- Books, Literature, and Writing
The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series
Laurell K. Hamilton Books - The Anita Blake Series (Vampire Hunter)
So are you ready for an adult fantasy thriller full of vampires, werewolves and a host of other supernatural beings? I know I was.
I very much enjoyed the Twilight series even though I was much older than it's target audience but it, like so many of the paranormal romance books out on the market now are filled with rather young romantic angst. So when a friend offered me her copy of Guilty Pleasures I was a little skeptical but thought I'd give it a go. And I am so happy I did.
Laurell K. Hamilton's books are a rich tapestry of supernatural and paranormal characters. Not only does she write about the usual vampires and werewolves but she also has a whole host of others like weretigers, wererats zombies and ghouls just to name a few.
In Hamilton's world all of these creature's coexist with man, though it is an uneasy coexistence with organizations for and against vampire rights. Anita Blake is a very talented animator. She raises people from the dead for a living. Mostly people have this done to get questions answered over legal disputes but occasionally someone just wants to live with the zombie of the person they loved when living.
Anita Blake is a small, young woman who is good at her job. She also helps out with the police occasionally and has on occasion been known to slay a vampire or two. This has earned her the nickname The Executioner" among vampire circles.
Things are never as clear cut as they seem and Hamilton weaves an interesting web of human confusion and interspecies relations.
So if your ready to try on a more grownup paranormal series of novels pick up a copy of Laurell K. Hamilton's Guilty Pleasures and enter a whole new world of fantasy novels.
This page is dedicated to the first 10 books of an ever growing series. I have read them all and have added my personal thoughts on each book.
The Anita Blake Series Quick Poll
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"The Vampires Call Me The Executioner.
What I Call The Vampires Is Not Repeatable."
- Anita Blake
Anita Blake Guilty Pleasures The first book
The first book in the series.
In this first book we meet Anita Blake who raises people from the dead for a living. That's right she makes Zombies. Not a pretty job but it pays really well.
Anita also does some freelance work with the police and they have asked her to look into some vampire murders. Now I know what you're thinking. Vampires are already dead how can they be murdered. Well the law states that vampires are living dead because they don't decay. Zombies on the other hand are just dead because they do decay. And thus begins the complex world of interspecies relations in Laurell K. Hamilton's book Guilty Pleasures
In her quest to find the killer Anita Blake brushes with some seriously scary supernatural types including wererats and the ever so creepy and super powerful Nikolaos who looks like a little girls but is in reality the cities most powerful vampire and twisted to boot.
The second most powerful vampire, Jean-Claude, is interested in more than just Anita's professional talents, but the she's not interested in what he's offering. Eternal life sounds good but she's worried about her soul. Still he does have a certain appeal that she finds hard to resist.
Anita Blake is a superb character. She's sassy, powerful and flawed. But best of all she's not looking to be saved. She's the one doing the saving.
Laurell K. Hamilton Talks About The Anita Blake Series Graphic Novel.
"You smell of other people's blood, ma petite."
I smiled at him, sweetly. "It was no one you knew."
Jean-Claude and Anita Blake
The Laughing Corpse - Book 2
The Laughing Corpse : Book 2 Anita Blake Series
Once I finished Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton I was ready for more and immediately picked up The Laughing Corpse.
In the second book of the series Anita is asked to assist police in what appear to be the murders of entire families. The most likely culprit? Zombies. But not ordinary Zombies. It was all wrong. Too brutal, too calculated and too skilled for a regular run of the mill zombie.
In Anita's search for not only the killer Zombie but also the person who could have raised such a creature she comes across Dominga Sanchez. A voodoo priestess who wants Anita to join her so she can teach her the darkest magic and together they can rule. Or if Anita refuses perhaps she will kill her.
And if Dominga isn't enough to deal with she also has a wealthy millionaire wanting her to raise a very old zombie for him. He's willing to pay her well for the service. After all what's a little human sacrifice if the money's good. And if she refuses him ... well let's just say Harold Gaynor is not a man who hears the word "No" all to often.
And lastly Jeane-Claude the Vampire Master of the city is working hard to either seduce her or get her to be his human servant.
In this book Anita begins to discover her true power. She's not a super hero mentality where she just breezes through danger and trouble and comes out unhurt. No Anita is a wonderfully flawed and complex character who struggles like any human would in a world filled with powerful non-human beings. But then Anita is not quite "just human" either.
This book is a real page turner and the cast of new characters are as interesting as the primary ones. The Laughing Corpse is a really great read.
"The smile came, a soft curl of lips. The serpent must have smiled at Eve like that. I have this nice, shiny apple for you. Want some candy little girl?"
