Review | Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

It’s impossible to be an Urban Fantasy fan without having heard of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter. If you’re like me, picking up a series that’s 26 books deep is overwhelming, so while this has been on my radar for awhile, I never picked it up. Until now. I was nervous picking Guilty Pleasures up because this is such a beloved series, and I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed this series kick off, but the real kicker – now I have 25 more books to read! That’s not overwhelming at all…

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: October 1st, 1993

Anita Blake is small, dark, and dangerous. Her turf is the city of St. Louis. Her job: re-animating the dead and killing the undead who take things too far. But when the city’s most powerful vampire asks her to solve a series of vicious slayings, Anita must confront her greatest fear—her undeniable attraction to master vampire Jean-Claude, one of the creatures she is sworn to destroy…

| Book Review |

Guilty Pleasures kicks off Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, and it was a book I thoroughly enjoyed. The first thing I want to address is how old this book is. It was first published in 1993, and a lot of things have changed since then. There were a few things that felt dated (like Anita screening her calls through her answering machine,) but overall, I think this book really stands the test of time. Despite its age, it feels innovative to me. Oddly enough, the author sticks with vampires traditional strengths and weaknesses – like crosses, stakes, and holy water, and while that’s part of vampire lore, it’s so rarely used anymore that it’s fun when it is. I really enjoyed Anita’s character. She’s short, scrappy, and feisty, and she does some stupid things in the heat of the moment, but that’s one of the things I identify with with her character. I also like the she feels vulnerable, and that she’s honest and doesn’t mess with bluster. I love watching her go toe to toe with her boss, who has no scruples and will do anything for money, something Anita does not appreciate. As for the vampires, humans are aware they exist, but the alliance between them is very uneasy, and it’s clear that when given a chance, neither will abide by it. I will say that I think the world building here could have been better, but I’m willing to give it the next few books to see how it progresses. We were given enough to get the story, but I’m hoping it’ll be fleshed out in later installments. There were some great characters introduces here, and among my favorites were Phillip, Edward, and Jean-Claude. All for very different reasons, and I liked seeing Anita’s dynamic with each of them. Jean-Claude is especially interesting, because very little was revealed about him, and I want to know more! I’m also interested to see how things change for Anita as technology does. This is a woman who would definitely benefit from a cell phone with all the danger she finds herself in!

Overall, I think this was a solid start to a series. I’m definitely intrigued enough to read more, and I am hoping to find others in the Anita Blake fandom who want to discuss! If you’re a fan of Urban Fantasy and have been giving it a pass, like me, because there are so many books in the series, I recommend picking this one up and giving it a go. It was worth the read!

| Rating |

Series Reading Order

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter – click here to go to Goodreads for series reading order

14 thoughts on “Review | Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Add yours

  1. Anita Blake is how I first got into urban fantasy, and I especially love the first books of the series! They’re still comfort reads for me. So glad to hear you enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha That many books is rather daunting. I started this series – oh, about 9 years ago – when I was waiting for LKH’s next installment in her Meredith Gentry series. I remember enjoying it as well…I liked Jean-Claude. 😉 And I ended up reading the first 3. And then…I just stopped. I don’t know why. But I do agree with you that even though some things were dated and LKH stuck to traditional vamps, the story stood the test of time and was good. Now you’ve made me want to start all over again. 😀


  3. Wow, a 26 book series? I don’t think I’d ever get through them all, lol. I’m glad to hear the first book was such a good read for you and that some of the things being dated didn’t impact your enjoyment of the overall plot. Great review!


  4. Glad going back to start an older series was a real hit for you. Isn’t it fun to find a timeless quality and a dated one from even just thirty years ago? 😉 I think that’s great that it matches up with all the classic vampire lore, too. Hope the rest of the series goes well for you.


  5. I have read most of this series although I have missed the last few. I will tell you that the way this series starts is great but things change dramatically. Let me know if you want to know how. I don’t want to spoil things for you but it is kind of a huge change. I live in St. Louis so I had a great time seeing all of the local landmarks show up in the books.


  6. Yay! I love this series. They change as the series goes and some are better than others but I really enjoy the universe and characters. Glad to see you had fun with this one 🙂


  7. Great review. I have been pretty curious about this series, but I am not surprised that the first book is outdated. The series has definitely grown over the years. Glad you enjoyed it.


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