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


Anita stares outside at the dawn. It’s white. Nathaniel is lolling around on the bed.

He was wearing the bottoms of silk pajama shorts. They were a pale lavender silk that echoed his eyes and looked too delicate a colour for men’s sleepwear. I always suspected the shorts were originally designed for a woman, but shorts were shorts.

Oh, so it’s okay for Nathaniel the weakling uber sub to be feminine. Because he’s weak. Ugh. Also, shorts are not shorts. I’m afraid that clothing for cis men and women are designed differently. Cis men and women have completely different body types to each other, mainly because of their secondary sexual characteristics. Nathaniel apparently really doesn’t have any balls.

Strangely, in wereleopard form, he was a black panther, so that auburn hair vanished once he left human form.

I’m afraid that depends on where his leopard comes from. A blank panther is a leopard in Asia and Africa, and a black cougar in the Americas. And he gets to be an extra special leopard. *barf*

Anita is sad because she’s missing her ‘kitty-cats’ and is disturbed that Nathaniel still has bite marks on him.

“Shouldn’t the bite marks have healed by now?” I asked.

“I don’t heal as quickly as some,” he said softly. “And marks made by another shapeshifter, or even a vampire, heal more slowly.”

“Why is that?”

He shrugged. “Why does silver kill us, and steel not?”

“Point taken,” I said.

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SAYING THAT YOU HAVEN’T GOT AN ANSWER IS NOT AN ANSWER

THE UNDERLINING RULE OF GOOD FANTASY WRITING IS RULES

WHY CAN’T YOU BOTHER TO MAKE UP RULES?

Anita is dancing around in ’emerald green’ short shorts and a camisole. She thinks Richard will disprove of her sharing a bed with Nathaniel because her life must be dictated by men. Merle knocks on the door and announces that Richard is crying.

frowny face

Good.

Although I was tired, I was excited at the thought of Richard being in the house, of him coming to me, maybe. Instead of sex we were going to have another session of hand-holding, and shoulder-crying. Damn it.

Damn it, why the fuck do you hate commas so much? Yes, I am focusing on that rather than the fact we’re going to spend another chapter arguing about Richard and Anita’s relationship. *eye twitch*

Anita goes down, passing Caleb who is sleeping nude on her couch. I would consider that very rude. My sofa is not there for you to wipe your bare ass on. He leers at her. Anita goes past him into the kitchen to talk with Richard.

His shoulder-length hair had been blow-dried to a soft, fluffy mass. I could never blow-dry my hair without it turning to something thick and awful-looking.

… why has he sat around blow drying his hair.

Anita is awe struck by the golden halo around his head. Anita wipes away Richard’s tears and he reveals…. dun dun dun… that Louisa is in jail and Guy is dead!!

They are some random new wolves because LKH can never hurt her precious characters. Kill your darlings, love. Louisa murdered Guy on their honeymoon because she lost control in the middle of sex and ate him. It was losing her virginity that did it. Because you’re either a slut or a icky virgin women! There is nothing else you can be.

Anita is not sympathetic because Louisa should have been able to control herself.

“And orgasm, to a certain extent, is orgasm.”

… why yes an orgasm is an orgasm. Congratulations for noticing a thing is a thing.

Anita is then shocked and appalled that Louisa had never had any sexual contact until this awful accident. Um, lady, you believed in no sex before marriage too. Why the hell are you giving Louisa shit for having THE SAME BELIEFS AS YOU?

“I taught her to control the beast during anger, sadness. fear, pain, every extreme of emotion, but not sex. I respected her convictions.”

This death would have an impact if we’d actually seen any of this. I’ve never heard of Louisa or how important she is so I can’t care about this at all. Also, wolves aren’t violent when they have sex. Why the hell does that make werewolves suddenly go crazy and eat their partners?

Anita thinks all this is so jolly stupid and that Louisa is jolly lucky to have not been shot because that’s what little virgin sluts like Louisa deserve. Richard says Louisa gave herself in rather than kill herself.

“Go ahead, Anita, tell me I’m a fool. Tell me I sacrificed both of them on the altar of my ideals.”

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t find an explosion video that either captured my rage or didn’t have flying body parts.

This whole bit has been a big GOLLY GOSH ISN’T ANITA BLAKE SIMPLY THE BEST GREATEST MOST AMAZINGEST MOST WONDERFULLY INTELLIGENT AND BEST PERSON TO EVER EXISTED IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD EVER

YOU COULDN’T BE FUCKING BOTHERED TO ACTUALLY SHOW ME IN THE TEXT ANITA BEING A GOOD PERSON

YOU COULDN’T BE BOTHERED TO MAKE HER INTO A GOOD PERSON SO YOU HAVE TO GO OUT OF YOUR WAY, CLUTTER UP YOUR STORY, RUIN THE ABYSMAL SNAIL PACE OF THE BOOK, JUST TO MAKE A POINT ABOUT HOW YOUR SELF INSERT CHARACTER CAN’T EVER BE WRONG

Lazy. You are a lazy hack.

Richard goes on and on about how wrong he was and he starts crying and Anita comforts him and he strips and she dumps a gusher instantly because now is the right time.

Then he spoke, eyes still closed. “I appointed an Eros and Eranthe for the pack.”

Um, good for you?

