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Guilty Pleasures (1993)

by Laurell K. Hamilton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,243214835 (3.79)112
Vampire hunter Anita Blake must shift her attention from catching vampires to helping them when she is hired to stop a serial killer from murdering any more vampires.
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  3. 91
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    cmwilson101: Both of these stories revolve around strong, independent, witty women battling supernatural creatures.
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    Joybee: Another dark, urban fantasy but with male main character. Just a hint of romance but lots of scary monsters.
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  14. 10
    Dire Blood by SM Reine (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Both feature a strong female protagonist who is trained to kill supernatural creatures and who tries to solve a supernatural mystery. Both are gritty and horrific in their descriptions of events, but both are well written compelling stories that deepen as the books progress… (more)
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» See also 112 mentions

English (207)  French (3)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Czech (1)  All languages (215)
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
Ummmm...no thank you. ( )
  Litrvixen | Jun 23, 2022 |
This was a complete waste of time. The obscenely poor writing drove me crazy. If it hadn't been a library book, there were several occasions when I would have thrown it across the room. ("Bully...naw...dammit...goosebumps marched up my arms...")

Hamilton never took the time to set up the world we're reading about, or give any sort of motivation to the characters' choices/actions. This was confusing and annoying.

The lazy editing was incredibly distracting; I found at least four typos in the book.

I didn't like a single character in this book. Was Anita Blake supposed to be endearing? Cute? If so, I disagree. She alternated between insufferable bitch and whiny adolescent. Was Jean Claude supposed to be sexy? Was Edward? Was Phillip supposed evoke sympathy? I think that was the intention, but I was just disgusted with them all.

I don't understand the devotion so many people seem to have to this author/series. Needless to say, I will not be wasting any more time on the following books. ( )
  liannecollins | Jun 10, 2022 |
Anita Blake is a reanimator and vampire hunter by trade, living and working in St. Louis. She gets a job offer that she literally can't refuse from the local vampire master to find out who's been murdering vampires in town. Things get...complicated from there on out.
And I mean ridiculously complicated, or at least it seemed to me that the plot was overly convoluted. It could just be that I couldn't ever quite manage to care enough about Anita to bother with following along in all the details. She annoyed me. To be fair, I listened to the audiobook and it could be that the narrator was the annoying part and that if I had read a print version I wouldn't have been so not taken with Blake. At any rate, I don't think I'll continue with the series. For me, there are better vampire/monster stories out there and much more interesting vampire/monster hunters. ( )
  electrascaife | Jan 21, 2022 |
I have two huge pet peeves when reading books. First, I hate when words are repeated over and over. In this book the words/phrases were proverbial and "like a kitten with cream" there were other repeats but these stuck in my head. Second, if a book claims to be set in an area, I want to know the area, I want it to be a secondary character. This books claims to be set in St. Louis, I live in St. Louis, so I wanted to feel like the author knew about the city. Other than saying it's set in the city, we don't hear another description or hint that we're in this city until nearly 30 chapters in - when they mention another city and a highway. I'm not saying beat me over the head with it, but if she's driving downtown, should she mention the Arch or the stadium. If she's talking about what she likes to eat should she mention that her favorite pizza is the thin crust from Imo's? Aside from saying, "I live in St. Louis" there are no other clues that she is actually in St. Louis, she could be anywhere!

