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


Hi all! I am back!

What basically happened is that I was making French toast, and when I dropped the bread in the frying pan, oil flew out and went all over my right hand and along my jaw. It was rather painful, and as the burns were starting to raise blisters, I went to Royal London Hospital A&E. I got bandaged up, but the timely application of a cold towel prevented serious injury. Douglas Adams was right – a towel is REALLY important to have with you.

My bandages are now off, and the burns are partially healed. The bad one on the back of my hand has blistered a little bit, and I’m waiting for these to go down. The big burn is still sore, but it’s not serious.

Which means I can go right on back to reviewing Anita. You know, I swear some of the problems in the Anita books is caused by the fact there’s one published every year. LKH doesn’t give herself the time to think about them and edit them them to make them good.

Anita walks around her front garden, and Ronnie Sims drives up. Oh, it’s running time, and Anita been so busy she hasn’t had time to cancel. She thinks about her gun, and how it doesn’t bother Ronnie.

If you were privileged enough to be allowed a carry permit for your gun, you didn’t flash it around. Deliberately flashing your gun in public without just cause is called ‘brandishment’ and can get your permit revoked. It’s like a new vampire flashing fangs. It’s a sign of a amateur.

If this is true, then YOU BREAK THE LAW ALL THE GODDAMNED TIME. You are constantly whipping out that phallic symbol* when you feel threatened or annoyed. You should have been charged with brandishment in every book!

Ronnie is with Louie, the were-rat professor, and they are giggling and holding hands. Anita says that they are in a relationship, but didn’t even need to know that to know it. It’s almost like KISSING and HOLDING HANDS are obvious signs of a couple.

I wasn’t sure they were in love, but lust, that I was sure of.

Get you, Mistress Smug-Pants. God forbid two consenting adults have fun together. Women can only be happy in deep, committed relationships with guys who love them, like JC and Anita.

Louie smells that something has been going on, and asks what has been going on.

Gregory was lying on my couch, still drugged into blissful unconsciousness. Louie stopped in his tracks. Of course, maybe it wasn’t just the wereleopard. There was a large Persian rug underneath my white couch and chair. It wasn’t my rug.

I mean, Persian rugs are often more shocking that a man with both legs crippled and broken lying on a sofa in someone’s living room. Ronnie and Louie back and forth about how it’s Stephen’s identical twin, and Anita chips in and says he is a good guy now. I remember Gregory being the guy torturing and sexually abusing his twin in the last book, but whatever. Now he’s seriously injured, that means he’s good now.

We then learn that Anita’s bedroom is the one in the first floor; now, I know that means the ground floor in American English. And so, why does anyone, when they rent a massive house, have their bedroom on the ground level? Well, unless renovation work, or problems with stairs, or something like that. I just find it odd that someone would have their bedroom in what is I guess the dining room; especially seeing as rooms are built for purpose, and it wouldn’t have as many electric points, or wardrobe space, or crap like that in it.

Random mind tangent, sorry. I just find it odd.

Richard is drilling holes in the ceiling for unexplained reason, and being standoffish because JC has sent Anita a great big penguin toy. It’s signed with a note saying ‘Something to sleep with when I am not with you’ which is both a sweet idea and creepy as there is a nasty overtone of ‘I SHOULD ALWAYS BE THE ONE TO SLEEP WITH YOU’ and I am not sure that the toy doesn’t come with in-built web camera.

Richard is feeling slightly unhappy about being in the midst of relationship stuff with Anita, so Anita gets pissy at him for no good reason. I have a feeling I may have to copy and paste that sentence a lot. She sighs about how horribly complicated it is, and smiles. Richard naturally thinks she is laughing at him and bristles.

Anita walks out because SHE CAN’T DEAL WITH THE DRAMA and wanders into the bathroom. JC has had a whole load of candles set up around the bath tub.

He’d chosen peppermint candles. He loved scented candles that smelled edible. His food fetish was showing.

Yeah, that sexy smell of peppermint.

I mean, when I think of peppermint, I just… think of my grandmother.

 

 

No, I can’t try and make jokes about that, I just start to feel ick. Peppermints are what grandmothers eat. Peppermint should never be a smell used for sexy times.

JC left a card saying how much he wants to bone Anita, and she gets cross that she has to care about other people and not have sex.

If Richard had dumped me for another woman, I wouldn’t have taken it quite as badly as he was taking it, but I couldn’t have stayed in a house and listened to him have sex with the other woman.

Shut up Anita. Richard is allowed to be angry and hurt. You didn’t dump him. You nagged him into killing another human being and then ran off to cheat (well, rape, but in canon it’s amazing consensual sex. Apparently) on him with the guy you had sworn you would never sleep with as he threatened to, you know, kill Richard.

