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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anita Blake vampire hunter
Anita Blake is an Animator, an animator is not someone who draws cartoons but rather a person who has the innate ability to raise the dead. Anita and those she works with raise zombies to settle will disputes, have abused people resolve their feelings and other things -- all for a reasonable fee. On the side of this most prolific of professions Anita is a vampire hunter...
Published on 16 Sep 2009 by Persephone

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A guilty pleasure
Once upon a time, before the Anita Blake series became cheap porn with well-endowed vampires and werethingies, there was "Guilty Pleasures."

Laurell K. Hamilton's breakout debut was one of the early urban fantasy stories, though by no means the best. It's an amusing, gorey story with some unusual twists, but it often seems like a goth teenager's daydreams of...
Published on 24 May 2010 by E. A Solinas


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Review for the series; From promising urban fantasy/mystery to cheap and nasty rape porn, 9 Jun 2013
By 
FantasyWriter (Bonnie Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Guilty Pleasures (Paperback)
Review for the Series: From promising Preternatural Mystery to Nasty Violent Rape Porn.

Books 1-8 of this series are excellent supernatural whodunnits which, like all great urban fantasy, combining the elements of crime, mystery, and even a little spy thriller (well, to paraphrase Terry Pratchett, these books are so choc full of weapons specifications that I am surprised that at least one novel does not have a greek letter in its title) and fantasy with a strong female lead. The world-building shows promise with some original twists and turns. The mysteries flow from chaos to order, and these early novels are a satisfying read. The world-building feels a little underdeveloped and the reader might feel tempted to read on in the series to see how the universe Hamilton creates develops. Don't.

After about book 8, or 9 (honestly, they're all starting to merge) the series generates sharply as the near virginal heroine embarks on a page by deathless page accounts of various twosomes threesomes, foursomes where the author attempts to indulge a harem fantasy. And possibly a rape fantasy, but not in the way you think. Hamilton switches genres entirely from urban fantasy/mystery thriller to, well, violent porn. Porn in which magic is used to `drive unwilling male characters into unwilling sex with a heroine. If the gender roles were reversed, these books would be recognised for what they are: descriptions of rape set up for entertainment. This is wrong, just wrong, as wrong as it would be if the main protagonist was male and not female.

The switch in genre is a seriously bad editorial move; since the readers who loved the early series, or at least enjoyed it, enjoyed it for the mystery, and the world-building, and the twist of the plot, will be turned off by the way the series develops. Personally I find nothing sexy or satisfying about reading about rape. The final straw for me was the decision to kill the leader of the were-lions because tried to avoid being raped by the "heroine". The later books in this series (I have read up to Book 14 but will not be reading any more) are basically endless sex followed by the heroine wondering if she's a slut, but never wondering if she is a rapist. My advice is to read the early books in this series and not bother with anything past book 9. I cannot give this series anything other than one star, and would give it minus if I could - not for how it starts, but for how it develops.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time and money, 24 Nov 2010
This review is from: Guilty Pleasures (Paperback)
My friend recommended this series so I was quite curious to see what they would be like and was ready to sink my teeth into a series based around one character but after slogging through the first one I'm not going to go any further.
Confused plot, boring characters and full of nothing new.
Should be something you can read on a long plane journey but quite frankly too tedious. Maybe they improve if you read more in the series but there are better things to spend money on.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 21 Sep 2010
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Guilty Pleasures (Paperback)
This series has had very mixed reviews and I'm afraid I'm in the 'no' camp. The idea of a grown-up Buffy appealed but I found Anita to be irritatingly jaunty with her supposed wise-cracking and yet at the same time almost impossible to pin down as a character - but not in a complex and interesting way, just as a not very well-thought out personality.

The plot flounders around, the pacing seems a bit haphazard and the sex is very, very gratuitous (e.g. the 'freak' party, like a wife-swapping party for vampire lovers which goes on and on for chapters but doesn't add anything to the plot). I liked the idea of Jean-Claude, the sexy vampire master, however typical he might be, but then he spends most of his time locked away in a coffin.

Hamilton's style of writing will probably either appeal or irritate - and I'm in the latter group: it's very staccato. Full of short sentences. Hardly any clauses. And boring to read.

