used to be. The series really took a turn for the worst but it started out spectacularly.

Anita Blake is one of my favorite heroines. She's witty and sarcastic and brave all at the same time. She's a hard ass but she's also one of the kindest people you'll meet and protects those she loves with a fierce ferocity. Usually female leads fall into two types: crazy independent but with no real femininity or a Weeping Flower. Anita manages to be both. She can handle herself in any situation, after all she slays vampires for a living, but that doesn't stop her from crying when something bad happens or tragic. She manages to be practical and fashionable. I love that she's all these contradictions rolled up into one.

Hamilton is also very good at writing the bad guys. Nikolaos was a scary, scary thing to behold. Despite fighting vampires like Nikolaos all of her life, Anita was still terrified of Nikolaos (though she tried very hard not to show it.) Hamilton gave us this odd sort of juxtaposition with Nikolaos. She was child-like, her body no older than twelve or thirteen but she was dangerous and could tear your throat out in half a second without you even realizing she had moved until it was too late.

I liked that all the vampires and creatures of the night weren't evil. Everything wasn't cut and dry. You meet shape-shifters that help Anita and Jean-Claude is a vampire who saves her life. There are also humans who are not at all good. Nikolaos has her own entourage of humans who try very often to kill Anita because their master has told them to do so.

Edward also played a pretty big role in this book, which I liked. I probably like Edward better than I like Anita. He can go from boy next door to assassin in a heartbeat. He doesn't have the morals that Anita has but you can see that, deep down, if he had to harm Anita, he would have a really hard time doing it. That's not to say he wouldn't; if he had to harm Anita to get what he needed he would. But in this book, he wanted Nikolaos and he gave Anita 24 hours to tell him where she was. I think if Anita had been anyone else, he wouldn't have given them 24 seconds. Edward is incredibly complex because he is this killer that does not abide by the rules that Anita holds herself to. Yet he admires Anita, respects her, and it shows in their interactions.

The first book also concentrates a lot on Anita's necromancy. Later on in the series, Hamilton kind of ignores that aspect of Anita's life but in the beginning we hear a lot about her being an Animator and working with the police. I like that there are normal parts to her life and raising the dead, going to work, seeing her friends are all a part of that routine part of her life. Sometimes (especially later in the series) all the metaphysical aspects are tiring. I like the parts when it was her just dealing with murder.

This is a great supernatural book. There are a lot of vampire novels out there but this was one of the first that I really liked, that I actually saw take a little bit different spin on it. It's also one of the first with a female protagonist. I like the idea of the world knowing about Vampires and Lycanthropes and all the things that go bump in the night. I like that all those things are an active part of the modern world. If you enjoy vampires novels, then this book is definitely something you should pick up.

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01/15/2010 page 26
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