A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter three


Anita gets her zombie raising stuff, which is in a plain bag because this is ‘work’ and she’s not here to put on a show, damnit.

I turned down Halloween parties every year, where people wanted zombies raised at the stroke of midnight or some such nonsense. The scarier my reputation got, the more people wanted me to come be scary for them. I’d told Bert I could always go and threaten to shoot all the partygoers, that’d be scary. Bert had not been amused. But he had stopped asking me to do parties.

Please stop threatening to murder people, Anita. It’s not funny.

I’d been trained to use an ointment spread over face, hands, heart. The smell of rosemary, like breathing in a Christmas tree, still held a great nostalgic for me, but I didn’t use the ointment anymore.

Rosemary doesn’t smell anything like a pine tree. It smells like rosemary! And what the hell does ‘a great nostalgic’ mean? Wow such great use of language. Anyway, Anita is so amazing that she doesn’t have to use ointment, she just needs to use steel, fresh blood, and salt. She uses her own blood because Marianne – the psychic tutor – is now a Wiccan and doesn’t approve of Anita killing chickens for the raising ceremony. Killing an animal is ‘very black magic’.

Um, Anita is not a practitioner of Wicca. She’s practising a ceremony that is part of a religion. Of course, Vaudun is wicked black magic that white people paganism will make better. Bleugh.

Anita has been pricking her fingers open with a machete. Right.

Nope, not buying that. Machetes are an agricultural cleaver designed for cutting down vegetation. They are not designed to give people dainty little pin-pricks on their fingers.

Tonight Lindel graveyard was court. I was glad that Court TV hadn’t gotten wind of it. It was just the kind of weird crap that they liked to televise. You know – transsexual’s custody case; female teacher rapes thirteen-year old boy student; pro-football player’s murder trial. The O.J. Simpson trial had not been a good influence on American television.

Bit late to drop a reference to the OJ Simpson trial. This was written in 2003. And, yeah, a transgender person pleading to be allowed access to their children – that’s ‘weird crap’. And child abuse? ‘Weird crap’. Do you ever think about the implications of your writing?

Anita has to make a circle of blood so she slices open her finger with her machete – mmmwhatevermmm – and it bleeds enough to make a big circle of power. She raises Gordon Bennington up from the grave and he looks like a rotting body.

He wasn’t awful, I’d seen much worse, but his widow screamed, long and loud, and began to sob. There had been more than one reason I wanted Mrs Bennington to stay home.

Lord forbid a woman is upset by seeing the rotten body of her dead husband. Gordon has to drink some of Anita’s blood so that… things.

His hands felt like cold wax with sticks inside.

Nope. Wax is hard and, you know, waxy. Nothing like decomposing flesh.

I took a deep, steadying breath, breathe in and out. I would not be sick. Nope. I would not embarrass myself in front of this many people.

Anita, you are always made sick by everything you do. I suggest you move into a different line of work.

She asks Gordon how he died, and he reveals that he shot himself in the chest by accident, falling down the stairs. I think this guy needs to win a Darwin award. Carrying around a loaded weapon in a house with children in it? Yeah, that was clever. You’re lucky that something worse didn’t happen.

Also, everyone shits on Mrs Bennington for being upset by all of this. Silly women and their emotions!

Gordon asks whether his wife and children are going to get the insurance money now. They are – hang on. Gordon is treating it as if it’s a really serious matter that his wife and children get the money. I mean, yes, they deserve that money, but everyone is treating it as if the family would be impoverished without the money. But the Bennington’s are fantastically wealthy anyway! GAH.

“I miss you too, my little hell cat.”

She burst into sobs at that. Hiding her face in her hands. If one of the lawyers hadn’t grabbed her she’d have fallen to the ground.

My little hell cat” didn’t sound like a term of endearment to me, but hey, it proved Gordon Bennington had really known his wife. It probably also proved that she would miss him for the rest of her life. I could forgive her a few temper tantrums in the face of that much pain.

