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Guilty Pleasures

Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #1
Published: 1992
Review by: CL4 Skye

I don't know anyone who is not fascinated with vampires, or anything in the occult world. That fascination has fueled many books and theories on vampires over the years, each author having a slightly different slant on them and who they are. Laurell K. Hamiltons' world, in her books, has the vampires legal voting citizens in the United States.

They pay their taxes, go to work (at night of course) and lead seemingly normal lives. Except they are still violent, blood-sucking creatures that should be feared in the dead of night. In fact, all of the mythological creatures we know are real. "Guilty Pleasures" introduces us to Anita Blake, known to the vampires as the Executioner, a vampire hunter to the extreme.

In the first installment of the Anita Blake series, she is hired by the Vampire Master of the City to hunt down someone who is killing vampires. Of course, this goes against everything Anita believes in - she's supposed to kill the vampires, not work for them. But she cannot refuse - the Master is too powerful for her, she has to solve this case. Soon her life is in danger, not only from the hunters she's been hired to kill, but also by the Master Nikolaos and her vampires.

Hunting vampires is not the only thing Anita does. She is legally what they call an Animator, someone who raises the dead into zombies. Yes, even zombies exist in this fictional world of Ms. Hamilton's. Its nice to see a world that never stopped believing in these so-called fairy tales of the super-natural. They couldn't because these creatures existed in the open for all humans to see.

"Guilty Pleasures" also introduces the reader to the vampire Jean-Claude. He is a very old, very sexy and very interested in Anita. Even though she wants nothing to do with him, she is equally attracted to him. Personally, he reminds me very much of Lestat from Anne Rice's novels. They are both very beautiful and women find them irrestible. It seems to be the quality of vampires everywhere.

I'm an avid reader of books and I don't have time to waste on books, so a book has to attract me into reading it pretty early into it, or I won't read it at all. This book did that, and it was one of the rare times that I sat up till 2:30am trying to finish the book the same day I started it. It's fast paced and draws you into Anita's life, which included many new characters with whom you relate to and wish to get to know better.

Since this is an on-going series, many things are not concluded at the end of the book, like the Anita and Jean-Claude relationship. It just makes youwant to rush out abd get the restof the books as fast as you can. I will warn people though, this book is not recommended for the faint at heart. It has lots of violence in it, but then again, most Horror novels I've read do have the violence in it.