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

Zane coughs from the doorway because the swan king, the wereswans, and representatives for every type of shifter are here. Oh shit, the plot’s arrived! Everyone hide! Anita is surprised and wants to know why they could possibly be here.

Oh, I don’t know, to see the single most important person in the universe. She tells Zane to keep them out until the guests get angry because she’s busy whimpering while crying over things she’s done a million times before. I know I must sound heartless, but this happens every single book. It’s plot development by numbers. Then she thinks she can’t start a fight so she better so greet them with Micah.

Micah kisses her on the hand and she thinks of JC. Micah picks up on this and Anita tells him she’s worried how JC will react. I don’t think JC will care, seeing as he gave you the ardeur when you were being raped by Micah because he wanted you to enjoy it. It’s painfully obvious that JC enjoys humiliating Anita for kicks. Anita puts her hand over Micah’s heart and thinks about how he’s naked under all those clothes.

His voice comes out a little breathy. “I told you, I want to be your Nimir-Raj, whatever that means, whatever it takes.”

Even if it involves making your skin into an easily wearable Anita suit.

I felt a frown forming between my eyes. “You know what they say about things being too good to be true, don’t you?”

It’s remarkable how different our definitions of ‘good’ are.

“Am I too good to be true, Anita?” He whispered my name against my lips, and we kissed. Gentle, soft, wet.

Anita says that this is too good to be true and Micah says ‘I love the way you look at me’. Yes, the look of fear in her eyes. SO SEXY.

It may me lower my eyes and I blushed, even though I wasn’t thinking a damn thing that was sexual.


He laughed again, a surprised burst of sound that held so much joy. He laughed the way children laugh before they learn to hide how they feel.

WHAT IS YOUR BAGGAGE? My god, that’s the most pretentious ass line I’ve read! That sounds like it should be coming from a book about a victim of genocide or a character like Katniss Everdeen who’s lived their life under a brutal oppressive regime that subjects people to random acts of brutal cruelty! How has anyone ever tried to oppress you Anita? When has anyone ever tried to stop you feeling what you’re feeling? You had a really great childhood! Who beat it into you to hide your emotions?

Donovan Reece – swan king, if you can remember, it’s been so long since he’s been in – comes in and says he made promises about Anita helping people. Poor fool.

He had obviously decided not to wait outside.

“Help you do what?”

He shrugged. “Nothing important, just find some missing alphas and try to convince the Kadra of the werecobras that her Kashyapa, her mate, isn’t dead, just missing with the rest. Trouble is,” Reece said, “I think she’s right. I think she’s dead.”

Last quarter of the book. The actual plot actually arrives.

I’m trying very hard to not get very angry. This is just so lazy. There has been so much pointless bullshit in this book. The plot should be about the missing leaders. But we’ve just had chapter after chapter after chapter of mind-numbing shit about oooh Anita’s a bit sad and she’s got to rape Richard and ahsdjdjrjrrjjjjj

This is not right. This is just the worst writing. If you ever need an example for writing students of HOW NOT TO WRITE A BOOK, just give them this shit.

Marianne tells me that the universe/deity loves me and wants me to be happy. So why is it every time I get a little happy all hell breaks loose? The message seems very clear, and it’s not about love.

No, it’s about love. It’s about how much a certain someone loves themself.



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

  1. Series characters (and especially long-runners) tend to have slower character development than stand-alone characters, so that readers of previous novels aren’t thrown by the feeling that they’re relearning a character all over again. The big strength of series fiction is seeing the characters grow and change over the course of multiple adventures/cases/relationships/delete as appropriate to genre.

    And this just doesn’t happen with Anita Blake. The only possible arc I can think of is Anita slowly losing her humanity as she steadily lowers her threshold for giving into her base impulses. Or at least it was until I remembered her commanding a graveyard full of zombies to tear an old women to pieces. In the second book. And she’s been pretty much the same ever since. Sure, characters might come and go from book to book, but I don’t feel that Anita from the early books would act any different from the Anita we’ve stuck with at the moment.

    If Anita reached a conclusion about even one of the things she angsts about, I would be happy. But she won’t, because LKH is worse than even one monkey at a typewriter.

      • To be fair, even later Anita still has a very specific set of standards. Cis men (with the exception of a woman she raped and constantly racially fetishizes and doesn’t really have what she would consider ‘real sex’ with and never without a man present), able-bodied, certain age or physical-age range, white, supernatural (and only pretty’n’powerful types, never things like rotting vamps or werehyenas), flawless or with dramatic-tragic scars (Nicky, Asher) that don’ actually impact their attractiveness, either short and beautiful (JC, Asher) delicate-but-leanly-muscled (Micah, Nathaniel, Jason) or super-tall with super-macho uber-muscled bodies (Dev, Nicky) and of course GIANT WANGS

        which would be okay, everyone has a type, except there’s always a big deal made over how ONLY ANITA WAS UN-SHALLOW ENOUGH TO LOVE THEM AND NO ONE ELSE EVER DID BECAUSE OF THEIR GIANT DICKS/MIXED TIGER COLORS/DRAMATIC SCARS/ETC OH WOE whatever Anita, fuck a guy who is actually outside your really very rigid and hard-to-meet standards and then you can wax on about what a saint you are (which would still be uber-insulting to the poor dude in question)

      • Don’t forget that, regardless of how many partners Anita has, she still manages to be pure and virginal and totally better than all those sluts who actually *enjoy* having sex.

  2. Based on what I’ve read here and elsewhere, I can’t help but think that LKH just doesn’t like writing plot and would rather write bad (and potentially upsetting) sex scenes and crappy soap opera stuff revolving around Anita’s sex life.

    And yeah, as the series goes on things (i.e. EVERYTHING) is about sex.

    “He laughed again, a surprised burst of sound that held so much joy. He laughed the way children laugh before they learn to hide how they feel.”

    Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with Anita? And no, all that crap about her step-mother, and how horrible it was being half-Mexican (even though all that meant was that she wasn’t blonde) does not equate to having a horrible childhood.

  3. Ahahaha I heard that gif 100% in Cleveland’s voice in my head

    I’m with everyone else on wtfing about that child quote. Children who are abused often learn to hide their emotions, yes. Likewise girls and boys may be taught respectively to hide anger and sadness/sensitivity because of our sexist societies (ditto hiding anger and hurt for POC kids) but kids in general do not just “learn to hide how they feel” in general, especially not related to laughter, wtf. Unless you mean rude unkind laughter at things like the misfortune of others, which I could see Anita wistfully longing for being able to do openly like when she was a kid and people thought she didn’t know any better. Seriously she’s trying to be so dark and deep but it just comes off as pretentious and confusing and makes her look sheltered rather than wordly.

  4. ‘Even if it involves making your skin into an easily wearable Anita suit.’

    Which will be comfortable to him, because they’re the same size and can share clothes! See, this is all starting to fit together.

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