Thursday, 29 October 2009

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake 1), The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake 2) - Laurell K Hamilton

The fantastically addicitive first Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, novel

‘I don’t date vampires. I kill them.’

My name is Anita Blake. Vampires call me the Executioner. What I call them isn’t repeatable.

Ever since the Supreme Court granted the undead equal rights, most people think vampires are just ordinary folks with fangs. I know better. I’ve seen their victims. I carry the scars...

But now a serial killer is murdering vampires – and the most powerful bloodsucker in town wants me to find the killer.


With the whole Anita Blake series now coming under a new UK publisher, we thought that perhaps now was the time to review it from the beginning as each offering arrives through the mail. So here is book one, Guilty Pleasures, the tale that began it all, as seen through the eyes of a new initiate to the series, Lady Eleanor.

At first I was a little bit worried that this book was going to go the way of the Merry Gentry series, too much sex, very little plot. I was relieved and slightly surprised to find Anita Blake, in this offering, appearing to be a conservative young woman and I did feel that this novel felt like jumping into a story that was half way through before it even began. Personally, I’d have loved at least an info dump as to why and how she became a necromancer but perhaps that’s a story that will be picked up on later in the series and if it hasn’t been perhaps there is a prequel in the offing.

The story itself was a fairly average tale with repetative phrases alongside no real twists and turns, fairly bland characters (due to no real descriptions or history) with an ending that felt not only rushed but an anticlimax. Don’t get me wrong it was OK and did fill my reading time however, overall for a debut novel, I’m surprised that this one led to so many sequels.

An enthralling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, novel
‘The older the zom
bie, the bigger the death needed to raise it.’

After a few centuries, the only death ‘big enough’ is a human sacrifice. I know because I’m an animator. My name is Anita Blake. Working for Animators, Inc. is just a job – like selling insurance. But all the money in the world wasn’t enou
gh for me to take on the particular job Harold Gaynor was offering. Somebody else did, though – a rogue animator. Now he’s not just raising the dead... he’s raising Hell. And it’s up to me to stop it.


The second Anita Blake novel and this time she battles the shambling Living Dead (Zombies). The plot for this story, whilst still not perfect was better than the original outing with the tale being mainly about Anita with no real additional character subplots that distracted me from her exploits and could be read as a standalone if you haven’t read the original novel.

However, what got to me was the dreadful fashion sense of Anita and I’d have liked better character description as to be honest I’m still in the dark about how Anita looks other than her short stature. I also felt that there still isn’t enough character depth to give her a more rounded feeling and with hints within the tale that there were deeper issues only heightened my need for this information which was sadly denied. On the whole I still have issues with the series but its going to be one I’ll stick with so that I can see how it pans out, there are worse books out there and with the hype surrounding LKH it might be a fun journey.

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