A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter eight


Musette is incredibly smug about upsetting Asher. Have I mentioned lately that I love Musette? ‘Cause I do. She’s a villain with actual personality doing an action which is designed to emotionally and mentally hurt a ‘hero’, rather than showboating in a way designed to make her easy to kill.

I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Damian helps Anita and JC up from their swoon. Musette, seeing how upset everyone is, presses her advantage and demands presents. JC says they haven’t prepared anything so far in advance (what, does a bath bomb set take long to buy?) but Musette is like, whatevs, I what presents now.

I found my voice and it wasn’t bland. “How dare you come here three months early, knowing we won’t be prepared, and make demands on us?” Damian was clinging to my back a little frantically, but I was polite, for me.

On a scale of ‘I’m going to eat a whole giant pizza then drink a two lire bottle of Fanta’ to ‘Why don’t we try invading Russia in the middle of winter’, how bad of an idea is it to include Anita in situations that require tact and delicacy?

Damian is worried Anita is a poor weak wimmins so he cradles her body. JC starts to panic but Musette shushes him so Anita can dig her own grave.

I opened mu mouth to call her a heartless bitch, but it wasn’t what came out. “Did you believe that gifts worthy of such beauty could be hurried? Would you really take some poor substitute in the place of the magnificence we had commissioned?”

Swear to the god that is milkybar buttons, that’s the only intelligent thing JC has ever done in these books. Although if I was Musette I’d just say ‘Fine, well I’ll come back for those presents. Give me another one now’. JC waffles about how only one person compares to the beauty of Musette and Anita doesn’t mind that (sensible, considering). Musette elects to twist the knife a little, so Anita says that compared to the ‘otherworldly triplets here’ she’s clearly not that beautiful. This includes Asher, and Musette can’t believe anyone would find him attractive. He’s, like, all gross. Musette lacks the ability to tell if Anita is lying or not, which supposedly means she has a bad case of denial. I thought that Anita was able to mask emotions and things from vampires. Apparently that’s been forgotten.

Musette doesn’t understand why Anita is totes okay with being the ‘homely one of the group’. Yeah, no, not buying it. This is blatant Anita bitching about how she’s not attractive so one of her MANY RIDICULOUSLY ATTRACTIVE BOYFRIENDS can console her later. Yeah, seeing as how EVERY MAN YOU MEET THROWS HIMSELF TO THE GROUND FOR YOU, I ain’t believing that Anita thinks she’s ugly.

I have serious issues with my looks. I honestly have trouble looking at my own body. If I wear a swimsuit in public, I normally cover myself up with a big t-shirt. I like wearing baggy clothes and I get serious anxiety if I wear anything I think might expose parts of myself that I’m not comfortable with showing – like anywhere below my collarbone and above my knees. I have been mocked and bullied enough for my looks that I doubt I’ll ever be fully comfortable with my appearance.

I don’t see any of that in Anita Blake. Don’t tell me she thinks she’s ugly. I’ve lived it, and I know when people are lying to me.

“Truth is truth, Musette. I’ve broken the cardinal girl rule.”

“And what would that be?”

“Never date anyone prettier than you are.”

Sorry, attractive men of the world, our love is just not meant to be.

TPhoto_00104

Musette says that feeding on Anita would not be a satisfactory present, so she wants Asher instead. JC says nuh uh, and Musette starts talking about Meng-Die for some reason because it introduces random vampire bullshit about how master vamps have to visit their master one last time and JC didn’t do that when he became master because LKH invented that for this book and now BM is really pissed off because JC is so super powerful now and that means he has no duties to her any more.

Let me get this straight. JC is in control of one city in the US. BM is a council member, thousands of years old, and politically powerful nationally. Um, yeah, those two seem comparable.

Musette wants Asher because BM might recall him home after he went AWOL after Yvette died. Whoops. Asher, you’re an idiot.

JC blathers on about how BM has always wanted her vampires to be independent – yeah, sure looks that way – and Musette calls him out by saying that Asher just wanted revenge. Musette implies that Asher and JC are back together which horrifies Anita because EW BOY COOTIES? MEN CAN’T SLEEP WITH MEN AND LIKE WOMEN TOO THAT’S DISGUSTING.

Asher moans about how BM is sickened by how disgusting he is, only for Musette to lay a totally sick burn by pointing out that JC (and, by extension, Anita) are similarly disgusted with him. Anita pipes up that it’s her rampant biphobia that’s the real problem here. Jokes, that would imply LKH respects bisexuals. Nope, Anita just claims it’s her fault.

“What do you mean, servant?”

“You know, even if I was like, a maid, I know enough about polite society to know that you don’t call a maid, simply, maid. You don’t call a servant, servant, not unless you have never truly interacted with servants. Is that it, Musette? Are you not an aristocrat, after all? Is it all pretend, and you simply don’t know any better?”

  • What did the humble comma ever do to you? I’m sorry, but if you consider that good writing, I shudder to think what you think bad is.
  • like seriously what the shit is up with those commas
  • I can’t get over them.
  • When have you ever had servants, Anita? What the hell do you know about addressing servants? What, did your veterinarian father have money for a butler and twenty maids?
  • If you’re trying to tell me that a Latina woman would instinctively know about servants, go sit in the corner and think about what you’re implying.
  • I doubt Anita knows anything about polite society. She’s thoroughly lower middle class, does not mix in high society, and is not polite.
  • Are you shitting me about this ‘oh, don’t call me servant’ balls? Have you any idea how servants have been treated throughout history? I don’t think a noble girl from six hundred years ago would give a shit about the opinion of her servants and would probably have them beaten for talking back.

“What I mean is that I’m not entirely comfortable with this bisexual thing. I won’t share Jean-Claude with another woman, and definitely not with a man.”

So, Anita finds men having sex with each other disgusting. Glad we got that out in the open. I just have to question what’s so amazing about Anita that JC is turning his back on someone he’s had a intense romantic relationship with for several centuries. We never see Anita and JC interacting. They never converse. They never have fun together. We never see them laughing or just spending time with each other. Just what does he see in her?

Musette says great, that means Asher doesn’t belong to anyone and she can have him for the night.

“I thought you agreed with Belle that Asher isn’t pretty enough to have sex with anymore.”

He is stood right next to you Anita. I don’t think you’re helping his self-esteem.

JC explains that Musette is actually into torture. Well, it’s ‘dominance and submission’ (because LKH can’t even bring herself to say BDSM) but as Musette doesn’t use safe words, it’s pretty much torture. Anita feels bad because since no one’s sleeping with Asher, it’s okay for Musette to torture him.

WHY DOES EVERY SINGLE THING IN THESE BOOKS REVOLVE AROUND SEX

Why was I always being made to feel guilty because I wasn’t having sex with more people?

I’m sorry that was so stupid I actually zoned out. Just go and write porn.

Musette whips out a knife and just stabs Asher in the stomach. I like the fact she’s as fed up with this shit as I am.

Anita decides to fight Musette in hand-to-hand combat.

The incredibly old and incredibly strong vampire.

Yeah.

You’re really stupid.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter seven


Musette stood by the white brick fireplace. It had to be her, because she was the only little blond Barbie doll in the room, and that’s how Jason had described her. Jason had a lot of faults, but describing a woman inaccurately was not one of them.

She was indeed small, shorter than me by at least three inches. Which made her barely five feet tall, if she was wearing heels under the long white gown, then she was tinier still. Her hair fell around her shoulders in blond waves, but her eyebrows were black and perfectly arched. Either she dyed one thing or the other, or she was one of those rare blonds where body and head hair didn’t match. Which did often, but not often. The blond hair, pale skin, dark eyebrows and eyelashes framed blue eyes like spring skies. I realized that her eyes were only a few shades bluer than Jason’s. Maybe it was the dark eyebrows and lashes that made them seem so much more vivid.

She smiled with a rosebud mouth that was so red I knew she was wearing lipstick, and once I saw that I knew she was wearing more makeup. Well done, understated, but there were touches here and there helped a striking, almost childlike beauty along.

YOU ARE SEXUALISING A CHILD. PLEASE STOP. I don’t care how old Musette is as a vampire. She’s a child. SHE IS A CHILD. STOP IT.

Musette’s teenage girlfriend – and if Musette is a teen, then I’d like an exploration of their relationship and how it works, but I guess we’re not going to get it – and Anita thinks about how the girl doesn’t have any bitemarks on her neck. She is confused where else a vampire might take blood from. *rolls eyes*

There’s another visitor in the room, a huge six foot man with giant shoulders. Quick, stop him, he’s escaped from a 9os comic book! He’s got dark hair in a braid and is dressed in… period clothes? Anita says he’s got tights on but there isn’t any mentioned anywhere else. We do get this though:

His skin was as dark as skin that hadn’t seen much sun in centuries could be. I was betting he tanned with very little effort. His eyes were an odd blue green, aqua, like the waters of the Caribbean. They were startling in his dark face and should have added warmth and beauty.

You couldn’t be bothered to talk about his period clothing, for once, but you drew attention to his stupid eyes and took the time to stress that he’s totally white you guys, he’s not a gross brown person, he’s just really tanned.

