A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Incubus Dreams’ chapter twenty one


I screamed, and Richard’s mouth was suddenly on mine. He kissed me, a gentle press of lips, Fear thrilled through me, all the way to my fingertips, as if terror were an electric current. I shoved him away from me.

But he really wants to have sex, so I guess that means all this is okay.

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Anita starts to panic (OH SO SEXY) and Richard starts looking ‘eager, anticipatory’. So I guess women cringing in fear gets him hard then. A+ for enforcement of rape culture. He starts sniffing Anita and his eyes turn wolfish. Damian starts to freak and he clings to Anita’s leg, sending an image of bodies being pinned down and held down and they both start to scream.

Richard’s response is to physically tear Anita away from Damian, tearing up her skin a little, and making everyone freaks. Still, it stops her from actually screaming so I guess that means all this strong rape imagery is okay?

No, not really.

Richard pulled on my arm, sharp, sudden. It threw me off balance, and he used that momentary stumble to swing me in against his body, my arm behind my back with his hand still on my wrist. I should have been more interested int he pain, but it was the sensation of being suddenly pressed against his naked body that overwhelmed me.

Well, I guess if a woman is sexually attracted at all to a man who intends to rape her, that means it’s not rape. All this physical violence, Richard throwing Anita around as if she were just an object to stick his dick in, ignoring her entirely… Ah, l’amour.

Anyway, all this romantic violence makes Moroven pull away… because she was possessing them I guess? Interested in what the fuck is happening because of reasons? We’re twenty one chapters in, and there’s been nothing more about this vampire serial killer that’s targeting exotic dancers. Like, this is meant to be a mystery novel and there’s just chapter after chapter after chapter of extraneous character bullshit.

We’d both thrown down out shields to help Jean-Claude raise the ardeur and save us, but shields protect you from so many things.

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Anita then bursts in tears. Understandable after all this bullshit, but nope, it’s not about Anita.

It was Damian who answered, and his voice let me know that he was close before his hand patted my shoulder. “Richard hates himself more than he loves anyone else.”

Who gives a shit about his man pain?

Gregory is upset that there’s no rape happening and Micah throws Gregory out. So he did one good thing in his entire life. Give him a sticker. Micah’s ‘beast’ comes awake and it’s like a big, friendly domestic cat. Anita and Micah’s ‘beasts’ rub against each other and she describes Micah’s ‘arms could be home’.

Look, I understand that. Being held by someone you love is incredibly comforting. But why does Anita love Micah? What do they have in common? What do they enjoy doing, beside boning? What do they do together? How do they comfort each other? How do they cheer each other up? How do they react when the other is ill? Why do they have a connection?

*crickets chirping*

Yeah, thought not. Connection, intimacy, and chemistry is built on a lot more than just a desire to bone each other.

Nathanavile kisses Anita and begs her to not be sad. He cries crocodile tears.

What is love? Sometimes it’s just letting yourself be who and what you are, and letting the person you’re supposed to love be who and what he is, too. Or maybe, what and who they are.

Yeah, but I don’t buy it. Not one of your characters demonstrate that you understand how to portray love in a meaningful or realistic sense. They don’t even fart in front of each other.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Incubus Dreams’ chapter twenty


noe anita

Just when you think Anita Blake has lost all power it has over you…

OK, I am coming back to sporking. I am back, dudes, dudettes, and dudexs. I’m hoping to be back to sporking on a part time basis – I really can’t do the every day schedule anymore! I am not a young sporker out the gates anymore. I’m going back to university in September to train as a teacher (!!!) and I’m in a relationship – so I can’t spend hours every day screaming at Anita.

I’m not going to reveal personal information about my boyfriend, but his name is so ironic. As in, he is my boyfriend. Have I told you about my boyfriend? As I was saying, my boyfriend, who is my boyfriend.

That should be enough clues. Gods, these books are entrenched in my life.

Right, everyone is nude and nothing is happening. That should sum up everything that happened so far. Look, there’s not really that much to catch up on. We’re 150 pages in and nothing memorable has happened.

JC is calling for Anita but she’s full of fear. Anita is slumped with Nathaniel and Damian ‘their hair mingling like bright and dark ribbons’. Gregory is kneeling in front of them all, all half-leopard up in their business.

Even under spotted fur and yellow kitty-cat eyes, the hunger showed through. Not lust, hunger.

You know, I generally can’t read the expressions on a cat’s face that well. They just sort of look like cats all the time? Plus, if you say hunger, I think hunger. If you say lust, I’d think lust. Words mean things.

