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


Gregory crawled to us on all fours, sniffing just above our bodies. He said in that growling voice, “Me next.”

Ok, he’s still a leopard, so that’s disgusting, and here’s something I’ve noticed: Anita never has safe sex. Considering that LKH makes a big deal about how she’s writing this big ol’adult world, full of consequences, it’s amazing how she’s over looking the fact that Anita might be pregnant and have some sort of super STD.

Shapeshifters look sort of like they do in the movies in half-man form, but there is one big difference. They have genitalia, and right at that moment Greggory was very, very happy to be here.

ewwwwwwwwwwwww

Anita finds Gregory’s arousal disgusting and shouts at him to back off. Damian is now sad and Anita can feel how sad he is. Anita wants to get up and this makes Nathaniel guilt-trip her through vague metaphysical emotions. Micah then comes into the room and asks what happened. They chit-chat about how Damian is awake during the day and then he reminds us what he was doing. He was out helping that werewolf who was being a drunk asshole? And, well, it gets worse.

“When I drove the guy home from the bar, he had a live-in girlfriend and a child. Girlfriend started a fight about his drinking. Anger does not help you fight the change.”

“Did he shift?” I asked.

“No, but it was close, and he’s so new…” Micah shook his head again. “I’d feel better if the girlfriend was a little more understanding about how dangerous he could be. She just didn’t seem to understand.”

Oh, this is all her fault. That he went out, got so drunk he might have shifted, got so belligerent at the bar that he might have shifted, and then some fucking idiot rapist brought him back to a home WITH A FUCKING CHILD IN IT is all her fault.

I think Unnamed Girlfriend understands very much that he’s dangerous. That’s why she didn’t want him in the house or wanted him drinking. Because it’s not her fault that a newbie werewolf decided to go out and be a hazard to the public, or decided that even though he’s having trouble controlling his shifts, he’s going to get a human girlfriend with a young child. But it’s all her fault! A man can never be at fault!

Anyway, Richard remembers that he’s in the room and points out that human women just don’t seem to understand how mad, bad, and dangerous werewolves are.

LKH. ARE WEREWOLVES DANGEROUS OR NOT? ARE THEY OPPRESSED AGAINST OR NOT? ARE THEY VICTIMS OF DISCRIMINATION OR NOT? THEY CAN’T BE BOTH.

Richard is all, hey is that one of my wolves someone who is my responsibility and who Micah should have spoken to Richard about and got help from? And Micah is all yes but this is for the good of mankind or something because I am the wereleopard messiah. He’s like Jesus but, you know, a huge rapist asshole.

Anita then decides to have a shower because ‘I’d just had sex without a condom, which meant all the mess had gone into me, but it wouldn’t stay there’. EW.

I DID NOT NEED TO BE TOLD HOW DAMIAN’S SPLOOGE IS ROLLING DOWN ANITA’S LEG

She then thinks about how Tammy got pregnant on the pill but seeing as Anita doesn’t seem to be on the pill, I have no idea why she’s bringing it up. Micah is going to call for a doctor, although Anita’s neck wound seems to be doing fine considering that she’s not dead, and he points out that Clair is sat in Richard’s car crying.

Clair, by the way, is Richard’s girlfriend. Who was just almost attacked by a vampire and saw her boyfriend’s ex have sex in front of her.

Poor Clair.

Richard can’t go outside to comfort her, as he’s covered in too much blood. The neighbours would call the police, even though Anita got this house specifically because it’s alone in the middle of nowhere. LOGIC. But Micah, Manic Pixie Dream Jesus, is on the case. Anita hovers, unsure whether to kiss him, but he’s like GO GET YOUR SHOWER.

Man i love how she’s always unsure and insecure and needing to be ordered about by micah that’s so healthy

Micah seems to find something funny and Anita assumes that he must be laughing at her. Again, that’s a sure sign of a healthy relationship, where you assume your partner is mocking you all the time. She goes to walk upstairs, cautions Gregory against touching her ass, he calls her no fun, she says she’s plenty of fun, he calls her a bitch, she barks.

I presume hilarity was supposed to ensue. Needless to say, I didn’t find it amusing.

 

Advertisements

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter eighteen


When Zerbrowski first led me into the room, I thought, there’s a man levitating against the wall.

Uncle Albert? Why are you here?

It looked as if he’d been shot, a lot, and bled, but bullets wouldn’t have kept him pinned to the wall.

I had to be almost underneath the body before my eyes could make sense of it, and even then, I was going to have to ask someone who was more tool-oriented if I was right.

