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Placeres prohibidos (1993)
por Laurell K. Hamilton
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“a good, creative read about a vampire hunter who is drawn to Jean Claude. this series of books is a great adult take to vampires and well worth reading ( )
This was surprisingly good. I got into the Anita Blake series in college, right around when people began to complain about the series growing too smutty and romance heavy and Anita becoming out-of-character. I read a couple of books and never continued because I've always been bad with continuing series. This first book is such a good series opener. It's told in first person, which I usually hate, but Anita has a pretty pleasant mind to visit. She's funny and cool and likeable, while also having obvious flaws and making questionable decisions. She takes too long to figure out who's committing the crimes she's trying to solve and the motives of the Big Bad don't make a lot of sense, which is why it wasn't a five star read for me. But the ending line about her killing vampires and not sleeping with them is such a fist pump moment, even if you know that stance won't last for long.
This book is straight urban / paranormal fantasy, without any romance. I read this right after trying to read Pleasure Unbound and Angels' Blood, two series openers to PNR series. And I DNFed both because the main characters were unlikeable and the romances were so rushed and relied on the "not like other guys" trope. I think I prefer this low-romance start to a paranormal series. It gave me more time to appreciate the protagonist and to set up a frenemy dynamic between her and her first love interest.
Little things I also liked about this: so much diversity. I'm not sure it was perfectly executed but I appreciated that every other side character that was introduced was a POC. I also loved that Anita dressed like a 12-year-old hot mess. With the exception of two scenes, she put almost zero effort into her appearances and I loved it a lot. Very much looking forward to continuing the series this time around
Anita Blake is a narcissistic, stone cold, over confident leading character. I’m sorry but I don’t like her. She just isn’t very likeable. She has a friend who she wants to save which is honorable of her but she doesn’t act like she even likes her friend. I got no feel for the connection or the relationship between Anita and her friend. She is invited to go out for a impromptu bachelorette party but acts like she is too put out to spend time with her friend.
The book is written in first person and the first few chapters feel like one of those old black and white detective movies with the narrator who is a hard-hearted cynical detective who delivers clever one line quips. I don’t know if it is supposed to have that feeling but that is how it came off to me.
Thankfully, the book started getting better about 30% through the book and it lost some of the old Film Noir detective feel. I still didn’t like Anita Blake but I started liking the story and some of the other characters.
The book was probably written in the early 1990’s before cell phones and digital technology were popular. It brings back memories of pagers and telephone booths. It seems like so long ago.
The setting is in St. Louis, Missouri in the sweltering heat. Anita Blake is an animator, a person who brings the dead to life in the form of a zombie. It sounds creepy and gross and it is but supposedly there are a lot people willing to pay good money to speak to a zombie for various reasons. Humans know about Vampires but I was confused on if it was a recent development or if the world had always known about them. It seemed like a more recent development since it was mentioned that St. Louis had a large tourist industry because of the Vampire District. Anita Blake hates vampires and is known as the Executioner because she kills vampires as a side job. She only kills them if there is a warrant for their death so it is legal. She doesn’t go around killing indiscriminately.
Her friend Catherine is getting married soon so another friend of Catherine’s, Monica, calls Anita and asks her to go out with them for the bachelorette party. Monica takes them to Guilty Pleasures, a vampire strip club. Things get really weird at the club which is owned by Jean-Claude, a handsome and powerful vampire. A scarred up human stripper named Phillip goes up on stage and dances, then a vampire named Aubrey goes on stage and tries to mind control everyone and succeeds except for Anita who has a higher immunity to mind control than most humans. Phillip likes to be bitten which seems painful and leaves scars all over his body.
At one point, Anita gets called away to investigate a murder for the police. She leaves her two friends at the weirdass vampire club even though she thinks vampires are dangerous and then returns later. It turns out that Monica had purposely lured Anita to the club because the master vampire of the city wants Anita to find who is killing vampires in the city. Aubrey does something to Catherine that puts her under his control and he threatens to kill her unless Anita works for the master vampire who turns out to be a really creepy, one thousand year-old vampire who looks like a twelve or thirteen year-old girl. Jean-Claude, who seems to have some deep feelings for Anita, tries to help her out but the master vampire punishes him by putting him into a coffin with a silver cross on it so he cannot escape. He manages to give Anita some of his powers but by doing so, he has made her his human servant. He apologizes to her and tells her it is the only way he can help her. Anita is more pissed at him than grateful.
Anita ends up going to a freak-party with Phillip in order to find information about who might be killing vampires in the city. Phillip is your basic addict who uses his looks and charm to get what he wants. At the party, there is an over-weight woman who Anita describes as a beached whale along with all kinds of other unflattering descriptions. Anita is 105 pounds and somewhere around 5’3” tall. To me, that sounds anorexic but I guess the author thinks that is the perfect size. The description of the over-weight woman just made me like Anita even less. What a condescending bitch! Anita and Phillip develop and friendship. I get a deeper feel for the relationship between Anita and Phillip than her relationship with Anita and Catherine who she is supposed to be helping. It just feels like she is helping her out of duty more than friendship or love. The master vampire thinks Phillip and Anita are lovers and to hurt Anita she captures Phillip. Now, Anita has to save Phillip and her friend Catherine.
There is a lot of action in this book and the storyline or premise is pretty good. Even though I’m not to keen on Anita, I like the story enough to give the series a try. I’m going to read the next book in the series.
Ummmm...no thank you.
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Wikipedia en inglés (2)
"Soy la Ejecutora y no salgo con vampiros. Los mato." De complexión menuda y lengua afilada, Anita Blake no es alguien a quien convenga subestimar: levanta muertos para ganarse el sustento, y la policía de San Luis recurre a ella cuando necesita asesoría en casos que involucran lo sobrenatural; está curtida en mil batallas y tiene licencia para matar vampiros. No siente simpatía alguna por ellos, pero contra todo pronóstico, se descubre investigando una serie de asesinatos... precisamente de vampiros. Laurell K. Hamilton irrumpió en la temática vampírica con una propuesta tan original como contundente. Abraza sin complejos convenciones de diversos géneros y utiliza su imaginería en ambientes cercanos y familiares, en los que pone en marcha mecanismos narrativos de una eficacia endiablada. Desde su publicación original, el éxito que ha cosechado la serie la ha convertido en un verdadero icono cultural y en el referente obligado de una nueva categoría editorial
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Sistema Decimal Melvil (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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