A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Guilty Pleasures’ chapter forty six


Two chapters left. I have no idea whether that’s enough time for a thrilling and dramatic climax, but we shall have to see.

The dragon didn’t come out and eat us right away. In fact, the place was quiet. As the cliché goes, too quiet.

Pointing out a cliché doesn’t make you smart or witty. It just means you were lazy.

Anita and Edward have broken into the vampire’s lair and surprise, surprise, the vampires are not there.  Maybe they figures out Zachary’s brilliant scheme and thought to get the hell out of there. There are a lot of coffins, and they decide to search them. First one they open – it’s Valentine. Anita checks for a pulse, and then justifies killing him because you can’t murder a corpse. It’s not a crime.

A. If he is a corpse, there should be no pulse. No pulse is a commonly accepted symptom of being dead.

B. Interfering with a corpse is a crime.

The wrist pulsed. I jerked back like he’d burned me.

“What’s wrong?” Edward asked.

“I got a pulse.”

“It happens sometimes.”

I nodded. Yeah, it happened sometimes. If you waited long enough, the heart did beat, blood did flow, but so slow that it was painful to watch. Dead. I was beginning to think that I didn’t know what that meant.

That was possibly the absolutely single most stupid thing I have ever read. Dead people, when dead long enough, have pulses. A pulse is, in fact, a sure sign that someone is dead.

WHAT THE HELL IS WITH THESE VAMPIRES. NOTHING ABOUT THIS MAKES ANY SENSE. AND HOW CAN A COURT APPOINTED VAMPIRE EXECUTIONER BE QUESTIONING WHETHER SHE KNOWS WHETHER SOMETHING IS ACTUALLY DEAD OR NOT? I FEEL SO SAFE KNOWING THAT SOMEONE LEGALLY APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO KILL CREATURES THAT ARE UNDEAD CANNOT TELL WHAT THINGS ARE DEAD OR NOT.

Excuse me while this book looses the last semblance of reality it had.

Anita wants to stake him in the heart (I thoroughly approve) but Edward immediately disapproves. He has a better, more modern, still as phallic means of doing it: injecting him with silver nitrate. Did Hamilton start off the modern trend of everything supernatural and undead being susceptible to silver? I know werewolves being susceptible to silver started in the 1930s (there was a Grimm tale about a bulletproof witch being killed with silver bullets, but that was a specific story, rather than an generally held belief), and people claim that it’s always been seen as a purifying element, along with iron, because people magically knew it had healing qualities or some other bullshit. Yes, it is bullshit and modern bullshit at that. Why would a vampire be killed by silver? What logical sense does that make? I mean, yes, vampires are at risk when you take away their left sock, but that’s because traditionally, vampires were pathologically obsessive. So why silver? WHY.

Edward injects Valentine who gives a sort of sigh and… I’d say ‘seems deader’ but who can tell who is really dead in this crazy book? Anita wants to cut the vampire’s head off but Edward says no one has ever gotten up from an injection of silver nitrate. Which clearly means that someone is going to get up after being injected.

They search more coffins, and only find one more vampire – well, Anita does, I’m not sure about Edward because as ever, Hamilton’s narrative is frustratingly muddy – and she injects him. Edward is then attacked by Aubrey and Anita shoots him in the head with the shotgun. Aubrey’s head explodes. It is not thrilling or exciting.

I pumped another round into the gun and went to Valentine’s coffin. I blew him apart. Now, he was dead.

YES. Now that is funny.

I turned to the fifth coffin. The one we had saved until last without any talk between us. It was set against the far wall. A dainty white coffin, too small for an adult.

Nikky is not in there. After all, you don’t get to be a master vampire, aged over a thousand years, without at least having some small scraps of intelligence.  Nikky and her bodyguards are behind Anita and Edward. I wish this was a pantomime. Nikky laughs about how daylight does not hold her prisoner because she’s a thousand years old. I bring up Dracula and all other traditional vampire myths, because traditionally, vampires have never been vulnerable to sunlight. Sunlight saps their mystical powers but doesn’t kill them. That myth was made up for the film Nosferatu so the film-makers wouldn’t get sued by Bram Stoker’s widow (they were, anyway). Hamilton, your vampires do not compare to Count Orlok. Although, it would explain Nikky’s affinity for rats.

Are you descended from Rattus Rattus by any chance?

Zachary is with Nikky and Anita immediately begins talking about how Nikky doesn’t know. Zach tells her to shut up. This manages to be completely missed by the super powerful and mighty master vampire. Dear Lord, this is stupid.

Nikky giggles and talks about how they were preparing a friend for Anita and then she’ll be one of Nikky’s ‘people’.

I heard shuffling footsteps; then Philip walked into the room. [Okay, that sentence has awful structure. A ‘;’ is for when they are two sentences which could be separate on their own, but have a connection in content and thought which means they can be put together. Really rough explanation I know, but that’s how I remember it. That should have just had a comma in the the middle. The semicolon is unnecessary] The horrible wound at his throat was thick, white scar tissue. He stared around the room as if he didn’t really see it.

I whispered, “Dear God.”

They had raised him from the dead.

Well, how can you be anyone is really dead in the Anita Blake universe, seeing as having a pulse and breathing are signs of being dead or being alive. And how did he get ‘scar’ tissue? Doesn’t flesh have to heal to scar? That would mean he never died, and was in fact alive long enough for a scar to form, so alive long enough for the wound to heal, so alive far beyond the timeline of the book. Being logical about miss-chosen words is fun.

Oh right, it’s Philip, I’m meant to be sad.

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5 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Guilty Pleasures’ chapter forty six

  1. Oh my gosh, you have no idea how much I went “yes! yes! yes!” when you talked about how silver and sunlight are MODERN ideas about vampires that come from MOVIES, not actual folklore! Ditto, as I’m sure you know, for werewolves and the full moon, as well as the primary mode of becoming one being biting. I’m just ever so thrilled when I find fellow fans of the supernatural who really know their stuff and not just the latest post-1900s take on monsters. heck, I didn’t even know that the sunlight thing came from Nosferatu and why! (although it does drive me nuts when nosferatu gets used in modern fantasy/horror as a real synonym for vampire when it is A MADE UP WORD MADE FOR THE MOVIE JUST TO SOUND FOREIGN BUT IS IN FACT GIBBERISH)

    • My mother did a dissertation on the image of the vampire in modern media when I was a kid – I had to watch a lot of vampire themed films, got hooked on the macabre, and do a lot of reading. I’m a historian – I research!

      Nosferatu is actually a type of Romanian vampire, associated with the incubus and the succubus. A nosferatu is the illegitimate child of illegitimate children, takes delight in tormenting married couples, and is capable of siring children.

      • Oh really? I stand corrected then! I read on a site that it was just something made up by the people who worked on the movie that was just meant to *sound* foreign-ish. Thank you for the correction and info!

      • The filmmakers chose a species of vampire from the same area as Dracula but different enough from vampire to avoid legal troubles. Nosferatu is essentially a direct rip of Dracula, the copyright of which belonged to Stoker’s widow – who refused to let anyone do anything with the book, certainly not one of those new movie things! The film could be considered the first fan work – they loved the story so much they desperately wanted to adapt it into film.

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