countdown boutiques-francophones Learn more vpcflyout Pets All-New Kindle Music Deals Store sports Tools Registry

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$33.79+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on March 5, 2004
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.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 2, 2002
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).
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 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.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 6, 2004
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.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 4, 2004
Having read and loved A Kiss of Shadows, I decided that it was time I gave the Anita Blake vampire series a whirl. Guilty Pleasures is a fast-paced, enthralling horror novel that kept me turning the pages until the wee hours of the night. The series starts out when Anita, a professional vampire executioner, is forced to investigate the recent murder of various vampires. But Anita's job is to execute vampires, not help them, but the master vampire Nikolaos is not someone you can turn down. There are various twists throughout the novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat...
I love Anita's narration and the story's steady motion. There isn't a single boring moment in this novel. I can see why so many people have become addicted to this series. Laurell K. Hamilton is a great talent of paranormal fiction. There is plenty of horror and suspense throughout the novel, but there isn't a trace of romantica. That's the only thing I didn't like about the first installment. But I was told that the romance and erotica come along later in the series (and I hope that Jean-Claude, a dark and sensual vampire in the story, will be part of said romance and erotica). Even though I prefer vampires as sex gods rather than evil, this is one series that I intend to read from cover to cover. A great start to the Anita Blake series! This novel is definitely a guilty pleasure...
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 27, 2004
This is the fisrt novel of the serie and even from the start it's an non-stop action package. She did create an entire world in which her caracters brings more credibility to a fantastic chain of events. What should be impossible becomes a part of your reality for few hours.
I've got to confess, Anita may mot be your kindred spirit, but I'm sure, as for me, you'll feel deeply her generosity, her witty repartees and for sure her own confused love life. But she's before all this the Executioner. Guns, martial arts, animator bringing back zombies to us who's living above the ground, are just few of her abilities. And with her spare time? Anita's just tracking a buch of vampires with some silver ammo and a stick just in case... And don't forget at the end of this book that it's just the begining, because there is much much more to come. Jean-Claude & cie will seduce you and you'll forget where reality stands for a while, when at three AM, you'll come back with a wow to your lips.
Je vous lève mon chapeau Mme Hamilton, car rare furent les épopées qui incendièrent à ce point mon imagination. Ici, j'appose un homage au génie qui est le votre.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 14, 2004
Couldn't put this down well I'm 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". I also recommend for those of you looking for a lighter read Charlaine Harris {{Southern Vampire}} Series or if you like it action packed try Susan Sizemore {{Laws of Blood}} Series.
Respectfully Reviewed
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 26, 2004
This is the introduction to LKH's Anita Blake universe, and it is possibly the most addictive debut novel I've ever read. This is, honestly, a book that you cannot put down.
We're introduced to Anita, a young woman who raises zombies and slays vampires. Hamilton was one of the first to create a world where supernatural creatures had civil liberties and were protected under the government. That world is vividly created from the novel's opening line. Those few words immediately reveal Hamilton's alternate universe to be a place of magical ghouls a la Anne Rice and hard boiled protagonists a la Raymond Chandler. Those words drag you into the story, and you won't really emerge until the last line.
The story is primarily a mystery. Someone is killing vampires and Anita, who usually is the vampire killer, is 'persuaded' by the most powerful vamp in the city to solve the case. She's aided by people like Edward, a sociopathic hit man, and Jean-Claude, a French vampire straight out of a trashy romance novel, who's so incredibly appealing on the page your jaw will drop.
What makes this world so real and interesting is Anita. She's a good Catholic girl (or was until she was excommunicated) who doesn't like premarital sex and always goes to church, but who knows how to gut a vampire or sacrifice a goat to raise a zombie and not think twice. Also, she's a huge bigot. Hamilton makes her heroine instantly suspicious of those 'different' dead types, giving the character room to grow. Granted, she's a little too far off the path in the present volumes, but it's wonderful to watch the seeds of doubt first appear in her. She's a character you feel for, but you know is obviously flawed. Hamilton didn't try to make a perfect, balanced and fair-minded character in book one, thereby making development out of the question and Anita a bore. This protagonist is grumpy, sympathetic, wary and often hilarious.
The other books in the series, from 'Laughing Corpse' through 'Obsidian Butterfly', are also wonderful. After that, things get a little too outlandish, but they're still good reads. However, 'Guilty Pleasures' is the first and must be, if not the best in the series, the most memorable and the most fascinating, since it's an introduction to this strange world. Just don't start reading it if you have to be somewhere in a few hours, because you won't want to move until it's done.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 4, 2004
I know Hamilton's books have become one of the more staple vampire novels, but compared to so many out there they have a fresher, more unusual take. Guilty Pleasures, the first novel in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, is no exception.
Despite its short length (compared to Hamilton's other novels), there's a lot packed into the book. It sets up the character of Anita Blake, a short, no nonsense animator. She raises zombies for a living. She just so happens to also be the Executioner, a legal vampire killer. She thinks of vampires as monsters, and vows not to get caught up with them, although through this book (and the following ones) that changes.
While I avoid horror novels, this really doesn't qualify as one. Sure, there's blood and gore, and she doesn't hide it, but it's not overly so. The plot overshadows the horror aspect so you don't get hung up on it.
The character of Anita Blake is more than just interesting. She knows interesting people, she's done things that have left scars, she has a gift that's unusual, and she has flaws and weaknesses. Instead of being the uber powerful, perfect vampire slayer, she's short, not that strong, and bears scars from times she should have been killed. She feels real, like a real person you could meet and talk to.
The vampires in the novel are interesting as well, but in this book they're barely discussed. Jean-Claude shows himself as a formidable force, but aside from him and Nikolaos, the villain of the book, the rest of the vampires are only briefly mentioned.
If you enjoy vampire novels and don't mind blood and gore, this is a series worth checking out.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse