Guilty Pleasures (LK Hamilton)

8 Feb

Latest book: “Guilty Pleasures” by Laurell K. Hamilton

This book was kind of scary. In a good way, I mean. And not really what I expected at all. I knew it was contemporary horror, so I figured it was something resembling The Dresden Files or Buffy. Which it was. Except I didn’t expect it to be so…dark. From what I’d heard, I’d expected Hamilton’s book to be the kind of horror that’s so sex-drenched it takes the edge off things that *should* be scary to anyone that’s sane. And with one of those wise-cracking snarky protagonists like Harry Dresden or Buffy. Only I didn’t find it particularly sexy at all, and Anita Blake doesn’t do much snarking. None of this is in the way of criticism, mind you. I like a heroine who takes her situation seriously and is intelligently frightened by it and keeps her head and gets the job done. And having her be genuinely menaced by “friend” and foe every other page doesn’t inure you to the dangers she’s in. The book’s not long enough for that. Plus, the main character is herself pretty dark. Re-animating the dead for a living? How icky is that? In an intriguing way, I mean.

The one thing I was not fond of in the Blake-o-verse: the fact that everyone’s aware of vampires and other supernatural creatures. When it comes to my fictional “kinks”, I want a world where the supernatural is considered debunked and its dangers lurk in the shadows, only known to a select few. In other words, I want a fictional word that by all appearances is the scientifically skeptical world we all live in. Because I read these kinds of books (fantasy, horror) so I can imagine that the supernatural exists around me in the world I see everyday. And I don’t live in Anita Blake’s America. I know that for certain.

I had another book from my shelf lined up to read next, but after getting to the third page, I realize it’s *yet* another vampire story where the whole world knows vampires exist. I think I’ve had enough of that for the time being. I will have to consult my recs list for the next book up.

“A Wizard of Earthsea”, Ursula Le Guin
“Proven Guilty”, Jim Butcher
“Dreamchild”, Hilary Hemingway and Jeffry P. Lindsay
“Guilty Pleasures”, Laurell K. Hamilton

48 Responses to “Guilty Pleasures (LK Hamilton)”

  1. starryniteshade February 8, 2007 at 6:26 pm #

    I want a world where the supernatural is considered debunked and its dangers lurk in the shadows, only known to a select few. In other words, I want a fictional word that by all appearances is the scientifically skeptical world we all live in.
    Hmmmm….sounds like the Joss-verse. So, let’s have a drink to the Joss-verse, which I can ’cause I’m working at home….again.

  2. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 6:34 pm #

    Also X-Files. Harry Dresden. Anne Rice. In fact, most contemporary fantasy/horror try to give their stories a “real-world” feel by having the supernatural in the shadows.

  3. starryniteshade February 8, 2007 at 6:53 pm #

    I read the Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles (first 3 volumes) in the early 1990’s. It was response to recurring images of vampires in my dreams. Living in a non-English speaking country made it harder to keep up with what was current in English literature. Now, back in an English speaking culture, it’s, of course, everyone seems to look down their nose at Ann Rice. Ah, people are soooo jealous of success, eh? Perhaps I should read the remaining books.

  4. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 7:03 pm #

    I enjoy those books and have many on my shelf. Some are quite good, others are proof that even successful authors need an editor with a bullwhip standing behind them (the latter books are entirely over-written). Anne Rice herself is a little tempermental and high-maintenance, I hear. She regularly writes scathing letters to her fan-fic writing fans.

  5. starryniteshade February 8, 2007 at 7:08 pm #

    Anne Rice herself is a little tempermental and high-maintenance, I hear. She regularly writes scathing letters to her fan-fic writing fans.
    I seldom pay any attention to the personal life of artists, whose work I admire. If they touch on something that’s deep and powerful, there’s a strong possibility that their own life is screwed up. As I read somewhere (????), “he possesses the two qualities of artistic genius, talent and a screwed up childhood” – probably it was written tongue-in-cheek…er, pencil-in-?????? Oh yes, it was in reference to J.M.Barrie (Peter Pan).

  6. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 7:19 pm #

    Which is why I’m not artistic genius, *alas*. I have the talent, but absolutely *nothing* to say, due to my well-adjusted childhood.
    LOL

  7. starryniteshade February 8, 2007 at 7:25 pm #

    Maybe you could go to a therapist so that you could start to view your childhood as maladjusted. Just a thought. Anything for your art.

