Synopsis [ from laurellkhamilton.org]
My name is Anita Blake. Vampires call me The Executioner. What I call them isn't repeatable. Ever since the Supreme Court granted the undead equal rights, most people think vampires are just ordinary folks with fangs. I know better. I've seen their victims. I carry the scars...But now a serial killer is murdering vampires -- and the most powerful bloodsucker in town wants me to find the killer...
Encounter with a Vampire!
I arrived at Guilty Pleasures a little after midnight. Jean-Claude was standing at the bottom of the steps. He was leaning against the wall, utterly still. If he was breathing, I couldn't see it. A lock of black hair trailed across the smooth paleness of his cheek.
"You smell of other people's blood, ma petite."
I smiled at him, sweetly. "It was no one you knew...."
I should have started this series ages ago! Shame on me. I absolutely loved the book. Anita is definitely a bad ass but she's got this soft side that I find so endearing. She's not a tough gung-ho chick that goes into things guns-a-blazing. She's just very....prepared (= And since the book is in first-person I got to read her hilarious thoughts that went through her mind. From how much she loves stuffed penguins to her worrisome thoughts of what her neighbors would think of her if they saw her hanging in her hallway with her gun drawn in the wee hours of the morning. I immediately liked her in the opening scenes of the book and she didn't let me down even a little. I liked her even more when the book came to an end.
Anita is an animator for a living. Raising the dead has gotta have it's perks, right? She's also a vampire slayer better known as the Executioner. Since she lives in a world where vampires are legal citizens, they are held accountable for their unruly actions just like humans. Instead of going to prison vampires are pretty much given a death sentence. Anita even works with the police by lending her "gifts" at crime scenes involving the supernatural.
We meet some interesting characters along the way...
Jean-Claude- the alluring vampire that seems more friend than foe,
Ronnie- Anita's female bud who is a tough chick in her own right,
Phillip- the lost stripper/vampire addict that I just couldn't help but like,
Aubrey- psycho vampire that just likes to hurt people and control them,
Winter- human bodybuilder/bodyguard extraordinaire
Valentine- a long time enemy of Anita's that bears holy water scars on his face [Score one for Anita! =D],
Nikolaos- the child-like evil master vampire who wants Anita to hunt down the vampire murderer in town,
Zachary- mysterious fellow animator,
and Edward- Anita's not so sane hit-man friend that she's worked with before.
There are also a number of smaller characters thrown into the mix as well. Ranging from Anita's money hungry boss to scary WereRats in the underground of the city's clubs. The character development in the main characters I thought was pretty well done. For the unfortunate few that didn't get quite enough time in the limelight, I have a feeling, will get their time to shine in following books.
Anita has to find out who is murdering the master vampires in the city pretty much against her will thanks to psycho Nikolaos. Speaking of Nik...whew, what a time bomb. You can almost immediately see how strong she is when we find out her age and the fact that so many people are afraid of her. However, her child-like appearance is unnerving at best.
I definitely recommend anyone who hasn't started this series to get to it! ASAP (= I'm looking forward to the Guilty Pleasures graphic novels as well. Both volumes will be arriving shortly at my door thanks to a BN gift card from my love and I'm very excited to see how they turned out. So I know I'm behind in this serious but I will definitely be continuing along.
By the way, I have heard that this series goes down the drain around book 7-ish. That's so sad to hear. I will continue the series until I find a reason not to. Who knows, I may very well enjoy the whole series Ms. Hamilton has written already. All I know is, book 2 here I come!!