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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining dark fantasy
The Anita Blake series, which began with this novel, is an entertaining light read about an "animator" (someone who raises zombies from the dead for a living, for eg. to check the details of their will) who also is a legal vampire slayer - she's sent out with a court order to slay vampires who break the law. As you can guess, this series is set in an alternate...
Published on Oct. 2 2002 by Kathleen Cobcroft

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Guilty pleasure
Vampire fiction is a dime a dozen, especially the goofy variety. But Laurell K. Hamilton managed to create something a wee bit out of the ordinary in "Guilty Pleasures," the first book of her Anita Blake series. Vampires, werebeasties and kick-butt policewomen abound, and the result is... yes, I'll say it: A guilty pleasure.

Anita Blake, a petite smart-alecky...
Published on Feb. 24 2007 by E. A Solinas


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining dark fantasy, Oct. 2 2002
By 
Kathleen Cobcroft (Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Guilty Pleasures (Hardcover)
The Anita Blake series, which began with this novel, is an entertaining light read about an "animator" (someone who raises zombies from the dead for a living, for eg. to check the details of their will) who also is a legal vampire slayer - she's sent out with a court order to slay vampires who break the law. As you can guess, this series is set in an alternate reality where fantasy creatures exist and vampires have recently gained legal "human" status.
Anita herself has some interesting personal conflicts - she is a committed Christian who works with dark forces and kills a little too easily, and a very dainty and pretty-looking person who considers herself to be "tough as nails" (it makes it hard for the bad guys to take her seriously).
Each of the books is loosely based around a supernatural mystery and the ongoing story of Anita's life (she's 20-something at the start of this book). The writing is a little sloppy, but quite compelling, and the series steadily improves for the first few novels (the later ones get a little bogged down with Anita's issues).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Suspense, mystery and romance - it's got it all, May 22 2014
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Zombies, vampires, lycanthropes... I was fully prepared to dislike this novel, but it really was well worth the read. I'm already on book 5 lol
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent as always, March 5 2014
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exciting, well written, full characters, some violence but well suited to the storyline, i throughly enjoyed this book and look forward to more of the same...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good little mystery and it has vampires!, Oct. 2 2003
By 
STORY: As one review so simply put: "Anita Blake, full time animator of the dead and part time vampire slayer, has been hired by the thousand year old Master of the city to find a serial killer who's been knocking off the undead"
MY FEEDBACK:
1) SETTING: This is an alternate world where what appears to be 20th century humans coexist with vampires and other supernatural creatures. There are even laws that give vampires certain rights in this new world. Our brief glimpse of the world created is teasing in its possibilities and enjoyable.
2) CHARACTERS: Anita Blake is our main protagonist. She is a female version of a smart-mouthed detective from some stereotypical gumshoe story. She is a character who proudly displays her stereotypes but also enjoyable has a couple of traits that add something memorable. I liked the character enough that she is more the reason why I would want to read the next book than because the plot was maybe fabulous.
3) PLOT: Speaking of plot...it was a nice little mystery. I didn't feel that there were enough clues to who the "bad" guy was but the story had enough unexpected events that I kept reading. Story was overall handled well though I would have liked to see more "action" scenes vs. scenes that were potentially eruptive in action...if you know what I mean.
4) CONTENT: This book would be rated R for gore and violence. The "sensual" scenes were handled very professionally, were brief and were NOT graphic sexually...which I appreciated. I wanted a vampire, action, mystery and that is what I got.
OVERALL: I liked this book and if someone likes to read vampire books and have a mystery I'd recommend this in a heartbeat. Just because the covers of this series and the titles of the books may imply this is erotic horror, this book wasn't. If the rest of the series is, I don't know. But this was a fun little read that I really enjoyed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book in a day!! Could not put it down, Aug. 21 2002
By 
Well I was hooked...... (never mind that it took me 2 years of looking at it in my TBR pile to get to it)LOL
Anita Blake is (as the cover says) Badddddddd with the capitol "B". This is my first Vampire book, I don't generally read gore but suprisingly enough it doesn't contain a lot of it. Descriptive fight scenes, gun battles, creatures of all kinds and "sort of" love story is what this quick read had to offer. I am not a Science Fiction professional reader so my review is actually coming from someone that is new to this genre it seems to me that Laurell K. Hamilton tried to mesh the world of Romance with Science Fiction and she did it (in my honest opinion) rather smoothly, don't get me wrong there is a slight reference of a "possible" attraction between 2 characters (sorry no spoilers here) but there isn't a lot of romance going on. The suspense is within the murders that are going on and the potrayal of the Nickolaus character (who reminded me a lot of the Kristin Durst role in "Interview with a Vampire")will haunt me for a day or two I am sure. The one thing that I was a little perplexed about was how did Anita develop some of her skills... but I do have faith a figure that these may be revealed in later books so I look forward to delving into the rest of the series.
I highly recommend this series if you are a Romantic Supsense Reader that needs a break from the "norm".
Respectfully Reviewed
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Guilty pleasure, Feb. 24 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
Vampire fiction is a dime a dozen, especially the goofy variety. But Laurell K. Hamilton managed to create something a wee bit out of the ordinary in "Guilty Pleasures," the first book of her Anita Blake series. Vampires, werebeasties and kick-butt policewomen abound, and the result is... yes, I'll say it: A guilty pleasure.