  8. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 7:30 pm #

    I’ve been in therapy on and off since I was 18. Mostly for shyness and social anxiety, coming out, and a variety of other lesser problems. I would need to suffer a major trauma (knock on wood) before I darken one of those doors again!

  9. cactuswatcher February 8, 2007 at 7:41 pm #

    As I mentioned before the places in that book are near where (Plin and) I used to live. I used to cross that bridge Anita crosses. I know the highway exits, landmarks, etc. The cave downtown does not exist anymore, but it did once upon a time in the 1800’s. I don’t remeber any vampires there, either ;o)

  10. starryniteshade February 8, 2007 at 7:42 pm #

    LOL
    Well, maybe we could just pretend trauma….and then you can EXPRESS it.
    Actually, I believe the “great artist = great suffering” to be way over done in our society…..or more precisely, a lot of pretentious B.S. since there are plenty of people who suffer but aren’t great artists and plenty of great artists who never suffered. I mean, Picasso suffered????

  11. starryniteshade February 8, 2007 at 7:43 pm #

    I don’t remeber any vampires there
    Hmmmm….those Sunnydale folk and their denial… 😉

  12. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 7:44 pm #

    And yet my lack of things to say persists!

  13. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 7:46 pm #

    I don’t know. St. Louis, Missouri, doesn’t strike fear in my heart nor strike me as particularly sexy place, either. But I guess you write what you know. ; )

  14. cactuswatcher February 8, 2007 at 7:47 pm #

    Well, we didn’t have a big obituary section in our high school year book. Maybe there weren’t any vampires. ;o)

  15. starryniteshade February 8, 2007 at 7:50 pm #

    Awright! That’s it!
    …..those of us who read and *ENJOY* TD might start to get insulted.
    You *do* too have things to say.
    So, have a glass of red wine!

  16. cactuswatcher February 8, 2007 at 7:53 pm #

    I know, that’s the one thing that really struck me about the book. She did manage to pick places to talk about that a native St. Louisan would know and would actually read more into mystery-wise than she described. She chose her locations well. How much she convinced non-St Louisans of that I don’t know.

  17. starryniteshade February 8, 2007 at 7:54 pm #

    we didn’t have a big obituary section in our high school year book
    Could be consistent with a theory of a more elaborate, systematic denial…or, I will admit that it’s consistent with the alternate, less colourful-but-oh-so-much-safer theory that “there weren’t any vampires”. 🙂

  18. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 7:58 pm #

    Re: Awright! That’s it!
    Well, I meant original fiction. I have no good ideas for original fiction, but the burning desire to write it. It’s quite a quandary.
    *sips wine*

  19. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 8:00 pm #

    Well, it’s like all those gay fans of Queer as Folk flocking to Pittsburgh thinking they’re going to find what is in actuality Toronto.

  20. cactuswatcher February 8, 2007 at 8:06 pm #

    If you go looking for L. K. Hamilton’s world, you’ll find endless suburbs, unless you have a local to tell you what to look for.

  21. etrangere February 8, 2007 at 8:06 pm #

    You know I think that the fact the surnatural is out in Anita’s world is one of my favourite thing in the series. It’s such a breath of fresh air after all the rest of the genre, and it does help getting away from the mental circumbalation of “keeping the masquerade” (pun unintended)… of course now there’s other books with the same premise.
    Also the whole vampires & law & marketting thing is very fun, I find ^^
    Anita is pretty dark, I guess. Must be why I like her ^^

  22. starryniteshade February 8, 2007 at 8:07 pm #

    Re: Awright! That’s it!
    I have no good ideas for original fiction, but the burning desire to write it.
    So, how many original story lines did Shakespeare have?
    Original….schmoriginal, there’s probably only 5 or 6 story lines out there. It’s all in the trimmings.

  23. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 8:16 pm #

    Re: Awright! That’s it!
    That’s not exactly what I meant. I have no good ideas for non-fan fiction stories. Plagarized or otherwise.

  24. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 8:18 pm #

    Well that one scary vamp freak party she went to was apparently *very* suburban. I always knew they were up to no good in those well-manicured homes…..

  25. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 8:19 pm #

    Yeah, it just doesn’t match my kink, and when it comes to choosing books, one’s kinks are hard to fight with.
    ; )

  26. starryniteshade February 8, 2007 at 8:33 pm #

    Re: Awright! That’s it!
    I concede.
    *sips* martini and *contemplates* ‘nogood’ ideas.