OH OH OH SO NOW WHEN SHE’S BEEN VINDICATED BY A MAN, MRS BENNINGTON’S GRIEF IS ACCEPTABLE?

I just do not understand why LKH hates women so much.

Anita puts Gordon back in his grave and the cop who likes to shoot distressed women makes jokes about how you couldn’t pay him enough to do Anita’s job. Then Anita has a Feeling, Asher drops in from the sky, Anita shields him as all the police have drawn guns.

oh no what a calamity i wonder what might happen in a series where the author has said many times that she won’t hurt main characters

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter two


Lindel Cemetery was one of those new modern affairs, where all the headstones are low to the ground, and you aren’t allowed to plant flowers.

Are you allowed to plant in American cemeteries? Because you can’t in the UK. Because, well, it’s not your land to plant on. The land belongs to the local parish. Anyway, Anita likes big fancy ostentatious cemeteries which makes sense because she was raised Catholic. They tend to be into more ostentation than Protestant churches. Anita’s here to raise a Mr Gordon Bennington from the grave to prove whether his death was suicidal or an accident – there’s a multimillion dollar insurance claim at stake. She parks up her new Jeep; her old one was destroyed in the ‘climax’ of the last book.

The insurance company hadn’t wanted to pay up on my claim. They didn’t believe that werehyenas had eaten the Country Squire.

Because they didn’t. They tore it apart. You committed insurance fraud!

Anita meets up with Arthur Conroy, the head of the lawyers for the insurance company (that holds Bennington’s claim – the insurance company isn’t here to take away Anita’s Jeep) and he’s surrounded by bodyguards. Of course he is, because this is a bizarro universe where everything is solved by violence.*

The dark-haired bodyguard, with shoulders nearly as broad as I was tall, smiled, though. “So you’re Anita Blake.”

Bad comma use and I don’t believe the guy has five foot broad shoulders.

“And you are?”

“Rex, Rex Canducci.”

I raised eyebrows at him. “Is Rex really your first name?”

He laughed, that surprised burst of laughter that is so masculine – and usually at a woman’s expense. “No.”

… of course, only men may laugh in surprise! And the only reason why they would laugh is to mock women!

I didn’t bother to ask what his real first name was, probably something embarrassing, like Florence, or Rosie.

Why would his name be Florence or Rosie? Actually, his name could be Florence, as it’s a unisex name. But unlike Shirley, or Meredith, or Ashley, Rosie has never been a unisex name. So I’m not sure why Anita thinks ‘Hey, this guy is probably called Rosie’. The other bodyguard is called ‘Balfour’ and Anita makes an unfunny crack about how he’s got one name ‘like Madonna or Cher’. For a start, how many people with just one name do YOU know, Anita? Secondly, those are both stage names. Madonna Ciccone and Cherilyn Sarkisan have professional stage names that they perform under.

Mrs Bennington then arrives. This is a source of conflict as the head lawyer and Mrs Bennington have physically fought each other at previous meetings. There are plain clothes officers around, and generally the impression is that the court should have appointed an official to witness this raising rather than two parties who HAVE BEEN ACTUALLY FIGHTING EACH OTHER.

I called her Mrs. Bennington at her insistence. When I’d referred to her as Ms. Bennington, she’d nearly bitten my head off. She was not one of your liberated women. She liked being a wife and mother. I was glad for her, it meant more freedom for the rest of us.

This is what happens when people who don’t understand feminism try to write feminist characters.

