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


Two reviews in one day! You lucky, lucky people…

Anita goes to her table, which is the biggest and most exposed table in the entire club, proving again that JC should be left in the corner with the safety scissors and the glitter glue.

Of course, Liv was with me. She stood at my back, arms crossed over her stomach. All she needed was a sign over her head that flashed bodyguard.

Shut up your stupid whining mouth, Anita. If you don’t want to be guarded by a bodyguard, don’t go out into public spaces where someone can assassinate you. It is not difficult.

“You’re supposed to be unobtrusive.”

She looked puzzled. “I’m supposed to keep you safe.”

“Then sit down and pretend to be my friend. The trap won’t work if I look like I’m being guarded.”

What trap?? It’s not a trap if you’re sat in public with a room of civilians!

She knelt by me; too far down to bend down, I suppose.

Stop reminding us of how terribly, life-ruiningly ‘short’ you are!

“I will not risk being given to Sabin. I don’t care if your assassin knows I’m here or not.”

… right. Ok. I don’t understand what you are saying. Are you saying that for protecting Anita from the assassin, Liv’s reward will be to be given to Sabin so that he can rape her?

“Look, either work with the program, or get away from me.”

That IS what you’re saying, isn’t it?

What is wrong with you??

“I obey Jean-Claude, not his strumpet.”

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Sorry, but that was beautiful.

Anita goads Liv that if she fails and Anita gets hurt, Liv will be raped by Sabin anyway and then be killed. Anita, please try to remember that you’re supposed to be the hero. Anita then demands that Liv leave her on her own, and Liv goes away, presumably to try and find a way into the Hannah Blake universe.

Anita, there’s an assassin trying to kill you. Why are you sending away your bodyguard?

The way to the floor was barred by half a dozen vampires. They had quietly but firmly motioned everybody back to the sides of the room. Both male and female were dressed nearly identically, black lycra pants, boots, and black fishnet shirts. The women wore black bras under their shirts, but that was the only difference. I approved. Short little skirts or hot pants for the women would have pissed me off.

But being forced to show off their bodies is perfectly fine and dandy?

Having your body on display is good, but wearing a short skirt is bad.

I cannot follow this logic. It is non-logic.

Anita scans the crowd, but can’t see anyone she knows. She tries to be casual but then remembers ‘oh yeah, the assassin’ and starts to wish she hadn’t sent Liv away.

Anita starts to have a panic attack, and then Willie McCoy comes up.

Willie McCoy was dressed in a suit so horribly green it could only be called chartreuse.

… then why not just call it chartreuse.

Willie says that the vampires are supposed to be casually bodyguarding her, but he noticed her panic attack – a panic attack that is only obvious to people who know her. Huh. Anita then looks around and thinks how a crowded club is a perfect hiding place for an assassin.

Sweet merciful crap. How is she only just grasping that this was a terrible idea?

Anita calls Willie ‘great cannon fodder’ which kind of undercuts how she was going on about how Willie was her friend. JC formally opens the club, and shoves Cassandra and Damian out in skimpy costumes. Damian immediately begins locking eyes with a woman, something which permanently ties a vampire to the victim and should be illegal but isn’t as no one knows how to deal with vampires aside from Anita in these fucking books.

Anita is the only one who notices and actually asks if it’s faked, even though she knew it was real two pages ago. Willie won’t say. JC has forbidden anyone from telling her what was going on to stop Anita from stopping the illegal activity. Yeah, fuck consent, as Damian is groping and assaulting someone on front of a crowded room. I had a problem with it in Guilty Pleasures, and I have the same problem with it now. Anita demands that it be stopped, after watching the assault for a while.

Damian passed his hand above the woman’s face, and when his hand came away, she blinked, awake at last. Her hands flew to her blouse, eyes frantic. “What’s happening?” Her voice carried, thin with fear.

Damian tried to take her in his arms, but she drew away, and all he caught was a wrist. She strained against him, and he held her easily. “Let me go, let me go, please!” She reached out to someone in the crowd. “Help me!”

The crowed had gone very quiet, quiet enough that I could hear the voice of her supposed friend, “Enjoy it. It’s just part of the show.”

Well, I’m sickened, how about you?

I find it sickening that it is considered okay for a man to sexually harass a woman in public under the name of ‘entertainment”. That the crowd will stand and watch a woman scream and cry and beg for someone to help her. This is horrible.

Damian grabs the woman, opens her clothes, and is just on the point of biting her, when Anita stands up and is the only one in the entire room who stops him. She marches through the crowd, who say and do nothing, towards Damian. She threatens to kill him on the spot if he hurts the woman, which I guess is her legal responsibility and that. Damian says that it’s just good fun and assaults the victim some more. He finally lets her go, and Anita makes him promise that the ‘entertainment’ must have consenting volunteers from now on.

Yeah, like JC gives a shit about consent.

Anita whisks Karen away. Karen faints – because someone almost bit out her fucking neck, I’d faint too – and Anita huffs and complains about how she has to watch Cassandra and Liv carry her away. A woman with waist-length red hair offers to help, and introduces herself as Anabelle Smith.

“Should we report what happened to the police?” Anabelle asked. “I mean that vampire was going to force himself on her. That’s illegal, right?”

Karen stirred on the couch, moaning.

“Yeah, it’s illegal,” I said.

Anabelle raised an interesting point. I could report it to the police.

No, not ‘could’. ‘Should because Damian almost ripped out an innocent woman’s neck in front of a crowd and that’s illegal’.

I would talk to Jean-Claude and Damian first, but if they didn’t give me the answers I wanted, maybe I should go to the cops.

Translation: ‘My perfectly beautiful boyfriend is allowed to do what he likes and I don’t care’.

oh and then raina comes in. what a perfect cherry on this shit sundae.

Raina’s here because she is JC’s partner in the business. Surprise! JC enjoys profiting from the pain of others!

Raina tells Karen, who has woken up, that Anita is not her friend, and that there’s a taxi waiting outside for her. Anita tells Cassandra to make sure that Karen actually gets home and doesn’t get forced into pornography. Anita might start to feel guilty if she did.

Everyone leaves, and Anabelle and Anita are alone. Anabelle says that she’s a reporter, but as we’ve all guessed by now, she’s the assassin. She pulls out a gun, and then some women scream. Anita promptly shoves a knife through Anabelle’s gut and up, into her ribcage, killing her brutally in public and leaving her close to death on a bathroom floor.

Sorry, am I supposed to be on Anita’s side here? Because I’m totally on Anabelle’s side.

Then Edward arrives and the police comes and Anita thinks ‘oh no i may get in trouble for this!’.

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Luckily, my Marvel vans arrived when I was writing this and now the pain has washed away…

But I still find LKH’s attitudes to rape and consent disturbing.

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

  1. Remember, kids: Beautiful women are evil, every last one of them. Had Annabelle there been an attractive MALE redhead with waistlength hair (for fuck’s sake what is with her and hair), he would have been just the sweetest guy.

    Or rather, he probably still would have been evil, but Anita would have found him hot and so we would be expected to ignore how awful he was.

    This series makes me kinda sad.

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