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


We ended up standing at the far side of the parking lot, where trees grew in a tall, thin line.

Did you dance all the way there? Did you dance out of the reception into the parking lot?

Micah’s hair streamed around his face, like a thick, dark cloud. He’d taken off his glasses, and the streetlights made his eyes very yellow, even with the green shirt on, as if they reflected differently than they should have, or would have, if they’d been human eyes.

Um, aren’t you always going on about how Micah has cat eyes? Which do react to light differently than human eyes?

Anita wants to walk with the wind – are you going to fucking paint with the colours of the wind or something – and Micah is ready to reveal why his nose healing is such a big thing.

Can you hear how much I don’t care about these non-emotions? None of this is emotionally resonant to me, especially rn. I don’t care about your bullshit made-up backstory Micah.

Anyway, Micah reveals that he has long hair because Chimera (yeah, remember that villain that amounted to nothing in the text of Narcissus in Chains but was actually important) made certain members of the pard have long hair to show that they were ‘weak’ for not participating on torture. They would then be gang raped.

  • Merle was also a victim of this, but Caleb enjoyed inflicting rape and pain immensely. Anita has no opinion on this in regards to Caleb because she is a horrible person.
  • In Narcissus in Chains, it’s implied that this was what happened to the female members of the group. I guess that these women no longer exist because then their suffering would be in ‘competition’ with Micah’s pain.
  • Anita forces Micah to have long hair. In return, Micah forces Anita to have long hair. In light of this revelation, that got EVEN WORSE AS A DYNAMIC. GAH.
  • Your immediate response to meeting Anita was to sexually assault her, Micah. I’m not going to let this go.
  • I still think that Micah is a huge fucking liar that moves around the country using and abusing women.
  • LKH is STILL using rape as drama when she has no need to.
  • Bisexual people are still evil, I see.

Micah tries to blame this all on Narcissus having mental health issues. Yeah, okay. Thanks for that.

“Part of him was the ultimate male bully, and that part raped women. Part of him was gay, and the two parts hated each other.”

  • Gay men can still hate women. Gayness doesn’t erase misogyny.
  • No, homophobia is not caused by people being repressed about their sexuality and having to lash out. That is an incredibly offensive and backwards idea. It’s a fucking stupid way of looking at prejudice.

Anyway, because Micah was totes the best, Chimera wanted him for a partner in life, but Micah refused to rape and torture people –

EXCEPT WHAT YOU DID WITH ANITA. CHIMERA ASKED YOU TO INFILTRATE THE GROUP AND RAPE HER. AND YOU DID.

– so Chimera kept beating him and then ate his nose. When it grew back, Chimera broke it again –

you know, I wonder why Anita can only be surrounded by ‘broken’ and damaged men. Is it because she can keep them damaged and abuse them, oh yes it is because she’s a horrible person.

Micah then has a breakdown because he wasn’t man enough to save his people he had to rely on Anita. She holds him and it’s a Moment, because this was a perfect moment to have at someone else’s wedding.

This chapter was… um, well, full of awkwardly shoe-horned in backstory designed to make us feel sorry for the character after what happened in NiC. From a meta writer’s perspective, I’m not sure that it works. It feels very out of place and contradicts what has already stated to have happened, insomuch that was said in NiC. In terms of Micah as a person… look I still think he’s a horribly manipulative liar.

so

um

this was unpleasant

So Long and Thanks For All The Fish


It was my Dad’s funeral yesterday. It felt like closure, in part, but I still think that I’m going to get a text from him at any minute, complaining about something, telling me about his day, wanting to make sure I’m okay. I miss his hugs.

He was helped in the end by a local charity called Treetops Hospice. I’m hoping to do some fund-raising for them in the future – when I’m in a better head space – but I’ll post a link in case anyone would like to make any donations. My Dad wanted people to donate money to them in his memory, so I’ll pimp the link as much as I can. They’re great people, they really made things so much better for him.

I’ll hopefully get back to posting properly soon.