Eros was the Greek god of love, or lust –

Eros was a god of sexual attraction and desire, and sometimes love, depending on where you were in Greece.

and Eranthe was the muse of erotic poetry, in werewolf lore they were the names for sexual surrogates. A man and a woman that did what needed doing when a werewolf’s sponsor was too squeamish.

I have no idea why everything is based on sex or why these people are even necessary. I’m just glad that there are no child werewolves. But I am annoyed by this whiteification of werewolf culture. Why is it so white?

Richard then announces that he wants Anita to be the pack hitwoman and to kill Jacob because he would surely kill Sylvie because she is but a mere woman.

“First, you’d need to announce my new title to the pack, then I’d chose some helpers. I’m allowed three, Baugi, Suttung, and Guunlod.”

How come Anita knows nothing about werewolf culture and yet she knows this.

Richard praises her for knowing so much about his culture – lol lol lol – and Anita is going to change the wereleopards to being more like the werewolves because let’s whitewash their culture as well while we’re at it. Anita then goes on about how ruthless she is and how wonderful that is.

“The only true happiness, Richard, lies in knowing who you are – what you are – and making peace with it.”

Or, you know, not killing people. They start making out and Richard gets them to lie on the floor without Anita noticing. I guess loosing Louisa, who Richard was a teacher and mentor to, had a real emotional impact here.

Anita stares at his crab ladder and thinks his penis is dark. She ‘can almost smell the blood that pumped him full and hard’. They decide to go up to the bedroom. They stand up and OMG Anita’s hand brushes close to Richard’s groin ehehehehehehehehe. *rolls eyes* They hump all the way upstairs.

 

 

 

Chapter thirty six and the plot has yet to make an appearance.

 

 

 

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

  1. “SAYING THAT YOU HAVEN’T GOT AN ANSWER IS NOT AN ANSWER”

    I feel like a lot of bad books/fics/movies/tv shows try to pull this off. Because the creators tend to not realize that simply acknowledging that something doesn’t make sense does not excuse it not making any sense.

    “Instead of sex we were going to have another session of hand-holding, and shoulder-crying. Damn it.”

    Because heaven forbid Anita actually deal with her utterly fucked-up relationship. No, Richard should just accept that he’s totally wrong, and just be happy that Anita is willing to include him in her man-harem.

    “Louisa murdered Guy on their honeymoon because she lost control in the middle of sex and ate him.”

    And yet Richard does not use this to point out how he was TOTALLY RIGHT AND JUSTIFIED in his concerns about his and Anita’s relationship? Oh, wait, their break-up has been ret-coned into being totally his fault. Never mind.

    “Um, lady, you believed in no sex before marriage too. Why the hell are you giving Louisa shit for having THE SAME BELIEFS AS YOU?”

    No, that was the old Anita, back when she had things like a personality and morals and whatnot. This is the new and improved Anita, who is not burdened with such useless things!

    “Eranthe was the muse of erotic poetry”

    Uh, who? Hamilton, you can’t just make up a new Muse (note the capital) to suit your needs. Because the Muses were actually part of Greek mythology. There were nine Muses, and while their were two for poetry – Calliope and Erato – they were Muses of epic and lyric poetry, respectively. Yes, lyric poetry included love/erotic poetry, but there was no Muse *specifically* for “erotic poetry”.

    Also, wasn’t all the werewolf stuff Norse/Germanic? Where did all this Greek crap come from?

    “The only true happiness, Richard, lies in knowing who you are – what you are – and making peace with it.”

    You know, I could actually be okay with this bit. Except that it’s coming from the mouth of Anita Blake, who is a hypocrite and a violent psychopath, among other things.

    • I think saying “I don’t have an answer” only works when said character is meant to be ignorant, or an outsider, neither of which Ania is presented as. Which is why it’s such a terrible and overused trope.

      The whole “losing control during orgasm” makes me laugh for some reason. I guess maybe my sex escapades have just been that dull, but I can’t imagine any orgasm that was so epically mind-shattering (especially when one is a virgin and having their first experience; seriously, does anyone have a good time the first time around?) that I would lose control of my inner wolf.

      “Eranthe” appears to be either A: completely made up as a name by Laurell, or B: a misspelling of Euanthe, which I hope is correct, seeing as one Euanthe was a sacrificial victim of the Minotaur. Which just cracks me up.

    • Pshaw, LKH can do whatever she wants with mythology, she’s entitled to piss around with other people’s culture!

      Richard is the cause of all bad things, with his stupid ideals. He must have less ideals and be more religious.

      I hate the laziness of tee hee hee there’s no real answer! Because all fantasy MUST have rules otherwise it doesn’t work.

      • “Pshaw, LKH can do whatever she wants with mythology, she’s entitled to piss around with other people’s culture!”

        Wait until you get to harlequin.

  2. I don’t know why it never occurred to me before. Anita being an outsider from the shifter groups (but all knowing) REEKS of the mighty whitey trope. But it’s okay! She’s 1/32 Cherokee! I mean, has beasts inside of her, but doesn’t shift!

    LKH writes colonial fantasy. Wow. Is this (not quite)White bread’s burden?

  3. The following sentence sums up about … 40% of what I hate about this series:
    “Here’s an opportunity to have genuine angst and explore how violent shapeshifting takes its toll on individuals and their relationships….but I’d rather have a hypocritical sociopath have barely-stronger-than-vanilla sex with a man she doesn’t like because of a Deus Sex Machina.” Said LKH.

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