A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter sixty four


Anita condescends to let the police know that Olaf is raping and slaughtering an innocent woman. Thanks Anita. Thank you for momentarily thinking that someone just might be as important as you are.

Bernardo, who is openly campaigning to win the title of ‘World’s Most Consistently Unpleasant Asshole’ (a hotly fought battle between Edward Cullen and Christian Grey atm), doesn’t think they should stop Professor Dallas from being raped and murdered. After all, Olaf saved Anita and Bernardo, so he ought to be able to rape and murder any woman he chooses with impunity.

Why is this even an issue to be argued over? Just because you do one good thing it does not mean you can run around RAPING AND MURDERING WOMEN. Women are not objects to be won and disposed of!

LKH, why do you hate women? What have we ever done that was so awful?

“There’s no misunderstanding,” Bernardo said. “I think it’s shitty to turn Olaf into the cops.”

This argument over whether they should allow Olaf to RAPE AND MURDER AN INNOCENT WOMAN lasts for two pages. To add a cherry on this shit sundae, Bernardo says they should MURDER INNOCENT POLICE OFFICERS to let Olaf run free.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?

WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE THESE CHARACTERS?

THIS IS HORRIBLE!

Bernardo then says if Anita won’t let Olaf go, he’ll shoot her in the back of the head.

Again, LKH, why do you hate women?

Anita waffles on about how ‘Olaf has more rules of honour than you do’ but lol whatever he rapes and murders women for fun, he has no honour. Bernardo tells her to just get used to it, because she cut out a vampire’s heart. Um, asshole, that’s her job. Fuck you.

They arrive at the house and Dallas is – mercifully – okay. Anita finds an envelope with her name on it attached to Dallas’s postbox. She takes it, and goes up to the house to check that Dallas is ok. You know, for once, Anita is behaving like a decent human being. I wish she behaved like this all the time. Dallas says how someone prank called the police to come to her house.

The cops then stare at Bernardo for being a POC because in a state with an extensive Native American and Hispanic population all the cops are white and inherently racist.

Anita opens up the note from Olaf, which is essentially a great big love note with doodles of ‘Olaf 4 Anita’ and love talk about the two of them killing people and how they are murdering soul mates.

If a guy who likes brutally raping and murdering women thinks you can go murder people together, it’s time to re-evaluate your life choices.

The note wasn’t signed. Big surprise there, since I might have given it to the police.

Um… you’re not going to? Olaf is WANTED by the police. That note has his handwriting and probably is covered in his fingerprints. Why don’t you want him to be caught by the police? Anita then tells Dallas about how Olaf nearly butchered her and makes her read the note. Dallas attempts to make them turn Olaf into the police but silly women serial killers are cool and must be encouraged in their hatred towards women!

Anita then thinks about how she is essentially Olaf. I don’t think this is going to make her change her behaviour in the slightest.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter sixty three


They found my guns in the chest with the rest of the weapons, though the holsters were missing. I just couldn’t keep a holster intact on this job. But I stuffed my guns down my jeans.

And then Anita accidentally shot herself in the crotch, severed her uterine artery, and bled out before an ambulance arrived.

What? Putting your gun in your jeans is incredibly stupid and dangerous. You end up shooting yourself.

Anita finishes getting rid of the vampire bodies and is so miraculously uninjured that she can skip going to hospital. Me, I’d want to make sure that the bleed inside my brain had actually been fixed and wasn’t going to impact any more on my health.

One of the men had given me a jacket that said FBI on it to cover my nearly naked upper body. Several of the uniforms and most of the hospital staff assumed I was a federal agent. I kept having to correct people, and I finally realized that the emergency room doctor thought my denial meant I had a concussion and didn’t know who I was. The more I argued the more concerned he got.

Well, it seems she’s gone to the hospital anyway. You’d think that the FBI would have done something to prevent this from happening. Or that one of them would explain this to the hospital. But nope, Anita has to have head x rays. Which is good, lest the vampire’s magic died with him and she’s slowly bleeding inside the brain. NO WAIT THAT’S BAD.

