So, less than ten chapters to the finish, the major plot point of this book has finally decided to show up. This book, which has been about political and legal conspiracies, has now become a treasure hunt.
A wildly inappropriate plot that has no build up in the text appears! It is not effective. At all.
I didn’t even ask Richard if we were leaving town for real. I knew the answer, and frankly, I was with him. On the off chance that Niley was right and the spear was here, we couldn’t let him have it.
There is no off chance that Niley is right. If the Spear of Destiny continues to exist in the modern world, it is in the Vatican. And, besides, what’s the big deal about Niley having it? It’s just an ancient spear. It does not have magical powers. It will not cure depression (the reason I would fight for it) or solve world hunger.
That is true, and my historian senses equally wants to beat Niley round the head with something heavy for wanting to steal it away into a special collection. But the world will not change if Niley has it.
But it was more than that. Richard had drawn a line in the sand; good versus evil. Good can’t tuck tail and run. It’s against the rules.
That’s why Anita wants to stop Niley, because it ties into the bullshit simplistic morality LKH sells, that good and evil can be split into easily defined groups that conform to unwritten rules. She has the morals of a child, and seems to be unaware that Anita Blake is not good. She is not ‘good’ by any definition of the world. Anita is a petty, judgemental woman who is obsessed with vengeance. She is a villain.
Anita’s crew make a big fuss about ‘leaving town’. Nathaniel has apparently been injured defending Anita’s honour. I think Nathanvile did it himself to manipulate Anita. He has done nothing but manipulate her to get what he wants. Again, he would be a good villain for a book.
Sheriff Wiles sent Maiden and Thompson to escort us out of town in a black and white, or in this case, a blue and white, but the effect was the same.
Who gives a shit? I don’t care that their police car has a different colour than the American norm. It adds nothing.
It would have been childish to give them the finger, so I didn’t do it. Zane did it for me.
Anita Blake killed people in this town. Just a casual reminder.
The crew end up at Verne’s house, but it’s been decided that too many people being at his house will raise suspicions. I fail to see how, as Verne’s house is an hour outside of town. I’m not sure how many people in the town will drive to his house on their way for groceries and then barge inside to perform checks on how many people are staying there. It’s just an excuse for Anita to stay with Marianne, and learn more werewolf magic.
Look, I know that fiction relies on a balance of contrivances. But LKH’s contrivances are painted in bright neon colours while jumping up and down shouting ‘DON’T NOTICE ME! DON’T NOTICE ME!’. They feel phony. They make the AB universe, which is already well into implausibility, feel phony.
Anita, Cherry, Zane, Nathaniel, and Damian’s coffin, drive out along some dirt road for god knows how long to get to Marianne’s house. They have a very rough journey to her place.
Marianne yelled back to us, “Car coming, hide.”
For a start, that sentence needs an exclamation mark. She’s yelling. That’s loud. She’s not talking at a normal volume. And what car? They’ve travelled into the bugfuck of nowhere on a dirt road. Is it one of those nosy grocery shoppers who does random spot checks on houses forty miles away from town?
They all duck down. The truck rolls forwards because whoever was driving – and I can’t work out who it was – ducked as well. Zane and Anita burst into laughter, as letting a truck roll into someone’s home is just so funny. The crew then come out the truck, and Anita bitches about everything. Marianne tells her pessimism is unbecoming in one so young, and then Anita demands a shower, immediately.
The yard was brown and dying in the summer heat. Actually, I approved. I didn’t believe in watering grass.
So…. all gardens look like this around Anita.
Maybe it’s not because she hates everything. Maybe her presence kills plants. Like a demon.
They then talk about showers more. Anita demands a shower, and Marianne says that she doesn’t have much hot water. This seems to confirm that Marianne lives in the bugfuck of nowhere. Marianne suggests that some people double up, and this makes Anita recoil and have a total panic at OMG A GIRL MIGHT SEE ME NEKKID.
Look, I understand that sharing a bath with someone is awkward, especially if you don’t like being naked around other people. I am like that. But all Anita has to do is say ‘OK, can I borrow a swim suit Marianne?’. Anita just wants a shower to wash off sweat from a hot day. She can borrow a swim suit and just get it over with. But nope, The Great and All Powerful Anita Blake demands her own personal shower. Cherry offers to share with Zane, and Anita is so instantly judgemental, Cherry has to – yet again – remind Anita that contact between wereleopards is nonsexual.
I shook my head. “I’m not sharing a bathtub.”
No, you’re just going to force another woman into a sharing a bath with a man who was a violent pimp. Just grow up.
Anita is in a seriously bad mood because Marianne being ‘calm’ seriously fucks her over. Marianne and Anita then launch into a very boring conversation about Anita’s opinions of Verne. Anita does not like him, and Marianne is generically wise. She says Anita is ‘young’, which instantly offends Anita, who presumes she’s calling her naive.
“You are not naive in the sense that is usually meant.
U R the most special snowflake, Anita.
I am sure you have seen more blood and death than I have. It stains your power, this violence. You both attract it and pursue it. But there is something about you that stays fresh and somehow perpetually childlike. No matter how jaded you grow, there will always be a part of you that would be more comfortable saying ‘golly’ than ‘goddamn’.”
Well, at least someone else has noticed that Anita is like a child. The only problem is that this speech carries the implication that Anita’s childlike nature is good; after all, children are the symbol of inherent goodness and purity. However, I would argue that a comparison to a child, while appropriate, is profoundly negative. While children are loveable, there are many negative qualities that the description holds when applied to an adult (purely using Anita as a model. I understand that many people use ‘childlike’ as a simple means to describe those with learning difficulties. I am not discussing the rights and wrongs of such literary stereotypes, as that is far out of my purview. And not, quite frankly, something I have any right to talk about). It implies a fundamental lack of understanding about the world; a tendency to have simplistic moral standpoints; unrestrained emotions that cannot be checked by the polite standards of society; being unable to participate in society as an equal, with an adult understanding.
That’s bad, Anita. That’s very bad. You being like a ‘child’ does not make me happy that you work as part of the legal system.
Plus, it’s such a romance cliché. Oh, look, my heroine is so innocent, etc, etc. Blurgh. I hate it.
Anita then talks about how much of a control freak she is, which Marianne confirms. Um, no. I have lived for ten years with a control freak. Anita, you were blackmailed into dating JC and you just went with it. You are no control freak.
[Marianne] laughed again, that wholesome-bedroom sound.
Stop. Equating. EVERYTHING. With. Sex. Please.
Marianne tries to get Anita to accept Raina’s evil ghost, to try and negate Raina’s karma. Of course, karma has to be dragged into this. Because I’m sure this Asian concept of causality fits in well with this white, aryan world with none of that nasty ‘cultural appropriation’ nonsense. Marianne gets all fiery about teaching Anita how to control Raina, and Anita says she would like that. Marianne tells Anita to come in the house, with her ‘heart and mind […] open to it’, to have the first lesson.
If I open my heart and mind to getting backrubs from a few select stars of picspams, will I get those too?