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

Keep sending your suggestions in! I’ll try to write the post before the end of the week – before I move to London for my MA on Saturday and I’ll be a leeetle bit busy for introspection and analysis of character design and motivation.

The Circus of the Damned is in a converted warehouse. From the front it looks like a carnival with posters promoting the freak show, and dancing clowns twirling on top of the glowing sign. From the back, it’s just dark.

What was the point in saying that? Why does the Circus – which is not a circus, and is not for children – decorated with clowns? What is the point in saying that, shocker, the back of a converted warehouse looks like a converted warehouse? Why is no one actually fucking reading what LKH is writing and realising how bad it is and how much she needs an editor?

Anita parks her Jeep – even though she did that in the last chapter… – and goes on about how silent JC and Asher are.

Mammals can freeze, but a rabbit frozen waiting for the fox to pass is a vibrating thing. It breathes fast and faster. Its heart pounds. Vampires are more like snakes. A snake will put a length of its body out, then freeze. There is no sense of movement stopped. No sense that movement will continue. In that moment of frozen time a snake seems unreal, more like a work of art, something carved rather than something alive. Jean-Claude seemed to have fallen into a well of silence where movement, even breath, was forbidden.

That is half of a good analogy. That is true of rabbits. However, LKH is choosing to conveniently ignore for the snake of her pretty analogy is that the fox, that mammal you brushed over, can freeze and wait. It’s a predator. It has to be still and stealthy in order to catch prey. A fox can be so still and silent as to dissolve away into the background that you don’t even know it’s there. But no, that’s not the point. This whole paragraph is to show off LKH’s biology skills (*snigger*) and that JC is, like, so beautiful and so hawt.

Oh, and Asher has ‘a perfect golden presence’ and his silence ‘filled the Jeep like icy water’. Suck my ovaries, Hamilton.

Anita asks if she’ll be patted down with weapons, but I’m sure that any organisation worth its salt would do this anyway. Especially when they know about Anita and how trigger happy she is by now.

“This is a challenge, ma petite. They will let us be dangerous. Though I would not flaunt your weaponry. Your little gun is fine.”

Well, I’m sure that’s prize worthy. Page 76, and the ‘villainous organisation of death and fear’ are already entirely incompetent and pointless as antagonists. LKH clearly can’t be bothered to put any effort into them. What group of people say ‘hey, this woman already almost killed one of our emissary’s today, let’s allow her to walk in armed to the teeth – what’s the harm in that?’.

Anita then just drones on and on about how amazing Asher’s eyes are, and how blue and beautiful they are, and ermmeghedd he’s so perfect.

“The same vamp made you both, right? […] Where’d she go?” I asked. “Unnaturally-Beautiful-Studs-R-Us?”

This displeases Asher, as he wants her to be terrified.

“What can I say? I’m a hair and eye person, and you have great hair and amazing eyes.”

THIS GUY THREATENED TO TORTURE YOU. Stop going on about how amazing and beautiful and perfect he is when he wants to slice your skin off inch by inch and rape you with farm tools!

But no, she is afraid. She’s afraid of his hate.

Bitch should be afraid of my hatred.

“Hatred makes us all ugly,” I said.






plus how ugly do I look right now?


Asher hisses at her, because wow how terrifying, and he strips off his overcoat to reveal…. a tweed suit jacket!


Did something happen?

Asher starts unbuttoning his shirt to flash off his scars. Oh god, not another scar flasher.

He bared his chest to the light, shirt still carefully tucked into his pants.

What? How? How do you undo your shirt and pull it open without untucking it from your trousers?

The scars dribbled down his flesh like someone had drawn a dividing line down the center of his body. One half pale and perfect, the other half monstrous. They’d been more careful of his face and neck. They had not been careful of his chest.

NO SHIT. That’s kinda what the preceding sentence was implying.

The scars cut deep runnels. The skin so melted that it didn’t even look real anymore. The scars flowed down his stomach into the belted top of his pants.

I stared because that’s what he wanted me to do.


oh i’m so scared, i’m quaking in my skinnies

His scars were wide and fierce and fearful. “The scars go all the way down,” he said.

Bet cha dollars to donuts they didn’t burn his penis off. If I was a torturous member of the French Inquisition – and for all you know, I could be – that’s the first thing I’d do. Because when I torture people, I’m not aiming for a ‘badass’ aesthetic. I’m looking to fucking torture people.

then this happens. I… don’t understand.

“I asked you once before, Asher. What do you want me to say?”

He pushed himself as far away from me as he could back against the Jeep’s door. “Why doesn’t she look away? Why doesn’t she hate me? Why isn’t she disgusted with this body?”

… are you asking me?

I don’t know, dude. I just want to know if you were castrated by the Catholic church and whether that’s the source of your impotent rage.*

He yelled, “Why don’t I see in her eyes what I see in everyone’s eyes?”

Are these deleted lyrics from Phantom of the Opera? Who talks like this outside of a musical?

“You do not see horror in my eyes, mon ami,” Jean-Claude said.

“No,” Asher said, “I see worse. I see pity!”

He then flings himself out of the Jeep, presumably to go and make chandeliers crash all over St. Louis. But whatever, I’m past caring at this point.


*And that is how you write a recursive pun.




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

  1. The same vampire making JC and Asher is a canon bump. Sometimes it’s that they were both made by Belle Morte, but sometimes it’s that JC was made by a vampire named Lisette.

    Asher was such PotO fanfic from the start when it came to his ‘romance’ with Anita

    Oh by the way–this book is the last time you’ll probably even hear about the Queen of Nigthmares. Despite supposedly being the current Council head, LKH seems to have forgotten she exists. We have yet to learn anything about her personality or powers, and she’s not brought up even in books in which the Council is important, such as Bullet where MOAD is possessing them and they’re all mentioned except for QoN. I think maybe LKH confused her with Morvoren/Moroven/Nemhain, progenitor of the fear-vamp/nighthag line, given her name, but they have to be two separate people because Moroven isn’t on the Council and QoN is.

    • Why can’t she follow the plots of her own fucking books? I have so MUCH RAGE right now, that is only alleviated by how hilarious I find Asher to be. This is what she thinks makes a charismatic and intriguing anti-hero? Crap on a cracker.

      • I will say this for him–by Bullet, he was the only one of her lovers left with a spine and who called her out on some of her crap (naturally he is portrayed as a pissy whiner baby for it, and the problem is solved by an orgy)

  2. Speaking of orgies (no, not really), I finally got around to reading that blog post you mentioned a few chapters ago.

    I think I may be proud of being a hater, just because she really accomplishes nothing in that blog but her usual “But I don’t actually suck, THEY do” whine.

    Plus, I don’t think I managed to read “At the end of the day, I am happy to be in the camp that creates, builds, and tries to make the world a better, more positive place” without laughing. Positive creations always come from horribly self-indulgent fiction.

    • I can understand being frustrated that people are rushing to post negative reviews of a work not already published – I think that is unfair – but the whole post smacks of ‘I am above criticism! Anyone who says anything negative about my work is just a troll and their opinions are invalid!’.

      No. Just no. People are allowed to think badly of your work. That’s how things work. Bitching about it doesn’t change anything. It just makes you sound as if you can’t deal with the process of human opinion.

      • Apparently people aren’t even doing that though and she’s making it up. According to Lashouts, there is only *one* premature review up and it’s a 5-star one. The blog post does seem to have caused the Affliction topic on the Amazon forums back on the Most Active list, so maybe that was her goal with making these claims.

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