5.0 out of 5 stars wow...surprised
After reading Blue Moon I really didn't have high expectations for this book. I thought it was going to be loaded with crap and passed off as a novel written by the talented Laurell K Hamilton. Ms Hamilton is an excellent author though I never understood why she wrote such a lame book. When I started to read Obsidian Butterfly it caught my attention from the very first...
Published on Aug. 27 2004 by bobby
3.0 out of 5 stars Laughing Corpse revisted
I say that half-heartedly though. The laughing corpse was just the beginning. It was necessary to learn more about Anita's necromancy and only later did LKH saturate her books with her delicious characterizations. However, most of what made me lock myself in my room for hours to read her books was gone from this. The otherwordly elements (vampires, shapeshifters), her...
Published on June 26 2003 by Edwardia
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very cool and readable series!,
Rather than talk about the story of the book, which I really don't get anyway--if you're reading a review, don't you want to get some idea of whether the reviewer likes the story, the author, the characters...rather than get a scoop on the story--I'm going to talk about what I like about these books.
First, Obsidian Butterfly is number nine in the series, so go back and get all the others and read them in order. Two, these books are really not for kids, or at the very least not for young kids. Though I doubt this warning will mean much to many people, I think it needs including in a review.
The Anita Blake books are great! They take you on a wild ride into an alternate world where everything is pretty much the same, except that vampires, ghosts, fairies, werewolves and zombies are for real, along with a host of other creatures. And they usually are not all that nice. Sometimes these creatures need killing, which is something Anita is good at. Maybe too good.
If you're not a fan of the idea that someone who kills and doesn't really mind the killing can still be one of the good guys, well, you might not like these books. Most people probably accept that in real life good people must sometimes do bad things. Anita just goes overboard a bit.
Anita's struggles with this moral dilemma, and her struggles with her, umm, romances, are one of the many things that make these books such great reads. Hamilton does a wonderful job of bringing this very complex person to life, and writes a good tale to keep us entertained. The secondary characters are really well-drawn as well, and are a delightful mix of good and not so good people.
I've just finished the ninth Anita Blake, and I'm very eager to read the new series the author just started. Enjoy!
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots and Lots of Edward!,
The change of scenery, if not quite a change of pace for Anita Blake, is a great contrast to the first seven books, all set in St. Louis. I missed some of the minor characters, Dolph, Jason, the wereleopards, and especially Asher, but I didn't miss "the boys" at all. I think that Anita really needed this break from her vampire and werewolf lovers. Jean Claude has been with her from the beginning, and Richard came along not long after, so it's really great to get a chance to get to know Anita away from the stress of trying to choose between the two of them.
And the glimpse into Edward's "Ted Forster" alter ego was well-worth the elevated violence and gore. Seeing Edward, the man the Vamps call "Death" even has a girlfriend with kids and dogs! That might just be the scariest of all.
The vamp club is same-old-same-old. I would've liked more details about the obsessed Professor Dallas, and about Obsiadian Butterfly herself. A vamp who lies to herself?
All in all, this is a great book, and a good break from most of the patterns that any author can fall inot in a nine-book series. Keep 'em comin'!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding as a stand-alone!,
By A Customer
Know what? This was my FIRST Anita Blake book. And I was blown away. For years, people had been recommending these books to me, and I thought, "I did the Anne Rice thing years ago"...besides, the old book covers were cheesy sci-fi trash.
But within just a few pages, I knew I was done for. Read this straight through in a couple of days. As my first, Hamilton/Anita book, I was just fine with the fact that Jean-Claude and Richard were nowhere to be found. Kept me interested for the entire almost-600 pages, in a "Anne Rice meets Andrew Vachss" kind of way.
Then I promptly ordered the first 8 books, and I can see what the longtime LKH fans are upset about in their reviews below, with the absence of our favorite vamp and werewolf. But my recommendation is, if you have NEVER read an Anita Blake book before, try starting with this one! You won't be disappointed. Heck, once I started reading the other ones, I was disappointed that they were about half the length of Obsidian Butterfly.
3.0 out of 5 stars not the best in the series...,
I found this a rather frustrating book to read. It's not because the central idea of the story was bad, but because of the over-elaborate descriptions the author is using in every scene.
The early books in this series were essentially mystery novels - now they are pyschoanalysis and soft porn. This must be one of the few novels I've read where it can take a whole chapter for the author to write about getting out of an airport and into a car and another whole chapter to get out of the car into the house. Every single utterance in between is of earth shaking significance (or so you would be lead to believe).
The characters surrounding Anita keep telling her the violence is too much, to get out of it and settle down. I have to agree - at this point even reading it is burning me out.
On the up side, it was interesting to have Edward aka Ted fleshed out and to see how Anita works outside St Louis (a mixed bag). It bring the focus back on Anita which I think is important. However, having said this, I've also come to the conclusion that this is NOT a book I'd read again, and the whole series has just become too stung out for me now and I don't think I'll be reading anymore.
