A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Bloody Bones’ chapter sixteen

It’s a long chapter today – nearly twenty pages – so today, I am relying on Michael Palin’s narration to get me through this nonsense.

I would also like to announce the joint creation of ‘Hamilton’s Disorder’. Anita Blake certainly would appear to have some kind of severe personality disorder (as sociopathy is not recognised as a condition in the British Isles and Europe any more) but she does not appear to meet the known requirements. So, I would like to diagnose her with ‘Hamilton’s Disorder’. With this disorder, the patient appears to believe that they are the only person in the world, and all others merely follow in their wake. They lack empathy and compassion for others simply because they do not comprehend that others are not the patient. Their actions will lead to the death and pain of others, but rarely in a cruel or malicious way – the patient just cannot understand that the needs of others can possibly be as important as their own.  Patients can only understand what they want and how others may help or prevent what they desire; those who help are rewarded, those who are perceived to hinder will be ruthlessly excised.

Ladies and gents, please welcome the birth of a new trope (I hope). It is not part of psychopathy, as while the patient believes themselves better or above other people, they think that it is possible that others can meet their exacting standards. In fact, some actively hope for it, even if the standards to be met are so high that no one could ever possibly meet them.

Getting to the chapter, MY ONE AND ONLY DETECTIVE FREEMONT IS BACK. She hasn’t been in the shitty comics yet so I can’t make a blingee to celebrate the Freetie ship 😦

Anita and Freemont sit on a sofa.

Only pride kept me from taking a chair.

Oh no sitting on a chair isn’t that horrendous. Fuckin’ chairs. Freemont asks why she wasn’t informed of a second vampire murder, as she’s the fucking boss of murder investigations, and Anita has the sheer gall to just have a go at Freemont for not reporting the earlier murder scene (the dismembered peeps) as being a vampire attack. Yeah, that attack with no evidence of vampiric involvement. Anita gloats about how Freemont’s superiors are going to be pissed at her, and how she was right about a crazed vampire going about with a sword killing people.

Freemont comes back with how it could have been a fairy. Storr, who has no cares about the privacy of anyone, told her about the Bouviers.

“Because he could have done it, doesn’t mean he did,” I said.

Yeah, like how those three vampires you killed could have murdered Ellie Quinlan but it doesn’t mean that they did. Hypocrisy, thy name is Anita Blake.

Freemont counters with how Magnus Bouvier ran when being questioned by the police. Anita asks how a fairy, who regularly uses magic and glamour to make a living, managed to escape. Anita is stumped by how a man who ripped down trees may try to escape from police custody. Anita finally remembers that ‘oh right, fairies use glamour!’ and tries to explain it to Freemont.

I always hated explaining preternatural things to people who had no skill in the area. It was like having quantum physics explained to me. I could follow the concepts, but I had to take their word for it on the math. The math was beyond me, hated to admit it, but it was. But not understanding quantum physics wouldn’t get me killed. Not understanding preternatural creatures might get Freemont.

The analogy of quantum physics to preternatural concepts is a VERY VERY VERY STUPID ONE. Quantum mechanics provides a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behaviour and interactions of energy and matter. Preternatural concepts involve knowing that holy water will hurt a vampire and that fairy magic can hypnotise you – things people have had no trouble understanding for like, the whole of history. If a peasant from the early mediaeval period (i.e. pre 100 AD) could explain fairy magic to me quite simply and eloquently, then what you’re saying is soooo difficult for people who are not Anita Blake to understand is not that difficult to understand.

Anita explains glamour in a very bad way, so that if I didn’t know what it was I’d have no clue what she was going on about. But she’s got a solution to all your glamour problems!!!!!!!1!

“A four-leaf clover will break glamor, but it won’t keep the fey from killing you by hand. There are other plants you can wear, or carry that break glamor: Saint-John’s-wort, red verbena, daisies, rowan, and ash. My choice would be an ointment made of either four-leaf clovers or Saint-John’s-wort. Spread it on your eyelids, mouth, ears, and hands. It’ll make you proof against glamor.”

Roll up, roll up, it’s time for a patented ‘Dottie gets so worked up about the use of folklore – or lack of – in a book where no research had been done that she works herself into a picspam’ fest!