It looked like someone had taken a nail gun, one of those industrial sized nail guns, and nailed him to the wall.

Then they were taken to the Department of Redundancy, that deals in redundancy, redundantly. Also, I’m not sure if you could actually do that. Admittedly, that’s based on some Google Fu, but think about crucifixion. If you nail the hands and feet of a person to a cross, and expect them to just remain there, tough luck. The nails rip through, because the weight of the person is too much for them to carry. In crucifixion, most victims were tied to the cross (or had their legs broken and nailed to the side of the cross, but that doesn’t apply here). Even with an industrial nail gun, I doubt you could nail someone to a wall.

The dark spots on the body were at both palms, both wrists, forearms just above the elbows, shoulders, collarbone, lower legs just above the knees –

They managed to get a nail through the strongest bone in the body? Not. Buying. It.

– just above the ankles, then through each foot. The legs were apart, not pierced together. They hadn’t tried to imitate the Crucifixion. If you went to this much trouble, it was almost odd to not echo that long-ago drama. The very fact that they hadn’t   tried seemed strange to me.

Um, two things. Firstly, is it just me, or does that read like LKH is implying that there is only one crucifixion in all of human history? I know saying ‘the Crucifixion’ would make a majority of the western world go, ‘oh, right, Jesus’, but calling it THE Crucifixion almost suggests that it only happened to Jesus. I just find the wording strange. Secondly, ‘drama’? Drama is relationship troubles, not an agonising torture that causes a slow death.

Plus, I just have this image in my head….

ohshitmyplan

Like, this doesn’t seem a practical way to murder people at all.

I leaned forward too far and had to put my fingertips out to catch myself. My fingers touched dried blood on the wall. Only then did I realise I’d forgotten my surgical gloves. Fuck.

Fuck indeed. You’ve just compromised the entire case. Congrats!

“How could you let me come in here without gloves on?”

Um, no. Don’t blame others for your failures, Anita! You’re the fuck-up!

“I didn’t expect you to touch the evidence,” he said. He fished a bottle of hand sanitizer out of one of his pockets. “Katie makes me carry it.”

I let him pour some into my hands and I scrubbed them.

Anita Blake: Cannot Even Be Trusted To Use Hand Gels. Plus, he poured it INTO your hands? I know you’ve lost a lot of blood, but hand sanitiser isn’t an appropriate substitute!

It wasn’t that I was really worried about catching anything from that one small touch, I didn’t more out of habit. You didn’t take pieces of the crime scene home if you didn’t have to.

“Where’d you get that sweet TV unit?”

“Crime scene. I thought I had to.”

The gel evaporated against my skin making my hands feel wet, though I knew they weren’t.

how fascinating

Anita, after not being given an ear-full for ruining the case, looks at the walls around the crucified body. They’re covered in pentagrams and Nordic runes. I’m starting to wonder why Anita was called into advise on this case. She doesn’t know shit about magic. RPIT has a witch detective! Surely she’d be much more useful on this case.

I’d had one semester of comparative religion with a professor who had really liked the Norse. It had left me with a better knowledge of runes than most Christians had. It had been years, but I still recognized enough to be confused.

I’d forgotten how Anita had taken classes in absolutely everything that might be plot relevant in later life. I don’t buy that she still remembers as much as she claims too. She hasn’t done any work with runes since. University was five, six years away for her. It’s not realistic that she can remember one term so perfectly.

Anita starts to talk about the runes she is not an expert in and knows nothing about. The runes are in a ‘pretty standard order’. Um, right, whatever.

“If you’re really doing ritual, you have a specific purpose. You don’t use all the Norse runes, because some of them are contradictatory. I mean, you don’t want to use a rune for chaos and a rune for order. I can’t think of a true ritual where you would use them all. Even if you’re doing a working where you wanted to invoke polarity, healing, harming, chaos, order, god, goddess, you still wouldn’t. Some of them aren’t easily made to fit any true polarity/opposite sort of thing. And they’re also in a pretty standard textbook order.”

Or they might be saying, ‘I TOLD YOU TO PICK YOUR FUCKING UNDERWEAR UP’. Because runes aren’t some magical mystical thing. I mean, they can be, but they’re, you know, letters. They’re part of an alphabet. Does… does LKH not realise that runes are a non-Latin alphabet?

BEHOLD THE MYSTIC COMB … with someone’s name on it so they don’t lose it. Tremble before its awesome powers!

Zerbrowski wants to know whether this is magical. YOU FUCKING MORON. YOU HAVE A WITCH ON THE POLICE FORCE. WHY AREN’T YOU TALKING TO HER? Anita says it isn’t, and that ‘the body isn’t arranged to imitate any mystical or religious symbolism that I’m familiar with’.

