A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Burnt Offerings’ chapter eight


I was surprised by how many of you outed yourselves by being utter SAVAGES who liked their steaks well done.

I love you guys. You get me through all of this.

Dessert was raspberry-chocolate cheesecake. A triple threat to any diet plan. Truthfully, I preferred my cheesecake straight. Fruit, except for strawberries, and chocolate just muddied the pure cream cheese taste. But Jean-Claude liked it, and dessert took the place of the wine I’d refused to order with dinner. I hated the taste of alcohol. So Jean-Claude’s choice of dessert. Besides, the restaurant did not serve plain cheesecake. Not artistic enough, I guess.

I find Anita to be both a utter snob and then really uninformed and unrefined the next. Take the damn cheesecake thing. It’s find to like strawberry cheesecake, but the way she describes it just puzzles me. She eats it for the taste of cream cheese – so why eat the cheesecake? Why not have a cheese platter, if you like the taste of cheese so much? It makes her sound like the kind of person who slathers everything in ketchup because they like the taste – avoiding enjoying the tastes of anything else.

And I see the ‘not artist enough’ jab. If you don’t like the fancy cheesecake, then guess what? You don’t have to eat the cheesecake! Order up some bland cake if your tastebuds hate complex tastes so much! You child!

Sorry if you like vanilla cheesecake. It’s good. But I hate every dripping word that comes out of Anita’s noise-hole as it’s drenched with this smugness about how amazing she is when she’s the most boring shrivelled stain imaginable.

Jean-Claude had laid his arm across the tablecloth, rested his cheek on his arm, and closed his eyes, swooning, trying to savor every last taste. He blinked at me, as if coming out of a trance. He spoke, head still resting on his arm, “You have left some whipped cream, ma petite.”

“I’m full,” I said.

“It is real whipped cream. It melts on the tongue and glides across the palette.”

I shook my head. “I am done. If I eat any more, I’ll be sick.”

He gave a long-suffering sigh and sat back up. “There are nights I despair of you, ma petite.”

Force-feeding is a form of torture and abuse, JC. Just thought you should know.

JC looks over Anita’s head and sees something scary. Perhaps it is me, wielding my hockey stick, ready to beat his head in. Anita drops a napkin so she can pull out her gun surreptitiously. Guns are always the perfect solution to any problem

A vampire-human couple come in. The man is olive skinned and is described relatively simply, but the vampire woman is described with huge ire. She is trying to look tall by wearing four inch heels and a classy dress, what a bitch. They see JC, and come on over to the table. They are Yvette and Balthasar. Balthasar glares at Anita with instant jealously. Yvette and JC talk about him being master of the city, and that she is attempting to get a seat on the Grand High Vampire Council. They’re already envoys, but Anita is not impressed.

Yvette is a thousand years old. Don’t disrespect the thousand year old vampire. They have the ability to tear your face off.

“My master is a council member,” Balthasar said. “You have no idea what kind of power he wields.”

“Ask me if I care.”

11bullshit

Balthasar is justifiably pissed at her attitude. He puts a hand on her leg, which I don’t like, but Anita immediately assumes that he’ll tear through the flesh and remove the bone. Despite the fact that he is human. She responds by grabbing his tie, pulling him close, and shoving her gun in his chest. She threatens him, until he points out that if she shoots him in the middle of a restaurant, she will go to prison. She demands he removes his hand, and she will not kill him.

The poor waiter then comes over to ask if everything is okay (instead of phoning the police to arrest the crazy gunwoman) and JC casually asks for the cheque. Yvette and Balthasar leave quickly, and JC reveals that Balthy is a the servant of one of the most powerful council members. JC thinks they are here because of Mr Oliver from book 3. We get a very long paragraph telling us all who Mr Oliver is and how Anita killed him, putting herself in a coma so deep she almost died –

“The crazy son of bitch that tried to take you out last Halloween?”

That was a needless re-clarification. And would have been better, if the long explanation of Mr Oliver needed to be there, if this question came first.

Anyway, Oliver was a council member, and a pretty powerful one. He was the Earthmover, capable of making the ground quake. Anita just laughs at this, as she’s an idiot.

When in doubt, ignore and be terribly unimpressed.

That’s a stupid policy.

