Review of Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton

SFFaudio Review

Penguin Audio - Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. HamiltonGuilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #1)
By Laurell K. Hamilton; Read by Kimberly Alexis
8 CDs – Approx. 10 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Published: August 2009
ISBN: 9780143144014
Themes: / Fantasy / Vampires / Zombies /

Published almost 10 years ago, Guilty Pleasures marked the debut of a writer who was destined to grow from cult favorite to a major best-selling author. Now, for long-time Anita Blake aficionados and new-found fans, Guilty Pleasures makes its debut in downloadable audio. Listeners 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.

Guilty Pleasures was probably one of the original ‘urban fantasy’ books, along with the first Dresden Files book. But I found it to be well done. Anita Blake is kind of a strong female ‘Kolchack: The Night Stalker‘ with a gun, although she can raise the dead herself. It seemed a weird mix that she both raises the dead and kills vampires. This is the original novel in the series, way before she got the ardeur (or a strong sexual addiction) later in the series. The audio production is above average, and frequently provides incidental music when a scene gains tension (if that doesn’t bother you). Though I found the vampire Nikolaos to be childlike, she was also very intimidating, partly due to Kimberly Alexis’s acting. And I found the ending to be unusually strong. If you don’t like romance, don’t worry, you won’t find much of it here. But be warned that there are some grisly scenes. It bothered me a little that the narrator would do a fake ‘yell’, but at low volume. Maybe there’s some technical way to really yell at a microphone, but be able to keep it from clipping (limiter?)?  How do they do it in the movies?  This novel has also been adapted to comics.  I hear the first four books in the series are pretty tight.  I’ll go along with Felicia Day’s Goodreads ratings on this one, but I’ve only read the first book, and some of the comics.  I’ve also been reading Narcissus in Chains, #10 in the series, for months and months, on and off.  It has some very sexy scenes, but is pretty long and meandering.  I think the author Laurell K. Hamilton once said in a podcast, that these days Americans think her writing is too sexy, and Europeans think it’s too violent.  Maybe I should move to Europe.

Posted by Tamahome

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