  • For a start, what is with that last sentence. ‘It’ll make you proof against glamor’. JFC editors, where were you? That is terribly phrased.
  • Four-leaf clovers are lucky, but when it comes to fairies, they do not protect you from them. Four-leaf clovers let you see fairies.
  • St. John’s wort is good for depression, but it’s been banned from use in several European countries. Applying St. John’s wort to the skin can lead to severe sensitivity to sunlight and it is not advised to put it on your skin, especially on your mouth or eyes. Historically, as it blooms around the summer solstice, St. John’s wort has significant spiritual properties. However, it blooms on the birthday of Saint John (no shit) and has spiritual RELIGIOUS properties. It has the power to drive away evil from homes rubbed with the juice of the flower (even then people knew not to put it on your bloody skin), not to stop fairies glamouring you.
  • Verbena is not something you should tell a woman to put on her mouth. It’s long been used to induce miscarriages in women. That’s right ladies – rub this herb that is an abortifacient into your mouth and eyes! Verbena would have an effect on fairies, as it is connected to iron (remember this, it’s important), but I see this as sheer dumb luck rather than coming from any research.
  • Daisy juice is an astringent, shrinking and contracting body tissues. Daisies are also known as bruisewort, and are good for use on shallow wounds. I’m not sure whether it’s safe to put on your eyes, but daisies are edible so it’s safe to wipe on your mouth. They are a sign of virtue and maidenly purity, and have no spiritual properties – well, other than ‘he loves me, he loves me not’.
  • The juice of raw rowan berries can give you kidney failure. Do not put it on your mouth (They’re safe cooked). Hamilton’s on safer ground with rowan, as it’s famously good against witches and sorcery, protects houses from being hit by lightning, and stops the dead from rising from their graves.
  • Ash (the plant, and not the stuff found in fires) is safe to eat and has been used to cure warts, rickets, prevent flare ups of malaria, cures jaundice, and dropsy. There are no spiritual uses for ash, but I seem to remember that it can be used as a holy wood for making vampire stakes.
  • I’ll discuss iron in a minute. Hoo boy, will I talk about iron. Mainly because of this –

“Any fairie ointment will be hard to find because we don’t have any fairies native to this country.”

I didn’t realise that Anita had to be informed of any and all preternatural creatures permitted in the US. Seeing as there have been a family of fairies living in this town of Blahsville proves you wrong.

I notice that Anita has completely forgotten to talk about iron. Iron is only the most potent object against the forces of supernatural evil. Iron repels all malevolent supernatural creatures. All of them. To defend yourself against European fairies, there is nothing better. The touch of iron hurts fairies. Even an upturned horseshoe above the door prevents fairies from coming inside your home. Iron was thought to be the gift of God to man, seeing as it had so many uses, and fends away evil thusly. It’s the basic go-to for any kind of monster hunting. Iron even killed Dracula. He didn’t burn up in sunlight, drown in holy water or choke on garlic; he had his throat cut by an iron blade.

Look, I’m all for reinventing folklore and giving it a new spin. I review Supernatural, a show built on reinvention, and I think it’s great. But you simply cannot ignore the folklore and pretend it didn’t happen, then give me something that doesn’t make any sense. Hamilton, you can’t take a dump in a bowl and tell me it’s ice cream. All you’ll do is end up with shit in your own mouth and me pissed off.

Moving on.

Anita talks about how amazing vampires are and how fairies don’t compare with them (ha. AHAHAHA) and Freemont gets depressed about how she can help the public against things like that. Anita can only go on about how obvious that Magnus didn’t do anything and that it was so obviously a vampire in a way that makes me go ‘huh, what subtle foreshadowing’. Freemont has a warrant out on Magnus for using magic and Anita whines how this will get him shot.

“He’s dangerous, Ms. Blake.”

“Yeah, but so are a lot of people, Detective. You don’t hunt them down and arrest them for it.”

Really? Really?

Freemont then asks about why Anita wouldn’t stake Ellie Quinlan – LIKE THE LAW TELLS HER TO. Anita says that if you take out someone’s heart and cut off their head, there’s not much left of their body. You fail biology Anita. You really fail hard.

[Freemont] drew something on her note pad. I couldn’t see what. I was betting it was a doodle and not a word.

The sexism against women in these books is suffocating at times.

Anita then goes on about how this is a co-ordinated attack against the Quinlans by vampires and then BLAM the FBI turn up. Two special agents arrive and talk about how they thought Anita would be taller. Freemont says they should send Anita away but the agents disagree. And she has no idea of the rage of a wronged Anita Blake.

“If Ms. Blake had called me in when there was only one body on the ground, there wouldn’t be two dead policemen, and a dead civilian,” Freemont said.

