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


Anita phones Thomas at the Circus. Have we ever met Thomas? He’s not on my tags, so I guess not. Consistency! She tells him that she’s coming to talk to the Traveler…. so she puts the phone down and then the Traveler rings up.

You can be reductive in your writing, you know. You do not have to describe every single fucking step in the process of getting in touch with the Traveler. It could be as simple as ‘I phoned up the Circus and began making threats until the Traveler would talk to me’. More words does not equal better story telling.

Especially as this is how Anita sums up the last five chapters.

I explained as briefly as possible.

Bad writer! Be better!

Anita yells at the Traveler for feeding from the vampires, making them rise early, and the Traveler pouts as this would mean he would eat humans. Anita says she has the authority of the law (without saying why she’s threatening him with the law) but the Traveler pooh-poohs the idea of ‘human law’.

How the hell as the Traveler lasted so long being so stupid? I hate it, in urban fantasy books where supernatural creatures have integrated with society, that the supernatural creatures refuse to live by human law and mock it. You have made the choice to be part of human society! That means you have to live by human laws and live with the consequences of human law. Otherwise, why the fuck have you put the vampires or zombies or whatever in a human society? If you are not going to explore the ramifications of it, then why even have it at all? You might as well have Anita Blake as a police officer who is one of the only humans in the world who is aware of vampires.

This is the reason why I dislike LKH’s writing, even in these early ‘good’ books. She has a great premise, but she’s too lazy to do anything with it.

The Traveler then tries to claim that the Vampire Council don’t actually have any jurisdiction over any vampires.

Wow.

The Vampire Council have just been made ENTIRELY POINTLESS.

“We are vampires, Anita. Do you not understand what that means? We are apart from your world. What happens to you does not affect us.”

… then why are you even in human society if vampire society is soooo apart from everyone else.

Give up your businesses, give up the pretence of anything resembling a human life. Give up money. Give up air travel. Go sleep in a fucking cave and lap blood from cows. Because otherwise, you are in human society and what happens in our world has ramifications for vampires.

Anita points out that fanatics are trying to kill vampires and that vampires are legal citizens. It is a very rare occasion when Hannah is allowed to speak out.

The Traveler insults all of humanity and lols at the idea of society. This guy has lived for a thousand years how, exactly?

If you are writing vampires, don’t make them so moronic that I can’t believe they would last one year of life. That’s no way to make me believe in your world.

(Readers of the ongoing Story on Sunday, this is your hint to rise up and praise me like Tru Fanz.)

(You don’t have to do this.)

(This joke hasn’t exactly worked.)

(Ducks.)

Anita calls the Traveler with a parasite, which is true but unwise. The Trav gets all flustered but Anita continues making great points.

“But welcome to the twentieth century, because that’s what legal status means. Once you’re citizens who pay taxes, own businesses, marry, inherit, have children, you can’t hide in some crypt somewhere and count the decades. You are a part of our world.”

I THINK I SEE WHY YOU GUYS LIKED ANITA IN THE FIRST PLACE

SHE IS A PERSON WHO MAKES LOGIC

SHE ARGUES A POINT VALIDLY

WITHOUT BEING INSULTING

I CAN SAY THAT THIS CHAPTER IS THE VERY BEST OF ANITA BLAKE. AS A CHARACTER. NOT AS A SERIES.

oh and then anita solves the problem for which she was even phoning the trav and i feel sad

she just thinks ‘oh yeah i can put the vamps in body bags’

and she apologises to the trav because…. reasons, i think. there must be reasons but i have no idea what they are.

so the council are not going to help with the vampires

i think that was the gist of the chapter.

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9 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Burnt Offerings’ chapter forty four

  1. Thomas Carswell, I guess? Padma’s Human Servant? He’s the only character I know of by this name, and he’s in this book.

    I don’t know how ANY of the vampires have lasted this long being so stupid!

    “She has a great premise” AND IT DRIVES ME NUTS. IT DRIVES ME NUTS HOW SHE NEGLECTS AND RUINS IT, IT DRIVES ME NUTS I DIDN’T GET THERE FIRST!

    • Anita speaks to him as if he’s a regular member of staff at the Circus, and my brain goes ‘prrrrpt’ on them. They are all the same, and I can’t be bothered to remember the names.

      You can still create a UF universe where supernatural creatures are integrated with humans. Because aside of Discworld, I can’t think of a book series that has done it well. All series I’ve seen the trope used, there is always something really, really moronic or the author did it and didn’t think through all the consequences. I’m really picky when it comes to stuff like that – if I don’t see vampires using laundrettes, buying porn, or getting parking tickets, I do not think your universe is realistic. Because vampires may be vampires, but they still need clean clothes and have to follow the law. And buy copies of ‘Underwired Babes with Clean Necks Monthly!’

      • Hahaha and there’s the rub—I’m really NOT sure I could do it well at all!

        And yeah, LKH claims all those types exist, but the few times we see them (I can only think of twice since I started sporking)…it never turns out well for the poor things. Not sexy enough I ugess :C She prefers to just write a bunch of fancy secluded romnticized Rice ripoffs. Which is fine if that’s your gig, but ffs promise that instead of promising integreated everyday-people vamps instead!

      • I’m sure you can. I BELIEVE IN YOU. Just explore the world with short stories first, I think – ask how vampires change their lifestyle or make accommodations. Do they have deals with kosher or halal butchers? If they can get about in the day, do they wear veils, etc? Are there different types depending on where they’re from? How do they drive cars?

        I am fighting the sexy on the Sunday story. The default adventures for vampires seems to always land on ‘crazy blood orgy’ and I’m trying to avoid that.

  2. ….I am so giggling at Ben’s happy face. With RAINBOWS.

    The fact LKH could have such a fascinating world, yet neglect it so terribly, is probably the #1 problem we “haters” all have. Outside of the terrible porn, anyway. I’m really trying to think of another novel that dealt with vampires as normal people…maybe Anno Dracula, or Christopher Golden’s Shadow Saga (of which there’s another book! Holy crap on a cracker!). I can’t think of too many, annoyingly.

    Not that the vampires do their laundry. They just bitch about things like rent, or how people are assholes to them when they’re walking to the store. That sort of thing.

    • I feel so silly now for forgetting about Anno Dracula – it’s one of my favourite book series, and I was going to talk about it for the recommendation I post at the end of every Anita book.

      I thought the only time Anita impressed me merited rainbows. All the rainbows.

      • Anno Dracula is the best series. I still remember first finding it, not realizing for years that he’d actually written two sequels and some short stories later on. Bought the new updated versions, and just added Johnny Alucard to the set when it came out. I am really, really hoping it means he’ll be writing more (and hopefully, before another decade passes).

  3. What’s it say that I accidentally skipped this summary the first time through and didn’t even notice? Or that, in the summaries of an earlier book, I skipped somewhere around ten chapters and didn’t notice?

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