  • She has every right to insist on being called by her preferred title. After all, Anita, you bite people’s heads off when you don’t get called Ms.
  • My mother is a Mrs and I dare you to not call her a ‘liberated woman’. Calling her Mrs Smith is about respect. That’s her fucking title and you’re going to call her it.
  • You can be a ‘liberated woman’ and still be a wife. Unless you actually think all feminists believe that becoming a wife is like literally becoming someone else’s property.
  • It’s okay to be married! There is nothing wrong with being married! I don’t think I’d ever get married, but I don’t look down on women who do get married. Why would I?
  • It’s okay to be a wife and mother! Feminism is about making ALL women equal and respected. Making motherhood as respected in society as any other life choice or career path or anything a bloke might choose to do IS THE POINT OF FEMINISM. THE LITERAL POINT IS TO MAKE MEN AND WOMEN EQUAL, AND THINGS SEEN AS MASCULINE AND FEMININE EQUAL.
  • Mrs Bennington being married doesn’t increase the average level of equality experienced by all the other women in America.

Anita goes to talk to the police officer with Mrs Bennington. She just can’t talk to another woman, that’d be too feminist or something. Mrs Bennington yells at Anita, but I don’t blame her for that. She then goes berserk trying to attack Anita, almost attacks the cop, and is threatened with being thrown in the back of the cop car. Because we can’t have the other female character in this book so far act in a rational manner!

“I’ll have your badge if you touch me.”

“Striking a police officer is considered a crime, Mrs Bennington,” he said in that deep voice.

Even my moonlight you could see the astonishment on her face, as if somehow she hadn’t quite realized any of the rules applied to her. The realization seemed to take a lot of the wind out of her. She settled back and let her cadre of dark-suited lawyers lead her a little away from the nice police officer.

I was the only one close enough to hear him say, “If she’d been my wife, I’d have shot myself too.”

I laughed, I couldn’t help it.

The two then laugh about how Mrs Bennington is ‘such a crazy bitch’. In fact, the ‘nice police officer’ is considering shooting her.

- OUT OF CHEESE ERROR -

Ah, a good butt is always the solution to fighting such BLATANT AND UTTER MORONITY.

They complain some more about how Mrs Bennington is such a pain in the ass because she’s got connections with top brass and money and I don’t care because your misogyny means I am fully on her side. They continue to laugh at Mrs B and he says how funny Anita is and she says most people don’t find her funny at all probably because she’s trying to kill them. He says that all the cops in the whole city would take Anita as their back up for some ungodly reason and Anita is all I AM TOTES BLUSHING. They laugh at how Zerbrowski is a piece of crap who somehow ended up with a sitcom style hot wife. Then the zombie raisins can begin and Anita goes to get her stuff.

Now, I’m going to go unwind on the Steve Rogers tag. For research.

I like vests.

PS. My play is up on facebook, I’d love some support. We’re having – hopefully – a question and answer sesh, so please send us some questions.

*As I say that, I realise that the current solution to several world problems at the moment is violence. We need to exorcise the Anita Blake books.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter one


My play’s cast have just been announced! Go and see our page for more details!

Ah, yes, Cerulean Sins. The series has well and truly gone off into the wild blue yonder and the fanbasse is not happy. The series has jumped over the shark, the base has been broken, the arkenstone has been lost – etc etc. How will LKH remedy this? Uh, probably by indulging in the same crap as ever. Her sales are still good, her reviews are still inexplicably good, so why should she make any changes?

I’m predicting this one is going to be rough.

Fun fact: this book officially jettisons the original title scheme. The first ten books were all named after locations used in the books. This one?

It was suggested by Laurell K. Hamilton that Cerulean Sins was the name of another of Jean-Claude’s businesses, a store dealing in lingerie and other ‘adult’ products. However, this was deemed too racy for the books and eliminated before publishing.

Yeah. This series has multiple rapes, tortures, death by immolation, sexual assault of a child, gang rape, heads in baskets, demons ripping people apart, and people being skinned alive. But vibrators? TOO RACY. Whatever.

Let’s look at the blurb.

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter is not quite as human as she once was.

That’s because she’s a demon from hell.

Consumed by both the lusts of the vampire and the primal hungers of the wereleopards, her desires must be sated. But it is Jean-Claude, the Master Vampire, who needs her now.

