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


Anita is in a SAD SLEEP until Cherry licks her awake. Boundaries, people. Boundaries. Anita was having a nightmare and she was crying, and Cherry remarks how salty her cheeks were. Zane offers to lick the other one.

ew

Anita tries to sit up but she just hurts too much, body and soul. Poor baby. It seems that it’s ‘five’. I have no idea whether that’s five in the morning or five in the afternoon. Cherry says Anita was having a ‘daymare’ but that applies to both five in the morning and five in the afternoon. Cherry asks if Anita is hungry but she isn’t because she needs no food to survive, just the tears of innocents.

She and Zane exchanged one of those looks that say just how worried about you people are. It made me angry.

That appalling sentence makes me angry. Anita demands they all leave and put clothes on. She goes to the bathroom and thinks about how much of a shock victim she is.

I put on my usual black undies and matching bra. It was getting to the point where I didn’t own a white bra.

What if you have a white shirt?

Jean-Claude’s fault.

Because you need a man to tell you how to dress?

Anita covers herself in weapons to feel like a big person, and wonders whether she’ll survive the day and that she can still be involved with Richard. She then thinks about how amazing she looks.

Besides, I look great in black. The black-on-black look made my skin look almost translucent, like it should have glowed. My eyes were swimmingly dark. I looked almost ethereal, like a wingless angel on a bad day. Alright, maybe a fallen angel, but the effect was still striking. I’d learned long ago that if you’re feeling unloved by the man in your life, the best revenge is to look good.

what.

Yeah, that’s an appropriate emotional response to this situation. ‘I’M HOT!!!!!’ She walks back out and we learn what Cherry is wearing. She’s wearing cutoff shorts and a man’s shirt tied to show off her midriff. Zane stares at her, because objectification is wuv.

Zane was beginning to act like a man in love, or at least in very serious lust.

Staring at a woman like she’s an object has nothing to do with love. Caleb is here – hurray – and he looks at them ‘as if he were trying to think how to cause trouble between them’. Nathaniel walks around. Igor and Claudia come in.

Claudia had cop eyes, or bad-guy eyes, the eyes of someone who doesn’t et you see what’s inside. I didn’t meet many women with eyes like that, outside of the police.

Because women are just SO emotional all the time, what with their periods and their babies and the such.

Merle is in the room as well. Most of this chapter has just been talking about other people being around. Anita sits down and thinks about how paranoid she is about… I don’t know? Not being able to rape people? Cherry mentions that Gregory has gone home with his brother and how great it was that Anita healed him but Anita doesn’t think she healed him even though Gregory is healed. She’s worried about Raina’s influence, you see. That influence she’s always using and won’t stop using and doesn’t seem to want to control.

The doorbell rang, and I jumped like I’d been shot. Nervous – who me?

What are you nervous about?

We’d discovered that though no Chinese restaurant would ordinarily deliver out this far, for a sizeable tip, and I mean sizeable, they’d make an exception for us.

How far out do you live? Most of the Chinese take out places I know will deliver in an area up to five miles away. And what’s stopping you from making an order, and then driving over to collect it? No, we have to make Anita seem like the specialiest person ever because she’s got money and because people will go out of their way to help her.

Anyway, Caleb is cross because he tried to grope Claudia and she wasn’t having any of it.

The tone in her voice and the look in her eyes made my own eyes go cold. I don’t know if I’d ever met a woman that had that effect on me. It made me feel sexist to say it was more unnerving because she was a woman, but it was still true.

… oh, whatever. Just shut up.

Everyone starts sniffing the air, and Claudia drags Anita to the back of the kitchen. Anita is confused but then she smells it too.

The arid, musty scent of snakes.

OH MY GOSH THE PLOT HAS APPEARED! WE HAVE A PLOT! THINGS ARE HAPPENING! THE NARRATIVE IS MOVING FORWARDS!

A snake-man comes in with Caleb at the end of a shot gun and threatens to kill him if anyone moves.

Quick, everyone start doing the Macarena!

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

  1. Re: the Chinese: I live in an area that’s technically rural, but we’re in a half-hour drive of the biggest city in WI. So I think what Anita’s trying to say is that she’s in now in an area like mine, which is pretty empty of places (outside of pizza parlors) that deliver, or she’s just outside of the range (which, depending on the place, could be just the city limits, and she’s just a few blocks past, or something), so if she wants to be a lazy bum, she has to tip pretty big. But I’m also pretty sure a big tip won’t do squat; she’d be paying a pretty hefty percentage to the business, not the poor bastard who has to drive out to her. Hell, I don’t know if I could even convince the places around me to deliver even with a large percentage. Maybe St. Louis is special.

