Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Posted March 8, 2018 by Amber in Reviews / 2 Comments

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Digital Audiobook narrated by Kimberly Alexis

Published by Berkley Books on September 24th 2002
Series: Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #1
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Vampires
Length: 266 pages or 9 hours, 48 minutes
Source: Overdrive

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook DepositoryIndieBound


The necromancy in this book is so good.

The vampire stuff, though, is not great.  But it’s not the worst ever.  To be honest, I actually like Guilty Pleasures.  I’ve read it a few times.  I really like Anita Blake as a character and while the series lost me after a while, the early books make good stories.  Anita is still an animator and the necromancy scenes are so gruesome and well-written.  The sex is super limited.  The first handful of books are great.

However, this is the first time I have listened to the audiobook… and good god y’all.  If this was my first read-through, I’d’ve stopped here and now.  The narrator of this first book does Anita no justice at all.  Anita is a four-foot-something spirited necromancer and vampire hunter, with a sharp sense of humor and ruthless attitude.  In the world of paperback paranormal romance, Anita sets precedents by defending herself, drawing lines, and being totally kick-ass without melting at every pretty face.  This narrator makes her sound like a two-dimension lusty woman.  It’s just sad, because reading this book is loads of fun.  Listening to this book was boring and disappointing.

I think she’d do better narrating historical fiction, or something a little less snarky and humorous.  All the jokes fall flat.

Beyond all that, I still can’t get past how much I genuinely like this book.  It’s sneaking around the corner of “out of my genre” but the world is really well formed.  There’s a scene in the middle of the book where Anita is helping Zachary raise a zombie, and the way it is written is so poignant and stunning, you’re draw right into the cemetery.

My main complaint would be that the characters outside Anita are a bit flat.  Nikolaos definitely comes off better in the books, but she still feels a bit like a Claudia (a la Interview with a Vampire) clone.  The boys in particular are really flat, and that’s an issue that continues throughout the series.  I do find Edward interesting, but he’s a barely-contained serial killer.

Overall, I do still like this first book.  I think it’s much better read than listened to, and it’s a relatively short book, so it’s an easy weekend read.  For anyone interested in paranormal romance (like the Kate Daniels books or Sookie Stackhouse), I’d definitely recommend Guilty Pleasures.


I’ve read this book before!  Check out my previous review to see how/if my opinions have changed!

The Breakdown
Personal Enjoyment
Overall: four-stars


Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 responses to “Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

  1. Oh my god, get out of here! I just posted a Laurell Hamilton review too! Although mine was ummm… less than complimentary. Lol. 😳 I read the first Merry Gentry book and got completely frustrated with it. But I do love necromancy AND vampires, so I’ll have to give this one a try!! I’ll be sure to actually read it though. Don’t you hate when a narrator falls flat?!

    • Amber

      I *thought* you were reading Merry Gentry! I’m going to pop over and look at your review – I nevr was really interested in Merry even when I was DEVOURING Anita Blake and now I want to know why it’s terrible. XD

      Guilty Pleasures is decent… definitely a bit adult, but not disturbingly so. The Laughing Corpse is good too, and The Circus of the Damned is… okay. After that it becomes essentially paranormal erotica so unless that is your thing, avoid! 😛