Richard is also there and his unhappiness/anger/bullshitedness and this pulls everyone out of Damian’s Terrible Worst Memory Ever. Through the power of plot convenience! JC then starts talking again, letting Anita know that Moroven (you know, Damian’s personal Voldemort) can be defeated through the ardeur’s ‘clean lust, free of pain and terror’.

I don’t understand how a moist vag defeats evil but I’m not a vampire hunter. Guess I don’t have the right qualifications.

Richard is very angry because… he’s Richard, and Anita is hesitant to feed on him. After all, Richard doesn’t ever want to be fed on and there’s been that whole issue in the past about how she did it without his consent because Anita is a horrible person. It’s a moment where Anita has a single concern for another living creature – well, until Richard, gritting his teeth, is all YES I HAVE SAID IT’S OKAY.

Well, I guess forced/coerced consent is a kind of consent. Ish.

‘I cannot hold Moroven’s fear off forever, ma petite, you must act before my strength fails us all.’

Oh no they’d be… hurt or dead. I wouldn’t want that, I’m so emotionally invested in all of these richly developed and nuanced characters.

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‘Easy for you to say, it’s not your lily-white ass on the line.’

‘I am loosing against Moroven. I can feel her nightmare coming closer, and when it comes close enough, I will flee and save myself, in hopes that when darkness falls there will be something left to rescue.’

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Anyway, Anita has to have all the sex with Richard because…. um… it’d be super bad you guise you have no idea.

My heart was in my throat like I’d swallowed a fish.

LKH, I’ve missed your terrible primary school metaphors.

Gregory doesn’t help things by sniffing and saying how yummy everything is. Anita is surprised that Gregory, who is in a half-leopard form, has leopard teeth. He licks her face and Anita makes noises from fear.

Gregory growled next to my skin. “Hmm, do it again.”

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Gregory will only listen to Richard saying that this is bad and creepy and he should stop and then he laughs. Like a serial killer. He wants to ‘play’ and ‘torment’ her. Ah, rape imagery. I haven’t missed that.

Gregory only stops for reals when Micah (BOOOO) comes in with Clair, Richard’s girlfriend.

You didn’t usually hang on to someone like that unless they were your boyfriend. I realized there was an emotion I could feel through the fear – jealousy. What the hell was she doing hanging on to Micah?

  • She walked into a house and was greeted to a gross, bloody orgy.
  • A gross, bloody vampire lept at her and tried to eat her.
  • Said vampire bit a huge chunk of flesh from her boyfriend’s chest.
  • There is loads of fear floating around the place. Just hanging around.

So, yeah, Clair is scared. But, nope, EVIL SLOOOOOT.

Gregory senses that she’s weak and tries to apply his serial killer charms to Clair but Richard makes sure that Micah takes her out the room. This was pointless.

Richard and Gregory are afraid, blah blah, if Richard changes his clothes will be ruined, blah blah, where is the hot werewolf on werewolf orgy action I was promised, fear is floating around, blah blah.

It’s very riveting stuff, you can tell.

Gregory’s only answer was a low growl that made Nathaniel whimper again.

“God help me, she’s afraid to see me nude, and I fucking love it. I love that she’s afraid of me, and I hate myself for loving it. The ardeur will rise, but God alone knows what we’ll do before it does. With this much fear, with her, I don’t trust my control. And whatever happens I want clothes when it’s over, because I’m going to want to get the hell out of here.”

Okay, this is actually Richard speaking. Not that you can tell, because he’s not mentioned and Gregory’s actions are tagged alongside this little speech. Which is a totes realistic thing for someone to say. Richard then drops his pants.

He undid his belt with one hand and squeezed the top button of his pants. The button popped open and, still gripping the top of his pants, he made a rolling motion with his hand and the buttons snapped open in a long rolling line. The front of his pants spilled open, and he spilled out. Either he wasn’t wearing any underwear or it couldn’t keep him contained

Thanks for that laundry list of actions describing a man unbuttoning his trousers. Because I had no idea how one unbuttoned trousers, it being an action that I am entirely unfamiliar with. Plus, A+ word repetition. And I doubt that Richard’s penis is strong enough to burst through his boxers.

Anyway, Anita is turned on and afraid and angry and shit.

I put my hands over my eyes like a child.

Ah, there’s the strong, sexually liberated adult woman we all know and love. Because there’s nothing that gets me wetter than a sex scene where a woman calls herself a child.

There’s a page where Anita feels like she’s going to scream and Richard is actually a nice person – getting her to calm down, and being there for her, in the moment, and not being an asshole.

