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


A small news announcement before today’s review. The American channel NBC are making a ‘Dracula’ TV series, and they released the official trailer today. I call it ‘Dracula’ because… well, it bears as much relation to Bram Stoker’s work as fish and chips do towards a shoal of dolphins. Whoever created this show obviously thought that the Francis Ford Coppola film was the original work, and that Bram Stoker was just some guy who worked for the production company.

Dracula is one of my favourite books. I long for a day where someone will create an accurate adaptation of the book. One that’s scary and is about a smelly monster that eats children, attacks women in their sleep, and bashes the brains of mental patients in on grubby asylum floors. Dracula isn’t about sexy romance – it’s about a battle of good and evil. And the fact that they turn a book which features such obvious metaphors for rape into stories of everlasting love makes me uncomfortable.

And onto today’s review.

Edward is back. Yay.

The group broke up soon after his arrival, mainly because all the business had been taken care of. The meeting had mainly been a last-ditch effort to convince Richard to compromise his morals and kill someone. Barring that, for him to pick a lupa who would kill for him. We’d sort of killed two birds with one stone, pun intended.

Um, what pun?

You’ve used the phrase in the precise context in which it is appropriate to use. If you mean it because Richard will now kill, it doesn’t really work as you haven’t really killed someone. If you had killed an actual bird, or had used stones in some way, it could be construed as a pun. But you didn’t. So it isn’t.

Anita says how lucky she was with Neal that he didn’t hurt her. Huh, I guess that means Rafael’s and Richard’s vows to kill for you were just hot air.

Edward has the news that someone has agreed to Anita’s contract. They will be trying to kill her within twenty four hours. Richard suddenly starts complaining that no one is worried, apart from him. That contradicts when Anita was shaking and panicking about the contract just a few chapters ago.

Richard then decides to put aside his panic and his concern to ask Edward if he enjoys killing. Edward says that he enjoys killing very much.

Anita and Edward both have serious personality disorders. They are people you really should avoid.

For the first time, I realized that Edward liked Richard. Not as a friend, maybe, but he didn’t think Richard was a complete waste of time.

You have based this on what, exactly? I don’t see any respect or any signs that Edward even thinks about Richard as a living creature. I get the sense that he would rather kill him and stuff his head as a trophy.

Anyway, Edward knows exactly when the assassins are going to attempt to make the hit.

“I know that the Master of the City is taking the Executioner to the opening of his dance club, Danse Macabre. I know that you’ll be arriving in a limo.”

“I didn’t even know that,” I said.

Not only does this imply a disturbing lack of consent in anything Anita does – again – but why can’t Anita just… not go. Can’t she just tell JC and not go to the opening of this stupid club?

There’s then a long passage where LKH has neglected to put down who is actually saying what. I think that Anita asks Richard if he could kill a human being. He says he can’t and then… Anita says that she’ll protect him from the assassins? I can’t tell. I have no idea what’s going on. All I know is that Edward says that Richard’s presence in the club will make Anita careless, which beggars the question of why she can’t she not go to the damn club.

Edward, the resident expert, rules out any kind of bomb because he likes to kill personally. Well, that’s a sensible way to examine the situation. No need to take precautions against all kinds of hit attempts, just listen to the insane bastard who likes to stalk people and break into their homes. No, it’s for certain that Anita will be targeted on her way back home because…

Richard tries to question the ALL MIGHTY POWER of Edward and Anita, by trying to suggest that they shouldn’t presume they know better than a professional assassin. But his worries are brushed off for they imply that Anita may be fallible. So Richard shuts up, only after suggesting that he send the pack with Anita into the club to safeguard her.

Anita says that Edward can do it all by himself. Hmmm.

“Practical will keep me alive, Richard, sentimentality won’t.”

So that’s why this course of action is the least practical and sensible then!

“If I really thought we were endangering innocent bystanders, I wouldn’t go to the club. You know that, Richard.”

But just by going to the club you’re endangering bystanders. The assassin or assassins could set explosives in the club. They could just break in and start shooting everyone. You should, I don’t know, tell the police, tell that blackmailng piece of shit you call your vampiric boyfriend, and not go out to the fucking club.

Edward then says he’s got a bunch of new ‘toys’ for Anita, and they both start grinning like loons. Yeah, the prospect that a huge number of people may die because of Anita sure makes me want to skip around with joy.

Richard points out that they’re both enjoying this too much so Edward counters with the fact that they both really enjoy this. And that Anita is just like him.

… admitting you’re a psychopath doesn’t mean you win the argument. It means you’re a psychopath.

Anita’s mind wanders and all she can think about is that life is hard because she has to kill a bunch of people and she has to juggle two boyfriends.

So, once again, Anita has taken the option which puts the most people in danger and makes the least sense.

Sigh.

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

  1. Re LKH and Asia: No, she genuinely seems to forget there is anything to Asia other than China most of the time. Pretty much all characters of Asian descent will be of Chinese descent, for instance. There have only been two in the series so far that aren’t (Padma, who is Indian, and Graham, who is half Japanese) and there is never any mention of India, Japan, Indonesia, Malayasia, the Phillippines, etc., either in relation to the supernatural or in general. Nagas presumably originate in India, and the werecobras that come up later use terms from Hindu lore for their leaders the same way the werewolves use mostly-Norse terms, but that’s it. And you can forget anything EVER being noted as coming from Africa, or Africa even being mentioned to exist. Well, actually, in the newest book, Affliction, one guy is described as looking so African that “he looked like he should be hunting lions with a spear” I SHIT YOU NOT

    Likewise, she seems to think that “Europe” is one single country, composed only of France and England (specifically London), and that “the Middle East” is likewise one mass.

    Oh my god the Coppola film. WILL NOT BE WATCHING KTHNX.

    It is never, ever funny or even understandable when LKH tries to make plays on words in any way. Ditto for any attempts on her part to write anything sensible or practical.

    • ‘one guy is described as looking so African that “he looked like he should be hunting lions with a spear” I SHIT YOU NOT’

      And she is allowed to get away with this??

      It’s odd but I am one of those few people who will defend the Coppola film, mainly because it’s the only mainstream Dracula film that has all the characters and has them in the roles they are supposed to play. And for Gary Oldman. The whole reincarnated lover/werewolf sex/ Van Helsing being German can all go to hell. So I’m pretty much guaranteed to hate anything that takes it’s cues from the film.

      Although the Lucy scene in the Coppola film is great.

      I don’t understand where she got her definition of a pun. None of her puns are puns.

      • Van Helsing being German might have something to do with him constantly speaking German in the book. Apparently Stoker didn’t know that they speak Dutch in the Netherlands.

        And having seen a few episodes of the show, I think it has the same problem Starship Troopers did – it’s fine on its own, but shares nothing with the source material other than character names.

      • Dracula is one of my favourite books of all time, so watching it was like some kind of literary torture.

        Stoker was a bit like Conan Doyle when it comes to academic information – when you don’t know it, just sort of make it up!

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