Dottie x

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


I didn’t want to go back to the reception. First, I wasn’t in the mood to be merry. Second, I still didn’t know how to answer Arnet’s questions. Third, Micah made me promise I’d dance with him. I hated to dance. I didn’t think I was good at it. In the privacy of our home, Micah, Nathaniel, and hell, Jason, had told me I was wrong. That I actually danced very well. I did not believe them.

Well, you should. You’re the Sue, so you do everything well. Also, here’s a thing: if Micah won’t accept a ‘no’ over something as small as a dance, then he sure as hell ain’t going to take a no over anything else. Ditch him. Ditch him now.

And Jason is at the reception. I have no idea why. Wasn’t Anita so worried about her reputation in the last few chapters? Honey, bringing three men, two of whom are well known as strippers, as your dates to a wedding doesn’t exactly decrease your reputation. Anita goes on about how JC dresses all his people as if they were all his own personal toys and how JC owns a strip club.

I had let Micah and Nathaniel go shopping with Jason for dress clothes, and I footed the bill for my two boys. It had been outrageous, but I couldn’t let Jean-Claude be nicer to his kept men than I was to mine. Could I?

Says the woman who bitched about having to buy a pair of shoes. Let them pay for themselves!

Technically, Micah wasn’t a kept man, but the salary he drew from the Coalition for Better Understanding Between Lycanthrope and Human Communities –

Laughing tennant

I’m sorry, but that is a horrendous fucking name. Like, that is words that have just been shoved together. Why not just The Shapeshifter Council? How can you fail at writing so much?

– didn’t cover designer suits. I made enough money to pay for designers, so I did.

Yet not enough money to get a tuxedo that actually fits you and your body shape. Interesting that Anita’s partners are making her buy them expensive gifts. Seems a bit abusive. Anita stares at Micah.

The suit fit him like a roomy glove.

YOU ARE BAD WITH WORDS

Also Micah is wearing sunglasses indoors.

Micah and Anita then start groping each other pretty… well, it’s pretty full on in public. They’re essentially grinding all over each other, and it’s not that late and people aren’t drunk enough yet for it to be that part of the wedding reception. Anita then gets frowny face because she ‘suspected him of lying to me, not about anything in particular, but about nearly everything. He was too perfect’.

No, he’s an abusive asshole who raped you. He’s not perfect. Get rid of him.

He drew away enough to see my face clearly. He let his puzzlement show. ‘What have I done now?’

I shook my head. ‘That’s the problem, you haven’t done anything, nothing wrong anyway.’

He did rape you. That was pretty wrong.

Even I knew I was being silly, but I couldn’t seem to help it. He was too perfect, so I had to poke at it. Our relationship worked too well, so I had to see if I could break it.

Have we ever actually seen them being all relationshippy? We’ve barely seen them interact at this point, and now we’re being told that they are just sooooooooo perfect together? Pffffft give me a break.

Anita whines about how she feels nothing about Charlene’s death. That plot kernel that Anita has never fucking minded until this point but she’s now suddenly concerned about.

“You have to divorce yourself from your emotions, or you can’t do your job.”

I nodded. “Yeah, but once I had to work at it. Now I don’t.”

Bullshit. Not caring always came without effort because you don’t care about anyone or anything save yourself. Micah says that everything in Anita’s life is perfect, why is she bitching? She thinks about the Chimera and how totally nuts that guy was and this means Micah is totally full of pain.

Again, Anita can only love someone who is (supposedly) broken and damaged and in need of ‘fixing’. This… this is worrying. That sounds like a huge abuser, picking people who are ‘weak’ to prey on.

Sometimes you fight what you are, and sometimes you give in to it. And some nights you just don’t want to fight yourself anymore, so you pick someone else to fight.

Sure, whatever.

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


There was a matching set of bite marks on the other side of her neck. They were so close to the same size as the ones on the lefthand side, that I wondered if the same vamp had bitten twice. I didn’t have my ruler with me. Hell, I didn’t have most of my equipment with me. I’d been planning on a wedding tonight, not a crime scene.

