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Obsidian Butterfly by Laurell K. Hamilton
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Obsidian Butterfly (edition 2002)

by Laurell K. Hamilton

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4,227621,176 (3.81)52
Member:Morphidae
Title:Obsidian Butterfly
Authors:Laurell K. Hamilton
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Collections:Read in 2014, Read in 2006, Read in 2009, Read in 2012
Rating:***1/2
Tags:{Box 9}, inv

Work details

Obsidian Butterfly by Laurell K. Hamilton

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When one dives into an Anita Blake novel, they have to prepare themselves for lots of soul-searching, angst-ridden love and ridiculous reactions by the protagonist, Anita Blake.

Warning: Obsidian Butterfly was the hardest to read, graphic violence against men, women and especially children, torture at the hands of people who wield power, and a gun may not be your best weapon. If you can stomach the gore and mutilations and child abuse, then you might like this book.

Surprisingly, Obsidian Butterfly went against the grain of its earlier novels. I liked the earlier ones such as Guilty Pleasures, Sgt. Dolph and Bert, Anita’s boss at Animator’s, Inc. Later novels introduced Larry as the newbie vampire hunter and zombie raiser, but Laurell Hamilton dropped him in favor of ménage a toa between Anita, a werewolf and a vampire. But I am getting ahead of myself.

This book is very Edward-centric. Edward, as we learned in earlier books, has no morals and kills without conscience or compunction. In fact, in the book he proves to Anita that she is not that far off from that “ideal”. He fakes her out and she immediately pulls out her Beretta calculating a decent shot. Edward says that he was just testing her. That her first thought was not “I’m going to shoot my friend, Edward.” No, it was kill or be killed. The reader thought this was quite provocative. Anita just was irritated.

The plot, as complex as it is, has a thread through it (as others in the Anita Blake series). There’s been a series of grisly murders that are so gruesome that even Anita gets sick and vomits at the sight of the victims; what is skinning people alive and leaving them that way, ripped off eyelids and body parts (and of course sexual body parts – this is an Anita Blake novel after all).

The author introduces a possible love interest in Detective Rodriguez but drops the guy towards the end of the book. We never hear or see him again after the book’s climax, which I consider quite a plot hole. We’re also introduced to Olaf, a psychotic killer that Edward has hired as back-up. Anita, true to her “new” character, purposely yanks his chain and it’s so stupid and adds little to the plot. Yeah, we know he’s a psycho and she’s an idiot – so?

The book is not a complete waste of time. We meet the Obsidian Butterfly which is a place (all the Anita Blake novels’ titles are the names of fictional places) and the name of a vampire that is 1000 years old and still wants vengeance for the Spanish atrocities against the Aztec civilization. Talk about holding a grudge.

As usual, the reader must put up with the ritual of meeting supernatural beings. The vampires always have something going on. Were-jaguars are the favored lycanthropic animal of choice in the New Mexico desert. Anita has to watch some gruesome things – torture, some gay sex and slicing and dicing of some male body parts that make the reading tough for the male reader! And the child abuse by the bad guys, though necessary, scars the mind of one of the kids and is very difficult to read. You are so glad the bad guys get what’s coming to them.

The final confrontation between the dark forces and Anita and her gang is the best part of the book. She meets up with killers as professional and uncaring as she is. Will she and Edward survive?

The silly sexual situations and Anita being embarrassed at the sight of a man’s genitals is particularly nuts and adds nothing – yes, nothing – to the plot whatsoever. Character development? Well, the werewolves and this Nicky Baco character were interesting, but the author only played them up for about ten or so pages. Nicky is a necromancer as Anita is, but we never see what he can do – except in a few scenes which would spoil the story if revealed.

So, several interesting characters not fully developed, Anita finally doing some gun action, a bit of detective work (nothing like Guilty Pleasures) and using her wits more than her supernatural powers – probably the last Anita Blake novel I’m reading. Read the earlier ones of the series, much more entertaining.

( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
I read this series a long time ago. I was hooked on book one. Captivated by book two, still interested in book 4 and then it turned in to "romance" novel status. Yes, I continued to read the rest of the series, I'll admit it. But the urban part was gone and it really was just fantasy. Hamilton took a great character with a ton of potential and turned her into a sex goddess with so many lovers, who could keep track. What happened to the short, crazy haired, black nike wearing Anita. In it's place a nymphomaniac arose and I just can't find the interest to check out the most recent novel. ( )
  NicolefromCarmel | May 5, 2014 |
So good...but so very violent and terrifying. Perhaps it's been too long since I last read Anita Blake, because this one seemed especially chilling and enthralling at once.
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
So good...but so very violent and terrifying. Perhaps it's been too long since I last read Anita Blake, because this one seemed especially chilling and enthralling at once.
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
This book in the series was a little over the top for me. Also, the resolution of the villain fell a little flat after she built up how big and bad he was. I thought it should have been a little harder to get rid of him. ( )
  Ahnya | Jan 25, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurell K. Hamiltonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fusari, ErikaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murello, JudithCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tony Stone ImagesPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
This one is for all the Edward fans, who by their letters, questions, and sheer interest let me know that they were as interested in knowing more about him as I was.
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I was covered in blood, but it wasn't mine, so it was okay.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
There are a lot of monsters in Anita Blake's life. And some of them are human. One such individual is the man she calls Edward, a bounty hunter who specializes in the preternatural. He calls her to help him hunt down the greatest evil she has ever encountered. Something that kills and maims and vanishes into the night. Something Anita will have to face alone...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0515134503, Mass Market Paperback)

Anita Blake, the tough, sexy vampire executioner, zombie animator, and police consultant for preternatural crimes in St. Louis, hunts monsters in New Mexico in the ninth book of Laurell K. Hamilton's excellent series. Edward, Anita's mentor in slaying, asks Anita to return the favor that she has owed him since she killed a backup he brought in to protect her. He needs Anita's preternatural expertise as well as her firepower. Something is skinning and mutilating a few of its chosen victims, and dismembering others. Edward has no idea what creature could be responsible for such heinous crimes.

Summoning Anita has its downside for Edward, since it means letting her onto his turf. Anita is surprised to find that this normally aggressive man has a personal life, and shocked by his ability to be entirely different from the stone cold killer she's known. She also has problems with the cop in charge in Albuquerque, who believes her powers must be evil, and with the other backups Edward has brought in. Most of all, she has to deal with her own vulnerability--she's tried to shut down her ties to her vampire and werewolf lovers and go it alone, but it turns out to be harder than she thought.

Anita's usual supporting cast is missing, and she's taking time out from her complex love life, but there's plenty of bloody action, vampires, werewolves, and Aztec ritual. Plus a lot more about Edward. Fans will find this installment similar to the earlier books in the series, particularly The Laughing Corpse. --Nona Vero.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:51 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Vampire hunter Anita Blake is forced into an uneasy alliance with Edward, a bounty hunter specializing in the preternatural, as she searches for a mysterious and evil force that maims, kills, and vanishes into the night without a trace.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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