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The Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter backlist takes flight with a whole new look.

In her ninth adventure, vampire hunter Anita Blake owes a favor to a friend-a man almost as dangerous as the ancient evil she's about to face.

596 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 2000

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About the author

Laurell K. Hamilton

315 books23.7k followers
Laurell K. Hamilton is one of the leading writers of paranormal fiction. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Hamilton writes the popular Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels and the Meredith Gentry series. She is also the creator of a bestselling comic book series based on her Anita Blake novels and published by Marvel Comics. Hamilton is a full-time writer and lives in the suburbs of St. Louis with her family.

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5 stars
27,694 (43%)
4 stars
19,773 (31%)
3 stars
11,664 (18%)
2 stars
3,343 (5%)
1 star
1,192 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,602 reviews
Profile Image for Jeremy Baker.
31 reviews5 followers
September 24, 2014
This was the last Anita Blake novel worth reading, primarily because of Edward. The rest of the series has been garbage (including Edwards' return. Seriously, what was his body count in the Harlequin, one? Maybe?). I don't have a problem with the sex, but Hamilton has sacrificed that literary device thingy called 'plot' in order to pack the pages with smut. Something happens, they have sex for five hundred pages, then the Ardeur snaps it's fingers and kills the badguy.

In terms of characters it's obvious that Richard is Hamilton's personal dumping ground from everything she's ever felt about her ex-husband, turning the interesting power dynamic present in the first few books into something sad. Also, despite the legions of evil creatures (including the oldest and strongest vampires on the planet) that attack her at every turn, nobody close to Anita ever dies. Hamilton has stated that she loves her characters and will never kill them off, and that childish petulance combined with the almighty Ardeur robs her books of any sense of danger.

Now Blood Noir is out, and though I will reserve judgment until I hear something more specific about it I'm not holding my breath expecting Hamilton to grow up again.
Profile Image for Crystal Starr Light.
1,350 reviews819 followers
September 15, 2014
Obsidian Butterfly: A Review in Two Parts

Anita Blake returns home to a phone call from Edward. He's calling in a favor and needs her to come to Albuquerque, NM to assist him in a job. She goes to find that there have been several gruesome murders, the victims left horribly maimed. Who is performing these crimes and how far will Anita go to stop them?

NOTE: I have VERY DIVISIVE feelings about this book. Therefore, I have split this review into two parts. One part will probably appeal to those who are big Anita Blake fans; the other is VERY VOCAL about how certain parts of the book made me feel.


Up to this point, the series had become rather beleaguered with Anita Blake's increasingly complicated love life. Does she love Jean-Claude or Richard? How does she balance both in addition to her growing powers and her place as lukoi? And what about her increasingly dark turn, embracing dark magics and torture? How does she reconcile this with her Christian and moral upbringing?

While these questions are very good, Anita needed some space to work them out. Hence this book. It was a great way for Anita to get some distance, look at things with a new perspective and realize some important lessons such as:

+ Just because Ronnie is dating a slightly boring guy, doesn't mean that Anita can't make an effort to remain friends.

+ Catherine may be married, but she is still Anita's friend.

+ Anita can't keep holding back her abilities and powers.

+ Anita isn't being fair to the Triumvirate and deserves to muddle through her complicated love life.

The actual mystery and investigation is very interesting. I thought LKH brought some interesting Southern flavor to the novel, setting it in Albuquerque. I liked Anita meeting another necromancer, a vampire who thought she was a goddess, and learning more about Edward (such as that he CAN love and maintain a reasonably "bad @$$" lifestyle). I liked seeing Anita investigate the murders, ask questions, dig deeper. Sure, the mystery isn't the most brilliant or original I've ever seen, but at least, for once, Anita is investigating these crazy events instead of talking with people who drop convenient plot points.

If this were the only part I was reviewing, I would easily give this book a 3.5 stars. It brings up some interesting conflicts, new sides to old characters, and mixes up our surroundings so things don't get too boring.


I cannot believe how misogynistic and disgusting this series has become. I thought I could hold back the floodgates until "Narcissus in Chains", the one I hear is the beginning of the end of the Anita Blake series, but I can't. This book is absolute dreck.

Why? What makes this book worse than all the previous 8 books? It's not that hard: I'll break it down to my two points.

1) Misogyny. I had noticed since about "Burnt Offerings" that these books seemed to showcase a more and more hostile view of women. Well, this book easily surpasses them all. Anita's (and I almost wonder if the author's) hate for women drips from nearly every single page in the book. Comments like:

"'She's direct even for a man," Edward said. 'For a woman, she's like a battering ram.'"


"'You would have made a good man.' I took the compliment because that's what it was."


"She also knew how to shake hands. Most women never really got the knack of it."

are insulting and demeaning.

Making broad statements like "women are naturally friendly" or that all women have large purses and pack a bajillion suitcases full of crap is small-minded and foul. Letting 14 year old impressionable boys get away with misogynistic statements just keeps the cycle repeating. Starting fights with cops over who's balls are bigger and then letting a man say rude, misogynistic remarks without a peep just proves that Anita doesn't have her priorities straight and is nothing like the "strong, independent woman" she purports to be.

Every woman not named "Anita Blake" is a delicate, easily broken flower: the nurse who is "too fragile" to answer questions Anita might have about who is dead and who is alive, a "dwarf" woman who is brutally murdered, a young scientists named Dallas and Edward's fiancee, Donna.

"That Dallas was oblivious to [Olaf staring at her] made me worry about her just a little...her survival instincts just weren't up to it."