  27. cactuswatcher February 8, 2007 at 8:33 pm #

    Yes, it was in the suburbs near a much older church with a lot of atmosphere. The those suburbs themselves, not so much. LOL

  28. etrangere February 8, 2007 at 8:50 pm #

    Oh, I wouldn’t want to argue with that ^^

  29. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 8:50 pm #

    Re: Awright! That’s it!
    *sobs*

  30. starryniteshade February 8, 2007 at 9:00 pm #

    Re: Awright! That’s it!
    There-there, red wine AND chocolate?
    P.S. I didn’t really concede, because TD is veryvery good, no matter how much *you* qualify its saltygoodness.

  31. starryniteshade February 8, 2007 at 9:11 pm #

    Re: Awright! That’s it!
    …and then there’s this not-really-a-secret thing about painting and me. I delayed painting for 25 years because I didn’t have “something to say”. Now I think, “oh that’s pretty, I’ll paint it” or “maybe I’ll give this a try” or “I dunno but it’s only paint and canvas” or …
    Your journal is not the place to go into this, but it *did* have a lot to do with my dreams of vampires. Anyway, I think I may have posted something about that way back…

  32. angeyja February 8, 2007 at 9:14 pm #

    I’ve pretty much stopped reading the Anita Blake books. (smile) Although, I kept reading a long time after _Blue Moon_ which is where (I felt) the series shifted. I found _Guilty Pleasures_ about the time I found Buffy, and because of. It was on a site comparing the two.
    Are you thinking to read any more? Or not enough your thing?

  33. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 10:18 pm #

    I might read Obsidian Butterfly (is that the name?) but most of my friends can’t recommend the books past that.

  34. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 10:21 pm #

    Re: Awright! That’s it!
    I want to write an epic fantasy series like the Harry Potter novels or The Dresden Files. One with my own characters and my own world-building. That’s my dream. I just don’t have a clue what it would be about, and my muse ain’t talking.
    Thanks on TD, btw…it proves to me I’m *capable* of achieving the above dream, if only my muse would give me a clue what to write about.

  35. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 10:22 pm #

    Re: Awright! That’s it!
    Your paintings have something to do with dreams about vampires. Check. Gotcha.

  36. ann1962 February 8, 2007 at 10:41 pm #

    We usually did. A kid every couple of years and a teacher as often. Probably three of my five (Grade 13 Ontario) years in hs had death obits in the yearbook.
    Those catholic schools are dangerous 😉

  37. angeyja February 8, 2007 at 10:43 pm #

    Yes. Shadowkat has my copy… I think. I’d not suggest it really without the priors; it’d be confusing, and this is a bit far along?
    I was sort of asking because if you’re not, I won’t worry spoilers and if you are, I’ll just try to remember the “reading the first book bits?”

  38. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 10:45 pm #

    Oh, I just figured it was the next in the series after “Guilty Pleasures”, and right before the series started changing.

  39. angeyja February 8, 2007 at 10:53 pm #

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurell_K._Hamilton
    I am starting to feel like wiki comes up on any search. (yeesh.)

  40. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 11:04 pm #

    What did the world do before wiki?!
    ; )

  41. starryniteshade February 8, 2007 at 11:33 pm #

    Re: Awright! That’s it!
    Not quite. My dreams about vampires had to do with my not painting for many years.

  42. neshaffer February 8, 2007 at 11:54 pm #

    Re: Awright! That’s it!
    Yikes!

  43. ex_chaos_by_699 February 9, 2007 at 12:25 am #

    “I’m dark and brooding so give me love!”
    I *so* need to use that as text for a Connor or Angel icon.

  44. neshaffer February 9, 2007 at 12:48 am #

    It’s a quote by one Mr. Parker Abrams, as in “Don’t you hate guys who are all [insert quote].’
    To which Buffy says, “I don’t know any guys like that.”

  45. anomster February 9, 2007 at 7:43 am #

    “When it comes to my fictional ‘kinks’, I want a world where the supernatural is considered debunked and its dangers lurk in the shadows, only known to a select few.”
    Sounds like what Van Helsing said in Dracula, to the effect that the vampire’s greatest strength is that people don’t believe in it. So this kinda thing goes back a ways.

  46. neshaffer February 9, 2007 at 3:16 pm #

    Goes back further than that. Who said, “the Devil’s greatest trick is to make sure no one believes in him?”

  47. anomster February 9, 2007 at 3:43 pm #

    Um……I dunno, who did? And how long ago?

  48. shadowkat67 February 10, 2007 at 10:33 pm #

    No, I bought my own copy. The copy that I have of yours is the one that came out right before Micah, which I haven’t read and is in hardback.

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