Well, even if the body hasn’t been posed to resemble Christ on the cross, surely the potential this crime has religious elements to it can’t be just discounted without investigation. Crucifixion is an incredibly potent religious symbol in the west. Maybe the guy isn’t posed like Jesus because the killer had trouble sticking him to the wall?

Anita says that the runes are just copied out of some book. Um, they’ll need more clues than that. There are several runic alphabets, and they’re very different from each other. She concludes that there was no magical or religious purpose and Zerbrowski… confirms that’s what Tammy Reynolds, RPIT witch, already told them.

Excuse me.

laser anger eyes

Dolph just can’t bring himself to trust Detective Reynolds because of her mystical powers. Oh, he’ll trust ANITA FUCKING BLAKE, MURDERER AND RAPIST, but not Reynolds, who has only ever been professional and law-abiding. For some reason, despite the fact that Anita hates Tammy, she gets pissed and threatens to talk to Dolph. Zerbrowski gets scared and says how Dolph has been so grumpy lately.

Anita stomps around on her munchkin legs and looks out the window. The house has a nice view. I needed to know that.

“They had to know for sure that there was no neighbour out there that could see what they were doing. Shooting him, you might take your chances, but putting him up on the wall, and all the symbols, no, they had to be sure they wouldn’t be seen.”

“That’s pretty organised for a wacko,” Zerbrowski said.

*steeples fingers* So, Zerbrowski, your theory is that a random mentally ill person stumbled into this particular home, which is secluded and isolated, and just decided, ‘hey, I’ve got this nail gun and a book of runes, I’m going to murder the first person I see in an incredibly ritualised manner!’.

And you’re a police detective how, exactly?

Anita comes up with the ground-breaking theory that someone might have murdered this guy for a reason, like money. Zerbrowski is dumbstruck by this. It was Dolph’s theory, until after finding out there was no magic and needing confirmation for that.

“I may not always like Detective Tammy, but she’s pretty good at what she does.”

“You just don’t like that she’s sating Larry Kirkland, your animator in training.”

“No, I don’t like that she and Larry are dating. She’s his first serious girlfriend, so forgive me, but I felt protective.”

Bang head

Zerbrowski sings about how Larry and Tammy are in L-O-V-E. Before you think I’m being hyperbolic, that’s what it actually says. Argh. Anita then tries to get home because she doesn’t want to do the job she’s been assigned to do, but Zerbrowski grabs her and says she simply must go to the second scene, it’s so violent, and Dolph might get angry!

Why are you grabbing her, you asshole.

Then the tension just goes as Anita agrees to see the crime scene and they tease each other. I might like it if I didn’t hate both of these characters with a fiery passion.

He started me across the room, arm still across my shoulders. “How did you end up with a werewolf stripper as your driver for the day?”

“Just lucky I guess.”

If we objectify men, it’s like sexism never happened!

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


<- The link to Mistress Tick is the link to my new etsy shop. I have a few knitted items I’ve made and a few bits of paper craft. If you’re interested – or ever need something like that – please consider me first. The prices are reasonable and the wool snuggly.

Somewhere during the dressing process I came to my senses. I stayed up against the headboard, Asher’s robe belted securely over the red pyjamas, my face averted, forehead pressed to the wood.

Words. Those are just words. What do they even mean? It’s like I’m staring to the Vortex of Words and I can’t understand what’s pouring out of it.

People move around on the bed which turns Anita on. I’d make jokes, but it does have a point. Anita talks about how everything around her now links in to the ardeur, how it completely changes and colours the world around her.

I couldn’t separate them, and that was scary all on its own.

That is actual good character study, but I don’t think it’s going to last.

JC then tries to hustle Anita into the orgy but she’s not feeling it. She even screams at him ‘Don’t touch me!’, which JC takes umbridge at because… he can’t change what he did. Although he could have, you know, not done it. There was no reason to infect Anita with sex magic – other than to make the woman he professes to love and care about enjoy being raped and to enjoy having sex with men she doesn’t want to have sex with.

JC, YOU ARE THE WORST. The only thing that stops me getting actually angry about it is how ridiculous and fantastical it all is. Honestly, it makes me shake my head and laugh because there’s nothing in this approaching reality. I hate how LKH makes rape and sexual exploitation acceptable, but she at least has the sense to not put it in a real world context. Because then I really would get angry because assholes would see this as a textbook for how to pick up women. Like with 50 Shades of Grey.