When she is asked to reanimate the body of a long-dead corpse, it seems like just another case to Anita. What she will soon discover is that the corpse may hold the secret to an ancient crime that not everyone wants to be remembered…

In the pulse-pounding new story of suspense and sensuality, Anita will need to must all the dark forces of her passion if she is to save the ones she loves the most.

Wow. How gosh-darn exciting. That in no way sounds like any other Anita Blake novel. I am so excited to start this novel up. What a thrill ride we’re going to get.

Surprise, surprise, Anita is at work! She hasn’t been to work since… Burnt Offerings? That’s four books ago! How has she been surviving? It’s been what, two years since we’ve seen her do any work? She’s sat at her desk with a Mr. Leo Harlan, who is entirely nondescript. This means he is suspicious.

I took a sip from my coffee mug with the motto, “If you slip me decaf, I’ll rip your head off.”

No office that deals with the public would allow a employee to have such an unprofessional mug.

I’d brought it to work when our boss, Bert, had put decaf in the coffeemaker without telling anyone, thinking we wouldn’t notice. Half the office thought they had mono for a week, until we discovered Bert’s dastardly plot.

Glandular fever? You thought you had GLANDULAR FEVER? Let’s look at the symptoms of that;

  • Sore throat.
  • Swollen glands.
  • Swollen spleen.
  • Swollen eyes.
  • Flu symptoms, such as headache, temperatures, body pains.
  • Malaise, which is a feeling of intense tiredness.

Nope. You don’t think you have a serious illness just because you didn’t have a coffee in the morning.

Harlan wants a ancestor raised from the dead and Anita doesn’t believe him. Why? SCARS.

Maybe I was being paranoid, but my left arm under the nice navy suit jacket was crisscrossed with scars – from the crooked cross-shaped burn scar, where a vampire’s servant had branded me, to the slashing claw marks of a shape-shifted witch. Plus knife scars, thin and clean compared to the rest. My right arm had only one knife scar, it was nothing in comparison. And there were other scars hidden under the navy skirt and royal blue shell. Silk didn’t care if it slid over scars or smooth, untouched skin.

I DON’T CARE.

Anita asks what ancestor Harlan wants raised and realises that he’s carrying a gun in a shoulder holster. This is suspicious because… only Anita is allowed to carry weapons in the office. She wants to know what Harlan does for a living because she’s a partner in the business and deserves to know. Who the hell thought it’d be a great idea to put Anita in charge of a business?

Harlan straight up says that he’s a hitman.

let me just shut this door in your face.

Yes, of course. Because someone who makes a living from killing people would straight up just admit that they kill people for a living. That’s a realistic response. That’s how people act and deal with people. Anyway, he really wants to have his ancestor raised from the dead, commends Anita for noticing he’s got a gun, and Anita tries to find out why he wants an ancestor raised. She’ll only raise a body when there’s a ‘good reason’ like killing other people. Harlan asks whether she can raise a old body without a human sacrifice and she confirms that she can. Then Harlan tells her why he wants a body raised.

“I’ve followed the records of my family in this country back as far as I can, but my original ancestor is on no official documents. I believe he gave a false name from the beginning. Until I get his true name, I can’t track through Europe. I very much wish to do that.”

“Raise him, ask his real name, his real reason for coming to this country, and put him back?” I made it a question.

I know. I can see that. You don’t have to tell me.

They started arguing about when the appointment is going to be (you’d think the secretary/receptionist would handle that) but the real crux of the argument is that Harlan wants to know if Anita is a shifter or not. If he’s heard the rumours that she got attacked by a shifter, then surely he’d have heard that she doesn’t change? She does take full moons off, to deal with pack business, but why the hell is that any of Harlan’s business?

They look at each and think how tuff they are. Anita is cross about having to do her job.

