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


Sorry that I missed yesterday – I was just exhausted. So now you get two reviews for price of one!

Anita turns round because a vampire has said that he does not believe in Anita’s snowflake powers.

His hair fell past his shoulders, a red so pure it was nearly the colour of blood. The color screamed out against his paleness. He was wearing a black frock coat like something out of the 1700s, but his chest gleamed lean and naked inside it. The heavy cloth was nearly covered in thick embroidery, a green so vivid it gleamed. The embroidery matched his eyes. Green as a cat’s eyes, green as an emerald. From the waist down, he was wearing green lycra exercise pants that left little to the imagination. A sash was tied at his waist like a pirate belt, black with green fringe. Knee-high black bots completed the outfit.

“This is Damian. Damian, this is Anita.”

“I feel silly in this outfit,” he said.

“But you look splendid, doesn’t he, ma petite?”

No. No, he looks ridiculous. Totally ridiculous.

“Why do you make everyone around you dress like they stepped out of a sexual fantasy with a high costume budget?”

Well, amend that to ‘with a fifty buck budget’ and that sums it up. Why does JC have to dress everyone up according to his disgusting tastes? Personal identity means NOTHING.

“Jean-Claude has always had a killer fashion sense,” Damian said, “and sex was always one of his favorite pastimes, wasn’t it?” There was something about the way he said that last made it not a compliment.

Maybe because Damian is pissed that he came here to find safety and protection and instead finds that the servant of the Master Cat likes prancing around and robbing people of their identities. It’s also very stupid, because both Liv and Damian are almost double JC’s age and could over-power him.

A door opens and another woman comes in.

She was about my own height, with wavy, waist-length brown hair that foamed over the shoulders of her ankle-length black coat.

Foamed? Foamed? What the hell does that mean?

She was wearing a pair of hot turquoise exercise pants with a matching sports bra. Criss-crossing straps went from pants to the bra, emphasizing her small waist. Black vinyl boots reached to her knees, with a small projection that covered the knees.

What.

I like Cassandra, because she bursts out laughing at the sight of Damian, as does Anita. JC doesn’t understand the laughter, and gets cross. Anita has to chalk it up to ‘girl humor’ rather than just tell him the truth. Hmm. Almost like she’s afraid of how he’ll react.

Damian was still frowning at us, still puzzled. It was just as well.

Because even though he was making fun of the outfit just before Cassandra came in. And should know exactly why they’re laughing. Oh, whatever, he’s stupid.

Cassandra is a werewolf, and has been assigned to protect Anita. Even though the best protection would be to not be in a crowded public space.

Instantly, a little spark of jealousy flared. Of course, if she were a werewolf and with Jean-Claude, then she was one of Richard’s followers.

Jealous of what? Do you instantly think that she and Richard must be fucking?

JC says that Richard selected Cassandra for the job because she resembles Anita. Oh, so she’s the decoy that they’re hoping will be targeted instead of Anita. Rather than her not being at this stupid club.

“I believe that Richard chose her for me because she bears a certain resemblance to you, not just physically, but a certain je ne said quoi.”

“Je ne sais quoi is French for nothing,” I said.

JC corrects her, but seriously? Anita is twenty four, maybe twenty five, years old. I cannot believe that she got to be a quarter of a century old and had never heard a correct translation of the phrase or knows what it means. Really? Really??

And anyone with a basic knowledge of French would, if they didn’t know what the phrase means, would know it doesn’t mean ‘nothing’. Especially seeing as the ‘je’ would imply a personal statement and the ‘quoi’ means what. ‘Rien’ means nothing.

I have noticed that LKH uses the phrase on her blog as if it means ‘nothing’ even though she knows what it means. This confuses me.

Anita asks about Stephen, and surprise, he’s here even though no indication was given as to how he got here. He helped Cassandra dress, because that’s what a traumatised rape victim should do. Cassandra enjoys how Anita is acting as a true alpha female, after a few hours of being so, rather than eeeeeeevvvvvilllll Raina.

Raina wanted Cassandra for the movies – which the pack could protest about – and wants to make Gabriel pack leader. Even though her power is based on Marcus’s power. Gabriel is only pack master of the leopards because they’re weak.

Why are the leopards in a pack? Leopards are solitary animals.

Gabriel is flawed because he likes weird sex. I object to the idea what someone is weak because they have sexual tastes that are different to the norm. I don’t object to the idea that Gabriel is ‘flawed’ because that word does not accurately convey how disgusting I find Gabriel.

“He has a fantasy about you. He wants to arm you with knives and let you try to kill him, on film, while he rapes you.”

Great, more rape. Only Gabriel’s fantasy involves Anita being dead while he rapes her.

Eurgh.

I feel very icky now.

Suddenly, the two women are alone (when did that happen?) and then Sabin comes out of the darkness. You know, that guy Anita is meant to be helping. Although I will admit it’s okay to forget about your job when someone is trying to kill you.