Anita looks up to JC and rhapsodise on his appearance when suddenly… she sees a different face! With brown eyes! This makes all the men in the yard freak out because it means she’s going to change. Anita is being felt up by a female presence who is raising her ‘beast’. The men hold her down to the bed while Belle Morte examines Anita and her powers. She tells Anita that she’s a succubus – glad someone pointed that out – and…

It was like being covered in pure lust, rolled in it, like flour on a piece of meat before you cook it.

That is not a sexy metaphor.

AREN’T YOU TURNED ON?

Belle Morte feels Anita up some more – I think, it’s hard to tell the wording is so vague – but she contains Anita’s ardeur. While Anita is clearing in another place, her mind definitely not in the room, the men all sex her. While she’s having some sort of out of body experience and is not able to consent. What romantic and caring men.

And considering the fact they’re convinced she’s about to rip her skin off and turn into a leopard? NOT THE TIME FOR SEX. REALLY NOT.

Belle Morte rides Anita for the sex – really meaning Anita is unable to consent to this – until Anita forces her out. As Anita wakes, she realises that Nathanavile and Jason are sucking her nipples. Jason gropes her and she starts screaming for JC and Asher. She demands that they feed so she can feed. Even though she just needs sexual energy and she doesn’t need penetration for that.

Asher asks JC to comply as Anita can’t fight Belle Morte and the ardeur (she’s doing it so far asshole) but JC says she doesn’t understand anything. Who’s fault is that? Who’s supposed to be helping her with this? They get on the bed and Anita stares at them. Asher and JC chow down in Nathanvile and Jason, and Anita has a ‘body bucking’ screaming orgasm, as those are they only kind that exist in this sort of fiction. Everyone apparently has a spontaneous screaming orgasm and Anita feels it all.

Like the heat the ardeur was named for, it passed over us again and again.

I looked it up and ardeur can mean ‘heat’. It also means ‘enthusiasm’ or ‘zeal’, so I still think it’s a stupid name.

Everyone carries on screaming for a page.

This isn’t sexy. I bored, very, very bored. I’ve read better smut for free on the internet.

The problem is that Anita isn’t really doing anything. She’s just sitting there while things are happening to her and then, boom, orgasm. It’s not a fantasy. It’s just a bland madlibs. Anita sat wearing X. X did this to X. X did this to Anita. Anita and X had orgasms. It’s dull.

Belle Morte fills Anita’s mind with bland threesomes of JC, Asher, and Belle. Anita has been fed so now she can ‘do what I did best’. Um, I thought your best was killing vampires and raising zombies? How is that going to help? Anita demands JC take her hand and as he does so, Anita writhes and suffers as Belle Morte pains her.

Anita draws in the power of the triforce and necromancy (oh, you remember you can do that now?) and fights off Belle Morte… even though she did that already just a few pages ago. Consistency! Not only for cakes!

The power pressed like lightning in a bottle, but the bottle was my body, and there was no released without one more thing… blood.

Anita has to drink blood now. Great – projectile vomiting was just what this scene needed. Anita drinks from Jason.

We weren’t having sex anymore –

No shit.

there was no distraction, only my teeth tearing his flesh, his blood pouring into my mouth and the moment the blood poured over me the necromancy flared and I pushed it into the honeyed touch.

I have lost power in my thinking thingy. Aside from pointing out that it sounds like Anita tore Jason’s throat out.

I shoved her out, cast her back, locked her outside us. I’d been training in witchcraft this year, so I bound her from contacting us through her power.

Has Anita been training in witchcraft? I thought she’d been training to control the munin-wolf magic thing. But I don’t know because my thinky thingy hurts.

Anita tells Belle Morte to pick up a phone if she wants to know what’s going on. That’s actually a fun line, for once.

This whole chapter was Tab A into Tab B, repeat, and scream. How dull.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter eighteen


Edward’s house is full of dead things. And I mean that literally – there are hunting trophies around the place. Illegal hunting trophies, I may add. Anita implies that they are gazelles – and by implied, I mean that she says they look like deer but the horns are too big because Anita can never say what something is if she can give clunky description – and gazelle species are either strictly controlled and mostly you can’t bring those sort of trophies home.

Hunting trophies will not make me warm to Edward. I detest killing things for sport.

Anita asks to look around, which prompts some bitching from Bernardo.

“You didn’t let us look around on our own,” Bernardo said.

“You didn’t ask.”

“It’s one of the joys of being a girl and not a guy,” I said. “If I’m curious, I just ask.”

