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


The whole family are afraid, and Anita pats herself on the back for noticing. It’s probably because she inspires fear in so many people.

The ‘bad guys’ head straight for their booth, so Anita does the sensible thing and immediately gets her gun out. In the middle of a restaurant full of families.

From under the table the shot probably wouldn’t kill anyone, but it would make a big hole in someone’s leg or groin, depending on how tall the person was who happened to be standing in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And you’re magically going to miss the arteries close to their groins and in their legs how? There is no ‘safe’ way to shoot someone.

Becca shoves herself into her mother’s arms and Donna is openly afraid. Instead of doing something sensible, Edward draws out his ‘monster’ glare because he, too, is Cyclops. Harold introduces Russell and Newt, and Anita almost shouts out ‘NEWT’ for no good reason. It’s probably short for Newton, you know. There are people who go by ‘Newt’.

“Tommy and Benny still in the hospital?” Edward asked, voice still conversational. So far we hadn’t attracted too much attention. We were getting some glances, but not much else, yet.

“We’re not Tom and Benny,” Russell said. His voice matched the smile on his face, but I was reminded that smiling is just another way of baring teeth, another way to snarl.

“Bully for you,” I said.

Um, scary? This doesn’t read as threatening. At all. It’s like children throwing stones at each other.

The Native American then goes… um, well I’m not sure how to take it.

“You another psychic bleeding heart trying to keep the Indian lands safe for us poor savages?”

I’m not sure how to take that. On one hand, it reads like a realistic thing someone might say when white people keep interfering in their business. On the other hand, LKH wrote those words and she’s a massive casual racist. So, um, I don’t know what to make of it.

Russell leans over the table and snarls into Donna’s face, telling her to stay out the way because she has a lovely daughter and she wouldn’t want anything to happen to her, does she? LKH does not know how to write threatening talk. I mean, I’m not sure I could do any better, but it’s such a generic threat.

Peter then threatens Russell right back, because he’s an idiot, and Russell calls him a ‘little man’. Making it the fourth box checked on my ‘threatening villain’ bingo card. Edward then commands Anita to ‘Do it’ and she roars up and ninjas Russel in the the throat.

I used my right hand to drive his face into the table, once, twice, three times.

Russell should have a broken nose, but his nose just bleed a lot and he collapses on the ground, gagging. And how come the other two bad guys don’t react to this? Why don’t they stop Anita? Why do they stand by helplessly while she smashes their bosses face into a table? Why doesn’t anyone in the restaurant react? Why does Anita do something so stupid? She’s only going to get herself arrested. Russell made vague threats that he could not get in trouble with the police for. And Anita just assaulted him.

Harold then notices Anita’s gun and asks who she is. She tells him, they drag off Russell who spits that he’s going to ‘hurt you so bad for this’. He then threatens to rape Donna and kill the children. That’s a threat he can get in trouble for. But he’s already been assaulted. The ‘bad guys’ leave, and the police burst in. Edward and Anita both show their guns, but luckily, the police believe they were sufficiently menaced to warrant the assault. The witnesses in the restaurant even testify that the ‘bad guys’ were waving knives around.

The family decide to leave the restaurant and Anita transcends to new levels of selfishness.

I was still hungry but no one had asked me. Edward paid for the food, and declined a takeout order. I put the tip on the bloodstained tab;e, way overtipping to try and make up for the mess. Then we left, and I still hadn’t eaten today. Maybe if I asked nicely, Edward would run through a drive-up window at McDonalds. Any port in a storm.

Shut up Anita. No one cares about you.

4 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter thirteen

  1. Wow. I am so terrified by the menacing secondary villains. I have no idea who they are or what their problem is, but they sure are scary. And I bet 6 year old Rebecca feels so much safer now she’s seen her stepfather’s new friend violently assault someone. Because that won’t traumatize a child at all. Remember kids, violence solves all your problems!

  2. Okay, clearly Anita has some violent psychotic tendencies. I mean, what kind of person pulls a gun in a crowded restaurant?

    I recently watched High Plains Drifter, and as horrible as Clint Eastwood’s character was, at least he had the decency to wait until he was in the tiny, mostly empty barber shop (as opposed to the saloon) before shooting the guys hassling him. And he wasn’t the one looking to start anything (but he probably would have killed the guys anyway – it’s complicated, just watch the movie).

    • It’s something Anita’s done before, so I’m not too angry at that. It’s the fact that it’s a family restaurant, with tons of kids, that makes me especially angry. Children just make great battle fodder apparently!

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