It's not a terrible novel, but it's not really inspiring either.
4.0 out of 5 stars Anita and Ted's excellent adventure,
Those who have been following the series will recall that a while back, Anita shot Edward's assistant, Harley, in an emergency. Edward demanded that as reparation, the next time he needed help on a job, Anita back him up. In this volume, Edward calls in that debt. Since Anita wants to get out of town anyway - she's trying hard to avoid Richard, jean-Claude, werewolves and other werefolk in general, and emotions in general - she doesn't argue too much before flying off to assist Edward. When she gets there, she discovers that Edward not only has a life as "Ted Forrester," but that he is - gasp - engaged! Anita doesn't believe in heartless killers putting family members in danger, so a large chunk of the book is Anita's efforts to pry "Ted" away from his personal life so as not to risk his fiancee and her two children. This doesn't work - and the two children wind up at considerable risk.
Besides Edward, there are two other of Edward's assistants involved in this book - unusual people, both of them. Bernardo Spotted-Horse is merely sexy and amoral; Otto/Olaf is another matter entirely, another of those characters who is meant to make us question what claim humans have to being the good guys. An ill-tempered religious-nut cop interferes with Anita's and Edward's efforts, telling her to her face that "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." Anita has no particular success in pointing out to him that she's a practicing Christian. On the other hand, the staties and feds are mainly good guys, including Agent Bradford, who we've met before in other volumes.
Warning, spoiler! Do not read this paragraph if you don't want to know anything about the ending! OK, Obsidian Butterfly, Aztec vampire and owner of the nightclub of the same name, is NOT the villain; while we might flinch at her claims to be a goddess, she is not the murderer of the book.
For those wondering about the whole series, some background information. Those who already know that they like vampire novels, anything at all that features a vampire, can skip this review, and likewise, those who hate the whole idea of vampires can skip it. But for those trying to decide whether or not to read more of this genre, or whether the one vampire novel you've already read was a fluke, it may help to have some ways to categorize these novels. Thus: BunRab's Standard Vampire Classification Guide. First, most authors of vampire novels approach from one of the main genres of genre fiction; thus their background may be primarily in romance, or in science fiction/fantasy, or in murder mysteries, or in horror. Second, many vampire novels come in series; knowing whether this is one of a series, and where in the series it falls, may be helpful. Then we have some particular characteristics: Are there continuing characters besides the vampire, through the series? - Are there other types of supernatural beings? - Does the vampire have a few other supernatural characteristics, many other supernatural characteristics, or none other than just being a vampire? (E.g., super strength, change into an animal, turn invisible) - Does the vampire have a regular job and place in society, or is being a vampire his or her entire raison d'etre? - Does the vampire literally drink blood, or is there some other (perhaps metaphorical) method of feeding? - Is sex a major plot element, a minor plot element, or nonexistent? - Does the story have elements of humor, or is it strictly serious? - Is the writing style good, or is the writing just there to manage to hold together the plot and characters?
This particular series is best read in order. If you read one out of order first, you'll want to go back and start from the beginning - the first volume is _Guilty Pleasures_. There's a large cast of continuing characters - Anita Blake, who is NOT a vampire, she's a zombie animator and vampire executioner. The other characters in the series include the police on the Regional Preternatural Investigation Team, who are reasonably good guys - although the series also finds plenty of incompetent and/or corrupt cops along the way. Most of the vampire characters are involved in the entertainment biz - owning, working in, nightclubs. St. Louis in this universe has a very kinky nightclub district! The vampires have not only super strength and speed, but the power to cloud men's minds, and other powers that pop up unexpectedly and that differ from vampire to vampire. We have plenty of other supernatural characters: werewolves, wereleopards, wererats, and for all I know, werewombats; witches and voodoo priestesses, ghouls and zombies and ghosts. In other words, magic of all kinds. And most of them are Not Very Nice. Anita deals with them through a combination of violence and wisecracks; there is a strong dose of sarcasm and irony that runs through the books, and while the plots are serious, violent, and bloody, there are also funny moments; the characters have senses of humor, even some of the vampires!
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow!,
This review is from: Obsidian Butterfly (Hardcover)
I am one of the many avid readers who has absolutely no spare time. I read about five books a week, in fits and spurts, often staying up later than is healthy to get just one more chapter read. I've grown accustomed to this, and it doesn't bother me. That said, I go on to say -- Obsidian Butterfly is one of the rare books that I simply cannot put down! I'm carrying it with me everywhere, reading it every moment I have. This is my first Anita Blake book and I'm completely fascinated by the sheer matter of factness of the world Anita lives in and the horror of these crimes. With none of the 'purple prose' that you have to wade through to enjoy some other vampire-oriented series, and plenty of action combined with thought and background, I'm enthralled!
The only reason this book isn't rating five stars with me is that the author is a little too caught up in reminding me how tough and dangerous the characters are. I'm an experienced reader who is capable of drawing inferences. I don't need to be repeatedly and blatantly reminded of a character's traits. Otherwise, I can find no faults!