Bernardo comes to talk and exposit. Edward is going to live – boo – and the children are going to be ok. Anita then immediately realises Olaf has rushed out to kill Professor Dallas. Bernardo tries to argue that they shouldn’t stop him because ‘he saved your life’.

jesus christ i hope you get hit by lightning and melt into liquid goo bernardo you are a shitty fucking person

Anita and Bernardo run off, but are stopped by Marks. Marks calls Anita a witch and tries to stop them, but they run out to Edward’s car. Which is at the hospital for some reason. Oh, and to run out, they cracked Marks’s skull. Great. What a pair of heroes. They then realise they don’t have Professor Dallas’s address, but Marks would have had it.

waaaahhhh waaahhhhh.

Anita decides to phone Papa instead, and demand for the address. I guess the conclusion of this book is stopping Olaf killing someone in a way that vindicates his choices as a man and demonises Dallas for being a woman.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter sixty two


This is a great big chunk of chapter. LKH has realised it’s close to the end of the book and she hasn’t done anything to warrant a conclusion or resolution of a plot, so we have to get it all in one big slog.

There is MAGIC and POWER so Anita wakes up from, what, her fourth lot of unconsciousness in this book? Damn, no wonder Anita’s so fucked up. She must have some serious brain damage, especially considering how many times she gets knocked unconscious in every single book. She’s chained to some stone slab.

I finally turned my head to the right and let myself see what was there. At first I thought it was Pinotl, Itzpapalotl’s human servant. I had a few seconds of cursing myself for believing her when she said she didn’t know about the monster, then I realized it wasn’t him. It looked like him.

Well, POC, they all look the same really.

LKH, are you aware of the massively offensive shit you put in your writing?

Paulina, Nicky Baco’s wife, is draped on a sacrificial altar. Her heart has been ripped out. The unknown man is offering her heart upwards, towards something.

I was still wearing the kevlar vest and all the rest of my clothes.

Not only did you not put those clothes on, but you gave up your kevlar vest to Edward and never took it back.

He held the heart over my chest and began to chant in a language that sounded like Spanish, but wasn’t.

NAHUATL IS NOT SPANISH

IT DOES NOT SOUND LIKE SPANISH

IT IS NOTHING LIKE SPANISH

STOP

Anita complains about how cutting out a heart for sacrifice is soooo much different than her simply cutting hearts out to kill people. The heart is dropped on her chest and magic makes it beat again. The magic hurts Anita, so I’m happy. The magic makes Anita’s heart want to burst out of her chest, which I like, because a gory Alien-esque death for Anita would make me happy. Some dude in a mask looks down at her and he’s wearing a cape of flayed human skin and then Anita mouths off to… the bunch of guys wearing human skin capes. I mean, mouthing off to people trying to kill you is always the safest and best option in this circumstance.

They then reveal they used magic and Paulina’s life force to bring Anita back to full life because she had a bleed in her brain. Guess I was right about the damage caused by her constant bouts of unconsciousness!

“But she didn’t volunteer to trade her life for mine, did she?”

NO SHIT.

Paulina was a hostage for Nicky’s ongoing loyalty, but he didn’t show up so they killed her.

I was happier for me than sorry for Paulina.

Of course you are. You can’t be sorry that your fuck ups lead to a woman loosing her life. But the only person who is important here is Anita fucking Blake.

The random human skin cape dudes explain that they need Anita alive because she’s so important. And then she realises she’s surrounded by the animated bodies of all the murder victims, who have had their souls eaten away by Red Woman’s Husband. Red Woman’s Husband, while wearing a simply divine necklace of tongues and belt of intestines, is dressed like a conquistador. For some reason.

He has POWER but Anita refuses to believe he’s a god. After all, there is only one single god in the world and the others are just make believe.

They talk shit about blood and why he’s wearing body parts and then he reveals the great big HOW. How he has been getting the skin off all those people. How? By calling ‘the skin from their bodies’.

THEN EXPLAIN WHY THE WOUNDS WERE FULL OF OBSIDIAN SHARDS

HUH?

YOU JUST FORGOT, DIDN’T YOU

WHAT WAS EVEN THE FUCKING POINT

Red Woman’s Husband reveals he cut other pieces to feed his pet dragon. Did the Aztecs have dragons? I don’t think they did. Apparently, Aztec dragons are mostly extinct because the Spanish killed them to lessen the morale of the people they were conquering. Whatever. It’s called a ‘Quetzacoatl’ because, fuck it, LKH wants to shit all over a culture because she’s lazy. Anita then makes a joke about Jim Jones, because LKH has no taste or decency.

