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


Um, sorry for the huge posting gap.

Tonight marks the night where my very first play will receive its very first public performance. So I’ve been a bit busy with that! And with other things happening in my life and everything’s been rather super stressful for me so I abandoned public stuff to focus on my work. So I hope you all can forgive me for that.

Plus, I got a new budgie.

IMAG0089[1]

This is Nicky! He’s about 12 weeks old, he likes spinach, and he has a small claw deformity. He likes foraging on the ground and is about twice the size Edgar is already. He’s a little guzzle guts and he doesn’t sing, he squeals.

But, yes, Anita Blake. She was being forced to have sex with Asher because, um, REASONS.

Asher comes into JC’s boudoir. He’s wearing a white suit -

- and Anita thinks it looks awful. Anita is freaking out on the carpet, because that’s how I like my sex scenes to start. With one of the ‘consenting adults’ having a panic attack. JC says they want to involve him and Asher boggles at them.

I was still huddled on the rug at his feet, staring at Asher like he was the fox and I was the rabbit.

THAT IS NOT HEALTHY

Anita is unhappy and is made unhappier still by the fact that JC says that she must make a decision. She freaks out at the idea of consenting to sex. *headdesks*

I tried to smooth my numb hands down my legs to touch my skirt and found only my hose. The navy skirt was too short for me to have been sitting the way I was. If there’d been anyone in the room to see, they’d have been able to tell my underwear matched it.

  • Is LKH the pen name of a cis-male writer? Because there’s no way anyone who wears a skirt on a regular basis doesn’t know how to sit down without flashing their pants. Well, anyone under six or seven when it doesn’t matter if people see your pants.
  • Is your skirt a belt?
  • There are two other people in the room.
  • Your underwear matches what? Your tights or your skirt?

Anita is apparently upset because Asher is in danger because she was a fucking idiot. Well, I’m not going to argue with that. She touches Asher on the face and he freaks out. Yeah, he doesn’t like his women to consent. I remember. But no, he’s unhappy because Anita might think he’s disgusting and ugly because she’s incredibly shallow and wouldn’t deign to sleep with someone with a disfigurement unless she knew they had once been handsome.

Yep. Anita goes on a big paragraph about how she knows how glorious his body used to look, which is supposed to be all noble and shit, but is pretty disgusting because Anita’s basically saying ‘I’m only considering fucking you because you used to look good. You’re a freak, but you were nice once upon a time’.

You’re disgusting Anita.

Asher is confused as to what Anita wants and it takes him a while to understand. Then he’s struck by how selfless Anita is.

“She will do anything to keep her people safe, even take a cripple to her bed for one night.”

How noble Anita is, considering letting someone with a disfigurement put his penis inside her. And you’re not a cripple, Asher. You are not disabled. There is no impediment to your life other than your angst. Asher will not sleep with Anita because she’s initiated it  as it will ‘weaken’ Anita and JC. Anita manipulates Asher by saying how much she loves him.

Anita doesn’t even want to sleep with Asher. This is so messed up. If you want a vampire threesome, I’m not going to judge you! I’m not going to judge you for writing porn! But, nope, you have to wrap it up in this bullshit goody-goody girl nonsense, because it’s bad for women to enjoy and want sex. They have to be forced into it. Fuck this horseshit. I’d write a good version of a vampire threesome, but I’m shit at writing sex scenes, asexuality and all.

Here’s a Dottie writing challenge for you all. Write a great vampire threesome story. No plot, just actual porn with no hand-wringing, emotional manipulation, or consent issues. Hell, I’ll even give you two characters! I have a long-burning supernatural series, and this is one of the vampires from it. Arsinoe, a two thousand year old vampire who was a Ptolemaic princess in life. She’s Grecian, with dark skin, light blondey-brown hair, and a prominent Roman nose. She identifies as a lesbian and she has a girlfriend, who she calls Leda. Arsinoe is borderline sociopathic and enjoys inflicting pain. Leda was once a Parisian streetwalker, and Arsinoe found her while she was working. She’s olive skinned with black hair. She lives with Arsinoe, and enjoys access to money, material goods, and fine society. They live in the years before the French Revolution. Sometimes, they go walking the streets together. Go. Whatever you come up with, it’s better than this mess.

“I don’t know how much was Jean-Claude’s memories at first, but whatever it began as, I do love you. Me, no one else.”

“Yet you have not taken me to your bed.”

“I love a lot of people that I don’t sleep with. Okay, that I don’t have sex with. I want you to come to bed tonight, please, Asher, and not just for sleeping.”

Remember kids: sexual love is the only kind of love that matters.

Asher pouts because she surely will abandon him in the morning. She will not love him toooomorrrroowwww.

“You took four men into that bed over there, four of us, yet you have sex with only Jean-Claude. You feed the ardeur from Nathaniel, but you have not fucked him.” He let go of my hands and shook his head, laughing. “Only you could have the strength of will to sleep night after night beside such beauty and not take all that Nathaniel had to offer. I have met saints and priests over the centuries that had not your will to resist temptation.”

dagrrhrghgbbbbbbrrrrr

Um, Anita got a handjob from Jason and sucked Nathaniel’s cock. Again, penetrative sex is the only sex that counts, which makes no sense. And, yeah, Anita is more saintly than actual fucking saints. You’d think Catholic rage would set in from Anita but nope, she doesn’t give a shit about her faith. Asher is annoyed that Anita is friends with Jason as how dare people have sex with people but not be in love with them!

