One of the major problems regarding the ongoing rape problem in the Anita Blake books is generational, I think. LKH was born in 1963, and grew up in an age when rape was a specific evil act. It was something done by wicked men in dark alleys or as a war crime. It wasn’t done between people with a romantic interest in each other – if women complained afterwards, it was sour grapes. It wasn’t rape if you enjoyed it – then it was just unexpected sex. Date rape wasn’t a thing, and only the worst of women were raped or spoke up about it.
The problem is that this is not the 1970s or the 1980s. This book was published in 2002. While there is still a prevalent rape culture in society, it is no longer acceptable to have the old Scarlett O’Hara ‘well, I enjoyed the rape so that made it okay!’ trope. But LKH doesn’t seem to understand that. That is why she doesn’t have the multi-million dollar adaptations of her work. That’s why I doubt her work will be remembered after she finishes writing. Her work is dated – already – and offensive to modern audiences. It will not last and it will not be remembered.
I don’t know about you, but that makes me very happy. Ha!
So, the review.
Nathaniel drove because I was too shaky to concentrate.
Oh, I wonder why. Sorry, that did sound a bit victim-blamey, but it was more author-blamey. Anita is sat down, entirely traumatised out of her mind. She takes the time to notice how pretty Nathaniel is. Can’t forget to tell us all how amazingly handsome all the men are – although I find that they all look the exact same. That’s not sexy.
Nathaniel wore a ribbed tank top and silky jogging shorts. He’d tied his nearly ankle length hair in a loose braid that curled onto the seat beside his thigh. He’d founds that if he let his hair fall onto the floorboard, sometimes it tangled around the pedals. He had to watch the gear shift between the seats, too. I’d never had hair that long.
NO ONE HAS HAIR THAT LONG. (well, there must be some people, but allow me to be hyperbolic). HAIR THAT LONG IS STUPID AND IMPRACTICAL. IF YOUR FUCKING HAIR BRAID GETS CAUGHT ON THE FUCKING GEAR STICK, THEN YOUR HAIR IS TOO FUCKING LONG.
Anyway, Anita breaks from the plot to tell us how Nathaniel was so abused he wasn’t allowed to have a driver’s license but she forced him to get one. Yes, that’s the way to help someone who was abused. Abuse them some more. He brought her clothes and a pile of weapons. He tries to find out what happened but Anita is not in the mood for talking. Now, a good author would have Nathaniel try to relate to Anita through what happened to him, and to try and help her through their shared pain. But, pfft, like Nathaniel cares.
They arrive at RPIT headquarters and a random new detective is introduced. Detective Token. He is understandably shocked that Anita is alive and is visibly spooked.
Um, why do they think she’s dead? Her unconscious body was taken off by her friends. She wasn’t taken to a hospital or the morgue. There hasn’t been an announcement of her death. Weren’t RPIT suspicious when all the shapeshifters suddenly went underground?
Another thought – did anyone talk to her family about this?
Anita goes in and engages in cliché.
“The rumours of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
Fuck off with your misquote of Mark Twain.
The other RPIT officers are… not shocked at all. They’re sort of ‘meh’ about it and Anita wonders whether Detective Token is religious. Of course, the ONE black guy on the team is the incredibly religious one. Zerbrowski comes over and points out that Anita lost soooo much blood. And what, you never fucking called a doctor? Or contacted a hospital? Or a morgue? YOU ARE TERRIBLE POLICE OFFICERS. Anita then asks for a JC to go and Zerbrowski just nods and lets her have at it.
YOU ARE A TERRIBLE POLICE OFFICER.
Anita goes through to see Dolph, leaving Nathaniel with the single female RPIT officer. She doesn’t deserve a name, it would seem.
His eyes were very careful when they looked at me. “I’m glad you’re alive.”
So glad that you didn’t contact her family, her friends, the morgue, the hospital… you didn’t even give it a second fucking thought, dickwad. These characters just freeze when Anita isn’t in the scene. They have no life outside of her. Anita asks for her JC to go, right away.
“Jean-Claude has a damn fine lawyer. How’d you keep him for over seventy-two hours without a charge?” I asked.
With magic and pixie dust, it would seem. A good lawyer would point out that THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE FOR HER DEATH.
“You’re a city treasure. I told everyone he’d killed you, and they helped me lose him for a while.”
DID NO ONE QUESTION WHERE THE FUCK HER BODY WENT? WHY ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE SO STUPID?
Dolph asks who hurt her, because he managed to miss THE PARALYSED SNAKE MEN IN THE CLUB. GAH.
Dolph then demands to see ALL of Anita’s scars, just so Anita can look so badass about how hurt and injured she always gets. If you’re always getting hurt or injured, then you’re terrible at your fucking job. Surely the city would see Anita’s exorbitant medical bills and hire a different vampire hunter? Wouldn’t a specialised SWAT team be a better idea? Anita shows off the scar over her heart, getting her tits out in the process. There’s no other way to show your chest without getting your nips out. Zerbrowski comes in and leers at her, letting her know the order of vampire, no fries, is ready.
Dolph then demands she get a blood test. Even though he doesn’t know a shapeshifter attacked her. Huh. It’s like the author knew, so that means all the characters know them instantly! Anita then realises that, gasp, Dolph wants to arrest JC and have him executed!
Didn’t you already know that? Dolph told you the last time he was in a book. God, Anita, you’re so slow.
I would argue that Dolph has plenty of justification for his prejudice, considering the awful, heinous things vampires get up to. Anita decides to insult him instead. Zerbrowski escorts Anita out, and the pass the noted-never-before-mentioned bounty hunter Orlando King. RPIT are so incompetent they drafted him in to help get JC convicted. That’s right – they needed outside help to have it pointed out that THERE WAS NO FUCKING EVIDENCE. King flatters Anita’s scars and her looks. He asks to meet up with her to talk shop.
Nathaniel is talking to Detective Jessica Arnet who is captivated by him.
Nathaniel was a good listener. That’s rare enough in men for it to be a bigger selling point than an attractive body.
Ahaha hahaha, gender stereotypes! Fun for all the family.
Nathaniel is flirting massively with Detective Jessica and Anita comments that he knows he has an effect on women but also is not aware of it. I don’t buy that. It just adds more to my headcanon that Nathaniel is just a master manipulator, getting through life by leeching off others. She talks to him like a child and they go through to greet JC. His shirt is stained and torn because…. vampires sweat. I got nothing.
She runs up to him and he strokes her face. Why is everyone always touching each others faces? Zerbrowski stares because surely this is the greatest love that every loved. He also exposits that Orlando King – who, if you remember, Anita knew about completely and had met before – used to think all ‘nonhumans’ should be executed for existing and now he has had a sudden backtrack in opinion.
I think that was the sound of a plot point.
Also, Anita should FUCKING know this. She shouldn’t have to be told! She knows Orlando King and has studied his work. You said this a page ago!
Zerbrowski has been greatly affected by the greatest love that ever loved and will try to calm Dolph down. He tells JC to look after Anita and he promises to ‘take care of her as much as she allows it’. They all laugh, like this is a sitcom or something.
No one does that. No one behaves like that.
Man, I wish Zerbrowski suddenly morphed and became Mystique. Who then killed everyone. While being fucking awesome.
hmmmm if you need fic ideas RF 😉