RWH and Anita get in a long and protracted argument about whether he is a god, and RWH says that he is here to take vengeance for the pain of his people.

“No offence, but you didn’t get those turquoise blue eyes from anyone local.”

  • Well, no, because no one has really got ‘turquoise’ eyes.
  • Oh, and the Spanish invaders were perfectly behaved and never did any raping of local women, ever.

Anita then tries to argue that his plan is pointless, because there are no more Spanish people in the Americas. At all. RWH then says how she can make him a whole generation of mini gods and that he will rape her. RWH and his goons debate whether she can replace Baco because she can’t feel his power. RWH then undresses down to his maxilatl. He straddles her for the whole concubine/rape thing. They talk shit about how he’s so cold for about two and a half pages. He promises to not hurt her and then cuts off her top. Which she isn’t really wearing because she never got dressed into it. Anita is confused as to why me wants her partially naked.

He climbed on top of me. But he didn’t get into a standard missionary position. He scooted lower until his chest was pressed against mine. With our height differences, that put his groin safely below mine. So it wasn’t rape what we were doing.

Unless RWH is seven foot tall, the different in heights shouldn’t mean that his groin is hanging around the bottom of your thighs. LKH, do you not understand how people work?

RWH asks about his heartbeat – which isn’t there. He says how Red Woman doesn’t live in him and that he’s going to sacrifice himself so the Aztec gods return and cast out Christ.

I’d read enough of the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish to doubt that Christ had much to do with it, no matter how many things had been done in His name. “Don’t blame Jesus Christ for what the Spanish did to your people.”

Why not? The Spanish brutally enslaved, murdered, and forcibly converted the peoples of Mexico and South America because the Bible told them they were lesser people than those of Europe, that they were the evil children of Ham who couldn’t be trusted to care for themselves. The bullshit Christianity of the fifteenth century is just as much a blameable factor in the Columbian conquests as the Spanish’s desire for empire.

RWH then says how he’s going to drain all the life out of Anita and make her a mummy because. OH and the murdered all those people because they had artefacts from his sleeping place so they had to pay for the desecration. Even though all the victims had NATIVE AMERICAN artefacts. But hey, one group of POC is just the same as another, ammirtie LKH?

RWH then says how draining Anita will make him mortal and immortal. Stop writing LKH. Your writing is making less sense than it normally does. He starts draining blood from Anita’s ear. He then makes to rape her again, before a goon interrupts him to say that the police are coming. Anita stabs him through the heart as ‘You’re just another kind of vampire. I kill vampires’.

He rolled off the stone, fell to the floor.

That’s it. He just died that easily.

What was even the point.

This book fails every single rule of narrative and story telling.

A goon runs at Anita, who can’t do anything but scream for someone to help her. She gets chased around by the goon until Olaf shoots him in the head. Great, the serial rapist saves the day. A bunch of police men with flamethrowers runs into this place and Anita tells them to first murder that innocent dragon because she hates nature and wildlife and all life on this planet. Anita announces that RWH was just a vampire and all the animated corpses that did nothing just dropped and that nothing more has to be done at all.

Oh, and Edward isn’t dead, because there is no justice in this world.

There’s two pages of bullshit back and forth between Olaf about what to do with the bodies.

A cop threatens to shoot Anita for… some reason.

Anita then cuts out RWH’s heart, and Olaf thrusts his hand in the wound to caress her hands.

THIS was what the book was supposed to be building up to for five hundred and fifty pages?

It was so anti-climatic and ignored the few clues given throughout the text. This was thirty pages of really boring conversations. Nothing tense. Nothing we haven’t seen before. Fuck this book.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter sixty one


There are a lot of bodies in this strange place that is both nowhere and everywhere. Which is far too literary a way to say ‘I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS FUCKING HAPPENING’.

“What are the bodies?”

WHO. WHO. WHO. ‘What’ implies that you are questioning their impersonal identity, as if you want to know whether they are human or made of starfish. ‘Who’ is the personal interrogative word, as if you want to know the identities of these people. This is basic grammar.

“Riker’s men.”

“What killed them?”

As the killer may be a human or a person made of starfish, this use of ‘what’ is acceptable.