I love Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books and there are many, many similarities in the two fictional worlds (vampires 'out', sexy master vampire who owns a bar/club, were animals, vamps 'marking' their humans and bonding with them etc.) but the atmosphere and tone are quite different. Harris will never win a prize for the quality of her prose style but she does succeed where, in my view, Hamilton doesn't and that's in creating a world which we feel we can inhabit with real characters for whom we come to care and who change over the series. Perhaps Hamilton's characters do develop later but after slogging my way through this book I'm afraid I won't be giving her another chance to persuade me.

Overall, very, very disappointing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not entirely convinced, 22 Mar 2010
By 
Smee (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Guilty Pleasures (Paperback)
I agree with another review which stated that the beginning was quite confusing - it felt like there had been a couple of previous books as I wasn't quite sure what was going on but I stuck with it and found it an ok book in the end.

The writing style is different and difficult at first to get used to - the sentences are very short and almost seem like a series of bullet points instead of an actual constructed sentence but getting past that I started to like the book.

I think that there could've been more details about the way things work in this Vamp world - how the master vampire managed to be so powerful for example, was it just because she is so old? Or how to turn a human into a vampire - there seems to be various stages or blood giving/receiving where the person could end up being a human servant who lives for a long time but not as a vampire or they become a vampire or they could just die!

I have the next couple of books so I'll give them a go.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An appropriate title!, 4 Jan 2004
This review is from: Guilty Pleasures (Paperback)
If you like Buffy, then you will probably like Anita Blake, although the parallels between the worlds created by Whedon and Hamilton are few and far between both characters wisecracking sense of humour are quite similar.
There are some fundamental flaws in the makeup of Blake's world, where vampires have attained a legal status that means they have a right to live and work among humans. I would like to have seen more of the socially acceptable face of vampires (as you can probably guess, being a vampire hunter Anita Blake doesn't come into contact with this kind very often!)
Havind said this, the book was absolutely unputdownable. You DO see other humans' differing reactions to vampires within their society. Also, unlike Buffy, you do feel every one of Anita Blake's wounds/bruises and Hamilton seems to have attained a well balanced character in that she has 'powers', but is not so indestructable that she can just shrug off a bone-crunching right hook from a vampire.
Even with it's flaws, Hamilton's vampire society has great potential and I've already ordered the next few in the series.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sexy supernatural crime thriller!, 4 Oct 2006
This review is from: Guilty Pleasures (Paperback)
This is the first in an alternate history fantasy series which introduces the character Anita Blake, an animator, licensed vampire executioner and necromancer of mixed Anglo/Mexican heritage. Anita lives in St. Louis in a world where the supernatural beings mingle with humans in the form of vampires, were-wolves, were-rats and ghouls. Her skills as an animator are inherited but she has had formal and informal training in weapons and magic, as well as a degree in preternatural biology.

Employed by the venal Burt at Animators Inc, twenties-something Anita is a tiny woman whose expertise in martial arts and weapons allows her to prevail over assorted bad guys. She is thoroughly battle scarred both physically and emotionally. Her primary function--and talent--is raising the dead. This talent for raising the dead affords her some resistance to vampire mind control.

In Guilty Pleasures Anita becomes embroiled in an investigation into some local vampire murders. In the process of the investigation she is pitted against a thousand-year-old vampire, the master of the city. In the process she meets the King of the Were-rats and becomes involved with Jean-Claude, a devastatingly handsome vampire and owner of a vampire-stripper nightclub called Guilty Pleasures.