The hell? That does not match my experience at all. While I have always been encouraged to be curious and inquisitive, women are not usually encouraged to speak out and ask questions, especially in a mixed group. And why are you bitching Bernardo? Edward didn’t say ‘don’t look around’. You can just go and look around yourself. What is wrong with these people?

Plus Edward’s home is full of Navajo items. The Navajo nation do live in parts of New Mexico, but Edward, why do you have to be like ‘cultural appropriation is cool!’.

Anita complains that there are no pictures in the place. You know, when I go to a person’s home, I don’t insult their décor. If I don’t like it, I keep it to my fucking self because I have manners. They talk about how Donna bought flowers to ‘brighten up the place’ and Anita complains that Donna and her family are just ‘hostages’ in this situation.

“Do you really think you’re telling me something I haven’t thought about?”

“My apologies, you’re right. Like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs.”

“What?” He turned and was half-laughing.

Oh, of course no one but the Sue knows the perfectly common phrase. Fun Dottie fact: the phrase became popular as a way to curse people without swearing in my first year of secondary school. No idea why.

I shrugged. “Just an old saying. It means I’m lecturing someone who taught me what I’m lecturing about.”

No, it doesn’t. It means giving advice to someone on a subject they already know about – and know more than you about. ENGLISH. DO YOU SPEAK IT?

Anita says about how Edward taught her that if you care for people, they can die. Not that he gets all the credit. Her mother is mentioned. Again. Because Anita apparently lived in some magical world where death never touched her. Look, it’s bullshit. ‘oh if you care for people they can die waaaah waaahhh’. Who the hell thinks like this as an adult? I think everyone knows, from childhood, that everyone you love will die someday. Some people learn this a bit quicker than others; both my paternal and maternal grandfathers died when I was two, for example, so I was fairly morbid as a child and a bit obsessed with vampires and ghosts. But you just have to get over it. People die. It’s sad and hard and sometimes it’s just so awful to live on in a world where someone who love just isn’t there any more, but what adult actually goes around thinking ‘oh no, people I love will dieeeeeeeee’?

Anita then boasts about how at least her lovers can’t die like Donna can.

What the hell is wrong with you? Why are you so determinedly unpleasant?

I will think of Donna as Donna. It makes me feel better if I think Donna can just unleash full stream bullshit blasting powers on Anita.

Bernardo then walks in, Anita thinks he’s attractive, Edward reprimands him for treating Anita ‘like a girl’. For a start, she’s a woman. Secondly, I don’t like the idea that Anita must get some sort of separate treatment because of her ovaries (I know Edward is smacking him down for it, but I don’t think anyone is going to stop treating her as someone special because of her magical ovaries). Bernardo talks about how Edward calls her so dangerous while they go through to the dining room to look at case files. And… then they talk about killing each other? And how they can hide weapons in their hair? And how Bernardo is a ‘ethnic stereotype’ and that’s good because he’s a rich token Indian? And how he can instantly tell that Anita is Hispanic, because all POC have insta POC detection powers?

“You may be a little dark around the edges, but you can pass for white,” Bernardo said.

“I’m not passing, Bernardo. I am white. My mother just happened to be Mexican.”

You’re a Mestizo, Anita. You are not white. You are mixed race. And I don’t mean that in a ‘you’re not white and that’s gross’ way. I mean that in a ‘LKH, you have created a character who is WOC, can you stop being so casually racist and actually be a good writer for once’. And don’t get be started on ‘just happened to be Mexican’. Oh, I get it Anita, you find your mother and her heritage disgusting. For some reason.

And I find it rich she’s having this conversation with another POC, who has probably had to deal with shit because he’s a Native American every day of his life.

“No one’s ever got in your face about it, have they?”

I thought about it. My stepmother’s hurried comments to strangers that I was not hers. No, I wasn’t adopted. I was her stepdaughter. Me and Cinderella.

Hey, bitch, you weren’t abused as a child, so shut the fuck up.

The really rude ones would ask, “What was her mother?”

While that is rude, I notice that no one has ever levied a racial insult at Anita. Here’s a great big list of awful racial slurs thrown at Mexicans, and that’s not counting those who are fairly stupid and throw the N word at everything they don’t understand. Anita, you have never experienced a single instance of racial hatred or prejudice (that Anita remembers, which I would presume she would remember). And I bet you are going to take the moral highground over a man who is a member of a people who experience widespread animosity and prejudice and bigotry every fucking day of their lives. Still.

Judith would always answer quickly, “Her mother was Mexican.”

So, she went out of her way to correct the assholes who might have said something racist against you. What a horrible woman, protecting her stepdaughter.

