Sorry I took a break for a few days – I had a work conference on Friday, and I wanted to finish ‘The House that Jack Laid’ before the weekend. And honestly, reading and reviewing Anita Blake is totally exhausting and I didn’t really feel like it. (Ps, I wrote this great thing about how the next Doctor could be female that you should totes read.)
Right, back into the madness.
Jean-Claude walked across the parking lot in his boots and jacket, looking like someone should be snapping his picture, or asking for his autograph.
How LKH sees the world in her writing really strikes me as being really rather immature and childish. There’s this ever present undercurrent of ‘when I was 15 I found this sort of thing really cool and I never got over it’. I read the thoughts and actions of these characters and can only think ‘I would have liked this stuff seven years ago when I was kinda dumb’. They have the mindset of perpetual teenagers and… well, I hate teenagers because I remember what it was like when I was one.
It does explain my intense dislike for all of her favoured characters.
Anita drives all her crew to Serephina’s, with JC directing her. She expects us to be amazed that Branson has countryside just outside the city limits. As someone from the UK, who just has to look outside her window to see fields in the distance, I do not find it remarkable that there are mountains outside Branson. Anita suggests to JC that he’s excited to see Serephina.
“I believe that Serephina still thinks of me as the very young vampires she knew centuries ago. If she thought me a worthy opponent, she would have confronted me or my minions differently. She would not have simply stolen the coffin. She is overconfident.”
Why would she think JC as being beneath her? Well, there are a lot of reasons, but in vampire terms they’re equal. They’re both masters of cities – in fact, Serephina is only the master of Branson because JC was forced to give it away to her. The Grand High Council considered them equals. amirite?
Lawrence points out that surely it is JC who is being overconfident. JC shoots him down by saying that he knows all of Serephina’s limitations and there’s no powers that she can possibly have to surprise him. Yeah, no over confidence there.
The jeep has to go down a narrow country lane with no road and everyone is concerned how their off-road vehicle will handle being off-road. How very middle class of them.
Jason complains about how Serephina hasn’t paved her road. I’m guessing that Jason has never been outside of a city in his life.
“This is her moat,” Jean-Claude said. “Her barrier against the curious. Many find our new status hard to accept and still closet themselves away.”
Why does Serephina need a reason to have an unpaved road to her home? She lives out in the country. It’s pretty common to just have a track up to your house. Isn’t that why the American south is full of pick-up trucks? (I don’t wish to imply that there are no roads in the American south, just that they have a prevalence of unpaved tracks which demand a utility vehicle)
The jeep drives up to a battered old house which is may or may not be all an illusion and the JC gang get out and walk up to it. There’s a female vampire who’s not Serephina out on the stoop.
The vampire had brown hair, cut so short the hair on either side of her head had been shaved.
You mean that she’s got a mohawk.
But no, using the word ‘mohawk’ wouldn’t take up quite so many words.
Silver stud earrings glittered up the curve of her ears. One long earring dangled from her left ear. It was a green enamel leaf on a silver chain. She wore a red leather dress that was so tight on top, it was how I’d known in the dark she was a girl. The skirt of the dress fell to her ankles, loose once you got past the hips. A leather formal; wow.
I have yet to find an image of a red leather dress of this description that does not look awful.
She grinned at us, flashing fangs. “I’m Ivy.” Her voice had an edge of laughter to it, but unlike Jean-Claude’s laugh that always felt vaguely sexual, or fattening, hers felt sharp as broken glass, meant to hurt, terrify, not titillate.
Not only is that paragraph badly written, but it is yet another female vampire who is evil and mean and cruel and Anita has been able to tell this within seconds of meeting her.
Ivy welcomes them in with some official words of welcome and Anita is all ‘i do not understand what these people are doing’. And you’re the vampire expert. JC grabs Ivy’s hand, because apparently all women are game, and kisses it and… I have no idea what happens next. She’s apparently holding a candle now that’s dripping all over her hands, and JC rubs her lips on the back of her hands. Ivy’s skin goes red from the wax and it hurts but she ignores it and now the candle is no longer dribbling wax. Anita points out to us that when candles dribble, they normally stay dribbling and now all the wax is pooling at the top of the candle because FUCK PHYSICS, VAMPIRE MAGIC.
JC found this all really fun, making Anita very worried as they all troop inside.
I did not find any of it fun. I guess I must be just some poor human who can’t understand all the vampire fun.