Anita Blake is a very appealing heroine. She is a woman of contrasts--at one moment a ruthless killing machine and the next the champion of the downtrodden who cuddles toy penguins at bedtime. Hamilton creates a convincing alternate universe using Anita as a conduit with a laconic yet rich first person narration that gets us into the head--and world--of a gutsy and devastatingly honest heroine. Highly recommended!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best vampire book I have read., 5 Aug 2002
This review is from: Guilty Pleasures (Paperback)
this book has every thing from vampires to wererats! i found it in a shop about two years ago and had to read it.
in a series of eleven this is one of the top books of the series. when you start this you would have to think hard to try to figger out why you waste time watching buffy when you can read Anita Blake The Executioner! And meet the scariest master you can find! so what ya waiting for read it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Repetitively awful, 15 July 2009
By 
H. Wildman (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Guilty Pleasures (Paperback)
I am writing this review in order to warn you not to start the Anita Blake series. I was looking for books to counteract the mindless vampire worship of the Twilight series, and I suppose these books fulfil that criterion; but you won't find a more humourless, crude or arrogant protagonist anywhere, and frankly, I think the author thinks her readers are idiots. Unfortunately, I was on holiday with the first five, and had no choice but to plough on.

Where to start? Anita Blake works in an America where the undead live cautiously alongside humans. She raises the dead so that they may answer any questions the living wish to put to them, and also solves supernatural crimes for the police. When I say `solves', I mean she thinks for a moment, comes up with the answer without demonstrating much/any deductive process, and then subsequent events tend to prove her right. In her spare time, she likes to execute vampires, and she certainly likes to do that.

I have to concede that this first book does show the occasional flash of humour, but be warned, the same jokes are repeated from book to book, and soon become tired. In fact, every character is introduced and described in a virtually identical way in every book, each with one character trait repeated ad nauseam. Clearly the author thinks that her readers have a goldfish-esqe memory span, and will be unable to recollect the events of the preceding books.

Anita herself narrates each book, but is a tired old caricature 'feminist', a ghastly person who thinks that sexual equality means being identical to men, and whose idea of witty repartee is 'f**k you'. This coarseness makes her appeal to a sophisticated vampire two centuries old utterly unbelievable. Unless he's like those people who like to keep venomous pets. I know these books were written in the `90s, but she has to have the worst dress sense in history (she wears bum bags without a hint of shame). Much emphasis is placed on her Christianity, yet I thought (as an extremely lapsed Presbyterian) she breaks without a qualm at least two of the Ten Commandments on an alarmingly regular basis, nor does she waste any time considering the morality of her actions. In other words, she's not a person with whom you'd willingly spend any amount of time, a bit of a drawback for the narrator of a book.

All in all, these books are as one-sided as the Twilight series, but from the opposing viewpoint, and not even redeemed by good writing or decent plots or humour. Maybe the Anita Blake character will develop, but at 17 books and counting, I lack the strength or the inclination to find out.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where it all begins..., 28 Jan 2007
By 
Chris Chalk "Chris" (Croydon, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Guilty Pleasures (Paperback)
Ok quick FYI - I read the truly appalling Danse Macabre (her 13th book in the series) and pretty much swore off anything Laurell K. Hamilton but a friend convinced me to think otherwise and whilst I wouldn't exactly say I am jumping for joy that they did I definitely don't regret reading the first instalment.

The tale introduces us to Anita Blake - animator and part time vampire hunter... The bad guys simple refer to her as the executioner, a title she feels she doesn't really warrant but that's life really. Anita is also known as a straight down the line kinda gal and holds onto her scruples for grim death. However the vamps know this too and when vampires themselves are beginning to be hunted the turn to her to help them, very similarly to the Godfather they give her an offer she can't refuse.

The head vampire of the City is what appears to be nothing more than a young girl but is in fact Nikolaos a very old and powerful vampire. She is the one who employs Anita to her task but it is through Jean-Claude whom she shares more of the vampire world than she could ever have dreamed.

I felt the book really had its moment but it was always amongst the human characters, especially the underused Edward but I felt that the vampires were pretty much underdeveloped but from having Danse Macabre I can now believe a lot of them will be recurring so I am sure they will be developed over time.

I am still not enamoured with the series but I don't hate it, and frankly that is a real development.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUFFY WHO?, 22 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Guilty Pleasures (Paperback)
I thought it might be a Buffy rip-off but that couldn't be less true! I think the main charecter, Anita is great and the idea of vampires being given equal rights is really cool! I would recommened this books to everyone aged 14+. Its a must read book and you won't be able to put it down! I've already ordered the next one in the series!
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Guilty Pleasures
Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton (Paperback - 14 May 2009)
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