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

A guy dances around on stage to the sound of panpipes while giving away jewellery to women in the crowd.

This is the world’s most boring stage show.

Look, the club has an Aztec theme. Why not make it like Alice Cooper’s stage shows – a gory and violent, almost cartoonish, story with a clear villain who is defeated by the forces of good in the end. Put in some music and a lot of fake blood and you’ve got a really fun stage show. This… is just boring. Really boring. I thought this series was meant to be really gory and intense and dark. What I’ve got is a bloke dancing to panpipes, the sort of thing you see at any folk festival around the world.

I don’t usually wax poetic about music, but this was different. Somehow you knew it wasn’t just a song, just something to listen to and forget, or hum in off moments. When you think of ritual music, you think of drums, something with a beat to remind us of our hearts, and the ebb and flow of our bodies. Some of it’s made to remind us of why the ritual is happening. All ritual at its heart is for the sake of divinity. All right, not all, but most. Most of it is yelling, hey God, look at me, look at us, hope you like it. We’re all just children at heart, hoping Dad or Mom likes the present we picked out.

Of course, sometimes Mom and Dad can have quite a temper.

  • I like how she immediately presumes that this must be ritualistic music, because dirty ethnic people can’t ever play music because it’s nice. NOPE always a ritual.
  • It’s just a single panpipe being played. That would not fill me with inspiration. That would make me think white people with dreadlocks are about to descend.
  • Well done for working out that ritualistic behaviour tends to be connected to spirituality.
  • Does that not just confirm that Anita’s mother was abusive? I mean, I know it’s using the God as father metaphor, but I still think Anita’s mother enjoyed smashing her daughter’s head into things.
  • Maybe her mother was psychic and knew what her daughter would become and was trying to save us all.

Cesar (i can’t be bothered to correctly accent this motherfucker) shoves his head in Anita’s hands so she can remove his jade earrings. Despite being ancient Aztec artefacts, they have modern earring backs which Anita can’t undo because she is no girly girl and has never worn earrings in her life. She has apparently never opened a clutch press and is an idiot. He then smashes his ‘flute’ – you said it was panpipes they are not the same – on the stage in front of the jaguar men.

Oh, and then the show becomes a mock sacrifice. It just needed a really long and boring opener. Anita instantly believes it’s real, because she’s a moron. The priest shoves a knife into Cesar’s ribs, which was not how the Aztec did it. And I can’t believe they made it campy and theatrical. They are actually stabbing Cesar, because the vampires in this series are morons.

“He can’t survive without his heart, not even a shapeshifter can survive that.”

“They won’t take his heart, I swear it.” [Dallas] stroked my hand where it gripped her like you’d soothe a nervous dog.

I leaned in close to her, and whispered, “If they take his heart when I could have stopped it, I’ll have your heart on a knife before I leave New Mexico. You still willing to swear?”




The priest talks about holding Cesar’s heart and waves around a hand covered in blood.

They cheered. They fucking cheered.


Anita then bitches that she’s had enough of people into S&M, because… having your chest opened up on stage is clearly about getting your rocks off. CLEARLY. Then Anita is invited to meet Madam Master of the City. There’s a bit of hassle as Anita tried to wipe her hands clean of blood and then Itzpapalotl pops up in a red cloak next to her.

Itzapapalotl is ‘milky brown’ because no person of colour in these books is allowed to not be somehow connected to whiteness.

Her eyes were black, not brown, but truly black after the obsidian blade she was named for.

Her name means ‘obsidian butterfly’. She is not named after obsidian knives.

Anita sees skulls and wolves in Itzpapalotl’s eyes and oh god the descriptions last a page. She’s short with black hair. Edward pulls out a gun because why not. Papa knows immediately that Anita is a human servant, and Anita caves and tells her instantly. Papa says she will talk to Anita about the mutilations for the blood on her hands, which is Cesar’s. Although I thought the blood was Anita’s from when she cut open her thumb in the last chapter. Did LKH forget that happened? The group vote to go and meet Papa, and Dallas says it’s a high honour.

“I didn’t impress her. I attracted her,” I said.

Dallas frowned. “Attracted her. She likes men.”

why is everyone an idiot

This lets Anita boast about how much power she’s got and that there’s no real difference between arrogance and stupidity.

Oh, how right you are.


7 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter twenty four

  1. If I went to see a stage show kind of thing, and I knew it was Aztec themed, and I saw a guy get his heart cut out, I would cheer. Because I would be thinking, wow, that’s a really impressive stage show. Also, why would it be the random professor’s fault -whoever she is? If the show is always the same, and no-one has ever been killed before, why would it be her fault that this one time, someone died? And why doesn’t the professor go to the police and say ‘this woman you have working the case threatened to ritualistically murder me’?

  2. Okay, so she has her priorities mixed up. She doesn’t care much about what happened in the last show, which Vice should have stopped and friggin’ arrested them. But then she is flipping out over a stage show?

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