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

Edward drives Anita to the hospital, before going to pick up one of Donna’s witch friends to look at the crime scene.

… Why doesn’t the FBI special supernatural unit have experts in magic attached to it? Why does a civilian – with no experience of working in a crime scene, so is going to have to see two hideously mutated corpses – have to be brought in?

Olaf stayed to commune with the bodies.

Why did you use the word ‘commune’?

Anita is all sad because the police and FBI think she’s ‘nuts’ because ‘what did I mean, the survivors weren’t survivors, but the living dead?’. Yeah, that’s the reason why people hate you. Anita is also going to see a brujo, ‘a witch’. Even though brujeriais a VERY SPECIFIC type of magic found in Argentina, so I have no idea why a random guy in the middle of New Mexico is one. Maybe he just read the term in a book and thought it was cool.

He would work evil spells for money, as well as personal vengeance.

Of course, the man who performs South American magic is evil! All people of colour are evil, don’tchaknow.

And LKH wonders why people call her racist.

His name was Nicandro Baco,

Why does he have the name of a Celtic god?

and he was supposed to be a necromancer. If he was, he’d be the first one, other than me, that I’d ever met.

Did you just forget about Dominic from The Killing Dance? He was a necromancer too! And Niki, the human servant in Blue Moon. Did you manage to forget you wrote those books?

Bernardo is coming with Anita, because, you know, he’s the expert on POC. He’s also very unhappy because SHOCK HORROR Anita was talking with another man!!!!!!! This clearly means she’s a giant slut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bernardo then starts talking about how he’s just an assassin and hasn’t got time for this Mickey Mouse bullshit. Anita tells him to just ‘go home’ and I agree with her on this. If you don’t like investigating crime, then you don’t have to investigate crime. You can go do your regular job. He then asks about Plot Point Harley, and what it was like killing him, and then… the dialogue sort of falls into a mess and I’m not sure who is talking or why, and then Anita says ‘we were literally running out of daylight’ despite saying on the other page that there’s three hours until sundown. Did the three hours just… go?

They then compare how long they’ve known Edward. I thought Edward was driving them? Why isn’t he butting into the conversation? Bernardo then is all ‘hurr hurr you can pump me all you like’ and when Anita isn’t interested, gets pouty that girls make things complicated.

Yeah, not being interested in sex is just one of those complicated girl things.

Anita brings up that Edward encouraged her to sleep with Bernardo, as he’s just another person who sees Bernardo as a useful object.


and then they start talking about race

“You may look like the cover boy for the Native American GQ, but there’s no sense of you coming from a different culture?”

“Too white for you?” and his voice was angry. I’d touched a chip on his shoulder.

Um, yeah. Because you’ve just basically said ‘So, how come you’re wearing clothes, and not dancing around nude in facepaint with lots of feathers plaited in your hair, before riding off to make smoke messages in the sky???’. I’d find that pretty fucking offensive, to be accused of not acting enough like my cultural group to satisfy racist bitches.

“Look, my mother’s family is Mexican American, and you have a sense of their culture when you interact with them. My father’s family is German, and they’ll say things, do things that are sort of European or have a foreign flavor to them. You talk like generic middle America, like television or something.”




Could you try to be a little less racist, please?

Bernardo reveals that he is of mixed heritage. His mother, who was Native American, gave him up due to the death of his father. He was bounced around the care system until he was eighteen because ‘no one wanted a little mixed baby’. That feels real and believable, to me. There is inherent racism in the system, and white people are arseholes enough to say shit like that. Bernardo is believably bitter about this, and I don’t think Anita’s whole ‘WHY DON’T YOU ACT LIKE A REAL NATIVE AMERICAN, DANCE FOR ME, DANCE REDFACE!’ schtick is helping.

Saying I was sorry would have been insulting.

How? Admitting that you were incredibly cruel and very racist is ‘insulting’? How patronising of you.

Bernardo then begs her for pity sex. Thanks for ensuring that my sympathies are always crushed, Bernardo. Anita says that she doesn’t want to sleep with him – AGAIN – but makes pains to reassure him it’s not because of his ethnicity. Why would you stress that? Why can’t you just say – as you go on to say – that your love life is already very complicated?

She admits that her love life revolves around a vampire and a werewolf, to which Bernardo retorts, ‘well, Edward won’t like that’. Honestly Anita, aren’t you aware that your life decisions should revolve around what the men in your life think is acceptable?

“Is your vampire an old one?”

Nope. He could never hope to be that awesome.

They then talk about Richard’s dick.

ha ha ha


and then how good JC is in bed, and Bernardo is SAD because he can’t compete with the techniques learnt over centuries

JC doesn’t even know anything about bondage or fetish scenes. He is all vanilla, no sprinkles, no fruits, and no sparklers.

Plus he doesn’t listen to radio four

And, oh yeah, what’s that other thing JC does….. OH THAT’S RIGHT STALK WOMEN, MIND RAPE THEM, AND THEN ACTUALLY RAPE THEM.

Don’t go on about his sexual prowess. I read the rape scene.

They pull up (who is driving the car?) outside a rundown street block, because of course, that’s where POC all live. In rundown and shitty areas of town. Anita gets magic prickles.

“There it is, Los Duendos, the dwarves.”

Um, no.

That means ‘The Tames’. Dwarf in Spanish is ‘Enano’.

Anita is all panicky about the death magic everywhere.

Too late to get Edward down here for backup.

  • You’ve got Bernardo with you. Doesn’t he count?
  • Oh, wow, you’re so tuff Anita, you need a man to protect you.

I think the editor just mainlined a huge pile of something illegal rather than face reading this shit.


12 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter thirty five

  1. Why is this happening. Not just the racist mess and relationship nonsense, but this whole driving around thing. Why are they going to visit this random guy? This feels like LKH is going down a bullet point list – Anita arrives, Anita meets Donna, Anita sees corpses etc – but she can’t be bothered to connect them properly or explain any of it.

    • They’re seeing a necromancer because they need a witch. Although Edward is already bringing a witch to the crime scene. Because he can split in two so he can drive two cars at once.

      I have no idea. This chapter actually compelled me to leave a review for this on Amazon. (Something I have been loathe to do due to the troooos)

      • Oh yes, the authorial wank of ‘how dare people say negative things about me! I shall shame them by making them use their real names!’

        Tough luck, Ms Rice, because I never review things on Amazon anonymously. You can be annoyed by my opinions for all eternity, and hounded by the knowledge it is a true critique!

  2. I’d almost forgotten how godawful racist Anita could be. Also how she’s met like three other necromancers but as of the latest book still claims to be the first one in centuries lol

  3. To be fair, I’ve seen the term “bruja/brujo” used as a generic term for witch. It’s used in Bless Me, Ultima in reference to the title character, and that’s set in New Mexico, so I can forgive LKH that.

    The racism and plot discontinuities, not so much.

  4. You know, it could be as simple as Bernardo being from Seattle or something where we all speak broadcaster English. That means that there’s basically no identifying markers for region in how we all talk, except for pronouncing egg like agh and bag like beg. Also I don’t believe Anita’s family acts in anyway as if they have connections to Mexican culture, given Anita’s complete lack of said same.

  5. Los duendos should be los duendes, I suspect. A misspelling/poor subedit/bad typesetting problem. They’re brownie/goblin like creatures from Latin American (amongst other) mythology. Not a great translation though it may be a colloquial meaning.

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