Okay, here’s a list of everything people need to be investigating crime scenes.

Anita, YOU NEED THIS SHIT TO BE ALLOWED INTO THE CRIME SCENE. You should have multiple crime scene kits. Have one in your home, have one in your Jeep. You never know when you’ll be called out! Last time I checked, murderers don’t give a shit if you’re doing something nice.

The other techs have to give Anita equipment so she can do her job – boy, they must love that – and she deduces that Charlene was killed by seven vampires.

There was no obvious evidence of sexual assault, according to a CSU technician. Glad to hear it. I did not bother explaining that the bite alone can be orgasmic both for the vic and the killer. Not always, but often, especially if the vampire is good at fogging the mind. A vampire with enough juice can make someone enjoy being killed. Scary, but true.

Being mindraped into enjoying being killed and finding it a sexual experience? GUESS WHAT BUMFACE THAT’S A SEXUAL ASSAULT.

Arousal and orgasm =/ consent. Especially when someone is using MIND MAGIC to make it happen.

Anita bases the mind control theory on that no one hear Charlene die – although she died outside a packed strip club, full of people and music and noise.

I sighed. “There’s no sign of a struggle. They’ll look at her nails, but there won’t be any sign of a fight. The vic didn’t even know what was happening, or at least until it was way too late.”

AND YET, DESPITE THE MIND RAPE, ANITA WILL NOT CALL THIS A SEXUAL ASSAULT.

Anita, why do you hate women? She then thinks that maybe Charlene just gave up because she’s naturally docile.

I give up. Even when vampires sexually assault and murder someone, it’s not their fault. It’s Charlene’s fault. She should have fought back against the super strong and super powerful mind controlling vampires.

Dolph and Anita back and forth over whether Charlene would have been found because her body was sort of covered but wasn’t and they would have known she was missing in the club but she’s only been dead less than two hours… I don’t care and I doubt any of it will matter anyway. Dolph calls the murderers serial killers and Anita gets in a snit. You see, police officers don’t like to use it, the media will jump on it, and there’s no other murders to dignify calling it the work of serial killers.

Apart from the fact that she was killed by vampires. And vampires kill a lot of people. So… yeah, I would call it the work of serial killers.

Anita thinks the body was posed by someone who knew what they were doing. Oh, like vampires who have been killing without impunity for their entire lives? Whoda thought? She talks about ‘normal people’ and Dolph doesn’t like this because in the world, there are only victims and predators.

How little is this whole murder plot going to matter to the rest of the book?

 

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


Staring down at the dead woman, it was impossible to be glad. Guilty, maybe, but not glad. Guilty that even for a second I’d found the idea of someone’s death an escape from an uncomfortable social situation. I wasn’t a child. Surely, to God, I could have handled to Jessica Arnet and her questions without hiding behind a murder.

What – is this character growth?

shock

I’m honestly shocked and I don’t think it’ll go anywhere. I’m so glad that for a bright shining second Anita acknowledge that she is a selfish brat.

The body was a pale glimpse of flesh between two Dumpsters in the parkling lot. […] They’d stuffed the body behind the Dumpsters to hide it, then the black wool coat had been opened around her almost naked body, so that you caught that gleam of pale flesh in the bright halogen lights of the parking lot. Why hide her, then do something to draw such attention to her? It made no sense.

Because serial killers often like attention to be drawn to what they’re doing? I don’t know why it doesn’t appear to make sense Anita, but you’re not a police officer so it’s not your job to give a shit.

I stood there, tugging my leather jacket around me. It wasn’t that cold. Cold enough for the jacket, but not enough to put the lining in it. I had my hands plunged into the pockets, the zipper all the way up, my shoulders hunched. But leather couldn’t help against the cold I was fighting.

Oh, shut up Anita. Also, since when has Anita Blake been a leather jacket kind of girl? I have a leather jacket, a great OI punk jacket inherited from a family friend, but Anita Blake… dresses like someone who doesn’t give a single shit about clothes. That’s a weird criticism from me, because I don’t either, but I at least have a sense of personal style? Anita doesn’t and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. She has a job to do and she’s like, eh, what the fuck, I don’t care.