"'She's a wimp,' [Peter] said. I agreed with him but not out loud." [May I just add, this is a SON talking about HIS MOTHER.]

"If Edward showed Peter this little corner of hell and word got back to Donna, it might be enough to break them up permanently. I was willing to trade some of Peter's innocence for that."

Speaking of Donna, I don't think I've ever seen a character so badly villified. From the moment Anita lays eyes on her, she is undermining the woman, demeaning her, and treating her like filth.

+ Anita is critical about Donna's age, calling her in her early thirties and going up to her forties.

+ Anita insults how Donna "makes out" with her fiancee in the car, in a gesture to make "Anita jealous".

+ Anita immediately sides with Peter, Donna's bratty 14 year old son, in front of his mother.

+ Donna is unable to defend herself and Peter, at 8, is forced to wield a weapon.

+ When Donna and her children have been threatened, Donna breaks down into hysterics. Instead of tending to her children and trying to comfort the woman, Anita does this:

"I got a handful of that short, thick hair and pulled her hair up. It hurt and it was meant to. 'Look at me, you selfish b!tch.'"

+ Anita is ready to sacrifice Peter's innocence to get Donna and Edward to break up:

"If Edward showed Peter this little corner of hell and word got back to Donna, it might be enough to break them up permanently. I was willing to trade some of Peter's innocence for that."

+ Anita withholds information about Peter's rape because "Donna wouldn't be able to handle it":

"He hadn't told [Donna, his mother] about the rape. I didn't betray his secret. First, I wasn't sure she could handle another shock. Second, it wasn't my secret to tell."

And on and on and on. The things Anita does to Donna and the way Anita thinks of Donna is absolutely INSULTING and EMBARRASSING. I'm not saying that women can't hate each other, that they are always "naturally friendly"'; but Anita has ZERO REASON to behave so rudely to Donna. And yet Anita isn't the one portrayed as the b!tch; no, it's DONNA.

And then we have a major scene where a male stripper is sexually harassed. Anita makes the flip comment that if he had been a woman, EVERYONE would have jumped to make sure he wasn't assaulted, but because he's a MALE, people let him be. Leaving Anita as the only one to rescue him.

As if that isn't enough, the number of times rape is brought up is obscene. Edward hires a "bragging rapist" to help him solve the murders; Anita is nearly raped YET AGAIN. Other women are likewise threatened.

TRIGGER WARNING (I honestly canNOT believe I am including a trigger warning in a review about vampires and paranormal creatures): Child rape, child torture.

2) Child rape and torture. At one point in the story, Peter and Becca, Edward's fiancee's children, are kidnapped. Anita and Edward attempt to rescue them. Before they do, they (and the readers) are subjected to a brutal depiction of child rape and torture. A random woman fondles Peter until he experiences his first "Pleasure" and hits him across the face. He screams and protests the entire time. A man holds Becca in his lap and breaks her fingers as she screams.

I respect that LKH wants to make sure that we realize that these kids are in real, serious danger, that they might not come out alive. I even respect her for trying something darker. I understand it's all too easy for people to say that "X" is a bad guy without having that bad guy do anything to prove he is a bad guy.

But honestly, this scene is completely unnecessary, a chill, pornographic thrill, something to make readers gasp in shock and horror. These characters have only appeared in this book; I've heard they don't reappear (ETA: I've been told that Peter does reappear in the series, so perhaps there is some discussion about the trauma he has undergone here). Furthermore, apparently, things like their damaged mental health never needs to be addressed, because Anita sure as hell doesn't mind withholding Peter's rape from his own mother:

"He hadn't told [Donna, his mother] about the rape. I didn't betray his secret. First, I wasn't sure she could handle another shock. Second, it wasn't my secret to tell."

Do things like this happen? Of course, all the time (unfortunately). But did we really need to "go there" in an Anita Blake novel? In my opinion, no. It's a horrible, horrible, cheap, awful way to show that these guys are bad and that Anita Blake needs to hurry up and save the day.

These two main bullets are the reason that this book is rated 1 star. Sure there are other parts of this book I wasn't fond of--the extreme gore that made me regret every meal I ate, Anita's constant aggression to authority, her antisocial personality disorder (seriously, check it out, it's astonishing how many bullet points she can tick off)--but by far the worst, the ones that made me the most mad were the blatant, undisguised misogyny (and no, I'm not talking about misogynistic characters, I'm talking about the whole attitude of the book) and the unnecessary, gratuitous, vile child rape and torture scenes.

If you really like Anita Blake, have always liked Anita Blake, and desperately want more of her and Edward, then go ahead, have a ball with this book. More power to you. But if you are sick and tired of the woman-hating, excessively violent, angry Anita Blake, then you might want to give this a pass--or at least proceed with caution.

NOTE: For those not faint of heart, I recommend taking a look at some of my status updates for the items I forgot to mention, such as the stellar writing ("I laughed. They laughed. A good time had by all."), more examples of how hateful Anita is, and my mind being blown to pieces.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,163 followers
November 10, 2015
This book is a vacation from Anita's usual life because she travels to New Mexico to help Edward, the assassin, solve a case. So, no love-triangle b.s., which is nice.

When arriving in New Mexico, Anita discovers that Edward is engaged to be married to a very naive widow with two adorable children. Edward's nickname is "Death", and he likes killing things. So, the idea of Death getting married bothers Anita.

give it a few years, Death, and you'll be wishing for your namesake!

So, Anita gets all up in his business about trying to make him break-up with his woman. She really is a nosy, judgmental busybody. From what I can see, she doesn't have the clout to give relationship advice.