Anita says this is all so embarrassing, because she’s just a good girl at heart tee hee hee, and Asher pouts because he just doesn’t want to force Anita to sleep with someone with a disfigurement. He brings up Micah and is all confuzzled that Micah is okay with Anita being in an open relationship.

I don’t get why Asher is all astonished by this. This is still the guy who lived in an open threesome with JC, right?

“He seems perfect for you,” Asher said, voice full of soft irony.

My voice is soft bronzy. I can only take that LKH meant the metals, as I have no idea what is supposed to be ironic in that sentence. Is she lampshading the fact that Micah is a rapist and an arsehole?

Asher pouts that if Anita only sleeps with him once, he’ll go and find another place to live. Great, more emotional manipulation! Anita is upset because she just can’t make decisions, damnit, and she can’t have sex with someone and not love them. She imprints on people, like a sexual duckling. Asher then goes on about how she’d be making a huge sacrifice by sleeping with someone with a disfigurement.

LKH, your attitude regarding disability and disfigurement is absolutely disgusting. You cannot seem to comprehend why people would find disabled people sexually attractive. I… have nothing to say to that. I just find your ableism baffling.

Anita launches into a big BUT I LOVE YOU speech. The speech would have more emotional impact if we ever saw Anita and Asher interact, ever saw any of the things mentioned, and if Asher hadn’t wanted to violently rape Anita when he was first introduced.

“I love the way your hair shines in the light. I love the way you smile when you’re not trying to hide or impress anyone. I love your laughter. I love the way your voice can hold sorrow like the taste of rain. I love the way you watch Jean-Claude when he moves through a room, when you don’t think anyone’s watching, because it’s exactly the way I watch him. I love your eyes. I love your pain. I love you.”

Anita loves Asher specifically because he’s in pain. What. The. Fuck.

Plus, it would have been nice to see any of this in any of the books. Show, don’t tell. Basic rule of writing.

Asher and Anita kiss. I do not care one single bit. The only thing I care about is getting some actual interesting vampire threesomes from my readers.

All Quiet on the Dottie Front


Sorry that I’m been quiet for so long! This is a pretty busy week for me – I’m back at work, I have a bunch of freelance articles to finish before the end of the week, and this is the last week of prep before my play opens. This is a pretty manic week for me and I just can’t squeeze ranting about Anita Blake in!

I’ll be back as soon as I have time to post. That might be on the twelfth of never because my schedule is seriously bursting at the seams right now.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter ten PART TWO


OK, I am back to this chapter after majorly nope’ing out after the bullshit in the last chapter. I just couldn’t deal with LKH’s batshit tirade against child molestation that made no sense in context and no sense in her universe.

Right, where were we? Ah, yes. JC and Anita have to provide Valentina – I still don’t know who she is – with a submissive for her to torture. Um, what? So, Valentina can’t have a lover because she has the body of a child but she is interested in getting sexual gratification from participating in (bad) BDSM. What is it? Is she stuck in the mentality of a child or not? WHY CAN’T YOU BE CONSISTENT AT ALL?

Anita asks whether they’d be better prepared in the preparations they were making if Musette had arrived when she was supposed to in three months. I think part of my brain exploded from the stupid.

“You know most human guests don’t expect their hosts to supply them with sex partners.”

Yeah, well, they’re not human guests. What’s your point?

“Nor do most of the bloodlines that descend from the council, but Belle’s line is built upon sex, and it has become custom to offer any of Belle’s line sex when they visit you. It is assumed that we all carry a touch of her succubus within us.”

“That’s not true,” I said.

“Non, but no one of her line has ever wished to dissuade the others of the lie.”

… you mean it’s assumed that vampires of BM’s line have the ardeur? That’s not exactly a lie. And then Anita starts talking about Willie McCoy.

Of course. That’s a logical leap. He’s not been brought up since Burnt Offerings, but yeah, my mind leaps to a random minor character when I’m thinking about succubii. Apparently, Willie and his SO Hannah are the weakest vampires (why? Isn’t Asher the weakest because he belongs to no one? That’s why Musette claimed him? ARGH) but they’re safe because part of the treaty that has been already fucking broken so there’s no reason to think Musette would still follow it that Musette & Co aren’t allowed to interfere in JC’s businesses. There are three vampires who are not protected from M&Co.

Meng Die is not safe and apparently Bartolome will have a particular interest in her because… um, reasons. For equally vague reasons, she will be entirely safe from him so they don’t need to worry. Faust is mentioned next. Love how Meng Die and Faust were clumsily reintroduced in the previous chapter to lead into this.

“Faust likes men, and to my knowledge nobody in Musette’s party is gay, right?”

“Oui, but that is not always a barrier.”

“We laid down the law tonight, that no one was to be hurt again. Forcing someone to have sex with a partner they find repugnant is a form of rape, and thus it’s harm.”

