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

Hope everyone likes the new theme. I wanted something that would be a little clearer and cleaner for the main page. I think this one does the trick a bit better than the last.

Anita is walking to Guilty Pleasures in the company of Sexist Stephen, who has slightly modified his attitude since his last appearance. The epithet sticks because I need to be able to keep a track on the transient characters in these books.

To say his pants were tight wasn’t enough. They were leather and looked painted on like a second skin. It was hard not to notice that his derriere was tight and firm. The leather jacket cut him off at the waist, so the view was unobstructed.

The wording makes it sound like the jacket has suddenly broken into the line of traffic in front of Stephen’s waist. Plus, we’re like two thirds of the way through the book and Anita is paying more attention to Stephen’s arse rather than the missing shapeshifters.

Three broad steps led up to closed doors. Buzz the Vampire was guarding them. It was the worst vampire name I’d ever heard. It wasn’t great if you were a human, but Buzz seemed all wrong for a vampire. It was a great name for a bouncer.

It’s also a great name for an astronaut. But you should really decide whether it’s great or bad because you’re just contradicting yourself.

Buzz is wearing a t-shirt which draws great surprise from Anita who was unaware that vampires do not feel cold. I thought you were this great preternatural expert Anita, and yet we’re constantly told chapter after chapter about these things that you do not know. And vampires are dead. It only stands to reason that they don’t feel the cold.

Anita strides on in and passes Holy Item check girl, saying that she has no holy items. She has her cross necklace but she’s not going to give that up. The manager, Robert, comes on in and says Anita had better hand over her cross.

[Holy Item check girl] waited, looking from Robert to me. “She lied to me?”

Why are you surprised that people lie? And surely people must lie about whether they have holy items on them all the time. Extremists. Annoying people. People who don’t want to hand over their jewellery.

Robert and Anita have a long and tiresome argument about whether she can wear her cross and is Gretchen in the club. Robert chastises Stephen for missing his set. I am still not aware of why JC needs to know that Anita’s engaged. I guess Puddykins is punishing him for not changing the litter tray quickly enough. Gretchen then pops up and purrs everywhere. Anita rues about how she relied on her weapons and not her faith to protect her, making me want to throw this book into a shredder. Gretchen relents though, allowing Anita through to see JC wearing her cross.

Gretchen’s lip curled in disgust. One thing we agreed on: we didn’t like Robert. If we had one thing in common, maybe they’d be more.

What’s wrong with Robert? He’s only doing his job.

Jean-Claude’s office was like being inside a domino.

Hamilton needs to get an award for coming up with some of the most awkward and weird descriptions. What selection of adjectives has she decided to use for describing ole JC?

He sat on the leather couch dressed all in black. The short had a high, stiff collar that framed his face. It was hard to tell where his hair left off and the shirt began. The collar was pinned at his throat, with a thumb-size ruby pendant. The shirt was open down to his belt, leaving a triangle of pale, pale skin showing. Only the pendant kept the short from opening completely.

The cuffs were as wide and stiff as the collar, nearly hiding his hands. He raised one hand and I could see the cuffs were open on one side so he could still use his hands. Black jeans and velvet black boots completed the outfit.

JC, you wear hideous clothes. Really, amazingly awful.

“Get out, Stephen,” Jean-Claude said. “I am not angry with you for missing your set. Anita is more important to me than your being on time to your job.”

That was nice to know.

Or he was being sarcastic. That sounds sarcastic to me.

Gretchen, JC and Anita stand around in an awkward silence until Gretchen announces Anita’s engagement for her. JC demands to know whether Anita loves him and she says she does, even though I have no idea why. JC and Anita do not share interests, hobbies or a sense of humour. JC stalks and obsesses and does not know how to say no. There has never been a nice conversation or moment shared by the two. My disbelief cannot be suspended to the extent where I believe that they love each other. You have given me no evidence of it.

“You;re like great Shakespearean tragedy. If Romeo and Juliet hadn’t committed suicide, they’d have hated each other in a year. Passion is a form of love, but it isn’t real. It doesn’t last.”

Anita, you have as much passion as a sponge. Ignoring your failed attempt at a comparison (why the fuck do you keep mentioning Shakespeare? Is this you jumping up and down and saying ‘I’m cultured, I’m cultured, I’m cultured!’), I can’t buy this anguished talk of love and passion when the two characters involved move around displaying the same emotional characteristics as bricks. Unsexy bricks at that.

Anita talks about how she likes Richard but she may not marry him because she’s unsure. JC laughs in her face. Gretchen loudly proclaims her undying love for JC and his brick-like tendencies but JC tells her to fuck off. Gretchen won’t, so JC ‘elegant and scrumptious’ grabs her violently and … gets a coffin from somewhere. He talks about how awful ‘Gretel’ is and how she’s a bad liar, forcing her towards the coffin. He’s described as ‘dancelike’ and graceful for no reason.

The box has some curse on it and Gretchen turns into a corpse. She is stripped of all her powers and shut away because JC wants to play with his new human toy. I do not hate Gretchen. I can’t – she’s a two dimensional Scary Sue designed to amp up the supposed relationship between JC and Anita. I can’t hate a plot device. I can feel sorry that she’s in love with an arsewipe like JC.

As Anita looks down at the woman in the coffin, paralysed, unable to move, she demands her weapons back.

He laughed, and even now the sound curled along my skin like velvet. A joyous sociopath.

I don’t think he’s the only one here.

JC talks about how he made Gretchen and he has super duper Master powers over and above those of Little Miss Nikky. He then threatens to kill Richard.

oh goodie. that old chestnut.

Any news of the missing shapeshifters?


2 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Lunatic Cafe’ chapter twenty four

  1. …ditto on the ‘wtf she loves him? why? since when?’ I mean they’re a couple at the point I’m at, but I didn’t remember that she proclaimed herself in love with him when there was still really zip between them romantically besides JC’s stalkery shit and the fact Anita likes his nipples.

    • It’s like ‘the love each other because they must!’. It’s bad, bad, bad writing. I cannot be made to believe in a relationship when there is no evidence that two people even like each other.

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