cassiecruel's review against another edition

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This was some great art work and helped me to put faces to characters and even remember some of the story line.

I can't wait to get to the next one :D

easolinas's review against another edition

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Once upon a time, before the Anita Blake series became cheap porn with well-endowed vampires and werethingies, there was "Guilty Pleasures." And like many a successful fantasy/horror novel before it, Laurell K. Hamilton's breakout story has been adapted into graphic novel form -- the complete "Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures," with its surly inept heroine and indifferent artwork.

The story: Anita Blake is a vampire hunter and an animator, able to raise zombies from the dead. She also isn't too fond of vampires or weres, though St. Louis is swarming with them. So when a vampire comes to hire her, she turns him down. But at a bachelorette party, she soon finds herself hip-deep in vampire politics -- and a dangerous enemy who is trying to kill her. Things only get more complicated when she ends up facing the Master of the City, the deceptively childlike Nikolaos, and a dungeon full of wererats.

Her new goal: find who is offing vampires in St. Louis, possibly with the help of the seductive poet-shirt-wearing Jean-Claude. Despite discovering who the vampire murderer is, she immediately forgets the bad guy's identity and goes hunting through St. Louis' population -- Humans Against Vampires, the Church of Eternal Life, and other such. Since the plot is going nowhere, Nikolaos becomes impatient and gives Anita a little gruesome motivation -- and to stop both the vampire killer and the Master, Anita must team up with some unlikely allies.

"Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures" is a comic book that sometimes boggles the mind. It's hard to take a mystery novel seriously if the hero forgets who the villain is, and can't figure out what's going on unless the Evil Vampire Killer inexplicably unmasks himself. Laurell K. Hamilton's plot is just sort of oozing along, with plot developments and fights thrown in at random whenever things threaten to get REALLY boring.

Along the way, Hamilton tries to pad the story by having Anita run around blaming people at random. So she splatters torture, shootouts, nudity, tepidly erotic zombie-raising, and a big silly knife fight at the climax. To make matters worse, Hamilton's dialogue has the razor wit of kindergarten trash talk ("Thus he must die." "No!" "Oh, but yes!"). And by the end, the plot has completely unravelled -- the nadir is a truly hysterical conversation about zombie sexual abuse. Yeah, we totally needed that.

Brett Booth's artwork does not help either -- Anita looks like a parody picture of Angelina Jolie, with albino skin, ridiculously flowing curly hair that extends a good six inches in front of her face, and a case of massive thunder thighs (one woman's thighs are each bigger than her waist). Perhaps as a reflection of Booth's mood, Anita always looks bored. The other characters don't fare well either -- Jean Claude looks like an effeminate male doppelganger of Anita, Edward looks pervy, and Nikolaos looks like a Disney heroine surrounded by flying toilet paper.

But Anita herself is the weakest part of the plot: abrasive, smug, brittle and rather weak, as well as a total failure as a detective or a vampire hunter. Hamilton pretty clearly considers her a hardcore tough-grrl, but smirking, cowering and giving in to the bad guys does not make you tough. Even worse, she has the tiny immovable mind of the very stupid and stubborn -- when she decides someone is guilty, they must be guilty.

Most of the other characters are 2-D villains -- the cackling Nikolaos (think Anne Rice's Claudia), the tepidly Machievellian Jean Claude (he wears a POET'S SHIRT), the uninterestingly nasty Theresa, cheesy masked pedophile Valentine, and the mewling vampire addict Philip. The interesting people are also the ones that we spend the least time on -- the casual assassin Edward, the capable and intelligent Ronnie, and the king of the wererats.

The complete "Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures" is one of those graphic novels that drags on and on with little to keep you reading -- indifferent art, an obnoxiously dumb heroine, and a meandering plot.

quinnster's review against another edition

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I really enjoyed the first few novels in the Anita Blake series, before everything became a love triangle and boring sameness. So having the graphic novels of the first few books is exciting. The graphic novel so far is pretty much just an illustrated version of the novel and that is fantastic. It would be have been annoying if they changed it around. It's fun to have faces to add to the ideas you have in your head of what characters in the book should look like. The illustrations are brilliant & translation from novel to graphic novel is seamless.

jenny_librarian's review against another edition

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Trigger warning: graphic violence, gore

3 ⭐️

Did I just read a back ripoff of True Blood?

It's not that the story is not interesting, it's just that there's way too much stuff going wrong to appreciate the story. This is a GRAPHIC novel. Importance on the "graphic" part. As far as graphic novels go, this was way down the scale.

1. There's too much writing. If a page has more to read than to look at, it's not a graphic novel. It's a novel with illustrations. I'm sure at least part of the writing could have been forgotten without taking anything from the story, or at least illustrated. The writing weights down the story immensely and it becomes heavy to read.

2. The illustrations in themselves aren't great. I don't know if it's the way Laurell K. Hamilton wrote her characters, but each man looks like a romance novel model and they all either have curly or short hair. And every guy has a six or eight pack. Not to mention the way everyone has a V-shape body... At least try to make realistic looking characters...

3. Is the only insult in Anita's book "son of a bitch"? She repeats it on and on again at the end, as if she couldn't think of anything more original. Which is a sharp decline, since the insults in the first part were much more imaginative...

4. The amount of side-story is overwhelming. You got Valentine, Edward, Jean-Claude, Jensen... It's a lot and it kinda mashes up together and makes too much action for a single story.

5. Anita spends the whole story being scared shitless, but it doesn't actually show. She keeps mentioning how scared she is, but nothing in the illustrations proves that she is.
SpoilerAnd then she kills Nikolaos in 2 blows. Doesn't sound much scared to me.

Basically, I was disappointed. It could have been a lot better, but it failed miserably. If it's loyal to the novels, I don't wanna read the rest.