  • M&Co might have bisexual people in the group. Or anyone who has a sexuality that is not plain heterosexuality/homosexuality. You know, there’s a whole vast spectrum of sexuality out there.
  • Just more biphobia. Just shame all those filthy bisexuals. They’re just greedy gays, really. *rolls eyes*
  • I don’t think gay men are disgusted by women. They just aren’t sexually attracted to them. (Well, depending on where they fall on the Kinsey scale. Sexuality is a varied and fluid thing and that’s awesome.)
  • Um, forcing someone to have sex is just rape, straight up. Sexuality doesn’t come into it.
  • What, would it not be rape if Faust was forced to have sex with a man?
  • ‘Hell no, a gay guy just sees that as a chance for more sex! Because they’re so promiscuous! I have a load of gay men as friends! Aren’t my characters so realistic!’ GO TO HELL.
  • Rape is ‘a form of rape’. Wow. That’s a new low for this series.

JC brings up Angelito for no reason. Angelito is a casual partner with Musette, but Musette mostly enjoys getting her kicks with Valentina. Um, why aren’t you chastising Musette for being all sexual with Valentina? Because it is. It’s a sexual relationship between the two of them. But as LKH can’t conceive of non-penetrative sex, it just flies right under her radar.

“If everyone has access to someone they can fuck, or we have no suitable partners for them outside of rape, then everyone’s covered. Or have I missed something?”

He thought about it quietly for a few minutes. “Non, ma petite. Your machinations are worthy of Belle herself -

HA.

- if her intention were to keep her people safe.” Then he looked at me. “Except for one problem. Musette has had sex with Asher in the past, so you cannot make a charge of rape.”

“Having sex in the past doesn’t mean it can’t be rape in the present,” I said.

  • what
  • the
  • fuck
  • WHAT
  • THE FUCK
  • WHAT
  • THE
  • SHITING
  • FUCK
  • Musette is a child. Why isn’t it so disgusting and icky for ASHER to have sex with a CHILD?

How does this chapter keep getting worse? My god, this is an achievement in fail. BM thinks that an orgasm is the sign of a good time had by all, and I’m supposed to be so shocked except that that’s the exact same reasoning JC and Micah gave for their rapes of Anita.

“Why is it always Asher that we can’t protect? Asher that we can’t save?”

When has he needed saving before? But enough about that. Let’s talk about the ardeur – namely, that it’s not bothered Anita at all but she has to feed it now. Anita isn’t interested in sex right now, probably because they’ve spent the last two hours talking about rape and child molestation. I would be very disturbed if those turned Anita on. JC says they must, and lays down a guilt trip because all he really wants to do is snuggle, he doesn’t want to have no sex at all but they must, yadda yadda yadda, manipulative bullshit. Anita is sad because she’s not Julianna and I don’t know why. She then suggests that JC, Asher, and her make a threesome.

And there’s the reason for this whole convoluted mess of a plotline. Because Anita just can’t want to have sex with Asher as well. Otherwise she’d be a bad girl. *rolls eyes*

Anita then goes on a massive speech about how disgusting she finds the idea of two men having sex with each other. Isn’t Anita a icon for the modern age? She is sad because JC loves Asher but doesn’t apologise for basically calling her boyfriend disgusting for liking to have sex with men.

I hate Anita. She’s awful.

“I can’t let you take Asher to your bed, and I can’t take Asher to mine.”

ARJRHRGRERGERHGER

Anita doesn’t want to have sex with Asher, but she’ll force herself to so he’ll be safe. So… she’s been forced into consent. That’s rape. Again.

It’s sad that I don’t think Anita has had a consensual sex scene in the series. That’s not right.

Luckily, Micah will give permission for Anita to do this because he’s a practical man. And he understands how JC gets off on watching Anita be forced to have sex with other men.

Anita doesn’t understand how she will have time with JC if she starts having sex with Asher. I am so close to the end of this now, I’m just going to shout ASJSKDHSDFJHFHFF and move on. Anita’s personal life is ‘close as it’s ever been to working’. What. What does that even mean.

JC summons Asher with his mind.

I felt my eyes go big, breath freeze in my throat, while my pulse beat like a crazed thing. What had I done?

Can Anita have a sexual experience where she isn’t scared out of her fucking mind?

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter ten PART ONE


Anita and JC have gone to bed. They’re not worrying about the ‘bad vampires’ (christ you sound like a child. Who the hell has such a black and white world view?) because the shifters are with vampires and everything should be fine.

Yeah, if I was Musette I’d quietly slaughter everyone in the building while Anita and JC are banging. Teach Anita to try and stab me.

The ardeur was in hiding. I wasn’t questioning it, just grateful.

I’m questioning it. How come the ardeur only shows up when it’s convenient to the plot?

Jean-Claude’s large four-poster bed was draped in blue silk, mounded with pillows in at least three vibrant shades of blue. He traded the drapes and pillows to match whatever color the sheets were, so I knew without looking that the sheets would be blue silk. Jean-Claude did not do white sheets, no matter what they were made out of.

Who cares? What does that add to the story?

JC is sat on a chair while Anita luxuriates on an animal skin. She is totally fine with lying around on THE SKIN OF A DEAD ANIMAL. Eurgh. Anita asks whether Musette & Co might try grabbing Asher again. It’s apparently impossible unless they kidnap him.

“I’ve been around enough vamp politics to know that if you stop them from doing one thing, they’ll do something else, not because they want to, but because it will cause you pain.”

Why must every explanation be as fucking convoluted as possible?

Anita asks what they’ll have to do for Musette & Co. JC replies they have to provide them with food and sex which Anita Does Not Understand. The worrying thing is that Musette’s child vampire Bartolome might want sex which Anita finds disgusting. Even though he’s not a child. Technically he is, but he’s several hundred years old. And a vampire. But whatever, it’s STORY TIME.