Though lately it was Hispanic-American. No one could accuse Judith of not being politically correct on the issue of race.

Oh, what an evil woman, making sure that she is not offending people by accident and that she respects people. What a bitch.

My mother had died long before people had worried about political correctness being in vogue. If someone asked, she always said proudly, “Mexican.” If it was good enough for my mother, it was good enough for me.

THEN WHY DO YOU LOUDLY AND PROULDY GO ON ABOUT HOW WHITE YOU ARE AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY? SUCH AS THIS CONVERSATION? WHY ARE YOU ASHAMED OF YOUR HERITAGE FOR NO REASON, ESPECIALLY AS YOUR PARENTS ENCOURAGED YOU TO HAVE PRIDE IN YOUR HERITAGE WHENEVER THEY COULD?

Anita then goes on about that guy who dumped her for being ‘Mexican’ (yeah, I believe that) and that she thinks of herself as white. So, you’re not proud of being Hispanic then? She then bitches to Bernardo that people don’t think she’s white enough. Even though she has never experienced racial hatred or bigotry. No one has ever mentioned her Mexican heritage, other than as an excuse to fawn over how ‘exotic’ she is!

And then this happens.

“I think you’re jealous.”

“Of what?”

“That I can pass and you can’t.”

I’m sorry

was that

neeer neeer i look white and you don’t, kneel on the floor dirty ethnic to bask in my whiteness

i mean

she’s basically saying that bernardo looks like a dirty indian, right

and how awesome it is that she can pass but he’ll have to face prejudice every day of his life

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU????????????????

?????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????

I actually had to restraint myself from actually launching a twitter attack on LKH because that would be rude and I don’t want her to be aware of my existence.

Anyway, Bernardo just essentially sprawls on the ground and acts as a carpet for Anita, and praises her for… being her, and starts preening for her.

This is the most racist book I have ever read. And I’ve read Gone With The Wind.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Blue Moon’ chapter eighteen


Anita and Jason arrive at the ‘lupanar’ and it’s full of bodies ahhhh and there are rotting vampires ahhhh. Anita is SAD – and I always have to Hulk capitalise her emotions, as they are all Hulk emotions – because she isn’t allowed to kill Colin.

Damian came gliding through the trees. He was dressed in the standard uniform of black leather pants so tight you knew that nothing else was under them but vampire. But he was wearing a black silk T-shirt with a scooped neck. It looked almost like a woman’s shirt. His shoulder-length hair helped the illusion of femininity, but the chest and shoulders that peeked out of the shirt ruined the effect; masculine, definitely masculine.

I get it LKH. Femininity is disgusting and abhorrent. It is only acceptable to the super masculine. That is the best validation women can have.

Jason is wearing the same outfit, down to knee high boots, and Anita laughs how they look like backup singers for a capitalised Gothic band. Everyone is scared because Colin is a hag and is making everyone feel fear. Understanding the concept that Colin causes fear takes a while for everyone to understand.

They then come to the lupanar, which they had already done, and there’s ooooh a big tree and ahhh a skeleton. It is all very scary. There is a vampire sat on a bench.

His lips were full, with an upper lip that was set in a perfect bow, very feminine.

ARGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

‘The Cupid’s bow or tubercle is a facial feature where the double curve of a human upper lip is said to resemble the bow of Cupid, the Roman god of erotic love. The peaks of the bow coincide with the philtral columns giving a prominent bow appearance to the lip.’

It is not an elusively female trait.

TPhoto_00081

I have a Cupid’s Bow. However –

So does Cumberbatch. You’d be amazed how a lip shape cannot be defined by simplistic gender lines.

Anyway, there’s something wrong with the vampire ahhh and now Verne’s pack are practising human sacrifice. Because hicks, I guess. Anyway, the vampires they’re meeting are arriving and Richard and Anita hole hands arghhhhh oh my god.

Yeah, you might be able to tell my patience is wearing thin with this book.

One of them, who is blond with hair ‘short, all over’ who demands to see Anita’s tits. They have a human with them, a Native American woman, who is immediately dismissed for not being as ethic or as beautiful as Anita. Using POWER, Asher has his shirt ripped off by someone, presumably Colin. Colin is now identified as the blond vampire, and now I don’t like him so much. Especially as he continues to demand to see Anita’s tits, which sounds nothing like the guy they’ve been dealing with until this point. Anita then realises the woman with him has all the POWER, and is just like her.

But not as good, of course.

