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Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: The First Death HC Hardcover – Feb 27 2008

1 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics (Feb. 27 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785129413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785129417
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.3 x 26.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #596,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Hardcover
I ordered this book based on the product description. No where in the information was there any notation that this was a "graphic" novel and not a regular book. It was very disappointing to receive this work and I can't believe Laurell K. Hamilton would stoop to putting Anita Blake in this situation. I have so enjoyed all the other "Anita Blake" novels and have the entire series. I thought this was a "prequel" novel of regular format to the series.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 25 2008
Format: Hardcover
Much ado has been made about "The First Death," a graphic novel two-parter chronicling the early work of Laurell K. Hamilton's alter ego, Anita Blake.

Well, it turns out to be much ado about... very little. This prequel is a leaden exercise full of dull police work, vampire-slaying banter, and an empty introduction to a foppish vampire and a rather unmenacing assassin. All is rendered in halfhearted, sometimes comically silly artwork -- Hamilton should quit while she's ahead.

It opens with Anita being called out on a murder scene -- children are being slaughtered by a vampire, and for some reason they need her there even though she fails to tell them anything. The only suspect is a vampire who happens to be nearby, so Sergeant Storr and Anita go to the vampire's place of work, and encounter the flirtatious Jean-Claude, who immediately takes a shine to Anita.

But then another child is killed, and Anita finds that she may be dealing with a gang of vampires. Anita and her partner Manny infiltrate the vampires' base of operations, but find only a recently deceased corpse -- and when Anita returns to her office, she finds the assassin Edward, known absurdly as "Death," sitting in her chair.

Despite her hatred of Edward, Anita finds that she may need his help, since she's not getting any closer to finding the serial-killing vampires. And when she discovers a lead to the case, Anit and Manny head straight into a devastating trap, from which only "Death" himself may be able to rescue them...

A taut, thrilling mystery... "First Death" ain't. Laurell K. Hamilton just sort of halfheartedly slaps together a glacial, pointless plot with minimal detective work.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9d3685a0) out of 5 stars 54 reviews
118 of 138 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d2e0138) out of 5 stars First tedium Feb. 25 2008
By EA Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Much ado has been made about "The First Death," a graphic novel two-parter chronicling the early work of Laurell K. Hamilton's alter ego, Anita Blake.

Well, it turns out to be much ado about... very little. This prequel is a leaden exercise full of dull police work, vampire-slaying banter, and an empty introduction to a foppish vampire and a rather unmenacing assassin. And it's all rendered in halfhearted, sometimes comically silly artwork and dialogue. Hamilton should quit while she's ahead.

It opens with Anita being called out on a murder scene -- children are being slaughtered by a vampire, and for some reason they need her there even though she fails to tell them anything. The only suspect is a vampire who happens to be nearby, so Sergeant Storr and Anita go to the vampire's place of work, and encounter the flirtatious Jean-Claude, who immediately takes a shine to Anita.

But then another child is killed, and Anita finds that she may be dealing with a gang of vampires. Anita and her partner Manny infiltrate the vampires' base of operations, but find only a recently deceased corpse -- and when Anita returns to her office, she finds the assassin Edward, known absurdly as "Death," sitting in her chair.

Despite her hatred of Edward, Anita finds that she may need his help, since she's not getting any closer to finding the serial-killing vampires. And when she discovers a lead to the case, Anit and Manny head straight into a devastating trap, from which only "Death" himself may be able to rescue them...

A taut, thrilling mystery... "First Death" ain't. Laurell K. Hamilton just sort of halfheartedly slaps together a glacial, pointless plot with minimal detective work. In fact, she doesn't even bother to craft a NEW mystery -- she just embellishes a storyline that was summarized back in her first novel. Whoa, I wonder how this will turn out.

Even worse, Hamilton fritters most of the storyline away -- it's a disjointed string of crime scenes, zombie raisings, inept vampire-hunting, and really bad banter ("Blow a hole in them big enough, it slows them down pretty good"). Our intrepid heroine spends most of the plot sitting in a car, an office, or a strip club, and occasionally tackling a grieving mother to the ground (to show her concern, of course).

By the time we arrive at the climax, it feels like Hamilton realized that she's running out of space, and tried to cram the rest of the plot into the remaining pages. Torture, beatings and murder are glossed over in just a few pages, so it can finish on time.

And all this is just so Anita can meet Jean-Claude and Edward. Jean-Claude has nothing to do with the plot at all, so he just provides ruffled shirts and high-school flirtations -- he's as sexy and dangerous as a bowl of pudding. Edward is far better -- his easygoing-killer attitude seems even more likable besides Anita's humorless tough-grrlness. He tends to get the best lines, not to mention the great scene where he toasts a house.

Anita herself is a joke -- she seems more like a stunted, sulky Hot Topic teenager with too much makeup. Hamilton tries to portray her as a tough and powerful woman, but since Anita is repeatedly rescued by the Big Male Cop and Big Male Assassin, it's hard to see her that way. In fact, the most deadly thing she does in the whole story is stake a vampire who is unconscious and bound. Oooh, scary. I can see why the vampires as so frightened of her.

"The First Death" is a waste of time and paper -- a halfhearted crime story wrapped around an equally halfhearted pair of introductions. Definitely not worth a read.
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d2e018c) out of 5 stars I liked it. March 11 2008
By Joshua Or Jennifer Eastwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Does it give a whole lot of new information on Anita Blake? No. Is it entertaining? Yes. Come on folks, it's not like we read Anita Blake for the intellectual stimulation. It's a thoroughly entertaining vampire fantasy and this graphic novel represents that fairly. I think the illustrations where fitting and interesting. I loved having a little back story on Anita and Jean Claudes first meeting and I enjoyed it. Was I blown away? No. But I wasn't really expecting to be. I got what I expected...an entertaining story with great illustrations.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d2e05c4) out of 5 stars First tedium Jan. 16 2009
By EA Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Much ado has been made about "The First Death," a graphic novel two-parter chronicling the early work of Laurell K. Hamilton's alter ego, Anita Blake.