And, here's something that bothered me - tell me if you catch it...
They take her to a Mexican restaurant (she hates Mexican food - what the hell? Mexican food is life here in Texas. Don't be dissing it!), and she says that they get to the table and the waiter brings them a basket of bread. Huh? This doesn't happen. You get chips and salsa, not bread. And, then she goes on to say that oh, it's not bread, it's sopapillas. Seriously? That doesn't make it sound right. Sopapillas are a dessert. Baskets of chips with salsa are what they bring when you get there. In other words: Do your fucking research if you don't know what would really happen! This makes me think that the author has never eaten in a Mexican restaurant in her life. And, that's fine - just don't make your characters go there if you don't know how it's done.

you can never eat Mexican food too often, Anita Kill-Joy!

Okay, so that's out of my system. I mean, come on, Mexican food is THE best food ever. How could anyone not like it?...... okay, NOW it's out of my system.

This book had a LOT of killing and violence. It even went a little too far for my tastes because there were rape and torture scenes with children. So not okay! Aside from that, it was action-packed, Edward-packed, and a lot of great new characters. If I were to do it over again, though, I still wouldn't read it because of the child hurting stuff. I just can't handle that kind of thing. If you are going to rape and torture people in your book, make sure they are over 21.

I'm taking a break from the series for a few days to read Winter. Yay!!
Profile Image for yellowbird.
48 reviews7 followers
February 26, 2009
This is the book where Laurell K. Hamilton lost me as a reader. I love the early Anita Blake books, because they are police procedurals set in a fantasy world. But somewhere along the way, the menage a trois between the three main characters (a necromancer, a vampire, and a werewolf) overspread the pages like a nasty rash of suspicious nature. In the books after Obsidian Butterfly, Anita is having sex with every were creature available, the detective elements have gone out the window, and I could only skim the books, hoping the series would somehow recover. My husband continued to buy the series because he is a collector by nature, but I refused to read them. Eventually he also lost heart.
Unfortunately, I know what went wrong. Sorting out an impossible love triangle is difficult enough in real life, let alone in a piece of fiction where all the participants have to stay likeable, and can't become utter shits. The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer has similar problems, as it is also a romance involving a werewolf, a vampire, and a human. When my teenage niece asked for the Twilight series for Christmas this year, I felt like warning her not to get involved in a tangled love affair. Of course, we ended up buying Twilight for her anyway. Some things have to be learned through personal experience.
Profile Image for Lena.
1,144 reviews241 followers
July 25, 2022
“She'd been punishing people for the same crimes for five hundred years. It was impressive in a psychotic sort of way... I'd told people that I'd chase them into hell to have my vengeance, but I probably didn't mean it. Itzpapalotl would mean every word.”

4th Listen: Better every time.
3rd Listen: “Dawn is coming, I can feel it pressing against the darkness like weight about to tear the night apart.” I love this story.
2nd Listen: “One minute you are paranoid and packing too much hardware, the next you are scared and underarmed. Life’s like that, or my life’s like that.”
- Anita Blake

This is the very best of Anita Blake; straight bad ass bounty hunting Blake with Edward's crew of shooters. The novel gets her away from Missouri to New Mexico: Edward's/Ted's home. It's exciting to see pieces of the man behind the mysterious assassin who is Anita's great friend and series favorite.

Here are my castings:

*In the book they are The Broken Spear Clan but the audio calls them The Los Lobos Clan. Kimberly Alexis is the worlds best audible reader.
Profile Image for Jo ★The Book Sloth★.
485 reviews426 followers
September 18, 2014
4 Vampy stars

To begin with I have to say that this book is one of my favorites from this series. It is quite true that I have several emotional changes during Anita Blake's books. For several reasons I love and hate this series but the truth is that I have never been bored for a minute while reading one of the series' books!

Why I love the books 

1) Anita Blake is a woman who can mesure up almost to every man or woman she comes across either human or supernatural and that makes an interesting heroine at the very least. I may not always like her but I always find her entertaining.
2) The plot in every book is always different enough to be captivating so you never get the idea that you read the same things all over again. The crime stories are always interesting and fresh. Yes, she usually hunts vamps but that's the job description. The adrenaline rush during reading the books is addictive.
3) The gory stuff are really a plus in my opinion...I can see why many disagree but I find it really fascinating the way she doesn't shy away from the disgusting details.
4) The supportive characters are always a major part of the story and are always different enough from each other not to be boring. Again you don't always like them but LKH knows her character development. AB probably has the best bad guys of UF.

What I don't really like about the books

1) The misogynistic comments are a really big downside in the Anita Blake books. Most of the times the cops and often Anita herself seem to display a very racist side with comments about other women's behaviour and usually in the books only Anita comes out as a strong female character. Some would say that since Anita can take everyone out either male or female it can't be that bad but the fact is that it is actually that bad. Anita is just too hypocritical. She judges prejudiced people while she shows a highly judgemental and prejudiced behaviour. Slut-shaming isn't nice whether the character doing it is a man or a woman, whether it's a Mary Sue or a badass.
2) The sex is just too much. Sometimes I think the books tip the balance between adult romance or erotica and porn! As the books progress the sex scenes become more blatant and frequent to the point that I actually just skip them all.I know that the vampires in Jean Claude's line feed on lust but you can read so many sex and orgy scenes before you've had enough.
3) Asher is actually pretty annoying. He is full of envy, complaints, arrogant in some things and completely insecure in others and he just whines his way through the books.

Why this particular book?

