Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: The First Death

Overview

Her fans have been asking for it - now, Laurell K. Hamilton delivers a look into Anita Blake's past! Written by Laurell K. Hamilton herself, along with Jonathon Green, The First Death takes place almost a year before the events being chronicled in Guilty Pleasures. Witness the first meeting of Anita and Jean-Claude, Anita's first time inside Guilty Pleasures, her first serial-killer case, and an early encounter with Edward. Prepare to be thrilled by this original story produced ...
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Overview

Her fans have been asking for it - now, Laurell K. Hamilton delivers a look into Anita Blake's past! Written by Laurell K. Hamilton herself, along with Jonathon Green, The First Death takes place almost a year before the events being chronicled in Guilty Pleasures. Witness the first meeting of Anita and Jean-Claude, Anita's first time inside Guilty Pleasures, her first serial-killer case, and an early encounter with Edward. Prepare to be thrilled by this original story produced especially for comics!
Collects Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: The First Death #1-2 and Anita Blake: Guilty Pleasures Handbook.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton
Laurell K. Hamilton
Toss everything you think you know about vampire stories and sword and sorcery novels into an open grave, because Laurell K. Hamilton is reinventing the genres with chills, thrills, and giggles. With her popular Anita Blake and Meredith Gentry series, Hamilton is making dark fantasy fantastically entertaining again.

Biography

The vampire genre has enthralled readers ever since Bram Stoker introduced a certain Transylvanian count over a century ago. Since then vampires have been used as vehicles for everything from romantic novels to erotica to humor to the expected tales of terror. However, very few writers have combined all of these facets of the never-say-die vampire quite the way that Laurell K. Hamilton has.

Hamilton has not always been under the spell of undead things that go bump-and-grind in the night. When she was a young girl, her literary tastes were a bit more on the traditional side. "I wanted to be Louisa May Alcott, who wrote Little Women, because I had never read any science fiction, fantasy, or horror," she confessed in a podcast on Mayor Slay.com. "Then at 13 or 14 I found Robert E. Howard's short story collection [Pigeons From Hell]. It was the first horror, the first heroic fantasy, the first science fiction I'd ever read, and the moment I read that I knew that not only did I want to be a writer, but this is what I wanted to write."

Furthering Hamilton's burgeoning fascination with the fantastic, she discovered Anthony Masters's The Natural History of the Vampire at her high school library. Coupled with the ghost stories her grandmother had told her when she was a child and heavy doses of Hammer Horror movies from Great Britain, Hamilton was well on her way to creating a character that would only be rivaled by Buffy in the field of vampire slaying.

Hamilton first introduced vampire huntress Anita Blake in her third novel Guilty Pleasures. Blake is an unlikely combination of action hero, federal marshal, "necromancer," and lusty dame. Her exploits between the sheets and in the graveyard won Hamilton a rabid following hungry for something new in the well-traveled vampire genre.

Along with the kinds of scares normally associated with vampire stories, Hamilton's books are notable for their unflinching eroticism. Vampires have had a sexual lure since Stoker, but Hamilton particularly draws that aspect to the surface of her work as one of her creatures might draw blood from a victim. "I [want] a kiss to be so believable it gives the reader shivers," she says on her website. "Two things I do well are sex and violence, but I don't want gratuitous sex or violence. The sex and violence is only as graphic as need be. And never included unless it furthers the plot or character development."

Another unlikely trait of her books is humor, vampire tales classically being of the more solemn sort. However, a writer weaned on a book titled Pigeons From Hell is not likely going to shy away from wit. Consequently, her books have been consistently entertaining and fun, as well as creepy and sexy.

Hamilton has also brought her delicious combination of sex, humor, and frights to another series, this one more ingrained in dark fantasy than horror. Her faerie princess/P.I. Meredith Gentry made her debut in Kiss of Shadows in 2001 and has since sparked her own crowd-pleasing sword and sorcery meets pulp series.

Increasingly, the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry books have added more sexual content to their story lines, classifying both series in a new hybrid genre that blends romance, erotica, and paranormal fantasy. To judge from Hamilton's consistent appearance on the bestseller charts, readers find the mix spellbinding.

