A reivew of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Blue Moon’ chapter one


I am not looking forward to this book. I know bad things happen in this book. Well, bad things have happened in all of the books so far, but this one is about sexual assault explicitly. And I think no good can happen from the 418 pages and forty six chapters of Blue Moon.

I mean, you can smell the bad on this one. Just look at the cover.

TPhoto_00078

Yeah, that just screams ‘gritty UF thriller’ don’t it.

What does the blurb promise us?

Richard was an alpha werewolf. It was his only flaw. We’d broken up after I’d seen him eat somebody.

Well, that’s broadly speaking true, but it wasn’t really his fault.

You never forget your ex-fiancé. And when the call came at three in the morning. I thought for a moment it was him. It wasn’t. It was his brother. And it wasn’t good news. Apparently, the former love of my life had got himself thrown into jail for assaulting a woman.

Since I make my living as a preternatural expert, I tend to believe almost anything’s possible. But though he may be one of the monsters, Richard would never harm a woman.

I have to disagree, Anita. Remember in The Killing Dance when he punched a woman half of his size across a room and into a wall? Or when he got so aroused by a video of a woman being eaten by werewolves he had to lock himself in a bathroom rather than rape Anita? Or when I read back my reviews of The Lunatic Cafe recently, it was implied that werewolves – and Richard himself – tend to go a bit weird and rape women, habitually?

So yes, Richard is capable of harming a woman. There has been a lot of evidence for this.

So it’s Anita to the rescue. I’ve got just a few days to spring Richard and find out who framed him – and why. There’s a full moon coming, and if my werewolf love is still behind bars when it rises, he’ll be facing a lot worse than an assault charge…

What will he be facing? This is a world that knows about werewolves. The prospect of a werewolf being a werewolf should not shock people.

So, yes, I am not predicting good things. In fact, I’m predicting that there will be a lot of discussion about rape, and the issues of consent. Chapters will be tagged with trigger warnings, and I hope when things arise, that we can all have mature and informed discussions. That’s a polite way of saying no trolling, no victim blaming, and be ye forewarned. I like my followers, you’re a great bunch, but I hope you can understand why I’ve had to say that before we burrow for two months into this book.

Basically…

Capeche?

Right, let’s start.

The book opens with Anita having a wet dream about JC – because she never does anything as gross as masturbation, no sir! – when she is woken by the phone ringing. It’s Daniel Zeeman, Richard’s little brother.

It was Daniel Zeeman, Richard’s baby brother. Daniel was twenty-four and cute as a bug’s ear. Baby didn’t really cover it. Richard had been my fiancé once upon a time – until I chose Jean-Claude over him.

Um, you were going somewhere with that anecdote. ‘Baby didn’t really cover it’ is the start of a story. It is not the end of a story. It is not the sign for you to start talking about how JC blackmailed you into dating him.

And please, don’t baby the twenty four year old man. Anita has to be, by my calculations, twenty five. Wow, so grown up compared to Daniel.

Not that I blamed Richard. No, I blame myself.

Don’t lie. I’ve read the inane ramblings of your mind.

Daniel reveals that Richard is in jail for attempted rape. I don’t know how he would go straight to jail without due process and a trial, but that’s not what Anita is worried about.

“Richard is like the ultimate Boy Scout,” I said. “I’d believe murder before I’d believe rape.”

Well, it depends on the circumstances unfortunately. I suspect that this book may be working on the premise that rape is something that happens in dark alleyways. It’d be nice if that was just the case. But I will hold back on blasting rape culture until the circumstances are discussed.

But believe you me, there will be blasting.

Daniel says that Richard had finished the requirements for his master’s degree and got arrested that night. He’s in prison, because that’s apparently how the legal system works, and says he doesn’t need a lawyer. He didn’t do it, and saying that is proof enough.

Richard is an idiot.

The parade of bad doesn’t end there, as it’s going to be a blue moon this month. A blue moon is a second full moon within the same lunar month, and it means that Richard will be turning into a wolf in custody. Just like every other incarcerated shapeshifter in the entire world. But, nope, it’s the very worst thing because it’s happening to Richard.

No matter what flavour of animal you changed into, a lycanthrope was a lycanthrope. The full moon ruled them.

