A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Killing Dance’ chapter thirty four

I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed our X-Men rant yesterday, followers. More discussions on the blog! Let’s have more discussions on how many feelings we have about these things. It will stop the numbness spread by LKH.

In another calculated move to make herself appear awesome to my readership, Mother Smith has bought me ‘Scooby Doo meets Batman!’ on DVD.

I think if she was a superhero, her name would be Madame Awesome.

Plus, when clearing out my room (we are moving house) I found the best picture of me ever.


It’s like someone told 12 year old me that she’d end up reading Anita Blake. And tie dye is cool.

Anyway, today’s chapter.

Anita, Richard, and JC are all standing around when Edward walks in. Oh, do I love that guy. I do not find him to be a massive stalker with an ill-defined character at all.

Edward’s presence reminds Anita that, oh yeah, people are trying to kill her! And she hasn’t worried about it for over ten chapters! Well, she had triforce makeouts to worry about, so there is only so much room in her head to worry about things. And those werewolf bodyguards? They just argued over whether Edward was allowed in, so much so that Edward was just able to stroll on in.

Refer to the picture.

Edward then starts talking about someone called Harley. who is presented as if we know him. Do we? I cannot remember him being mentioned ever before. Harley can identify vampires. That is not an especially impressive skill in a world where vampires are very out and proud. I could probably identify a vampire. They’re the guys who don’t breathe and act like entitled nutbags.

Edward and Jean-Claude left to fetch Edward’s friend.

I can’t believe this line is in a book intended for anyone over the age of fourteen.

I just find this one line to be an example of all the problems with LKH’s writing. Seriously. It’s lazy and flat. She has no idea how to present ideas correctly, or how to block characters through a scene so they are used effectively. Her writing style is that of an inexperienced teenager. In short, she does not know what she is doing.

Anita is all angry that she showed weakness and almost ‘died’.

“I fainted, for God’s sake, I never faint.”

Do you have a problem with your memory? You faint all the time. ALL THE TIME. It’s probably the cause of your memory loss. She also states that Richard is more bothered about joining with JC and his big old French cooties than he is about taking the life of a fellow human being. Priorities – yours are fucked up.

Edward and JC return with Edward’s exciting friend. Even though Anita said she knew him, since we are treated to a page of unnecessary description, I guess he must be new. He is not impressive, as he is not all delicate and sexy, but sounds a little mad and dangerous.

oh and the whole hitman plot?

It’s completely wrapped up.

Edward fixed it all. Offscreen. With the help of his buddy. The resolution of one of the two major plots was so uninteresting to LKH that she decided to write about makeouts for a hundred pages instead.

Refer to picture.

Marcus, the guy who Richard must kill, is conveniently behind the attacks. This is despite Marcus being an entirely reasonable guy in The Lunatic Cafe. Well, he didn’t like Anita shooting people in the face, so he must be evil.

“It’s all so convenient,” Edward said with a happy lilt to his voice.

ahahahaha lampshade hanging only works if you’re not trying to play it straight.

Anita is now upset that Harley is staring at her.

“But why me?”

“You’re a girl maybe?”

“Stop it, Edward. Whatever he’s thinking, it isn’t sex, and if it is, I don’t want to know the details.”

Of course, everything must be about sex.

Refer to picture.

Harley is a robot masquerading as a person. He is programmed to take orders from only one person because apparently that is how people work. He has picked Anita to command people because, and I quote, ‘You’re the scariest motherfucker in the room’.

No matter how many times you try to sell me that Anita Blake is ‘scary’, I am not going to buy it.

Harley is blind but psychic, so he sees what is really there. Anita thinks a deeply ableist inner monologue about how much she dislikes him.

“When you look at Edward, he always looks the same to you. I mean you recognise him?”

Harley nodded.

“You’d recognise me,” I said.




I have stared into a void.

Did she really have to explain to us how recognition works? I mean, really? And this is the book people have told me is the last really great Anita Blake book?

Her writing is bad. Just so, so bad. I can’t believe how truly awful her writing is.

Harley ends the chapter by saying that it would be bad if Edward and Anita were to die.

