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


It’s been close to a year, but I have finally reached the last chapter of Cerulean Sins.

This is a momentous day.

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OK, it’s the usual chapter of summing up any hanging plot threads that LKH couldn’t be bothered to address in the text.

Dolph is still on leave, but I’m working on arranging a get-together between him, his wife, and their son and daughter-in-law. I don’t know if there’s anything to talk about, but Lucille, Mrs Dolph, wants me to try. I’ll try.

And Lucille can’t do this without you butting your big butt in because…? I’m sure the family appreciates you sticking your nose in their business unasked. Because I don’t hear you asking their permission to try and fix them.

Richard seems to have some peace. Not enough peace for us to date. But hey, I’m just thrilled that he’s no longer suicidally depressed. At this point, I want him healthy and happy more than I want him with me.

Yeah, of course, that whole short hair = mega suicide risk thing. You know, this just keeps getting more and more offensive each time it comes up, because it’s so blatantly obvious that LKH hasn’t got the first friggin’ clue how it feels like to be either mentally ill or to be close to mentally ill people. I’ve been around mentally ill people my entire life and I have mental health problems. LKH has no idea how mental healthy problems manifest and make people feel – she has no idea how it feels like to be watching someone you love develop these problems. If you can’t be bothered with empathy, don’t include bullshit about mental health issues.

This may or may not have been semi-inspired by her bullshit rant about trigger warnings.

Stephen and Gregory’s father is still in town. Valentina and Bartolome asked Jean-Claude’s permission to kill him.

Oh, right, that. You even remember that coming up? Why the hell would Valentina and Bartolome want to kill this guy? Did they even interact with Stephen and Gregory? Why would they give a shit?

But because they haven’t been able to satisfy their debt of honour, the two child vampires are staying in St. Louis.

Okay, whatever. Valentina is fine, but Bartolome is a creepy asshole. I hope someone stakes him.

There are nights when I dream about the living dark. As long as I sleep with a cross on I’m okay, but if I forget, she haunts me. I’d get a cross tattoo if I wasn’t afraid it’d burst into flames.

Do it. Get the fucking thing tattooed on your stupid smug face.

The Mobile Reserve has me on their list of civilian experts. They’ll call if they need me. Captain Parker was wicked pissed that the feds’ latest update on the preternatural wasn’t so updated. The FBI just doesn’t have enough friends that are monsters. If they did they’d know more.

Yeah, because it’s not like there are other people working in the field and that PRETERNATURAL CREATURES HAVE BEEN AROUND SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME. But, nooooooo, Anita is just so super speshul that she knows more than absolutely anyone in the entire world.

Anita then goes on about how she doesn’t find the ending of Charlotte’s Web that sad – because she’s a withered husk of a human being – and how goshdarned glad she is that she finally has ‘someone to hold my hand and go walking out under those blue skies. You have to fight to carve little pieces of happiness out of your life, or the everyday emergencies will eat up everything’.

I’m sure that’d mean someone if Anita wasn’t a smug little shithead who always wins and always gets her own way and never suffers any consequences.

Okay, I guess that means I have to start giving my final thoughts.

My final thoughts are that I don’t really have any final thoughts. I have no feelings about this book. It just… exists. It reads as a collection of moderately connected vignettes. The plot doesn’t really exist. LKH had a few ideas but they weren’t well developed enough to make a five hundred page novel. It’s weak drivel that added nothing to the overall development of the characters or the series. The main focus of the book was a fucking dinner party for fuck’s sake!

This book had no reason to exist. The characters are not in a different place from where they were when the last book ended. This book screams ‘I was contractually mandated to produce this work’.

And for the love of God, hire a decent fucking editor. Because your husband? Is not a professional, and it’s really starting to show.

And now I am going to eat rice pudding and try to get some actual sleep.

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


It’s freaking thirty four degrees rn in Lincolnshire. I am not happy with this heat. I don’t do heat very well.

Pictured: Dottie

Anita, strangely enough, is feeling so goshdarned bad about what she did. She’s snuggling into a stuffed toy and into Micah because she’s feeling bad about killing a man in a horrible way in front of a load of children.

You fucking should.

Bradley/Bradford calls.

