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


I woke up smelling incense. Sage for cleansing and ridding you of negativity, or so my teacher Marianne was fond of telling me when I complained about the smell.

Don’t you like stuffing? I like stuffing, and the sage is what makes it yummy.

Oh, and what type of sage do you mean? Common sage, garden sage, golden sage, kitchen sage, true sage, culinary sage, Dalmatian sage, broadleaf sage, purple sage, or red sage? There is no solitary plant called ‘sage’.

Salvia Officinalis – common sage – is used to ward off evil and cure snake bites. It helps women’s fertility, and was renowned for its healing properties against infectious diseases. It does not and has not ‘rid people of negativity’ or any other neopagan bullcrap.

Sorry, I have nothing against neopagans or their various and rich cultures. I just don’t like it when it clashes or tries to change history for things that make no sense.

Anita is being stared at by a woman in violet and red dress who has a pentagram. It takes Anita five seconds to be aggressive with her. She notices that the woman is not a nurse and is so proud of noticing this, Anita immediately announces it to gain praise from the room. Like a child.

“You’re too well dressed for one thing, and the pentagram.”

Thanks for insulting nurses and saying that pagans are not good enough to be nurses.

She had a soft rolling accent that I couldn’t place; Mexican, Spanish, but not.

Then it’s not either. Why even mention them? Plus, pagans just can’t be white. So sayeth Anita.

The woman is Leonora Evans – really? ‘Leonora’? That’s the name you’re going with? It’s a nice enough name, just a bit… odd for a woman from New Mexico, especially seeing as it’s an Italian name – and she’s helping because… I’m not sure. Leonora says that the corpse dragged the ‘life’ from Anita, but also says that she was there to stop the corpse from attacking Anita a second time as a nurse ‘wouldn’t even notice’. Which is it? What bullshit are you going with?

BE CONSISTENT!

Leonora tells Anita that the magic corpse was draining her life. Even though the corpse did not do that to any other of the people or babies it tried to kill. And ha, even the witch was able to stop the magical corpse before the necromancer!

Anita demands that she leave and that a nurse treats her, because she’s an ungrateful bitch. Oh, she tries to claim that she can’t trust any other magic user, but if Leonora worked for the villain, why didn’t she just let the corpse finish its work?

Leonora then goes on about the triforce and how it has left Anita’s ‘chakra points’ vulnerable to magic attacks.

NO. IF YOU ARE USING EUROPEAN MAGIC, THEN STICK TO EUROPEAN MAGIC! YOU CAN’T BRING IN CHAKRAS INTO THIS MESS, BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE MAGIC USED HERE! HOW WOULD CENTRAL AMERICAN MAGIC IMPACT ON YOUR CHAKRAS? THEY ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!

Oh, unless LKH thinks that cultural appropriation of religious practices is fun. Because no, bad writer.

But joy, we get to talk about the triforce. Apparently there are pieces of Anita that are ‘missing’ as those are spaces for JC and Richard to ‘plug into her’ like a lamp plugging into a socket. I don’t understand how that works either and LKH is not going to tell me. Anita tells Leonora she dislikes the lack of privacy, and that she has been trying to shut the triforce off. She hasn’t been trying to find out what to do or how to circumvent it though. She’s just been sat on her arse doing nothing.

Leonara says that love means you have no privacy anyway, which sounds like shitty lifestyle advice if you ask me, and that ‘if you love someone, then you are no longer merely one person but half of a couple. To think or behave any other way is to risk losing that love’.

What?

Is… is that what LKH believes about relationships? That you should stop being an individual and you just become the same person? Because… no. That’s not healthy. My god, I have never heard of anything unhealthier. That’s what ABUSERS do. Don’t let anyone try to turn you from an individual into a pod person!

Anita gets cross about having to ‘share her soul’ so Leonora says that anything Anita does will just be temporary, Richard and JC will always have ‘keys to your soul’.

How come Leonora knows all this shit about the triforce? I thought they were really rare and no one knew anything about them. How convenient this random witch knows all about them!

“The holes are meant to be filled by only one thing, the auras of the men you loved. Your auras must now be like jigsaw pieces missing, and only the three of you together are a whole now.”

Oh my god shut up with your bullshit.

Basically, Anita will always be vulnerable to any magical attacks, even though she’s been fine against magic attacks without the presence of Richard and JC for, oh, several books now.

Why was I so distrustful of her? Because she was a witch, the way Marks hated me because I was a necromancer?

what? STOP MANGLING SENTENCES.

Anita whines on more about the triforce. I’m just going to watch Nashville. I got a thing for Deacon.

HOT DADS FTW.

A doctor comes in and exposits about how she’s been here for three days and there have been no more murders. He then says how young she looks which is bad because with her level of scars

*goes to mutter darkly in a corner for a while*

means that… gang members often die?

He tells her she is not going to liver to forty. Hooray! I like the sound of that! Anita complains that he wouldn’t be telling her this if she was a cop, although I should imagine that there is a limit on the life expectancy of a vampire executioner. At some point, a vampire is going to nosh on you, and I would think that, similar to firemen, there is an early retirement age. After all, you can’t be expected to run from tombs at the age of fifty.

Anita then claims she doesn’t execute vampires, she executes people. Well, yeah, but I thought you were supposed to be hiding that.

“No, I’m saying that there’s not as much difference between vampires and humans as I used to tell myself.”

How about the fact they have to suck blood from living bodies to survive? That they are magical? That they have hideous dress sense and don’t do anything productive? Those are just three obvious differences between vampires and humans. Oh, and the fact that vampires are A DIFFERENT SPECIES.

Your omg so deep speech is a load of crap considering the shit that vampires get up to in these books.

This whole chapter was a load of ‘omg so deep’ bits but…. no. No.

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4 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter forty two

  1. “Is… is that what LKH believes about relationships? That you should stop being an individual and you just become the same person? ”

    Well, look at Nicky. And a lot of the harem. And JC. They’re bound to her not just magically by life forces, but as in their psyche is altered. It’s stated that a lot of them–Nicky, Cynric, and Dev, to name a few—have had their free will and personalities altered to simply be extensions of hers to one degree or another.

    • I didn’t want to sound like I was personally attacking her – that’s not something I would ever want to do – but I find that belief about relationships to be obnoxious and very unhealthy. It’s just not right.

  2. I’m usually okay with UF having a mix of terms and whatnot for magic from various cultural traditions. Then again, most UF tend to not have magic being quite so out in the open.

    “Why was I so distrustful of her? Because she was a witch, the way Marks hated me because I was a necromancer?”

    Did Anita just admit that she’s kind of a bigot? That she might actually have a fault?

    So, how long do you think this will last? The end of the book, or will it be completely forgotten by next chapter?

    “Anita complains that he wouldn’t be telling her this if she was a cop”

    Yeah, but here’s the thing, Anita – you’re *not* a cop, something you/LKH seem to keep forgetting. Just because you occasionally work with the cops doesn’t make you one.

    And I’m betting this doctor would say the same thing to a cop. Because if a cop has the kinds of wounds Anita supposedly has, it means they’ve been taking a lot of risks that they should probably be avoiding.

    • Noooo, Anita has no faults! She is perfect in every way!

      I like UF that uses and incorporates magic and creatures etc from around the world. I just don’t know how Central American magic is going to impact on your chakras.

      Yeah, he would. I was wondering if she was going to play the whole ‘I’m a woman, that’s sexist’ card, but then Anita would have to admit the existence of her ovaries.

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