Anita Blake, a petite smart-alecky vampire hunter/necromancer, is known as the "Exterminator," and is feared by the vampires who have been lucky enough not to run into her. But at a bachelorette party, Anita is tricked into going to a vampire strip club, presided over by the sexy French vampire Jean-Claude. Soon a friend of hers is being held hostage. She'll stay alive if Anita works for the vampires.

Jean-Claude takes her to see the master vampire, the malevolent little girl Nikolaos, who tells her that vampires are being brutally killed -- including some of the most powerful in St. Louis. Now Anita is racing against the clock to find the killer, and keep from being killed by the very vampires that she is there to help.

The early books of the Anita Blake series are fun, sort of your typical detective stories with a bloodsucky twist. They also have the advantage of a strong female lead, some weird sidekicks, and a mild "freshening up" of your average dark fantasy/horror staples like vampires and werebeasties.

There's not a lot of actual innovation here -- werecreatures, vampires, and petite heroines who kick their butts. And Jean-Claude and the girl-vampires Nikolaos seem suspiciously close to classic Anne Rice characters. And I can only read so many pages of Anita detailing every outfit and weapon she wears.

However, Hamilton adds plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor; Anita has many of the best one-liners in the book, and there are some entertaining questions, such as whether a person can remarry if their dead spouse becomes a vampire. There are also some darker new twists, such as "freaks" (vampire junkies) and vampire groupies. The content is nothing new, but the handling is.

Despite her nymphomaniacal turns later in the series, Anita is strong, tough and in charge here. Hamilton gave her plenty of insecurities, but also the guts to live and fight despite them. The other compelling character is Jean-Claude, who is the very image of an enigmatic vamp. It's never quite clear what he's thinking, but Hamilton hinted at the actual personality under his suave charm.

