Kat Kennedy's Reviews > Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
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Jun 19, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: books-that-deserve-painful-death, kat-s-book-reviews, kat-s-rants, urban-fantasy-woot

Okay, so some of the girls asked that I do a review of the Anita Blake series because I mentioned some things that intrigued them.

It's not a finished series and usually I would reserve judgment on a series until it comes to its conclusion just in case the author was going somewhere I wasn't expecting.

Kind of like that scene out of Austin Powers where Austin's in the bathroom stall with a bad guy and a big Texan man is in the next stall and can only see Austin's feet. He hears Austin Powers grunting as he fights the guy, saying, "Who does Number 2 work for?"

The Texan guy, thinking that Austin is taking a crap, decides to pitch in and give encouragement to someone who is obviously struggling.

"That's right! Show that turd who's boss!"

Well, that's what reading Anita Blake is like. You're sitting in the next stall with someone who, nine or so books ago you thought was really nice and normal. Suddenly they start to struggle and you want to be encouraging, or you want to tell them to give up, take a laxative and come back later. The thing is, at first you're wary to because maybe something else is going on. Maybe a brilliant struggle for life and death is happening but you just can't see it. Maybe at the end of the series, you're going to come out, see what's left over in the stall and proudly proclaim:

Jesus Christ, what did you eat?

The first 10 books are filled with mystery and intrigue. They've got great characters and really interesting storylines. They've got action. DAMN have they got action! Obsidian Butterfly, in my opinion, the last good book is such a thriller in so many ways.

They're a little bit sexy and you find yourself wishing a little more sexy would come your way because it's kind of really hawt.

But then something happens after book 10. It happens so quickly that you're kind of in a headspin, looking around going, "Am I still reading the right series? Have they printed a different book under the same name?"

Because suddenly, they're no longer mysteries. There's no longer any real edge-of-your-seat suspense. Suddenly, you think you're going to go a little crazy if you read another freakin' sex scene. Suddenly the writing is so poor, so transparent! The characters are so unlikable and so unrelatable that they might as well be from another galaxy.

You're just walking along one day, admiring the view, when suddenly - OH CRAP! ANITA JUST HAD SEX WITH A WERELEOPARD IN ANIMAL FORM!!!!

You're minding you're own business, enjoying a cup of coffee when - FUCK! SHE JUST HAD A THREE WAY WITH TWO MEN! ANALSEXANALSEXANALSEX!!!

You were about to get ready for work when, out of nowhere - CROTCHBUCKETS! SHE'S JUST HAD A MASSIVE GROUP ORGY AND BEEN 'SPITTED' BY TWO MEN! FAAARK!!!

Then you wonder if you can still walk into a church after reading these books. They become so appallingly bad that you wear them like a badge of pride. "Oh, you think THAT book is shocking? Has she ever had sex with an animal while a whole room full of people look on?" "Oh! You think THAT'S shocking? Did that character ever have seven consecutive boyfriends and nine casual fucks at the same time?" "Really? That character is THAT powerful? Did they ever defeat an evil villain with the power of their crotch alone?"

Speaking of which, this is one of the major, MAJOR flaws of Anita Blake. Her Cooter. The Crotch of Doom as some of the girls call it. Almost every man she comes across, she has to sleep with. And then he loves her. He's addicted to her. He can't get enough of her. It's ridiculous. That girl had better have a TV screen in her forehead, beer leaking from her nipples and a bellybutton that dispenses sandwiches. Otherwise I just ain' buyin' it!

She amasses power like it's spare change. She goes from being a powerful animator of zombies, to a necromancer who can control ALL dead things (including vampires), as well as being a lupa (Queen of the Werewolves, Namira-Ra (Queen of the wereleopards) having six strains of were in her but none of the downsides like actually changing. She becomes a succubus. She is a human servant part of a powerful Triumvate. Then she makes her OWN triumvate with her own Vampire to call and an animal to call. It's just RIDICULOUS! You're wondering where it stops!

This stops her from having any character growth. I thought Anita Blake's flaws were going to be dealt with at some point. I thought her pride, arrogance, lack of impulse control, insecurities etc were going to be addressed through circumstances and a learning curve. No. She just becomes so powerful that it doesn't matter anymore.

And the books are just basically sex. That's all that happens. Everyone has sex. All the time. And then they all argue. A lot. Anita wears a skirt, so three out of seven of her boyfriends take issue with that and then argue with Anita and amongst themselves. Anita chips a nail, so at least five of her boyfriends go mental and start blaming each other.