Musette speaks in French… for some reason, and JC tells her that Anita doesn’t speak it. She completely understands what he’s saying even though she doesn’t speak French because congrats Anita, you speak less French than a twelve year old. Musette says that she hasn’t seen Damian in ages and his mistress, that scary one who is never named like freakin’ Voldemort, is called Moroven and won’t take a place on the council. Damian is distressed and Anita steps forward to defend his honour. Musette starts mocking JC and Asher for replacing Julianna.

oh man i like musette. she has personality and could be really interesting!

“Why is it that Asher and you choose such common women? I suppose there is something comforting about good, sturdy, peasant stock.”

clap

Musette is great.

Anita laughs and then goes on about how all her family have been farmers and soldiers and she’s so proud of being peasant stock because ‘we’ve had to work for everything we have’. Funny that you don’t seem to spend any of your time working or striving for anything. In fact, everything you’ve gotten has been given to you. Musette is very confused and Asher tries to explain that Anita knows nothing of a feudal society.

Of course, because Musette automatically assumes that the world is run like a European feudal society? LOGIC.

“You, lovely Musette, have never lived where you were not subject to a lord, or lady, or where you did not rule others. You have never lived without knowing the duties one owes one’s liege.”

That’s double crap. Not only was European medieval feudalism, you know, confined to Europe and does not define the world, it’s not like Anita comes from a land where she does not have expectations of loyalty and duty and a ruler. She has a ruler – the American President. She is a subject to someone else – not in a king/subject sense, but in the sense that she has to follow the laws etc of the president and her government. Anita has duties. They’re just different from working the land.

Musette does not explain the concept of ‘freedom’ and decides that anything she doesn’t understand is not important. Well, that does make her sound like an aristocrat. Musette asks ‘Angelito’, the braided hair guy, to display their present for JC and Asher.

It was a picture of Cupid and Psyche, that traditional scene where Cupid asleep is finally revealed to the candle-wielding Psyche. Valentine’s Day has robbed Cupid of what he was in the beginning. He was not a chubby sexless baby with wings. He was a god, a god of love.

Cupid is the god of sex and attraction, not just love. The Greeks did portray him as a chubby baby boy. Greek history and culture wasn’t fixed. Different areas and different places and different times had different interpretations of their gods and myths. Anyway, Cupid is Asher.

He was nude, but that word didn’t do him justice. The candlelight made his skin warm from the broadening of his shoulders to the curve of his feet. His nipples were like dark haloes against the swell of his chest, his stomach was flat to the grace of his belly button as if an angel had touched that flawless skin and left a delicate imprint, a line of hair dark gold, almost auburn, traced the edge of his stomach, and ran in a line down, down to curl around him, where he lay swollen, partially erect, caught forever between sleep and passion. The curve of his hip was the most perfect few inches of skin I’d ever seen. That curve drew the eye down  the line of his thigh, the long sweep of his legs.

Ok, I’m going to show an image of an actual picture of Cupid and Psyche from the time period where Asher and JC were doing their thang.

Notice anything? Oh, yeah, it’s not as frankly erotic as that. That’s because it wouldn’t be acceptable. Here’s a slightly later picture of the same myth.

Again, not so openly erotic and pornographic. Nudity is used as a symbol of purity and innocence, rather than for eroticism. Ain’t no one be painting that Asher picture.

The Psyche in the picture is JC. Um, because? This makes Asher and JC sad. But present time isn’t over! Musette brings out a Titian -

OK, I have no idea how Anita can recognise a Titian when she is not interested in art AT ALL. And a Titian? Nope. Not only did Titian not work in France but he lived before Asher was made into a vampire and before he was tortured. This is a picture of Asher after the melting by holy water, so this is the 1640s/1650s. Titian had already been dead seventy years by that point.

JC is struck with memories, so he and Anita faint into a big heap.

strong independent woman… fainting in every book…

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter six


Anita is in the underground caves beneath the Circus. Apparently, there have been vast stone tunnels under St Louis for centuries and no one noticed them. They were apparently there before Europeans colonised the area which leads me to conclude, again, that Native Americans were kicked out of their sacred sites for supernatural bullshit.

It was still room after room of stone and torches.

Apparently Anita is on her way to steal the Declaration of Independence.

To soften the stone look, Jean-Claude had used huge gauzy drapes to make a sort of tent for his living room walls. The outside was white, but once you parted the first set of hangings the ‘walls’ were silver, gold, and white.

Why was ‘I’m going to make this place into a giant tent’ the first solution? Why didn’t he get a plasterer or something? Anyway, JC is here and he’s dressed in exactly the same outfit that he’s always wearing. Leather trousers, thigh-high boots, frilly shirt that’s so blue it makes his blue eyes bluer. Just keep padding out that word count. Anita starts panting because ‘tonight, I WANTED him’. That warrants capitals for some reason.

All I could think of was sex, sex with Jean-Claude.

Boy, that makes this time so different from all those other times he’s been introduced. Anita is worried because at the stroke of midnight, the ardeur will strike – and it’s ten to midnight now! She might start getting affected and need to hump everything!

  • No, she doesn’t. She has been told she can feed off sexual energy, ANY sexual energy. In fact, she mentions in the expository paragraph that JC feeds on sexual energy. Anita can’t do this because strong independent women must be forced to have sex all the time.
  • i only accept that when it’s sex pollen and it’s steve rogers
  • How come the ardeur has such an exact schedule? I’d sure love for my IBS to have such a precise and exacting timetable. I’d never have to worry again!
  • Funny how Anita was able to JUST IGNORE THE ARDEUR in the last book when it was convenient!
  • Funny how Anita FED THE ARDEUR BY HAVING PEOPLE JUST PUT THEIR HANDS ON HER in the last book.
  • ‘The feeding didn’t have to involve intercourse, but there did have to be sexual contact’. Sex is just defined as penis-in-orifice in this series. Living in the AB world must be sad for lesbians and, oh, I don’t know, EVERYONE ELSE WHO HAS SEX EVER.
  • Why can’t Anita just nip into the bathroom and masturbate? Why can’t she do that? Am I ever going to have an explanation for that?
  • Anita is embarrassed about having ‘sexual contact’ with Nathaniel but is glad she’s not molesting strangers. Oh, pity that self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Anita is worried because she and JC can’t have ‘hot monkey sex’. EW. That is not a sexually appealing phrase.

Anita starts to panic about what she’s going to do. Hang on… if she has to feed the ardeur before midnight, like a gremlin, what was she planning to do at the cemetery? She wasn’t worried or thinking about it then and that has to be only twenty minutes or so ago. Was she just going to try humping court officials? Damian touches Anita and is sad that he’ll never sleep with her. Because he’s her servant and that means he is a slave. But JC is concentrating extra hard and Damian touching Anita… makes the ardeur go away.

Don’t bring create a conflict if you’re unwilling to examine the consequences. Just a little writing tip for y’all.

Anita, JC, and Damian link up arms as if they’re about to go down the yellow brick road. They’re formal as ‘we were trying to impress people who hadn’t been impressed by anything in centuries’.

Asher stepped forward to get the drapes. Jason went to the other side, and they held the drapes aside for us so we could enter without having to bat at the drapes. There are reasons that wall-hangings over doorways fell out of favour.

Yes, because no one in the modern world ever puts a curtain of any sort over a doorway ever. Not any person who is smart enough to be able to push aside a curtain by them-fucking-selves. Nah uh. Guess I need to tell my family that curtains in doorways are super old-fashioned and not an easy way of sectioning a room when a door would seem out of place or hazardous. Or want to keep flies out of the kitchen.

The only downside of having an attractive vampire on each arm was that I couldn’t go for my gun quickly.

oh no what are you going to do with your life without your faux-penises

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter five


I had a hard time believing we were very little fish indeed. Maybe not big fish, but that wasn’t the same thing as being very little.

Anita phones her supernatural contacts to let them know that Musette has arrived early. She tells Richard and Micah. There is an aside on how uncomfortable Anita is being with Micah, although she doesn’t put that down to being in a relationship with a man who raped her. She leaves messages and that’s okay because… who can be bothered to tell people important news in person?

I let Asher leave the message on Richard’s machine, sometimes he erased messages from me without listening to them. It depended on how bad a mood he was in that day. Though he’d dumped me, not the other way around, he acted like the wounded party and blamed me for everything.

Um, you cheated on him and then fed on him when he explicitly told you not to. YOU ARE COMPLETELY AT FAULT. Anita is cross at Richard because ‘survival took precedence over emotional pain’.

I bet the other vampire executioners get really confused by the ongoing train of shit that is Anita Blake’s life at the yearly conference.

Anita drives to the Circus and is SAD because she’s comfortable being around this bizarre kid-friendly erotic stage show. Asher is freaking out because… um, he is, which is why he was sent to get Anita but he’s going inside anyway. Anita says he should go but oh no Asher can’t let Anita go in alone because she is a poor weak woman etc etc. Damian then flies in, sent by Micah as back up. He is dressed smartly.

Most of the vamps that had recently come over from Europe didn’t feel comfortable in jeans and jogging shoes.

Yes, because we only ever dress in silks and furs and diamonds in Europe.

TPhoto_00102

FANCY 4 LYFF

Anita looks at Damian and thinks ‘I WANT TO TOUCH HIM’. This is apparently normal for Masters to want to touch servants -

- and JC obvs wants to touch Anita all the time. Asher says that all of them must be a united front before Musette so this means they have to touch each other a lot. They are weak because Richard is angry with Anita for being, well, Anita. Anita touches Damian and there is POWER. Then Jason arrives.

For an emergency, they’re sure taking their sweet ass time getting inside.

He was wearing jeans, jogging shoes, and a short leather jacket. Jason was as American as I was, we liked the casual look.

NO OTHER PEOPLE ON EARTH ENJOY DRESSING CASUALLY OTHER THAN AMERICANS. FACT.

TPhoto_00103

FANCY 4 LYFF

Anita comments that it’s hot for leather so Jason whips the jacket off because he’s a stripper so he’s not wearing anything underneath. Of course. Jason is here because JC and Musette are going to swap their potato people (pomme de sang – blood donors), and while it would be interesting if there was vampire etiquette about sharing potato people, but nope, it’s just about how JC won’t share.

“Her pomme de sang is illegal in this country, so Jean-Claude had to decline.”

Ah. Have you noticed that all the evil vamps do OMGILLEGALTHINGS while the good vamps are noble? Can we have a little more ambiguity about creatures that murder people to survive? But, yes, the evil European vampire is feeding on a fifteen year old girl. Her entourage has vampire children but that’s okay because they have to be a few hundred years old.

Jason then pouts about how cold he is. Please, act like a grown up. And that’s coming from someone who spent an hour pretending to be a frog today. (Babysitting le niece. We also pretended to be rainbows.)

Anita freaks out at the idea that Musette is a paedophile, although strictly speaking, Musette isn’t interested in children. She’s interested in teenage girls which is a different kettle of fish. Still icky, don’t get me wrong. Interesting to explore the differing ideas of sexuality from different historical periods, but LKH isn’t interested in discussing or exploring ideas.

“She cannot take blood from anyone under eighteen while she’s in this country. Doing that can get you an order of execution with your name on it, and I’m the Executioner.”

Strange that we never really see you doing any executing. Asher reveals that Musette is a test of Anita’s mettle, which any idiot could see. Anita is puzzled by the idea of being tested. Asher has to explain about how they can’t disobey BM because…

Look, are you going to give an actual reason for this or not? A fantasy universe only works because there are consistent rules that are applied to all situations. I need reasons why things are – you can’t just tell me something and refuse to tell me how it works!

In a UF YA book I am drafting – a few of you have seen it, in all its embarrassing glory – there are vampires and there are rules regarding vampires and their creators. In my world, vampires have to obey those who created them because they cannot disobey the commands of their own blood. The blood inside a vampire is also inside the one who created it, and as long as their creator still lives, they are magically bound to them. It sends a lot of vampires crazy, and not many make it past the first year, but there is a clear and strict rule that cannot be bent or broken. It also means there is a lot of abuse from both sides – and stops vampires from getting too powerful.

Here? I have no idea why BM can’t be disobeyed. BM sees Anita as belonging to her because… she just does. And she wants to test Anita because… fucked up vampire politics. But at least she’s testing everyone. All of Anita’s ‘people’. As everyone belongs to Anita. It’s ok when Anita does it, you see.

Everyone is astonished about how calm Anita is. It’s because she’s touching Damian. Oh, how wars would all be solved if we touched each other’s faces!

If Jean-Claude would just let me shoot everyone in Musette’s party tonight, it would save a lot of trouble. I just knew it would.

That is really not healthy. Anita is SAD because she has to touch hot guys. lol jokes she’s not sad really because lkh just wants to write porn.

Jason then goes into raptures about how sexy Musette is. Musette sounds like she resembles a teenager.

“She’s this cute little, blond thing, and she’s gorgeous like a life-size Barbie doll, with smaller breasts, but hey a man doesn’t need more than a mouthful, right?”

But Musette is an evil child, it’s okay to sexualise her.

Jason is actually scared of Musette. I hope she castrates him with her fists. Anita asks why she just can’t shoot Musette in the head.

2859e-facepalm_dean_winchester

How have you stayed alive this long, Anita?

