A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Narcissus in Chains’ chapter fifty three


My whole house smells like fried chicken. I live above a KFC and I’ve had all my windows open, so every room smells finger lickin’ delicious. I bet there’s a room in Hell just like that, only you can never get outside.

Anita and Bobby Lee walk through to some place where there are coffins. We’re actually rescuing Damian, that half-baked subplot that never seemed to go anywhere. She states at the coffins.

“Which one is your boy?” Bobby Lee asked.

I shook my head. “Don’t know.”

“I thought you were supposed to be this boy’s master.”

“That’s the theory.”

“Then shouldn’t you be able to tell which box is which?”

I glanced at him, gave a small nod. “Point.”

Pointing out the holes in your plot doesn’t make you a smart or clever author. It means you’re a lazy, terrible writer.

Anita stares at the coffins some more. She puts her hand on one of them and something bangs inside it. She jumps and then remembers she’s a fucking necromancer. She finds out where he is.

I said a quick prayer, and I didn’t even feel odd praying to God about a vampire. I’d had to give up my narrow ideas of God a long time ago, or give up church and everything I held dear about my religion. The deal was, if God was okay with what I was doing, then I had to be, too.

Leviticus 19:31

“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.”

I like casually pointing these out. But, anyway, they’re going to find Damian.

I didn’t approve of torture.

No.

no

You’ve tortured a lot of people, Anita. Don’t even go there with me.

Anita goes to the other coffin and works out that it’s not Damian. Congrats. JC swans in and Anita is distracted from her horror of torture -

laugh (2)

- sorry that will never not be funny, the idea of Anita with morals. Anyway, Micah’s getting dressed and now Anita wants to know who’s in the other coffin. It’s Gretchen, right? The woman abused by JC and shoved into a coffin for good measure? But knowing that would require Anita to have the brains of a frog, so we have a long, drawn out bit of the righteous Anita wanting to know what’s in the box. JC explains this but Anita still doesn’t understand that Gretchen has been in the box since The Lunatic Cafe. Anita is unhappy about Gretchen being in the box for three years.

Nope, not even close.

Anita freaks out because omg torturrrr. Anita is then upset because Damian has lost his mind and…. stuff. His mind has faded or something, I don’t care. JC says that Gretchen is even worse and Anita thinks they should let her out. Or kill her. She wants to let Damian out so JC will have a bath run.

Of course.

Anyway, they can’t let them both out because JC… just doesn’t want to. Or doesn’t have enough power or some bullshit. Anita points out that Asher can help but that’s bad because he’s upset and you just can’t trust him. He points out that Asher’s pissed because he can’t have a relationship with JC – a man he has loved for centuries, but has now pulled out NO HOMO on him except when Anita approves of some man-on-man action – and JC says he would like to be in a physical relationship with Asher, if Anita wasn’t so homophobic about it all.

But he won’t ever show Asher physical affection because they couldn’t do it in public because it would hurt anita despite the fact she’s ok with it with micah arghahahahaahahaha i hate this

Anita is upset.

I have no idea what is going on or why this is even a book.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Narcissus in Chains’ chapter fifty two


I sat on the white couch with its brand-new bullet hole. Micah sat down beside me, and since he was naked, that was… interesting.

Why? Does he have a doughnut penis? Anita finds it uncomfortable – why? You’ve been around so many naked people before – and can’t look at him. People hover around. Gil cowers in the corner, as anyone would after dealing with two grown men rolling around, tearing each other’s throats out. Asher stares at people. JC then swans back into the room.

I’d dated him on and off for nearly three years; a twenty-minute cleanup was nothing short of miraculous.

It’s been three years since Burnt Offerings? LIES. JC is swanning around in a robe.

Micah’s pulse races. This makes Anita’s pulse race. JC and Micah titter over this and JC is going to take blood from Micah’s neck. There’s a page of JC hovering around Micah’s neck and Anita suggests that the huge crowd leaves. JC bites Micah and they fall over the back of the sofa.

I was left kneeling on the couch, staring up at the line of Micah’s nude body, seeing without doubt that what was happening was making his body happy. His face was slack with need, pleasure.

I don’t like, fragments.

His hands convulsed over Jean-Claude’s arm, and he half-screamed, half-shouted, “God!”

Wow. So excite.

