In the Anita Blake series book 1, Guilty Pleasures, Hamilton introduces us to Anita Blake. She’s an Animator; a zombie raiser, private investigator and vampire slayer all rolled up into one. Since co-investigating paranormal crimes with the police is one of specialties, the head vampires in St. Louis want to hire her to find a mysterious murderer killing off other powerful vampires.
Anita’s not fond of vampires. She doesn’t like the way the prey on humans and she’s built quite a reputation in town as an executioner or slayer of the vampires. Her disdain for vampires causes her to be even more suspicious of them and their motives.
In the beginning, Anita, agrees to attend a last minute bachelorette party for a dear friend which turns out to be a total disaster. They attend the known vampire club called, Guilty Pleasures; a sensual male review strip club where vampires engage in euphoric eroticism with their female patrons. The club’s owner, Jean-Claude, is enamored with Anita and has tried many times to slip into her mind and gain control of her. But Anita, who is uncannily strong-minded, is usually able to thwart off the vampire’s attempt at mind control.
Jean Claude is a mysterious and obviously evil/powerful vampire but as a reader you can’t help be drawn to him. This was probably one of my most frustrating issues I had with this book. He was a critical character, but he was locked away in a box for the better part of the story. Oh, he controlled a good portion of Anita and his presence was well known throughout the book, but I wanted more.
As Jean Claude learns to manipulate Anita, he starts to play good vampire to her and she takes the bait. With the other vampires appearing more diabolical than Jean, what choice does she have? Jean Claude takes Anita to introduce her to the head vampire, Nicholaos, a freaky young tween that’s practically a century old. Nicholaos runs the show in town and she’s summoned Anita to help solve the murderers.
There were a few sub plots with Wererats, a Rat King and Zombie raisings that had be a bit perplexed but I just took it as a part of Anita’s world. I loved Anita Blake, though. She was tough, intelligent, mysterious and ballsy to say the least. Hamilton did a killer job at making me, as reader, feel the darkness in the story plus Anita’s fear when having to face every evil that turned the corner. In the end, Anita comes out on top. I won’t spoil it for you but I was pleased with the outcome.
I think I read the book within my normal two day timeframe, maybe less, so it did grip me. Plus, I did want to go out and buy book two, but for some reason I didn’t - which is not good in my book. Despite having Guilty Pleasures foreshadowing Jean Claude’s integral part on book 2, I still wasn’t persuaded enough to rush out and buy it. Typically, when I love, even like a series, I run ASAP and get the next book. I mean pronto. But for this series…I just didn’t.
I would have to rate Laurell K. Hamilton’s, Guilty Pleasures as 3 on the Mina Burrows KilloMeter.
Until next time, have fun and keep reading!