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

Anita wakes up snuggling into a bare thigh so she immediately thinks she’s asleep in her father’s lap.


I guess that’s where her anger comes from


i didn’t expect that

let’s move on

She’s actually asleep face first in Jason’s crotch, who has the sense to not make a lewd joke. This upsets Anita, as you can sense when something’s wrong with Jason when he’s not making disgusting comments. JC and Padma are arguing in French over the prone body of Rafael, the Rat King. Padma wants the wererats, even though he’s not going to be living in St. Louis and will be returning to wherever the Council is based, making this yet another pointless villain chapter.

Oh, and Sylvie is here too. Padma wants the wolves for some reason. Anita’s reaction is to be all ‘ewwww why is she here??’ and to only try and look after her friend, Rafael. Even though she made a bargain with the Traveler to save her friends, Rafael doesn’t count because…. reasons, and she isn’t leaping up to defend Sylvie.

The Traveler comes in as Hannah and says Anita can’t save Rafael because she can’t be friends with everyone, and pfffftttt she can’t make any more bargains. There’s a time limit of a day and then they’re fucked. Hey look a villain being treacherous. Didn’t expect that.

“We made a deal. I kept my end of it,” I said.

He tried to cross his arms over his chest, but had to settle for his stomach, arms cradling the breasts. Women are just not designed to look tough.

Fuck you, Hamilton. I am fed up with your fucking internalised patriarchal bullshit.

Anyway, at these winning words, the Traveler decides to let Rafael go because… I don’t fucking know. Because the fucking plot fucking says so. I am too fucked off right now for this.

Anita stops to cry over poor butchered Rafael and finally remembers that Sylvie is a human being worth caring for and fighting for. Not that she bothered but now she is sad at the sight of Sylvie.

What I saw stopped me in my tracks.

Her pants were down around her ankles, shoes still on. I took a step towards her, then another, and was almost running by the time I got to her. I slid to my knees beside her. Blood stained her thighs. Her hands were balled into fists, eyes squeezed tight. She was whispering something, very softly, over and over. I touched her arm and she flinched. Her voice rose just enough for me to heat the one word, “No, no, no.” Over and over and over like a mantra.

I was crying. I’d been talking about putting a bullet in Sylvie earlier today. Now I was crying for her. Some big tough sociopath I turned to be. I had my problems with Sylvie, but this… She didn’t even like men under the best of circumstances.

christ i

what can i say after that?

A woman was brutally raped to the point where blood is running down her legs all to make a big point about how Anita isn’t as tough as she makes herself to be and a shitty crack at lesbians. ‘Oh, being raped must be bad when you’re a lesbian’. Fuck you. This is disgusting. Rape is not a cheap plot device. There has to be a reason it is used. Here, it’s been used because it’s a crime that happens to women. That’s it. There’s no other reason. Hamilton wanted something horrific to happen to a woman, so she thought ‘i noews whut is suuuuupppper dark, lol, rape is so bad and she is a big old gay so itz even wurse’. Sylvie could have been tortured. She could have been hurt. But no, because she’s a lesbian and because she’s a woman, she gets brutally raped. It’s not acceptable when men do it, and it’s not acceptable when female misogynists do it.

Sylvie is so out of it she can’t even open her eyes, and Anita screams at Jason about touching her – ‘she won’t want a man to touch her!’. Jason is a pack member, so you’d think she’d be comforted by that, but Anita Blake: Rape Expert knows all. She then screams to find out who did it. Bearing in mind we’ve already met a horrible rapist, this should not be a surprise.

Anita remembers she is carrying a sub-machine gun, then realises that they are not made to hit precise targets in a crowd. The Traveler laughs and asks if she would want Hannah to die and laughs some more.

“Padma did not personally rape your friend,” the Traveler said. “Any unskilled man can rape, but it takes a true artist to skin a live shapeshifter.”

I guess Rafael was skinned then. Sylvie wasn’t. She was brutally raped. Don’t make make pretentious philosophical speeches about it.

Fernando walked through the door, and I knew. He might not be the only one, but he’d been one of them.

So Sylvie was gang-raped. For the sake of cheap drama and pathos for Anita.

Fernando smirks and rubs his own pubes. Like JC does when he rapes! Anita swears she will hunt down the men who hurt Sylvie and kill them all.

Sylvie now wakes up and only allows blessed Saint Anita Blake to help her. Saint Anita Blake, patron saint of gang-raped women, even though she hates the victim and wants to kill her.

Her pants were pink linen. I couldn’t find the underwear. It was gone. I knew she’d been wearing some, because Sylvie wouldn’t go without. She was a lady, and ladies didn’t do that.


Stop your sanctimonious saintly bullshit Anita and LKH.