1) No sex is the biggest reason. It has an interesting mystery story with much action and NO SEX!
2) Edward is just a favorite! I love all the books in which he has a lead role and it doesn't get more lead than this. He is interesting without all the lust that Anita seems to have for almost everything that belongs in the male category.
3) The plot is more interesting than most the other books, the characters fascinating, the southern pieces seem to give another flavor to the story and the fact that she doesn't have all her lovers in her feet seems to give the book a more adventurous side beside the romance feeling that most of the others have.
4) No Jean Claude, Richard, Asher. In the early books I kind of liked Richard but then he started behaving like a jerk and he never stops the whining, along with Asher they make your brain bleed with all the complaints. Jean Claude is kind of ok but really at some points he gets just as clingy as the other two and you can never tell whether he is a good guy or a bad one (it made things interesting for a while but at some point you get fed up).

Now I know that I seem to like the book for what it doesn't have more than for what it has but it is true that if there weren't so many moments where Anita puts down other female characters it would be an amazing book. Now it has to go with just great!
Author 2 books56 followers
January 7, 2012
I really wasn’t excited about this book. All I wanted was to skim over the paragraphs so that I could get to the next book of the series, Narcissus in Chains as quickly as possible! And then it hit me … mutilated bodies and Olaf. You need to read this book to understand just how messed up my opinion is of his character. He’s dangerous. He’s deadly. And Blake is just his victim type. I like him! Total turn on .. go figure.

Obsidian butterfly is a fantastic book filled with torture, essence sucking vampires, sociopath serial killers and monsters that apparently can rip the skin from a human’s body without leaving any tool marks. Eww.

Edward wonders why I’m so sympathetic to monsters. The answer is simple. Because I am one.

Anita alienates herself, putting as much distance as possible between herself and her lovers. Working with a witch to build stronger barriers in hopes to withstand accidental intrusions, Blake is pulled into Edward’s world of gore as he calls in the favor that she owes him.

Surrounded by centuries old delusional vampires claiming to be gods, werewolves enabling a psycho necromancer dwarf, Anita really has her hands full.

There are several scenes in this book that are to die for! Pun intended ..

There is one scene that doesn’t get any easier with every reread. A skinless corpse searching for food in a hospital.. and a nursery. Absolutely disgusting, completely heart-shattering, this scene haunts me with nightmares. It is the most gruesome and heart wrenching scene I have ever read. Violent, action filled and brilliant .. Yet I still wanted to vomit. Double thumbs up on the intense description and detail put into that scene.

Odd moments shared between Edward and Blake. Weird? Totally awkward, a must read!

I recommend this book to adults only! Do not read if you have a weak stomach or strict line of moral code on what is and is not acceptable. This book pushes the limits of imagination and gruesome disgust. Extreme violence. Some sexual content. Rape. Shocker, right?

Do not read this book out-of-order. Start with Guilty Pleasures!

~Happy Reading!
Profile Image for Faye.
418 reviews45 followers
October 23, 2017
First read: June 2006
Initial rating: 5/5 stars *favourite*
Re-read: October 2017
New rating: 5/5 stars *favourite*

I have one strong memory of reading Obsidian Butterfly the first time around and that is that the book was just so good I couldn't put it down. Any second I had to read, I picked it up and devoured it. I ended up reading the 600 odd page book in a little over a day.

In contrast, my re-read was incredibly slow; almost two months from start to finish, but I found it just as enjoyable as before, if not more enjoyable as I found a lot of details that I either missed the first time in rush to get to the end, or had simply forgotten about.

The plot: Edward calls Anita away from St. Louis and her regular life to help him investigate a supernatural occurrence in his home town. Edward puts together his own team which includes Anita, Olaf Gundersson; a serial rapist and murderer, and Bernardo Spotted-Horse; a supernatural bounty hunter.

What I liked:
- Following on from Blue Moon Hamilton once again takes Anita out of her comfort zone and puts her in a new place with new challenges to confront. I always like how Anita can handle herself, no matter where she is.
- The crime was horrific but original
- Obsidian Butterfly herself, and her strange sociopathic sense of justice – in particular the three females and their rapist that she turned into vampires, so that the women could get revenge on the rapist for eternity.
- Up until this point in the series, Edward has always been a mystery so to travel to his hometown and see his personal life and the way he conducts himself around other people was fascinating.
- As with all the Anita Blake novels, Hamilton gives tantalising glimpses of the reality of living in a world where magic and the supernatural are real and commonplace; such as how the criminal justice system could hold a person who can summon demons at will safely for trial. We also learn that the death penalty is applied to those who misuse their magic – like raising a demon to commit a murder, and that they follow tradition in burning the body after execution – a twenty-first century take on burning a witch at the stake.
- The horrific scene in the hospital nursery was so hard to read, but at the same time unputdownable.
- The entire dramatic rescue scene for in particular the scene where
- I also liked the fact that while Anita is surrounded at all times by all manner of powerful, supernatural creatures. Hamilton still manages to make Edward and Olaf - mere human beings - two of the scariest characters on the page.

What I didn't like:
- On my re-read I skipped the details of what happened to I just didn't want to read that sort of thing twice.
Profile Image for Grace.
254 reviews70 followers
July 27, 2012
Did you know that once you unfreeze meat, you shouldn't refreeze it? It goes kind of squishy and rotten.

People's faces freeze and unfreeze so much in this book, it's insane. Masks, monsters, blah blah blah. Oh, and there's a giant hulking threatening rapist, so that's good. Anita does her usual routine: show up, act like a total asshole, hit/kick people, threaten them with guns, posture and stomp off, all arrogant and full of herself. This woman should be dead a thousand times over. She is a moron who foolishly takes any opportunity she can to piss people off for absolutely no reason.

