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


HEY PEEPS I’M BACK

I’m all moved in to my new place! Remember, you can help keep me alive through my blip videos and my purchasing an upcoming e-book anthology which will have one of my short stories.

But, yes, I feel the time is right to go back into the world of Anita Blake.

I’d been complaining to Jean-Claude for years that his decorating scheme was too monochromatic, but one look at Narcissus’s bedroom and I knew I owed Jean-Claude an apology. The room was done in black, and I mean black.

Oh, I thought you meant canary yellow. Jebus, can you grow up?

Narcissus’s bedroom, which is in the club because…. sexy, is thus described;

  • It is black.
  • There are chains. I guess Narcissus enjoys being in them.
  • The bed is a four poster ‘orgy sized’ thing and I slapped myself in the face as I read that.
  • Anita says ‘if I’d been on a date, I’d have turned and run for it. But this wasn’t a date, and in we all trooped’.
  • LKH’s awkward and juvenile prose, oh how I have… both missed and was glad you were gone from my life?

My understanding about most people who were into D and S was that their bedrooms were separate from their ‘dungeons’.

Anita, you know nothing. (If someone was to make me an image of that, I would love you forever) You can’t be both an ‘innocent virgin special flower of innocence’ and ‘Madam Darkity Dark Dark Knower of the Sechs’. Pick one, and be consistent.

The only chair in the room had straps attached to it, so Narcissus offered us the bed to sit on.

Unless the straps cover the seat, sit on the damn chair and stop acting like a princess.

JC settles down with so much grace. I did not want that French snot pudding back in my life, or his equally charmless friend Richard. Anita notices that his cuffs and collar have links so they can be attached to a leash or chains. For a start, no shit that a COLLAR is able to be attached to a leash, but since when has Richard been into this scene? Anita goes on about how comfortable he is in the room and, um, isn’t Richard supposed to be a little vanilla cream puff?

Oh, of course. Developed characters mean nothing in this series. They are little plastic dolls to be mushed together for kissy time. And if LKH wants to be Madame Darkity Dark Dark Knower of the Sechs, then ALL her characters will be… you know, MDDDKOTHS.

Anita looks at the two of them and is deeply uncomfortable with the idea of sleeping with both of them. It’s called RACK. Risk Aware CONSENSUAL Kink. There’s nothing sexy about a woman being unhappy and being pressured into sex.

Richard promises that no one will hurt her which is not really a comforting thing to be told. Say that you went into an airport lounge and someone said to you, ‘I am positive no one is going to come up and suddenly smack you in the head with a fire extinguisher!’. You’d would start suspecting that scenario would be taking place sometime soon.

Life had been simpler when I believed in black-and-white absolutes.

You are pond scum.

JC actually comes off his cloud to notice that Anita is seriously uncomfortable and she admits to being uncomfortable here. Narcissus rapidly loses any respect I had for him by giggling about how JC had lots and lots of sex in this room, HEHEHEHEHEHE. Yeah, giggling NB characters, that’s not an offensive stereotype at all. JC then says how he had sex as a duty because… reasons. Um, hasn’t he been a fairly powerful vampire in St Louis for years? Oh, and sorry that someone forced you into sex. That makes it totally okay that you did the same to Anita.

Narcissus is hurt that someone doesn’t like his idea of sex. Oh great, yet another rapey villain. That’s just what this series needs! He then licks his lips about how wonderful JC is at teh sechs and reveals that Miss Nikky, the Claudia expy from book one, offered JC as a permanent rape toy.

You couldn’t give me an interesting, gender fluid character without making them obsessed with rape. What the hell is wrong with you??

JC is terrified of this, and his fear infects Richard and Anita. Although, considering that JC is in charge of the vampires of St. Louis, has a powerful necromancer on side, and the local werewolf pack, why is JC considering Narcissus an OMG scary threat? Look, the idea of being a rape toy is unpleasant, but JC could tear Narcissus’s head off and toss it in the local river. There’s no Master checking up on him, and Narcissus’s cackle of hyenas seems to be a small subset of the St. Louis shapeshifter community. The Vampire Council don’t care, and there’s no Council of shapeshifters to get pissy.

Anita is full of the memories of what happened to JC and, of course, she is horrified by what happened to him. Which I might by if she hadn’t once given away one of her friends to be a rape toy.

god.

these fucking books.

I was just rereading Das Sporking’s sporks of Breaking Dawn and reading about how awful Meyer is for that monstrosity but I swear down, they know nothing ’cause they’ve never read these fucking books and the sheer disgusting awfulness of these characters and the world LKH created.

Anita is struck with how JC has ‘traded sex for centuries’. Um, being given as a rape toy is not ‘trading sex’. ‘He had never been a prostitute, or rather, he had never traded sex for money’. Trading sex for a commodity is still prostitution (if we take the position he may have traded sex in non-rapey situations). That’s what prostitution means. How else would it exist in times and places where money didn’t exist?

Richard starts doing sexy tears. Oh, stop your crocodile tears, you rapist scum.