I was pretty sure that if I turned it down, Harlan would find someone else to do it. Someone else that didn’t have either my abilities or my morals. Sometimes you deal with the devil not because you want to, but because if you don’t, someone else will.

Uh… what? You don’t want to do the job because… raising a corpse is bad? What? What?

This is not off to a good start.

Dottie Recommends: Angelology


A quick one from me – I’m still recovering from the slog that was Narcissus – but I really like this book. Angelology by Danielle Trussoni is pretty Dan Brown-eqsue – as in, it’s a treasure hunt based around historical artefacts. But it’s nothing like Brown’s works. It’s really smart and refreshing, and it makes a fun read for an afternoon.

Abandoned as a child on the steps of the St Rose Convent in New York, Evangeline Cacciatore grew up knowing little of her parents. Assisting a scholar in the convent one day, she uncovers a disturbing secret connected to her family. It relates to a sinister discovery in the Bulgarian mountains: a beautiful humanlike body impervious to decay. Who is it? And what has it to do with her parents?

Her discovery puts Evangeline in terrible danger. Unwittingly, she has reopened the war between two societies of merciless individuals racing to control powerful hidden artefacts. It is a battle that will have a devastating effect on humankind.

Only by delving deeper into her family’s secret history will Evangeline uncover the truth. But will it save, or destroy, her?

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


I have finally reached the last chapter of NiC! And I’ve prepared a small treat…

IMAG0065[1]

You see this? (And apologies to the child I inadvertently got in the picture) That’s a real life oubliette dungeon! It’s in Alnwick Castle, and it pretty much confirms to me that what I said was right and that LKH does not understand European history. Alnwick is a border castle, in the zone of land between England and Scotland that’s been fought and contested over for thousands of years. It’s a pretty wild part of the country, where castles had militias to deal with raiding and invading Scots, and the castle was pretty close to the site where William Wallace burnt an abbey full of women and children down.

The dungeon is in the outer walls of the castle. It is not part of the main castle, and it’s designed to stop cattle thieves and raiders from running across the border and escaping justice. It’s not something gothic and darkity dark. It’s a functional place to prevent prisoners from escaping trial.

*slow click*

And let’s read LKH sum up all the plot lines that she couldn’t be bothered to discuss or explore in her book.

Richard did make his Bolverk.

Of course he did. Despite him being angry at Anita at the end of the book. Anyway, Anita kills Jacob, because that plot line made sense and went somewhere. Even though Jacob was written as being entirely self-obsessed and wanting power for himself.

I did not turn furry with the full moon. [...] I’m gaining powers like a master vampire. Go figure.

*monotone* What a surprise that is. I am totally surprised by this turn of events. Lo, LKH is a master of dramatic tension.

The snake men and Marco died during the fighting.

The series didn’t need any more gullible brown people, you see.

We have a shapeshifter coalition to promote better understanding among the groups. I’m chairman, though I tried not to be.

How about saying, ‘I am not a member of your minority, it would be inappropriate for me to take such a position within this community, so I am refusing to take it’? Because it’s not appropriate for her to be even involved in the coalition. Anita hates shapeshifters and knows nothing about their cultures and communities. She’s as useful as a chocolate anvil.

Micah and I are still dating, if you can call sharing a bed and my house dating.

I call that ‘casual sex with your rapist’ as there’s no emotional bond between them.

We rescued Joseph, the lions’ Rex, and his wife is still pregnant, four months and counting – a record. Narcissus turned out to be a hermaphrodite, and he’s pregnant, too. I’m not sure Narcissus should be breeding, especially knowing who the father is, but it’s not my choice.

