Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It took me forever to finally start the Anita Blake series, partially because it was just lower on my to-do list and partially because a lot of people had some issues with it, the main one being that it starts out strong and then suddenly enters the land of NC-17. Of course, if I was to take my mother’s recommendation, it’s the best thing since sliced bread because you can never have too much vampire porn.
After having finished “Guilty Pleasures,” I’m a little torn. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever read. It was dark, and a little hard to follow in some places. If I were to base my opinion of Hamilton’s writing on this one book, I wouldn’t be able to say she’s a great writer, even though, once again, the consensus among my circle of book lovers is that this is one of her better works in this series. The character of Anita Blake is fun. She’s snarky, skeptical, and an overall “bad ass” when it comes to the vampire hunting. I was a little confused about her main work as an “Animator,” but it all came together by the end of the book.
The side characters are hit and miss. None of them were developed enough to make me care much about them one way or another. Even Jean-Claude, who comes across as a strange sort of romantic adversary for Anita, wasn’t all that likable, reminding me of a dark haired Lestat more than anything.
I spent most of the book wondering what was going on. It was a mystery, but it read like an independent film mystery, with just enough bits and pieces to keep you going in a confused state of limbo. I liked the graphic way that Hamilton tells the story and isn’t afraid to kill of the characters you might actually have taken a liking to. The “villain” in GP is Nikolaos, the thousand year old vampire in the body of a young girl. She is a great character for what she is…brilliantly psychotic.
Having been a little underwhelmed with “Guilty Pleasures,” I’m still determined to read more in the series. I want to see if the books improve and I want to see what everyone else is talking about when they discuss the change in Anita’s character. And of course, I want to see what the big fuss over the vampire porn is and if it really is porn or just a way to fill 300 pages of writer’s block.
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