Anita promises that she will kill the rapists. Sylvie says she won’t kill Richard now, so Anita commends her, because she would not want to kill a victim of gang-rape.





Anita leaves with Sylvie and Rafael. Fernando tries to keep Rafael, but Anita makes a crack about how Fernando is just so submissive and that’s why he’s angry. JC says about how they must go, because his presence counted for so much, and Fernando bursts into laughter. Again. Anita demands Hannah, and then Fernando kisses Anita. She pulls another gun on him, despite already having a gun out, and promises to kill him.

I am going to spend a lot of time staring out of windows after reading this.

This was awful.


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

  1. ok, now that I’ve had a few hours

    1) Bare thigh. Father. Does LKH even realize what she implies here? Given how she sexualizes EVERYTHING it seems unlikely she wouldn’t, but if Anita were meant to have been sexually abused you *know* we’d have heard about it by the current point in the series, probably repeatedly and at length. Between this, Anita’s rage at Judith for ‘replacing’ her mother, and Merry Gentry supposedly fucking her father figure in LKH’s other series (I haven’t read it so I can’t say for sure if that really was the case), LKH is raising some very skeevy subtext.

    2) Way to imply with one blow that rape by a man wouldn’t be as bad for a straight woman AND that rape by a woman instead wouldn’t be as bad for a lesbian

    3) “She didn’t even like men under the best of circumstances” This line is also phrased, at least the way I read it, to equate which gender you’re attracted to with who you like in a regular way aka Sylvie is a man-hater cuz lesbian

    4) “Women are just not designed to look tough.” I have no words on this, but a friend of mine did: Clearly she’s never watched Sailor Moon

    5) “So Sylvie was gang-raped. For the sake of cheap drama and pathos for Anita.” Pretty much. And so Anita can swear vengeance on them despite Sylvie not asking her too and it being Sylvie’s right to decide what should be done, and so she doesn’t have to do anything to, y’know, actually HELP Sylvie. Anything anyone suffers always becomes about Anita. Especially when what they suffer is sexual abuse, because that’s all LKH can think up, though in Kiss the Dead a closeted gay man’s problems are made all about Anita too because SHE GOES THROUGH THE SAME THING HAVING TO ~HIDE WHO SHE LOVES~ FROM THE MUNDANES WHO JUST ~DON’T UNDERSTAND~!

    6) The first m/m couple we meet are a pair of regular rapists. The first f/f couple we met (Yasmeen and Marguerite) were comprised of a woman who made unrelenting sexual molestations upon a protesting straight woman and a jealous insane shrieking woman who attacked said straight woman, and the two of them also partook in the sexual torture of a straight man. The second f/f pair we meet, one of them is brutally gang-raped…and the other (Gwen, Sylvie’s long-term partner, if you haven’t met her yet) is described as being blonde and dainty and compared to a doll, so I guess, unlike the strong Sylvie who challenged Anita, she didn’t need to be knocked down a peg. To my memory, no same-sex couples have appeared besides these (except JC and Asher, but they ‘need’ a woman with them, and Narcissus and Chimera but Narci is a cross-dressing intersexual so it’s not TOO gay…and also a rapist just like Chimera is, whaddya know!)

    7) Fun aside–Hannah and Sylvie are two great examples of LKH forgetting her own canon! In a later book, Sylvie says “I don’t do girls” (this was fixed in the paperback release) and Hannah is referred to as “Candy” instead. LKH blamed one or both of these on an editor, and claims Candy was originally supposed to be Hannah’s name anyway. Similarly, Vivian has somehow become Vanessa in Kiss the Dead (not sure on whether she is also Violet)

  2. According to Anita-logic, Sylvie allowing Anita to touch her makes no sense. Sylvie later reveals that Liv – ‘masculine woman’ – raped her as well. So, having been sexually assaulted by both sexes, it makes more sense that she would allow a pack member to comfort her than some bitch who wants her dead. Unless she knows that sucking up to Anita will allow her to live.

    These are supposed to be the scariest, most intelligent, most dangerous vampires. They are the political players, the ones who make the decisions. How the everloving heck have vampires not been wiped out?

  3. Remind me, why these assholes didn’t (well I dunno) CALL THE FUCKING POLICE? I mean… the Council still has to obey human laws – it’s not like they are AN OFFICIAL supernatural police, since no one on planet Earth knows about them (at least not the US government, I suppose!), which makes all their actions ILLEGAL. Anita could call to her “friends” in police and say: “Hey, there are vampire-terrorists in “Circus of the Damned”! They’re torturing, raping and coming real close to killing people, which is pretty much against US laws!” So many problems would’ve been solved and probably no one EVER got hurt!
    …………………….I just wanna hear the legitimate reason that stoped them from reporting it to law enforcement!.. Am I asking too much?.. T^T

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