Narcissus starts prepping for another round of rape, because LKH literally cannot write a villain who is not into rape. Richard says he can never hurt JC again, as they are now good friends for some reason. He tries to break Narcissus’s hand, and Narcissus gets off on it. He laughs about how his bodyguard will kill them all. Whatever. Anita calms Richard down, and is sad about how the idea of rape has so offended Richard’s white sensibilities.

She literally says that. It is both realistically accurate and blindingly stupid.

Narcissus is also telepathic.

I have no idea why he can speak with his mind. I have no idea why this is suddenly in the books.

JC then reveals that Narcissus, who we have never heard of before this book, is actually the most dangerous shapeshifter in St. Louis because he has an army and everyone must appease him because… because LKH fucking said so. What do you want?

Why are they even here? Oh, right to rescue the wereleopards. When are you going to get started on that?

Narcissus reveals himself to have been friends with Gabriel. Gabriel, that rapey awful excuse for a pile of bird faeces. He then says about how much he wants to rape Nathanavile. Because all LGBTQA want to rape people. That’s how we say hello. There are now four hundred werehyenas so Narcissus…. wants things.

Why the hell hasn’t anyone noticed this shit happening? Aside from the fact that LKH can’t plan her writing for shit. I guess the other shapeshifters ignored it because they are all obsessed with rape too. Rape rape rape. Rape rape rape. That’s all the shit I ever get from this series and I have no idea why.

Jean-Claude interrupted. “Let us come to terms.” I felt the fear that was behind his calm words, and so did Richard. You did not ask a sexual sadist what he wanted. You offered what you were willing to give up.

What the frick does that even mean? And, seriously, JC, grow up. Rip off Narcissus’s fucking head. You can fly. (I think he can.)

Narcissus asks for the three of them to have sex in front of him. Um, I thought he was meant to be some crazy sexual sadist? That… in terms of my cream puff analogy, that’s a cream puff with maybe some swirls of chocolate and a few sprinkles. That’s slightly kinky, but nothing like the kinks Narcissus is interested in. But it’s just fluff to get them to agree to what he really wants.

“I want to be included in the conferences that run the shapeshifter community in this town.”

Richard nodded. “Fine.”

…….

……..

………..

WAS THAT IT?

WAS THAT THE WHOLE REASON HE KIDNAPPED THE WERELEOPARDS?

BECAUSE HE WANTED TO BE AN EQUAL?

WHAT THE FRICK WAS STOPPING HIM FROM PICKING UP THE PHONE AND ASKING NICELY?

Narcissus says he will not be dragged into politics and that he will stand as a neutral group – which is fine, considering how incestuous the supernatural community is. But he wants gifts for the delight of his presence. Because he’s an asshole.

Richard says how Narcissus is so very cautious when it comes to politics and thinks only of his own safety. He doesn’t seem to think of anyone’s safety, especially seeing as how he starts threatening to kill the wereleopards for no fucking reason! This is not clever or ‘shocking’, it’s plain old stupid. If you want to be included as an equal, don’t be rapey and start threatening to murder people, you fucking idiot!

Anita thanks Narcissus for his hospitality and tries to leave, which is sensible. Narcissus calls her childish, which I would normally agree with. But this situation is stupid, and you should just try to get your wereleopards out. Make JC rip some heads, get your leopards out of here, eradicate the werehyenas.

What? Do you want an army of four hundred rapists walking around?

Anita shakes around and starts having a fit, so everyone starts worrying about whether she’s going to start shifting. How? How the fuck would she start shifting? She’s not a shapeshifter!

“You always keep your word. I may be a sadist and a masochist, but I am still Oba of this clan.”

*stares at sentence*

Did LKH really think I would take that sentence seriously?

OH MY GOD THAT IS HILARIOUS. JUST PURE HILARITY. WHAT THE FUCK?

Narcissus declares that they have been awfully rude and he starts changing. JC collapses to the ground because… um. Things.

“What’s wrong?” Asher asked from across the room, still facing Ajax.

Asher is still here? That’s good to know. He just adds so much to this chapter. Anyway, it seems that JC is a sponge and has absorbed too much wolfness and is having a fit. Or something. I have no idea. Anita thinks it’s too much life, when JC is dead, and then worries about his pulse. Which he shouldn’t have. Because he’s fucking dead, Jim.

JC wakes up and reveals that Anita and Richard both shared their powers with him, because she has all these amazing shapeshifters powers because Anita’s amazing and special and wonderful.

Any time you feel like doing the thing you set out to do five chapters ago?

Asher, Richard, and Anita crowd around JC and talk about how remarkable it is, forgetting that Narcissus is threatening murder with his huge army of werehyenas. There’s a time and a place for wonder, guys, and it’s not in the villain’s lair. JC graciously grants Anita permission to rescue her friends, while Narcissus bleats about how he demands tribute for existing.

Richard demands that Narcissus play no more games and Anita notices how much he’s become like a cop, all hard and cold, and she doesn’t know why.

I think someone would have mentioned if he’d lost family members.

Um, bitch, remember the last fucking book he was in? When his mother was raped (supposedly) and his brother tortured? How the fuck does LKH forget her own fucking books?