Circus Of The Damned : Book 3
Circus Of The Damned : Book 3 Anita Blake Series
Laurell K. Hamilton is beginning to hit her stride with her Anita Blake character in this latest book of the series. It opens with the usual murder investigation but the story begin to truly embrace the bizarre and supernatural as early on there is a monstrously large (think telephone pole in size) king cobra running amok at the Circus of the Damned. The Circus is run by the vampires and they put on shows to thrill, titillate and terrify it's human audience.
In this book Anita is faced with ever more powerful master vampires who have come to take over the city now the Nickalaous has been elimanted. Jean-Claude is the new master of the city but he as seen as not very powerful since he hid his powers for so long. A vampire becomes more powerful with age and both of the intruding master vampires are much older than Jean-Claude. Indeed one has been around since the dawn of man. These new vampires see Anita as a pawn to be used against Jean-Claude since she has been partially marked as Jean-Claude's human servant.
The final battle is set to take place at the Circus Of The Damned as entertainment for the human masses. Of course depending on who wins will determine whether they are entertained ... or eaten.
Anita is torn between being betraying Jean-Claude in order to finally be free of him. Of course as they say the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. And that is the crux of Anita Blake's problems.
This was a great page turning read that I could not put down.
"I met his eyes and said, "I killed the things that gave me this scar."
He smiled broadly, showing just a hint of fang. "What a lovely coincidence. So did I."
- Anita to Jean-Claude
The Lunatic Cafe : Book 4
The Lunatic Cafe : Book 4 The Anita Blake Series
In The Lunatic Cafe Anita Blake is asked to look into some missing Lycanthrropes more commonly know as werewolves. Though in this series that includes any shapshifter including weretigers, wereleopards, wererats and even a swan. Missing persons is not really her thing and try as she might to stay out of it, it seems forces beyond her control keep plunking her down in the middle of it. While lycanthropes are an accepted part of society they are still discriminated against and so many when out lose their jobs. Thus the shapeshifter community prefers to keep police out of it and Anita in it.
Anita is falling in love with Richard who is a werewolf. She has reservations about the Furry folk but Richard is charming and everything she always wanted in a man, well ... except that he's not human. Jean-Claude decides that if Anita will accept Richard than surely she'll accept him and so starts to woo her as well. Thus begins the strangest relationship triangle ever.
The Lunatic Cafe begins a new chapter in the life of Anita Blake. She is changing into a more dangerous individual. Working so close with magic and death will do that to a person. This is the first book where she kills someone in cold blood. Someone who was not threatening her in any way at the time she kills him. But she threatened him she would if harmed someone dear to her and so when he did, she made him pay.
I think the books from here on out may get a little more dark when it comes to Anita Blake's personality.
I am the Executioner. Murder someone in my town, and I'm the one that you get to see. Once.
- Anita Blake
Bloody Bones : Book 5
Bloody Bones : Book 5 The Anita Blake Series
In Bloody Bones Anita Blake is hired to raise an entire ancient burial ground. The skeletal remains were unearthed during excavation of a remote mountainside where there are mingled and broken. There is a dispute over the lands ownership and Anita needs to raise the zombies to settle if they are relatives of the disputing parties. But as usual things are never that simple.
Most of the Anita Blake books are named after locations in the novels. Bloody Bones is the name of a remote bar run by fairies. No, not the cutsie little pixie types. But dangerous supernatural beings who have a dark secret.
Anita faces yet another powerful master vampire who even Jean-Claude fears. He has offered to help negotiate with The master vampire of the area Sereaphina in regards to a rogue vampire who is killing humans with abandon. Because the one law vampires hold most dear is to not garner exposure. Political power is the new vampire objective as the current laws allow them to walk among the humans as equals. So a violent vampire on a killing spree will change all that.
Anita discovers she feels more deeply for Jean-Claude than she ever expected and we learn just a little bit more of Jean-Claudes history.
"The rule is that if they have a weapon and want to take you someplace else, it is so they can kill you slower--Peter"
Anita Blake from The Harlequin
My Overall Review Of The First 5 Anita Blake Books
My Personal Thoughts On The Anita Blake Series Books 1-5
On the whole what I really love about a book series is that over time the author gets to expand the story and the characters. By Book 3 Circus Of The Damned, Anita Blake and Jean Claude began to really develop and were no longer just cookie cutter type characters.
Jean-Claude was no longer totally evil but a deeper individual that had some redeeming qualities about him. And Anita Blake though the hero of the series and a character that you route for is not totally good and begin to show a dark side. This makes sense since a person could not be immersed in the occult and death all the time and not develop a darker personality.
On the whole I thoroughly enjoyed the first 5 books. At the end of Bloody Bones Laurell K. Hamilton said that this book was a turning point and that the character were going to change some from now on. There will be a sexual context added as well as the violence will become more graphic. I'm not sure paranormal writers feel the need to "go there" but I have seen this happen time and again with paranormal book series'.
