Guilty Pleasures (LK Hamilton)

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 thoughts on “Guilty Pleasures (LK Hamilton)

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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!

  7. 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)

  8. 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????

  9. 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.

  10. 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”. šŸ™‚

  11. 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*

  12. 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 ^^

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

  17. 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 šŸ˜‰

  18. 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?”

  19. “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.

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