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


Here is a pug to make everyone feel better after yesterday! We all need squiggly pug goodness after the madness of SMELL MY CHEESE.

No, I am not going to let that go.

Anita wakes up alone. JC has buggered off somewhere, presumably to brag about his great lay.

Boyfriend. That was a word for someone who walked you to your class. It didn’t seem the right word after last night.

Boyfriend was a good enough term for Richard. ‘Rapist asshole’ is the right term for JC. Although LKH is, no doubt, trying to say how amazingly magical and wonderful JC is compared to that crummy Richard. Even though boyfriend is a perfectly applicable term here.

Anita is all sad that JC is gone and rolls around in the sheets to smell his cologne. She calls herself stupid for ‘half-loving’ JC and believing that he may love her, while she is still in love with Richard. Honey, JC does not love you. He never acts like he cares about you – save for trying to worm his way inside you.

There’s a knock at the door, and Anita whips out a gun. That she had lying around. For some reason. It’s a guy called Ernie, and he’s come to offer her breakfast. He’s a little bit stunned by the fact he has a gun pointing at his head. He’s here to be at her disposal.

“Ernie, I am sitting here naked in a bed, and I don’t know you. Get out or I’m going to shoot you on principle.” I aimed the gun at him for dramatic emphasis.

You could be, um, nicer about it. I know you’re uncomfortable, but please don’t threaten to murder any more people.

OH

OH

OH

AND THEN RICHARD COMES IN

yes yes yes get righteous and fight

He asks if they slept together and Anita says they did. Richard unleashes his POWER and Anita wants to scream.

“Stop leaking all over me.”

It stopped him, almost literally in midmotion. “What are you talking about?”

“Your power, aura, it’s raining all over me. Stop it.”

So the only one getting righteous is Anita. And that’s self-righteous, the worst kind of righteous.

Richard says that why should she care, she liked it last night. Anita admits she liked the POWER but didn’t like him changing. When she demanded that he DO so for the whole book and decided to hold onto him while he was changing. Richard counters it by questioning how much sense it makes for her to run to JC and ‘sleep’ with him.

I held up my right hand. It was covered in a wonderful multicoloured bruise. “You did this when you knocked my gun away.”

Funny. I don’t remember that happening. This seems like a cheap excuse for the ‘sex’.

Anita says that Raina is just going to kill him anyway and that she’s just going to demand to fuck him. Richard admits that Raina offered to sleep with him, but he said no. He doesn’t want Raina. He only wants Anita. She starts crying and says that she wasn’t thinking clearly last night when she had ‘sex’ with JC.

Richard starts screaming and this happens.

He jerked at the bottom sheet, tugging it until it came loose. He grabbed the top mattress and pulled it off the bed. He grabbed the bottom of the bed and lifted.

I screamed, “Richard!”

The bed was antique solid oak, and he tossed it on its side like it was a toy. He pulled the bottom sheet off. The silk tore with a sound like skin peeling back. He was on his knees with the butchered silk in his hands. He held his hands out to me and the sheets fell away like blood.

That’s emotive, maybe a bit pretentious, genuinely capturing how Richard feels. My issue with it is: where is Anita when this is happening? No where did my text say that she got off the bed. Was she on the bed when he was throwing it around? Does necromancy give her the ability to float around? Why is the Anita Blake universe full of things that just seem to float around during scenes? Is LKH just a really, really bad writer?

Anita walks to him – from where?? – and asks what would he like to hear her say? She is sorry. Richard turns to her and she realises that she is very scared of him, but that she deserves to be beaten for what she did.

what.

Anita is actually advocating that her boyfriend beat her as retribution.

I have nothing.

Richard kisses her as he’s not THAT bad and Anita is repulsed. She saw him eat someone, so can’t deal with it. JC is allowed to suck the blood of a close friend, and he’s just fine. She jerks backwards, and drops her sheets. She desperately tries to cover herself.

“Two nights ago, you let me touch them, suck them. Now I can’t even see them.”

Do you think you have a right to see Anita’s breasts or something? She’s allowed to cover her body, dude.

He went to all fours in front of me, so we’d be on eye level.

I repeat: where is Anita? When did she start kneeling on the floor?

Richard asks if it felt good to fuck a corpse. His anger is perfectly understandable.

I stared at him from inches away, not embarrassed anymore. Instead, I was getting pissed.

Why are you getting angry Anita? You demanded Richard change in front of you. You held onto his body as he changed. And, if we accept LKH’s writing that it was consensual sex – which I don’t, but let’s say it was hypothetically – you ran off to have sex with another man. You have no right to be angry at Richard. He is the wronged party in this.

Richard just cries that he loves her and smashes his hands into pulp on the floor. Anita bleats about how sorry she is. Her utter lack of emotion in this, save her usual pissatude, snaps Richard out of his funk. He says goodbye, and that he will always love her. I have no idea why he loves her, loved her, or will continue to love her.

Anita bleats that she is sorry again. Hmmm. It almost sounds more genuine the zillionth time you said it. She sits and does nothing. Mainly because there isn’t really anything she can do.

Sigh.

But this makes me happy.

Yes yes yes 70s fashions yes

I love it.

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

  1. OH MY GODS THE 70’s

    Ahem. Anyway.

    Laurell really doesn’t understand consensual anything. Richard changed, how dare he? Wait, Anita’s been waiting him to do so before she’d shag his brains out? ….fuck.

    NO WAIT HE’S TOTES ASSHOLE

    Even when I first read this book (and still reasonably enjoyed the series), I was confused about Anita’s logic. And also confused how her disgust and supposed fear of Richard becoming a wolf and chowin’ down on Marcus meant she ended up boning the undead. I can see fear, or an immediate inability to process what she’d seen, but I’m with Richard on this one: why the hell did his changing end up with her fucking Jean-Claude?

  2. I… shouldn’t be laughing at this.

    But it’s just so silly and illogical and nobody’s reaction is anything like I would expect from anything human, and… it’s just so BIZARRE. Anita just got nailed a corpse and she’s angry at her boyfriend for being upset, after abandoning him for doing something she’s been asking him to do the entire book. It’s like she runs on Bizarro-World logic where she somehow feels she’s the one who was wronged here despite being at fault in every possible way (Well, admittedly except for the rape, but since this is LKH that was probably the closest she can get to consensual and we are clearly not supposed to see Anita has traumatized by it), and I can’t help but find it funny.

    … and I’m horrible for saying this but the rape itself was KINDA funny too. He rubbed the condom on her face and she was turned on by it! I just can’t get over that part. Mmmmm, sexy plastic wrap.

    • I had to put the book down and laugh when I got to that part. It read like something out of The Naked Gun or Austin Powers – it was something that would be done in a parody, not played straight.

      • I honestly have to give LKH props for at least *mentioning* a condom, even if she awkwardly used it during said sex act. That’s more than quite a few writers bother with. However, that’s about all I give her.

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