I really don't know why this mess continues. It's beyond ridiculous. I think LKH just wants to see how much she can shock us now. What more can she do to play with our heads? So Anita has brain sex with another woman. So Anita has sex with a sixteen year old. It doesn't matter anymore. In the end, Anita never takes responsibility for ANY of it. She never really sits down and says: "Regardless of everything - I want to be with THIS person and THAT person. I want to do THESE crazy sex acts because that would get me hawt. Then I want to try it with five men at once."

No. It's always the situation. She's always "made" to do it. This makes me lose so much respect for both the character and LKH. You want fantasy smut in your story? Fine. Put it in there. But don't make it so that the character never CHOOSES the fantasy smut. Don't make it so that each and every time, the character is forced by circumstances to do these crazy, smutty things. WTH?

And lastly, don't push feminist bullshit down our throats when every other woman in this series is either a bitch, psycho, cow or pathetically weak! If Anita was a real woman than she'd stand up to a little damn competition. Instead she fights with every other woman around like it's some kind of damn pissing competition.

I kept thinking that maybe LKH was behind that stall, doing something that didn't seem apparent to me. From what I could see so far, she was struggling to get something out. I kept wanting to yell at her for it, but then I thought, maybe there's something epic happening. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's just because I can't see enough from my stall in the bathroom of life.

No, my friends. In this instance, she's not wrestling a man into a toilet bowl for information. She's not leading us through some epic, well thought out drama that's going to unfold brilliantly if we just hang on and keep reading.

She's just shitting with us. Well and truly, and enjoying the money we pay her for the pleasure of reading this crap.
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Reading Progress

03/22 page 180
58.82% "Mysterious, intriguing and well-written, but I'm having trouble connecting to the characters and story."
02/05 marked as: read

Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-50 of 181) </span> <span class="smallText">(181 new)</span>

Laura LoL! I love this review! I completely agree! The references to Austin powers and the crotch of Doom were hilarious! The first 10 books in this series are amazing. It was a wonderful start to what could have been a great story. However, now at book 19, I don't see the series ever ending or improving. It's tragic really. Anita Blake is the reason I got into urban fantasy. If LKH would stop using sex as a substitute for plot, stop rehashing every little detail of every character's appearance or past, and just let Anita be a kick ass character in a story instead of some uber powerful, sex obsessed Mary Sue, then maybe the series could improve. On the other hand, if Anita Blake hadn't become so ridiculous and redundant, I wouldn't have moved on to other amazing authors and series. For that, I suppose I should be grateful.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)


message 3: by Tatiana (last edited Jun 19, 2010 10:11AM) (new)

Tatiana Bravo!

P.S. I just came across this blog of LKH's. Apparently, these later books should make you think very hard. Who would have thought?


Megan Hahaha ~ awesome review! Kudos to you for making it so far in the series. I only made it to book #5 before giving up on LKH and Anita Blake.

Megan Tatiana, that blog is unbelieveable! A few years ago ~ before I ever heard of Anita Blake, I came across a book of LKH's short stories in the discount bin of a grocery store. I bought it and was suprised to discover that the forward to every story was simply LKH listing the people who turned her down, didn't believe in her, etc. You know, most authors use the space before the story to give the reader more insight about their writing process, characters, whatever. LKH used that space to stick her tongue out at all of her critics. What an ass!

message 6: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana This is just so petty. Some authors should NEVER communicate with their readers because they are way too sensitive to the criticism. And the more blogs I come across, the more I see writers who are absolutely incapable of acting professionally or with grace. I say, you can't handle negativity, DO NOT read negative reviews and DO NOT reach out to people who are critical of you.

Megan It's crazy that even her publicist backed her up ~ you would think she would be busy with the damage control.

Kat Kennedy Haha - make us think MY ASS! Seriously. Something is WRONG with that woman. Accepting criticism is hard as an author - I get it. But at least move on! Block it out. Don't rehash it again and again!

message 9: by Penny (last edited Jun 19, 2010 03:10PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Penny "As for the people who keep suggesting that I simply start killing characters because Anita has too many men in her life . . . The characters aren't real to you."

Look, I get just as irritated when the masses think the best/easiest/only way to get rid of a character is by killing him/her. First off, how incredibly unoriginal. Second, is that what everyone does in real life? Wish people they don't necessarily like would just drop dead? I hope not.

Otherwise, yeah, everything else LKH says is complete BS. This series is supposed to make people think? Really? LKH is a lying liar who needs to be bitch slapped on a daily basis. She cannot possibly believe the crap she's been cranking out is in the least bit meaningful. It's porn pure and simple.

