Author: Laurell Hamilton
Published: August 3, 2004
Stars: 5 out of 5
Published over ten years ago by Ace, Guilty Pleasures marked the debut of a series that was destined to grow from cult favorite to a major New York Times bestseller. Now, for long-time Anita Blake junkies and newfound fans, Guilty Pleasures makes its trade paperback debut. Readers will learn how Anita Blake started raising the dead-and killing the undead. And how she met Jean Claude, the master vampire destined to become not only her biggest nemesis, but her greatest lover…
Review: (spoiler alert)
This is the first book in the Anita Blake series. Although this is the second time I have read this book, I am shocked by how much I forgot I loved this series. Anita’s character is amazing! She raises zombies ( known as an animator) from the dead but is know by vampires as an executioner. Anita isn’t perfect- she has her fears, although she is strong she isn’t always strong enough, and sometimes her reasoning behind her actions isn’t always agreeable to the reader. But she is one awesome character! The plot is full of action, mystery, and sexual tension. What’s not to love!
In this story, Anita is hired to find out who is killing master vampires. At first she doesn’t take the job. But she was forced into accepting the position to not only save her life but her best friends, by the cities master vampire named Nikolaos. Nikolaos was changed when she was around 12 years old but is around 1000 years old in vampire terms. During her encounter, Jean-Claude (another master vampire) saved her by giving her some of his essence – aka starting the first phase of making her a human servant. By doing this, JC made her even more resistant to vampires. For example, she can now look into most vampires eyes without being compelled by them. Nikolaos punishes JC by trapping him in a coffin held down by crosses. This should weaken the vampire but because do his bond with Anita, he is unharmed.
As the story progresses, Anita runs into an aquatints Edward. While Anita is known in the vampire world as the executioner, Edward is known as Death. Edward threatens Anita to reveals where the master of the city lives. Although she doesn’t do it, it probably would have made her life a lot easier. Nikolaos become upset and begins hurting Anita physically and killing off her friends. Luckily, Edward is there to help. While Anita is recovering, she discovers JC has completed at least 2 out of the 4 steps to make her a human servant. Together, Anita and Edward (with the help from the rat king) discover who is killing the vampires in the city, kill him, and kill Nikolaos. By doing this, Anita has made Jean-Claude the new cities master vampire. And it appears he has a thing for Anita…