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


Sorry for vanishing for two days. On Friday, the internet for all of my town went out. Like, all town. No phone, no internet, no cable TV. It was a bit of a nightmare for me, as I had to look up and print directions for Saturday. On Saturday… I had to go up to Liverpool because a short play of mine is in a festival and I had to meet directors.

Why yes, this is real. It’s very real and scary and terrifying because I’m just someone who says silly things on the internet. And saying that…

When the last policeman had wandered away, the last emergency vehicle driven off, the summer silence settled over the house.

… no. No. No. No. Things do not work that way. Anita would have to undergo some sort of trial. It has to be proven that it was self-defence. That is how the legal system works. The police cannot just accept that those men ended up dead and it’s all just a tragic accident. Anita has to prove it was self-defence in court. She can’t just say it was and walk away.

Anita sighs how she’ll never get the blood out of the floor. Since she thinks that cold water and a prayer will work, I think that’s just because she’s useless around the house. She also sighs that she’ll have to tell Rafael Igor died and Claudia was injured. Not that she refers to them by name. That would imply she respects anyone.

Nathaniel starts to clean up while Anita sits and whimpers in the corner.

I’m starting to get real tired by all these sequences where ‘Anita sits and contemplates what a monster she’s become and is horrified by staring into the abyss of her soul’. They happen a few times every book after another atrocity. The problem is that Anita’s committed so many atrocities, killed so many people, done so many awful things that I don’t buy that it effects her like the same time she committed an atrocity. It’s just another way that Anita is such a static character. She doesn’t change. She behaves exactly the same no matter what happens. She has absolutely no development.

Anita shakes and whimpers like a seal. Nathaniel offers a hug, Anita refuses. He then grabs and shakes her. She asks him to let her go, and he just shakes her even more.

He was supposed to be safe, and now he wasn’t. He was becoming a person, not just a submissive mess, and it hadn’t occurred to me until just this moment that I might not like everything that Nathaniel would grow into.

I’d be angrier except this just is more proof about what I’ve been saying about Nathaniel the whole damn time. He’s getting ready to boil her head in a bucket and steal all her money.

Micah comes into the room and I am given the wonderful treat of hearing how he is feminine but also an uber male because you can’t be feminine because that’s icky but you should be like Anita who is wonderful and perfect and you should all live in the gender binary! Micah wants to know what’s wrong.

I don’t know, the fucking massacre that happened, that’s what’s wrong. For a start.

“We had a disagreement.”

Nathaniel stiffened then, his whole body reacting to what I’d said. He turned slowly around until he looked up to me with those flower-colored eyes. “That wasn’t fair, Anita. I’ve never disagree with you in anything.”

Verb

disagree (third-person singular simple present disagrees, present participle disagreeing, simple past and past participle disagreed)

Nathaniel and Anita did not agree about whether he should stop physically assaulting her. That is, by every definition given here, a disagreement.

Anita says she’s sorry for being assaulted –

– and Nathaniel wants to know just why she won’t trust him.

Oh, I wonder why, Mister Assualter.

Anita says that she must fight everyone, for she is the poor little baby who had a really great family life with lots of people who loved her, and Nathaniel finds this so moving he cries. They hug.

He smelled of vanilla, like always. I was never sure whether it was soap, cologne, or just him.

It’s not him. No one smells naturally of vanilla.

Micah then joins the hug, because… rapists like hugs too. Nathaniel and Micah start purring, even though a human throat just can’t do that. I don’t care that they’re wereleopards. The human throat cannot purr like a feline throat. We have not evolved to purr. I thought a biologist who prides herself on realism would know this.

Then they all cry.

TPhoto_00093

You see that bit on the right? That’s how much of this book that I have left. This should have been completely removed from the book! It adds nothing and does nothing! This book is far too damn long and nothing happens!

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11 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Narcissus in Chains’ chapter forty two

  1. Now I don’t feel bad for missing the RP session due to my period (basically I took a little nap because it makes me really tired and then that became a big nap)

    OMG CONGRATS

    I think enough people finally said “he cannot srsly smell like vanilla” because finally in Kiss the Dead she said fine it’s his body wash but up until then it was played as being natural. Srsly. And even then she still has to make it super speshul somehow because she says his body chemistry just reacts with the wash to make it smell better/stronger than it would on other people

    • I r srs riter no

      Never feel bad about missing things because of your period. Periods are awful, and I think people should be more sympathetic to how awful they are.

      efdhjdhsdjdd no more fucking vanilla. What’s wrong with having him just smell like a cat? It’s not sexy, but cat’s fur has a nice musky sort of smell of its own.

  2. I hate the smell of vanilla in scented products. Hate, hate, hate. Do not mind real vanilla in actual food, but get a soap or spray near me and I will cut someone. (I have heard tell that people who were breastfed are people who have a dislike of the smell, but if it’s true or not, I don’t know.)

    Congratulations on your play!

    I really have to wonder if Anita isn’t actually a sociopath who honestly, truly doesn’t understand how or why her emotions should work in response to what she’s been doing, and hence that’s why she never actually seems to change. She keeps killing more people, and she tells herself she should be upset, but never is. It’s almost as if she’s trying to *act* as if she should be, to make everyone around her feel better.

    • I’ve never heard that before. I’ve always been indifferent to the smell of vanilla myself, but it’s awful when it’s too strong.

      I don’t think Anita actually seems to feel anything. Her reactions never feel particularly emotionally real.

    • Agh, same. I can’t stand the stink of it; it just smells really awful to me. I like clean scents.

      It wouldn’t surprise me, but she’s written to be a hero, and that’s what is so frustrating. This is an awful, deplorable, unlikeable woman held up as a paragon of virtue and bad-assery.

  3. Oh god, we’re not close to the end yet?
    (pulls out a bottle of whiskey and a gun)

    The thing that’s been hammered into me from every source of writing advice I’ve come across (my lecturers, magazine articles, blog entries etc.) is research, research, research. If you’re writing is set in a fictional universe, you research the closest parallel. As someone who wrote crime fiction for his dissertation, I think I can say that LKH hasn’t researched police procedure. I’m no expert on how Americans do it, but everyone at the house should’ve been taken to a police station to give statements and forensic samples. But it might just be down to Dolph being a complete moron.

    If you have the time, check out BBC’s ‘Luther’. Alice Morgan is a sociopath done right.

    I’m planning a Loki-crossover fic. Expect meta-humour and ruthless deconstruction.

    • BLESS YOUR HEART Loki crossover fic is my idea of fic heaven.

      Ah, but LKH doesn’t have to do police procedure research. She has cop friends who tell her what’s right!

      Yeah, I have no idea why it ended up so bad.

      I’ve been meaning to watch Luther for ages – so little time, so many great shows!

  4. There would only be a trial of she was charged with snake man murder. Then she’d need to prove it in court. If they believed it was clearly self defense & nothing was going on then they wouldn’t pursue charges.
    But I think in her situation this is a little unrealistic. These snake men show up with an arsenal for no reason? I’m sure they’d want to do more investigation about what is really going on even if no one is being charged ATM they could build a future case. There is so much wrong and illegal going on in these books!

  5. Damn, I feel so sorry for you o.O I mean I’ve read The first 4 books about AB, and then SUDDENLY (because our book store never updates normally) I got “Cerulean Sins”. I’ve wated for SO LONG for this piece of crap started to TELL MEH TEH STOREH!!.. So I can feel your pain, yeah 😦

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