"Never trust people who smile constantly. They're either selling something or not very bright.
~ Anita Blake from Burnt Offerings
The Killing Dance Book 6
The Killing Dance : Book 6 The Anita Blake Series
In The Killing Dance, the title refers to a werewolf ritual of climbing the political ladder by the killing of the previous leader. The werewolves also use this term for sex amongst themselves. It's about treading the fine line between death an pleasure.
Someone is trying to kill Anita Blake. Nothing new there, but what is new is that they are willing to pay a huge sum to have her dead within 24 hours. Anita is almost too busy with her social life to be bothered much by the contract out on her life.
In this book Anita Blake becomes more deeply immersed in the werewolf culture. Richard a shapshifting werewolf and also Anita's boyfriend and fiancé wants Anita to really understand what it means to be part of the pack. Deep down Richard doesn't believe that Anita can accept him for who he really is, but then again Richard denies his inner beast so how can he think anyone else would love it.
But Richard needs to embrace his wolf in order to defeat Marcus and Raina the current pack aplhas. They are slowing tearing the pack apart and using it for their own personal playground. Richard is a man of high morals and wants to avoid killing at all costs. But Anita insist he needs to in order to protect himself and his people. The question is, Once he does can he ever forgive himself ... or Anita.
"They were treating me like a very dangerous person. At five-three I am not imposing. Raise the dead, kill a few vampires, and people start considering you one of the monsters."
Burnt Offerings : Book 7
Burnt Offerings: Book 7 The Anita Blake Series
As Burnt Offerings unfolds a potential psychic firestarter has been running amok and it's up to Anita Blake to find out who it is. But she has bigger problems. The vampire council has come to town to find out why Jean-Claude has not taken his rightful place on the council after he killed a previous council member.
The answer ... because Jean Claude understands that he'd be nothing more than a stalking horse. He is not powerful enough to hold the council position and so would be challenged until he was defeated (and by defeated I mean killed.) For that is the only way to gain a council seat. Kill a previous council member.
Even though the Vampire council is working hard to keep a good public face on their community side because they enough the freedom of being considered people and wish to enlarge their legal standing, they are indeed vampires and take and destroy what they can. Their mere presence has thrown Anita's community into chaos.
And to top it off some political nutjobs are trying to recreate the cleansing, which is a holocaust like happening in which all the vampires were burnt and destroyed in Europe several centuries prior.
"You are an irritating son of a bitch." "Ah, ma petite, how can I resist you when you whisper such sweet endearments to me?"
- Anita Blake from Bloody Bones
The Major Characters Of The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Books
The Good, The Bad and the Dead
Anita Blake. Known as the executioner among vampiric circles she has killed more vapires (most of them legally) than anyone else on record. She is an animator (raises zombies) and a necromancer (which means she has power over anything that is dead.) She's a no nonsense tough little woman who assist the police in solving paranormal crimes.
Dolph Rudolf Storr Detective on the Preternatural Crime Squad. He was given this duty as a punishment but he turned it into one of the most successful divisions with a high number of solved cases. He's tough and like Anita though they have a very different opinion about the monsters.
Lerbowski Part of the police squad and all around good guy.
"Ronnie" Veronica Sims is a private detective and. Anita Blake's Best Friend and pretty much her only real human friend that isn't part of the police squad.
Rafael The Rat King. He's the leader of the wererats who on the whole seems to be pretty good folks compared to the other shapeshifters.
Richard Begins as the werewolf second in command. A high school science teacher who has too high a moral standard to be a werewolf leader.
Edward Is known as Death among the vampires. He's a gun for hire and the mostly deadly hunter out there. Even Anita is scared of Edward and they are friends.
Jean-Claude He begins the series as a master vampire but not thought to be a huge player. He grows in power throughout the series, first becoming master of the city and then later 1/3 of a triumvirate which increases his power by sharing in the power of two others. He begins as the bad guy but soon into the series becomes Anita Blake's lover.
Marcus Leader of the werewolves. The Alpha.
Raina The Lupa or mate to the Alpha male. Marcus. She's pretty evil and uses and abuses the others for her own pleasures.
Gabriel The leader of the wereleopards. One sick kitty and the plaything of Raina.
The Very Dead
Nikalaos The original master of the city and the first big baddie that Anita Blake had to go up against.
Mr. Oliver Possibly the oldest vampire Anita was ever to come against. He was technically prior to homosapiens on the human evolution scale.
"Love sucks. Sometimes it feels good. Sometimes it's just another way to bleed."
