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

I’ve started work on ‘So, You Want To Write a Female Anti-Hero’ and uh, it’s probably going to be over 4,000 words. I talk a lot in it. I talk a lot.

Anita and JC sit in the car after the Phantom of the Jeep has flown off into the night. She quips some Wizard of Oz and JC says how amazing Asher is. The door is opened by Liv, a vampire who appeared for two chapters in the last book and was a meanie, appears at the car door.

She was grinning like a Cheshire cat, very pleased about something. She wore a black sports bra and high-cut jogging shorts so that all that body-building muscle gleamed in the street lights.

But why is she wearing that? Is it to show that she’s mean because she dresses in a way which shows her body off?

“What canary did you eat?” I asked.

She frowned at me. “What?”

“The cat that ate the canary,” I said.

She continued to frown. Liv’s English is perfect, no accent of any kind. Sometimes I forget that it’s not her first language. A lot of the vamps have lost their original accents but they still don’t understand all the slang.

Liv has been speaking English longer than you have, Anita. The phrase ‘the cat that ate the canary’ has been around since at least the mid-nineteenth century, so I’m not sure how Liv is so perplexed by it. She probably speaks better English than I do.

JC explains what Anita meant, as Anita is incapable of speaking for herself. Liv, it seems, has a new master who has made her immune to silver bullets. The only one capable of doing that is some guy called ‘The Traveler’ and JC doesn’t think anything as ‘feminine’ as Liv is worthy of his attention. Liv says that nuh uh, he’s her new master.

“Then what’s going on?”

“The council will be very careful to observe the rules, ma petite. The Circus is a public business, this the council might have crossed the threshold uninvited. Instead, they found someone to invite them inside.”

I stared at the smirking vamp in the back of my Jeep –

Liv isn’t in your car. She’s leaning against the door.

– “She betrayed us?”

laser anger eyes


I stared down the barrel of the gun at Liv’s smiling face. I could have pulled the rigger and not worried about it. She’d done all the damage she could so. It wasn’t like I’d be killing her to save us. I didn’t want, or not want, to pull the trigger. I simply thought she deserved to die for betraying us. Not anger, or even outrage, just good business. It was a bad precedent to allow anyone to betray you and survive. It set a bad example.

Anita has the gall to say that she can’t kill anyone ‘coldly’ after this, and that killing ‘should mean something’ after giving a monologue worthy of a mafia boss. She works for the justice department and she thinks that retribution killings are good.

After thinking that shooting Liv is bad, Anita immediately thinks that she ought to shoot her. Trying to go through the logic spirals of this book is impossible.

Anita snaps on her wrist sheaths, because brining even more weapons into a volatile situation is such a good idea.

Liv scooted out of the car to stand near me. She’d lifted a few too many weights to cross her arms comfortably, but she was trying. Trying for that nonchalant bodyguard look.

I get it – Liv’s a meanie. Stop rubbing it in my face.

JC makes Anita wear Asher’s coat to cover the knives. Liv tries to ‘roll’ Anita with her eyes. I think that means ‘mind control’ but why did she choose the word ‘roll’ all of a sudden? It makes me think she’s trying to make Anita do a gymnastic routine. JC suggests that Anita volunteer herself for the routine to see if The Traveler can bestow gifts that manage to overpower her super speshul necromancer powers that are meant to be so amazing.

The Traveler does turn out to be more powerful, and Anita is almost hypnotised. Guess you should spend some time working on your necromancy Anita. JC thinks it’s that she’s too powerful to hold, but I think it’s because she’s a lazy assmunch.

Anita thinks how she’s too arrogant – finally, something we can agree on – and walks to the back of the Jeep. Surprise! Edward left her an Uzi! It’s totally safe and legal for her to run around with a submachine gun! And Anita immediately thinks about how much she wants to shoot Liv! I hate this book! I hate this book!

JC says he must punish Liv, so he insults her and says how disgusting she is as a woman, before promptly ripping her throat out. Anita sighs about how beautiful he is, and feels no pity for Liv flopping around on the floor like a fish. But she’ll heal, so JC will take her back into his clan or whatever and… god, I hate JC. I hate him so much.

JC and Anita hold hands and skip off to meet the Vampire Council.

I need cheesecake right now.


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

  1. OOoh, I would be most interested in seeing that essay!

    Yes. Any woman that shows off her body in any way is bad. Except Anita. Duh.

    I think Liv is perplexed on why Anita is coming out of nowhere with that remark trying to sound clever.

    The Traveller is gay, and therefore he can never be interested in a woman in any way, even for purely functional purposes like recruiting someone as his soldier or lackey. Oh, and to make matters better, his special vampire power is possessing peoples bodies, and he his Human Servant Balthasar are lovers who enjoy the game of having sex with the Traveller in the body of a different possessed man each time…which of course means that the actual owners of these bodies are being forced against their will to have sex. Our first gay male couple, one of which is specifically stated as exclusively gay, and their idea of a good time is raping men, to the point it’s a regular part of their sex life.

    …how disgusting she is as a woman? What, because she’s muscular? Oh SHUT UP JC, GO DIE IN THE SUNLIGHT SOMEWHERE!

  2. I feel like there are at least three equally horrible versions of Anita sharing space inside her skull. Like, there’s the good (HA) Mary Sue Speshul Snowflake, who’s so much better than everyone else at everything for ever and always amen; the cold-blooded I WILL KILL ALL OF THE THINGS one; and then there’s the Super Ultra Mega Sexual one, which is currently sort of just waking up and getting more active in the series. And all three horrible versions of her are just warring for control of the very limited brainpower at all times.

  3. I really fucking hate how LKH feels the need to explain mundane things to everyone like we’re all fucking stupid. JC knows what “cat that ate the canary” is, but Liv doesn’t? That doesn’t even make sense, especially since I think Liv is older than JC (maybe not, but she’s close and it’s still stupid). That entire exchange was just an opportunity for LKH to explain something that she thinks none of her readers will understand because she thinks they are all morons. She does it constantly through the books and she does it constantly in her stupid blog posts. That and her “no one understand how tortured and darkity dark I am cause I’m a writer!!!” crap. Ugh. UGH!! FUCK YOU, LKH!!

    ASDLSKJFLDKSJSJSK…..sorry…it just REALLY makes me hostile…

    • It does make Anita much less compelling, because she never seems to struggle or have to think on her feet. Take Spooks, for instance. The characters in Spooks never have access to their weapons or tools that they need. They are always using what’s around them to save their skins.

      Or Macguyver.

  4. That whole “it’s just business” thing is practically straight out of The Godfather. Except Michael Corleone was cold and intimidating, while Anita is just small and angry.

    Also, I’m really confused about what JC says about the council getting inside the Circus. If they could get inside without needing an invitation, how does it follow that someone must have invited them in? Is this just more of LKH’s crappy writing, or just giving Anita & JC some kind of justification for beating Liv up?

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