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review 2015-02-17 00:00
Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #1)
Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #1) - Laurell K. Hamilton,Kimberly Alexis BLUF: Don’t read if you’re looking for a thriller. Do read if you’re looking for a new series to delve into. It's OK as a standalone, but best for those wanting a new series. (Although, I hear it gets pretty sexual later in the series..)

Brief Synopsis: Guilty Pleasures revolves around animator (raiser of the dead) Anita Blake. Anita does not deal with vampires. In fact, she has killed a couple in the past and, currently, would rather have nothing to do with them. Unfortunately for her, the vampires are looking to hire her to solve a crime the police aren’t interested in. (See, Vampires aren’t fully accepted at this time. Not quite second class citizens, but not first class citizens either.) While Anita refuses, the vampires counter with an offer she cannot resist. (Spoiler alert, part of that offer is “do or die”.) Anita is not the woman to half-ass her work assignments, but is this a crime she can solve?

I enjoyed this book, which is weird because, thinking back on the book, there wasn’t very much action in the book. I listened to the unabridged audio version and the speaker is, by far, the best audiobook speaker I have listened to. She changes the tone for each character and maintains a consistent tempo/volume. (She does tend to make all female parts sounds somewhat the same, with the exception of the main two or three females in the book. It didn’t bother me, but I feel compelled to be honest.)

The background takes about a third of the book to set. This is mostly unideal but, knowing that this is the start of a series, it’s to be expected. I didn’t pay much attention to how the characters were built, but felt they were given personalities and written consistently. I enjoyed the character interactions and adored the main character. She is the strong female character I look forward to having in the books I read. I may have connected a bit too much as she can be sarcastic and easily amused.

Two thirds of the way in this book, they kept bringing up new characters. My memory is not that great so I ended up Wikipedia-ing these characters to help remember who they are and why I should already know them. I should have known better, but I truly didn’t expect any of these characters to be the killer… I thought I might as well quit reading at that point – after all, I knew who the culprit was, what else was there to the book?

Here’s the truth. Knowing who committed these crimes does not take away the climax. The book isn’t truly about finding the killer, but as an introduction to the series. It took me until the end to realize this because I was so fixed on figuring out whodunit! This was genius on the author’s part. It keeps the reader thoroughly entertained while establishing the back stories to the series.
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review 2014-05-09 23:00
Blue Moon by Laurell K. Hamilton
Blue Moon - Laurell K. Hamilton,Kimberly Alexis

I reviewed Blue Moon when I read it many years ago but I can’t find a copy and can’t remember what my thoughts were. I’m sure I thought it was “one of the best books ever” because I was still a fangirl and it features a whole hell of a lot of Richard and back then I was a fangirl of him too. Now? Eh, I can take him or leave him but that’s only because the author turned him into an alpha-hole of the worst kind and replaced him with likes of Micah and the shifter crew. But that’s a rant for another day.

Today we focus on Blue Moon. It opens with a phone call where Anita Blake, Vampire Executioner, Necromancer and Protector of all things furry, defenseless and preternaturally sexy, learns that her ex-love (but not lover) Richard is in jail on rape charges. Then vampire lover boy Jean Claude shows up at her door wanting to do “the wicked dance” just one more time before she leaves town to save Richard. He’s jealous of Richard’s studliness and feeling insecure. She shoos him away, takes her vampire and shifter entourage and heads out to save the day. Jean Claude is barely a blip on the radar again during this book (I think he calls in once) because he is not allowed to travel to Master of the City vampire Colin’s territory, where Richard is being held, or all-out war will rage. Anita’s not allowed either but she says screw it and goes anyway. I love that about Anita. So, for you Jean Claude fans be warned because this is Richard’s book and Nathaniel’s book, and Jason, Asher and Damien’s too. But mostly this book is Richard’s turn with Anita. She saves his ass only to find out he’s been fooling around with all kinds of women (which contributed to his current troubles) in an attempt to replace her. They fight, as usual, but she doesn’t have much ground to stand on considering she left him for Jean Claude. She still lusts after Richard and what with all of the drama with the beasties and the evil big bad, a few corrupt police officers and the munin raising its horny head, Anita has her hands full.