My sweet lord. This is reaching Beekeeper’s Apprentice (which I still maintain is the worst book I have ever read) bad. Anita Blake has made me angry before, but this chapter made me angry on a level where I wanted to rip the book into shreds without bothering to read the rest.

And I ain’t been that angry in a long while.


13 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Killing Dance’ chapter thirty four

  1. At least Anita hasn’t decided that a man not being willing to sleep with another man makes him homophobic, and thus deserving of being mindfucked out of all personality. I now owe the library a copy of Affliction. I threw it at the wall. While I was in the bath. Yeah.

    The point is, at least here Anita isn’t an evil, sociopathic little bitch. And if you can figure out Harley’s purpose let me know.

    • Just don’t stare at me. You might recognise me.

      (I may have just finished Affliction because I got a free copy. And oh god, I was conflicted. I was both furious and bored out of my mind.)

  2. I hate it when the blind character is psychic. It is so goddamned overused. Only one like that I’d ever liked is, shock, Destiny/Irene Adler.


    I too like X-23, but I *cringe* with the whole prostitute backstory. It would never have been done if she were a male character, and I find her being kept under the control of a human pimp (Zebra Daddy was human, right?) with mutant psychic powers or anything to just be absurd. I could buy a powerful mutant being abused by a human because of the whole brainwashing shit that pimps do indeed do, but considering X-23 already broke free of a lot worse conditioning, it just doesn’t fly for me.

    THAT SAID I actually have not read the actual issues with her backstory in them, just read her past online, so do the comics handle it any better/explain at all exactly how it’s believable that some human schmoe kept a clawed killing machine under his thumb sans a Weapon X type lab? (and given her said past as underage prostitute, some of the clothing choices they put her in make me kinda uncomfy)

    • X-23 was an prostitute simply because she had nowhere else to go.


      X-23 was created by the Weapon X programme. After she started rebelling and was helped by the woman who was her mother – the scientist who gave birth to her – to try and escape, they forced her to kill the scientist and tried to keep her as an assassin. She escaped, and ran to the family of her mother. However, the facility cornered her there, and tried to kill everyone. They escaped, but Laura (x-23) felt that her existence spread nothing but pain and death. She tracked Wolverine to the X-Men academy and tried to kill him. They were both weapons so she thought they should be destroyed. He was sympathetic and had letters from her mother explaining Laura’s existence. However, at this point, the legal authorities had tracked her down and took her into custody. She had murdered a lot of people, and Captain America wanted her to be put on trial for her crimes. Daredevil said he would act as her legal aide because she was not responsible for what she did. Feeling guilty, Cap released Laura onto the streets of New York.

      With no money. And nowhere to go.

      She was controlled not in a psychic sense but in a psychological sense by her pimp – she never knew when the authorities or the facility were going to be coming back for her. She resorted to prostitution because there was no other means for her to survive, and she was pretty emotionally dead at this point. Then one of her regulars asked her to kill him and it kind of went tits up.

      It’s actually a pretty well done turn of events. For a comic, it’s fairly realistic. I can understand why it happened, and why she felt she couldn’t escape. And why Cap in the comics is such a knob.

      And oh yeah, I hate what they dress her in. But from a character perspective, I understand why. Laura doesn’t seem to care about her body and just wears what ever she damn well feels like, no matter what other people say.


      • Cap is always a knob, but is also a sad reflection of the pure patriotic BS that fundamental and conservative Americans like to flash like some sort of citizen card.

  3. “oh and the whole hitman plot?

    It’s completely wrapped up.”

    What. The actual. Fuck.

    Hamilton, this is not how you book.

    And speaking of that abomination of that abomination of a Holmes fanfic, I recently saw a clip from an interview with Conan Doyle where he explained why he first wrote Holmes. His answer? He was tired of stories where detectives just stumble on to the answer to the mystery. Which is exactly what’s happened in every Anita Blake novel thus far.

    Coincidence? I think not.

    • LKH believes she writes better mysteries than Conan Doyle.

      She also believes that she writes better fantasy than Tolkien.

      Cecilia and me believe she comes from the spoon planet, because there’s no way those claims can ever be substantiated.

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