Monday, February 15, 2010

review: GUILTY PLEASURES by Laurell K. Hamilton

GUILTY PLEASURES by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake #1
Penguin: Jove
Released 1993
Source: Bookstore
266 pages

Rating: Liked it

Anita Blake may be small and young, but vampires call her the Executioner. Anita is a necromancer and vampire hunter in a time when vampires are protected by law - as long as they don't get too nasty. Now someone's killing innocent vampires and Anita agrees - with a bit of vampiric arm-twisting - to help figure out who and why.

Trust is a luxury Anita can't afford when her allies aren't human. The city's most powerful vampire, Nikolaos, is 1,000 years old and looks like a 10-year-old girl. The second most power vampire, Jean-Claude, is interested in more than just Anita's professional talents, but the fiesty necromancer isn't playing along - yet. This popular series has a wild eneergy and humor, and some very appealing characters - both dead and alive.

My Thoughts

Guilty Pleasures is the first installment in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. Anita Blake is an animator - a necromancer - and a vampire slayer. Some call her "The Executioner." The book's concept is an interesting one: In Anita's world, the vampires, as well as other supernatural beings such as necromancers and weres, live in an uneasy alliance with ordinary humans. Then, Anita's life is turned upside down when she is targeted by a master vampire to investigate vampire murders in her hometown of St. Louis. While keeping her head and saving her friend's life, she must also juggle the demands of working as an animator - through a company called Animators, Inc., no less! - and as a police consultant on vampire and other supernatural matters.

The problems with this book are not with the story; its execution, however, leaves much to be desired. Hamilton's use of fragments and stunted sentences to describe less-than-mundane surroundings makes this a choppy read. Her attempts at wit and sarcasm for the Anita character come off instead as flat and childish. The writing is simply dull and dry, making this a slow read. One can only hope that this book is suffering from first-in-a-series syndrome and that the writing will improve with the next installment.

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