Book: Laurell K Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ (Anita Blake 9) – “If you only believe when it’s easy, you don’t really believe”

I’m there! I’ve got to book 9! I’ve had to read several things that I really wasn’t happy with but now the payoff… right?

Please don’t read the below if you are under 18 or over 18 and easily offended/immature, the book isn’t suitable for you at all and it’s impossible to comment on the book without touching on some of these themes. There may also be triggers… but but but this is meant to be the GOOD book, why are there triggers in the GOOD book?!

‘Obsidian Butterfly’ was the ninth book and the last Anita Blake book that I owned, I knew that I didn’t like where it went after this point, which is why I stopped here. What I didn’t remember was that the downhill decent had started before this book, the sex and sexual violence was entrenched well before the horror of book ten.

I have a soft spot for Albuquerque and Santa Fe, I liked living there and even the school experience was only mostly weird – swearing allegiance to the TV because you don’t have a flag in the classroom is still creepy though. So I was happy when the book was set there, but it could be set anywhere, there is no real attempt to give the book flavour – apart from there is some desert.

obsidian butterfly

Plotwise, Edward has called in the favour that Anita owes him from ‘The Killing Dance’, there have been some murders and some mutilations. There is a very old Vampire who claims to be an Aztec god and lots of running around.

Anita ends up in hospital a couple of times, there are two chaps who seem interested in getting into her pants – we have no real mention of J-C or Richard in this book as Anita is avoiding them.

Then things go rapidly downhill, one of Edward’s other helpers is a rapist and serial murderer who really doesn’t like women. Anita is very disparaging towards women and burns a lot of bridges with the local law enforcement for no good reason.

And unfortunately we also have surprisingly graphic child rape and child torture (not waterboarding torture but the deliberate infliction of physical pain – which is still torture). I had totally blocked out this part of the book, upon revisiting it I find it is distinctly unnecessary and the children could have been put in adequate peril without this level of detail.

The rest of the plot was ok I guess and Edward having a major role is nice, but I won’t be reading anything by Hamilton again, this is my personal choice and is largely fuelled by her casual use of rape as a plot device across multiple books.

The fact that the rest of the Anita Blake series deteriorates into her sh*gging anything that moves – no it doesn’t have to have a pulse, doesn’t help make me want to join Anita on her journey.

I’m very happy if people like these books and gain enjoyment from them, however they aren’t for me, nothing more, nothing less.

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