Instead of being a good person, Anita faffs around about her clothes. She spends ages picking out this amazingly wonderful outfit of blue jeans, blue tank top, and white Nikes. No, wait – white Nikes with a black swoosh. Colour me thrilled… well, she shoved her gun in the front of her underwear, I’m hoping she manages to shoot herself in the fanny. It would stop all future problems.

There’s a long paragraph of Anita tidying away her guns. Fascinating.

The trick about having this many loaded guns is that you don’t dare leave them lying around.

NO SHIT THAT YOU LOCK AWAY LOADED GUNS

NO SHIT

Lycanthropes are great in a fight, but most of them don’t seem to know one end of a gun from the other.

It’s almost like if you know nothing about guns, you know nothing about guns.

Anita then calls machine guns ‘nifty’ and just…. no. It’s a sub-machine gun. It is something designed to mow down large groups of people in war. They are not fun. They are things designed to kill lots of people. Do not glamorise guns.

Gregory has his legs put in ‘traction’ which I guess is something to do with the ceiling holes, and starts screaming, so Anita runs away before Richard can lecture about having loaded weapons lying around the house. She runs to the kitchen, where Ronnie, Louie and Jamil are waiting, and she complains about how big her kitchen is and how she’d never have chosen it for herself.

Except that you did choose it for yourself. When you decided to rent the house. You saw the kitchen, and decided you would like to live there. Renting a house is not a forced scenario. The letting agent doesn’t make you sign the contract at gun point.

The kitchen has a big bouquet of flowers from JC, who hasn’t realised that sending multiple gifts saying SEXHS ME PLUZE is not romantic, but is creepy. There are twelve white roses and one red rose. It is symbolic. Or something.

Jamil has been telling Ronnie and Louie what has been going on, as talking about guns and clothes and how mean Richard is was more important than the plot.

OH FUCK THIS

JC has bought her a brand new espresso machine, which is signed with a note about how it’ll warm her body heheheheh, and he signed it off with one word in French, so Anita goes off on one about how precious JC still confuses French words in his speech and that he often writes french words, becuause people have real problems with second languages, even though JC has probably been speaking and writing English for at least four hundred years. His English is probably better than mine.

Ronnie is disproving, making her a wonderful person. Or it might be because after going on and making such a big deal about putting it away, Anita suddenly whips out her sub-machine gun from hammer space and leaves it on the floor to have coffee. Well, she really wants to luxuriate in Jamil’s ass kissing, as he goes on and on about how Anita is totes the most amazing and powerful lupa ever ever in the whole history of werewolves.

Excuse me while I vomit out of my nose.

And then there’s even more ass-kissing, as the wolves go on about how she was able to pull him out of a rage, and Richard is so awful when he flies into a rage, and more and more making Richard into an asshole now they’re not dating. I mean, you all know I didn’t like Richard, but it was for other reasons rather than his apparent massive anger issues that make him into a frothing destructive maniac.

Louie says that Richard needs her, which is a clear sign that he hates Anita.

I don’t blame him if he does, but I have no idea how that’s the sign.

Anita complains how she’s bound to Richard for eternity and Richard comes in at this precise point. OH DEAR! He talks about the symbolism of the bouquet of flowers and goes to smash them. He finds the thorn and bleeds everywhere! SYMBOLISM!

Anita snits about how childish he is, and they descend into an argument based on puns. Bad puns. And she says ‘I will if he will’ which is something that children say.

He put one finger in his mouth in slow motion, like he’d just eaten some finger-lickin’ good chicken.

This book has four and a half stars on Amazon. This book has four and a half stars on Good Reads. This is a serious book.

Richard asks to use the bath for his finger wound, and sarcastically asks if Anita wants to join him. He is angry, and this makes her cry.

“I didn’t join Jean-Claude in the rub, Richard. He joined me. Maybe if you hadn’t been such a frigging boy scout, it’d be you I was with right now and not him.”

Hang on, lady.

  • I don’t call killing someone the actions of a boy scout
  • In fact, you were annoyed with the fact that Richard was too good and too willing to ignore the darker side of life
  • It annoyed you how he had a conscience and didn’t like you murdering people
  • Anita, you said that YOU WANTED TO WAIT UNTIL YOU WERE MARRIED. YOU HAD REASONS TO NOT WANT TO SLEEP WITH HIM. THEY WERE DUMB, BUT HE RESPECTED YOUR CHOICES.
  • Stop coming up with excuses for how you dumped him!
  • It is nothing to do with Richard’s problems, but to do with you thinking rape is romantic and being a hypocritical bitch.
  • SHUT THE FUCK UP ANITA

Richard says ‘well, you’re easy, it took one good fuck for you’ and Anita slams her coffee mug down. Which means serious business.