scared what

  • OK, ‘hermaphrodite’ is widely considered to be a stigmatising and misleading. ‘Intersex’ is generally preferred, although it refers to a very diverse range of conditions. It’s not an area I’m an expert in – I do have friends who identify as being intersex – but I’m not going to claim to be an expert. Like with anything else, I respect intersex people and will attempt to talk about related issues with as much respect and dignity that my knowledge and research can give me – and basic human decency, ammirite. I may make mistakes, but I want to know how to talk about such things in a better way.
  • With that said, let me know if I’ve trampled all over anything like a great big elephant.
  • LKH does not care about any of that. She just wants to make something shocking and drastic and it’s offensive as all hell.
  • I’m not sure how Narcissus is pregnant. Obviously, intersex people can and do have children, but there are a lot of different conditions and they have different effects on fertility. As I’m unsure what particular condition Narcissus was born with, I can’t tell how much LKH actually put any thought into this. That said, I don’t think it would help. This has been written for shock value. We’re supposed to be horrified at the thought of such a disgusting freak having a baby. Like, ew.
  • ‘I’m not sure Narcissus should be breeding’. Is that because he’s a shifter, because he doesn’t respect your binary, that he’s into BDSM, that he identifies as a gay man (again, I have to presume that, as Narcissus is presented with male pronouns), or that he’s an intersex person having a child? None of those reflect very well on you, LKH.
  • ‘It’s not my choice’. You’re damn right it’s none of your business.

Also, the cobra king and son are dead. After all, we didn’t need any more brown people in this series.

I wake up pressed between Micah and Nathaniel. You can’t feed the ardeur off of the same person every day, not even a lycanthrope.

Well, of course not. Anita can’t have multiple partners through choice.

Belle Morte wants to send her people to visit. Anita and Ronnie aren’t talking. After mentioning that she’s not dating Richard, we get a big paragraph about how she’s totally not dating him but that Micah loves her.

As for the rest, if I wake up to silk sheets I know I’m at Jean-Claude’s place. If I wake up on pure cotton sheets, I’m at home. But wherever I am, Micah is beside me.

How do you not know where you’re going to sleep? And huray, you’ve won your rapist. Congrats. Anita’s happy with him. I guess that’s a happy ending.

My final thoughts on Narcissus in Chains

I don’t think I have any cohesive thoughts on NiC. What I can say is that this is not a book. It is a nothing. It does not follow any narrative rules or structure that anyone can perceive or even enjoy. It’s a bloated mess of a… thing. The plot is non-existant. The idea of shapeshifters going missing and there being a conspiracy and the communities are closed off and don’t trust each other – that works as a plot. That’s a good plot! But it’s barely there. It’s a non-entity in ITS OWN BOOK. I could even accept Micah – him coming to Anita for help, and them growing closer over the investigation, because she feels that he understands her. But, nope, LKH can’t bother with tension. She wanted them to be together, but didn’t want to explore or go into any depths.

And that’s the problem. She just couldn’t be bothered. This book is lazy. It’s just words and words and words. They don’t add up to anything, because LKH is too lazy to explore consequences. She just wanted to write about Anita being amazing and having sex with hot guys. Her perception of story construction is like a child’s – ‘and then Anita was the greatest person ever and then she got jelly and ice cream and then she got a unicorn!’

And I really hate Micah. I hate the ardeur for being a terrible idea that was only introduced to stop Anita from being a ‘bad girl’. This book was awful drivel. A waste of paper and effort.

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


Penultimate chapter, everyone! We should celebrate by liking my play’s facebook page.

The room was black, utterly black, like being flung into blindness, nothingless, like a cave.

Anita is wandering around in the black hole and there are various people who don’t have calves on their arms. There are things hanging from the ceiling, mainly body parts.

Men screaming in the dark; by the sound of the voices I knew there were no women.

Because all gay men are evil and go mad and kill people on horrible ways. *rolls eyes* There’s blood everywhere – I’d presume there would be, if there are body parts littered everywhere.

I’ve got pretty good night vision, but even a cat needs some light, and there was nothing, nothing but the darkness.

You’re not a cat.

