Today’s review is going to be a bit different from usual.
I am not going to be reviewing today’s chapter in detail.
Chapter 56 contains the graphic sexual abuse of a child. Peter, Donna’s son, is abused by one of Riker’s female bodyguards.
I do not want to look at this chapter in detail because I find the use of such an act to be disgusting. A romping paranormal thriller has no business detailing a graphic scene of sex abuse. It is not what I want in a book which is trashy and ultimately supposed to be fun to read.
Rape is a matter that has to be dealt with very lightly in a book because it is such a serious and horrendous crime. This goes doubly for the abuse of a child. LKH has already displayed an almost fetishistic fascination for rape; in fact, in her e-short ‘Shutdown’ Anita, her self insert, admits to being into rape fetishism. I find rape fetishism to be entirely beyond the pale – I have known too many women and men to have gone through abuse that I will never find it acceptable. The pain of another human being is not to be used for your kink.
Every single Hamilton villain so far has been into rape. It is tiresome, but unfortunately, it is a seeping cancer of the paranormal romance genre. It is the trope that just will not die. Anita is such a horrendous character that a line has to be drawn somewhere. The line is sexual assault – the villains all do it, but ‘saintly’ Anita Blake can be known as a hero because while she spews bigotry, tortures, and murders people, she hasn’t really raped anyone yet.
However, for some reason, it has been decided that Riker must be extra evil. He must be made into a very clear villain, so he’s ordered a goon to assault a child. I don’t understand why this has been done. If you are a good writer, you should be able to make it obvious who your villains are. By saying ‘hey look, this guy is extra evil, he orders people to rape children’ demeans and degrades the experiences of real survivors. Hamilton, you did this to shock people. You wanted to make people hurt and angry. You wanted to be ‘edgy’.
There are a myriad of other ways to make Riker into a bad guy. You pushed this into your text with no thought or care about what you did. Reading the scene makes me feel sick. You thought this was a ‘cool’ idea. You physically disgust me.
Throughout the scene, all LKH cared about was the impact on Anita. ‘Some sights cut through your mind leaving a scar behind that never really heals’. She actually is smug about how she never turns away but watches Peter’s sexual assault until it’s finished. Oh, then she has the dignity to be sick, so we know that this was A Bad Thing.
LKH does not spare a thought for how Peter should be feeling in this scene. Why? Because Peter isn’t important as a character. The only important character is Anita, and all LKH cares about is providing drama for her character.
If you are not willing to discuss the impact of sexual assault in your fiction, do not fucking include it.
I have heard many things about Obsidian Butterfly, many fans and ex-fans discussing how it is their favourite book, how it is the shining star of the Anita Blake books. I have one read one response discussing the abuse of Peter and the graphic detail in which it is discussed.
Commenters, I think you are great. But reconsider your thoughts on this book. Because if I read anyone defending Hamilton, this book, and her fucking sick fetish for rape, I am going to fucking block them from this site and eviscerate them as I do.
Hopefully, tomorrow’s chapter is going to be lighter. I’m going to sing songs from Cabaret with my budgie and play video games until I stop feeling sick.