Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Laurell K. Hamilton’s bestselling series has captured readers’ wildest imaginations and addicted them to a seductive world where supernatural hungers collide with the desires of the human heart, starring a heroine like no other…

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…

Content Warnings: Violence, blood/gore, gun violence, murder, torture, body horror, animal death, animal cruelty, emotional-physical-mental abuse, sexual assault, sexual harassment, fatphobia, addiction, fire, and grief.
Mention of: child abuse, pedophilia, death, death of a parent, and death of a child.

I first started reading the Anita Blake series the summer I turned 14 *whispers* in 2001. Not realizing it was part of a series I picked up Narcissus in Chains, which is book 10, and read it. Now if you’ve read the series…you know that that was a lot for my 14-year-old brain to take it but I was instantly intrigued and needed to know more…so realizing it was a series I went back and devoured the first 9 books.

I’ve read, and re-read, most of the books in this series a few times. I made it to the book Serpentine before I kind of forgot about the series so I decided it was time for a re-read.

Having not read this book in years it was interesting diving back in, to a world I know so well, and looking at it as an adult and through a different lens than I had years ago. With that said…in some ways I found this book to be better than I remember and in others, I was left feeling somewhat disappointed.

The story itself was just as great as I remember, our introduction to Anita and quite a few key players [though you don’t realize that until the series progresses] is really interesting. We get to learn some of the lore, and different categories of city residents through Anita…that being said we’re forced to look through the eyes of someone young and deeply prejudiced.

Having not fully read this book in years I forgot how narrow-minded and prejudiced Anita is in the beginning. From fat shaming [literally describing another woman’s thighs as two beached whales…like WTF] to sex shaming, and even the feeling that, though never stated out loud, it’s like Anita subconsciously feels better than pretty much everyone she knows. Maybe other people don’t get that feeling…but for me the way she describes others I just felt like there were a lot of comparisons where Anita always lands on top.

Granted having read a majority of the series I know that her thoughts and ideas change as she grows in age, maturity, and experience. I just worry for people who’ve never read the series and try to jump in at the beginning…that they might get put off by Anita’s close-minded 24-year-old self. So if you’re new to the series just know that she does evolve and mature. I actually plan to re-read the entire series so I can see when her perceptions start to shift and evolve.

I wanted to write quite a few thoughts about my re-reading this first book but with the rest of the series, I might just make one single post that has a blurb about my feelings towards each book…though maybe each book will elicit strong enough feeling that I’ll need individual posts for all. 😅

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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