I just looked at her. Somebody’s ass was going to be in a sling [what the hell does that even mean] and Freemont didn’t want it to be hers. Fine.

“Don’t forget the missing boy,” I said. Everyone looked at me. “You want to start pointing fingers, fine; there’s enough blame to go around. If you hadn’t chased me off earlier, I might have called you in, but I did call the state police. If you’d told your superiors everything I told you, they’d have connected the two cases, and you’d have been here anyway.”

Anita then presents a parallel reality where Freemont took over the investigation in the house – surprise surprise, everyone save Freemont lives.

You are a talentless waste of print, Hamilton.

Anita then goes on and on about how all the vampires want to talk to her and only her and even though an FBI agent says this makes no logical sense, Anita just laughs and laughs because nothing really makes logical sense. Ah, so she’s been reading the books herself then. Anita prances off, leaving Freemont neck deep in shit and having accepted no blame for any of it whatsoever.


But hey, the very first vampire serial killer was news.

Yes, because killing hundreds of people in a ritualised sense for hundreds of years of your life is not serial killing.

Anita skips off, is rude to Lawrence for no good reason, and phones up Guilty Pleasures. Ah, yes, it’s good to use men who want to rape you to solve crimes. Let’s meet up with JC, ye olde twatwaffle.

“Good evening, ma petite.” That was it, all he said, but even over the buzzing phone his voice was like fur inside my skull.

Do you even realise what you’re saying?

JC calls her rude, which is pretty fucking arrogant seeing as he wants to force his dead penis inside a non-consenting woman, and Anita says how a sixteen year old lad has gone missing. JC says ‘ah, not a child then!’ and I say ‘no, because the age of legal majority was eighteen or twenty one, fucker’. JC says that Anita needs an escort for to see the Master of the City but she pouts because she needs to save the boy intact. This is Jeff Quinlan, although he is not named for the three pages talking of him being missing. JC says he will fly down tomorrow night, as Branson is like well dangerous, innit. Anita asks how long it will take him to fly ‘this far’ which makes me face palm as he needs to fly at night, and clearly doesn’t have the time to do it in the few hours left of this night.

Anita admits to feeling a little responsible for the disappearance of Jeff. Anita, you should feel ALL THE RESPONSIBILITY BECAUSE IT’S YOUR FAULT. And it turns out the vampires climbed through the dog door instead of just breaking a window because… making a point about the skeleton vampire, I guess.

JC then asks whether any other young boys have gone missing. Anita mentions the deaths of the boys.

“Were they violated?”

“What do you mean, violated?”

He means something that ought to be handled with extreme tact and delicacy, neither of which are traits that have ever had much evidence of existing in Hamilton’s writing. JC sounds like a moron when talking through it, and then admits he knows the vampire who is ‘too exotic’ to be named. Yeah, why stop a child molester if he’s exotic?

I’m praying that exotic isn’t being used as a by-word for ‘non-Aryan European’.

Anita starts thinking of demons. I really think I need to sleep. But for making it through so far, let’s indulge in a little pic spam….

Will Smith – dedicated to being THE MOST embarrassing dad in public and it cracks me up every time.

Here’s a little girl cosplaying as Stan Lee. With Stan Lee. Greatest child ever.

And here’s Benedict Cumberbatch. BECAUSE.

(PS this took like three hours. Because I do my research.)

12 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Bloody Bones’ chapter sixteen

  1. Why do I get I get the feeling that as soon as Anita leaves the room, the FBI say to Freemont “Don’t worry, everyone knows Blake is absolutely crazy. We just humour her and pray a vampire will kill her. And don’t trust her expertise, she knows nothing.”?

  2. *sniff* I am so proud to have even a small hand in the discovery and, God willing, treatment of this debilitating condition. Granted, most treatment would first require sufferers to admit that something was wrong with them, which is impossible because those suffering from Hamilton’s Disorder firmly believe they have no flaws.

    But its the thought that counts right?

  3. iirc the ash tree is quite spiritually significant in Irish pagan spirituality, and was mentioned alongside druid magic, Welsh folklore etc. Or does she mean ash as in ashes? That’s a weird stand out when the rest of her list is plants.

  4. So, the fae are hurt by iron right? Logically, they should be hurt by steel then too considering it is an alloy made out primarily of iron.

    Where am I going with this? Magnus, a fae, was wielding a sword that was most likely made out of steel. If my logical deduction is correct, he shouldn’t have been able to touch it, let alone slice down some trees. Gah.

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