I had a big thing for work yesterday, but the real reason I blew you off (after looking at makeup tutorials for about five hours) was that this arrived yesterday. My Hot Toys Loki I have waited a year for.
He is so pretty and I get to dress him up and accessorise him with knives and manacles and pose him ready to take over the universe. I love it.
And onto today’s chapter.
The silken drapes had been drawn aside. A throne sat in the far-right corner. There was no other word for it; ‘chair’ just didn’t cover that golden, bejeweled thing.
You mean it’s a throne. Cause that’s that why we have a word for throne, because it’s the appropriate word to be used when talking of a throne. Talking around it doesn’t make it sound impressive or you sound clever.
Wind blows in. Apparently, it is no normal wind. They’re ghosts. Serephina has the ability to summon ghosts and probably control MissingNo. Kissa appears, having been shot in the arm by Lawrence because… I thought she helped, or at least didn’t encourage the threesome with the rotting people? Lawrence takes the human girls who’ve been hanging around doing nothing for two chapters now out and away from this weirdness.
JC and Anita go forward to greet Serephina.
I understood why [Jean-Claude] was scared. Janos had beaten Jean-Claude. Janos was afraid of Serephina, which meant she could take Jean-Claude without raising a sweat. If she could take the vampire that was on our side, she wouldn’t find us much of a challenge. If I was smart, I’d shoot her as soon as I saw her.
Well, you’re not smart. You’ve proven that by being about five chapters behind the reader.
The two of them continue further on and a bunch of shadowy vague images entwine around them. Serephina has the ability to ‘weave shadows and darkness’. Ghosts swirl around JC and Anita, and now Jason and Lawrence are with them (from WHERE they did not enter this forest of shadows and ghosts with Mr and Mrs Twatwaffle). The ghosts are very scary. JC leads them through the ghosts like some kind of undead Jesus.
“Greetings, Jean-Claude.” She was dressed in a simple white dress that fell in folds of shining cloth over her feet. White gloves covered her arms almost completely. Her hair was grey with streaks of white, left unadorned save for a headband of silver and pearls. It wasn’t a headband, probably called a coronet or something. Her face was lined with age. Delicate makeup had been added, but not enough to hide the fact that she was old. Vampires didn’t age. That was the whole point, wasn’t it?
Serephina was changed when she was mature in years? EW. TOTES DISGUSTING GUISE.
May I remind you all of Helen Mirren?
Ongoing proof that age is really just a number, and not that important.
Secondly, you can’t tell the difference between a headband and a coronet? They’re pretty fucking different.
Really not at all similar. Like, not at all.
“Shall we go inside?” she asked.
“If you like,” he said.
She gave a faint smile. “You may escort me inside, as you did of old.”
“But it is not olden days, Serephina. We are both masters now.”
There is no simpler way to send me into a frothing rage than to use the phrase ‘the olden days’. It is sloppy and imprecise and says ‘I know nothing about what I’m saying so I’m going to use this stock phrase tee hee’ and it will make me put hurt you in imaginatively cruel ways.
Describing things by a measure of heartbeats will do that also. And LKH keeps doing it til the end of the page. GAH.
Serephina is perfectly polite, if cold, and says she has looked forward to meeting Anita. Anita is rude to her in return, and really, what else was I expecting? Serephina does some kind of weird vampire energy thing and Anita is suddenly very scared. Ghosts bounce around ‘like helium-fill balloons’ and now Magnus, who did not enter the MissingNo. forest, is now here. Serephina sits on her throne… wait, have they just looped back to the throne room? When did that happen??
Anyway, Serephina settles down on her throne and asks JC to sit next to her. He says ‘NO’ because he’s a small child. Serephina drops a bunch of power on everyone’s heads. It’s an illusion but it hurts and Anita cannot make herself meet Serephina’s eyes. Anita can tell that she’s only about six hundred years but Serephmirren is real powerful for no discernible reason.
Janos and Ivy saunter in. Great, more rather dull vampires. JC tells Serephmirren that she has something that belongs to him. Janos jumps up and dumps a big old bag of splinters at his feet. The remains of that missing coffin of his, but I was pretty sure that the fate of Jeff Quinlan was more important than all of this.
“This is childish, Serephina.”
There’s an adequate description for the entire book.
JC draws the attention to Xavier, that exotic child molester, but Serephmirren says she’s well aware of him and is leaving it up to the Grand High Council. She doesn’t really care, and is pissed that ‘beautiful’ JC is trying to tell her what to do. Anita shouts at her for her attitude which is not clever.
Serephmirren looks at her and Anita suddenly wants to proclaim her as her own sweet mother and hold her close. It hurts, and her STILL BLEEDING SLIT WRIST dribbles everywhere and she blames Serephmirren for it.
“Everything dies, bitch. You aren’t immortal, none of you are.”
Anita decides to leg it, something I’m not sure is a good idea when you’re faint from losing a large quantity of blood. Then she realises that everyone is staring at her and Serephmirren concedes that she has a point. There’s a long talk about the potential of Anita killing everyone and that she has the ability to do so but LKH has not bothered to say who’s saying anything and I cannot follow the discussion. It does appear to be entirely circular in logic, however.
Serephmirren now uses the power of pointed fingers to cut Ivy up. I’m not entirely sure why. Apparently, they ‘could have feasted on them to our blood’s content’ but I have no idea what that phrase means as it makes no sense. Serephmirren asks Anita to help but she refuses. Serephmirren forces Anita to look in her eyes, which are are brown. GASP. Just like Anita’s mother’s eyes!
I remembered my mother’s face the last time I’d seen her. The coffin had been dark wood covered in a blanket of pink roses. I knew Mommy was in there, but they wouldn’t let me see. No one could see. Closed coffin, they said, closed coffin. Every adult in my life was having hysterics. The room was full of screams, sobbing. My father collapsed to the floor. He was useless to me. I wanted my mother. The latches on the coffin were silver. I opened them, and I heard a cry behind me. I didn’t have much time. The lid was heavy, but I shoved it upward and it moved. I got a glimpse of white satin, and shadows. I raised my arms over my head with every ounce of strength and got a glimpse.
My Aunt Mattie grabbed me back. The lid clanged shut, and she snapped the lock back in place, dragging me away. I didn’t struggle; I’d seen enough. It was like looking at one of those pictures that you know must look a lot like something, but your eyes can’t make sense of it. It took me years to make sense of it. But what I saw wasn’t my mother. Couldn’t be my mother. It had been a husk, something left behind. Something to hide in a dark box and let rot.
Right. Um, LKH is clearly working out some issues here. As we all know, there are certain things her and Anita share, and without going into anything specific because I would not want to appear to be attacking something like that as it would be very insensitive of me, but this is very heavy handed. And I’m not sure how little Anita Blake managed to get open her mother’s coffin since those things normally have things on top of them and have the vicar standing by to prevent things like this from happening.
And whenever grief is brought up, there’s this very unpleasant edge of smugness in Anita’s narration. Like, everyone else was in hysterics BUT I WAS NOT BECAUSE I WAS PROPERLY RESTRAINED AND SUITABLY BEHAVED. It makes her seem like a kind of smug, emotionless robot, looking down on all the lesser mortals for feeling the pangs of grief.
Serephmirren is impressed by…. I literally have no idea. She vows to help find Jeff Quinlan, because someone needs to. She throws Ivy out, as Antia stood against her and won (when?). Ghosts send Ivy out. Team Anita strut out.
What just happened?