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Welcome all dreamers, fantasists, bibliophiles, and romantics. Join me Mondays and Fridays for speculation about other worlds, exploration of the human heart and soul in fiction and fact, sojourns in history and science, advice and tidbits in the realms of story, and thoughts on everything in between...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton: A Commentary for Readers and Writers, Chapters 21-25


And we continue our read of Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton. For previous chapters’ commentary, check chapters 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, and 16-20.

Enjoy!

SPOILERS!

Chapter 21

Anita gives Philip a ride back to Guilty Pleasures, and reluctantly, Philip agrees to take her to a freak party.

Reader Comments: Unlike Anita, who isn’t sure of Philip’s motives, I think he’s generally trustworthy, at least for now and if you keep in mind who he works for.

Writer Comments: Hamilton uses a lot of description of Philip’s posture and mannerisms in this chapter to hint at his feelings and motives. Much better than stating it outright, and it’s much more realistic.

Chapter 22

Anita goes to Dead Dave’s for information about Philip. Luther, the daytime manager, gives her a little but mostly encourages her to be careful. While there, Ronnie calls and lets her know that HAV (Humans Against Vampires) has a death squad out against vamps, but there’s no proof yet that they’re the culprits behind the recent murders. Anita leaves Dead Dave’s to embark on one of her least favorite activities in the world: shopping.

Reader Comments: I feel like there should be a clue here that I’m missing, but I don’t know what it is or even if it exists. I’m glad to see that Luther seems to be concerned for Anita’s health and safety.

Writer Comments: This chapter primarily seemed to exist to give a hint about Valentine and Philip’s background, probably to make us hate Valentine all the more, and to put HAV forward as a more likely culprit. However, based on what I know of plotting, at this point, I’m guessing that there’s a good chance that Valentine either is or is affiliated with the murderer because he’s set up as Anita’s primary opponent. Resolving the plot with him will need to come at or near the same time as the resolution of the plot to catch the murderer.

Chapter 23

Anita returns home where Edward has broken into her apartment again and left the shotgun and ammunition. He also left a note saying she has 24 hours left before he comes for the information about Nikolaos’s sleeping place by willing admission or torture.

Reader Comments: Oh, yeah, Edward. If Anita doesn’t die by vamps, she has a long enough list of other potential killers.

Writer Comments: The threats in this book are thick and varied, though they all deal with someone dying. It gives Hamilton a wider palette to work with and prevents the tension from sinking to a point where closing the book and doing something else feels preferable.

Chapter 24

Anita picks Philip up at Guilty Pleasures, and Philip proceeds to hit on her in uncomfortable ways. They get to the freak party where Anita finds out that, to keep their cover, she has to play Philip’s lover.

Reader Comments: For all Philip obviously has a few screws loose, I like him. Wow, I never thought I’d say that when I first met him. As far as the freak party is concerned, I’m both desperately curious and rather dreading what will occur.

Writer Comments: For a girl who generally describes herself in nonsexual terms: no makeup, legs too short, weapons everywhere, Anita attracts an awful lot of attention. This is an interesting dichotomy that I suspect Hamilton will play out as the book and series continues.

Chapter 25

Philip escorts Anita into the freak party, which, at this point, consists only of humans waiting for the “big guys.” Still, these humans fit the freaky well enough. Philip shows some of his true colors in his trembling desire not to be present, and when Anita gives him the option of leaving, he pulls it together. Knowing he has a choice, he can make himself stay. But all gets worse, or perhaps better, when Edward shows up, playing a better freak party attendee than Anita.

Reader Comments: *rubs hands together* Oh, this could get interesting fast. I was hoping for some fascinating interaction between Anita and Edward, and it’ll be fun to watch Anita get the upper hand of him, or at least to try. Also, I love what Hamilton is doing with Philip.

Writer Comments: Layers upon layers. We’re not even 150 pages into Guilty Pleasures, and yet the characters, even some of the minor ones, are complex and multifaceted. Hamilton reveals them little bit by little bit, and that, more than anything else, is what gives the book its compelling nature. That and she’s very good at always giving Anita a bucketfull of problems.

Join me Wednesday and Friday for more forays into the speculative and next Monday for our next round of Guilty Pleasures.

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