Narcissus whines about how he wants someone to dominate him so Asher says he’ll do it. Ah, that’s why he’s in the scene. We can’t have JC or Richard willingly contaminate themselves with teh buttsex. JC then starts going on about how much life he is full with, like he’s monologuing in a bad play. Editing. This needs it. So much of it. This chapter is thirty pages long and doesn’t really cover much happening.

Let’s break it down.

  • Narcissus wants to be equal with the other supernatural communities in town.
  • He wants gifts and to be treated specially.
  • All this ‘life’ makes JC have a fit.
  • Asher offers to dominate Narcissus, solving the problem.
  • Maybe someone might think about saving the wereleopards.

The chapter does not need to be so convoluted and meandering! Cut half of it!

JC starts fitting again, while shouting French words. Asher… speaks about how he won’t speak about his junk because Anita is skeeved out at all of this. He also admits it will hurt JC, because Asher for some reason thinks that JC might be interested in men still when LKH’s precious sensibilities won’t allow him to be interested in anything other than vageen.  He talks vaguely of questions but I don’t care.

Everyone has to ask Asher why he’s so pissed because everyone’s brains have fallen out of their asses.

“He refuses my bed, because he fears you would… what is the American word… dump him, if you knew he were sleeping with a man. Would you?”

I had to swallow before I could answer. “Yes.”

Because you’re a great big garbage bag of biphobia. Honestly, couldn’t you just say ‘I’m not comfortable with him sleeping with other people than me?’. That makes you sound like less of a rude bitch.

Narcissus interrupts to remind us all that this is happening in his club and is supposed to be about rescuing the wereleopards from him. He wants to see Asher’s junk, and is horrified by all those burns on Asher. Yeah, the guy heavily into pain and torture kinks is scared off by a few scars. Make sense of that.

Narcissus drew a shuddering breath and said in a voice gone hoarse, eyes wide, “Oh my.”

Narcissus is now super into Asher, despite initially being horrified, but then JC reveals that Narcissus isn’t that hardcore anyway. Asher then just starts slapping the shit out of Narcissus.

RACK.

Just sayin’.

Everyone just stares at them. WERELEOPARDS. FIND THEM. SHITHEADS.

Narcissus tells them to go fine the wereleopards, at FUCKING LAST, but then says how their rules suck in comparison to his? His rules which involve lots of rape? Whatever. Narcissus says Asher can do whatever he wants until he uses the safety word, which he only does so Anita can ask what that is and it can be explained to the audience.

Anita doesn’t understand it.

Apparently, having a competent main character is not important.

Richard then reminds Anita how he was a virgin before Raina forced him to sleep with her which means…. something, I suppose. I’m not sure what, other than to shit on the only woman who has been interested in BDSM in the series. I know she was a torturous rapist, but still. I feel I have to protest.

Jean-Claude pulled gently away from both of us to stand on his own. “Yes, the night is running out, and we have much to do.”

About fucking time.

Oh, and Anita doesn’t want sex anymore. That is very important.

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

  1. Hey mine is up! Link should be my name or however these comment fields do it. Will comment on yours when I am done reading . Missed you!

  2. “My understanding about most people who were into D and S was that their bedrooms were separate from their ‘dungeons’.”

    LKH throws this out to show she knows it, but you wouldn’t know she knows it from how she writes about BDSM in every single instance

    Narci remains a fave of mine because I just…can’t really blame him for the rape the way I would a real person because it’s so clear that this decision was made by LKH solely because omg biiisexual non-binary person eeeeeeew and thus I can’t take it seriously at all, if that makes any sense?

    • No, that makes sense. Rape is the currency between the St. Louis supernatural factions so it would make sense for him to have a… rape façade.

      oh god these fucking books

  3. Narcissus down’t feel like a real person to me. He’s just a grab-bag of personality traits. It’s like LKH said, ‘he has to be male, because he’s a leader, but I can make him transgender, because hyenas are matriarchal and I have a biology major so I know that. And he’s bisexual so he can be into JC and Anita, because everyone loves Anita. And he’s super powerful, but not as strong as Anita. And he’s a political power. But he’s not interested in politics. And he’s into kinky sexy stuff, because being transgender must make you bisexual, and being bisexual means you can;t be monogamous, and not being monogamous means you must be into BDSM. And he’s totally a badass, except when he’s not. Because he’s willing to be the bottom in a relationship, so he must be secretly weak. He runs a neutral zone, which means he’s weak and not on Anita’s side, which means that he’s evil. So he’s a rapist.’

    I feel unclean for typing that. The theorized views of LKH in no way reflect my own thoughts and opinions. And

  4. I don’t know why, but I always saw Narcissus as looking like a sort of “Evil Eddie Izzard”. That man can rock a LBD.
    Also, I really like these. Snark is the only way I can appreciate LKH now, so thank you for going through this so others don’t have to.

    • OOoo evil Eddie Izzard is a great way to describe him!

      I shall valiantly battle on with snark against the mountain of bullshit. These books are too hilarious to give up.

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