I started to nod, then Damian grabbed my leg, and the fear roared back, and the scream ripped out of my throat. It wasn’t just Moroven’s power, it was Damian’s fear of that power, and the fact that I couldn’t shield against it.

FEEEEEEEAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRR and more vague metaphysical magic that never really comes across as a threat because that requires like, suspense and shit.

It’s nice to be back.

Update


Well, it’s been a while. My last post on this blog was made way back in October.

I wasn’t very well in October. To put it mildly, I was in the worst depressive spiral I’ve ever been in. I really wasn’t handling losing my father – at all. I was miserable, isolated, and wishing I was dead every single day. I didn’t know how I was ever going to get better. I didn’t see a future where I could possibly be better. The pain of my loss was so intense that I felt it would devour me with it.

But I have gotten better.

I sat down with myself and thought that I just couldn’t go on any more. I couldn’t force myself to feel this much pain any more. I realised just how much I needed help – so I got it. I forced myself to go to group therapy, to go back on anti-depressants, to go out and meet people, to go to counselling. I am working to rebuild myself, to rebuild my armour, make myself a stronger person, and to fix the hole that the loss of my father punched into me.

I am not 100% better. But I am 100% better than where I was.

I don’t know whether I’ll be posting again soon. I do miss Anita – but I’m not sure I miss how negative Anita is. Going through LKH’s bullshit is hilarious but exhausting, and I’ve got my own problems to deal with.

Dottie xx

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Incubus Dreams’ chapter nineteen


I tried not to think in the shower. Thinking bad; hot water good.

Thinking is always bad for you, Anita. You just seem to be unable to do it at all times.

She’s healed up instantly, which is handy, and then Nathaniel bangs on the bathroom door because Damian is all fucked up again.

argh

what was the fucking point of the last few chapters if damian is INSTANTLY FUCKED UP AGAIN

forward momentum?? Where is it?? You can’t just repeat the same PLOT POINTS OVER AND OVER AND OVER ARGHHHHH

Anita wasn’t aware until Nathaniel told her and is now all full of a crushing sadness because… I dunno, who gives a fuck about Damian? Name me one unique personality trait that he has. She tries getting out the shower but then Gregory and Richard just dump Damian’s body in the room and she feels like she’s suffocating under the weight of his ~sadness~.

It’s lucky that Richard doesn’t have work or anything. It’s lucky that apparently NO ONE HAS A FUCKING JOB THAT WOULD STOP ALL THIS BULLSHIT FROM TAKING PLACE. Damian just sort of lands on Anita and it’s just so bad all his sadness and fear.

I don’t give a shit about Damian’s fear. There’s nothing interesting about him. I don’t give a shit about his fear because I’m not invested in him. Anita, Richard, JC, Dolph, Zerbrowski – these are the characters we’re invested in, everyone else is secondary. So I don’t give a fuck if Damian is in fear because I don’t even really know who he is or why he’s even in these books.

Damian’s is all afraid of the vampire that made him and his hair is so long it’s like a blanket (???) (no seriously what the fuck) (JESUS CHRIST THESE HAIR LENGTHS) and Anita is out of Damian’s memory without hurting Nathaniel. Booo because everything in these books would be 100% if they were about hurting Nathaniel all the time. Damian grabs Nathaniel’s arms and now there’s warm golden sunlight everywhere. And they’re in Damian’s memories as when he was turned? I don’t care, and Damian starts to burn up a bit but Anita can’t notice because she’s lost in the totally immersive memories of really inaccurate Viking raids. People start screaming, and then Anita can smell pine trees which means Richard.

Well, yeah, he’s right there, he threw a naked dude at you.

Damian then starts screaming ‘Nemhain’ which is the secret name of the vampire that made him because LKH read Harry Potter and thought ‘hey look someone so scary people refuse to say their name what a cool idea I’m totally going to steal it’.

Everyone starts screaming and cursing Nemhain, so… um, good for them, I guess.

Edit this all out. Scrub it out. It adds absolutely nothing to this mess.

Anyway, screaming Nemhain’s name means that she’s now paying attention to everything that’s going on. For… reasons, because this exact thing happened with BM in Cerulean Sins and with MOAD in the same book, so I guess this is getting repeated all over again for no reason at all. And Damian is now dead in Anita’s arms.

I hate to break it to you but…

Anita FINALLY remembers that she’s a necromancer. Congrats! That only took you several books to remember. So Nemhain whatsit is dragging the life out of Damian but Anita, despite remembering that she has POWERS OVER THE DEAD AND CAN ANIMATE DAMIAN WITH HER OWN MAGIC, hasn’t got a single clue what she can do.

