A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Narcissus in Chains’ chapter three

Anita panics for a paragraph about how she can’t find JC at any of his businesses and oh no he might have moved onto to stalk and rape another woman. Why does she have to ring around his businesses to find him? Why hadn’t JC got a mobile phone? He’s got a fucking private plane. He can afford to buy a mobile phone! She then complains about her aura and how she needs Richard and JC to fill the holes in it or something.

Jean-Claude’s voice hit me over the phone like a velvet slap.


i just can’t take shit like that seriously

“It’s been six months…”

“I am aware of that, ma petite.”

He was being condescending. I hated that.

He is nothing BUT condescending and insulting. Why are you in love with him?

Anita takes a while to blurt out that she just wants to know whether NiC is a real club, which JC confirms – while being insulting about Anita’s sexual preferences and the wereleopards. Still, he’s going to go charging on in there to rescue Nathavile and Gregory. Which is something. They sigh over how jaded Anita is. NiC, it is explained, is usually a safezone for all shapeshifters because all shapeshifters are into bondage. Of course.

JC explains that Narcissus, the owner, is… nice? Well, he likes to keep the peace and is trustworthy.

Jean-Claude had his faults, but if he trusted someone, he was usually right.

Oh, I don’t know about that. He trusts you, after all.

JC then wants to know why Anita hasn’t called him, fully transforming into Dottie!verse JC.

“I need to know my people are safe before we start discussing our relationship.”

“Relationship? Is that what we have?”

Do you have a ‘a connection, association, or involvement’? Then yes, fuckwad, you have a relationship. Either way, they’re going to discuss their involvement once JC has a word with Narcissus about the wereleopards. JC does this, and they launch into a full conversation about the holes in their auras which I have little patience for as I have little patience with auras in general.

I guess I’m not a very spiritual person on any level. I also don’t like how this aura stuff is being peddaled now instead of the original explanation for the triforce. If you want it to be about auras, talk about auras when you write it in, not five books later.

plus ick auras

Anyway, they are going to ‘merge the marks’ so their auras are no longer like sieves and they are at no risk of death any more. Anita is not going to tell Richard what is going on because he’s a poophead wimp.

“First, ma petite, what are you wearing?”

“Excuse me?”

“Clothes, ma petite, what clothes are you wearing?”

For the everloving sake of fuck. LKH, if you want Anita to be your little literary Barbie doll, just have her wear whatever. Stop thinking up terrible excuses to have her wear tacky, leathertastic clothes. Just have her wear them. Apparently, Anita has to go as Dominatrix Barbie because everyone might peg her as a cop.

“They begin to mistake you for something that smells of gun and death.”

I don’t see how being in five inch heels will magically mask the fact that she’s Anita Fucking Blake, the famous, well-known, and well photographed killer of shapeshifters and vampires.

JC then drops that Narcissus, a man, is the leader of the werehyenas of St. Louis. That is bullshit. Hyenas live in matriarchal packs, so if you’re trying to sell me the shapeshifters as naturally acting like the animals they become, you’ve just proven that they don’t and all the pack rules they come up with have nothing to do with their instincts or what comes naturally to them, it’s just patriarchal human bullshit.

Nice job breaking your series.

They then talk about how Anita has no mercy and how Anita wants everyone dead and how she’s made a decision to not be a sociopath. Um, pimplesqueeze, if you have a personality disorder, you have that for life. It’s not something that can go away by wishing really hard. If getting rid of mental disorders was that easy, why do you think I still have depression? Because I find it a super awesome way to spend my time?

Anita then blathers on about how sacred she is that she’s going to loose her sense of self by giving in to the whole auras caboodle. Well, maybe if you had a personality to loose, that might be something interesting. But all you are is tits, anger, and guns, so there’s not much to loose.


14 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Narcissus in Chains’ chapter three

  1. actual that whole matriarch thing is explained in the book. Narcissus is actually a hermaphrodite, therefore (s)he is supposedly female enough for the werehyenas.

    • The spoiler policy on this blog is normally pretty lax, but I haven’t read NiC before, so please don’t spoil me again on the future plot details. That’s the point of the reviews – they’re my honest reactions to what I’m reading as I’m reading it.

      Please don’t use the term ‘hermaphrodite’. It’s a pejorative term. ‘Intergender’ or ‘intersex’ are better terms to use.

      • I actually like the term hermaphrodite (I haven’t found many other terms that I feel fit me as well as that), but yes for a lot of trans people it comes across as derisive. And I think people within the group being described have different rights to possibly hurtful terms than those outside of it, so while I would support say, a trans woman’s right to self describe as a tranny or a trap (have met several people like this), I don’t think it’s at all right for a cis person to use those same words.

      • I strongly believe that those within a group have the right to self define, but those in the oppressive group should avoid using hurtful terms as much as possible. That’s why I’m happy to use the word ‘bitch’ but get frowny face about blokes using it.

      • “I shall be having strict CAPITALISED words when that happens then.”

        Indeed, though he does self describe that way as well. Still, it’s LKH so my hope for nuanced, respectful treatments of gender are basically nil. Also what has always confused me is that hyenas are not hermaphrodites as a general rule. The females have penises, essentially. It just reads like LKH can’t understand that a person could be a woman and also have a penis, which I think is unfortunate.

      • Well, women are only women when they are luscious like Anita. Others are ‘boys with breasts’.

        When the time comes, I’ll hopefully be able to discuss the difference between someone self identifying as a certain identity etc and being unable to recognise differing gender and identity, uh, identities.

      • “I strongly believe that those within a group have the right to self define, but those in the oppressive group should avoid using hurtful terms as much as possible. That’s why I’m happy to use the word ‘bitch’ but get frowny face about blokes using it.”

        Totally agree.

      • Sorry about the spoiler. Since other people have commented generally on future books I assumed it was okay for the current one. I probably should have double-checked first. My bad.

        And with the term “hermaphrodite” I was trying to convey the pejorative way it felt to me when I actually read the book. Though I probably should have explained that in the original post, my bad. Tone is very difficult to convey over the internet. Since the original text used the word I decided to use it as well. I was lazy about making sure the post was objectively politically correct instead of just assuming that it would convey my intent and therefore I fully admit that was me being potentially, if unintentionally, rude and therefore I apologise for any offense which may have been caused.

    • In the latest book, ummm… I think Dead Ice?, *spoilers* Narcissus is described as having one female breast, a penis, and a vagina, and only one teste. He states that his parents, at the hospital where he was born, couldn’t decide what sex to assign to him, and refused surgery until they sorted it out at home… apparently making it home with a child with hermaphrodite features was unheard of “way-back-then,” but he got to keep all his “extras.” Hello identifies as a gay male, but wants a lover who accepts his feminine side, too. He truly is XXY, so hermaphrodite is the correct terminology.

      However, in NIC, it’s not really explained. You just meet a gay guy in a dress and lipstick, but he’s not cross dressing so much as wearing what he wants to… which is what I thought cross dressing was… Some men just like to wear women’s clothing. The way LKH treats it makes a big deal about how much it isn’t a big deal to Anita, which… the hypocrisy there is just… staggering.

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