Um, why did you use the word ‘flavour’? I’m pretty sure that you mean ‘type’.

And no, if you turn into any other animal apart from a wolf, you do not turn into a lycanthrope. You would turn into [insert latin name of animal here]thrope.

Anyway, Richard is still hiding what he is because otherwise he will be treated like a member of a minority and no one apart from his brother knows and oh no he can’t get a lawyer because then everyone will know and he’ll end up being prosecuted for rape and y’know, losing everything anyway.

Richard is an idiot.

Anita then goes on about ideals and how Richard believes in them and that is stupid.

Truth, justice, and the American way certainly didn’t work within the legal system. Money, power, and luck were what worked. Or having someone on your side that was part of the system.

Yes, because I can believe that a white man aged between 18 and 69 is going to have any troubles when it comes to the legal system. Especially when it comes to a crime like rape, where the rate for convictions is about 5% in the US.

Frankly, Anita should be cynical about the system as a hispanic woman, as the legal system in the US has a lot of problems when it comes to dealing with people who are not male and white. But seeing as Anita never has any connection with her cultural heritage, I do not think her cynicism comes from distaste for enfranchised racism. It’s just LKH trying to sound clever and dark.

Daniel and Anita then talk about Charlotte, Richard’s mother, and a bunch of siblings that have never been mentioned, especially when Daniel was mentioned in a passing reference, but Anita knows them all so well. Charlotte is overbearing, as that’s what mothers are like. It explains why Richard was so accepting of Anita being an overbearing mess.

The phone call ends and Anita is very sad as she is still totes in love with Richard.

Love sucks. Sometimes it feels good. Sometimes it’s just another way to bleed.

TWO MINDBLOWINGLY HANDSOME MEN ARE IN LOVE WITH ME. LOVE IS TERRIBLE.

I’m sorry that I can’t be more sympathetic for your situation. I have no mindblowingly handsome men in love with me, and I have no patience for this complaining about it.

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24 thoughts on “A reivew of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Blue Moon’ chapter one

  1. Did you not know that Therianthropes have flavors? That’s not all. Vampires have flavors, POWER has flavors, magic has flavors. To me it just sounds as though she goes around licking therianthropes. Lycanthropes are strawberry and pardusthropes are chocolate.

  2. I mostly just like the part where Anita calls Richard a boyscout and then sees him as totally capable of murder a sentence later. Apparently the boyscouts are a little more hardcore than I thought!

    • Boy, could I tell you stories about when I was a Brownie. There was this time I was on a Venture when [COMMENT REDACTED] and that was when I decided the Scouting Movement was definitely not for me.

    • Funnily enough, I actually was almost killed by a girl scout as a child. The base of it was we were at camp, and she started choking me. My friend managed to stop it by using the flash on her camera so my would-be murderer was startled and let go. Somehow, both the evil girlscout and I ended up getting the same punishment, because being a mild annoyance and trying to kill someone carries the same severity.

  3. In the US justice system, jail and prison are two separate things: after you are arrested you go to jail to await trial. After you are convicted you go to prison. The thing is, when you are in jail you have to be arraigned within a certain timeframe (usually a couple of business days) and when you are arraigned the judge will set (or deny) bail. For attempted rape the bail probably won’t be that onerous, especially for someone as rich as Richard Zeeman. So in all likelihood in the next day or so, Richard would be out on bail regardless of what Anita does.

    Richard however is still an absolute idiot for not demanding an attorney.

    The whole thing about the blue moon makes absolutely no sense. What does the calendar month have to do with anything? Why not just say there is a full moon in five days?

    Also you missed this gem: “But cops, as a general rule, would treat an executioner better than a civilian. We risked our lives and usually had a higher kill count than they did. Of course, the kills being vamps, some people didn’t count them as real kills. Had to be human for it to count.”

    There is so much wrong with that statement. Why the hell does LKH think cops respect kill counts? And if they do, doesn’t that imply that they are messed up: the motto is ‘serve and protect’ not kill people.

    • Oh god i don’t know how I missed that! I think my mind tends to zone out when I read that she’s talking about executioners and cops. It is always painful, and misses the point of the police force.

      I don’t know why it has to be set around a blue moon and not a regular full moon – other than making a cool title.