Chimera shouts at the screaming men and tries to find Anita. She’s just drifting around and there’s a page of him calling out for her. She’s told to answer him because it’d be bad if he’s angry. Chimera shouts at everyone to shut up. She won’t say anything, so he starts torturing the bits that are hanging from the ceiling that are still alive apparently.

“Can you taste the fear, Anita? Roll it on your tongue like the strong spice it is.”

Eugh.

“You don’t feel the need to talk, do you?” he asked, voice calmer than it had been, more ‘normal’.

“Not unless I have something to say.”

“That’s unusual in a woman. Most of them can’t stand the thought of silence. They talk and talk and talk.”

Stop. Just stop.

His voice got calmer, but it never sounded exactly like Orlando King. It was as if there was another voice coming out of him, another personality, maybe.

… didn’t you confirm that was the case in the LAST CHAPTER?

I didn’t know, and I didn’t care. If it kept him from cutting people up, then yea.

Nope. It’s spelt ‘Yeah’. Because this isn’t the tenth century. Chimera turns on the lights so that Anita can see what’s happened to Micah. Cherry has been tortured – again – but ‘Abuta’ the snake man did a good job torturing her. Abuta isn’t a real name – it’s the name of a plant – but it implies that the snake men are not white. So, the not-white snake men are so stupid that they’ll worship the first white man who comes along? Yeah, that’s not an unfortunate implication at all.

Anyway, the walls are papered with men chained to them and stuff. Anita demands that Cherry be freed.

“Unchain her.”

He smiled that unpleasant smile at me. “I’d hate to lose one of the only women we’ve got up here. Narcissus may go both ways, but he keeps the women out of his pack. Real spotted hyenas are matriarchal. He’s afraid if he brings women in that instinct will take over and he’ll lose his pack, because he’s not woman enough to keep it.”

Just stop. You are not smart enough to write about this sort of thing.

Then – with a flourish – Micah is revealed from behind a curtain. He’s been chained to the wall and he’s all injured and stuff. He’s been punished for lying about Anita being a panwere because she’s not.

“Does that mean you don’t want me for your mate?”

He laughed then. “Oh, I don’t know, I enjoy rape, adds spice.”

Can we, for the LOVE OF GOD, have ONE SINGLE VILLAIN WHO ISN’T INTO RAPE? Chimera laughs at how pissed Anita is about this and then says about how homophobic Orlando is and how unhappy he’s been that his Chimera side has been sleeping with men. I think this is stupid and cliched. Then there are noises upstairs because Anita’s allies have arrived. Anita has to ask why Chimera took the alphas. He did it to rule the shifter groups because… ruling things. Chimera decides to change shape into the snakeman from earlier, who tortured Nathaniel, which is another ‘personality’.

There was no clear fluid, no blood, nothing but the change, as if he stepped from one form into another, like Clark Kent changes into Superman.

Clark Kent doesn’t change into Superman. He IS Superman. Unless you’re comparing taking off a pair of glasses with TURNING INTO A SNAKE.

Then he turns into a lion man. Because. He launches at Anita but the ardeur starts up again. The ardeur has amazing timing. She’s full of fire. This makes Chimera back away because… sex power. This makes Anita realise that Chimera wants to die, then she gets a flash of Richard fighting in her mind, and now she has a silver knife. And the ardeur has mysteriously vanished again.

Chimera has run off to torture someone else and then Abuta jumps out. She stabs him in the heart and gets thrown across the room by Chimera. Luckily, Chimera ripped out Micah’s intestines in the two seconds he had when he teleported across the fucking room. Anita then gets Richard mind again which confirms that he is weak, weak, weak.

I didn’t call my power – there was no time. I became my power.

what the flippity hell does that mean??

She drags energy out of Chimera because she couldn’t just kill him with that giant knife that teleported into the room.

I used Orlando King’s life to fill my leopards, my wolves, and distantly, my vampires, with will. Will to live, to fight, to survive.

Of course. Everyone is healed instantly and Orlando dies screaming.