Anita gives in and says yes to his insane demand, which translates in Anita-speak as ‘we’re getting our butts kicked because the werewolves aren’t helping!’ and I only just realised that Verne and his pack are with her. She complains about how his werewolves and the local vampires aren’t dressed up, not like her gang!

Colin flashes POWER and Anita’s cross lights up and all the vampires are sacred but him. Ahhh.

Then a vampire called Barnaby (stop naming vampires after my friends.) goes into rot-mode and comes to Anita to tear away her cross. Ahhh. He is compared to magical deodorant. Anita thinks that this is all a matter of wills (no shit) and hopes he doesn’t press it into her skin and burn her. Even though it is sitting on her skin already, so if it was going to burn her, it would already be burning her. The rotting vampire slides his hands between Anita’s breasts, breaks the chain of the cross, and swings it away. Colin then says that Jason is afraid of rotting vampires, so Barnaby should ‘play’ with him. Anita forbids this.

Guess someone learnt that letting friends get raped is a bad thing. Finally.

“Your word?” Colin said. “You’re a modern American. Your word means nothing.”

Okay, I thought that was clever.

Anyway, they are both pushing each other to see who will break the truce first and everyone talks about ‘tasting the truth of their words’ as everyone in this book talks in the exact same way. Colin demands that Verne ‘strip the young one of his protectors’. Verne is carrying a basket, so Anita points her gun at him.

Reading this book is like trying to read through treacle. Nothing is happening.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Burnt Offerings’ chapter eighteen


“My how terribly impressive.”

Commas are your friend.

Yvette was stalking down the hallway towards us. She’d lost the mink stole, and the white dress was very simple, very elegant, very Chanel. The rest of the scene was pure Marquis de Sade.

What? Was an evil mother punished for her crimes by being raped by a man with syphilis and having her orifices sewn up? Or has LKH never actually read any of Sade’s work and is using it as a cheap means of saying ‘BONDAGE STUFF’?

Jason, werewolf, flunky, sometimes voluntary appetizer to the undead, was with her. He was dressed in a cross between black leather pants and skin-tight chaps. Bare skin showed at the thighs, and what looked like a leather thong covered his groin. Around his neck was a metal-studded dog collar with a leash attached to it. Yvette was holding the leash. Fresh bruises marched down his face, neck, arms. There were cuts on his lower chest and stomach that looked like claw marks. His hands were bound behind his back, arms pulled so tight to his body that that alone had to hurt.

Yvette stopped about eight feet from us, posing. She shoved Jason hard enough in the back for him to let out a small sound, forcing him to his knees. She drew the leash tight so he was almost hanging.

Sorry, was this supposed to be the ‘totally Marquis de Sade’ stuff? Because, just no. Have you bothered to even glance at a synopsis of any of his works?

Jason is Yvette’s present while the council is in town. Jason says he’s cool, but Yvette pulls the leash tighter so he can’t talk. Which he might have agreed to before they arrived in the corridor. This might be entirely consensual – we just don’t know yet.

JC whinges about how Yvette is playing with his toys, but she hasn’t hurt him and she’s already ‘had’ him. Even though it’s been established that she’ll only have sex with zombies. But whatever, we’ve got to make Yvette EEEEEVVVVILLLLLL. She’s going to ‘torment’ Jason in front of JC and he’ll be powerless to stop her.

Yvette and Warwick have a conversation that takes a few reads to understand – she’s not cross about Damian dying, but she’s cross that Warrick wouldn’t have guarded JC and Anita properly because he might have been called to fight Yvette. I don’t understand why she’s so cross about this, but she’s going to punish Warrick for… being an inefficient guard.

Yvette makes Warwick’s eyes rot in his skull. Warrick then vomits his own rotten internal organs onto the floor.

We all began to move back from the widening pool. Didn’t want to step in it. It wouldn’t do us any harm, but even the other vampires stepped back from it.

It’s almost like they just don’t want to step in organ goo. You don’t need to tell me the whys and hows for every little thing!

Yvette then boasts about her own abilities. She makes herself rotten and begins stroking Jason. He’s not on board with this, especially after being molested by two rotting vampires back in Bloody Bones. She laughs evilly about how she hopes to destroy his mind before the night is out. After all, the Circus of the Damned has been conquered!

…. no, it hasn’t. The Queen of Nightmares is checking on the condition of vampires in America, with the Vampire Council. How many times will I have to repeat that before the book is finished?

JC says that Jason is his toy to break, so Yvette can’t have him. Yvette says that JC was her toy, so, um yeah she can. They have a POWER battle and JC absorbs her oh-so-impressive-but-not-cause-what-does-rotting-accomplish rotting power. She may be beaten, but they have to defeat Padma and the Traveler yet, and they’re so conquered.

