A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter fifteen


Donna and her children are suitably packed off so that Edward and Anita can talk about what’s bothering Donna.

If I was Donna, I’d fucking dump Edward right now. He quite obviously doesn’t give a shit. They start talking about ‘Donna’s mess’ and how it involves this guy called Riker.

“She and her friends are part of an amateur archaeology society that tries to preserve Native American sites in the area. Are you familiar with how an archaeological dig is done?”

Anita does, of course, because she’s an expert in everything for some reason. I find Donna’s hobby to be…. both good and problematic. It is good for Donna to actively try and correct the awful things white people have done but also, you know, she might be just going around and being white and sticking her nose into stuff that isn’t her business. So as long as she’s doing this with the best intentions and not drowning out the voices of the local community, then it should be ok. Although Newt wasn’t especially happy about it.

“I’ve gone with Donna on weekends with the the kids. They use freaking toothbrushes and tiny paint brushes to gently clean the dirt away, or dental picks.”

Um, Edward, you’re really stupid. And mean. And dismissive of fucking science.

“Pot hunters find a sight that is already being explored, or sometimes one that hasn’t been found, and they bring in bulldozers and backhoes to take out as much as possible in the least amount of time.”

It’s ‘site’. Unless pot hunters are finding the sense of sight. But this leads into a massive moral speech by the pair of them about how that destroys historical evidence, while the both of them were both dismissive of the methods archaeologists used. Anyway, the pot hunters have been raiding sites Donna’s group have been working on. They – and they’re all psychic, so Anita can hate them all – tried to talk to Riker and encourage him to act responsibly.

“She and her friends didn’t understand what a bad man Riker is. Some of the really big pot hunters hire bodyguards, goon squads, to help take care of the bleeding hearts, and even the local law. Riker is suspected of having been behind the deaths of two local cops. It’s one of the reasons that things went so smoothly in the restaurant. All the local cops know that Riker’s a suspected cop killer, not personally, but of hiring it done. […] There is no proof that Riker’s people were involved, just the fact that the cops were killed at a dig that had been partially bulldozed, and an eye witness that saw a car with a partial plate that might have been one of his trucks.”

“Is the witness still among the living?” I asked.

“My, you do catch on quick.”

“I take it that’s a no.”

  • NO FUCKING SHIT
  • How come Riker is so feared by everyone? He’s just some guy with a lot of money, right? He’s not a mafia boss. He’s not in local government. Why is everyone protecting him?
  • It’s horrible, but white guys with money get to trample all over the rights of indigenous peoples all over the world. I don’t find it realistic that a bunch of white women, who are important business owners in the local community, are not going to be be listened to by the police in this situation. And that the state or the local media aren’t going to care. It would make great editorials and campaigns for local papers. This type of shit would not go by without notice, not after Riker involved white people. (Obviously, I do not believe that this is right)
  • Thanks LKH for again painting the police as being corrupt arseholes. Again.
  • Riker’s men killed two cops. And the police don’t care enough to do anything about it? Fuck, they can get him on theft, destruction of property, grand larceny, intimidation, extortion, bribery… there is a LOT they can get him with, and seeing as he’s just some random guy with a bit of money, they should be pursuing him!

And then Edward reveals that Donna was the spokesperson for the group at one site. She had brought her children with her, presumably because it’s something they enjoy together. She spoke out against Riker’s goons. Who then assaulted the group. Donna got a black eye. THERE IS NO WAY THE POLICE WOULD NOT HAVE ARRESTED HIM AT THIS POINT. That is the perfect opportunity to have Riker arrested!

… oh, because then Edward would have to be arrested. When Donna told him what happened, he put a bunch of Riker’s bodyguards in the hospital, instead of making sure the police could punish him appropriately. Vigilantism is not a sign that you truly and dearly wuv someone.

Anita then goes on about how OMG EDWARD CARES FOR THE FAMILY and calling Donna stupid instead of saying that Edward should have gone to the police and that he is a appalling human being. He also calls Donna boring and seems to agree that she is stupid but we’re somehow supposed to believe that he is experiencing the emotion we know as love.

There are four pages of Edward and Anita bickering about whether or not he can feel love but… it doesn’t add anything to what we know or advance the plot. And I don’t really care. I just want Edward to suddenly drive off a cliff and this book turns into the story of one psychic’s battle against a city that doesn’t care.

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3 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter fifteen

  1. I would really like to read a series about Donna. She’s interested in the psychic but has no talent for it herself. She doesn’t deal well with violence and she has to look after her children. We have conflict right there. She could get involved through Edward or on her own. Edward would have to be a slightly different character, but that could be explained by Anita being the most biased narrator on the face of the planet. Donna would be a far more interesting and sympathetic character than Anita.

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