Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Book Review: Obsidian Butterfly by Laurell K Hamilton (Anita Blake #9)


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…

“MY NAME IS ANITA BLAKE. I’D LIKE YOU TO MEET EDWARD… ” Edward was a hit man. He specialized in monsters. Vampires, shape-shifters, anything and everything. There were people like me who did it legal, but Edward didn’t sweat the legalities or, hell, the ethics. He was an equal opportunity killer. I may be one of the few friends that Edward has, but it’s like being friends with a tame leopard. It may curl on the foot of your bed and let you pet its head, but it can still eat your throat out…


My Review:
Edward asks Anita to help him solve a grisly case of murders where he lives with his new family, under a secret identity.

I was so pleased to see that there was going to be an Edward themed book as he is one of my favourite characters in the series. I loved it when he turned up in The Killing Dance which is still my favourite book from this author. I was hoping that this might lead us back into proper urban fantasy and this book certainly delivered.

Edward is living as normal guy Ted, with his girlfriend, playing father to her two kids. They have no idea about his other life as a deadly hit man and Edward wants to keep it that way. His relationship with Anita in this book goes from professional rivals to friends and I liked that development. It was fun to see this other side of Edward and gave him that human side that we had never seen. Of course that does not mean that Edward has gone soft...

I didn't like Anita's attitude to Donna. It seems to me that Anita gets jealous every time another woman is the centre of attention. She may not want to bed Edward, but I think she's pissed that he doesn't want to bed her, instead loving a normal woman. This is Anita's excuse to sneer at the woman for her age, looks, inability to see Edward's true nature etc. Anita has been worshipped by all the men in her life for too long that she can't stand being second best to another woman. Maybe this is why she sneers about Ronnie's relationship as well. She hates when a man doesn't love her, even if it's a friend's lover. It's like her relationship with Richard-she can have any number of lovers she wants but when Richard has other lovers, she gets pissed and whiny about it. Her thuggish behaviour to Donna when the poor woman is crying over her family being threatened is disgusting. I'm surprised that Edward didn't bitch slap her for that coz I wanted to. Badly.

Yes the story is disturbing when Donna's kids get abducted but this was used to show more depth to Edward-his conflicted feelings of loving stepdad and hit man. You can argue that what happens to Peter is not needed but it was there to shock you, showing that even Edward can't stop the bad guys all the time. It didn't detract from the book for me, though that might be because I read authors like Edward Lee who take shocking to crazy heights. Olaf also adds to disturbing as you are just waiting on him to lose control and attack Anita. It creates some good tension.

This book was full of action, magic, danger and great characters-all the things that I really enjoy in urban fantasy. The plot moved at pace, we had interesting interactions between the characters, Anita gets into lots of trouble as usual and Edward is trying to protect those he loves. This was an enjoyable book and it was wonderful not to have the whole Anita love triangle getting in the way of the story. I really hoped that this was a turning point for the series and that we'd go back to the Anita of old, but sadly it was just a break from her tangled love life, the exception to the rule.


 
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