“You made national news, and the Post-Dispatch is running a front-page picture of you executing Van Anders,” Bradley said.

“Yeah, turns out I was across from a camera store. Lucky me.”

… cameras in shop windows don’t automatically take pictures. I’m guessing the images either come from CCTV or from the phones of the people unfortunate enough to watch – maybe? It’s 2003, did picture phones exist? I can’t remember! *quick google fu* They were first sold in 2000 and ‘By 2003, more camera phones were sold worldwide than stand-alone digital cameras’. So, yeah, it’s probably not those magical cameras in the camera shop taking those pictures Anita.

“He needed killing, Anita.”

“I know that.”

“Then what’s that tone in your voice?”

“You haven’t got to the part of the article where the three-year-old boy is having screaming fits about me killing him, like he saw me do the bad man in the mall, have you?”

To be fair, it’s not as if that little boy is wrong. You were perfectly happy to kill him. And aren’t there going to be any consequences for Anita’s actions? I can’t imagine that the DOC for Missouri are especially happy with the nation becoming aware of they have a blatant serial killer working for them.

Bradley/Bradford then conveniently wraps up that dead ancestor plotline THAT WAS PROMISED ON THE BLURB. Basically, he was trying to recruit Anita to raise some president of whatever country. There was me thinking that this was supposed to be ‘some secret to an ancient crime’. I’ll give LKH credit, she can write a good blurb. Perhaps she should go into writing sales copy.

“Thanks for checking, Bradley.”

“Don’t thank me, Anita, if I hadn’t tried to get you onto our pay roll as a federal agent, you might never have come to the attention of whoever hired Heinrick.”

Yeah, sure, whatever. I’m pretty sure it was all those millions of other things that Anita’s done over the years that attracted the attention of all these murders. She fit in with them very well.

Nathaniel then comes into the room, and snuggles in with Anita and Micah, because they’re all going to be a famwy and read Charlotte’s Web together.

Anita is treating her sexual partners like they are children, and she’s their mum.

Look, unless this is some kind of ageplay stuff, that’s pretty fucking disturbing. Ew. I feel all gross now. Even more than I did from the heat.

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


Jason and Jamil stayed in human form, while Norman and Patricia stayed in wolf form.

Who the fuck are Norman and Patricia? Anita doesn’t seem to know either, although she valiantly says she knows Norman’s face but she has no idea who Patricia is. Patricia is just an animal to her, presumably because she is a woman. Anita gives the wolves some of Van Anders’s clothing and they instantly find Van Anders.

LKH, how can you write so many books and yet completely miss the point of what narrative structure means for your plot? What about tension? A earned resolution and climax? You can’t just wave your hands and instantly solve ONE OF THE MAJOR ONGOING PLOTS IN YOUR NOVEL.

The police had been watching the airports, the bus stations, the highways. Van Anders was sitting in the freaking food court of Eastfield mall. He’d piled his hair up under a billed cap and added a cheap pair of sunglasses.

Ok, so Van Anders went to the Bucky Barnes school of disguise. Plus, ‘billed cap’? That is the stupidest fucking description I’d ever heard for a baseball cap.

I was wearing a billed cap with my hair up under it, and sunglasses. I hate it when the bad guys copy. I was also wearing a baggy T-shirt, and baggy jeans with my Nikes. Short as I was, I looked like a thousand teenagers wandering any mall in America.

Anita’s street yo. Although considering her massive balloon jugs and that she’s meant to be stacked with muscle like the Hulk, I highly doubt anyone is going to be mistaking her for a teenager. Plus, Anita, you are the average height for a woman. You’re not that short.

I’d deputized Jamil and Jason.

Reason bazillion and one why no one should have let Anita be a marshal.

I’d made the decision that we wouldn’t call the police, and we wouldn’t try to evacuate. I had a court order of execution. I didn’t have to give him a warning. I didn’t have to do anything but kill him.

What.