I didn’t know how to fight against nothing. I didn’t know what to do. We were dying, and I didn’t know what to do.

I dunno, do whatever you did when facing this exact same problem in the last book.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Incubus Dreams’ chapter eighteen


Gregory crawled to us on all fours, sniffing just above our bodies. He said in that growling voice, “Me next.”

Ok, he’s still a leopard, so that’s disgusting, and here’s something I’ve noticed: Anita never has safe sex. Considering that LKH makes a big deal about how she’s writing this big ol’adult world, full of consequences, it’s amazing how she’s over looking the fact that Anita might be pregnant and have some sort of super STD.

Shapeshifters look sort of like they do in the movies in half-man form, but there is one big difference. They have genitalia, and right at that moment Greggory was very, very happy to be here.

ewwwwwwwwwwwww

Anita finds Gregory’s arousal disgusting and shouts at him to back off. Damian is now sad and Anita can feel how sad he is. Anita wants to get up and this makes Nathaniel guilt-trip her through vague metaphysical emotions. Micah then comes into the room and asks what happened. They chit-chat about how Damian is awake during the day and then he reminds us what he was doing. He was out helping that werewolf who was being a drunk asshole? And, well, it gets worse.

“When I drove the guy home from the bar, he had a live-in girlfriend and a child. Girlfriend started a fight about his drinking. Anger does not help you fight the change.”

“Did he shift?” I asked.

“No, but it was close, and he’s so new…” Micah shook his head again. “I’d feel better if the girlfriend was a little more understanding about how dangerous he could be. She just didn’t seem to understand.”

Oh, this is all her fault. That he went out, got so drunk he might have shifted, got so belligerent at the bar that he might have shifted, and then some fucking idiot rapist brought him back to a home WITH A FUCKING CHILD IN IT is all her fault.

I think Unnamed Girlfriend understands very much that he’s dangerous. That’s why she didn’t want him in the house or wanted him drinking. Because it’s not her fault that a newbie werewolf decided to go out and be a hazard to the public, or decided that even though he’s having trouble controlling his shifts, he’s going to get a human girlfriend with a young child. But it’s all her fault! A man can never be at fault!

Anyway, Richard remembers that he’s in the room and points out that human women just don’t seem to understand how mad, bad, and dangerous werewolves are.

LKH. ARE WEREWOLVES DANGEROUS OR NOT? ARE THEY OPPRESSED AGAINST OR NOT? ARE THEY VICTIMS OF DISCRIMINATION OR NOT? THEY CAN’T BE BOTH.

Richard is all, hey is that one of my wolves someone who is my responsibility and who Micah should have spoken to Richard about and got help from? And Micah is all yes but this is for the good of mankind or something because I am the wereleopard messiah. He’s like Jesus but, you know, a huge rapist asshole.

Anita then decides to have a shower because ‘I’d just had sex without a condom, which meant all the mess had gone into me, but it wouldn’t stay there’. EW.

I DID NOT NEED TO BE TOLD HOW DAMIAN’S SPLOOGE IS ROLLING DOWN ANITA’S LEG

She then thinks about how Tammy got pregnant on the pill but seeing as Anita doesn’t seem to be on the pill, I have no idea why she’s bringing it up. Micah is going to call for a doctor, although Anita’s neck wound seems to be doing fine considering that she’s not dead, and he points out that Clair is sat in Richard’s car crying.

Clair, by the way, is Richard’s girlfriend. Who was just almost attacked by a vampire and saw her boyfriend’s ex have sex in front of her.

Poor Clair.

Richard can’t go outside to comfort her, as he’s covered in too much blood. The neighbours would call the police, even though Anita got this house specifically because it’s alone in the middle of nowhere. LOGIC. But Micah, Manic Pixie Dream Jesus, is on the case. Anita hovers, unsure whether to kiss him, but he’s like GO GET YOUR SHOWER.

Man i love how she’s always unsure and insecure and needing to be ordered about by micah that’s so healthy

Micah seems to find something funny and Anita assumes that he must be laughing at her. Again, that’s a sure sign of a healthy relationship, where you assume your partner is mocking you all the time. She goes to walk upstairs, cautions Gregory against touching her ass, he calls her no fun, she says she’s plenty of fun, he calls her a bitch, she barks.

I presume hilarity was supposed to ensue. Needless to say, I didn’t find it amusing.