Look. I get that women in American society are conditioned to be conciliatory. I get that this is not a good thing, and that when women act assertive in the same way that men do, they are frequently punished for it. But Anita Blake is not taking this stereotype on - she's just as asshole. If she were a man, she'd still be an asshole. I like characters to have good reasons to act the way they do, and she doesn't. She's just a reactive, hypersensitive jerk.

God I hate this series.
Profile Image for murphy ✌ (daydreamofalife).
228 reviews97 followers
September 1, 2020
5 / 5

Not for the faint of heart. My favorite installment of the series, partially because we get a break from relationship drama, but mostly because of the only man in the series I truly love, Edward.

What does it say about me, the fact that out of all the men this series has to offer - and there are plenty - the one I'm most taken by is the assassin/bounty hunter/sociopath? Probably nothing good, but hey, it could be worse, I could like Olaf. *shudders*

This one is gory as fuck though, guys. Like seriously, these books don't shy away from gore but this one in particular is horrendous. Anita and I will both be having nightmares after this.

So why is this my favorite of the series? You've got me. I honestly have no clue why I love it so much, because really, it contains a lot of awfulness. But it's also the one I look forward to everytime I reread the series. It's the one with the most intriguing story. The most growth of Anita's character. The most in-depth look at Edward. It's just the one that clicks with me y'know?

Onwards now to the next book and Anita's next adventure.
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,861 reviews369 followers
December 30, 2018
Edward, the empty-eyed sociopath who haunts the outskirts of Anita Blake’s life, is arguably the most interesting character in the Anita Blake series. A man of mystery, obviously dangerous, Anita values his occasional assistance and has a wary respect for him. When Edward calls in a favour that Anita owes him, she knows she has no choice but to go give him a hand.

The actual mystery portion of the book is predictable and rather uninteresting. The reason that I enjoyed this book so much was getting to know Edward and observing the dynamics of the “team” that he has assembled to solve the mystery. Four usually-lone-wolf killers must find a way to co-exist in Edward/Ted’s Santa Fe adobe home for the duration of the operation and it becomes obvious as the book progresses that Anita could be in danger from her fellow team members as well as the usual supernatural crowd.

I find myself debating whether Hamilton did Edward any favours with this installment. Does the knowledge that he has acquired a girlfriend and step-children and that he seems to care for them (at least in his own limited way) weaken him in his role as stone-cold killer and psychopath? Or does it add an unusual dimension to an otherwise stereotypical sociopathic role? One way or the other, Hamilton gives us the even creepier Olaf as contrast and the implied promise at the book’s end that he’ll be back at some point in the future.

Anita must also deal with her own ethical slippage in this adventure, wondering just how much like Edward she has become and if the progression will continue. Can hard cases like Edward be redeemed by love? Is there hope for Anita too?

Perhaps the most enjoyable Anita Blake book (especially since I’m part way into the next one and I’m wondering if I’ll even finish it).
Profile Image for Laurie  (barksbooks).
1,723 reviews672 followers
November 1, 2019
Finally, it's Edward's book!

A 4 1/2, not quite a five because Anita's badass attitude grates here and there but so much better than the books focused on the triumvirate (sp?) and sexy times. Obsidian Butterfly is all business, no sex. This is the book the Edward fans were clamoring for and it was worth the wait. This book lets us in on Edward's secret life when he calls in Anita to help out with a series of grisly murders. She learns he's living another life where he is known as good old boy "Ted" complete with sweet girlfriend and acting as step-in dad to her two children. Anita pries and teases and her relationship with Edward becomes less of a "who will kill the other first" kind of thing and more of a "I will always have your back" kind of thing. It's believable and I loved that about this book.

It is dark and gory and some extremely nasty things to happen to innocent people. There are paranormal baddies and mysteries and loads of danger filled action. Usually those things bore me but I found myself pretty much attentive to the audio from beginning to end. Narrator Kim Alexis does a fantastic Anita, all tough bitch, and also handles the myriad of other characters with ease. I was never at a loss wondering who was speaking.

I think Obsidian Butterfly is one of the best installments in this series. If you're a fan of the earliest books and the harder boiled edge of those stories this might be the last book in the series you should probably read. It all sorta goes downhill from here but I'm going to read 'em again anyway.
Profile Image for Donna.
3,903 reviews20 followers
April 30, 2016
This is one series where the reviews are as entertaining as the books are. I love reading the reviews after I've finished the book. For this particular book, people either loved it for hated it. And I am leaning toward the love side. Even though Jean-Claude wasn't in this one (and I find him very entertaining) I didn't mind. This is probably the cleanest one yet. I liked that this wasn't the same-old, same-old.

We got to see a more detailed look at Edward, which I liked. There were also some great twists that kept this engaging. And I can still say that I like the MC, Anita. She is good and bad, in an even balanced way. So still 4 stars.
Profile Image for Peter Tillman.
3,630 reviews325 followers
September 7, 2019
Last AB I read, I think, in 2000. Stil pretty good, but on the decline. From others, I gather the later ones get REALLY bad.
Profile Image for taveena kade.
682 reviews44 followers
April 19, 2018
i have to admit-this book? worst in the series so far. I skipped most of it and honestly, I feel like it didn’t add anything to the overall series. I think that it would’ve been better as a novella (book 8.5 maybe?) because of all that. If i could return it i would because it’s a waste of money. If you’re reading this review and you haven’t bought the book yet, please just trust me and skip it.
Profile Image for Jammin Jenny.
1,379 reviews187 followers
June 21, 2019
I liked this installment of the Anita Blake series. Edward was kind of different in this story - . I liked Olaf (well not liked him, but liked the character) and Bernardo. I thought it was so funny when Anita was in the bar and said Bernardo . Looking forward to the next installment, and hopefully some resolution to the triumvirate of Anita, Richard and Jean-Claude.
Profile Image for Deborah Ideiosepius.
1,619 reviews128 followers
June 25, 2017
Well, I think it was number nine. After a while I realised that people who read Laurall K. have stoped bothering about the novel titles and just refer to them by number.