Damian rubs Anita’s shoulders. This makes things better. It’s better because Damian is so naturally calm, despite the fact that he apparently can’t control his temper enough that everyone thought he’d go on a killing spree in the last book. Damian is sad because he’s scared of Musette too. Those evil women. Anita is told again that she can’t kill Musette and it’s all politics.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Jason offers to handcuff Damian to Anita so she stays calm. Anita declines. She will walk hand in hand with him instead.

Doesn’t that just scream STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN?

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter four


Anita and Asher are surrounded by people with guns.

I kept my hands out from my body, fingers spread, universal sign for I’m harmless.

Well, harmless if you’re white. Anyway, Anita says Asher’s a friend and the police counter back that he’s not their friend.

“He’s not a threat,” I said, pressing my body back enough that I could feel Asher in a long line against me.

Asher is freaking out and muttering in French, before saying that dropping in to a big group of people unexpectedly was not supposed to be threatening. Yeah, well, if I was in a world where vampires run around unchecked, I’d take it as a pretty big threat.

It had only been five years since Addison V. Clark -

.vs.

- had made vamps ‘alive’ again, at least to the law. They were citizens with rights now, and shooting them without just cause was murder.

Isn’t that a sheltered way of looking at the world. Anita threatens to have their badges and to kill them if they shoot, so they put their guns down. Anita has deduced Asher is frightened of something because he’s ‘forgotten his English’. He’s been speaking English longer than any of us have – combined. I think he’s probably got a good grasp at being multilingual. Anita and Asher’s hair mixes together. Anita goes on about vampire mind tricks and, oh look, now Asher’s pulled out his vampire mind tricks to stop the police being freaked out.

That’s what your writing has the subtlety of.

Asher tells Anita that ‘Musette’ has been injured. Musette is one of Belle Morte’s attendants, and shouldn’t be in the country for another three months, so this is code for ‘something awful has happened that I can’t tell the police’. They’ve got to go now because Musette might make the council do something awful, like cut JC’s hair or something.

I’d learned that council politics meant that having one member as an enemy didn’t mean that the others hated you. In fact, many of the council seemed to believe that old Sicilian adage, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Actually, the earliest known origin of the phrase is Indian. But that’s too much talk about politics or intrigue, let’s talk about how Asher looks. For a page. *twitches*

Highlight:

The one eye that was visible was a clear, pale blue like the eyes of a Siberian husky dog. Humans beings just didn’t have eyes like that.

No, they don’t. Because human beings aren’t huskies. Anita and Asher go to her Jeep. Musette has just arrived and oh no it’s like that council invasion that wasn’t an invasion because they were seeing how vampires were getting on in America. Asher is panicking and can’t translate words into English. Musette is BM’s executioner and as Musette is a vassal of BM, they can’t hurt her. They can’t punish Musette because Asher and JC can’t harm BM, which Anita doesn’t understand despite being a vampire expert.

It’s amazing how many things Anita doesn’t understand about vampires. Vampirism isn’t a field that undergoes constant change, like history or branches of science. Things must remain fairly consistent. Why the hell is Anita such an idiot?

Anita just Does Not Get It and doesn’t understand why they shouldn’t just kill Musette. Asher tries to explain it via the vassal system. That is very stupid as he did not live under a feudal system. Well, there were vestiges of it left in France for a very long time, but Asher is from the seventeenth century. He is not medieval. Anyway, Anita wants to prove that they’re not little fish but – le gasp! – they are compared to BM!

I guess at least this one has a defined plot line, and early too. I just wish it wasn’t more bullshit politics.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter three


Anita gets her zombie raising stuff, which is in a plain bag because this is ‘work’ and she’s not here to put on a show, damnit.

I turned down Halloween parties every year, where people wanted zombies raised at the stroke of midnight or some such nonsense. The scarier my reputation got, the more people wanted me to come be scary for them. I’d told Bert I could always go and threaten to shoot all the partygoers, that’d be scary. Bert had not been amused. But he had stopped asking me to do parties.

Please stop threatening to murder people, Anita. It’s not funny.

I’d been trained to use an ointment spread over face, hands, heart. The smell of rosemary, like breathing in a Christmas tree, still held a great nostalgic for me, but I didn’t use the ointment anymore.

Rosemary doesn’t smell anything like a pine tree. It smells like rosemary! And what the hell does ‘a great nostalgic’ mean? Wow such great use of language. Anyway, Anita is so amazing that she doesn’t have to use ointment, she just needs to use steel, fresh blood, and salt. She uses her own blood because Marianne – the psychic tutor – is now a Wiccan and doesn’t approve of Anita killing chickens for the raising ceremony. Killing an animal is ‘very black magic’.