 

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Incubus Dreams’ chapter seventeen


Damian bucked so hard that he threw Nathaniel to one side. Richard’s weight alone wasn’t enough. Damian sat up, and Richard rolled off him to keep the vampire from sinking fangs into him again.

christ who gives a shit

Anita starts shouting and waving her arms around saying ‘I’m here!’ even though I thought she was helping pin him down? Let me check. *flips back a few pages* Uh, yeah. She’s helping Richard hold him down, so I have no clue where the fuck she is in the room and in relation to everyone else.

He rushed toward me, so fast he was a blur of white and red, and his eyes like green streaks. […] To say he smashed into me didn’t come close to the impact of flesh on flesh.

Wha? What the fuck is going on? And then Damian just decides to rip open Anita’s throat and then a wereleopard appears.

So… when are we getting back to the murder plot? Because this stuff with Damian is fucking pointless and repetitive. Anyway, Gregory isn’t dead, huzzah, and he’s trying to just rip Damian straight off Anita’s neck which would be the perfect way to kill her. Through having her throat ripped out.

“When I need your help, I’ll ask for it.”

I could tell Gregory was puzzled even through the fur. I wasn’t always good at facial expressions once my friends went furry.

Possibly because Anita can’t tell human emotions anyway and the fact that Gregory literally does not have a human face right now. Look, I know that animals have facial expressions and are expressive, but animal facial expressions mean different things. I don’t even think leopards are capable of looking puzzled?

Anita breathes ‘Damiannnnnn… this is all for you Damian’ and, like magic, he’s all better now. I bet he doesn’t even feel bad for attacking her.

I was suddenly aware in a way that I hadn’t been before that we were both nude, and he was male, and he had fed. His body was thick and heavy against my thigh, where a moment ago it hadn’t been. Blood pressure is a wonderful thing.

Damian just lost all control, attacked several of your friends, and viciously assaulted you. Your ex-partner is in the room, as is a man who are so in wuv with but won’t commit to. There’s a strange woman staring at you. So, naturally, Anita is like, let’s have sex, I’m well horny.

i don’t get these people why don’t they act like normal people

Anita is like I CAN FEEL THE PULSE OF LIFE AND MAGIC and Damian starts stroking her and he’s soooooo lonely that it makes her cry. She whispers ‘Blood of my blood’, for some reason, and they start kissing and she’s like, yeah, sex. We must have it now. Nathaniel now reappears again and is ready for some sex that’s really going to make the GUESTS WHO ARE IN THE ROOM AND STARING really uncomfortable.

but yeah Anita has to ‘bind’ Damian to her even though… we’ve never seen this happen before? Like, it didn’t happen with JC, Richard, and Anita. They just dry humped all over the floor.

Richard then points out that he’s there, and Damian growls and grips Anita’s throat tighter. Anita does some stupid magic words that mean nothing, the ardeur flares up and Damian is like, well my penis is inside you now, and Anita starts instantly writhing around all over the floor and screaming. Like, as soon as his tiny, tiny penis touches her hoona.

For a book series that is lauded as being such great erotica and so sensual, why does Anita act like every female porn star (correction, how every female porn star is forced to act) in every single straight porn ever? People do not start thrashing around and screaming from the second penetrative sex starts. That’s… that’s not how sex works. Ever.

Plus that Clair woman is still in the room. Just watching this happen. And unable to get out of the house now.

Damian then grabs at Anita’s face, forces her to look at him because THERE CAN’T BE A SINGLE FUCKING SEX SCENE THAT DOESN’T SEEM RAPEY, and then thrust away so hard that Anita starts screaming again, and Nathaniel is just sort of… there, and Anita’s convulsing everywhere, as if she’s having a fit. Has Damian even let go of her neck? I can’t tell. Damian is just sort of arched above her and they’re all ‘caught in an endless loop of pleasure’.

Even though he just stuck his penis inside her and is doing nothing else. Pfft. That’s terrible sex. That is really bad sex. This is really boring sex. And this is supposedly daring, innovative erotica? HAH.

We ended in a sweating, bloody pile on the floor.

Is no one stopping Anita’s open neck wound? She must have a literal hole in her neck.

I turned my head and found that Richard was still there, but it wasn’t fear on his face now, but a sort of wonderment.

…. I really think that Anita can’t read human facial expressions, at all.

I was naked in the middle of sex with one man, maybe two, depending on how you counted things, yet, suddenly I had the moral high ground. Weird.

I wish to purify this earth with fire.

Poor Clair. She almost got eaten by a crazed vampire and now has to watch this… thing happen.