It’s Merry Gentry and LKH herself who would turn up somewhere in a bitchin’ leather jacket, not Anita.

Anita looks at the body, and the woman is smaller than people thought she was, as the woman doesn’t have any height when she’s lying down.

Who’da thought that people don’t have a height when their bodies are lying down?

The dead woman has vampire bites, which have delicate little thin trickles of blood, as LKH has never seen anyone take a bite out of anything. Dolph arrives looking like Hulk Hogan (BECAUSE HE IS HULK HOGAN) and he has really short hair because… blah blah blah bullshit I don’t care about.

I nodded at the uniformed policeman whose only job seemed to be watching the body and making sure it didn’t get messed with by anyone that wasn’t allowed to touch it.

Yeah… so the evidence doesn’t get contaminated. Why are you still finding this concept so hard to understand? Anita thinks that this junior policeman might think the body could rise as a vampire, but it won’t because vague reasons, and she considers whether there’s another rogue master vampire. We get a bit of continuity porn as she mentions Mr Oliver and how she killed him.

Oliver was well and truly dead. I could guarantee it. Which meant we had a new group of nuts on our hands, and they could have an entirely new motive for killing. Hell, maybe it was personal. Vampires were legal citizens now, which meant they could have grudges just like humans.

Anita mentions how she and Dolph don’t get along that well, and that cops are whispering because he threw her around in the last book, and then he goes all sour and says ‘I don’t like you being here’.

Then phone someone else.

Dolph thinks that as it’s a vamp kill, then most likely it’s someone connected to JC. Anita retorts that it might not be – which, by the way, admits to a member of the police force that the Master of the City has no real power of control, way to go Anita – and Dolph goes off on how she’s just defending her two vampire boyfriends.

Hey, Dolph? She just admitted that JC has no power or control.

Anita says that it might be vampires from the Church of Eternal Life. If it was any of JC’s vamps, he’d have killed them by now.

“You’re admitting that your boyfriend is a murderer?”

After all, if vamps are legal citizens, JC can’t act as a traditional Master of the City because… that’s super freaking illegal.

“You know, Dolph, this is getting old. Yeah, I’m fucking a vampire or two, get over it.”

You just told the head of RPIT that your vampire squeeze is running around committing crimes all over town. You’re not all that smart, are you?

Anita says it must be more than one vampire and Dolph is very confused. She says that there’s no blood anywhere, so clearly there’s got to be a few vamps in action here.

“Two vamps couldn’t drain an adult human being without leaving a mess. They’d need more mouths to hold that much blood.”

I… you are not very good with words.

Dolph suggests that the dead woman might not be connected to the strip club but Anita points out that a) the woman is wearing nothing but a coat and b) she’s wearing plastic stilettos. Dolph grinds his teeth and confirms the dead woman is one Charlene Morresey, one of the strippers from the club. She went out to get some air, and there’s no struggle, so Charlene either knew her attackers or was mind controlled.

He’s got it step up so that Anita can examine the body which means he trusts her a bit, but he’ll probably never trust her fully again.

Anita, who would trust you? I wouldn’t trust you with a plastic plant.

 

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


The Halloween theme continued into the reception hall. Orange and black crepe paper streamers dangled everywhere; cardboard skeletons, rubber bats, and paper ghosts floated overhead. There was a fake spiderweb against one wall big enough to hang someone from. The table centerpieces were realistic-looking jack-o-lanterns with flickering electric grins.

OK, that all sounds pretty cute and fun. How is this going to get ruined?

The fake skeleton were long enough to be a hazard to anyone much taller than I was.

Of course. Absolutely everything has to relate to something directly about Anita. There was me thinking that SOMEONE ELSE’S WEDDING might be able to happen without being all about Anita.

Which meant most guests were having the tops of their hair brushed by little cardboard skeleton toes. Unfortunately, Tammy was 5’8″ without heels, with heels she got her veil tangled with the decorations. The bridesmaids finally got Tammy’s veil unhooked from the skeletal toes, but it ruined the entrance for the bride and groom.

