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


Anita and her gang come inside JC’s apartment. It used to be black and white. It’s now white, silver, and gold. I don’t care, surprisingly enough.

The fireplace looked real, but I knew it wasn’t because it had been added later, but it was everything a fireplace should have been, except it was painted white.

stare hedge

  • So, it’s a false fireplace front. They’re common. Just describe it as being that.
  • Oh god just say it’s a false one. People will understand that.
  • ‘It was everything a fireplace should have been’.
  • What does that even mean.
  • False fireplaces look like fireplaces. Generally, they’re just the front of a fireplace, with a grate and a back, so they can be attached to walls. There would be no point in having a fireplace front that didn’t look like a fireplace. That would defeat the point entirely.
  • Fireplaces are so mainstream. I have a firepit.
  • I didn’t realise that fireplaces can’t be white.

Anita then goes on about the damn portrait of Julianna over the fireplace and urgghhhh i space out for a bit because I don’t care about JC’s twagic past. Everyone says how amazing his style is.

[Jean-Claude] pushed through white and silver drapes, and for a moment I couldn’t see where his clothes began and the cloth ended.

Oh god I hate your writing.

JC walks in, dressed in 17th century drag, and forcibly projects sex into Anita’s mind. Oh, what a guy. Apparently, his hair is now waist length. He goes to Anita and reveals that he has not fed the ardeur today. This means they can’t rescue Damian today, even though the what JC’s wearing and how he’s sorted his hair would take several hours. That ardeur sure stops you from doing anything, doesn’t it. He whimpers about how difficult his ardeur has gotten since he shared it, and one of Anita’s hick bodyguards wants to know what’s going on, and he mispronounces the ardeur, hyck hyck hyck.

Whatever.

I let that slide and turned back to Jean-Claude. “What do we do?”

Nathaniel offered a suggestion. “Feed him.”

Bang head

How much of this book has been devoted to people telling Anita that the ardeur must be fed, only for her to instantly forget and need to be reminded?

WHERE WAS THE EDITOR FOR THIS?

Micah says that Anita can’t be in the grip of the ardeur because she’s too calm! And what does that have to do with anything, when they’re talking about JC AND THE ARDEUR? JC glares at Micah, so Micah prances around like a dancer. Anita and JC are instantly turned on. Anita falls to the ground, and Micah does too. This makes the bodyguards lurch forward, but Anita sends them back. JC crawls towards Anita. She begs him not to, but since when does he listen to what she wants?

Asher then appears to nag at JC. JC, Anita, and Micah sort of roll around on the floor, asking Asher to help. Micah points out that JC could just feed but this makes Anita pissy because JC never feeds off her. For a start, that’s bullshit, and isn’t the building full of people who let JC feed on them? How is any of this a problem?

But, ah, it’s not blood, he needs sex.

I can see why Anita would be confused. It’s not like she’s been told this EVERY SINGLE TIME THE ARDEOOORR HAS BEEN BROUGHT UP. AND WHY CAN’T JC FEED SEXUALLY ON ANITA? IS IT BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE SEX WITH HER FULL CONSENT AND HE’S NOT DOWN WITH THAT?

“He has fed on blood tonight already,” Asher said. “It is not blood he needs but… voir les anges.”

‘See angels’. I have no idea what that means. Can’t you say sex? JC said on the other page he needs to feed the ardeur.

“English, Asher, even I didn’t understand that one,” I said.

You don’t speak any languages, Anita. You don’t understand any French.

“He needs release, a…” He said several things in rapid French, and I couldn’t follow it. Asher was in great distress if his English abandoned him.

I was careful not to look at Micah when I tried to explain. “It’s the ardeur that Jean-Claude needs fed.”

We already know this. We have already been told. And why can’t Asher say ‘JC needs to have sex’? What’s the distressing thing about that?

“He needs sex, not blood,” Nathaniel said.

Thanks for reminding us the bijillionth time. I wasn’t quite sure what it all meant!

Micah says that Anita fed on him with contact – what? – and Anita is confused.

“What kind of contact?”

rage

Seriously? SERIOUSLY THAT’S WHAT WE’RE GOING WITH? I thought Anita was supposed to be a intelligent, independent woman.

“Sexual contact.”

Thanks for clarifying that for us Micah.

