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

After forty five chapters of build up, I think there might be some actual fire action in this chapter. It had better be good after all the bullshit I’ve had to wade through.

An hour later I was dressed in a Hazardous Materials suit – Haz-Mat for short.

Oh, thanks for clarifying that for me. Thanks for presuming I am a blithering idiot.

Insult to injury, there was a Self-Contained Breathing Appartus, SCBA, strapped to my back. Add Underwater and you got SCUBA, but we weren’t planning to go underwater. I was grateful for that.

I don’t understand why you had to tell me what a fucking SCUBA tank is.

There was a mask that covered the entire face instead of a mouthpiece with regulator, but other than that, it was damn close to SCUBA gear.

Thank you for explaining how you have a mask with SCUBA gear.

Anita then helpfully tells us how she knows all about SCUBA gear because she goes SCUBA diving (what’s this? A hobby? MADNESS) but she doesn’t like it at all as she suffers from claustrophobia. Huh. Really. You’d think that would have come up when she used to go caving with Richard. It’s funny, how she has claustrophobia now but it’s never been mentioned. You know what’s a weird coincidence? That LKH says she suffers with claustrophobia. Huh. How strange.

Despite the fact she’s going to be walking into a burnt out building with vampires that might potentially go crazy and attack her, Anita bitches OVER and OVER about wearing a haz-mat suit and a breathing apparatus. The firefighters say there’s a possibility of ‘disease contamination’ which is utter pigshit. It’s because the place will still be unbearably hot and the air full of ash and smoke and other things that you can’t breathe. When firefighters go into a building in those great big silver suits, they’re not wearing Haz-Mat suits, they’re wearing heat-proof suits. They don’t want to burn to fucking death, moron.

Anita bitches for two entire pages about the suit and breathing apparatus until the firefighters just give up bothering to argue. She is such a child.

I put the mask on my face. I took a breath, and that horrible sound began. It was like Darth Vader breathing except it was yours. In the water, in the dark, your breath was the only sound.

Wow atmospheric isn’t that terrifying darth anita

One of the fire officials, Wren, tries to comfort her and helps her with the straps on her suit.

He was a hard man to insult, because I’d been trying.

Why the hell were you trying to insult him? He’s helping you and being nice.

Never trust people who smile constantly. They’re either selling something or not very bright.

God help us against people BEING NICE AND POLITE.

Anita continues to complain and then runs off to get all her weapons. She talks about hoooooow illegal they are and isn’t that great (the guns she has are not illegal, not at all) and goes on about hooooooooooow claustrophobic she is. If you’re claustrophobic, then get someone else to do it. Stop making drama from this.

Remember that guy who lost his family to vampires? Anita takes a moment to insult him again. That’s what I really needed in this book. Randomly insulting people.

And Detective Reynolds is coming in. So Anita insults her too. And then says she won’t buy dresses.

This needs editing. So much.

Reynolds is really nice, and tries to make small talk with Anita. Anita responds by openly accusing Reynolds of deliberately hurting Lawrence.

I wish Anita wasn’t such a horrible person.

Everyone is told that they’re about to descend into the basement. Reynolds helpfully adjusts Anita’s mask and helmet, as she’s a good person. Anita is reminded by Wren to breathe naturally, which you’d think a diver would know how to do with a SCUBA mask on, so Anita bitches at him.

Anita walks after Wren, who goes inside and stamps on the floor. Anita screams at him for making noise, but he explains that he’s checking the viability of the floor. He tells her to follow after him exactly. Now, you can’t just give orders to Anita Blake so she immediately questions him and demands to know why she must listen to another human being. Wren is reasonable and calmly explains that he is stepping where the floor is solid, and stepping anywhere else might result in her falling through the floor. Which would be nice. I would like Anita to crash through the floor, right into a big pile of hungry vampires.

Heh heh.

They cross the room towards the basement stairs. Wren helpfully points out these are the most dangerous part of a burnt house, AND IT IS NOW ANITA’S JOB TO LEAD THEM SO HE PUSHES HER FORWARD TO GO DOWN THE STAIRS FIRST.




Anyway, Anita goes into the ‘Stygian depths’ and at the prospect of falling through the floor, she pulls out her gun. Bullets are well known for fighting the effect of gravity. The team ask why she’s holding them up, so she calls up she can’t fire her gun with the suit on. They are all very surprised that she thinks she needs a gun.

The chapter ends as she’s about to go down the stairs. Well, that’s some progress at least.



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

  1. Ugggh, yes I hate how she explains the really fucking obvious acronyms and shit to us sooo much

    also we never hear of her going diving again, I don’t think

    • It comes up again. Any time there’s need to point out how claustrophobic she is, she’ll mention some vague “diving accident”. Never gives any details about it, but it totally happened.

      • Much like her beatified and tragically deceased Mexican mother. Or the fact that Anita’s half-Latina.

      • The next book (after Blue Moon) is set in New Mexico. I am not looking forward to the spectre of her saintly mother hovering over the book.

        I maintain that her mother was horrifically abusive, which is why Anita has so many issues about women.


    ….if only she’d gone through the floor. I can happily imagine them peeling the suit back like a banana and then….

  3. This was a nice chapter. It really hit home that Anita is a surly, unpleasant lunatic surrounded by pretty nice people who are deliberately ‘handling’ her, kind of driving her psychotic behavior to point in the general direction of the unlikable monsters she usually hangs out with and away from decent, pleasant people like Reynolds and the nice firemen. By being endlessly polite and yet not worshipful, Anita loses interest in them and goes back to the creepy rapist vampires who adore her, and everybody wins.

    Also, Triple Rainbow!

  4. Okay, what? How in the world does someone feel claustrophobic while scuba-diving? There’s literally nothing around you. It would make more sense to feel agoraphobic, since you have nothing above, under, or on either side of you. Unless you’re doing a wreck or cave dive, then I understand. (Because I have never gone on those because they’re dangerous and I am just as content with the reef dives.)

    I miss SCUBA diving, but I don’t enjoy doing it because I have small nasal passages and it’s hard to equalize the pressure in my ears. So descending takes forever. My dad and I would go on double tank dives, so when he went down again on the second tank, I’d just hop off the boat and snorkel around.

    Uh, tangent.


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