    Also, her color coordinated undies makes me both laugh and cringe, because I do the same thing. However, I do it because I wear a pretty limited set of colours (unless it’s one of my geeky T-shirts, of which I am amassing a large army of), so I have bras in about only four colours to try and match. I can see what she’s saying, but she really makes it out to be something unusual. (Then again, I do tend to see a lot of women wearing shirts that really need strapless or skin colour bras, and they’re wearing neon green, so what do I know.)

  2. Regarding “why are the werewolf names so white, why are they this awkward mix of Norse and Greco-Roman mythos, etc.” from last chapter, I’ve got the personal theory that only American werewolves are like this because immigration melting pot and stuff. Greek and Norse are the most commonly known mythos in my experience so I think American werewolves (who would also proly be majority white unless it was a more minority-majority area) latched on to those to make themselves seem more mystic and old and well-established. I’m sure the Native American werebeasts had their own systems, but I expect that werebeasts who were among the colonialist would try to wipe this out and put in more Euro-based things. Region could play a role in this too—there was a lot of German/German-American immigrant settlement in St. Louis, so they’d probably have brought Norse and Germanic terminology with them. Somewhere with a greater Irish settlement might use Celtic terms, and a place near a reservation might maintain original Native systems of that tribe, etc.

    oh me with my trying to make things make sense!

    • GOD WHY ARE YOU PUTTING EFFORT INTO THIS YOU SHOULD JUST WRITE WITH YOUR HEART etc etc

      This makes more sense than anything LKH ever thinks of. Her and her ‘oh tolkein doesn’t put thought into his socio-political structures like I do’.

      • And I literally just made this up off the top of my head when it was pointed out; like, in minutes. It wasn’t hard to come up with and I’m not some creative genius or anything. That really puts her laziness in perspective.

    • It’s like she randomly assigned each were animal a culture to draw their names and traditions from: werewolves got Old Norse (mostly), the leopards got Hindi (because the majority of leopard do not live in Africa), the lions got Latin, the hyenas got Yoruba (which actually jives, though it was probably an accident), and the tigers got Chinese. I understand the need to create an “origin story” for these were animals, but it gets really old when there’s not even a token nod to those related ethnicities to be found in her harem or even her books. Narcissus could totally have been African, but I guess that doesn’t fit LKH’s standards for beauty. Or maybe he actually is African the same way Anita is Hispanic…hm… šŸ˜€

  3. I’m not loved by “the man in my life”, therefore I’m going to look as good as I possibly can. Showing real emotional security there Anita. Yay feminism (blows party blower sarcastically).

    And what’s with the whole “my skin looked almost translucent, like it should’ve glowed”? I thought you were half Mexican?

    Breaking News!
    After a thirty-five chapter search, the plot of Narcissus in Chains was discovered moments ago, when a snake-man holding a shotgun appeared. No link has yet been established between this new arrival and those who kidnapped the were-leopards at the start of the novel, nor has it been explained why the hell it took him THIRTY-FIVE CHAPTERS to appear!
    (clears throat, becomes professional again)
    More on this half-baked plot as it develops.

  4. Half Mexican? No she’s white! Her mom just happened to be Mexican you see.

    Either way she sounds like she looks sick to me.

  5. WRT: wanting to look good when you feel like you’ve lost your man’s affection: this is understandable to me. You feel unwanted, so you go out of your way with your appearance, both as a reassurance to yourself and as a show to others – and your ex – that you’re still sexually desirable, despite your rejection. Of course, Anita is not doing this on purpose, she just always feels insecure.
    Although I love how Anita will go into rapturous, minutely detailed descriptions of herself at least once or twice per book, but all the way up as far as Harlequin she’s maintaining that she’s not particularly attractive. “Of course I’m gorgeous but I don’t acknowledge or admit it so that makes me humble, which is a wonderful Mary Sue trait! Surely it won’t be taken as false modesty, insincerity or a complete lack of self awareness! No, alas; I am not blonde, nor tall and thin. I am only a plain, simple, exotic and non-whitebread (but not too Mexican) female of 25 with my own harem.”
    Sometimes it just makes me laugh that it LKH doesn’t realize how obvious she is.

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