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


Anita has troubling dreams about Richard, because she gets to have wonderful symbolic dreams. She’s so sueiful that her dreams reflect the plot perfectly!

Why don’t characters in fiction have normal dreams? And by normal, I mean ‘utterly batshit insane’. My dreams are freaking weird. I had one where I got pregnant and then gave birth to a wasp. I have a phobia of wasps, so dream me had to carry around this angry wasp, begging other people to care for it because I was physically incapable. Did it mean anything or reflect something happening in my life? No. It was just a weird dream. Why are Anita’s dreams ALL about her relationship woes?

Bernardo knocks at the door, imparting the message that Edward demands she wake. Anita is sad because ‘I was going to have to be careful around Bernardo. Embarrassing, but true’ as she apparently can’t trust herself to not leap upon him and have her wicked way.

Nothing is stopping her from dating him. I don’t see why she can’t.

She bitches about the fact she has to get dressed. Oh, woe is Anita.

I was wearing dark blue jeans, a navy blue polo shirt, white jogging socks, and my black Nikes.

NO ONE CARES. Plus your white socks are just going to flash bobtails at everyone. Total fashion disaster.

She equips herself with several weapons to prevent Olaf from suddenly attacking her at the breakfast table. Again, if she’s so worried, why doesn’t she just… not work the case? She could just say ‘I don’t want to get raped in my sleep, I am not going to work this case for you’.

Anita then says the dining room has nothing to ‘humanize’ it and I’m just laughing and laughing and laughing at the idea of the dining room having eyes and being horrified at what it has to put up with. Author, understand the words you use.

She spends half a page describing in detail what the guys are wearing. It’s basically all black, so Anita jokes that they should have told her about the uniform. KOMEDY. Edward has made everyone scrambled eggs and this is Bad.

My eggs had bits of green and red things in them. “What’s in the eggs?”

“Green peppers, red chillies, diced ham,” Edward said.

“Gee, Edward, you shouldn’t have.” I liked my scrambled eggs the way God intended them, plain. I pushed the eggs around with my fork, and reached for the bacon. Half the plate was barely cooked, the other half done to a crisp. I went for the crisp.

You are aware that the meal mixes meat and milk on your plate. And don’t even get me started on the bacon. All these food laws are in the Bible, you can’t be all ‘well it’s jewish food law, i don’t have to follow it’.

What I’m trying to say is: Anita, stop being such an ungrateful bitch and eat your damn breakfast.

The bacon on Olaf’s plate was the crispy kind, too. Oh, well.

… and what does that mean, other than ‘Edward made crispy bacon’?

I said grave over the food. Edward kept eating, but the others hesitated, uncomfortable with their mouths full. It’s always fun to say grace at a table with people who don’t. That uncomfortable silence. The panic where they wonder whether to keep chewing or to stop.

You’re such a self righteous bitch.

Anita asks what they’re going to do today, and Edward says they have to finish the files. Olaf does not like this, because it doesn’t involve raping women. It’s a bit too much like real work, and they’re never going to solve the case by looking at the paperwork, not like all those other serial killer cases that were solved by connecting up small details. Edward says Anita has found lots of brand new information for them… and LKH avoids saying what it was – other than the stupid obsidian thing – to try and make it look like Anita did more than she did.

Anita provokes Olaf over and over and then apologises.

“Olaf’s hatred of women is sort of a handicap, and I try not to make fun of people with handicaps.”

Anita, you are ableist. You are very ableist. You have made fun and laughed and joked at disabled people before.

Hating women is not a disability. Don’t try to make Olaf acceptable by claiming he’s ‘disabled’. FUCK THAT.

And then it’s time for a patented Anita monologue. Oh joy.

“If you hate anyone or anything with an unreasoning, uncompromising hatred, then you are blind where that hatred is concerned. The police kicked me out of a crime scene yesterday because the cop in charge is a right-wing squeaky clean Christian, and considers me devil spawn. So he’d rather more people get killed and mutilated than have me help him solve the case. He hates me more than he wants to catch this monster.”

Being a bigot is not in any way equatable to a real life disability. Stop trying to say they are similar. It’s disgustingly offensive.

Anita asks if Olaf is too much of a rapist to want to catch the people behind the mutilations and Olaf says he would rather kill than hate women. Which doesn’t say much. She insults him one more time, and tries to think about what Olaf’s speciality might be. I say ‘tries’ because Anita couldn’t think her way out of a cardboard box.

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

  1. I now want to see someone try to use that as a defense in court. ‘It’s not my fault that I killed all of those children. My hatred of them is a disability.’ I can’t see that working.

    I would be less upset at Anita saying grace if it was a consistent thing. But she didn’t feel the need to say grace at the Mexican restaurant, which means she’s doing it to make people uncomfortable, and I don’t find using your religion like that to be acceptable.

    Why is she bitching about the eggs? If she doesn’t like them that way, she can make herself some plain ones. Edward isn’t obligated to serve her. And I am still failing to see the reason for Olaf to be rapist. To be honest, I don’t get why Olaf and Ethnic McSterotype are there at all. LKH, if you can cut a character from a book with no effect at all on the plot or character development, it means that they are pointless! Why can she not understand the basics of storytelling!

    I wish fictional characters would have dreams like mine. I generally wake up with a vague impression that I dreamed of the colour green. Or a shopping center. Nothing very relevant at all. Or else a fictional character could have a wonderful symbolic dream that was actually completely misleading and meaningless.

  2. “I liked my scrambled eggs the way God intended them, plain.”

    Anita? You’re being given free room and board. I know you don’t really do “grateful”, but could you at least not complain about it?

    “The bacon on Olaf’s plate was the crispy kind, too. Oh, well.”

    What, am I supposed to feel sorry for you because you don’t get to have all the crispy bacon all to yourself?

    “It’s always fun to say grace at a table with people who don’t. That uncomfortable silence. The panic where they wonder whether to keep chewing or to stop.”

    Nice to know that the only time you demonstrate those basic religious traits you’re supposed to have is when it’s to make other people (who once again are providing you with free room and board) uncomfortable, Anita.

    “The police kicked me out of a crime scene yesterday because the cop in charge is a right-wing squeaky clean Christian, and considers me devil spawn. So he’d rather more people get killed and mutilated than have me help him solve the case. He hates me more than he wants to catch this monster.”

    Uh, no, you got kicked out of a crime scene because you weren’t brought in by the cops – you were brought in by Edward, without any permission. Maybe Officer Asshole only wanted to stop a civilian from wandering around a crime scene.

    Also, you’ve done jack shit to catch said monster, Anita. Instead, you’ve brushed off all the paperwork that might actually help in favor of going to some weird-ass strip club and maybe asked the vampire owner a few questions. Meanwhile, the actual cops are probably doing actual police work, and in a sane universe would catch whoever’s behind this. But no, Anita’s the Mary Sue Author Avatar, so she’s the only one who can be competent at anything.

    God, and *this* is the high water mark for the series. That is just sad.

  3. Anita would balk at my dreams. She’s all tuff and manly but I bet she wouldn’t handle the stuff that goes on in my mind. Also bacon and eggs are awesome. And you still complain about that? And the self righteousness again? I know that it’s stating the obvious but we’re gonna get another offensive anticlimax, aren’t we?

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