“You bastard,” I said. “It took us both to get where we are, Richard.”

No.

Sorry, but no.

Your relationship broke down because of you, Anita. And JC’s rape, but again, as it is consensual in-canon, I have to refer to it as so.

But, yeah, NO.

“Do your high ideals keep you warm at night, Richard? Does your moral highground make you less lonely?”

Mock the guy who you made tear the heart out of another human being. Does your lack-of-moral lowground make YOU happy? She tells Richard to let it all go, but I think he has every right to feel hurt. Seeing as it only happened three months ago. And Anita is rubbing it in his face and being rude at every opportunity.

He storms out and Anita bursts out crying. I had no idea she was capable of feeling human emotions. I’m not entirely sure that her eyes aren’t leaking PURE LIES.

* Of course, the silly idea that guns are a phallic metaphor is a phallusy.

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

  1. In regard to your injury, I think you’ll extra-appreciate this bit about Nicky cooking during Kiss the Dead: “That he’d put on a shirt to protect himself from the bacon he was frying up in a pan was all the concession I’d ever seen Nicky make to domesticity.”

    ANITA FUCKING *LOVES* FLASHING HER GUN, GOOD LORD

    Ronnie gets chewed out later in the series for being ~a huge slut~ if that surprises you any.

    I’ve likewise never met anyone who had their bedroom on the first/ground floor if their house had more than one floor.

    • A concession? Not only does it make ‘domesticity is icky’ an issue again, it’s like he’s only just acknowledging how serious and painful oil burns are. Because motherfucker hasn’t had them yet and they are not nice.

      Oh, but Ronnie is nice. She is the main character LKH wants – tough as old boots, but still warm and funny.

      It’s just weird. Considering Anita is never home and doesn’t have any hobbies or interests, what does she use her upstairs for?

      • I’m fairly certain that, in the alternate-universe that this is a fanfic of, Ronnie is the protagonist.

  2. Guns.

    I HATE GUNS.

    ….you know, I don’t actually recall her ever saying her house actually *has* a second floor. I could be wrong, but it makes her mentioning the bedroom on the “first floor” then very odd. Then again, maybe she does, and she’s too stupid to realize that putting her bedroom on the second floor would make sense, security-wise.

    Also, I feel you in solidarity, sort of; I burned the side of my hand with steam while cooking dinner Saturday night. It wasn’t very bad (it looks like a reddish bruise now), but damn did it burn like hell, and I felt quite stupid.

  3. Here’s some new head-canons to explain all this crazy shit, and all based on the fact that we only ever have Anita’s word for these things. Feel free to pick whichever you prefer:

    A) Anita is actually crazy, and has been for some time. After killing all those people back in Laughing Corpse, she had a psychotic break, and the only way she could survive was to remind herself that everyone she killed was a bad guy. Except her crazy mind took it too far, and now she assumes anyone who doesn’t like her is bad.

    B) Anita isn’t quite as immune to JC’s mind control as she thought. Over the course of several books, he’s slowly warped her perceptions and memories to make her more useful to him. She managed to resist for a while when she started dating Richard, so JC manipulated things so that Richard would be forced to take action against his pack. When Anita finally saw Richard wolf-out, it completely broke her, allowing JC to completely reshape her mind.

    Of course, neither of these explain why Anita was the way she was back in Guilty Pleasures, so she’s probably always been kind of a bitch.

      • Given how Anita never seems to accept the blame for anything, they made sense.

        And on to other things:

        “Traction”, as far as medical stuff goes, is what’s used to straighten out broken bones. You know in tv shows or movies, when they show someone in a hospital with their leg in a cast being held up by ropes and stuff? That’s traction. In this case, they presumably put hooks or something in the ceiling holes to loop the rope through.

        Also, re: Anita’s kitchen. There’s the distinct possibility that she didn’t pick the house. I wouldn’t be surprised if JC picked it out for her – he’s a controlling douche like that.

      • I didn’t know that – I would never have put the word ‘traction’ with those leg suspender thingies.

        Oh god now i think he must have chosen a house for her and made her move. what a douche.

      • If he didn’t, she probably would have been kicked out anyway, what with all the violence and dead bodies. Even nice landladies will only put up with so much.

  4. I think you are too kind to LKH excusing her for publishing too often. Think about the quality of the great PTerry’s writing and he has published even more frequently than she has.

  5. Oh ho! I had forgotten that the brandishing laws are actually brought up in the books. So, LKH confirms they exist and yet Anita is never arrested? You would think some rookie cop who doesn’t recognize her, as there are so many it seems, would at least pull his badge and issue her a citation.

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