JC sort of falls on Anita’s lap from his position… at the back of the sofa, and Asher comes in to point out that Anita is supposed to be rescuing Damian. JC snarls at Asher and Asher is like ‘FFS if you wanna fuck, I’ll just leave’.

OK, I hate Asher, but he’s like Richard. He keeps saying sense.

Anita tells Asher to ‘put the attitude on ice, I can’t deal with it right now’. What attitude? He’s telling you to do something.

“So sorry that my discomfort annoys you.”

“Fuck you, Asher.”

Where did this come from? Why do you hate Asher? And not Micah?

Asher leaps on her and glares into her face.

“Don’t offer things you’re not willing to do, ma cherie, because that is annoying.”

What does that even mean?

Asher stalks out the room and Anita decides to rescue Damian.

 

 

 

wow that was pointless

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Narcissus in Chains’ chapter fifty one


Sorry for taking an extended break – I haven’t been very well over the past few days. My IBS flares up in the heat, and it’s been thirty degrees in my town during the day. I haven’t been coping well, shall we say.

Two things highlighted this time. The first of which is LKH gleefully tweeting about how African states with ongoing civil wars and political instability have a higher murder rate than the US, something I found exceptionally distasteful. Yeah, why not celebrate the fact people are dying in misery because it makes your country look better!

Ha. Ha. Ha.

But luckily this video made things better.

THEY’RE SO FLUFFY. THEY TAKE MY WORRIES AWAY.

JC rolls off Micah… even though I don’t think he was on top of him in the last chapter, and he’s all bleeding everywhere. Anita panics and screams for Asher, DESPITE THE FACT THAT SHE CAN HEAL VAMPIRES. Anita looks at JC and describes all his wounds and flesh as being like various precious stones and sculpture materials. They have a triforce moment and then Jason runs into the room. Micah is knelt behind them.

Micah fell back, screaming, “Nooo!”

or something

Well, I’d like to see you try and explain what the fuck is going on. I also can’t take seriously any book that actually uses ‘Nooo!’ in dialogue. Nooooo indeed. It’s hammy and affected and I don’t like it.

I swayed, as if part of my support was gone, then Nathaniel was there, and the world was solid again.

I don’t understand what’s happening.

Anita stares at JC until he heals.

I smelled roses, not the faint perfume of potpurri, but thick, melt-on-your-tongue, old-fashioned garden roses, as if I were drowning in the cloying sweetness of them. It was like being dipped in honey that you knew had poison in it.

or something

I have no idea what’s going on here.

Anita appears to be having some sort of Belle Morte head trip.

I saw [Belle Morte] sitting in her room by fire and candlelight, as if electricity hadn’t been invented.

You might be in JC’s memories so… you have a jelly-bean brain. But it would appear that Belle Morte is trying to take over JC’s brain so Anita casts her out.

“She weakened my control of the ardeur.”

“And your control of your temper.”

Ah. I see. How convenient. And poorly established. Anyway, everyone laughs about this great big misunderstanding and Bobby Lee The Hick Bodyguard makes jokes about how oh, well now he won’t get kicked out of the bodyguard union! Such hilarity!

Asher and JC start talking in French. Apparently, some vampire called Marcel flipped out and killed his vampire servant one night, killing himself.

“No one ever understood what had caused it,” Jean-Claude said.

“So fortuitous,” Asher said, “only two nights before he would have fought Belle for her Council seat.”

TPhoto_00098

I thought JC was supposed to be some Machiavellian genius. And he wasn’t able to connect the two events for centuries? GOOD LORD.

Anyway, no one was ever able to prove the connection ever because vampires are really, really, really, really, really, really stupid. Apparently, no one thought to check whether Belle Morte might have used magic.

YOU ARE MAGIC CREATURES

AND YOU NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT MAGIC?

ARGDHDDHDHFFFFF

“That she could do this to a Master of the City that was not her bloodline would be unthinkable.”

“Impossible,” Asher added.

“I think it’s like real possible,” I said. “I caught her in the act.”

Why did Anita say ‘like’ in that sentence? It doesn’t fit into her character voice at all. She’s a professional who’s almost thirty. I don’t buy that she routinely says ‘like’. Micah starts asking about Belle Morte, as if it’s any of his business, and Anita pouts which means his men who are suddenly in the room jump in front of him. Micah bitches about how the fight was justified and Anita reminds him that if JC dies, she dies. Micah pouts about how he could have died – despite the fact that he’s perfectly okay now without a mark on him.