Yay.

“Belle Morte can smell sexual appetite, it is one of her gifts. Bartolome may look like a child, but he does not think like one, nor did he when he was a human and a true boy of eleven going on twelve. He was the heir to a great fortune. Belle wanted to control that fortune. He was also notorious in an age when noble sons were allowed almost any indiscretion with women who were not of noble blood.”

If BM was the advisor of kings and emperors, why the fucketty flip is she bothered by one fortune in France? Couldn’t she just influence kings into giving her fortunes and lands? And, yeah, real nice BM. Manipulate a boy who’s just started puberty and started his sexual development. That’s not disgusting at all.

“Explain that,” I said.

“He looked like a child, Anita, and he would use that innocent face to maneuvver women into compromising situations. By the time they realized that they were in danger of abuse, it was often too late. More than that, he threatened to accuse them of being the aggressor.”

… what. What the fuck. Why would a boy of eleven manipulate grown women into those situations? What is he getting out of it? Money? There are boys of that age who are sexually aggressive, but they generally focus on people their own age. And how did Bartoleme get away with this? He was allowed any indiscretion, but surely it would look like he was going to them. This is a weird situation.

“There was no such phrase as child molestation in that century, but everyone knew it happened. Children were often married as young as ten or eleven, so the people who had such tastes could satisfy their needs within the marriage bed, until their spouses became too old for their tastes, then they would look outside their marriage, or by that time their own children might be old enough.”

I stared at him. “I don’t think I wanted to know that last part. That is beyond disgusting.”

Where do I even begin.

  • NO, children were not often married off. Marriages under the age of consent (13/14) were extremely rare and normally only confined to the highest nobility and to royalty. Then, it’s not a case of making a romantic match, but for the sake of joining extremely powerful families and countries.
  • And even then, you did not take your child bride (because, let’s face it, it’s mostly young women being married off. LKH is trying to make us ignore the gender issues because she hates women) straight to bed. Why? Because even five hundred years ago it was considered fucking disgusting to have sex with children. If you married a young bride, you would treat her as a daughter until she reached an age where it was safe for her to have children, normally about seventeen or eighteen. Why? Because having a baby under the age of sixteen is seriously dangerous. You tear open the uterine artery and die pretty quickly. There’s no point in throwing away your extremely valuable child bride.
  • LKH is presenting this as ‘children’ because she wants to paint women as being as being just as interested as child molestation as men. That’s bullshit. In a world where 1 in three women are abused and assaulted, it is not women who are the aggressors.
  • Yes, there were child molesters five hundred years ago. I have no idea what this has to do with Bartoleme. Thanks for telling me that there were child molesters, when you just implied that Bartoleme was abusing innocent women and having fun doing it. Why go on the tirade about abuse? Why does Bartoleme’s story have to involve this ridiculous nonsense? Including this sort of thing doesn’t make your story omg dark and realistic. This is the sort of crap young writers include because they don’t know how else to build a story. It is childish and unnecessary.

“Oui, ma petite, but it is still true. A fortune as large as Bartolome’s would normally be Belle’s task. She would never leave such monies, or lands, or titles, to anyone else. But she is not a lover of children, no matter how grown-up they may be, so she cast it to Musette. Who, as you now realize, will do anything our mistress bids her do.”

  • Um, if BM isn’t sexually attracted to children (yeah, say ‘lover of children’ because you can’t bring yourself to be specific in your storytime about child molestation!), then why the hell did she inflame Bartolome’s mind with her lust powers?
  • Why the hell is she so obsessive about this fortune? This makes no sense!
  • Musette is a child vampire. Why didn’t BM just arrange a marriage between Bartolome and her ‘daughter’? Clean, neat, simple.
  • I have no idea why Bartolome liked to torture women, other than for LKH to make a point about how awful women are.

“So, yes, she seduced, or allowed herself to be seduced by the boy. Belle gave her a touch of the ardeur and Bartolome was enraptured. Belle did not mean to bring him over to us as a boy. She meant to wait until he grew older, but Bartolome was thrown from his horse. He had crushed his skill, and was dying. His next brother was only five, and Belle would have no hold on him. She needed Bartolome, and so she bid Musette finish him.”

Why the hell did this story need the molestation tangent? Why didn’t BM just arrange for her ‘daughter’ Musette (which is actually an old English name, not French, just because there’s an ‘ette’ means that it’s French) to marry Bartolome? Then he has an accident, and he has to be made into a vampire swiftly. Even though dying would render his inheritance null and void. Making turning him into a vampire completely an utterly pointless. Vampires were not legally recognised back then, so there would be no way for Bartolome to claim his fortune. This story makes no fucking sense.

“Bringing children over is forbidden for a reason. Musette did not make Valentina one of us. Belle found that one of her Master Vampires was a pedophile and had brought over children to be his permanent… companions.”

What. WHAT? Who is Valentina? What the hell does this separate child molestation story have to do with the first one?

“He had broken our prohibition against bringing over children, and when Belle Morte found out why he had done it… she slew him. With full permission of the council, she slew him. They destroyed most of the children he had made. They were vampires trapped in children’s bodies, and they had been abused.” He shook his head. “Their minds did not survive, not whole.”

“So how did Valentina escape?” I asked.