Micah says he’ll take over Richard’s role in their triad, making Anita and JC confused because they were not a menage a trois with each other. Despite the sex magic and the big making out sess they all had. Anita freaks about JC kissing a boy and Micah and JC move at each other in super slow motion. They look at each other but won’t kiss because… uh, that’s too gay? I thought JC was into dudes as well. Nope, can’t have them attracted to anything with a penis, that’d be too weird. Anita then realises that those effects of the ardeur that supposedly happened all the time are now not happening because convenience.

They then look at Anita because they can’t touch, they’re both boys! Anita tries to crawl away but Micah drops himself on top of her, pinning her down. Anita says ‘no, don’t’ but JC is helping to pin her to the ground.

Then the ardeur starts up and Anita can no longer say no.

I guess neither Micah nor JC can have any kind of sexscapde with someone willing to have sex with them. That’d just spoil their fun. Now, I’m going to go read a book where no women are pinned down and forced into sex. And attempt to wash my brain.

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

  1. Between the last book and this one, Anita was replaced by a brain damaged chipmunk. No one has noticed yet.

    I think that JC needs sex to feed the ardeur. Sexual contact. I’m not sure, but I think that the ardeur needs to be fed through physical intimacy. Which is sex. That JC needs. Because the ardeur needs to be fed. I’m not sure though, it’s not been made clear.

    • The needs of the ardeur have been kept so vague throughout the book, I know.

      Anita has always been a brain damaged chipmunk. It’s just got more pronounced as the book’s have gone on.

  2. “He goes to Anita and reveals that he has not fed the ardeur today.”

    Of course he hasn’t. That would be the responsible, adult thing to do, and everyone here is just a spoiled little child.

    “That ardeur sure stops you from doing anything, doesn’t it.”

    Let’s be honest, the ardeur stops *everything*. Character development, plot, me giving a damn about what happens next – it all just dissolves in the face of Badly Written Sex Scene #957331.

    “and he mispronounces the ardeur, hyck hyck hyck.”

    Question: how is ‘ardeur’ supposed to be pronounced? I get the feeling someone did this in LKH’s presence, so now she’s making a joke about it. Because I guess people are just supposed to magically know this kind of thing.

    “WHERE WAS THE EDITOR FOR THIS?”

    Desperately trying to make sure the book was at least readable so the manuscript could be sent off to the printers so the book could finally be published? Because actual deadlines are for people who aren’t LKH.

    “JC crawls towards Anita. She begs him not to, but since when does he listen to what she wants?”

    Shoe’s on the other foot now, isn’t it Anita? Maybe she’ll learn something from this, like respecting other people when they say they don’t want her to feed off of them.

    Ah, who am I kidding? Anita won’t learn a damn thing. Besides, the wants and desires of her and her harem are the only ones that matter.

    “Can’t you say sex?”

    This is the same woman who never uses words like ‘penis’ when writing her sex scenes. LKH is such a prude, despite how “edgy” she thinks she’s being.

    “What kind of contact?”

    Jesus H. tap-dancing Christ, woman – how dense are you? It’s like Anita has two modes with regards to sex – either she’s totally “edgy” and knows everything (despite only having had one other partner before this series started), or she’s this pure, vaginal, completely obtuse moron (which also doesn’t fit, given how “darkity dark” and “edgy” she’s supposed to be). MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MIND, HAMILTON!

    “I thought JC was into dudes as well. Nope, can’t have them attracted to anything with a penis, that’d be too weird.”

    That is one of the things I’d expect from nigh-immortal beings – after a while, sex gets boring, so why not try something new? Either that, or just give up on the whole thing.

    So, this chapter was basically just filler, leading up to another sex scene. I guess the plot got scared off. Again.

    • From what I’ve gathered, erotica fans hate the word ‘penis’ because it’s too clinical and takes them out of the scene. So I guess I understand why LKH avoids using it. However her overuse of the word ‘body’ makes the writing really vague and ridiculous sometimes.

  3. I thought the arduer was the reason JC owned a strip joint – so he could feed off the sexual energy just by being there. I’m sure that was explicitly stated at some point during the thirty chapter make-out session near the start of the book.

    Has anyone else noticed how Micah has essentially replaced Richard in this book?

    • Pffff, you’re asking people to remember something that happened at the start of the book. Clearly readers can’t, otherwise we wouldn’t have to repeat all this BS about the ardeur every damn time.

      Micah is way worse than Richard. At least Richard says sensible things some of the time.

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