This all means that they are in trouble. You see, if you kill a council member, you’re supposed to jump up into their place. Everyone is mad at JC as he hasn’t done this. Who would want this shitstain on the council? What could he possibly add? He’s unintelligent and petty. He can’t even think beyond the needs of his own dick. And if they learn that Anita wasn’t JC’s human servant when she killed Oliver, they will execute her.

Do it anyway.

They won’t kill her as a human servant, but they will torture her. Except the speshul vampire council doesn’t have something as banal and human as torture.

“You mean torture?”

“Not in a traditional sense. But they are masters at finding that which terrifies you most and using it against you.”

So, yes, JC means torture. He goes on about how scary the vampire council are but, eh, I don’t find vampire anything to be that scary in books like this. Vampires just aren’t made to be scary in the AB series. LKH can create a good villain, but she doesn’t know how to write them effectively.

Oh, and Yvette is a pervert.

Of course she is. She’s a woman.

Yvette, you see, likes to have sex with zombies.

I couldn’t keep the disgust off my face, “Good Lord, that’s…” Words failed me. Then I found a word. “She’s a necrophiliac.”

Anita, you are dating a man who died in the mid-sixteenth century.

This means that she is zoning in on Anita, as with her necromancy powers that she has no idea to control, she would make the perfect servant for Yvette. She could make her an army of lovers. Anita finally realises that pulling a gun on someone for no adequate reason is perhaps a bad thing to do.

The check came. We paid. We left. I made a stop at the ladies’ room on the way out and retrieved the gun.

You didn’t put it back. And why are you getting it out again?

Jean-Claude took my car keys, so I wouldn’t have to handle anything but the gun.

Why have you got the gun out?

It was a short walk from bathroom to door. Black gun against a black dress. Either no one noticed, or no one wanted to get involved. What else was new?

I think they hid under tables from the woman who very loudly and openly threaten to kill a man in public.

I mean, seriously? This is supposed to be good and reasonable? This book has four and a half stars on Amazon? And I can’t get an agent for my novel, which features no attempted murder of people for no good reason?

*growls inarticulately*

 

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13 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Burnt Offerings’ chapter eight

  1. Balthasar then goes to the police and says ‘this crazy woman pulled a gun on me!’ And Anita is arrested, all the crimes she’s committed get dug up and she is executed. This kills JC and Richard. Sylvie becomes Ulfric, Puddykins promotes some random vampire to be master of the city – perhaps Willie? And they all lived happily ever after.

  2. I love cheese, but I do not love cheesecake. Apparently I am a horrible person for liking cheesecake only when it has some other flavour with it so I don’t feel as though I went to the store, bought a stick of Philadelphia cream cheese, and ate it straight. I still don’t understand her thoughts on this subject.

    Give me key lime cheesecake any day of the week.

  3. If she wasn’t so smug about her desert preferences, I would fully support her right to eat whatever she wanted. As it is, I hope she chokes on a strawberry.

    Also, this is the most we ever see her eat in the entire series.

  4. Plain cheesecake is a bit dull for me. Though I’ll agree that strawberries are a good addition, as much as it shames me to have something in common with the fine Ms. Blake.

    And keep trying! You will find someone to novel you. If you get no results, try a different query letter. I know you can do it!

  5. Human Servants get super-strength, so Balthasar actually might be able to do something like that.

    I wonder, in a world where zombies are real, would there be a specific word for people attracted to them who weren’t into regular dead bodies?

    I LOVE ALL CHEESECAKE EQUALLY I WANT IT ALL IN MY FACE OM NOM NOM

  6. Ms. Hamilton, having Anita pull out a gun whenever she’s even remotely threatened doesn’t make me think she’s tough, or assertive, or a “strong, independent woman”; it makes me think she’s violently psychotic and should be locked away so she can’t hurt anyone. All she’s doing when she pulls a gun is making things worse, because now it’s even more likely that someone’s going to get hurt.

    Not that Anita would give a shit anyway. Because she’s a psychopath.

    • I am not at all up on Missouri laws, but I’m fairly certain Anita should have gotten arrested, or at least a warning, at some point for whipping out her guns/knives. They’re called concealed handgun licenses for a reason, and her constant threatening of people definitely qualifies as “brandishing a weapon or firearm”. Unless LKH’s Missouri has the most lax laws in the history of ever.

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