Apart from the fact that THEY ARE NOT.

A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Killing Dance’ chapter eighteen


Anita and Dolph are on their way to a murder scene in Creve Coeur, which sounds similar enough to ‘Coeur de Coeur’ that I am both happy and intensely sad.

 Anita gets pissy with the silence and demands to know what’s going on.

“You’re always good for a laugh when you’re not killing people, Anita.”

Anita quietens when she realises ‘oh shit, I’m only not in jail because of this guy!’.

Olive is one of my favourite streets. I like the mix of gas stations, Dunkin’ Donuts, custom order jewellery stores, Mercedes-Benz dealerships, and Blockbuster Music and Video. Creve Coeur isn’t like most ritzy areas, at war with the peons. This part of the city has embraced both its money and its commerce, as comfortable buying fine antiques as taking the kiddies through the drive-up line at Mickey-D’s.

Is this a real place? I know I have a commentator from the St. Louis area, so I’m curious to know if this street is real. To me, this place sounds impossible. Outlets like car dealerships and drive-in restaurants generally can’t be in the same area as more boutique shops or chain stores – it’s not a matter of class or wage bracket, but of space. Car dealerships and drive-ins need a lot of space, and are normally out on the outskirts of a city. Same goes with petrol stations, which need room for the forecourt and the shop. You don’t find these things alongside regular shops.

Either LKH or the city of St. Louis knows shit all about city planning.

Dolph breaks the speed limit and drives around some houses, which are described as being ‘very Mediterranean’ and being ranch styled. Dolph demands to know if Anita’s ever been here before, which she hasn’t. They go into the house, which is crawling with police officers doing their jobs. Anita, of course, feels the need to insult everything they’re doing by saying that police officers just loose evidence and damage cases more than they help.

Sigh.

    The cops parted before Dolph, eyes shifting to me. Most of the eyes were male, and after the first glance, almost all of them did the full body look. You know the look. The one that if the face and top match, they just have to see if the legs are as good as the rest. It works in reverse, too. But any man that starts at my feet and ends with my face has lost every brownie point he ever had.

I get it – you’re the most perfectly perfect beautiful woman that ever lived.

Anita walks around and criticises the décor. She reaches a closed door and thinks that this house doesn’t look like much of a crime scene. She asks if there’s kids involved, to which Dolph says no. He then asks if she’s lied to him about anything again and I still don’t care.

Going into the room, Anita sees a suitably gruesome body. A man has been spreadeagled in the midst of a large circle, with a large hole below the ribs.  His heart is missing.

    “If you were going to take his heart out, why not go straight down?”

    “If you wanted him to survive, like heart surgery, you’d have to break the ribs and go down the hard way. But they wanted him dead. If all you want is the heart, going under the ribs is easier.”

um…. many problems.

  •     Did she just imply that people can survive having their hearts ripped out?
  •     I think she did.
  •     Um, no.
  •     Either way these people did it, this guy is going to be rather dead. You do need your heart.
  •     Why couldn’t they break the dead guy’s ribs?
  •     For heart surgery, you just open them up like a rusty gate.
  •     This ‘easy way’ means you have to cut through the stomach, liver, and lungs to get to the heart.
  •     That doesn’t sound easy at all.
  •     I don’t think that LKH understands how the human body works.
  •     My theory is that, along with Tommy Wiseau, she comes from the Spoon Planet.

Anita then asks what Dolph’s deal is. I know! You murdered two people in two days when you’re supposed to work with the police force!

The murder room is a bedroom, which has a rumpled bed covered in blood, and Anita begins to think that she may know the victim.

The red circle was definitely blood. Cabalistic symbols ran round the inside of the circle, traced in blood. I recognized some of them, enough to know that we were dealing with some form of necromancy.

Cabalistic? Oh, so they’re to do with the government of Charles II? Yes, yes, I know that a cabal is a secret group or society, but I don’t think the word is entirely appropriate in this sense. ‘Cult’ or ‘occult’ would have been better. And say it with me guys – necromancy means divination using the dead!

And the dead guy turns out to be Robert, brought back earlier purely to be dispatched. Anita thinks that this was a sacrifice – to who or what we don’t know. Anita steps forward and hits the circle, and suddenly POWER. Because Anita knows nothing about anything she’s supposed to, she can’t tell what the circle is about. She thinks it’s a spell to both contain and keep out the dead and she can’t cross it.

Then a female voice booms out that this means Anita did not make the circle and all I can think is ‘well, duh, she was murdering people tonight!’.