Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, #1)

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, #1) - Laurell K. Hamilton I didn’t like this book. I have to be fair: it is written well, the pace is swift, sometimes too swift for my taste, and the fear factor is supreme, with all those bloodthirsty vampires and ghouls running around, killing people. But what truly horrified me in this novel was the notion of the Church of Eternal Life, which is worshipping vampires instead of God, packed on Sundays.
But the book failed in the most important aspect: it lacked a sympathetic protagonist. I couldn’t sympathize with Anita Blake. She is acting stupid, and I don’t like stupid heroines.
For example, one of her acquaintances, a professional vampire killer, wants to know where he can find the daylight resting place of the antagonist, the vampire master of the city Nikolaos, so he could kill her. Anita refuses to tell him. Why? She is terrified of Nikolaos. Why not let the guy do his job? Maybe he could destroy Nikolaos before the bloodsucking bitch hurts more of Anita’s friends. But no! Anita is hiding behind some misplaced moral scruples, which is sheer stupidity in this situation.
To make matters worse, Anita rushes into one blunder after another, even when she knows it’s a certain setup. She risks her life and the lives of her friends repeatedly for no other reason than to satisfy the author’s cravings for more blood and more injuries per printed page. I see no explanations for Anita’s fumbling in the plotline. In her place, I’d have rebelled against my creator long ago and started acting more rational, but Anita seems incapable of rational thoughts or actions. She kicks without thinking first. That’s the definition of stupidity, isn’t it?
The same could be said about the antagonist, the terrible vampire Nikolaos. Nikolaos wants Anita to investigate the vampire killings in the city. What does she do? She proceeds to beat Anita up, torments her friends, and in general acts like the worst petty dictator. She is supposed to be 1,000 years old. Hasn’t she learned by now from human psychology 101? With all that experience behind her, she should’ve realized that she could get much better results with honey and money than by tortures and unrelieved terror. Those only inspire armed resistance, not good service.
So instead of terrifying me, Nikolaos caused me to wince in irritation and ask myself: why does she act like an idiot? She is supposed to be 1,000 years smart.
No, I didn’t like this book. I’ll try another in the series to see if it goes better. I know the author has many fans, but perhaps she’s not my cup of tea blood after all.