64 points, 3 ¼ stars
Warning: Child Rape, attempted rape
Edward is a hit man, specializing in monsters, vampires, shapeshifters, anything and everything. There are people like Anita who do it legal, but Edward doesn’t sweat the legalities, or, hell, the ethics. He’s an equal opportunity killer.
Anita may be one of the few friends that Edward has, but it’s like being friends with a tame leopard. It may curl up on the foot of your bed and let you pet its head, but it can still eat your throat out…
(Seriously this is the only ‘good’ blurb I could find.)
“I want you to believe that your death will be for a great purpose.”
“Sorry, not buying swampland today.”
Typically I write reviews for others. Not this time. This will be full of spoilers, both for present and future books. They will be filled with rants and maybe even a little gushing. I don’t want to read these again.
If you have read them before: Enjoy my pain.
If you haven’t: Enjoy my pain.
You have been warned, we’ll see how long I last.
The worst thing is that I love the actual story of the book. When the book pays attention to it. It’s so cruel to get my hopes up with a good story and dash it by never paying attention to what is actually important. In Obsidian Butterfly, there is something that is going around brutally killing some people and flaying the skin off others. It’s terrifying and it has everyone on edge because no one knows what it is. There are so many people trying to solve this it is a tangle. The fact that it ends up being a vampire of all things is just goddamn interesting. Anita thought she knew vampires!
Plus, this book has Edward. Always instantly improves any Anita Blake book. Except Serpentine.
However 90% of this book isn’t that awesome story. Instead, it is:
- Anita vs. the local cops who don’t like her on sight because she, in their mind, is a witch and evil. Of course Anita brings this around to them being jealous of her and wanting her sexually, somehow.
- Anita getting into one useless, annoying, sexually charged side tracked scenario after the other. I don’t know about you all, but I’m not going to hang around playing 20 damn questions with a bartender asking whether or not my companion is circumsized. Fuck off. I don’t care how much you need information. Plus some rape, some attempted rape, some mind rape, and abuse against children (both physical and sexual). And also Anita cozying up to and flirting with some random cop, and then utterly denying it. Lady, you were literally hugging the dude in the middle of a crime scene. Stop protesting. And did I say that this entire book took place away from St. Louis, and she is taking a break from both Jean Claude and Richard this book?!? Deep breaths, keikii.
- Anita fighting with the rest of Edward’s backup. It was scene after scene after scene of this. One of Edward’s backup, Bernardo, is a lady’s man who Anita lowkey wants to fuck but she won’t allow herself to even think that she might. Between that angst and the angst on Bernardo’s part because Anita doesn’t outwardly want to fuck him and he’s offended by this fact (and he’s bored) you’d think that would be the worst of it. Nope! Because the second of Edward’s backup, Olaf, is a serial rapist and serial killer and torturer with a serious hate on for women. Oh, and Anita fits his victim profile perfectly. (See what I said about this always sidetracking into sex?) So it’s just constantly one fight after another. Sigh.
- And then worst of all: Anita is fighting constantly with Edward because she found out, when she got to where Edward lived, that he has decided to “settle down” with a woman with two kids. And it all boils down to the fact that Edward is a killer and the woman and kids aren’t, and Edward is lying to them. It would be one thing if she picked a position and stuck with it, or gradually changed her mind over the course of the book. But it’s a constant back and forth at every single step of the book.
Obsidian Butterfly is uselessly long with so much bullshit stuffed in it actually soured my opinion of it. I used to think that Obsidian Butterfly was one of my favourites in the series, but I realized this time just how little actual damn story there is. This book could be cut by half and be a much better book for it. Hell, I noticed 30% into the book that it had barely started. That’s horrible. The pacing is atrocious, and I’m not typically one to notice that sort of thing.
Also: I hate the descriptions Hamilton uses for everything. It is all so petty and mean-spirited. Anita is perpetually angry and that is part of the problem, but it just rubs me the wrong way. There needs to be a balance, and this doesn’t have that. Case in point, actual quote from the book:
“I hate women who complain about being fat when they’re like a size 5. Anything under size 5 isn’t a woman. It’s a boy with breasts.”
Also, also: The ending with the actual monster/vampire? Fucking pathetic. There was five minutes between “oh look I found the creature” and “oh look it’s dead” which literally took place at the end of a side story that took like an hour to get through. And it wasn’t even the end of the book. Nope, instead it is “Oh look, we got to go save a woman who is (in Anita’s mind) too stupid to live from Olaf the serial rapist killer torturer”. How those two ideas mesh up is anyone’s guess. Plus another heart-to-heart with Edward. I hate the way these books end.