CJ's Reviews > Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
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's review
Mar 20, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, mystery

The engaging start of a wonderful series that morphs into erotica partway through.

If you like V.I Warshawski, Kinsey Milhone,and other female gumshoes, and you like some fantasy, you will definitely like this series in the beginning. Normal world, normal woman, except that vampires (and other supernatural critters) are real, some have civil rights and coexist with humans more or less peacefully, and the protagonist is a 5'2" gun toting butt kicking necromancer. Her day job is raising the dead for a company that specializes in it so that answers about wills, etc., can be settled once and for all. Her other job is a vampire executioner which makes her a federal marshal, because you can't just run around and stake some poor vampire on sight unless you want to get arrested. The monsters are living among the humans now, and Ms. Hamilton does a wonderful job of looking at exactly what that would entail. What about mixed marriages? What kinds of jobs would vampires have? How would the ACLU fit into this? What about religion? And so on and so forth. At this point, Anita Blake's world is black and white. Vampires bad. Humans good. There are no shades of gray for Anita. This book reads like a decently written female detective book with the small twist of the kind of world the detective exists in and how that impacts her investigation and her life.

You must start with the beginning in this series or you'll miss some fascinating twists and turns as Anita's world starts to acquire shades of gray and she starts to grow up a little bit. What happens when the monsters go out of their way to rescue you from the humans who want to kill you? What happens when the scariest thing in your world is a human, not a monster? What happens when the monster thinks you're kinda cute and asks you out on a date?

Later in the series, Ms. Hamilton gets so busy exploring the social interaction side of things (what happens when ALL the monsters want to date you. At the same time.) that the mystery solving part goes bye bye, which is a shame. And right around Narcissus in Chains, Ms. Hamiltin abandons any pretense at plot and starts writing not so vanilla porn. But the series right up to that point is a solidly written, engaging and nicely layered series that can be addictive.

And the fact of the matter is that not one of the other authors who have picked up on this oh so popular genre of female with unexplored powers doing something dangerous in a supernatural world has come close to what Ms. Hamilton managed to accomplish with Anita Blake.
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04/16 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by BK (new) - rated it 3 stars

BK Blue This is exactly how I feel about the series. It started off so good, but once Narcissus in Chains came out it began to morph into straight-up orgies and gang bangs. I don't have a problem with a little sex here and there, but come ON. It's a shame, really, because Obsidian Butterfly is one of my favorite books, and there is no sex even in it.

message 2: by CJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

CJ Have you read her latest - Skin Trade? It looks like she may be returning to her earlier convention of using a plot and focusing more on having Anita solve mysteries rather than figuring out who she's going to hop into the sack with next. I think going back to the tried and true "human law enforcement just doesn't understand what Anita is capable of" salvaged this book, along with the return of Edward, who's hands down my favorite male character in the entire series. He seems to be the only male on the planet capable of withstanding whatever pheromones Anita is putting out. I'd be interested in hearing what you think of Skin Trade when you read it.

message 3: by Cat (new)

Cat Erekson Yes, I was very happy for her return to plot. I met Laurell and got to hear her talk about future plans, and it sounds like good news for the next several books. I don't mind some sex, but when it drives out any pretense of a story, it's too much IMO. Anita is one of my favorite characters of all time. I'm glad she's coming back to solving crimes.

message 4: by CJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

CJ Cat, that's fantastic news, thanks so much for passing it along! Laurell is an excellent writer, and it was painful to watch the quality slide so far downhill. I'm looking forward to seeing her get back to her writing and leave the thinly veiled public exploration of her sexual identity for other forums.

Raven Greetings Fellow Fan of Laurell K. Hamilton. Unlike t hose who have rated this book as 1 or 4 I rate her writing as a 5. I can't get into Anne Rice's books, It takes a special type of writing to hold my attention and Laurell K. Hamilton has done it. Those of us who love her writing need to stick together. I'm not crazy about all the sex stuff, but I'm not gonna let that keep me from a good mystery and anyone who can read "Guilty Pleasures" without crying hasn't got a Soul or a Heart.

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