Um, Anita is not a practitioner of Wicca. She’s practising a ceremony that is part of a religion. Of course, Vaudun is wicked black magic that white people paganism will make better. Bleugh.

Anita has been pricking her fingers open with a machete. Right.

Nope, not buying that. Machetes are an agricultural cleaver designed for cutting down vegetation. They are not designed to give people dainty little pin-pricks on their fingers.

Tonight Lindel graveyard was court. I was glad that Court TV hadn’t gotten wind of it. It was just the kind of weird crap that they liked to televise. You know – transsexual’s custody case; female teacher rapes thirteen-year old boy student; pro-football player’s murder trial. The O.J. Simpson trial had not been a good influence on American television.

Bit late to drop a reference to the OJ Simpson trial. This was written in 2003. And, yeah, a transgender person pleading to be allowed access to their children – that’s ‘weird crap’. And child abuse? ‘Weird crap’. Do you ever think about the implications of your writing?

Anita has to make a circle of blood so she slices open her finger with her machete – mmmwhatevermmm – and it bleeds enough to make a big circle of power. She raises Gordon Bennington up from the grave and he looks like a rotting body.

He wasn’t awful, I’d seen much worse, but his widow screamed, long and loud, and began to sob. There had been more than one reason I wanted Mrs Bennington to stay home.

Lord forbid a woman is upset by seeing the rotten body of her dead husband. Gordon has to drink some of Anita’s blood so that… things.

His hands felt like cold wax with sticks inside.

Nope. Wax is hard and, you know, waxy. Nothing like decomposing flesh.

I took a deep, steadying breath, breathe in and out. I would not be sick. Nope. I would not embarrass myself in front of this many people.

Anita, you are always made sick by everything you do. I suggest you move into a different line of work.

She asks Gordon how he died, and he reveals that he shot himself in the chest by accident, falling down the stairs. I think this guy needs to win a Darwin award. Carrying around a loaded weapon in a house with children in it? Yeah, that was clever. You’re lucky that something worse didn’t happen.

Also, everyone shits on Mrs Bennington for being upset by all of this. Silly women and their emotions!

Gordon asks whether his wife and children are going to get the insurance money now. They are – hang on. Gordon is treating it as if it’s a really serious matter that his wife and children get the money. I mean, yes, they deserve that money, but everyone is treating it as if the family would be impoverished without the money. But the Bennington’s are fantastically wealthy anyway! GAH.

“I miss you too, my little hell cat.”

She burst into sobs at that. Hiding her face in her hands. If one of the lawyers hadn’t grabbed her she’d have fallen to the ground.

My little hell cat” didn’t sound like a term of endearment to me, but hey, it proved Gordon Bennington had really known his wife. It probably also proved that she would miss him for the rest of her life. I could forgive her a few temper tantrums in the face of that much pain.

OH OH OH SO NOW WHEN SHE’S BEEN VINDICATED BY A MAN, MRS BENNINGTON’S GRIEF IS ACCEPTABLE?

I just do not understand why LKH hates women so much.

Anita puts Gordon back in his grave and the cop who likes to shoot distressed women makes jokes about how you couldn’t pay him enough to do Anita’s job. Then Anita has a Feeling, Asher drops in from the sky, Anita shields him as all the police have drawn guns.

oh no what a calamity i wonder what might happen in a series where the author has said many times that she won’t hurt main characters

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter two


Lindel Cemetery was one of those new modern affairs, where all the headstones are low to the ground, and you aren’t allowed to plant flowers.

Are you allowed to plant in American cemeteries? Because you can’t in the UK. Because, well, it’s not your land to plant on. The land belongs to the local parish. Anyway, Anita likes big fancy ostentatious cemeteries which makes sense because she was raised Catholic. They tend to be into more ostentation than Protestant churches. Anita’s here to raise a Mr Gordon Bennington from the grave to prove whether his death was suicidal or an accident – there’s a multimillion dollar insurance claim at stake. She parks up her new Jeep; her old one was destroyed in the ‘climax’ of the last book.

The insurance company hadn’t wanted to pay up on my claim. They didn’t believe that werehyenas had eaten the Country Squire.

Because they didn’t. They tore it apart. You committed insurance fraud!

Anita meets up with Arthur Conroy, the head of the lawyers for the insurance company (that holds Bennington’s claim – the insurance company isn’t here to take away Anita’s Jeep) and he’s surrounded by bodyguards. Of course he is, because this is a bizarro universe where everything is solved by violence.*

The dark-haired bodyguard, with shoulders nearly as broad as I was tall, smiled, though. “So you’re Anita Blake.”

Bad comma use and I don’t believe the guy has five foot broad shoulders.