Anyway, Kat, I give this review five stars. It is amazing. Aaaand hilarious! Thank you for writing it.

message 10: by Penny (new) - rated it 1 star

Penny P.S. I also wanted to mention how I think it's funny that LKH, who claims her characters are real to her, puts said characters in really filthy situations. Its not like they're making love, it's just sex, the really dirty kind.

Imagine if Anita Blake were a man with a harem of women at his every beck and call, willing to demean themselves in order to get some sexy-time with their lord and master. Oh, and lets not forget the handful of f*ck buddies (because clearly, he doesn't have enough vagina already). What if his wang were so amazing women were literally begging to be banged? What if he went around killing women that didn't want to sleep with him (according to Kat Anita did that)?

If there is a male version of Anita Blake out in the world of modern fiction, I can't imagine his series is doing well. Because such behavior is abhorrent in men, even in the world of fiction. So why is it okay for Anita Blake to be such a whore? Why aren't more people horrified by this trash? Double standard much? I think yes.

Kat Kennedy Ugh? Is she kidding with that blog post? Unfortunately not! So the people who don't like her ridiculous wank fantasies that result in absolutely no plot and just sick gratification are just negative people?

Of fuck me dead. So my problem with the recent Anita Blake series is that I don't want to think? Oh, my fucking mistake. I was pretty sure that my problem with the Anita Blake series was that I actually WANTED some mystery that I could think about and try to solve. That I could actually read something INTELLIGENT.

Penny - it was one guy that she allowed to be killed because he hadn't slept with her and this made him a very, very bad man. But you're right - if it was a man doing all of this, there would have been a cry out long ago at the crassness of it all.

message 12: by Aerin (new)


New favorite word!

Also this review is very completely awesome.

Kat Kennedy Aerin wrote: "CROTCHBUCKETS!

New favorite word!

Also this review is very completely awesome."

Thank you! Crotchbuckets came to me in a moment of brilliance!

I'm glad you enjoyed the review!

Kat Kennedy Well, if it had been touted as a S&M style romance/hard core porn series then I certainly would never have imagined getting angry at the sex.

However this series for the first 10 books was pretty much paranormal mystery/action books that suddenly became BAD pornography.

message 15: by La pointe de la sauce (last edited Jun 21, 2010 01:22AM) (new)

La pointe de la sauce Ha. Awesome review. But I think someone would disagree with the notion of too much sex.

Kat Kennedy Clearly MY notion of too much sex is not based on any quantifiable unit of measurement and will vary from person to person... :P However, I feel justified in saying that the ratio of story telling to sex is a little ridiculous...

An example, though a crude one, take a man and his...family jewels. Some family jewels is good, a hefty amount of family jewels is considered by most as being better. But if he has gargantuan family jewels that make the Eiffel Tower look insignificant, then you no longer have a man. You have a giant dick.

This book is a giant dick.


But this is all just personal opinion. Of course, a giant dick is going to be very useful to a giant person.

Wealhtheow Kat, you are spot-on when you point out that instead of character development, Anita gets powers and boyfriends. She started out as a flawed but fun-to-read character, but her personality has ossified into a competes-with-all-men, puts-down-all-women, insanely powerful and disturbingly self-righteous creep. If LKH seemed to want to explore that change, and how power is corrupting Anita's old standards, that would be one thing. But she's patently uninterested; she'd much rather write her millionth pseudo-S&M furry sex scene than bother with characterization or plot.

Le sigh.

message 18: by Hester (last edited Jun 25, 2010 03:01PM) (new)

Hester My brother loaned me the first couple in the series, but then said "Stop after these first couple books! Seriously!" I did not listen and learned, to my great disappointment, that he was right and everyone in this thread is dead on. Anita stopped being a human and the sex was not only icky, but stopped making sense to me. If Anita is the most powerful person ever, why is she constantly stuck in weird, kinky situations?
I get it if LKH doesn't want to kill off characters, but hasn't she ever heard of break-ups? They add conflict to a story, which is supposed to be a good thing.

Kat Kennedy I so agree Hester. She doesn't need to kill of characters. However, I have an idea - why not stop CREATING characters for Anita to fuck? Break up with other ones like she has with Richard! Seriously, it pisses me off.

Chasidy This review is AWESOME!

Spider the Doof Warrior Uh, I haven't read this series in a while, but did she really do it with a leopard?


I stopped at Obsidian Butterfly. Which is a nice title because I really want an obsidian butterfly. She's just gone a bit sex crazed, this writer. Someone needs to take her cayenne pepper away.