“If he had not held me off more, I would have torn his throat out.”

I turned back to Jean-Claude. “What are you saying?”

“I saw him on top of you, and I was drowning in jealousy. I meant him harm, ma petite. He defended himself.”

Liar. You helped pin her down. LIAAAAARRRRRR.

Anita still doesn’t understand what happened so JC has to confirm he would totes kill Micah. Suddenly, he’s not ok with Micah abusing his girlfriend, despite being perfectly happy with it earlier. Anita says that they’re both so reasonable which….

No. They’re not reasonable. At all.

Now JC and Micah are friends.

“Jesus, only men could get a friendship out of something like this.”

No. No one would make a friendship out of trying to brutally murder each other. They apologise to each other. JC says he needs to feed on blood now. Micah and JC swap limp come-ons. Micah goes all… nude or something. JC says he’s going to run and have a bath because he can’t feed on someone if he has blood on him.

Right.

Anita makes a crack about how JC takes so long to get ready and Bobby Lee the Hick makes a joke about, HYUCK HYUCK, women primp and take forever to get ready!

This chapter didn’t do anything. There was no point of any of this.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Narcissus in Chains’ chapter fifty


We kissed and it was like melting from the mouth down.

SEXY. Plus, I am not here to play the pronoun game with you. Who are you kissing? It turns out to be Micah and they make out for a bit. JC stops holding Anita down and then throws himself at Micah. Not for sexy times, it would seem. They actually start rolling around on the floor in a fight.

Um, LKH, that’s not how fights work. Because we don’t live in a cartoon. Anita sighs and this cancels out the ardeur, somehow. Consistency! It’s not just for cakes! She pulls out a gun, aims it at their heads – SENSE, NOTHING BUT LOGICAL SENSE – and then shoots the sofa.

This makes JC and Micah stop. They’re dripping with each other’s blood. Anita tells them to stop or she’ll shoot. JC says he can’t get up as Micah has him pinned in place, a statement that makes no sense following ‘I will shoot you in the head’. Micah won’t move, so Anita threatens to kill him again. He goes all MACHO and bro-y about how he won’t move because if he dies, JC has to die. Anita freaks because the artery in Micah’s neck has been punctured, despite Micah having all those healing powers.

Micah then claws JC’s throat out.

“Heal that,” Micah said.

I was left standing there, watching them both bleed to death. Mother fucking son of a bitch.

Well.

At least the chapter didn’t have a gang rape. I will give it that.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Narcissus in Chains’ chapter forty nine


Anita and her gang come inside JC’s apartment. It used to be black and white. It’s now white, silver, and gold. I don’t care, surprisingly enough.

The fireplace looked real, but I knew it wasn’t because it had been added later, but it was everything a fireplace should have been, except it was painted white.

stare hedge

  • So, it’s a false fireplace front. They’re common. Just describe it as being that.
  • Oh god just say it’s a false one. People will understand that.
  • ‘It was everything a fireplace should have been’.
  • What does that even mean.
  • False fireplaces look like fireplaces. Generally, they’re just the front of a fireplace, with a grate and a back, so they can be attached to walls. There would be no point in having a fireplace front that didn’t look like a fireplace. That would defeat the point entirely.
  • Fireplaces are so mainstream. I have a firepit.
  • I didn’t realise that fireplaces can’t be white.

Anita then goes on about the damn portrait of Julianna over the fireplace and urgghhhh i space out for a bit because I don’t care about JC’s twagic past. Everyone says how amazing his style is.

[Jean-Claude] pushed through white and silver drapes, and for a moment I couldn’t see where his clothes began and the cloth ended.

Oh god I hate your writing.

JC walks in, dressed in 17th century drag, and forcibly projects sex into Anita’s mind. Oh, what a guy. Apparently, his hair is now waist length. He goes to Anita and reveals that he has not fed the ardeur today. This means they can’t rescue Damian today, even though the what JC’s wearing and how he’s sorted his hair would take several hours. That ardeur sure stops you from doing anything, doesn’t it. He whimpers about how difficult his ardeur has gotten since he shared it, and one of Anita’s hick bodyguards wants to know what’s going on, and he mispronounces the ardeur, hyck hyck hyck.

Whatever.

I let that slide and turned back to Jean-Claude. “What do we do?”