  • You should probably let the police know about the dangerous and violent criminal in the mall. Before he decides to take a hostage or starts murdering people so he can throw their bodies at Anita and her crew.
  • Werewolves get freakishly horny and angry around blood and dead people. Sure, unleash four uncontrollable creatures with super-human strength into a tightly confined area full of people.
  • The evacuation order is for the safety of employees and customers. It’s so you don’t ACCIDENTALLY SHOT AN INNOCENT BYSTANDER IN THE HEAD.
  • You might not have to give Van Anders a warning, but you should probably warn the families shopping with their children that they might have to witness a violent death or that they might get shot in the head.
  • I’m sure the owners of the mall are going to be so pleased that this is going to happen in their premises without being told. I’m sure they’re going to be so overjoyed when everyone in St Louis refuses to return and when they’re forced to go out of business. I’m sure the city will be happy when so many people will be unemployed because you couldn’t be bothered to be a decent human being and a decent federal employee.

It was mid-afternoon, so the food court wasn’t too busy. That was good. There was a group of teenagers at the table nearest Van Anders. Why weren’t they in school?

Because it’s like four in the afternoon? School has finished?

At the table next-closest to him was a mother with a baby in a stroller and two toddlers. Two toddlers, neither of them in baby seats, but running free, while she tried to help the baby eat soft-serve yoghurt.

Guess you should have fucking called ahead or involved the police then. Because those children are about to die.

I wasn’t willing to let him escape again. He was too dangerous. I made the decision in that moment that I would endanger all these nice people. That the mother with her yoghurt-smeared baby, and the two screaming toddlers were going to have to take their chances.

This is what LKH thinks is heroic and acceptable in a person. Not giving a shit about potentially shooting a baby in the head to justify some bullshit. She also threatens to kill people if they attempt to defend or save Van Anders – bearing in mind that no one knows that she’s a US Marshal and that she’s legally allowed to kill him.

Anita sneaks up on him and shoots him in the back. He says that the police have to give a warning, but Anita shoves her gun into his forehead, brags about being the executioner (which, as a title, should be capitalised), and then shoots his brains out in front of a crowd which includes very small children.

I’m not putting out a call for bets that Anita never faces a single repercussion or consequence for this because that’s a suckers bet.

I hate Anita Blake. She is an awful person. Fuck her and fuck people who think this is okay.

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


I met Richard at his house. We sat at the kitchen table where we’d sat so many weekend mornings. He drank tea. I sipped coffee. He wouldn’t meet my eyes, and I didn’t know what to say.

There are three chapters left.

Like, did LKH take classes in how to destroy mood and tension? You’re hunting a mass-murdering violent serial killer who can scale buildings with his magic skin shredding claws – and you’re having A FUCKING TEA BREAK? WHAT THE SHIT?

Anita thinks about how she has to be very careful around Richard because ‘it didn’t take much to offend him’. Yeah, well, rape victims are often offended by the continuing presence of their rapist in their lives. As a general rule.

Actually, he’s really upset because Anita is being fed on.

“I don’t understand how you could let them feed off of you, Anita.” He finally looked up and his perfectly brown eyes were filled with a pain and confusion, so raw, that it hurt me to look at them.

I have literally no idea why he feels like this. He reiterates that he will not be fed on – HA, like Anita is going to listen to that – and she brings up Van Anders. She needs a wolf or two to ‘keep other women from dying’ – snort, like Anita cares about other women – and Richard gets all pissy about helping out.

Richard Zeeman: gets constantly called a bleeding heart liberal, we’re constantly told that he’s too soft and caring and wants to nourish all the creatures of the world all the time, and yet he can’t see the point in helping to apprehend a dangerous serial killer.

Characterisation – it’s pretty fucking important in writing. Like, really important.

Anita rubs crime scene photos in his face, and he says she can have whoever she wants. He also claims she could have just asked, although NOT A PAGE AGO he claimed to not understand why his wolves should even be helping. He then gets hunger-turned on by the pictures and then proclaims that he is no longer suicidal.

Oh, right, I’d forgotten that plotline. Where long hair means you’re suicidal.

In light of what has been happening in my life recently, I find this line of bullshit personally fucking offensive.

They then make promises to talk to each other some more and to not fight. Like any of us believe that. Richard is Anita’s favourite punching bag of choice.

What was a little emotional desolation between friends compared to getting Van Anders off the streets?

Except that you haven’t given a single shit about catching Van Anders until the very end of the book? Why weren’t you catching him instead of subjecting us to that vampire politics horseshit?