Don't think it's a classic, or even a minor classic. "Guilty Pleasures" is no more and no less than its name -- an entertaining action-mystery filled with vampires and werebeasties.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Buffy meets the Babysitters Club (with sex!), March 5 2004
By 
amazumdar (United States) - See all my reviews
Having now read seven (and most of the eighth) of the Anita Blake novels, I can't help but come to the seemingly paradoxical conclusion that Laurell K. Hamilton is one of the most INARTICULATE authors I've ever read. In writing about characters who are supposed to be charming, mysterious, worldly, etc., the dialogue she puts in their mouths is exceedingly clumsy. Ms. Hamilton is in dire need of a good editor to clean up her style (not to mention her bad grammar -- that would be nitpicking). Hamilton's main strength, if one may call it that, is in plotting stories and coming up with a new set of supernatural features in every novel. This strength is far outweighed by her flat inability to put together sentences that manage to create a cohesive impression. Her novels are like very long high school essays, with lots of sex. And, oh the sex (cringe!). Hamilton is trying, I suppose, to write horror romances, but the romance aspect of the writing is so juvenile, one is tempted just to skip over it to get to the violence. And her protagonist, Anita Blake, is written as being so bullheaded and impulsive that it's a wonder that she has lived as long as she has -- she just can't hold her tongue, which isn't a wise choice for someone dealing with dangerous forces. Last, but not least, is Hamilton's habit of going into excruciating detail on irrelevant matters, such as the layout of certain St. Louis suburbs or what colour brassiere to wear with firearms. It's like she's just using whatever random details reside in her memory to pad things out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I will agree to disagree, July 6 2004
By 
As the starting novel in the Anita Blake series, it was pretty good. Although, I couldn't get over the fact that she was scared all the time. I mean if you're scared of someone, then I don't think that you should crack stupid jokes. Nikolaos is the wrong one to piss off. For a thousand year-old vampire, she does not have a sense of humor. The dialog, however, was a lot better than the other books. Aubrey and Theresa are really well thought out characters and I like that. I also liked the scenes between Anita and Jean Claude, they brought a little romance to the book. The end has a nice twist to it that I wasn't expecting. What I didn't expect was for the next book to be so SORRY, but enough about that. If you like vampires, ghouls, and zombie's, then this is a good book to start with. It's not an excellent book, but it'll get you through the weekend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buffy of the Literary World, Jan. 1 2003
The paralells between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Anita Blake series are virtually infinite. Both are tough, slim, short hot girls whose main goal in life is to free the world from the baddies. Both seem to have more than their fair share of relationships with some of these supernatural "baddies". Both of them love weapons. And both of them kick major .... while cracking tongue in cheek jokes.
I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And I love these books.
I read several reviews pertaining to the lack of sex in this first book. Well if you want sex, read on....the series soon becomes permeated with it. Ms. Hamilton seems to either give us too much or too little. Personally I prefer too little. I'm more on the ride for the action and plots, not the sex. If I want sexual satisfaction from a book I'll read a romance novel. This is not a romance novel.
In the same way Buffy the Vampire Slayer has become more and more "sexual", so do Hamilton's books. Since it is a series, some of the books are more for setting the scene and creating sexual tension than supplying a release for it. I would say on the whole though this series (taken as a whole) has something for everyone. Humour, Horror, and lust.
An easy writing style and a killer character make this book a must read for anyone who likes things along the line of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A guilty pleasure, Oct. 12 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
Once upon a time, before the Anita Blake series became cheap porn with well-endowed vampires and werethingies, there was "Guilty Pleasures."

Laurell K. Hamilton's breakout debut was one of the early urban fantasy stories, though by no means the best. It's an amusing, gorey story with some unusual twists, but it often seems like a goth teenager's daydreams of vampire romance and superpowers.

It takes place in an alternate universe where werecreatures and vampires live amongst us openly. Anita Blake is a vampire hunter -- known as the Executioner -- and an animator, able to raise zombies from the dead, but she isn't too fond of vampires or weres. So when a vampire comes to hire her, she turns him down. But at a bachelorette party, she soon finds herself hip-deep in vampire politics, courtesy of the sensual club-owner Jean-Claude.

Things only get more complicated when she ends up facing the Master of the City, a deceptively sweet-looking little vampire who wants answers about the murders right away. Anita is going to end up facing a dungeonful of wererats, zombies, vampire groupies... and possibly the seductive Jean-Claude.

Admittedly there's not a lot of innovation here -- there are foppish, sensual vampires in the Anne Rice style, attack zombies, an army of werecreatures, and a Buffy-style heroine. It's a bit of a horror mishmash, and Hamilton never really adds much to the equation.

Nor does she add much to the simple murder mystery that the plot revolves around -- take your basic crime thriller, and add a few supernatural characters. Bang, you're done. But Hamilton loads it down with gore, violence, mystery and some unusual twists, such as Anita visiting a "freak party" full of vampire groupies and junkies.

As for her writing, Hamilton will never win a Pulitzer, but it's sparky and colourful enough to maintain a reader's attention. However, Anita's scenes with Jean-Claude needed work. While they have a sexual snap, some of them reek too much of a fourteen-year-old goth's fantasies of vampire romance.

Despite her goddess-of-the-universe turns later in the series, Anita Blake is a more compelling character here -- flawed, blunt, and very scarred. And Jean-Claude is fascinating when he's being manipulative to everyone... and much less so when he's awkwardly flirting with Anita. All other characrers more or less range from two-dimensional (the cartoonish Nikolaos) to the bittersweetly realistic (Philip).

With no hint of what was in store, "Guilty Pleasures" is nothing more or less than what its title suggests -- a lightweight adventure story with vampires and a Buffyesque heroine.
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Guilty Pleasures
Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton (Paperback - Oct. 2007)
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