Guilty Pleasures #Bookreview

Laurell K. Hamilton | August 2004 | 355 pp

Im not sure how this got on my radar. I know, I say that a lot🙄 ! And really, its due to my late night cruising of virtual library bookshelves, (I have library cards from every state Ive lived from Philly to Georgia!), that gets me into mess like this. Kind of like meeting someone in a dark bar, what you think sounds good late at night, in a room lit only by your cellphone, doesn’t always sound good in the light of day! 🤣😂

I mean, it has all the right ingredients for greatness: Female author, strong female lead character, known for kicking ass and taking names, while surviving in an alternate world that has legalized vampires. Romantic twists between fantastical characters with magical abilities and even at its core, a crime to solve!

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, is a reanimater. She can, for a very short time after death, bring a person to a life like state, in order to learn things from them. Its a messy dangerous skill that can easily be misused. In Anita’s world vampires and werewolves rule the day…well, night 🙄 and exist legally. So, its a problem when someone decides to start targeting vampires and killing them. Local, powerful, lead vampiress Nickolaos, finds Anita and forces her to take the case and find out whats going on. The relationship between Anita and Nicki is tense and complicated, even more so when one of Nicki’s powerful underlings take a strong liking to Anita and they start having an affair. Im not sure why Nicki is bothered by this, except that everything bothers her so why should this be any different?

Pros: Its a decent plot and pretty good world building. Although, vampire stories have been done so many times, Im not sure she should get extra points for this. I like the idea of a world where vampires and humans attempt to exist to together. Hamiltons vampires are powerful and forceful yet, they choose humans to love. And I did stay tuned because I wanted to know what was happening to the murdered vampires and I wanted to read about Anita and Jean relationship develop. Anita is a diverse character, half German and Mexican…though she kinda gets described as a black woman but whateves. Like I said, all the makings of something special.

Cons: The execution sucked. The writing fell flat in a lot of places and I think the action scenes often had so many characters the story seemed to get away from the authors control. It left me not sure what was going on and who was important.

Again, I like the idea of vampires and humans living together but, if Maggie Stiefvater tied her werewolf story in a preverbal knot, there isn’t enough ribbon in the world to tie up the holes left in Hamilton’s story. 🤭 Early on, Hamilton establishes vampires can make humans do anything, so why bother asking humans to do something? Just make them. Sort of like what happens here in the beginning, though the character spends the rest of the novel trying to convince us she does what she wants. Its the outcome of Hamilton making the vampires SO powerful. It leaves room for nothing else. So for the rest of the book, I’m like, why are we here?

Guilty Pleasures is the first installment of a long running series, started in 2004. There are now 28 books, the last if which was published in February 2021, and another 10 or so novellas and short stories tied to the series. 🤢🤮 Christ almighty, someone loves this shit. God bless’em. Book #57

If you liked Guilty Pleasures, your prescription is to read these books and feel better:

Dead Men Can’t Complain by Peter Clines

The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvator

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