“She was his newest and had yet to be touched. She was a child and a vampire but she was not mad. Belle took her in and found her people to care for her. She had human nannies for many years. She had human playmates. I must say that Belle did her best for Valentina. I think she blamed herself for not realizing what a true monster Sebastian was.”

  • The law against making children into vampires seems to be ‘oh, well they’ll be sad’. That’s a shitty reason why not. Considering how utterly lawless vampires are, I have no idea why they follow this law.
  • Why the hell do vampires care about vampire child molesters making child vampires? Vampires in this universe are murderous rapists with no regard for the conventions for human society. Why the hell do they suddenly have morals?
  • If, as JC implied, that it was very common for children to be married and in full sexual relationships, then why have the vampires all decided that it’s wrong for people to have sex with children? Wouldn’t they think it was normal?
  • I think this is an utterly disgusting attempt to be dark and serious, but child vampires don’t stay as children. They have the bodies of children, but their minds keep on developing. So they’re not really children. They are vampires.
  • Nice victim blaming. Why the hell are you punishing the victims?
  • WHO THE FUCK IS VALENTINA
  • Seeing as Valentina would have AN ADULT MIND, why the hell did they give her human nannies?
  • Yeah, BM didn’t see Sebastian for who he was. Probably because SHE THINKS IT’S OKAY TO SEXUALLY INVADE THE MINDS OF CHILDREN. SHE’S JUST AS BAD.

“Valentina tried to turn some of her playmates into vampires, so she would not be the only one. When her nanny discovered her, Valentina slit her throat. That was the end of human nannies and human playmates.”

  • BM, you’re an idiot. ‘I am totally shocked that a vampire is acting like a vampire!’
  • Isn’t Bartolome a child? Why didn’t BM get Val + Bart to play together?

“She does not truly need one in the traditional sense of a child’s needs, but she is forever eight years old, and even today she cannot catch a taxi by herself, register in a hotel, without people wondering. Some well-meaning human will call the police to report the poor abandoned child that’s staying in their hotel.”

  • SHE’S A VAMPIRE. IN A WORLD WHERE VAMPIRES LIVE OPENLY. WHY CAN’T PEOPLE RECOGNISE SHE’S A FUCKING VAMPIRE.
  • She’s a vampire. She has mind control powers. Can you tell me why she can’t just use them to make this less of a problem?

tl;dr

That was only four fucking pages. And I am nope’d out. See you for the rest of this moronic mess tomorrow.

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


Sorry for the lag in updates – I’ve been a bit tired etc and not in the right headspace to deal with Anita’s constant parade of bullshit. But let us return to Musette’s awesomeness!

Musette made a big show of licking the knife clean, while Asher stood in front of her and bled. She licked it like a kid with a Popsicle on a hot day – got to lick carefully, but quickly, or it drips down your hand, and you lose some of it. Her eyes were all for me, the show was all for me. It was as if Asher didn’t matter at all to her. Maybe he didn’t.

Gee, do you think Musette doesn’t care about Asher? I thought stabbing him in the stomach showed that enough, but nope, LKH thinks her readers are so stupid that she has to tell them exactly how to think. Her scenes of violence are bland, lack emotion, and she feels the need to tell me how I ought to react to them. That’s why her writing just doesn’t work. I can’t react or feel anything when a story is so incompetently told that the author has to MAKE SURE TO TELL ME WHAT TO THINK.

She seemed totally surprised when I grabbed her hand. Maybe she expected me to fight like a girl, whatever the hell that means.

Well, I see someone has never seen two women fight. I have. I have seen a lot of women fighting. When I read the phrase ‘fights like a girl’, I think ‘eye gouging, hair pulling, and skin shredding’. Sure, men might be powerful, but women are vicious. They go in with nails. It’s not pleasant.

And yes, hair pulling is a big stereotype when it comes to women fighting. But have you ever actually had your hair pulled out in a fight? If you pull hard enough, you can rip lumps out of someone’s scalp. It’s not nice.

Anita knocks Musette to the ground and stabs her. Um, she says ‘I plunged the knife home’, a classic example of Hamilton muddiness. Is Musette a house? Is there a part of her body called ‘home’? If not, then where was she stabbed? The knife isn’t silver, so Musette will be fine, although BM might just decide to tear Anita’s head off. This is exactly why you don’t include Anita in politics. She’s an idiot. Angelito moves but cowers back when Anita makes a limp threat. Vampires come into the room so Anita begins torturing Musette by tearing up her chest with the knife. Then some hyenas howl and a bunch of shapeshifters come in.

Bobby Lee – you remember him, the butt of a thousand ‘hick’ jokes – and asks whether it’s a smart idea to kill Musette. It’s not, but Anita’s an idiot.

“Micah send you?” I asked, eyes still on Musette’s pain-filled face. I was happy to see her hurting. I didn’t usually enjoy causing pain to anyone, but I just didn’t mind hurting Musette.

laugh

Yeah, after ten books, I know that’s total balls. Micah sent all the shapeshifters because… um, Anita can’t do anything without the support of a man.

“No one comes into our territory and harms our people. No one, not the council, not even le sourdre de sang of our bloodline. Everyone tells me that when I speak to you I’m speaking to Belle herself, well, here’s the message. The next one of her people to harm one of our people is dead. I will take their heads, their hearts, and I’ll burn the rest.”

*flat voice* And then I’ll have your guts for garters.

BM takes over Musette’s body and laughs about how JC hasn’t taught Anita anything.