“I think it is our murderous beast.”

how very fucking convenient

I know that a narrative has to have certain conveniences. It’s called the ‘anthropic principle’, whereby a certain level of convenience has to occur for the story and the plot to take place. I get the conveniences of story building. But LKH uses convenience far too much. She uses contrived conveniences so much it renders her novel entirely unbelievable. Yes, I know that vampires, werewolves, etc are by their nature unbelievable, but the job of an author is to make it all believable for the purposes of their story. If I don’t find a story believable, then I can’t find it enjoyable.

“The other entrance has been blocked by an explosion.”

Yeah, sorry, that was me. Exploding when I read that the characters – all super tip top people trained in the art of killing people – managed to miss an explosion so powerful it demolished part of the building that they are currently in.

The gang decide to go another way, and they all slip in the blood.

Um, shouldn’t the blood have started to congeal by this point? It’s implied that these random goons were dead before Anita & co tried to make their mistake. The blood should, in the very least, be more sticky and clumpy than slippery. But, hey, I’m not a biologist! What do I know?

There’s a random alive goon afloat in all the blood. He’s called Simon and there are other dead goons around him, including the woman who abused Peter.

Simon was lying in a pool of blood and darker liquids.

… what other ‘dark’ liquids come out of a human body? Coca Cola? Coffee? He’s not dead yet, so he hasn’t shat himself. Or is he bleeding Marmite?

Anita and Simon exchange insults, she suspecting that she invited the mutilating beastie. He calls her a bitch, so she shoots him in the head.

oh

no

it would seem that Amanda was not dead, so Peter unloads all the ammo from the gun he’s carrying into her body.

Anita praises him for killing her.

I mean, because killing people is the solution to each and every one of life’s problems and will never negatively impact on a person’s psyche. Because fucking guns.

I think everyone is outside now?

There was just the sound of wind in the tall line of sage bushes that bordered the back of the cave.

There’s a cave?

WHAT IS GOING ON?

Anita then feels magic POWER, Becca runs out, some monster with claws runs out, Anita shoots at it and is then knocked out. Again.

hey remember when this book was about a murder mystery.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter sixty


We’re into the home stretch now. Sixty pages and five chapters left. Do you think LKH will remember that she’s still got the mystery of Red Woman’s Husband to solve?

Anita and co are running. Just running down generic hallways and staircases while trying to get away from the ‘bad guys’. There isn’t really much to comment on because, well, nothing is really happening. It’s incredibly bland and boring. It’s not tense, because running around is… just not, and it’s not atmospheric, because LKH has not established where this is happening or any details of the location.

It’s hard to get tense or concerned about things when all that’s happening is Scooby and the gang running down endless corridors. It wasn’t tense when I was three. It’s tiresome when I’m twenty two.

Edward then gets staked in the back.

A bunch of hired goons runs out to shoot at them. Anita kills all of them, apart from Amanda, the woman who abused Peter. Olaf and Bernardo then run in. They’re pretty useless for master assassins, aren’t they? Why didn’t they break in to stop the goons before now?

Olaf and Bernardo then TURN EDWARD OVER to look at the stake wound. Congrats idiots, you’ve just driven the stake in further.

It had missed the heart or he’d be dead, but it could have pierced the sack around the heart, and blood could be spilling into that sack as we watched.

… ‘sack’? Do you mean his lungs?

Anita then decides that Peter feels responsible for all this, because…. um, he was there? Olaf then asks for Anita’s t-shirt to pack around the wound.

What t-shirt? When did Anita put on clothes?

They bandage up Edward’s stake hole as best they can – the stake can’t be removed without expert help. Anita mentions that a dying goon said they had to ‘clean up the mess’. Edward says that this means that people are going to kill and burn everything. Anita remembers that Becca is with them so they try to hide the sight of the dead people everywhere, but didn’t really try and hide her from when Anita was killing them, so I should imagine Becca is pretty traumatised by now – even more than she was.

The crew walk somewhere and now there’s blood everywhere and this is bad.

Remember when this was a book about a murder mystery.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter fifty nine


Anita and Edward are now being fired at by lots of people from behind a secret panel.

I’m finding it hard to summon up enough shits to give.