Micah’s voice came furry, rough with his new shape. “Your eyes are like a night-filled sky with stars in it.”

You just had your intestines ripped out. Perspective, man. The wolves come in holding Richard and he’s all pissed because gosh darnit he has to live now. For some reason, Richard is injured despite Anita’s power healing all the wolves. She drags more energy out of the ACTUALLY STILL ALIVE SKELETAL MESS ORLANDO and heals Richard. I think?

Micah grabs Anita and the ardeur goes wild. They laugh about how being tortured stops you being in the mood. She starts crying and the ardeur vanishes again as all the shifters touch her. Richard has teleported out of the room.

Awful lot of teleportation happening in this chapter. I wonder when everyone suddenly developed those powers.

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


We made it back to the club with a little time to spare.

What time? If you don’t tell us what the time scale is, it means nothing! TIME IS MEANINGLESS. Also, prepare to have a heart attack and die from shock: Anita doesn’t have any weapons on her. I know, I know.

Zeke would be carrying my weapons and theoretically he’d give them back to me if I needed them, theoretically.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HOW DO YOU FAIL AT WRITING SO MUCH

Anyway, angst because Zeke once attempted to kill Anita, or something. She’s upset because response to crime is reactive, and she hasn’t saved enough people, and she can’t care about people who’ve been hurt because it’s ‘abstract’.

Thinking too much tended to make my thoughts jump around, my breath came a little too fast.

Just thinking turns Anita on, apparently. This book has three and a half stars on Amazon. That’s far too much. She arrives at the club and… just goes up to meet Chimera. Just walks in and meets him. Uh huh. I’ll list that under ‘ways to destroy any tension in your book’ as a technique, shall I? The snakemen are adoring of Chimera, so that means they have to die. Anita asks for Micah and Cherry, but Chimera says ‘nuh un, they’re MINE’. This makes Anita pout because they’re her toys. Chimera wants their pards to join because… shapeshifter communities don’t interact.

There’s a reason why Hannibal Lecter is an effective and memorable villain, despite not taking a main role in the Harris books. It’s because HE WAS WRITTEN BY AN AUTHOR WHO KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING.

But, dun dun dun, guess who Chimera is? That’s right, it’s that Orlando King who was introduced right at the start of the book in a way that basically screamed ‘I’m important!’ and was never mentioned again.

This is not how you write a crime thriller. This is terrible.

“People thought your near-death experience had mellowed you, but you contracted lycanthropy, that’s why you stopped being a bounty hunter.”

Thanks for telling us why this character is important. Such a shame you couldn’t have built this over the course of your seven hundred page novel. I’ve been reading a lot of Jackie Collins lately – don’t laugh – and I have a lot of respect for Collins. Her books are sex, rich people, and gory murders. They work because she puts work into them. The plots involve twenty people interacting and building up of a criminal OVER THE BOOK SO YOU KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING AND THERE’S A SENSE OF ATMOSPHERE.

Plus one had a director getting stuck inside the woman he was cheating on his wife with and having a heart attack and dying. Sex and ridiculous situations – Collins knows what she’s writing and goes all out. It’s refreshing after reading Hamilton’s dreck.

King became a evil person because the snake men decided he was a god. But of course. That makes perfect sense. He also has multiple personality disorder (which isn’t called that any more).

Of course he does. Because he just does.

This is the book where logic went to die.

Anita pouts because ‘truly insane people are often unpredictable and hard to negotiate with’. That’s right – let’s have another villain with mental health problems. That’s not problematic AT ALL. Chimera is the side of King that let him kill things because he’s not as much a badass as Anita or something. She’s stalling him until the cavalry arrives. Although she just walked in, and her forces could have followed her because CHIMERA WAS JUST STANDING AROUND DOING NOTHING.

Chimera is leading her out to some room to show how he helped himself. Whatever. I’m just glad this book is ending soon.