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Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Guilty Pleasures #4

Posted: Monday, February 5, 2007
By: Shawn Hill



Writers: Laurell K. Hamilton, adapted by Stacie Ritchie
Artist: Brett Booth

Publisher: Marvel Comics/Dabel Bros. Productions


Plot: Anita has survived a night of vampires, were-rats, evil child-queens and the man of her undead dreams. But the next day doesnít look any easier.

Comments: Well, whadda ya know, a breather issue already? Thatís fine, as Anitaís first night at Guilty Pleasures was one dire predicament after the next, starting with a bachelorette party that went horribly awry. So if anybodyís earned a rest, itís she. Ritchie makes sure all the details are right for Anitaís sojourn to her apartment; Booth makes sure the penguin T-shirt and stuffed penguins (what? itís her motif!) have the right ironic flourish.

However, even a respite at home (in a modern apartment building) doesnít go smoothly for Anita. She has to pull her gun before she gets in the door, realizing that someone has broken and entered. And thus we meet one of her most important (and certainly most unsettling human) allies: Edward. The remorseless assassin operates with passionless efficiency, but seems to have a modicum of respect for Anitaís own thorough professionalism.

Sheís been trying to trace the vampire killer (as in, somebodyís killing vampires, and not someone with a badge like hers) in town. Heís been trying to trace the master vampire. Itís not clear if their goals are parallel or at odds yet. Which makes Anita wary, and Edward suspicious.

Her dreams arenít troubled by his deadpan threats, however; instead theyíre haunted by Jean-Claude, the sub-master vampire who seems to be calling out to her for help. And then, most shocking of all, she awakes to find sheís forgotten itís Saturday, and she has a workout date with her best friend, a detective named Veronica Sims. Ronnieís up to speed on all the supernatural goings-on in St. Louis and in Anitaís life, and thus weíve gotten a nearly full picture of the supporting characters and major players, without, for once, a death defying battle to underline it all.

Surely thereís more blood to come, however, as the series continues to impress with its consistency. Boothís work is at times too soft and pretty to capture the worst of what Anita faces, but itís great to see an artist stick with a project long enough for a consistent style to be evident. Heís best suited to the romantic, seductive side of the vampires, but itís not like that side of things will ever be off the page for long. This series is a love story as well as an adventure/action movie, and it remains a fun read about a memorable heroine.



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