I’m “rereading” this series on unabridged audio because I originally gave up on it somewhere after the meh “Micah” and need to refresh my memory if I have any hope of ever completing the series. Blue Moon is narrated by Kimberly Alexis who does a great job voicing the tough as nails, increasingly coldish Anita. Narrator Alexis is all business and it fits really well. She also does a decent job voicing everyone with the exception of Asher and Jean Claude, both who are given faux fancy French accents which make them sound too feminine for comfort. My ears bled a little whenever they were speaking. But I don’t blame the narrator; she did the best she could with the source material. Some of the other characters sound too similar but I could usually figure out who was speaking pretty quickly.

I really enjoyed this reread. I wasn’t sure I would but it held up well and kept my attention throughout. The characters dealt with a lot of deep crap, Anita had to work through some of her issues and questioned herself and her values. I liked this Anita. She cares about the people she keeps acquiring and makes tough calls to keep them safe. If she’s a bit bitchy, hell I would be too. This book has some incredibly dark edges. I always forget about that and I appreciate it. I don’t like the sugar-coating too many PNR’s have these days. I have to hand it to Hamilton, she does not flinch while inflicting damage to the innocents in this book. Now on to the next one!

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review 2013-11-28 00:00
Obsidian Butterfly by Laurell K. Hamilton
Obsidian Butterfly - Laurell K. Hamilton



This is not quite a five because Anita's badass attitude grates here and there but it's so much better than the books focused on the triumvirate (or whatever the hell it's called) and the sexy times.


Obsidian Butterfly is all business, no sex. This is the book the Edward fans were clamoring for way back when and I thought it was worth the wait back when I read it for the first time. This book lets us in on Edward's secret life when he calls in Anita to help out with a series of grisly murders. She learns he's living another life where he is known as good old boy "Ted" complete with a sweet girlfriend and acting as a step-in dad to her two children. Anita pries and teases and her relationship with Edward becomes less of a "who will kill the other first" kind of thing and more of a "I will always have your back" kind of thing. It's believable and I loved that about this book.

It is dark and gory and some extremely nasty things to happen to innocent people like the earlier books. There are paranormal baddies and mysteries and loads of danger filled action. Usually those things bore me but I found myself pretty much attentive to the audio from beginning to end. Narrator Kim Alexis does a fantastic Anita, she's all tough bitch and also handles the myriad of other characters with ease. I was never at a loss wondering who was speaking.

I think Obsidian Butterfly is one of the best installments in this series. If you're a fan of the earliest books and the harder boiled edge of those stories this might be the last book in the series you should probably read. It all sorta goes to shit from here but I'm going to read 'em again on audio anyway.

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review 2013-09-03 00:00
Affliction (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #22)
Affliction - Laurell K. Hamilton So glad that LKH seems to have gotten back in the game with the Anita Blake books. I really enjoyed this book. Fast paced, intense, sexy (but not so much as to overshadow the plot).
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review 2013-08-17 00:00
Affliction (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #22) - Laurell K. Hamilton I'm not even sure how to start this review.....but I will say that this book was by FAR my favorite in last couple years.LAST couple years...huh....EXACTLY.........this series has been on a downward spiral for many years but I love these characters so I've stuck it out to see........WHAT could possibly change...CAN this series be revived.....YES it can!!!!!!!!!OMG I loved this book!!!!!!!!I truly didn't think that this series would ever go back to the way it was in the beginning.....bc remember this is book 22 in this series and I've stuck in there and read every damn one of them!!!! I was so happy to have most of the main characters back in this book.....however I WANT...i need....more Jean-Claude. Yea he was here this time but NOT nearly enough for my taste!!I freaking love Jean-Claude...I need that vampire in MY LIFE!!!!!!!!The things that still bugged me was all the descriptions of what people looked like.....damn I get it.....I got it the first time they were described and I still get it....please quit telling me over and over again. Also the rehashing of things that have happened in the past......once is enough we don't need it re explained 3 times in a book.However those were my only problems.....we got Anita back! She's gotten more control of her powers and she brought out her necromancy like a BOSS!!!!LOVED LOVED LOVED this installment in this series and I'm crazy excited about the next book because Asher is back and I love his jealous ass!!!!!
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