A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter thirty four

I was looking through a pair of binoculars at a car parked at the far corner of the Circus of the Damned employee parking lot.

Is the parking lot far enough away to justify using a pair of binoculars? Or is this just to make Anita look cool? The two guys in the car look fairly innocuous – one blond and one dark haired.

I watched them sitting there and wondered why they weren’t at least reading a newspaper, or drinking coffee, something, anything.

Because they are suck at doing their job. They’re sitting there making it incredibly obvious that they’re watching the Circus. Why can’t LKH write a SINGLE competent character? I’m not setting the bar high here – I want to believe the narrative! I want to suspend my disbelief! And I can’t when I have to question every single little thing.

They’d done everything they were supposed to do, according to Kasey Krime Stoppers 101.

OK. That’s it. That’s all the potential credibility gone down the fucking drain the second she decided to write ‘Kasey Krime Stoppers 101’. What the fuck does that even mean? How am I supposed to take it as anything other than something a fucking child would write?

Bobby Lee, Hick Bodyguard, has the astounding idea that perhaps these guys just don’t give a shit about being seen.

Or that the author is just absolutely incompetent at writing tension or intelligent characters.

Anita whines about why would people be following her, why can’t they just leave her alllllloooooonnnnnneeeeee? She then says how most vampire servants and followers aren’t very smart.

Hey, I’m not arguing with that. I have found that statement to be very accurate in the series so far.

Bobby Lee asks about the two guys, and Anita assumes that he means JC and Asher as she has the concentration span of a gnat. Anita starts to panic because she might get everyone killed and that means she’s losing her nerve.

It’s two guys in an Impala. Anita, you have dealt with so much worse. The fact that she keeps piling on the OMGDRAMAS makes me think that the guys will turn out to be important. That’s not how you write a good narrative! It spoils what’s going to happen! ARGH!

Claudia then appears. Out of nowhere.

She wore a navy blue sports bra and a pair of dark blue jeans. She usually wore sport bras, I think because she had trouble finding shirts that fit over the spectacular spread of her shoulders and chest. She was a serious weightlifter, but not to the point where you’d ever mistake her for masculine. No, Claudia was definitely all girl.

scary scream

What was the point of that? What did that even add to the story or the plot? Did we need this infodump about Claudia’s fucking bra?

Anyway, they’re all stood in some cubby hole watching the guys watching them. The plan is for two people to drive out and… um, do something? I don’t know.

“Claudia’s going to drive one of the cars for our little plan,” Bobby Lee said.

“I thought the plan was for someone who looked harmless and normal to drive both cars.”

Claudia gave me a flat unfriendly look.

As she should! What the hell is wrong with Claudia? And then it’s spun into it’s Bobby Lee’s problem, as in he’s a big old sexist meanie, when it’s Anita with the problem?

“Are you really telling me that the bad guys –


– would feel less threatened by Claudia than by a shirt, less-powerfully built man?”

Um… that shouldn’t be a surprise, Anita. I’m not surprised by that. Why is Anita surprised by the existence of sexism and a patriarchal system?

“Men just don’t see women as a threat, no matter how big they are, and all men are suspect no matter how small.”

I shook my head. “Why, because we have breasts and you don’t?”

“Give it up, Anita,” Claudia said, “just give it up. They’re men, they can’t help it.”

A man is having to explain sexism to a woman.

See, this is why I can’t suspend my disbelief for one single paragraph of this tripe.

Claudia has to dress up as a ‘real girl’ which means Anita thinks she is now worthy of being called attractive. Blech. This book stinks of internalised misogyny. Especially when Claudia and Anita have a moment of ‘hehheh no matter what we do, we’re still girls!’ which just….. urggh.

And the fact that you were a girl overshadowed everything else for most men. It wasn’t good or bad, it just was. A woman will forget that a man is male, if they are good enough friends, but men rarely forget a woman is feminine. Most of the time it bugged the crap out of me, but today we’d use it against the bad guys –


– because they’d see all that hair, those breasts, and they’d underestimate her, because she was a girl.

I’ve been looking at this paragraph for about twenty minutes. I have no idea what to say. I just can’t deal with how dense she is about gender issues.


2 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter thirty four

  1. “It’s two guys in an Impala.” Is the best segue away from this tripe I’ve seen in a while. Also, Ideas:

    They’d run out of proper snacks two blocks back, and Dean blamed Sam. His little brother had gone off on one of his crusades of healthy eating so all that they had left were carrot and cheese sticks. Not even the old standby beef jerky survived the purge as it contained too many chemicals preservatives, or something. The whole situation had left Dean feeling hungry and irritated while Sam just looked smug. The Ass was just begging for a new prank war.

    Dean parked his baby a decent distance from any other vehicle with doors that might scratch her, and mentally sighed at all the crazy stupid people in the world. The bright, garish signs and fanged clowns had Sam squirming in his seat but it was the idiocy of the mass populace that got to Dean. Circus of the Damned, indeed. The original plan had been to go in claiming to be US Marshals to talk to the local executioner, Anita Blake was well known and had a good enough relationship with the preternatural community she should have an idea of any changes or newcomers, but that idea had been scrapped the second Sam found an online shrine dedicated to her. Not only did the woman have the highest (legal) kill count in the country, but on top of being the Human Servant to the Van Damme she had also recently elevated herself to Federal Marshal. If she had any brains at all she would be able to check their credentials and realize they were not who they said they were.

    “Dean.” Sam’s voice had that high quality he usually used when he thought Dean was acting like a nine year old. Dean was still glaring at the fanged sign that lured in humans by the droves with promises of safe scares and candy. He would kill a demon with a q-tip for some candy…


    “She’s watching us. With binoculars.”

    “Seriously?” Dean resisted the urge to twist around in his seat and check for himself. Unlike most warehouses and old buildings that the things they hunted holed up in the Circus was built like a fortress. It would take some time to come up with a new plan of attack, and they didn’t want to wait for another body to confirm or deny the theory. Sam had learned enough from Ruby and their own motley education to know that whatever killed those people it had not been a witch.

    “Shit.” Sam had his serious face on. “It’s too far to be sure, but I’m nearly positive I saw the tall woman’s eyes go black, just for a second.”

    “Shit.” Just what they needed, Demons.

    …And then Dean got pissed when the possible Demon lady crashed her own car into his baby and all hell broke loose in the Circus parking lot.

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