“And you are?”

“Rex, Rex Canducci.”

I raised eyebrows at him. “Is Rex really your first name?”

He laughed, that surprised burst of laughter that is so masculine – and usually at a woman’s expense. “No.”

… of course, only men may laugh in surprise! And the only reason why they would laugh is to mock women!

I didn’t bother to ask what his real first name was, probably something embarrassing, like Florence, or Rosie.

Why would his name be Florence or Rosie? Actually, his name could be Florence, as it’s a unisex name. But unlike Shirley, or Meredith, or Ashley, Rosie has never been a unisex name. So I’m not sure why Anita thinks ‘Hey, this guy is probably called Rosie’. The other bodyguard is called ‘Balfour’ and Anita makes an unfunny crack about how he’s got one name ‘like Madonna or Cher’. For a start, how many people with just one name do YOU know, Anita? Secondly, those are both stage names. Madonna Ciccone and Cherilyn Sarkisan have professional stage names that they perform under.

Mrs Bennington then arrives. This is a source of conflict as the head lawyer and Mrs Bennington have physically fought each other at previous meetings. There are plain clothes officers around, and generally the impression is that the court should have appointed an official to witness this raising rather than two parties who HAVE BEEN ACTUALLY FIGHTING EACH OTHER.

I called her Mrs. Bennington at her insistence. When I’d referred to her as Ms. Bennington, she’d nearly bitten my head off. She was not one of your liberated women. She liked being a wife and mother. I was glad for her, it meant more freedom for the rest of us.

This is what happens when people who don’t understand feminism try to write feminist characters.

  • She has every right to insist on being called by her preferred title. After all, Anita, you bite people’s heads off when you don’t get called Ms.
  • My mother is a Mrs and I dare you to not call her a ‘liberated woman’. Calling her Mrs Smith is about respect. That’s her fucking title and you’re going to call her it.
  • You can be a ‘liberated woman’ and still be a wife. Unless you actually think all feminists believe that becoming a wife is like literally becoming someone else’s property.
  • It’s okay to be married! There is nothing wrong with being married! I don’t think I’d ever get married, but I don’t look down on women who do get married. Why would I?
  • It’s okay to be a wife and mother! Feminism is about making ALL women equal and respected. Making motherhood as respected in society as any other life choice or career path or anything a bloke might choose to do IS THE POINT OF FEMINISM. THE LITERAL POINT IS TO MAKE MEN AND WOMEN EQUAL, AND THINGS SEEN AS MASCULINE AND FEMININE EQUAL.
  • Mrs Bennington being married doesn’t increase the average level of equality experienced by all the other women in America.

Anita goes to talk to the police officer with Mrs Bennington. She just can’t talk to another woman, that’d be too feminist or something. Mrs Bennington yells at Anita, but I don’t blame her for that. She then goes berserk trying to attack Anita, almost attacks the cop, and is threatened with being thrown in the back of the cop car. Because we can’t have the other female character in this book so far act in a rational manner!

“I’ll have your badge if you touch me.”

“Striking a police officer is considered a crime, Mrs Bennington,” he said in that deep voice.

Even my moonlight you could see the astonishment on her face, as if somehow she hadn’t quite realized any of the rules applied to her. The realization seemed to take a lot of the wind out of her. She settled back and let her cadre of dark-suited lawyers lead her a little away from the nice police officer.

I was the only one close enough to hear him say, “If she’d been my wife, I’d have shot myself too.”

I laughed, I couldn’t help it.

The two then laugh about how Mrs Bennington is ‘such a crazy bitch’. In fact, the ‘nice police officer’ is considering shooting her.

- OUT OF CHEESE ERROR -

Ah, a good butt is always the solution to fighting such BLATANT AND UTTER MORONITY.

They complain some more about how Mrs Bennington is such a pain in the ass because she’s got connections with top brass and money and I don’t care because your misogyny means I am fully on her side. They continue to laugh at Mrs B and he says how funny Anita is and she says most people don’t find her funny at all probably because she’s trying to kill them. He says that all the cops in the whole city would take Anita as their back up for some ungodly reason and Anita is all I AM TOTES BLUSHING. They laugh at how Zerbrowski is a piece of crap who somehow ended up with a sitcom style hot wife. Then the zombie raisins can begin and Anita goes to get her stuff.

Now, I’m going to go unwind on the Steve Rogers tag. For research.

I like vests.

PS. My play is up on facebook, I’d love some support. We’re having – hopefully – a question and answer sesh, so please send us some questions.

*As I say that, I realise that the current solution to several world problems at the moment is violence. We need to exorcise the Anita Blake books.