Anyway, picked one up off a friends shelf and tried to read it. It might work better if you start with #1 and work up but I doubt it.

I love sex, I like engaging in it, reading about it or discussing it. I enjoy the occasional erotic novel and even soft porn on the odd legal occassion. Rarely have I found an author who can make sex boring but this novel did it. Not disgusting or anything just mind numbingly boring. If you have two hot guys (even if one is a vamp and the other a wolf) and one hot girl one would think it would be intellectually impossible to fail. Not so, after a page or two of repetition I found my brain to be so bored it had slid away from the bed on the page to contemplate something more interesting - I think it was the laundry list.
Profile Image for Sarah Beth.
319 reviews16 followers
March 28, 2022
Taking a break from St. Louis vamp and were drama, Anita joins Edward's crew (lmao can I say #TeamEdward?) to investigate the most gruesome crimes seen in the series' first 9 books. Obsidian Butterfly feels reminiscent of the first books in the series: Anita with just a gun and some death magic, not part of a massively powerful supernatural triumvirate. The detour into Edward's world forces Anita (and Edward) to contemplate love and humanity and to maybe realize they both are not wholly the monsters believe themselves to be.

MASSIVE content warning for all kinds of stuff I don't even want to talk about. I hate the way Hamilton uses other people's trauma to motivate and justify Anita's violent rampages. These books keep getting more disturbing but the story is so captivating I keep reading them; not sure when it's going to be a step too far over the line and hoping not to find out.
Profile Image for Diana (Offbeat Vagabond).
362 reviews44 followers
March 28, 2011
Review posted here: http://offbeatvagabond.blogspot.com/2010/10/laurell-k-hamilton-obsidian-butterfly.html

Let me start off by saying, I am a huge Anita Blake fan. There wouldn't be True Blood if not for Anita. Hell, as much as it pains me to say this, there wouldn't be Twilight if. It for Anita. She is the original badass. Now I am aware of how people feel about the series now. But this does not mean I am going to stop reading the series though.
This book is definitely different from the last eight books. We are not focused on Anita,first of all, we are focused on Edward. Also, most characters that we are use to, Jean-Claude, Richard, Dolph, and more are nowhere in this book. Though Jean-Claude makes a "dreamy" appearance in this book.
Now back to Edward. He scares me and he is a psychopath, yet he is surprisingly likable. He does go for the bad guys (at least I hope he does). But this book starts with Anita starting to pay Edward a favor (after killing his even crazier psycho killer friend, Harold). She goes to Arizona to meet Edward to then find out he has a fiance with kids and goes by the name Ted. I honestly didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this, given how Edward is, if his "family" knew what he did, well that would be too much. Anita, of course, knows the catastrophe that this will be and can't believe Edward is doing this not only to Donna, but to her little four year old girl and teenage son (who saw his dad die. Yeah, that bad).
So "Ted" called Anita to help solve a series of horrendous mutilations. People are being skinned alive, but they are not dead. No one can figure how they are alive and why they have been strange occurrences while they were skinned. People just conveniently needed to leave their own homes to walk or something when these mutilations took place.
So while investigating Anita meets Edward's backup. One is Bernardo Spotted Horse, sexy, horny ex Military killer and Olaf. Olaf is big, German, and a rapist who just so happens to target women with Anita's characteristics. I am sure you can imagine this meeting.
They end up meeting the Master of the City and her human servant after a disturbing stage display. If you are familiar with Anita's meetings with other vampires and their entourage, at least one person has their brains shot out. But the meeting wasn't a total waste because she finds out Obsidian Butterfly (the Master of the City) is not the god she says she is and that he cryptic talk leads to a dangerous realization (won't say, read the book).
Anita also meets up with a fellow necromancer. He is as scary as everyone says he is a d has a thing for Anita. He also has a secret. But due to Nicky's stupidity (the other necromancer), Anita and her gang are being followed by Ted's "friends" who want Anita to protect their coward of a leader.
There are a lot of things happening in this book (sorry if my follow up isn't helping much, I don't have the book with me), but it manages to not feel cluttered. It moves in a nice pace. Some books are too slow to get to the drama or the action. This was just fine. I love that we find out the Edward isn't completely soulless. Tge other books really had me thinking otherwise. Now I have heard the complaints about no Richard and (barely) no Jean-Claude, but I think this book was fine without them. It is what Anita needed to get things figured out (but not necessarily straighten). She is attracted to Detective Ramirez in this book, but the thought of leaving her boys completely is a no-go. I honestly would have liked to have seen how Anita would be like dating a human. I love Richard and Jean-Claude for sure, but still.
I have read multiple reviews about this book and have seen the issues, but frankly, I wasn't disappointed. I like the turn this book took. It still felt like Anita. She is still on that line of cop and killer. That is what makes me love her. She doesn't follow the law 100%, but she does what she must to save others. This book kept to that. This book was full of Anita's humor, Edward's new found beating heart, monsters that have done things that I honestly had a nightmare about the other night and strange love (well, I am nit sure love is the right word, hell not even lust is the right word).
Overall this was a great book in the series. I love the new yet old Edward/Ted. I thought this was a great read and like I said, it is the Anita we know and love, just with a different perspective.
Profile Image for Onefinemess.
273 reviews7 followers
November 14, 2012
A nice change of pace with much less sex than usual (yay!). Don't get me wrong, I like sex, but man is it freaking overkill in some of these books. MMmm author fantasy fulfillment much?

