Kimberly (kimberly_a) wrote,
Kimberly
kimberly_a

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Laurell K. Hamilton's Guilty Pleasures

Read Guilty Pleasures today, the first novel in Laurell K. Hamilton's "Anita Blake" series, and it was much more fun than I'd expected, mostly because of the sense of humor, all full of sarcasm and irony. It was also interesting to see a very different take on vampires than Joss Whedon's or Bram Stoker's.

Oh, for those who are unfamiliar with the series, it's set in St. Louis (Shannon's birthplace) in a world in which vampires have been legally declared to be people, with rights, and they therefore interact openly in society, owning diners and vampire strip clubs, living in apartments with human lovers, going to parties, etc. There's even a church of vampirism -- called "The Church of Eternal Life" -- in which they recruit human converts.

Not only vampires but also lycanthropes of various types (werewolves, wererats, etc.), zombies, and ghouls roam the streets and shadows. Some openly and some not so much.

The main character is Anita Blake, who is a talented professional "animator" (someone who raises zombies, for such purposes as clarifying wills, testifying in court, and whatnot) and vampire hunter. She's sort of a private investigator, I guess, working closely with the police and reporters, as well as various people to get information, etc. In the first novel, a vampire hires her to find out who has been murdering the city's oldest, most powerful vampires, and so the novel is a chronicle of her work on that case.

Anyway, I've never been much of a one for mysteries, police stories, or detective novels, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. As I mentioned, that was largely due to the narrative voice, which made me laugh out loud more than once. For example, the first part that made me snicker was when Anita found herself in a dungeon:
A rat scurried against the far wall. Another peered around the edge of the steps, whiskers twitching. I guess you can't have a dungeon without rats, but I would have been willing to give it a try.

I also found that I actually came to care about a few of the characters, which I hadn't expected from what appeared at first glance to be a pure pulp novel.

And, as I said, it was interesting to see a different take on vampires and the supernatural than I'd seen on "Buffy" and "Angel". I loved the everydayness of the supernatural in Guilty Pleasures. It's grittier. Neat to see a world in which the supernatural has become commonplace, and yet it's still otherwise the same as the world we live in every day. People do the same things we do, but there's this whole additional element that has been incorporated. Neat.

PS - The cat is sleeping on the other side of the room as I write this, snoring her head off. Perhaps I need to get her one of those nose guard things. Sheesh.
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