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


It’s a big ole chapter today, which suggests that LKH is going to try and hamfistedly resolve a large amount of plot in one big go. So I’m going to try and get through it as succinctly as possible, lest I hit some kind of Blake wall.

Anita wakes up from unconsciousness and is tied, hands and feet, to a bed with silken ties. She immediately suspects JC, which I find to be quite telling. But it’s not him, he’s victimising some other woman elsewhere.

Gabriel came to the foot of the bed. He was wearing black leather pants so tight they looked poured on, and high black boots that rode his thighs all the way up, with straps at the top to hold the soft leather in place. He was naked from the waist up, a silver ring through his left nipple and another through the edge of his belly button.

And this means he’s eeeeeeevvvvvvvvviiiiiiiiillllllllllll. He’s just the werewolf version of JC but the piercings mean he’s eeeeeevvvvvilllll.

Anita realises to her shock that they have taken all her weapons away. This makes the people who’ve kidnapped her at least ten times more intelligent than her.

Raina talked into sight on high, spiked heels the color of blood. She was wearing what looked like a red leather teddy that left most of her long legs and hips bare.

Why is everyone wearing leather? Does LKH ever actually wear leather? I mean, leather jackets are great, and 80s new wave stars in leather trousers are great, but the shit’s hot and difficult to move in for fighting or vampire hunting.

Anita says that Raina can be lupa. Raina is surprised, as she presumed that Anita would be sleeping with both of them. She strokes Anita’s legs and says that she can’t be lupa, as Richard only wants Anita. She only wants Anita’s pain.

I turned my head to Cassandra. There had to be someone sane in this room. “Why are you helping them?”

“I am Sabin’s wolf.”

I am actually surprised! That is a legitimately good plot twist.

Cassie has been a plant since the very beginning. Dominic, Sabin, and her are a triforce, and Sabin gave up blood for Cassie’s sake. She would do anything to help Sabin, and is actually sorry that it had to involve Anita. Cassie is still the greatest character in this book.

Dominic has a spell that can cure Sabin of the rotface. He needs to transfer magical essence and he needs a donor.

“A perfect donor. A vampire who shares Sabin’s powers exactly, a perfect match, and a servant, either alpha werewolf, or necromancer, bound to the same vampire.”

So, Anita and her friends are going to die. I am not upset with this. I don’t like that Raina that french kisses Anita for so reason than to confirm that she’s ‘slutty’ and evil, and Anita almost bites her lip in two.

And then it begins to get confusing.

Gabriel licks the blood from Anita’s face, while calling her kitty. Raina tells Cassie to go to the ceremony. Cassie says that she wants to talk to Anita. Raina says that Cassie is jeopardising her only chance. Cassie says that when Richard is dead, she’ll lead the pack. The bargain was that Raina and Marcus would kill Anita before Sabin and Cassie came to town, which, um, no.

The attacks on Anita’s life only began AFTER Sabin and his crew rolled into town. LKH has had continuity problems with every book, but she’s actually forgotten what happened at the beginning of her book.

Cassie then cuts down Raina (verbally, don’t worry) by chastising her for the attempt on Richard’s life before Dominic could cast the spell. The plot has slooooooowwwwwwed right down, as Anita asks why she’s still alive. Yeah, this is thrilling. No action, all talking.

Raina wants Anita for a porn film. Cassie says that if Anita promises no revenge, she’ll be allowed to go free afterwards. Until then, she’s a lure for JC and Richard.

Gabriel had settled on top of me, body pressing along the length of my body. He was heavy. You never noticed how heavy a man was when you were enjoying yourself.

Tell me this great wealth of experience you have about sex, Anita, considering at this point you have had sex exactly twice. And I’m not meaning to sound judgemental or condescending, but Anita comes out with this crap about love and sex all the time, based on no experience, and it pisses me off. She’s always trying to sound so sage, and each time, I see LKH’s own voice in her words. Because at those points, it’s not the character that we’ve been given that’s talking, it’s LKH.

If you cannot create and maintain a character voice based upon the life experiences and philosophy appropriate to that character and their given backstory, meaning you feel the need to paste your own history, ideas and beliefs in, you have failed as a writer. There is no nicer way to say that.

And besides, it sounds like Gabriel is just flat-out lying on top of Anita, which is… well, not how things exactly work, shall we leave it at that.

They’ve sent Richard a lock of Anita’s hair, and he came running to save her instantly. He’s captured somewhere. They caught JC by….

I literally do not know. No one says how they did it, how much time has passed, how any of them got Anita’s unconscious body through the Circus without any of the people who live there noticing… explain things, damnit!

Anita swears that she will cure Sabin. This isn’t good enough for Cassie, as Sabin must be cured tonight.

I don’t care. I have reached a zenith of not caring. Nothing is making sense any more.

There’s stuff about how if Sabin dies, Dominic and Cassie die, but I can’t tell what is going on. There’s an entire page of Cassie leaving. Gabriel pinches Anita until she bites him. He tells her about how much he likes pain that he went out and slept with a were-leopard, demanding that she change while we did it. Great. More bestiality.

A directer and camera crew appear from nowhere. Gabriel cuts her loose and opens her legs wide. So that he can rape her. Because more rape is what this book needs. Anita says that Gabriel is too tall, they’ll never see her.

Then film it from the side, nimrod.

Ugh. Can’t believe I just gave camera advice to a rapist. Good lord, what’s happening to me?

Gabriel is dumb enough to fall for her ploy and jumps off her to talk to his camera crew. No one is watching the untied Anita, but she doesn’t do anything anyway. Gabriel comes back and like he said in the last book he appeared, his fantasy is to rape Anita, then change, so she’ll be ripped apart.

I hate this book.

Anita then pain-seduces Gabriel into trying to give her a knife. There are two pages of this crap. I don’t want to spork it because it goes nowhere and because I actually find it rather sickening. Hey, rape victim, seduce this other rapist! Yes, it is to try and get a knife, but Anita HAD THE CHANCE TO GET AWAY. AND SHE SAT AND STARTED AT GABRIEL AND THE DIRECTOR TALK ABOUT CAMERA ANGLES FOR HALF A PAGE.

This is an awful chapter. It is terribly written.

I’m going to watch Scott Pilgrim and eat Mars bars. I need a fucking break before I slap someone.

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