The irreverent thought that she’d give really good phone sex crossed my mind.

Why must everything be about sex?

JC waffles how BM taught him to be a ruthless politician (lessons that clearly went nowhere) but he’s his own creature and he’ll let Anita do whatever she wants, so they might just kill Musette anyway. BM says oh, you wouldn’t dare, but JC is smug about ‘oh, your laws say vampires have to negotiate to enter a territory so this makes Musette a outlaw so I can slaughter who I want!’.

JC, you’re really stupid.

He then whines about how she didn’t love him and was only interested in having sex with him. Well, mate, there’s not much to you aside from your inflated sense of sex appeal. I’m not sure what there is to love.

Anita then has a minor freak out about carving up Musette’s body. BM then pouts because JC loves Anita more than her and she says nyah nyah it’s because you hated Asher and BM is all what, were JC and Asher close??

argh

This is like smacking your head into a brick wall AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.

Anita tells BM to go away she’s all tired and stuff and BM tries to touch her face (STOP TOUCHING EACH OTHERS FACES YOU WEIRD WEIRD PEOPLE) so Anita says she’ll cut out Musette’s heart and eat it with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

“Oh, I believe you, I just can’t get too worked up over it.”

“Worked up?” she made it a question.

I can see that. I see that by the FUCKING QUESTION MARK. I swear to God, I’m convinced Stephenie Meyer was actually a huge closet fan of these books because there are so many of the same writing problems in both series.

Anita goes on about how she’s totes not scared of BM and that’s not because BM hasn’t actually ever done anything or been presented as an actual threat at any point so it’s impossible to be scared of her. Anita pulls out the knife, and Musette/BM grabs her and Anita is ZOMG transported to BM’s sexy sex lair of sex. BM is naked and Anita finds her attractive. Oh no, she got infected with the bisexuality virus!

But the wolves show up and with Damian and everything that means she’s more powerful than a possessed body of a severely injured child. Who knew. There’s waffle about the ardeur, but seeing as Anita can just ignore it and it stops being a problem, I’m going to ignore it.

Musette’s entourage comes on through and picks her up. JC then offers them room to stay in the Circus. Right. Of course. That doesn’t sound suspicious at all.

Bobby Lee was still holding his gun nice and steady on the vamps. “Anita?” he made my name a question.

I CAN SEE THAT.

Circus vamps are told to take the Musette & Co group to bedrooms. That are in this Circus. With endless tunnels and cellars.

Meng Die was lovely, delicate, with perfectly straight black hair cut just above her shoulders; her skin was like pale porcelain. She would have looked like a perfect China doll if she hadn’t liked wearing black leather most of the time. The leather sort of ruined the image. She was a Master Vampire, and her animal to call, I’d been surprised to learn, was the wolf. Strangely, this didn’t make her any more attractive to the wolves or me. She was just too damn unfriendly.

Maybe she’s pissed off about your constant racism towards her.

Meng Die and Faust take away Musette & Co. There’s a lot of talk about the curtains. Anita thinks it might have been a bad idea to antagonise BM.

Idiots. Everyone in this book is an idiot.

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


Musette is incredibly smug about upsetting Asher. Have I mentioned lately that I love Musette? ‘Cause I do. She’s a villain with actual personality doing an action which is designed to emotionally and mentally hurt a ‘hero’, rather than showboating in a way designed to make her easy to kill.

I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Damian helps Anita and JC up from their swoon. Musette, seeing how upset everyone is, presses her advantage and demands presents. JC says they haven’t prepared anything so far in advance (what, does a bath bomb set take long to buy?) but Musette is like, whatevs, I what presents now.

I found my voice and it wasn’t bland. “How dare you come here three months early, knowing we won’t be prepared, and make demands on us?” Damian was clinging to my back a little frantically, but I was polite, for me.

On a scale of ‘I’m going to eat a whole giant pizza then drink a two lire bottle of Fanta’ to ‘Why don’t we try invading Russia in the middle of winter’, how bad of an idea is it to include Anita in situations that require tact and delicacy?

Damian is worried Anita is a poor weak wimmins so he cradles her body. JC starts to panic but Musette shushes him so Anita can dig her own grave.

I opened mu mouth to call her a heartless bitch, but it wasn’t what came out. “Did you believe that gifts worthy of such beauty could be hurried? Would you really take some poor substitute in the place of the magnificence we had commissioned?”

Swear to the god that is milkybar buttons, that’s the only intelligent thing JC has ever done in these books. Although if I was Musette I’d just say ‘Fine, well I’ll come back for those presents. Give me another one now’. JC waffles about how only one person compares to the beauty of Musette and Anita doesn’t mind that (sensible, considering). Musette elects to twist the knife a little, so Anita says that compared to the ‘otherworldly triplets here’ she’s clearly not that beautiful. This includes Asher, and Musette can’t believe anyone would find him attractive. He’s, like, all gross. Musette lacks the ability to tell if Anita is lying or not, which supposedly means she has a bad case of denial. I thought that Anita was able to mask emotions and things from vampires. Apparently that’s been forgotten.

Musette doesn’t understand why Anita is totes okay with being the ‘homely one of the group’. Yeah, no, not buying it. This is blatant Anita bitching about how she’s not attractive so one of her MANY RIDICULOUSLY ATTRACTIVE BOYFRIENDS can console her later. Yeah, seeing as how EVERY MAN YOU MEET THROWS HIMSELF TO THE GROUND FOR YOU, I ain’t believing that Anita thinks she’s ugly.