“You know him?” Cassandra asked. She was still standing above me, blocking the vampire’s path. She was taking this bodyguarding thing very seriously.

Someone is trying to kill you Anita. Of course she’s going to take it seriously.

Anita says that Sabin is fine, with his hood ‘a cup of darkness’, but he then threatens to rape Cassandra because that makes cheap and easy drama. Anita makes an equally dramatic vow to protect Cassandra, not out of a moral goodness to stop someone being raped, but because she’s her alpha. She doesn’t send Sabin on his bike, and fawns over his ruined beauty when he flips his hood open, even though Cassandra is seriously distressed. Sabin then strokes Anita’s face with a hand in a glove.

The glove was liquid-filled, like some kind of obscene balloon.

I am so scared of the guy with water balloon hands.

JC suddenly pops up again and is sad that Sabin is abusing his hospitality. Not that he threatened to rape someone, no. Just that he’s being rude.

Cassandra made a small sound. My bodyguard was about to be sick. Maybe it smelled bad to her.

Why don’t you try a bit of tenderness, Anita? It would go a long way to preventing future attempts on your life.

JC finally puts his foot down and forbids Sabin to rape anyone. Huh. I think I’ve broken some kind of personal record for how many times I’ve typed ‘rape’.

“You are free to enjoy the show, but do not tempt me again, Sabin. I have no sense of humor where ma petite is concerned.”

Ah, I see. JC only stops Cassandra being attacked because it might upset Anita.

Liv then pops up to say that it’s opening time, so JC orders Cassandra… away, and says that Liv must now guard Anita. Then why the hell did you assign Cassandra to be her bodyguard in the first place?

Cassandra had failed the bodyguard test. She was a powerful lycanthrope, but Sabin had totally unnerved her. She’d probably been just fine if the vampire had tried violence, but he’d just stood there and rotted at her. What do you do when the monsters start being piteous?

I’m sorry, but did your brain magically miss the part where Sabin, you beautiful and tragic not a villain guy, threatened to hold Cassandra down and rape her? I’d be upset if an ancient vampire threatened me with that and none of the people who are here to be my back up could be bothered to defend me or stop him based on the fact that I do not deserve to be raped.

The worst part? Cassandra feels so bad about this she apologises to Anita.

You know what? At this point a portal opens up, Hannah Blake grabs Cassandra, and they go on to be ass-kicking buddies. Cassandra never has to worry about Anita Blake and her problems.

The club is opened, the crowd swarms in, and Liv takes Anita to her table.

Oh boy. This is such a thrilling piece of paranormal thrills. I have literally never read a better chapter of rape threats.

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

  1. Ah ha! So, my own authoring attempts are clearly not progressing because I have not been writing the correct topics. As such, I would like to announce the my new series of erotic thriller ‘Rape Rapists’. The first novel, ‘Rape is Just Sex You Did Not Ask For’, has been started right now, and should be finished in about an hour since I am just going to copy-paste the same page of rape innuendo 200 times.

    Next Harry Potter. Calling it now.

    • That sounds like a sure fire hit. Make sure to make rape threats unacceptable to your main heroine, but perfectly acceptable when said to any and all other women!

  2. I’d say LKH took the “Rape Is A Special Kind of Evil” entry on TVTropes to heart, but she started writing this bilge before TVTropes was around. So instead I’ll just say…ew. Ew. Ew, ew, EW.

    Also, JC fails at fashion forever.

      • Seriously! What’s the thought process here? “I’ve got it. GYM CLOTHES AND PERIOD CLOTHES. TOGETHER. IN NEON COLORS. I AM A GENIUS.”

        They all need a serious fashion intervention. Actually, they all just need an intervention, period.

  3. As far as the clothes go, some of this might have actually worked in the 80s – frock coats would be OK with the New Romantics and fluorescent bright lycra stuff was sort-of in fashion too (I hate remembering that, but it’s true – partly because lycra was new(ish) and, hence, exciting). This is the mid-late 90s ffs! As far as good taste goes, combining neon-bright lycra and new romantic frock coats would never have worked.

    Is “Bible Belt” America (she points out a couple of times in later books that St Louis is Bible Belt, not me, I don’t pretend to know) in a “subtract a decade or more” time warp, or is it just her?

    After this book I always found Damian quite a sympathetic character (he’s Anita’s very first mind-rape, you can’t help but have some sympathy for the poor bastard) but “Jean-Claude has always had a killer fashion sense,” loses him a lot of credibility here. Unless he actually means that JC’s fashion sense always made people want to kill him. If that’s the case, more power to his elbow!

    • Hah, that’s great thinking behind that!

      I like New Romantic fashion, but combining it with neon lycra just does not work. Especially in the mid 90s. It should be all plaid and baggy ripped jeans and chunky shoes and huge woolen jumpers. All that stuff that’s coming back into fashion now in ways I wish it wasn’t.

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