Well, it turns out to be much ado about... very little. This prequel is a leaden exercise full of dull police work, vampire-slaying banter, and an empty introduction to a foppish vampire and a rather unmenacing assassin. And it's all rendered in halfhearted, sometimes comically silly artwork and dialogue. Hamilton should quit while she's ahead.

It opens with Anita being called out on a murder scene -- children are being slaughtered by a vampire, and for some reason they need her there even though she fails to tell them anything. The only suspect is a vampire who happens to be nearby, so Sergeant Storr and Anita go to the vampire's place of work, and encounter the flirtatious Jean-Claude, who immediately takes a shine to Anita.

But then another child is killed, and Anita finds that she may be dealing with a gang of vampires. Anita and her partner Manny infiltrate the vampires' base of operations, but find only a recently deceased corpse -- and when Anita returns to her office, she finds the assassin Edward, known absurdly as "Death," sitting in her chair.

Despite her hatred of Edward, Anita finds that she may need his help, since she's not getting any closer to finding the serial-killing vampires. And when she discovers a lead to the case, Anit and Manny head straight into a devastating trap, from which only "Death" himself may be able to rescue them...

A taut, thrilling mystery... "First Death" ain't. Laurell K. Hamilton just sort of halfheartedly slaps together a glacial, pointless plot with minimal detective work. In fact, she doesn't even bother to craft a NEW mystery -- she just embellishes a storyline that was summarized back in her first novel. Whoa, I wonder how this will turn out.

Even worse, Hamilton fritters most of the storyline away -- it's a disjointed string of crime scenes, zombie raisings, inept vampire-hunting, and really bad banter ("Blow a hole in them big enough, it slows them down pretty good"). Our intrepid heroine spends most of the plot sitting in a car, an office, or a strip club, and occasionally tackling a grieving mother to the ground (to show her concern, of course).

By the time we arrive at the climax, it feels like Hamilton realized that she's running out of space, and tried to cram the rest of the plot into the remaining pages. Torture, beatings and murder are glossed over in just a few pages, so it can finish on time.

And all this is just so Anita can meet Jean-Claude and Edward. Jean-Claude has nothing to do with the plot at all, so he just provides ruffled shirts and high-school flirtations -- he's as sexy and dangerous as a bowl of pudding. Edward is far better -- his easygoing-killer attitude seems even more likable besides Anita's humorless tough-grrlness. He tends to get the best lines, not to mention the great scene where he toasts a house.

Anita herself is a joke -- she seems more like a stunted, sulky Hot Topic teenager with too much makeup. Hamilton tries to portray her as a tough and powerful woman, but since Anita is repeatedly rescued by the Big Male Cop and Big Male Assassin, it's hard to see her that way. In fact, the most deadly thing she does in the whole story is stake a vampire who is unconscious and bound. Oooh, scary. I can see why the vampires as so frightened of her.

"The First Death" is a waste of time and paper -- a halfhearted crime story wrapped around an equally halfhearted pair of introductions. Definitely not worth a read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d2e0990) out of 5 stars Back, for the very first time Jan. 12 2014
By Tom Knapp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The First Death is a made-for-comics prequel to Guilty Pleasures, the first novel and inaugural comics adaptation of the popular series of pulp vampire novels by Laurell K. Hamilton. Hamilton, along with husband Jonathon Green, provides the story -- which is basically a plumped-up revision to a story she's previously told -- and Wellinton Alves adds the art.

Anyone who loves all things Anita Blake is going to love it. Everyone else, not so much.

The story is empty calories, a slipshod cut-and-paste yarn that plods through the narrative in some places and rushes willynilly through sections that might have benefited from a little more exposition. It's hard not to think Hamilton, who has yet to employ much subtlety or depth in her writing, didn't just dash this one off on the back of an envelope while trying on Nikes one slow afternoon.

The First Death flashes back to the days when Anita worked mostly raising the dead for grieving (or greedy) relatives and worked only occasionally with the police as a slayer-for-hire (although she has already worked up a fearsome reputation as "the Executioner" among the vampire community). Called in on a series of brutal vampire murders in which children are always the victims, Anita offers little to no assistance to police, aside from the occasional quip or vomiting. But she does get to meet the blousy vampire with whom she'll eventually be happily playing "hide the stake," if you know what I mean, and she has a few quality interactions with a completely bland Edward, the assassin otherwise known as "Death."

Without the benefit of any actual police work, Anita stumbles on some villains, sees her partner get tortured and does some hasty slaying. I actually yawned while reading it.

Artwork by Wellinton Alves is half-hearted, although I dare say it's an improvement over the plastic, over-exaggerated work of Brett Booth in Guilty Pleasures.

Bottom line, people: I yawned. And I wasn't even especially tired.

by Tom Knapp, the Rambles.NET guy
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d2e0a74) out of 5 stars NIce little change March 19 2009
By Debra Mccray - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't normally do graphic novels - but I'm a big fan of Laurell K Hamilton and almost anything Anita I will read. This was a nice treat as a prequal to the series. The art was good, the story good and the indexes in the back great. It's also nice to see how the characters "look" and see if they compare to my imagined image.


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