A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Killing Dance’ chapter two

Right. Today’s chapter.

Anita is at a dinner party hosted by her friend Catherine, who has not been seen since Book 2. Probably because she went and did a boring thing like getting married.

I wore black pants, a black velvet jacket with white satin lapels, and oversized white vest that doubled for a shirt. The Browning 9mm actually matched the outfit, but I kept it hidden. This was the first party Catherine had thrown since her wedding. Flashing a gun might put a damper on things?

Then why did you bring it. Why do you need to bring a gun to a friendly dinner party?

Anita is cross because Catherine invited vampires and that meant she couldn’t wear her cross. I know – how dare people ask you to respect the needs of others? Robert, stripper and manager of Guilty Pleasures last seen in The Lunatic Cafe, is there, as is Monica Vespucci. You remember, that bitch who tricked Catherine into getting mindraped way back in Book 1.

Monica Vespucci’s health club tan had faded around the edges, but her makeup was still perfect, her short auburn hair styled into place. She was pregnant enough for me to have noticed and happy enough about it to be irritating.

Damn this femininity. Damn it all.

Anita is annoyed about having to be polite to Monica because she’s not allowed to tell Catherine about being mindraped as it involved Anita breaking the law. Hang on… what? What sense does that make? Anita isn’t allowed to tell Catherine about how Monica betrayed Anita to a Master Vampire. Wait a minute, that’s not right either. It focuses on Anita and Anita only, not what happened to Catherine. Huh.

oh and Monica is married to Robert and he’s the father of her baby

I stared at them both. “You can’t get knocked up by a hundred-year-old corpse.” Okay, I’d been polite enough.

Monica grinned at me. “You can if the body temperature is raised for long enough and you have sex often enough. My obstetrician thinks the hot tub did us in.”

Anita, you haven’t been polite for long enough, the evening isn’t over. And what about dhampirs?

“Have you had the amnio yet?”

The smile faded from her face, leaving her eyes haunted. I was sorry I’d asked. “We’ve got another week to wait.”

I did not mention Vlad syndrome, but the words hung on the air. It was rare but not as rare as it used to be. Three years of legalized vampirism and Vlad syndrome was the highest rising birth defect in the country. It could result in some really horrible disabilities, not to mention death for the baby. With that much at stake, you’d think people would be more cautious.

So…. women can get impregnated by vampires then. Which you just said was impossible. And you’re blaming the women who get pregnant. Yeah, you put ‘people’, but you mean women. What a nice sentiment. ‘If your baby has a disability, it’s YOUR fault’.

“The latest news was that a vampire over a hundred was sterile,” I said. “They should update their information, I guess.” I meant for it to be comforting, like they hadn’t been careless.

They’re a married couple who seem to have wanted a child together. How is that ‘careless’?

Monica looked at me, and there was no gentleness in her eyes when she said, “Worried?”

I stared at her all pale and pregnant and wanted to slap her anyway. I was not sleeping with Jean-Claude. But I was not going to stand there and justify myself to Monica Vespucci – or anyone else, for that matter.

Monica has every right to be judging you. Okay, she tricked Catherine into being mindraped. But Anita has just sat there and insulted her for getting pregnant and then insinuated that her unborn child might have a serious medical disability. It’s a wonder Monica didn’t slap Anita. I would have done.

Richard Zeeman then makes his reappearance. Oh goodie.

He’d tied his shoulder-length hair back from his face in a version of a french braid, so the illusion was that his brown hair was very short. It left his face clean and very visible. His cheekbones were perfect, sculpted high and graceful. His face was masculine, handsome, with a dimple to soften it. It was the kind of face that would have made me shy in high school.

Again, all Anita is interested in with her boyfriends is their physical appearance. And I’m pretty sure that you can’t tie up all your hair and make it look like it’s short. I had long hair when I was a teenager. There was never any mistaking that my hair was fucking long. When I had a boyfriend with chest length hair, he was never able to tie it up and make it appear that it was ‘very short’. And he was always putting it up, when I preferred it long, the bastard.