I am Bastet I cracked up during this review. Ohhhh man. I read the first two Anita Blake books before I realized how LONG the series was. So I went on Wikipedia and read a summary of the series, and saw the lycanthropy stuff, the bestiality stuff, the weird sex stuff, and the frighteningly high number of simultaneous sex parnters, and gave up. I'm so glad my decision was the right one ;)

message 23: by Brandi ;) (new)

Brandi ;) Once agian, your review has left me in stitches!
My first LKH book was 1 of the sexfilled orgy on top of orgy Fairy books and I barely made it through. I still don't quite know if there was a a story in all the sex. I then tried one of the Anita books and unfortunately got another sexfilled orgy on top of orgy book so I stopped cold turkey. Never to return again.

message 24: by Jay (new) - rated it 1 star

Jay Wow, just wow. This review just made my day. You're spot-on. :D

Actually, I abruptly stopped reading the series when Anita fucked Jean Claude in book 6. I literally threw the book across the room and left it there for a week before putting it in the bin to take to the local used book dealer. How she could go from a Christian vamp-hating, Richard loving, prude to screwing a dead guy is beyond me and was completely out of character.

To hell with Hamilton. I want back the time I wasted on this series.

message 25: by Dominika (new)

Dominika so this is the first book in the series? I saw you rated the other ones (at least the next few) quite high so I was wondering how what made you pick up the rest?:) (if they are a continuation of this one)

Kat Kennedy Dominika, this review and the rating is for the actual entire series.

It is a retroactive review of the series. On my first review of this book I gave it four stars simply because I was young a naive (If you can believe those days exist for me!) and didn't know what would happen.

Now I can't, in good conscience, encourage ANYONE except the most perverted, to pick up this series because it will turn on you like a rattle snake and go straight for your googlies.

The first ten or so books of this series were pretty good but then they are completely obliterated but the next nine books in the series.

Jay - have I mentioned lately that you crack me up?

message 27: by Kristy (last edited Nov 02, 2010 04:07PM) (new)

Kristy Kat I haven't laughed so much in ages.

Thank you for giving me a stomach ache from the amount of laughing that I have just done.

I was told to give these books a go but now I don't think I will bother.

You are an absolute legend.

message 28: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin Kat, I feel like a stalker because I enjoy your reviews so much. Love this one too! I thought I'd share a story. Several months ago I was having my hair done and was sitting next to a girl with a stack of books. Turns out, she worked for a YA publisher. We start chatting about books and LKH came up. One of this gal's publishing buddies has to deal with LKH regularly and I guess Miz H is a mega you-know-what. The stories she shared were along the lines of what you would expect from an aging, self-important rock star.

Bottom line, I think LKH believes everything she writes is genius and we will all love it because she says so.

Kat Kennedy Erin, I have no trouble believing that LKH believes she is some all important rock star! I feel sorry for whoever has to deal with her!

I'm so glad you enjoy my reviews! Believe me, it makes a nice change from the haters!

Carina I was told to give this series a shot so I picked up book 1 and just finished it. For me it was a 3 star book, and I wanted to continue reading this series. But after reading your review(which was hilarious by the way), and all the people agreeing with you Im not sure I want to continue reading something that is a carwreck waiting to happen. Besides its a really long series if its just gonna end up sucking lol!

Kat Kennedy Carina, I found the first book to be a three star read as well but I can not express how much of a shit-stick this series turns into. Seriously, don't waste your time and energy!

message 32: by Jay (new) - rated it 1 star

Jay If you think of it as a 10 books series and just stop reading there, it isn't a complete waste of time.

Otherwise, furries need only apply.

message 33: by Vinaya (last edited Jan 26, 2011 12:57PM) (new)

Vinaya And if you don't think you are the minority, well, sorry, guys but you are. I have the sales figures to prove it. Each book’s sales are more than the last.

Ya think? This is probably the same reason Playboy has five times the subscription of TIME magazine. LKH needn't kid herself on this. She's not selling more books because her writing got better, she's selling more books because SMUT SELLS. I wonder how she'll feel when one day surveys show that somewhat literate, sexually frustrated middle-aged men in suburbia are the highest purchasers of this series, the wankers! Literally.

message 34: by Jay (new) - rated it 1 star

Jay If she wants to write furry smut, so be it. It doesn't matter to me. It's just too bad she had to ruin a decent character just to make more money.

message 35: by Vinaya (new)

Vinaya Yeah, and the worst part is, she already has a running erotica series (Merry Gentry). SO why couldn't she just channel her lurid and disturbing fantasies into those books, and keep Anita cool? Do you think LKH got takne by the Bodysnatchers after Obsidian Butterfly? I really can't explain her sudden overwhelming need to make her characters orgasm every half a page any other way!

message 36: by Jay (last edited Jan 26, 2011 03:01PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Jay I blame the money, drugs, and orgies, LKH hasn't been the same since that all started getting out of hand.

