Current Reviews


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 doesn’t look any easier.

Comments: Well, whadda ya know, a breather issue already? That’s fine, as Anita’s first night at Guilty Pleasures was one dire predicament after the next, starting with a bachelorette party that went horribly awry. So if anybody’s earned a rest, it’s she. Ritchie makes sure all the details are right for Anita’s sojourn to her apartment; Booth makes sure the penguin T-shirt and stuffed penguins (what? it’s her motif!) have the right ironic flourish.

However, even a respite at home (in a modern apartment building) doesn’t 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 Anita’s own thorough professionalism.

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

Her dreams aren’t troubled by his deadpan threats, however; instead they’re 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 she’s forgotten it’s Saturday, and she has a workout date with her best friend, a detective named Veronica Sims. Ronnie’s up to speed on all the supernatural goings-on in St. Louis and in Anita’s life, and thus we’ve gotten a nearly full picture of the supporting characters and major players, without, for once, a death defying battle to underline it all.

Surely there’s more blood to come, however, as the series continues to impress with its consistency. Booth’s work is at times too soft and pretty to capture the worst of what Anita faces, but it’s great to see an artist stick with a project long enough for a consistent style to be evident. He’s best suited to the romantic, seductive side of the vampires, but it’s 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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