It was a nice change seeing Anita almost totally out of her element. The rather unexpected character development for Edward was a nice touch too, and I hope to see it address again in the future. Especially the molestation thing... AGAIN: DID THE CHARACTER REALLY NEED TO BE RAPED/MOLESTED? I see what the author was doing, but it seemed kind of out of place, especially considering the molester was just some human chic who we didn't even know had a predisposition to do this kind of thing.

I figured out in this book (I know, I know, I'm slow sometimes) what we, as readers are supposed to be feel threatened by. I mean, obviously Anita isn't going to die, so we can't worry about that, her love life isn't going to suffer - it's only going to prosper - so we can't worry about that, we can't worry about damage to her vagina from giant horse penis anymore - book 10 showed that she can take that.

So what are we left fearing for? Her humanity. With each book she trades away a new piece, sinking (if you view it as a negative) further and further away from what is "normal". And, we as readers, can see why she rationally made each choice. But with each choice, and each boundary crossed, she is a little (or a lot!) less like the readers. So I think that's what we're supposed to worry about - what will she trade this time to save those she doesn't really like but will risk (not life and limb!) but soul and sex for?

As a result, we (or me at least) find less and less to identify with her as a character about. So instead of reading a story where we're sort of riding along with the character, now I'm just kind of sitting back and watching the train wreck. Don't get me wrong, it's fascinating, but I really wonder how Hamilton is going to end this. Because she really should at some point. Maybe after Anita takes out the whole Vamp council and sits in charge of pretty much every supernatural being in the world?
Profile Image for Fangs for the Fantasy.
1,449 reviews187 followers
September 8, 2012
Anita killed one of Edward’s backups – which means she owes him a favour and he has finally called to collect. Or his alter ego has – reassuring Anita that what he wants in New Mexico is nice and legal. And a holiday away from her love life is probably not a bad idea.

Little did she imagine she’d be plunged into Edwards and that the cold, lethal assassin has a fiancée and she has 2 children – all of which have no idea about the man she’s going to marry.

And while the job may be legal – it’s brutal. Dozens of people have been killed or mutilated – and the deaths are some of the worst Anita has ever seen. Worse, it’s been done in a way neither she nor Edward’s erstwhile and experienced back up have ever seen.

Anita has to find and stop the murderer even as the death toll rises. That means facing Aztec gods, a fellow necromancer, ancient vampires and a prejudiced police force – even before she gets to the monster itself, which can feel her looking for it, and is watching her.

The writing style of this book – indeed of this series – walks that line between being evocative, setting the scene and having that fun, snarky, hard boiled internal narrative that I so love and being extremely over descriptive, pointless and dull. Since this book is set apart from her lovers, it pulls it back and goes back to earlier books where it is more for setting scene, theme and mood, rather than us enjoying 20 pages describing just how blue Jean-Claude’s very blue eyes are.

And it really does convey the sense of place. It’s one of those books where you’re nearly sure the author must have spent some time in the location in question because they seem to know it. There’s such a realness to the scene and the area that you rarely get from second hand accounts.

read more
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Marianne.
1,295 reviews146 followers
September 30, 2015
Well, I've done it. I've gotten through the first 9, fairly smut free, Anita Blake novels by listening to them on audible or reading the comics instead of the actual books. Now it's time to up the ante, to see how much (or little) I'll be enjoying Anita's upcoming ardeur and nympho side. Unfortunately, it seems to have been too hardcore for the suits over at Audible, because poor Kimberly Alexis never got to impersonate even one of Anita's many lovers in the throes of passion. (Too bad, I thought she did a good job with Jean-Claude.)

Kimberly Alexis has really added an extra layer of enjoyment to the Anita Blake books. She's made me forget that Laurell Hamilton has a tendency to repeat whole sentences and paragraphs throughout the novels. (Truth be told, I'm sick of hearing about "so much meat", how small Anita is, and how used she is to having bullies trying to intimidate her by sheer size alone, or how she's prefers NOT to engage in casual sex. *Snickers*)

This book though, is probably one of my favorite Anita Blake novels to date. Edward has been an interesting enigma for so long, and I enjoyed reading about his alter ego. But surprisingly, the man who inched his way into my heart, was Olaf; the psycho mass murdering rapist. Makes me glad I don't fit his vic profile! That letter he left her at the end? Creeeeeeeepy! *Shivers* Nevertheless, Anita's mercenary hitmen made this book all the more interesting. Made me almost forget Jean-Claude. Richard? Eeeh, time to dump his furry ass.

Well, that's all. Bring on the ardeur! *Rubs hads together in excitement*
Profile Image for Jeri.
35 reviews3 followers
February 26, 2008
As the author says this one is for all the Edward fans out there. And indeed, I am one of them. Right from the beginning I have liked Edward, even when all we knew about him was that he was a cold, mysterious assassin. In this book we, and Anita, learn more about Edward's background. It's a fascinating story and full of the action that surrounds both Edward and Anita most of the time. Anita takes another step in her personal growth in this book as well. Though she does spend a lot of time trying to determine if she's becoming a sociopath or if she is already one. It's darkly humorous as always.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Pam Nelson.
3,217 reviews101 followers
May 4, 2019
Well, this book was a whole lot of things. I hope Edward gets what he wants. He asked Anita for a favor on a case that was seriously messed up!