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


I’m going to be honest – I’ve been slowly working on this post for like, three days? Not because it’s a tricky chapter with some amazing thrills. Because it’s just so dull and I’m so uninvested.

I’d seen enough of Van Anders’s handiwork to be prepared for the worst. What I saw in the hallway wasn’t even close to his worst.

Whatever. LKH can’t write effective gore to save her life and can’t create any tension. There’s a little bit of blood because somehow a crazed werewolf took down a SWAT team without making a lake of gore.

It was nearly wall-to-wall people like at a party, except that every face was grim, or shocked, or angry. No one was having a good time.

No shit.

There’s a page of Anita trying to find Zerbrowski. Thrilling. Anyway, Anita has to school people on how powerful shapeshifters can have claws, and I’m like why the hell isn’t this shit commonplace knowledge seeing that shapeshifters have been around since the dawn of time.

Plus all this means that Anita officially knows more about supernatural shit than the experts at the FBI.

rage

BECAUSE SHE’S SPESHUL.

People have been yelling at Zerbrowski because apparently he didn’t warn people that they were looking for a shapeshifter? Van Anders was just so super nice when they came to arrest him that everyone forget exactly who they were taking in.

“Van Anders stabbed Meyer. When the claws shot out his fingertips, he used them like knives.”

“Apparently Kevlar doesn’t stop lycanthrope claws,” Zerbrowski said.

“Kevlar isn’t made to stop a stabbing attack,” I said, “the claws acted like blades.”

Except that a wolf doesn’t have sharp claws? They’re there to help the wolf run and grip the ground? They’re not used like cat claws? But I guess I don’t know enough about biology. There’s a big hole in the window as Van Anders  threw himself out and climbed up the building, like King Kong. Those wolves, so well known for their ability to climb up buildings.

There were holes in the side of the building, all the way up, as far as my eyes could follow. Small holes at regular intervals.

“I saw the holes, but what are they?”

“Van Anders did a Spiderman on them. The sniper and observer were set up on the opposite side of the building. There was nothing they could do.”

I felt my eyes go wide. “You mean the holes are where he shoved his hands into the building, and climbed up?”

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Yeah, of course, whatever. Anita gets a call from the chief of police and she’s been tasked to kill Van Anders. I guess all those crimes he committed in Europe will go completely unpunished, but at least this is an excuse to talk to Richard, as whether he likes it or not he’ll be tracking Van Anders for her.

Van Anders might have climbed up, but he had to come down somewhere.

That’s generally how things work.

People then shout at Zerbrowski and Anita off-screen because fear. Whatever.

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


Anita heads into the interview room where Heinrick is waiting. God, I am so uninvested in this plot. It makes no sense and I really don’t care about it.

He had an innocent face, and I knew that was a lie. Anyone who looks that innocent after thirty is either lying, or touched by the hand of God. Somehow I didn’t think Leopold Heinrick was ever going to be a saint. Which left only one question – he was lying. Lying about what? Now there was a question.

  • Of course the white guy looks innocent. Even though you KNOW he’s a wanted terrorist.
  • Of course he’s not a saint. You know he’s A WANTED TERRORIST.
  • That’s… that’s just his face. It’s not lying. It’s just there. Being his face.
  • You haven’t asked him anything, so he can’t really be lying.

There was a Styrofoam cup with coffee in front of him. It had been sitting long enough that the cream had started to separate from the darker liquid, so that swirls of paleness decorated the top of the coffee.

Does it even do that? As an aside, Anita does not shut up about the coffee the. whole. damn. chapter. Did she drug it or something? She just keeps trying to force him to drink it.

Zerbrowski made it clear that I was up to bat, but no one, including me, wanted me alone with Heinrick. He had been following, and we still didn’t know why. Agent Bradford had guessed that it was part of some plot to raise the dead for some nefarious purpose.

Lazy. Pure laziness.

Anita goes on about giving Heinrick coffee for a whole page until he gets pissed off with it. Believe me, Heinrick, you are not the only one. Anita notes that he doesn’t seem anxious or afraid, and how that’s weird. I don’t think it’s weird for a INTERNATIONALLY WANTED TERRORIST to not be afraid of being in police custody.

Why wasn’t he the least bit afraid of spending time in the St. Louis jail system?

