It’s almost embarrassing for me, a super vampire lover, to admit that I’ve never read Laurell K. Hamilton. Her series of Anita Blake, the zombie animator and vampire assassin, is legendary amongst vamp readers. Anyway, I rectified the situation this week by reading the first book in the series, Guilty Pleasures.
Anita’s works for Animators, Inc where she raises and sometimes lays to rest zombies. Additionally, she moonlights with the St. Louis PD as a vampire slayer. Vamps are legal and allowed to exist as long as they don’t kill humans. Anita’s job is to take care of the vamps who don’t play by the rules. When several powerful vamps are killed illegally in the city, both the police and the local vampire queen task Anita to find out who is doing the killings. Unfortunately, the vamp queen is an evil crazy bitch who is impatient as hell. Anita has a weekend to solve the crime or be killed in some torturous way. With the help of her “friends” Jean Claude the Master Vampire, Phillip the male stripper, the Ware-rat King and Edward the sociopathic killer, Anita is able to bust the case wide open.
I thought this book had a nice mystery and was a good intro book for a series. I would like to see several characters explored deeper, but I’m sure that will come in time. I am especially curious to see how Anita’s relationships with both Vamp Jean Claude and Edward the homicidal maniac play out. Written in 1993, Anita Blake pre-dates most of the popular vampire series. I can see how its influence can be felt over other books I’ve read in the genre. I look forward to continuing along with Anita’s adventures.
Overall, I give Guilty Pleasures…
Plot – 3 bookmarks
Characters – 2 bookmarks (Not bad for a first book. I expect they will be fleshed out more as the series goes on.)
Interpretation of Vampire/Zombie Lore – 2 bookmarks (Nothing really new or inventive. Typical mythology rules.)
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Christina Ricci (Anita Blake), Charlie Bewly (Edward), Dakota Fanning (Nikolaos the Vamp Queen), A young Billy Wirth (Phillip)