I don’t know I get why Edward wanted a little normal but I fear he is only putting Donna and her children in more trouble being with someone like him. It would be one thing if he was a different kind of sort but he deals with vamps on a regular basis and it just feels wrong because what is the one thing they will do to get him to go after what he loves. And well….

I love Edward so this book was fun for that part he and Anita work so well together.
Also, Olaf is creepy!!!
On to the next!
Profile Image for LaTonya Reed.
113 reviews16 followers
October 31, 2021
I really loved the angle of letting Edward share the spotlight with Anita. The deeper look into Edward gives us a better connection and how he became who he is. I was expecting a little more from Anita and at times she was so self righteous, she had me cussing!! Lol! Overall, the audiobook was great, and I'm looking forward to the reading the next book in the Anita Blake series.
Profile Image for Anna 'Bookbuyer'.
665 reviews78 followers
August 11, 2020
This was another excellent installment of the Anita Blake series.

I love that this book is more about Edward. I think that he is Anita's one true soulmate (non sexual of course). I love how they interact together and that they are so similar.

Olaf scares me and frankly it also scares me that Edward knows him. I'm guessing that Olaf was in the same kind of group that Edward was in with the mysterious Van Cleef.

Bernardo was kind of forgettable in comparison to Olaf and the other newer characters. He didn't pop or shine and I don't think he was meant to.

Nicky is a sick bastard. I can't believe that he created that monster. I can't believe that the Ulfric let him!

Obsidian Butterfly and the Red Woman's Husband were the most delusional vampires we've met so far. To think that they were gods! O.o

I found the Aztec aspects interesting. I always like learning about new cultures and especially old ones. It was a nice break from the more popular Greek theme.

I was a little sad that Jean Claude only had the tiniest little scene in this book and it was in a dream and that Richard didn't show up at all but overall it was a nice break.

Edit: August 2020

Things that stood out for me in this book.

Edward's other life.
Some of his background (Van Cleef)
The molestation of Peter
The torture of Bekka.
Obsidian Butterfly and her being such a powerful bitch
The mummify of Seth
The weird body parts and 'jewelry' decoration of the Red Woman's husband.
Riker and his gang

The worst was probably Peter and Bekka's torture. I am so glad they all the bad guys are dead.

The most facination was probably Obsidian Butterfly. I wonder if she is as powerful as major series spoiler

It was interesting to meet Jaguar shifters.

It was also interesting but also disturbing to learn about Aztec culture.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Noodle The Naughty Night Owl.
2,314 reviews34 followers
November 13, 2011
Argh! This was not expected and not well received. I had been complaining that I had given out two 9/10 scores recently to Anita Blake Books (Books 7 & 8) and worried that I'd end up giving the same score again and again and again. I needn't have worried at all.

This one was so not par for the course. The story centres around Edward the notorious Bounty Hunter, a.k.a. Death, and although Edward is an excellent character on the pages and one I had taken a liking to right form the start, this book did not do him justice. Hamilton had so much room to work with Edward and I think she let herself and the series down.

We see less of the sexy stuff, which could be acceptable, and more of the mystery stuff, which also could be acceptable, but somehow neither worked. Anita is what she is and I don't know about you, but I do read these books for the love triangle that includes Jean-Claude and Richard. Frustrating though it is at times, I enjoy the sexy bits. This time no Richard, and Jean-Claude only appears in a dream briefly. Hence this book being so far from the main storyline as it could get.

It was not a welcome change for me.

I even found myself skipping whole paragraphs and some pages, just to get to the end. Part of me didn't want to miss anything, but that was more to do with the fact that I read eight books in the series now and felt I had a vested interest in it, not because it enticed me in. Not at all.

Boring, long-winded, and so not Anita Blake. This book could be missed quite easily and not affect the series one bit.

So, what does this one get?

3/10: "Finished the book but left a lot to be desired" on the NBRS.
Profile Image for CJ.
58 reviews46 followers
June 25, 2013
Best of the series - this book takes a closer look at Edward and his world. Anita makes some surprising and frightening discoveries about the mystery man in her life.
If you were ready for a break from the vampire politics,the hot and heavy romance and the soul searching that came with said romance, this book is for you.
This is the first step in the author's contention that the real monsters are not always the ones with fangs and super human powers, and she presents this with a skillful subtlety that vanishes later in the series.
I thought Laurell K Hamilton was a solidly good writer until this book; after this book, I thought she was a gifted writer.
The books that come after Obsidian Butterfly never manage to reach the level this one seems to effortlessly float to.
35 reviews
May 18, 2009
This book was actually a disappointment to me.I was really looking forward to the story line about Edward. While there wasn't as much gore as the other books, but what was in it was really bad. I can't believe that the torture and mutilation of infants and children helps sell books! I know this sounds naive, but I believe that you can get enough gore and destruction with adult characters without pulling children into a horror story. I know this will fall on deaf ears (no one will care about 1 persons opinion) but it saddens me that Ms. Hamilton felt the need to use children in the story in this manner.
Profile Image for Regina.
625 reviews390 followers
July 14, 2011
ETA: I ended up moving this up to 4 stars desipte my criticism below.

This book would have been 4 stars if not for the repeated cultural and geographic mistakes. It was definitely a horror and gore filled book, not for the light hearted -- includes child abuse and murder. Seeing Edward and getting to know more about him made this book for me. He is now a favorite.
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