Because fuck that tall bitch ammirite

If Tammy had wanted the decorations to be safe for the tall people, she shouldn’t have left it to Larry and his brothers. There wasn’t a one of them over 5’6″. Don’t blame me. Groomsman or not, I hadn’t helped decorate the hall. It was not my fault.

Well, I kind of got that impression when you said Larry and his brothers did the decorating. Saying that makes me think you just watched, happy in the knowledge that this was going to fuck with Tammy.

Anita then just stands around, watching Jessica Arnet go talk to Nathaniel and ‘lean’ on him. She then comes over so the pair of them sit at the wedding table – everyone, bride, groom, groomsmen and bridesmaids are sat in their appropriate church order.

Jessica leaned over close enough that her perfume was sweet and a little too much.

’cause she’s a whore ammirite

Jessica asks if Nathaniel lives with Anita, and Anita confirms this. She doesn’t mention that Nathaniel just forced his way in and demanded that Anita take care of his every need, though. I think that’d put anyone off being around him. Jessica reports that Nathaniel did not confirm whether he’s Anita’s boyfriend, just that he sleeps in her bed.

I was struck again by how lovely she was, and felt stupid for not noticing sooner. But I didn’t notice girls, I notice boys. So sue me, I was heterosexual.

  • Anita, you didn’t notice because you hate other women. Don’t try and hide that.
  • I’m interested in men, but I can still notice that other women are attractive. It has nothing to do with my sexual orientation.
  • Oh, so Anita can go on about being totally straight, but it’s homophobic when Richard (apparently) does it?
  • Also, Anita, it sounds as if you’re running around going ‘I’M ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVENTY MILLION PERCENT STRAIGHT Y’ALL’ and protesting far, far too much.
  • If you’re protesting about how straight you are, don’t identify yourself as being straight in the past tense.

Jessica asks her straight out if Anita’s going out with Nathaniel and totally blunt with how they all should have let her know earlier. Anita herpderps and just says that Nathaniel sleeps in her bed because she’s scared of getting in trouble or something. Jessica starts to get a bit frustrated, wanting a straight (lol) answer on whether they’re fucking, but Anita is afraid that if she says yes, her reputation will be ruined.

Uh, Anita? You brought two dates to a wedding, and made out/breathed all over them right outside the church, in the background of the ACTUAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHS.

There’s no point in clutching your pearls and worrying now. You’ve been pretty open about it and I’m fairly sure that everyone is already aware that you are fucking both Micah and Nathaniel.

She then considers just giving Nathaniel to Jessica, because she thinks he needs a real girlfriend and a social circle. Right. Let’s continue treating someone like a pet to be handed around.

Anita’s mobile then goes off. It’s Dolph with RPIT with a case. How lucky. Anita thinks on how she made the Storr family have a meal together, and Dolph’s a lot better now that his son’s not going to be a vampire any more.

His voice was brisk, almost normal, “Anita?”

“Yeah,” I whispered, cupping the phone with my hand. It wasn’t like every cop in the place, which was most of the guests, wasn’t wondering who I was talking to, and why.

I have literally no idea what she’s trying to say here. The double negative is really throwing me off here.

Also, I’d like to point out that not only is Anita at the top table, I’m fairly sure there are still speeches happening? Jesus Christ woman, go out of the room and take the call. Don’t be so rude at your friend’s wedding! Go outside and take the call!

Dolph says he needs her at a strip club and LKH is so lazy she can’t be bothered to give it a name. It’s just in the generic ‘strip club area’. He hangs up, and Anita makes to leave. She’s happy there’s a murder because now she doesn’t have to dance with anyone.

Wow. That’s not a horrible thing to say. THANK YOU ANONYMOUS STRIPPER FOR BEING MURDERED SO THAT I CAN AVOID SPENDING TIME AT MY FRIEND’S WEDDING.

What a shitty thing to think.