A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Lunatic Cafe’ chapter twelve


We had a body on the ground. The age-old question remained. What do you do with a dead body? There was the traditional approach. “I’ll call the cops,” I said.

Is this a sign of remorse from our dear little sociopath?

“Are you so eager to go to jail?” This from Rafael.

“I don’t want to go to jail, but I killed him.”

I’d like to know how you think you’re going to stay out of jail.

Raina came up behind Marcus. She put her arms around his shoulders, leaning her face against his neck, close enough to whisper in his ear. Those lips did not move, but it had been her one needling comment that had pushed things over the edge. One little remark.

Uh, no. You didn’t need any encouragement Anita.

Rafael is weird and tastes some of Alfred’s blood because… SHUT UP. Two leather daddies start walking in on Anita, apparently not having noticed that Anita shot someone right in front of them.

[A leather daddy because I have no idea who they are and what their names are]’s gaze had heat in it. Nothing magical, just the heat that any man could put into his eyes. That look that said they were wondering what you looked like naked, and if you give a good blow job. Crude, but accurate. That look was not wanting to make love to anyone. The look was pure fucking. Even sex was too mild a term.

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(wordpress is being a dick with gifs lately, I don’t know why. And it makes me cross.)

You killed one of their pack in front of them. Isn’t it more likely that they’re just angry with you, Anita? Why must everything be equated to sex? Oh, and then a leather daddy quotes William Blake’s ‘The Tyger’ (one of my favourite poems, incidentally) and everyone is taking the sudden death of Alfred rather well. Marcus tells them all that Anita is under his protection.

“You let Alfred nearly throttle me, then you goad him into attacking me. I don’t think much of your protection, Marcus. I think I do just fine on my own.”

All together now! – SHUT UP ANITA.

Everyone laughs at Marcus having no dominance instead of ganging up and eating Anita. Gabriel, a leather daddy, then drinks some of Alfred’s blood. Christine joins in. I feel so sorry for Alfred. Anita tries to run away and Marcus tries to reinstate order – they are not ‘animals to feed on our dead’. Which I question, as few animals cannibalise their own kind. Or is it just the blood? And then, why?

Anita gets outside the door but OH NOES! There are lycanthropes there too! A man from the podium then pops up, a man named Kaspar, and offers her help. She accepts his help, rather than Marcus’s, because…. SHUT UP. STOP ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT WHY CHARACTERS ARE DOING THINGS AND JUST ACCEPT IT OKAY.

All the lycanthropes – apart from Rafael – are writhing about. I think. I can’t tell. They’re all trying to turn and feed because blood is …. SHUT UP. STOP DEMANDING EXPLANATIONS FOR THINGS.

“One of the old wives’ tales that is true is that a lycanthrope has to feed after shapeshifting.”

No old wives have ever told me anything of the sort.

Apparently, blood really has an effect on ‘predators’ because… I really don’t know. I’d buy it if they were, I don’t know sharks or something, but blood doesn’t send tigers or wolves into a massive spontaneous orgy of a feeding frenzy. That’s not how they work.

[A man turning into a wolf] crawled towards me. His eyes were the color of spring skies, innocent as an April morning.

…. what?

And oh god, Anita thinks to herself that normally his look would just be a sign he’s thinking of having sex with her, but clearly it’s about food now. Why is Anita so obsessed with sex? Why must everything be compared to sex? It’s rather… well, adolescent, for lack of a better term. The young man then starts nuzzling against her stomach and she puts her gun against his head. Gabriel laughs at her for not just killing him, Marcus is thinking of having his suit dry cleaned and Anita snipes at Marcus all the while.

This is a room stuffed to the rafters with rectums. I mean, dear god, there is not one nice character amongst them. They are all arseholes.

Marcus and Anita snipe at each other over who’s dominant over the other one. Why is this even a problem? She’s not part of the pack, so it shouldn’t matter that Marcus is dominant over her. Otherwise, it’d be too much of a problem in the real world. Did Marcus have to fight and kill his teachers, as a student? What about his boss at the hospital? This dominance stuff is ridiculous and just seems to be padding at it’s worst.

Rafael then cuts open his arm to feed the nuzzling werewolf his blood. Yeah, werewolves drink blood now.

Anita offers him protection (or ‘smetection’ as she calls it. Anita, you’re twenty four years old. Twenty four years old. Christ) and then a girl swan wanders up to her as she’s so weak and helpless, she’ll just get eaten.

Do you know that swans drown people who threaten their nests? I didn’t. I wish I didn’t know it now. So I think you’re going to be okay, swan girl. She tells Anita to injure one of the wolves so they respect her. Honey, she killed one. That’s what triggered all of this.

Anita takes the chance to shoot a random man in the stomach. Stomach wounds by themselves are incredibly dangerous but he is jumped on and presumably devoured almost instantly which makes it okay. Anita and Kasper run out; swan girl is eating the deceased man’s guts for some reason. Marcus pops up from nowhere and gives Anita a file.

Anita then strokes Kaspar’s head for some reason. No, honestly, she does.

I brushed fingers through his hair and it was soft and downy like the under feathers on a bird. Heat rose from his scalp like fever.

Maybe Kaspar’s idea of personal space is less than mine, but I do not let strangers touch me and I do not let them run fingers through my hair. I used to wear my hair ala Robert Smith (if you’ve seen the ‘Who are we?’ page you know what it looked like) and petting my hair – which everyone wanted to do with hair like that – made it flat. Plus, I don’t like being touched by people I don’t know. Or even that I’ve known for a long time. It’s just weird. Either way, I would never let Anita Blake come up and run her fingers through my hair. Although I probably wouldn’t have much choice in the matter.

Oh, and Edward is in the cafe. Stalking – just a silly, made up crime.

We are at a third of the way into the book, folks. And the plot has yet to make an appearance. But I think the folder of the werewolves may prove itself to be a vital Macguffin.

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4 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Lunatic Cafe’ chapter twelve

  1. All my swan shifter OCs look so angry in my head right now.

    Also, you will find that LKH knows zip about any of the animals that she writes about.

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