I'm not sure I would've finished the book had I not listened to it on audio. I liked the narrator and when things got tense, they used music to drive that home. I listened to this on a solo road trip and it kept me awake and entertained as I was alone in the car. If I was in need of some fluff, or on another solo trip, I would probably try the next book in the series. However, I'm not overly impressed with the writing or the story. That being said, I needed to read a book that was set within 100 miles of where I live. This met the challenge, was an easy enough read, and isn't so terrible that I wouldn't try the next book after reading some heavier topics. ( )
  bookdrunkard78 | Jan 6, 2022 |
Synopsis: As an animator and licensed vampire hunter, Anita Blake raises zombies for a living, consults with RPIT on supernatural crime along with killing vampires in her spare time as a vampire executioner. One of the top vampire hunters in the country, Anita has earned the nickname "The Executioner." So when Willie McCoy, a vampire, wants to hire her to investigate a rash of vampire murders, Anita is suspicious.
Anita learns how persistent the vampires intend to be when she attends her friend Catherine's bachelorette party, held at Guilty Pleasures, a strip club run by Jean-Claude, one of the city's most powerful vampires. Shortly after a stripper named Phillip takes the stage, Anita is called away to consult with the police on another case. By the time she returns to the club, Catherine has been mesmerized by Aubrey, a vampire working on stage. To protect Catherine, Anita agrees to meet with Nikolaos, master vampire of St. Louis. When Aubrey attacks Anita, Jean-Claude saves her by establishing a metaphysical bond, called a "mark," that allows him to give Anita some of his power.
While unconscious, Anita is taken to the master vampire's daytime resting place beneath Circus of the Damned, an indoor amusement park. Nikolaos has employed Zachary to raise a witness to one of the murders as a zombie. When she learns of Rafael's interference, Nikolaos tries to use her supernatural power to force Anita to agree to her demands. When she is able to withstand the onslaught, Nikolaos realizes Jean-Claude has given Anita his mark.
Anita returns home to find Edward, a hit man who specializes in vampires and lycanthropes, waiting in her apartment. He demands the location of Nikolaos’s daytime lair and offers to help Anita kill the vampires in exchange for information. Anita bargains for time and Edward leaves with a promise to bring her more weapons. Anita dreads his return because she knows he will torture her if she refuses to reveal the location.
Following leads, Anita goes undercover at a freak party for vampire junkies like Phillip. While she's there, she stumbles across Zachary trying to raise a zombie for Nikolaos and a group of vampires. Together, she and Zachary raise the zombie and Anita notices a magical charm tied around his arm. When she tries to touch it with a bloody hand, Zachary reacts with fear. Anita realizes she attended Zachary's funeral and the charm keeps him alive. Anita returns to the party but she and Phillip must flee when it's disrupted by religious zealots.
The raid on the party makes Anita suspect The Church of Eternal Life, which promises its followers immortality by making them vampires, may be involved in the murders. Anita questions Malcolm, master vampire and leader of the church, and is convinced he hired Edward to kill the murdered vampires. Anita must decide whether she is capable of sacrificing a fellow human to a monster like Nikolaos, even to save her own life.
Before she can reach a conclusion, Anita learns Phillip has been snatched by vampires and is being tortured. She attempts a rescue, but Nikolaos has Phillip killed. In retaliation, Anita stabs one of the vampires who helped with the torture. Nikolaos bites Anita to punish her defiance. While Anita is unconscious, Nikolaos dumps her at Guilty Pleasures.

When she wakes, Anita returns home to find Edward, who has come to get the location of Nikolaos’s daytime resting place. Anita agrees to tell him in exchange for his help cleansing her wounds and killing Nikolaos. Anita wants to sneak into the Circus undetected, so she arranges a meeting with Rafael to ask for help.
The wererats lead Anita and Edward to an entrance beneath the Circus. Once inside, Anita and Edward kill two vampires by injecting them with silver nitrate and another with a shotgun. The noise attracts Nikolaos and her human servant. Zachary is with them and has raised Phillip as a zombie.
Together, Anita and Edward execute Nikolaos and her human servant, destroy Zachary's charm, and rescue Jean-Claude, who takes Nikolaos's place as Master of the City. Anita uses her magic to lay Phillip to rest. The novel ends with Edward and Anita being treated by a were-rat doctor and Jean-Claude asking Anita on a date.

Review: This was an excellent first novel. The characters are sharp, if not particularly likable. The plot keeps you turning pages. ( )
  DrLed | Nov 15, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hamilton, Laurell K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexis, KimberlyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Gary W. Hamilton, who doesn't like scary things, but who read this book anyway.
To Gary W. Hamilton, my husband, who doesn't like scary things, but who read this book anyway.
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Willie McCoy had been a jerk before he died. His being dead hadn't changed that.
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Vampire hunter Anita Blake must shift her attention from catching vampires to helping them when she is hired to stop a serial killer from murdering any more vampires.

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