I have serious issues with my looks. I honestly have trouble looking at my own body. If I wear a swimsuit in public, I normally cover myself up with a big t-shirt. I like wearing baggy clothes and I get serious anxiety if I wear anything I think might expose parts of myself that I’m not comfortable with showing – like anywhere below my collarbone and above my knees. I have been mocked and bullied enough for my looks that I doubt I’ll ever be fully comfortable with my appearance.

I don’t see any of that in Anita Blake. Don’t tell me she thinks she’s ugly. I’ve lived it, and I know when people are lying to me.

“Truth is truth, Musette. I’ve broken the cardinal girl rule.”

“And what would that be?”

“Never date anyone prettier than you are.”

Sorry, attractive men of the world, our love is just not meant to be.

TPhoto_00104

Musette says that feeding on Anita would not be a satisfactory present, so she wants Asher instead. JC says nuh uh, and Musette starts talking about Meng-Die for some reason because it introduces random vampire bullshit about how master vamps have to visit their master one last time and JC didn’t do that when he became master because LKH invented that for this book and now BM is really pissed off because JC is so super powerful now and that means he has no duties to her any more.

Let me get this straight. JC is in control of one city in the US. BM is a council member, thousands of years old, and politically powerful nationally. Um, yeah, those two seem comparable.

Musette wants Asher because BM might recall him home after he went AWOL after Yvette died. Whoops. Asher, you’re an idiot.

JC blathers on about how BM has always wanted her vampires to be independent – yeah, sure looks that way – and Musette calls him out by saying that Asher just wanted revenge. Musette implies that Asher and JC are back together which horrifies Anita because EW BOY COOTIES? MEN CAN’T SLEEP WITH MEN AND LIKE WOMEN TOO THAT’S DISGUSTING.

Asher moans about how BM is sickened by how disgusting he is, only for Musette to lay a totally sick burn by pointing out that JC (and, by extension, Anita) are similarly disgusted with him. Anita pipes up that it’s her rampant biphobia that’s the real problem here. Jokes, that would imply LKH respects bisexuals. Nope, Anita just claims it’s her fault.

“What do you mean, servant?”

“You know, even if I was like, a maid, I know enough about polite society to know that you don’t call a maid, simply, maid. You don’t call a servant, servant, not unless you have never truly interacted with servants. Is that it, Musette? Are you not an aristocrat, after all? Is it all pretend, and you simply don’t know any better?”

  • What did the humble comma ever do to you? I’m sorry, but if you consider that good writing, I shudder to think what you think bad is.
  • like seriously what the shit is up with those commas
  • I can’t get over them.
  • When have you ever had servants, Anita? What the hell do you know about addressing servants? What, did your veterinarian father have money for a butler and twenty maids?
  • If you’re trying to tell me that a Latina woman would instinctively know about servants, go sit in the corner and think about what you’re implying.
  • I doubt Anita knows anything about polite society. She’s thoroughly lower middle class, does not mix in high society, and is not polite.
  • Are you shitting me about this ‘oh, don’t call me servant’ balls? Have you any idea how servants have been treated throughout history? I don’t think a noble girl from six hundred years ago would give a shit about the opinion of her servants and would probably have them beaten for talking back.

“What I mean is that I’m not entirely comfortable with this bisexual thing. I won’t share Jean-Claude with another woman, and definitely not with a man.”

So, Anita finds men having sex with each other disgusting. Glad we got that out in the open. I just have to question what’s so amazing about Anita that JC is turning his back on someone he’s had a intense romantic relationship with for several centuries. We never see Anita and JC interacting. They never converse. They never have fun together. We never see them laughing or just spending time with each other. Just what does he see in her?

Musette says great, that means Asher doesn’t belong to anyone and she can have him for the night.

“I thought you agreed with Belle that Asher isn’t pretty enough to have sex with anymore.”

He is stood right next to you Anita. I don’t think you’re helping his self-esteem.

JC explains that Musette is actually into torture. Well, it’s ‘dominance and submission’ (because LKH can’t even bring herself to say BDSM) but as Musette doesn’t use safe words, it’s pretty much torture. Anita feels bad because since no one’s sleeping with Asher, it’s okay for Musette to torture him.

WHY DOES EVERY SINGLE THING IN THESE BOOKS REVOLVE AROUND SEX

Why was I always being made to feel guilty because I wasn’t having sex with more people?

I’m sorry that was so stupid I actually zoned out. Just go and write porn.

Musette whips out a knife and just stabs Asher in the stomach. I like the fact she’s as fed up with this shit as I am.

Anita decides to fight Musette in hand-to-hand combat.

The incredibly old and incredibly strong vampire.

Yeah.

You’re really stupid.

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


Musette stood by the white brick fireplace. It had to be her, because she was the only little blond Barbie doll in the room, and that’s how Jason had described her. Jason had a lot of faults, but describing a woman inaccurately was not one of them.

She was indeed small, shorter than me by at least three inches. Which made her barely five feet tall, if she was wearing heels under the long white gown, then she was tinier still. Her hair fell around her shoulders in blond waves, but her eyebrows were black and perfectly arched. Either she dyed one thing or the other, or she was one of those rare blonds where body and head hair didn’t match. Which did often, but not often. The blond hair, pale skin, dark eyebrows and eyelashes framed blue eyes like spring skies. I realized that her eyes were only a few shades bluer than Jason’s. Maybe it was the dark eyebrows and lashes that made them seem so much more vivid.