Nathaniel offered a suggestion. “Feed him.”

Bang head

How much of this book has been devoted to people telling Anita that the ardeur must be fed, only for her to instantly forget and need to be reminded?

WHERE WAS THE EDITOR FOR THIS?

Micah says that Anita can’t be in the grip of the ardeur because she’s too calm! And what does that have to do with anything, when they’re talking about JC AND THE ARDEUR? JC glares at Micah, so Micah prances around like a dancer. Anita and JC are instantly turned on. Anita falls to the ground, and Micah does too. This makes the bodyguards lurch forward, but Anita sends them back. JC crawls towards Anita. She begs him not to, but since when does he listen to what she wants?

Asher then appears to nag at JC. JC, Anita, and Micah sort of roll around on the floor, asking Asher to help. Micah points out that JC could just feed but this makes Anita pissy because JC never feeds off her. For a start, that’s bullshit, and isn’t the building full of people who let JC feed on them? How is any of this a problem?

But, ah, it’s not blood, he needs sex.

I can see why Anita would be confused. It’s not like she’s been told this EVERY SINGLE TIME THE ARDEOOORR HAS BEEN BROUGHT UP. AND WHY CAN’T JC FEED SEXUALLY ON ANITA? IS IT BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE SEX WITH HER FULL CONSENT AND HE’S NOT DOWN WITH THAT?

“He has fed on blood tonight already,” Asher said. “It is not blood he needs but… voir les anges.”

‘See angels’. I have no idea what that means. Can’t you say sex? JC said on the other page he needs to feed the ardeur.

“English, Asher, even I didn’t understand that one,” I said.

You don’t speak any languages, Anita. You don’t understand any French.

“He needs release, a…” He said several things in rapid French, and I couldn’t follow it. Asher was in great distress if his English abandoned him.

I was careful not to look at Micah when I tried to explain. “It’s the ardeur that Jean-Claude needs fed.”

We already know this. We have already been told. And why can’t Asher say ‘JC needs to have sex’? What’s the distressing thing about that?

“He needs sex, not blood,” Nathaniel said.

Thanks for reminding us the bijillionth time. I wasn’t quite sure what it all meant!

Micah says that Anita fed on him with contact – what? – and Anita is confused.

“What kind of contact?”

rage

Seriously? SERIOUSLY THAT’S WHAT WE’RE GOING WITH? I thought Anita was supposed to be a intelligent, independent woman.

“Sexual contact.”

Thanks for clarifying that for us Micah.

Micah says he’ll take over Richard’s role in their triad, making Anita and JC confused because they were not a menage a trois with each other. Despite the sex magic and the big making out sess they all had. Anita freaks about JC kissing a boy and Micah and JC move at each other in super slow motion. They look at each other but won’t kiss because… uh, that’s too gay? I thought JC was into dudes as well. Nope, can’t have them attracted to anything with a penis, that’d be too weird. Anita then realises that those effects of the ardeur that supposedly happened all the time are now not happening because convenience.

They then look at Anita because they can’t touch, they’re both boys! Anita tries to crawl away but Micah drops himself on top of her, pinning her down. Anita says ‘no, don’t’ but JC is helping to pin her to the ground.

Then the ardeur starts up and Anita can no longer say no.

I guess neither Micah nor JC can have any kind of sexscapde with someone willing to have sex with them. That’d just spoil their fun. Now, I’m going to go read a book where no women are pinned down and forced into sex. And attempt to wash my brain.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Narcissus in Chains’ chapter forty eight


The steps leading down into the bowels of the Circus are wide enough for three small people to walk abreast, but the steps themselves are oddly spaced, as if whatever the steps were originally built for wasn’t two-legged, or at least wasn’t human sized.

Now, my family’s small white dog – who you’ve seen pictures of – isn’t human sized. But she can still use stairs. Whoda thunk it. It’s almost like animals are intelligent and can work things out.

The chapter then continues with a long description of how ‘Ernie’s’ hair has changed.

Who the funk and wangel is Ernie?

Anita and Micah march together while the gang has a big argument about where they can walk. Anita worries about how she’s going to greet JC. Micah asks if Anita said something. She didn’t. She worries about making a mistake.

And that’s it.

Sigh. That’s exactly what this book needs. For the miniscule plot to shrink and slow down EVEN MORE.