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

Anita and her gang rock up to her house, with a bunch of medical equipment. Gregory and his shattered legs can’t go to the shapeshifter hospital, you see, because Fernando is at large and in charge and might kill everyone.

Yeah, Anita, if getting revenge for Sylvie was so important, why didn’t you do more with Fernando? Why did you just leave him there, to wake up and come and kill everyone? You’re fucking useless.

The only way to keep everyone safe is to set up a hostel in Anita’s house. Not going to the police, no. But just rocking into her house, which is the first place I’d look if the ex-boyfriend of a woman who threatened to kill me left me for dead.

LKH finally decides that NOW is the time and the place to inform everyone that Anita has, in fact, moved home. Thirty chapters in, Anita’s been at her house before now, and only now does she deign it time to say she’s moved from that apartment to outside St. Louis. She then goes on and on about how the house is so big and there’s too much room for just her as a little woman living on her own.

If it’s so big and so clumbersome, why did you rent it then? It must cost a lot in rent, so why not go for a smaller place? Is this just setting up for Anita living with her harem later? It makes no logical, real world sense otherwise.

oh, god, the flowers.

the flowers.

The flower bed had been some sort of admission to myself that I might be here awhile. That I couldn’t go back to an apartment or a condo. That my life didn’t allow me to have close neighbours.

Richard had remarked as we drove up. “Nice flowers.”

“I couldn’t just leave it bare.”

He made a noncommittal noise. Nearly three months from each other and even without the marks, he knew me well enough to know when not to say something. It bugged me that I had been unable to leave the flower bed barren and ripped. I hated the fact that I’d been driven to make it pretty. No, I was not comfortable with my feminine side.


Gregory is taken into the house and Anita makes a big deal about how Cherry is a nurse. She doesn’t trust Cherry and is generally unjustly disparaging. Anita then talks about Vivian and how ‘delicate, feminine, lovely’ she is despite her ‘face swollen tight with bruises’ because, you know, you need to talk about how sexy rape victims are. But Anita is smug about how Vivian sees her as her rescuer, despite not saying or doing anything to help Vivian. Or doing anything now – while Dr. Lillian is running around with Cherry, dishing out medical aid, Anita is stood alone complaining about her clothes.

I was beginning to really hate this outfit.

… then why didn’t you go home and change it when you had the chance, then. Or rip off the bottom of the dress. Or take off the heels you’re complaining about. Why don’t you ever do anything?

Vivian, despite being carried by Zane, randomly collapses onto Anita and her stupid outfit. Instead of doing anything, Anita tells Zane to get Cherry and spends two pages talking about butterflies.


Yes, two pages of talking about BUTTERFLIES is more important than the main arson plot, which has not been discussed for like, twenty chapters, the side plot about Burnt Offerings, or the other plot about the Council. Why is LKH’s pacing so abysmal?

A butterfly lands on Anita’s skin, so Cherry – the trained nurse – runs up to her and the unconscious Vivian, and immediately wants to know if Anita is hurt.


Cherry freaks out because a butterfly lands on the side of Anita’s face.

While there is a collapsed and unconscious rape victim lying on the floor.

But the butterfly is obviously a much more serious thing to worry about.

Unless it’s a robot butterfly that is capable of lasering a hole in your skull to suck out your brains, there is no way a sane person would believe someone was being attacked by a BUTTERFLY.

Cherry picks up Vivian and goes inside. Anita thinks that being attacked by someone might make you react badly, and decides she might trust Cherry.

The butterfly comes back and flies around her face so Anita pulls out her gun –

I can’t believe I just wrote that. I can’t believe I just read that. A grown woman just pulled out a gun on a butterfly. The most harmless insect there is. A symbol of purity and love. And Anita Blake thought a reasonable response is to take a gun out. Not bat it away, pull a fucking gun out.

Anita decides she looks silly, trying to shoot a butterfly (NO SHIT. NO SHIT. NO SHIT), and Warrick comes out from the random woods that now exist. He thinks that being alive in the sun is a sign from God but it’s all a bit contradictory. Butterflies flock around him, and he says his master, Morte d’Amour, wants to destroy them all. The council don’t truly believe that JC is setting up his own council, as presumably after meeting him they realised he would struggle eating doughnuts. The council thinks that as part of the legal vampires, JC will…. um, POWER. I don’t know. Warrick just talks about power and never really says what the council think JC is really up to.

“If they had come merely to kill you, Anita, they would have done so by now.”

“Then I’m confused,” I said.

You’re confused? Try reading this shit.

Anyway, Warrick is borrowing power from God and he asks Anita to bring out her cross. She does, and it has no effect on Warrick.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the cross didn’t always glow around all vampires. It seemed to wait for one that meant me harm, though there were exceptions both ways.


Why does Guilty Pleasures – and all vampire related businesses in this universe – demand that humans give up their religious relics when to a cloakroom girl, then? If holy objects ONLY work when vampires intend to hurt people, then why have this blanket rule? I would presume that any vampires in the service industry are not out to kill and destroy all humans, so why even have this rule? Why can’t the rules of this universe be consistent? Why the constant restrictions and amendments that make no sense?

Oh, and Warrick can call butterflies and this is a sign of forgiveness from God. This would be a nice moment if:

  • I gave a flying fuck about Warrick.
  • Anything he said made sense
  • anita didn’t whine and bitch about how pathetic it is. and then say ‘well, i’m not going to bitch?’

Warrick then talks about how Anita is a person of honour who helps and protects the weak. I’m currently running on safe mode, so my brain isn’t melting, but just… no. No. No. No. No.

He goes off happily into the woods, surrounded by a cloud of butterflies.




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

  1. Awwwww, poor Dottie. You look like you need a hug. *hug*

    Here, I know a way to cheer up. Go outside. Find a butterfly. And then DON’T pull a gun on it like a fucking lunatic. That should make the world seem so much brighter!

  2. I like how LKH has to beat us over the head with ANITA IS NOT A GIRLY-GIRL GUYS GUYS DID YOU GET THAT ANITA IS NOT A GIRLY-GIRL DO YOU GET IT. Like, it really ties the whole thing together.

    …I have a headcanon that Cthulhu eventually wakes up early due to Anita’s constant griping, and just eats all of them. And then goes back to beddie-bye.

  3. I can see where pulling a gun on a butterfly, or being concerned about butterflies at all, makes sense. Well, one scenario where it makes sense to have even the slightest bit of concern over a fun of the mill butterfly. And that is in the case of my 26 year old cousin, who has a phobia of them.

  4. Oh yes, the “I wanted to plant something, I AM SO GIRLY AARGGHH.” I’m pretty much known as being a tomboy and very willing to get dirty (hell, I work at a car wash which means I am covered in crap by the end of my shift), but I am a planting fiend. Especially come spring, and I can then buy lots of smelly awesome flowers that attract butterflies and bees (we need bees).
    But I forget; wanting to plant flowers and herbs in pots makes me a girly girl now.

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