Anita then goes on and on about how much she wants to leap on Richard and fuck him, right here, right now.

Monica talks about Anita’s necklace, hoping to rile her some more about JC. Whatever. Catherine comes in, wearing all brown, and whisks Anita away. Why? To ask why she’s not engaged yet.

Wait, they ARE engaged. That was the whole stupid romantic plot tumour of The Lunatic Cafe. And why are you demanding that they get married, Catherine? They may not want to get married. Some people don’t. Anita mentally insults Catherine’s husband by means of a comeback.

Bob, said husband, comes in as there’s a phone call for Anita. It’s one ‘Ted Forrester’ the alias for Edward, the stalker psycho vampire and werewolf killer. Oh, joy.

“Is something wrong?” Catherine asked. Not much got past her, which was one of the reasons I avoided her when I was ass deep in alligators. She was smart enough to figure out when things were off-center but she didn’t carry a gun. If you can’t defend yourself, you are cannon fodder.

Thanks for that Anita. So I guess that the police aren’t there to protect and defend people. The world is just a computer game, and you can go wading through civilians and kill them for coins.

Edward has been offered a large amount to kill Anita. He’s turned it down because he’ll get to kill more people if he’s protecting her. Anita can’t think of anyone who would pay to kill her. She isn’t aware that I have got a piggy bank stuffed full of shrapnel that I would willingly give to anyone who would kill Anita Blake. Edward tells her how disappointed he is that she’s dating a werewolf and a Master vampire, and I want to find out where everyone is getting their information from.

Somewhere out there, by tomorrow, someone would have my mane on a to-do list. Pick up dry cleaning, buy groceries, kill Anita Blake.

I will marry myself on a spiritual plane to this person. They are now officially my favourite person in the whole series.


8 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Killing Dance’ chapter two

  1. So Anita is basically saying “Catherine is supposedly smart, but she’s stupid because she’s not a paranoid psychopath who brings firearms to dinner parties like me.” Am I reading that right?

  2. Anita gets to insult people to their faces, but if anyone has a comeback, *they’re* the bitchy one. I swear, she’s like that horrible little kid who’s always picking on other kids at school, who cries and tattles whenever those kids push back.

  3. Oooh, I will definitely check your book out!

    Regarding VOC from last chapter’s discussion: We get evil white vampires, but we also get “good” white vampires too. VOC, however, are always evil. This does not apply to therians or humans of color though, who can, like white vampires, be good or evil like anyone else.

    Catherine is, to my memory, never seen again in the series after this point.

    I don’t like babies. I don’t like them at all. But a woman, even one I don’t like, being happy about being pregnant has never seemed to me to be something to be irritated about.

    I don’t see how they were careless either, they seem to have been overtly TRYING for this kid, not getting knocked up by accident. Also Anita had no business making the remark about “a vampire can’t get you pregnant” in the first place. It’s like going up to a lesbian couple, one or both of whom are pregnant, and saying one (cis) woman can’t get another pregnant. It’s like, hello, other methods of getting pregnant exist and it’s REALLY rude to bring up the method of how precisely this one happened. I think she was purposefully trying to make Robert ask Monica if she’d been unfaithful or something (since I guess he would never have thought of it on his own?)

    Later, Anita has a boyfriend with ankle-length hair, and she also claims it looks like it’s short from the front if he ties it back.

    • Being nice for the sake of Catherine’s evening is just bumf – there’s no point in being nice to people, it’s better to imply unfaithfulness and disabilities!

      I don’t get the hair thing. I WILL NEVER GET THE HAIR THING.

      • Pretty sure it is some kind of supernatural power for long hair to look short. Like JC’s stupid voice. Because I’ve only seen ankle-length hair on one person, split ends like crazy, and she had to use an ironing board to straighten it. There’s no way I’d put up with the shit required to maintain such, but does Anita ever mention the maintenance costs? No. Therefore, super-special magic powers.

      • Ankle length hair is immensely impractical. If I was turning into a wee beastie who enjoyed roaming the woods, I wouldn’t want to deal with my hair the morning after. Baldness for all!

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