I don’t know. Perhaps it’s because he’s an internationally wanted terrorist. (As a fun aside, why not try taking a shot every time I’m forced to say that?)

Anita shows Heinrick the pictures of the victims, and he doesn’t care. She tries asking him questions and he’s not exactly interested in answering them.

Once you get into court the lawyers get so damned picky about evidence and stuff.

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There’s a reason for that, cheesebrain. Heinrick then starts to freak out and says that Van Anders is doing this. I do not remember nor do I care who that is.

Anita then talks more about coffee, although she wishes she could just ply him with alcohol. Our hero, everybody!

Heinrick then reveals that everyone is here to try and recruit Anita. They need to ‘fool the people in the county that their leader is still alive’.

 

 

Did you hear that? It’s the sound of a good idea being pissed down someone’s leg.

Anyway, Van Anders is rushing around killing women and the people who employed this merry little band are just happy to let this happen because… yeah, sure, draw attention to the hugely illegal activities you’re ordering people to do. That makes perfect sense. Oh, no, wait they want him dead now. After he has already done this across the globe and gotten himself wanted everywhere else.

Heinrick gives them Van Anders’s address and Anita tries to work out why the crucifixion guy was killed. But seeing as LKH doesn’t care, no one else seems to care much either.

Oh, and Van Anders is a werewolf. Dolph totally didn’t come up with that out of nowhere on the basis of Jason contaminating a crime scene and his own bullshit bigotry. They needed a werewolf because they were going to kidnap Anita. I don’t know why. I don’t think LKH really knows why. This was slapped together with all the finesse of someone shoving together Barbie dolls while screaming ‘NOW KISSSSSS!’.

Anita leaves the interview room and everyone is panicking. Apparently the super special SWAT team were taken by Van Anders in some amazing action that happened off-screen because LKH does not care.

Have I conveyed enough how much LKH just DID NOT CARE about this book? People think she lost her spark or interest in writing more recently, but this book, man, it was written by someone who just didn’t give a fuck.

I’d go to the scene of the crime. I’d try to help figure out what went wrong. Because something had gone very wrong if Van Anders had taken out an entire squad from the Mobile Reserve. They’re trained to handle terrorists, hostage situations, drugs, gangs, biochemical hazards; pick your nastiness, and Mobile Reserve can handle it. Yes, something had gone terribly wrong. The question was, what?

The question is why is LKH incapable of creating a plot that makes any goddamned sense.

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


Spoiler alert: Anita is an asshole.

Detective O’Brien has brought in the ridiculous Aryan German terrorist to question on the charges of, you know, being a known fucking terrorist wanted all over Europe. This makes Anita&co really angry because, obviously, Anita should be questioning him.

  • She’s not a cop.
  • Um, like, this is America post 9/11. Shouldn’t everyone be more concerned about terrorism? You’d think someone seriously high up in the government would turn up to deal with this.
  • Anita has jurisdiction because this is a preternatural crime – although this is based on Dolph being an asshole and Jason contaminating a crime scene.

‘Ah,” I said, and felt myself smiling. I couldn’t help it. “But that was when Heinrick was a suspected terrorist, and guilty of nothing more than illegal weapons violations, very mundane stuff.

Yeah, this is a white power terrorist wanted for murder and terrorism across europe. so fucking mundane you guys

And nothing that my federal marshal status puts under my jurisdiction. As you pointed out earlier I‘m not a regular federal marshal. My jurisdiction is very narrow. I have no legal status on nonpreternatural crimes, but on preternatural crimes I have jurisdiction all across this country. I don’t have to wait to be invited in.” I know I looked smug when I finished, but I just couldn’t seem to help myself. O’Brien was being pissy, and pissiness should be punished.

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Anyway, they shove the crime scene pictures in O’Brien’s face, and she gets all swoony for she is a weak and feeble female, and then she reveals the real reason she’s so antagonistic towards Anita.

“You’re just so damned photogenic.”

Yeah, it’s petty female jealousy. Not justified anger that Anita is a fucked up awful person. It’s just that Anita is soooo amazing that all the women are totes insta jealous. Anyway, Anita is going to break the case because it’s just so awful and she’s going to solve it because the plot says so not because of any discernible skill on behalf of author or avatar.