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Slick, Clever -- with a Cool Heroine,
Mystery, Preternatural Studies, Guns, Drama, Fear, Heart, Interesting Characters -- This book has it all.
"Obsidian Butterfly" reads very much like James Patterson ("Along Came a Spider", "Kiss the Girls") -- fast-paced & creepy, with a few surprises thrown in to keep you on your toes. The difference is that Laurell Hamilton throws in a fierce heroine, wandering spirits, and the undead. Good stuff!
As I understand it, this is the latter in a series of books about these characters. I had never read these previously releasd texts. Despite this, I did not feel I was missing out on anything. Hamilton subtlely throws in enough background information to make you feel whole with the characters and the story.
This is what sets the book apart: Anita, the herione, is fabulous! I like that she didn't fit any existing female stereotypes/prototypes. She was a strong-willed, gun-toting woman who uses her intelligence and draw upon her rich, dark history to do her job.
Why it didn't get the "5": A common theme in the book is the characters' quest for power (physical, mental) in a variety of situations. (Note: For those interested in man vs. himself themes -- this is a great look at how different characters deal with the personal dilemma of good vs. evill.) Often, the characters make statements to the effect of, "You know, I could kill you if I wanted to." At first these encounters were exciting, then became grating in their repetition.
Regardless, this book is a great mix of horror, action, and intelligence.
I'm hooked. I can't wait to read the whole series.
4.0 out of 5 stars Edward finally did it!!!!,
By A Customer
I have tried to read her earlier books because of all of the great reviews I have read but have never been able to get thru them. Guys that say "la petite" just do not do anything for me. I picked up Obsidian Butterfly because I needed a book to read to get me through 3 hours of work (not a busy night). I couldn't find anything else at the drugstore and grabbed Obsidian Butterfly thinking - oh well, I'll give the author one last try. I could not put it down! It caught me up and I really found it hard to put it down when it was time to go home. Edward was fantastic and I think he was the major drawer for me to finish the book. I have since picked up the three other books another reviewer mentioned Edward was in. I thought the book was a little too long but I did really enjoy it despite some disturbing scenes. The author has a very easy style and I like the first person method where it feels as if the main character is talking directly to you. I know I probably should have read the books in order, but not doing so was really not much of a hindrance and didn't spoil my enjoyment. I hope she continues to have Edward around.
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as the others,
This review is from: Obsidian Butterfly (Hardcover)
Anita Blake, Vampire Slayer goes on down to New Mexico, because she needs to find out what is slaughtering humans in new mexico. Then enter a right wing fanatic, who believes that the only good witch is a dead witch, and happens to be the Cop in charge of the investigation. Then enter a Cop, with just a hint of sexual appealto poor old sex starved Anita. Then enter a Bodyguard/Assassin/Bounty Hunter, whith no morals, and who wants nothing more than a good peice of tail. Then enter Olaf, the German Sociopathic Serial Killer, whose idea of the perfect victim is small, pettite, and in general just looks like Anita. And the only person to referree this match is Edward, the Sociopathic killer, who trained Anita in the art of Killing Vampires. Then enter Obsidian Butterfly, the Vampire that thinks that she is a god, who has killed every vampire that has entered her region. Mix that all together, and throw in a Varagamour that wants to overthrow his wolf Pack leader, a human Servant that can turn a living body into a mummy, and some weird Psycho that is killing, and disecting, and skinning his victims.
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but the fun is starting to wear off...,
After reading this, I think Hamilton needs to bring this series to a close. End on somewhat of a high note, instead of dragging it on forever.
First of all, if you're looking for advancement in the whole Jean-Claude/Richard/Anita triangle, don't bother. Jean-Claude has a cameo in this novel and that's it. We spend a lot of time with psycho-killer Edward, who Hamilton in the end makes more warm and fuzzy, and his two buddies, the interesting Bernando and the really repugnant Olaf.
If you're looking for gore, this is the messiest in the whole series by a good margin. There's more slicing, stabbing and shooting than an 80s action movie. Not that this isn't fun in of itself...but Hamilton seems to think she has to make each novel progressively more violent and gory, which she doesn't. Violence and gore are all well and good...but I dunno, bringing kids into it (two kids get tortured and a zombie of sorts goes crazy in a nursery) really drags down the fun quotient of the series. Fantasy creatures are one thing, they don't exist, but kids are something else. It gives Anita that moral avenger sense, but it makes the situation graver than it should be for something like this.
Mainly, I picked this up because I wanted to know what the deal was with Richard and Jean-Claude. I didn't get that and I'm not sure I like what I did get. Ten is a nice round number; we can tie up all the plotlines in one neat little 400 page bundle.
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Obsidian Butterfly by Laurell K. Hamilton (Mass Market Paperback - Sept. 24 2002)
CDN$ 9.99 CDN$ 9.49