The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series is an urban fantasy that has sold more than six million copies worldwide. Twenty-six books translated into dozens of different languages.
The first book in the series, Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton, was published in 1993 and while that was twenty-five years ago I’ve always felt it best to start a review at the beginning.
If you’ve never heard of Anita Blake this is your chance to dive into a wickedly twisted world of beasts versus humanity. Where the monsters aren’t necessarily the bad guys and the goodies come in all shapes, sizes and fur patterns.
In Anita’s world, vampires and lycanthropes, not only exist but the world is aware of them. In the United States preternatural creatures are legal citizens. Meaning they can own businesses, hold down jobs and vote.
Guilty Pleasures introduces us to Anita Blake, she’s a pint sized Latino American with more spunk then height, who has both day and night jobs. By day she works for Animators Inc. and raises zombies for a living. By night she is known as The Executioner, the only person in the state licensed to hunt and kill rogue, dangerous vampires.
The humans she’s friends with don’t understand how she can do it. And the monsters that know her, are terrified to the thought of Anita. It’s a dangerous job, with killer clients.
When Anita is contracted to find out who is killing vampires in the city, she finds herself “eyeball deep” in a dark world she barely understands. The Master of the City, an evil vampire named Nikolaos, convinces Anita it’s in her best interest to solve the vampire murders and solve them fast.
Nikolaos introduced Anita to Philip, a vampire junky who gets his kicks off of being food for the vampires. With his help, Anita maneuvers her way through the twisted world of fangs and fur such as zombies, junkies, vampires and wererats (yes, wererats).
We meet Anita’s friend/enemy Edward, a human bounty hunter who likes the challenge (and the money) of hunting preternatural creatures and Dead Dave, a cop turned vampire who isn’t all that bad considering he drinks blood.
Now of course I can’t tell you how it ends, I mean I’d love to because “Wow! I never saw that coming!” but… I won’t. If I did, what would be the point of suggesting this novel to you? I will tell you this though, don’t get attached to anyone because…
“There’s no such thing as immortal.” – Anita, Guilty Pleasures
I will say that Anita, Edward and Jean-Claude are long term characters and all of them have a lot of growth potential in this first story. I’ll also admit that Anita is one kick-ass, vampire hunter who meets and exceeds her reputation.
The story itself has a lot of twists and turns and leads you deep into a dark world that you can’t help wanting to know more about.
Before you know it, you’re into the last chapter and it’s 3:00 am, if you catch my drift. Fortunately, there are twenty five other books in the series to get lost in. Anita Blake – Vampire Hunter is a great read for anyone into the genre.
She’s not exactly sci-fi, not exactly horror, but you’ll love the humor and the biting sarcasm. It’s dark, a little sadistic and, there’s a hint of sex in there.
You won’t find Anita Blake in any “book of the month” clubs, and these books are for the faint of heart. What you will find is a set of characters you’ll want to see grow and mature as you read about them, get involved in their lives and beg to know what happens next with the turn of each page.
If you’re looking for a new book, and maybe a new series I suggest Anita Blake – Guilty Pleasures. The series will have you hooked!
My rating: 7.5/10