Anita decides to give her bullet proof vest to Edward. Even though she isn’t wearing one and has been running around both topless and braless.  Edward and Anita run around while being fired at. One bad guy, a really stupid bad guy, asks them if they’re more of the bodyguards. Edward says they are, and then they shoot him. Edward throws a smoke grenade, and Anita crawls down a hallway.

They have made their way to Peter and Becca’s cells, apparently because Anita is ‘a lot shorter than most people’. She goes to rescue Peter first – after all, boys are much more important than girls – and she gets him out.

Somehow, I think he’d been younger when he went into the cell than when he came out.

Did you forget what happened to him, author?

They rescue Becca, and then Edward decides it’s a great idea to give an untrained traumatised fourteen year old boy a firearm. The gang walk out of this… place where this has been happening.

Hey remember when this book was about a murder mystery.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter fifty eight


Anita sneaks around with her gun. She sneaks around this vague, poorly described building. She overhears Riker -

actually no, I don’t think I can continue the Riker TNG joke. Not after what this book’s Riker did.

- Riker is talking to Simon on a intercom, so Anita continues generally lurking. She sort of stands around and talks about her machine gun. She then berates people in the movies for standing in the middle of doorways, using up words for pointless bullshit instead of answering some basic narrative questions – such as ‘Where is Anita?’ and ‘What is she doing?’. Somehow, she peeks into the room, but I have no idea how she does it.

TELL ME WHAT IS HAPPENING

The only mystery in a mystery book ought to be the crime that needs to be solved. It shouldn’t be a mystery what the characters are doing.

Anyway, inside the room, a bunch of hired goons are watching over a kneeling Edward. Anita then starts firing. From where? What is going on? Why must I struggle and fight to understand what is actually happening in this book? Why are you such a bad writer?

She shoots everyone, I guess, and then Edward gets a gun, and Riker is alive somehow, and Edward orders Anita to stand guard. Edward then questions Riker where Peter and Becca are, although I’m not sure how much Riker can say, given that his lungs are punctured. He won’t be able to inflate his lungs enough to talk loudly and it might hurt to do so. You done fucked up Anita.

“Tell me where the children are being kept, and I’ll let Anita call an ambulance.”

“Promise?” he said, in a voice thick with things that should never be in a throat.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I HATE THE SHITTY IMPRECISE TEE HEE WAY YOU DESCRIBE THINGS

SAY BLOOD

SAY THAT BLOOD IS COMING FROM HIS MOUTH

YOU WERE ABLE TO WRITE, IN GRAPHIC DETAIL, THE SEXUAL ABUSE OF A CHILD

WHY CAN’T YOU SAY ‘BLOOD’?

“I promise, just like you promised me,” Edward said.

Either Riker didn’t get the double entendre, or he didn’t want to. People will believe a lot of things when they’re afraid they’re dying.

The hell?

‘A double entendre is a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Typically one of the interpretations is rather obvious whereas the other is more subtle. The more subtle of the interpretations is sometimes sexually suggestive. It may also convey a message that would be socially awkward, or even offensive, to state directly. (The Oxford English Dictionary describes a double entendre as being used to “convey an indelicate meaning”.)

A double entendre may exploit puns to convey the second meaning. Double entendres generally rely on multiple meanings of words, or different interpretations of the same primary meaning. They often exploit ambiguity and may be used to introduce it deliberately in a text. Sometimes a homophone (i.e. another word with the same pronunciation) can be used as a pun as well as a “double entendre” of the subject.’

How on earth does that make ‘I promise, just like you promised me’ into a double entendre? What is the second sexual meaning behind that? And a double entrende isn’t a lie – it’s just a play on words. Like ‘buoys often have glass balls’. What are you trying to say here?

I’m serious, someone needs to explain this to me. Is she mistaking a double entendre for irony, although that doesn’t work either. I guess it might be an oxymoronic sentece, but I can’t help but think there’s a proper literary term for this. LKH, you shouldn’t use words or phrases you don’t understand properly. Use a dictionary. They’re your friend. And learn some technique while you’re at it.

Riker tells Edward where the children are held so Edward shoots him in the head.

Edward felt for Riker’s pulse and didn’t find it.

I’d be surprised if you did, considering that you blew his head apart.

Anita goes on about how scary Edward is until the close of the chapter.

so let us all stare and appreciate chris evans’s shoulder to waist ratio instead.

Captain America would not put up with this bullshit.