This book was a total guilty pleasure for me (pun completely intended). I'm not an avid reader of the Anita Blake series, but from time to time I'll see one of them and just want to read it. So, why not? Right? It adds variety into my reading schedule. With this one I decided I wanted to see where the famous series started. You see, it's one of the things I really like about this series - you can pick up any book and enjoy it on its own merit. Sure, it's nice to read them in order and get all the pieces of the backstory, but it's not necessary. Kind of like a sitcom - it's best if you watch them in order because you get everything, but if you watch them out of order you can still enjoy it.
So, with Guilty Pleasures we're introduced to Miss Anita Blake, animator and vampire hunter. Anita is a tiny woman - both in size and in stature. But, nevertheless, she is a necromancer and a vampire hunter. And a good one at that. Vampires know her as the Executioner, and her reputation precedes her everywhere she goes. What's weird about this book, as the first of a series, is that you really don't get any backstory. Which is kind of what I was expecting. Laurell K. Hamilton just drops us off, page one, into Anita's life. Which, while unexpected was sort of cool. You got to know Anita as she went about her day to day, crazy, paranormal-filled life.
Vampires are protected by law - their executions are required to have a court order and those are only issued when the vampires are behaving extraordinarily badly. However, when innocent vampires (old, powerful ones) are found dead around the city, Anita agrees to help sort out the problem. It takes some convincing by the Master of the City (Nickolaos, a 1,000 year old vampire - who was made into a vampire at the young age of 10), but Anita resolves to solve the crimes. Despite agreeing to help Nickolaos, Anita doesn't trust her a bit.
The second most powerful vampire in the city is a handsome gentleman named Jean Claude has an interest in Anita beyond her necromancer powers. Anita, resistant to the possessive powers of vampires, isn't interested. But their paths are interwoven and Anita cannot help but work with Jean Claude. Jean Claude owns a club called Guilty Pleasures, and this becomes the home base for Anita's exploration of the vampire deaths. It's an action-packed first book of a series with a fair number of twists and turns.
I enjoyed this book. Was it great literature? Not really. But it was enjoyable and served that purpose very well. I think, as with a lot of series, Hamilton started to hit her stride a few books further into the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. She really gets into Anita's head and adds on more intriguing characters and wraps them into a believable, interesting world. Will I read it again? Probably not, but I'm glad I read it. I do love seeing "the beginning" of a series.
Title: Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #1)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampire,
Medium: Soft Cover
Date Read: 29 November 2012
First Line: Willie McCoy had been a jerk before he died.
Favorite Line: Never criticize, unless you can do a better job.
Recommended: It's always nice to see where a series begins, particularly when it's a series that you can pick up and enjoy at any place. This was an first book, and I enjoyed it. If you like a strong kick-butt female character, vampires, other paranormal stuff, and a whole lot of butt-kicking.
Recommended For: High School +, Paranormal lovers, Those in need of a little seriously fluff
Source: Purchased in TN, October 2012