Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Guest Review: Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake 1)

Once again I've roped in my friend Sarah to do a review, while I make my way through some of the weightier tomes on my TBR pile. So please welcome Sarah...

Guilty Pleasure - Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: UK - Headline

My name is Anita Blake. Vampires call me the Executioner. What I call them isn’t repeatable.
Ever since the Supreme Court granted the undead equal rights, most people think vampires are just ordinary folks with fangs. I know better. I’ve seen their victims. I carry the scars...
But now a serial killer is murdering vampires – and the most powerful bloodsucker in town wants me to find the killer.

Hello everyone, sometime-blogger Sarah here again!  I've been busy reading lots of books since my last post, but felt compelled enough to review 'Guilty Pleasures' by Laurell K Hamilton.  It's an Urban Fantasy book that was written back in the early 90s, but only came to my attention a few months back thanks to a work colleague.  It stars Anita Blake, a twenty-something, petite Animator (basically a necromancer) who also passes muster as a vampire killer (so good in fact that the vamps have named her The Executioner).  She's come close to losing her life to vampires in the past, bearing several scars and a very healthy respect (and some immunity) for their abilities.

It's set in an interesting take of a world with vampires, lycans etc in it - the vamps are out in the open, and for many people have replaced God and become the new religion (why worry about the afterlife, when you can have everlasting life?).  They also have rights in society, and can only be killed legally if a warrant is judicially signed to such effect.  However, someone (or something) has started murdering vampires, and Anita is physically and emotionally coerced into helping out the vamps and tracking down the killer.  Along the way she is assisted, hindered, and often attacked, by a variety of characters that are often straight out of your worst nightmares (sexually deviant were-rats anyone???).

The book proceeds at a good clip, and the action is very realistic and well-portrayed (good enough reason for me to buy the next two books when I saw them on special offer).  However, it is most definitely not flawless.  My main issue was with Anita herself - she cant seem to decide whether she's a seriously tough, arse-kicking chick, or your very typical human throwing up at the sight of a severed head.  She also seems to take an age to discover the murderer, when I had it figured out before halfway!  There are several red herrings thrown into the mix along the way, yet nearly none were ever touched on again.  Although as there are at least 15 other books in the series I'm hoping that we return to some of the subjects. 

One for Buffy fans, 6 out of 10.


  1. I enjoyed this one as well. Probably better than you did. ;) However, I can see what you mean. I need to read more in this series. I haven't read that far. Great review, Sarah!

  2. So great to have a wonderful friend who will blog with you. :)

    I have to say I love this cover! It is so eye catching and stunning.

    I haven't read this series yet, but it does sound fum. :) Thanks!

  3. I've read the first three books in this series and still have mixed feelings on it. I agree that Anita varies between kick ass and then "not so much". And it throws me off as I never know what to expect from her. I do plan on continuing on reading these books although I've been told that the later books are mostly erotica. We'll see I guess... Great review!