Spider the Doof Warrior I do miss ass kicking and not taking names Anita. *sigh* who had morals and convictions and tried to stick to them.

Kat Kennedy Her morals and convictions went about the same time as the elasticity of her *beep*

message 39: by Jay (new) - rated it 1 star

Jay Butt?

Oops, wrong book discussion.

message 40: by Dinjolina (new)

Dinjolina Why does this series have 20 books?
Isn't that so over the top it's just not normal?
I don't get it.
There was no whay she could have written it good when it comes to so many publications.
It rarely works.

message 41: by Sofia (new)

Sofia Okay, you don't know me, but I've been reading your reviews and this one just takes the cake (thus far)! Damn, woman, you have a talent for insulting, joking, and still getting your message across. In other words: you kick ass at writing reviews! Do you work as a journalist/critic/reviewer in real life? Cause that's professions I could see you do really well in!

Adding you to my friend-list. Hope you don't mind? :)

Kat Kennedy Jay, you crack me up!

Dinjolina, I would be very interested to hear of a series that is still good after 10 books. So far I've never seen one. This one is complete and utter crap.

Sofia, I wish. I've been telling people to pay me to write for years but they haven't been listening. No, I don't mind at all if you add me to your friends list.

message 43: by Galla (new)

Galla Oh, Anita Blake, I'm glad I quit you.

The number of typos in the books was getting just shocking, too. I've had drunk nights on Twitter with a lower typo percentage.

message 44: by Jay (new) - rated it 1 star

Jay Galla wrote: "Oh, Anita Blake, I'm glad I quit you.

The number of typos in the books was getting just shocking, too. I've had drunk nights on Twitter with a lower typo percentage."

It's the sheer volume of drugs, orgies, and fanboy worship. It's enough to push anyone over the edge. I just feel sorry for the guy that lives next door to her, his German shepherd's been missing for weeks.

message 45: by Galla (new)

Galla Poor German shepherd fell in love with Anita and will now spend the next three books chained in her yard, waiting for some page time.

message 46: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Galla wrote: "Oh, Anita Blake, I'm glad I quit you.

The number of typos in the books was getting just shocking, too. I've had drunk nights on Twitter with a lower typo percentage."

And I bet you didn't use the words "The Power" 40 million times. Now that could be a drinking game.

Kat, thanks for taking one for the team. I quit at book 5 or 6 (can't remember - don't want to). There were WAY better books out there to read.

message 47: by Jay (new) - rated it 1 star

Jay Galla wrote: "Poor German shepherd fell in love with Anita and will now spend the next three books chained in her yard, waiting for some page time."

Anita? I was talking about LKH. :D

message 48: by Galla (new)

Galla Jay wrote: "Anita? I was talking about LKH. :D"


AH, I haven't ever forgotten how to spell "triumvirate" for the length of an entire novel, either--though now you have me wanting to open a bottle of wine and Tweet about "The Power" all night.

message 49: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Galla wrote: AH, I haven't ever forgotten how to spell "triumvirate" for the length of an entire novel, either--though now you have me wanting to open a bottle of wine and Tweet about "The Power" all night. "

It was amazing - either the 5th or 6th book. If I had played that game, I would have been plastered.

Enjoy your wine!

message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

Ok, I have to say that I have been trying for months to figure out why on gods green earth a book series that I wanted so very bad to read after each book ended, why I stopped giving a shit. And you so totally explained it!!!!!!! I used to love Anita, and by the way I roleplay her ( I know silly LOL) but I felt I owed it to myself to write Anita how I saw her in my head before it all just went so wrong. So, Anita pretty much stopped for me as you said Obsidian. Why? Because I LOVE Edward aka Ted. I love the idea of him, I love what he stands for, and I love his relationship with Anita. So my husband RPs my Edward and Anita is without Micah <--- who I couldn't stand, and she is in a pseudo relationship with Richard, with Jean Claude making random passes at her when I'm in a vampy mood. But I choose Richard in my world LOL.

Everything you said was so RIGHT! You put such perfect words to this huge frustration I have had since I literally started Micah read in about a chapter and never picked it up again <---- that was before Bullet came out lol.

God, thank you for venting to perfectly what I couldn't get out myself because I really didn't want to admit it. That Anita Blake stopped at Obsidian lol.

I have not started to read her Fae series yet because I'm afraid I will grow to love a protagonist that I will then slowly want to stab in the heart also. So, if you have read the Meredith Gentry books let me know so I know if its safe to start them. =)

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