      Duh, jail = gaol. I watch enough American crime dramas, I should have picked up on that small thing! I must have been confused by the fact that LKH uses the terms interchangeably. Richard will be out soon enough, unless the police find out how the mob fund his massive house and two cars, one of which is a rare vintage car.

      • And all of that on a junior high school teacher’s salary. I call serious BS. It’s pretty apparent LKH has never known how much a public school teacher makes in this country.

      • Actually, mob hitman is one of those professions that you think pays really well but kind of doesn’t. You really need to be a professional assassin to get into the big bucks.

        But think about this… junior high school science teacher. He is totally cooking meth. Kinda like a werewolf Walter White.

      • Sorry, I read that first sentence and just burst out laughing. I like the fact I have a site where people can spread their knowledge of the mafia and their pay schemes.

        I don’t know whether Richard is smart enough to cook meth. I have the feeling he would blow himself up.

      • “Actually, mob hitman is one of those professions that you think pays really well but kind of doesn’t. You really need to be a professional assassin to get into the big bucks.”

        I’m honestly a little freaked out that you know that. I’d ask how you learned that, but I’m too afraid that you’d have to kill me afterwards.

        On a completely unrelated note, it kinda bugs me that “jail” and “gaol” are pronounced the same. It’s one of those weird quirks of American vs. UK English. Like how we spell it “color” and you guys spell it “colour”. I’ll just do what I always do when this sort of thing comes up – blame it on the French.

  4. Ugh. I hate sooo hard how Anita just immediately *knows* that Richard would never ever rape anyone even though she’s fucking seen firsthand all the evidence that he damn well might at least have urges to, and, of course, she’s proven right and the woman is big lying slut. I’d apologize for the spoiler, but come on, you knew that was coming, right? The Boy Scout remark also holds up the idea that nice people, that guys that everyone say are nice people, never rape, and that of course rape is always this violent thing that the rapist knows and recognizes as rape, neither of which is always the case at all.

    She uses “flavor” to mean type so much that I now viciously hate the word. I also really, really hate how lycanthrope means all shifters because, as you said, lycanthrope specifically just means werewolves. Therianthrope means people who shapeshift into animals in general, it’s a real word in the study of folklore about that, and likewise ailuranthrope (werecat) and cynanthrope (weredog) are also real words because, as with lycanthropes, there are enough stories worldwide about them to merit a term for them. For other types–rat, swan, etc.–the clear pattern is to just take the Greek word for that animal and attach to “anthrope”, I have no idea why she never figured that out. She claims to have done so much ~research~ into lore, after all.

    Yeah, it’s LKH trying to sound clever and dark. Especially since LKH shows on multiple occasions she has no concept of how prejudice, bigotry, and privilege all work.

    Just another way to bleed. I bet that sounded sooo deep in her head. And yeah, loads of hot guys in love with you, what a problem. Much like the agony of being a brunette despite being so incredibly hot everyone else in the world comments on it.

    • I AM A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN MAKING PILES OF MONEY FROM NOT DOING ANYTHING AT ALL AND I AM SURROUNDED BY ATTRACTIVE MEN WHO WANT TO DATE ME. MY LIFE IS JUST TERRIBLE.

      I am not looking forward to the bullshit about rape. LKH is such a misogynist and has an utter moronic understanding of rape culture. This is going to be worse than Burnt Offerings, and I had trouble getting through that.

      Flavour is going to be a word I am going to hate, even in real life, isn’t it?

    • Here’s a question – why are “weredogs” a thing in this universe? I get that there’s actual folklore about them, but dogs and wolves are the same species. Why would you differentiate between the two?

  5. Around here the people who make meth are… well lets just say that they are not the sharpest tools in the shed and most of them get arrested before they manage to blow themselves up. So I am sure that Richard, who presumably has some chemistry training as he did graduate from college, could probably do it safely.

    The big problem with making meth however is getting the precursor chemicals in sufficient quantities. Which if you think about it is why Richard and the other werewolves were so reluctant to kill Marcus. As a doctor Marcus had easy access to the ingredients the pack needed to make their meth. And Raine helped with the distribution, which is why Richard let her live after killing Marcus (IIRC).

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