- Anita Blake from blue moon
Blue Moon : Book 8
Blue Moon : Book 8 The Anita Blake Series
In Blue Moon Anita Blake receives a call in the middle of the night telling her Richard, her previous werewolf boyfriend/fiancé has been imprisoned on rape charges while he's out of town studying trolls. Now Richard is capable of murder ... maybe, but certainly not rape. Also they need to get him out on bail (which is currently being denied) because in a couple of days there will be a blue moon and well ... he's a werewolf. While being a lycanthrope is not illegal since it's considered a disease, all to often once exposed the werewolf loses its job and is run out of town on fear alone. Richard being a high school science teacher would prefer to keep his furry side hidden.
The great mystery to be solved in this book is why Richard has been framed for rape and why the local law enforcement wants him out of town and is willing to do anything to make it happen. There is demonic disturbances, the endangered troll.s to protect, new werewolf protocols to meet as well as issues with the local vampire clan to add more trouble to Anita's list of pain in the backside things to deal with.
In Blue Moon Anita finally gives in to her love for Richard, despite knowing she still loves Jean-Claude and has no plans of giving him up either. So those of you wishing she choose Richard instead get to see what happens when they finally allow themselves to embrace who they really are.
"One of the things that's kept me alive is shooting first and asking questions later. Doing it the other way around was no way to stay alive."
Obsiadian Butterfly : Book 9
Obsidian Butterfly : Book 9 The Anita Blake Series
In Obsidian Butterfly we finally get a good look at Edward. Anita's friend though she knows it is entirely possible that someday Edward may just try to kill her. But Edward has asked her for help, something he has never done and Anita is more than a little intrigued at being able to get a glimpse of Edward's personal life. Turns out ... he's not at all what she though.
Edward is living a double life as part time gun for hire and part time family man. Is Edward just playing these people for fools or some personal game or does he really care about this single mother and her two kids.
In this book Anita gets a break from the Jean-Claude and Richard drama and risks her life in the ever weird and twisted life of the vampire underworld. She goes to Albuquerque and runs into an ancient Aztec clan of vampires complete with their own werejaguars. She must tread the fine line between vampire executioner and police investigator with her human servant title to Jean-Claude. But there is something big and bad that's got everyone scared, including Edward and it is up to Anita Blake to figure it out and stop this creature whatever it is, before is can brutally mutilate and kill anymore people.
The true way to a man's heart is six inches of metal between his ribs. Sometimes four inches will do the job, but to be really sure, I like to have six. Funny how phallic objects are always more useful the bigger they are. Anyone who tells you size doesn't matter has been seeing too many small knives.
- Anita Blake from Narcissus in Chains
Narcissus In Chains : Book 10
Narcissus In Chains : Book 10 The Anita Blake Series
In Narcissus In Chains Anita has been injured in a fight with some Snake people. She is saved by one of her wereleopards but is accidentally may have gotten infected with the lycanthrope disease in the process. She won't know for sure until the full moon but all signs seem to point to the fact that she is the Nimir-Ra and indeed now a wereleopasrd.
Also she has finally agreed to embrace her human servant position with Jeane-Claude and the final marks get opened. It seems Jeane-Claude was a succubus and has passed this along to Anita through the open marks.
My Opinion Of This Anita Blake Book - Narcissus In Chains
In truth I was a bit disappointed with this book. There is no real mystery to be solved which is the reason I love the Anita Blake series. The book spends most of it's pages with Anita struggling with her out of control libido and having sex with the old and new boyfriends.
As an erotic thriller it is a success. As the paranormal mystery it is nowhere close to being one.
About Laurell K. Hamilton
The Author Of The Anita Blake Series.
One of the first things I read about Laurell K. Hamilton was her talking about trying to get Guilty Pleasures published. Her previous book with a different story line had not done so well so she was getting a little down about trying to get Guilty Pleasures out to the public.
She was at a Scifi convention and a one of the writers of Star Trek Next Generation series was supposed to talk but was unable to make it so they had Laurell fill in. She began reading her story to a room full of people who were expecting to hear about Star Trek. A few left but when she was done most were thrilled about the series and asked her all sorts of questions. It was then that Laurell knew she really had something with her Anita Blake books.
According to Wikipedia
Laurell Kaye Hamilton was born in Heber Springs, Arkansas but grew up in Sims, Indiana with her grandmother Laura Gentry. Her education includes degrees in English and biology from Marion (now Indiana Wesleyan University), a private Evangelical Christian liberal arts college in Marion, Indiana that is affiliated with the Wesleyan Church denomination.
Hamilton is involved with a number of animal charities, particularly supporting dog rescue efforts and wolf preservation.
Hamilton lives in St. Louis County, Missouri with husband Jonathon Green and daughter Trinity. (more ...)
For more information on Laurell K. Hamilton, her books and her blog please visit the Laurell K. Hamilton Website.
"One thing I've learned about vampires--they keep pulling new rabbits out of their cloaks. Big, fanged, carnivorous bunnies that'll eat your eyeballs if you're not paying attention."
Quote from Bloody Bones