She smiled with a rosebud mouth that was so red I knew she was wearing lipstick, and once I saw that I knew she was wearing more makeup. Well done, understated, but there were touches here and there helped a striking, almost childlike beauty along.

YOU ARE SEXUALISING A CHILD. PLEASE STOP. I don’t care how old Musette is as a vampire. She’s a child. SHE IS A CHILD. STOP IT.

Musette’s teenage girlfriend – and if Musette is a teen, then I’d like an exploration of their relationship and how it works, but I guess we’re not going to get it – and Anita thinks about how the girl doesn’t have any bitemarks on her neck. She is confused where else a vampire might take blood from. *rolls eyes*

There’s another visitor in the room, a huge six foot man with giant shoulders. Quick, stop him, he’s escaped from a 9os comic book! He’s got dark hair in a braid and is dressed in… period clothes? Anita says he’s got tights on but there isn’t any mentioned anywhere else. We do get this though:

His skin was as dark as skin that hadn’t seen much sun in centuries could be. I was betting he tanned with very little effort. His eyes were an odd blue green, aqua, like the waters of the Caribbean. They were startling in his dark face and should have added warmth and beauty.

You couldn’t be bothered to talk about his period clothing, for once, but you drew attention to his stupid eyes and took the time to stress that he’s totally white you guys, he’s not a gross brown person, he’s just really tanned.

Musette speaks in French… for some reason, and JC tells her that Anita doesn’t speak it. She completely understands what he’s saying even though she doesn’t speak French because congrats Anita, you speak less French than a twelve year old. Musette says that she hasn’t seen Damian in ages and his mistress, that scary one who is never named like freakin’ Voldemort, is called Moroven and won’t take a place on the council. Damian is distressed and Anita steps forward to defend his honour. Musette starts mocking JC and Asher for replacing Julianna.

oh man i like musette. she has personality and could be really interesting!

“Why is it that Asher and you choose such common women? I suppose there is something comforting about good, sturdy, peasant stock.”

clap

Musette is great.

Anita laughs and then goes on about how all her family have been farmers and soldiers and she’s so proud of being peasant stock because ‘we’ve had to work for everything we have’. Funny that you don’t seem to spend any of your time working or striving for anything. In fact, everything you’ve gotten has been given to you. Musette is very confused and Asher tries to explain that Anita knows nothing of a feudal society.

Of course, because Musette automatically assumes that the world is run like a European feudal society? LOGIC.

“You, lovely Musette, have never lived where you were not subject to a lord, or lady, or where you did not rule others. You have never lived without knowing the duties one owes one’s liege.”

That’s double crap. Not only was European medieval feudalism, you know, confined to Europe and does not define the world, it’s not like Anita comes from a land where she does not have expectations of loyalty and duty and a ruler. She has a ruler – the American President. She is a subject to someone else – not in a king/subject sense, but in the sense that she has to follow the laws etc of the president and her government. Anita has duties. They’re just different from working the land.

Musette does not explain the concept of ‘freedom’ and decides that anything she doesn’t understand is not important. Well, that does make her sound like an aristocrat. Musette asks ‘Angelito’, the braided hair guy, to display their present for JC and Asher.

It was a picture of Cupid and Psyche, that traditional scene where Cupid asleep is finally revealed to the candle-wielding Psyche. Valentine’s Day has robbed Cupid of what he was in the beginning. He was not a chubby sexless baby with wings. He was a god, a god of love.

Cupid is the god of sex and attraction, not just love. The Greeks did portray him as a chubby baby boy. Greek history and culture wasn’t fixed. Different areas and different places and different times had different interpretations of their gods and myths. Anyway, Cupid is Asher.

He was nude, but that word didn’t do him justice. The candlelight made his skin warm from the broadening of his shoulders to the curve of his feet. His nipples were like dark haloes against the swell of his chest, his stomach was flat to the grace of his belly button as if an angel had touched that flawless skin and left a delicate imprint, a line of hair dark gold, almost auburn, traced the edge of his stomach, and ran in a line down, down to curl around him, where he lay swollen, partially erect, caught forever between sleep and passion. The curve of his hip was the most perfect few inches of skin I’d ever seen. That curve drew the eye down  the line of his thigh, the long sweep of his legs.

Ok, I’m going to show an image of an actual picture of Cupid and Psyche from the time period where Asher and JC were doing their thang.

Notice anything? Oh, yeah, it’s not as frankly erotic as that. That’s because it wouldn’t be acceptable. Here’s a slightly later picture of the same myth.

Again, not so openly erotic and pornographic. Nudity is used as a symbol of purity and innocence, rather than for eroticism. Ain’t no one be painting that Asher picture.

The Psyche in the picture is JC. Um, because? This makes Asher and JC sad. But present time isn’t over! Musette brings out a Titian -

OK, I have no idea how Anita can recognise a Titian when she is not interested in art AT ALL. And a Titian? Nope. Not only did Titian not work in France but he lived before Asher was made into a vampire and before he was tortured. This is a picture of Asher after the melting by holy water, so this is the 1640s/1650s. Titian had already been dead seventy years by that point.

JC is struck with memories, so he and Anita faint into a big heap.

strong independent woman… fainting in every book…