A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Incubus Dreams’ chapter thirteen


Anita decides to embrace the ardeur. Why? I’m not sure. It goes against everything she stands for, everything she holds dear, and everything she has faith in. But LKH wants to write lots and lots of orgies, so fuck characterisation and depth, it’s penis-in-every-orifice time.

Not that LKH would ever write anything so déclassé as that. She has to use artful euphemisms, which suggests a certain reluctance and embarrassment on the subject. If it’s a dick in the mouth, just say what it is.

It’s astounding how much I will have to talk about penises in regards to these books from now on. It’s weird.

Jean-Claude had told me that if I could only stop fighting it wouldn’t be so terrible.

Only that phrasing implies that it’s still bad. Tell me again why JC thought passing this on to Anita was a good idea? And why it shows that he’s a loving and caring boyfriend, not an abusive donkey-butt?

I was okay with Damian’s green coat sliding to the floor, even if it did leave his upper body pale and naked, with the fine muscles gliding under skin the colour of fresh, white sheets.

That’s… like, not sexy. I don’t find sheets sexy.

MMMMMMM HOW HAWT

Anita looks deep into Nathaniel’s eyes, and sees how much he loves her (i.e. how much he loves her money and her fine skin, perfect for tanning). This freaks her out – this sex will mean so much more to him than to her, and she can’t go through with it. She pulls away, clearly and obviously withdrawing her consent.

So, of course, Nathaniel grabs her face and forbids her from pulling away from him.

Anita CLEARLY IS NOT CONSENTING, NATHANIEL. WHAT THE FUCK?

Damian reminds Anita that it’s this, or blood. She still does not want to have sex, saying that it feels ‘wrong’ and for Nathaniel to ‘let go’. He grabs her and kisses her, meaning that now she’s all ardeur-ified and can’t fight back.

Rape.

This is rape.

This is yet another sex scene that is actually rape.

Sigh. Come one, come and defend how ‘progressive’ this series is. I’m dying to hear how it’s so liberating for women.

Anita’s lack of consent is glossed over as everyone starts ripping off everyone else’s clothes. Guess that tuxedo company aren’t getting their tux back.

There was one leg left of my pants, pooled around my ankle. My vest flapped open, and the shirt was in shreds. It was Damian’s hand from behind that grabbed a handful of my panties and pulled, ripping them off my body, leaving me nude from the waist down.

This could be hot but seeing as ANITA DOES NOT CONSENT TO SEX then this is just more violent imagery I could do without in this context. She then stares at the ‘ripeness’ of Nathaniel. I guess he’s ready for slicing up and using in a stew, like a nice ripe marrow or courgette.

Just use the word ‘erection’. There. It’s not a scary word to use.

He seemed thick and heavy with need, as if the lightest touch might make him spill that ripeness out and over me.

I’ve had tomatoes like that before, when they get so overripe that the skins start to burst.

The point I’m making is that when you use vague metaphors that they’re very prone to misinterpretation. Just say that he looks like he’s about to cum on you, for god’s sake.

I started to reach for him, but Damian chose that moment to brush the head of his own ripeness against the back of my body.

I see that Damian’s brought a butternut squash to this vegetable party!

I’d never even seen Damian nude, and now he was about to plunge that nudeness into my body.

… He’s going to climb inside you? STOP HIM!

He rode out from his body, so it was harder to judge length. He seemed carved of ivory and pearl, and where the blood ran close to the surface he blushed pink like the shine inside the seashell, delicate and shining.

… If Damian has a shiny light pink dick, there’s something seriously wrong with him. That’s a clear sign there’s some sort of serious medical problem here!

Nathaniel grabs her front and starts begging. Anita’s mind is full of the lovely image of him just thrusting away through her stomach or some sort of opening anywhere on her body, straight from his mind. He wants to hump open wounds on her body. Lovely. Damian is thinking of his generic angsting because um character or something.

Someone kissed me, hard and fast, forcing my mouth open, pushing his tongue so far in I almost choked, but it brought me back, brought us all back from that lonely room and the sound of the sea on the rocks below.

Could just one of Anita’s men be not rapey? Just once?

Nathaniel drew back enough to say in a harsh whisper, “Happy thoughts, Anita, happy thoughts.” Then his mouth was on mine, tongue, lips, even teeth light against my own lips, so that it was more eating than kissing, but it brought a whimper from my throat, a small helpless sound of pleasure.

Yeah, tack on that pleasure to the end of the paragraph. Hide the fact that it reads like it’s been lifted from some harrowing survivor’s account. My god, how do you fail at writing so much that you are incapable of writing a consensual sex scene?

Damian and Nathaniel grope all over Anita – Anita, who in keeping with the totally rapetastic atmosphere, is just sat there. She is sat there, refusing to interact or be active in the scene, letting them do what they want until it’s all over and she can leave.

DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU’VE WRITTEN, LKH?

eugh

Anita then starts to scream.

argh

If anyone was ever to produce a rape scene bingo sheet (for example, as to point out how badly written they often are, and how overused they are in terms of being part of a female character’s development), this scene would win LKH a cuddly toy of her choice.

I feel awful that I’m trying to keep this amusing. I would like to point out that none of this is amusing to me. I don’t find LKH’s obsession with having Anita raped over and over especially amusing.

Damian flashes back to his non-history and starts to freak out.

Nathaniel screamed, “Noooo!”

*swats with newspaper* You stop doing that.

Anyway, Damian starts to angst about how he has absolutely no good memories, so now Anita has to order him, as his master, to have sex with her. Entirely removing Damian’s consent as well.

Anita, for once, has a moral thought and thinks that this is wrong. Damian starts to guilt trip her because ‘she doesn’t want to do this’. Yeah, she doesn’t. And you’re trying to force her, you rapist shitbag. I hope your dick gets chewed off by a rabid dog. Nathaniel starts to beg her to force Damian because he’s just soooooo sad. Anita gives him a gentle kiss, to try and make him at least feel a little better (just kill him Anita just kill him) so he grabs her and force kisses her to the point that her mouth starts bleeding.

Then Damian’s angst hits them all again.

We screamed, and writhed, and I could not control it.

If you write lines like this with no self-awareness, then you need stop and having an outside source read your work.

Everyone then passes out.

Stop using unconsciousness as a way to end scenes, LKH. It just means that you had literally no other way to stop this. You’re a lazy, lazy hack.

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4 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Incubus Dreams’ chapter thirteen

  1. “Guess that tuxedo company aren’t getting their tux back.”

    And these folks aren’t getting their deposits back.

    “He seemed thick and heavy with need, as if the lightest touch might make him spill that ripeness out and over me.”

    And it’s right about here that I stop being able to take this scene seriously. I think the only people who would find this arousing are the stereotypical sexually frustrated housewives. To everyone else, it’s practically a parody.

    “Nathaniel drew back enough to say in a harsh whisper, “Happy thoughts, Anita, happy thoughts.””

    And now it’s gone from “funny” to “rape-tasitc”. Seriously, what the fuck? That line screams “rape” in bright, flashing neon with all-caps.

    • It’s so close to parody – in fact, it’s remarkably similar to a parody novella I wrote a few years ago – that I’m amazed that no one around LKH has noticed. Sometimes I wonder whether she’s just a huge troll and this is all some big social experiment.

      If your female lead is being forcibly told that she needs to ‘think happy’, then it’s definitely not a consensual sex scene you’re writing.

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