Good To Know

One thing you will never find in a Hamilton novel is a cliffhanger. She believes that cliffhangers unfairly tease readers who would then have to wait six months to a year to have some sense of resolution. As she said during an interview with Bill Thompson of Eye On Books, "Every book is a full meal. All the way from the appetizer to the dessert, so that you come away feeling that you've had an experience... and at the end you have that satisfied, full feeling."

Before Laurell K. Hamilton made a full-time career of blood, guts, murder, and mayhem, she had more humane pursuits -- she volunteered at an animal shelter where she played with unwanted pets.

In our interview, Hamilton shared some fun and fascinating facts about herself with us:

"I am incredibly stubborn. Telling me I cannot do something, especially if you cite the fact that I am a girl, will make me want to do it more and do it better."

"I am not my characters. We have some of the same traits in common, but we are very different people."

"Everything inspires me. Getting up in the morning, walking the dogs, watching a music video. Inspiration comes from everywhere."

"I love animals. I own four dogs, two of whom are rescues. In fact, Jimmy is with us because they were going to gas him if we didn't take him with us. As an older dog his chances of finding a home were fairly slim. But he has been a wonderful addition to our home."

"I like spending time with my family and friends. Something I often feel I do not do enough of. But there are only so many hours in a day."

"I like to read other people's works. I love reading cozy or historical mysteries when I can."

"I enjoy interacting with fans at planned public events. I enjoy talking to them and have met many wonderful people."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Laurell Kaye Klein (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      St. Louis, Missouri
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 19, 1963
    2. Place of Birth:
      Heber Springs, Arkansas
    1. Education:
      B.A., Marion College
    2. Website:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 24, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A very interesting prequel

    Now beginning my second go-through of all the Anita Blake books, I thought I would start at the prequel. The comic is very well written, of course, and does show a good deal of the 'behind the scenes' to Guilty Pleasures, but you *have* to remember that this comic is dated 2 years prior to Guilty Pleasures. Jean-Claude is a little rough and Dolph is a little soft - such a role switch for those two in the next few years. Anita is just starting with her police work but does have her foot in the door, she first meets Jean-Claude, and we see a bit of who she was when she is getting used to Edward. You see the fear of vamps and Edward that is intially hinted at in the first book, and you start to see the bond between Anita and Edward form - huge plus for us Edward fans! You see Jean-Claude's first (of many) rebuffs from Anita, too, which made me laugh out loud, literally. The drawings are amazing and you really get a sense of the characters, even though some may differ from your own mind's eye. The cover is removable, which is nice for those of us who like to separate the hard-back covers to keep them nice; the cover art is cool, and the back of the comic has the cover of the paperback. Another plus - they give you a teaser into The Laughing Corpse characters; just make sure you've read the first 2 or 3 books before looking at the alphabetical list of characters.

    My only critique would be that I think there needs to be another prequel, so that I can truly understand Anita. It is great we get to see when she first meets Jean-Claude, but when did she first meet Edward or Manny? Where does her rage come from; can we see a little of her teenage/college life; how did she ever let Burt talk her in to working for him? I loved the prequel, but I wish there was another one even more prior to this so that we could see how/why/when she becomes a hunter. Of course, that could be the psych degree talking...

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2008

    A new tale

    This graphic novel is a bonus to the series. The story told in 'First Death' is the back story that is mentioned in the 1st novel 'Guilty Pleasures'. So even if you are a long time fan, this is a some what new story. I love the illustrations and the character interaction, espcially between Anita and Edward. The guide in the back is also helpful to those who are new to the series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2008

    Anita Blake

    I love the Anita Blake Series. I love the front covers, I really really really want to read Blood Noir. It looks really good. It resembles The Twilight Saga to me. Reminds me of it!!!!!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2008

    Mmm to see words in image form

    ima big fan of L.k hamilton! The novel Guilty Pleasures pulled me into her books, and now its wounderful to see the words put into images. Helps the imagination.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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