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


We sent Gregory in his kitty-cat fur down to watch Damian.

WHY CAN’T YOU SPEAK LIKE AN ADULT

I don’t ask for much, but please talk to me like I’m a goddamn adult. You’re not writing a children’s book. You’re writing an adult erotic fantasy thriller. You shouldn’t be witting as if you’re trying to appeal to three year olds.

Anyway, Gregory is a shit because he can’t go stripping tonight because he has to stay in animal form for ‘six to eight hours’ and then spend ‘two to four hours’ passed out. This seems ridiculous and not mentioned before? I’m sure that this happened before but, eh, whatever. LKH doesn’t care so I don’t.

Clair, Richard’s girlfriend, is incredibly shocked by all of this.

I wasn’t sure why, unless her world was so protected that just being in the car with a stripper was a big deal. For her sanity’s sake, I hoped her world was bigger than that.

Of course, Clair is so sheltered in comparison to Anita. Clair is just so sexually naive, unlike Anita. Because all women are pieces of shit compared to Anita.

Clair asks Richard and Nathaniel about what it’s like when they pass out and shift – Richard doesn’t though, because he’s an Ulfric, and that means extra magic? – and Nathaniel reveals that he was turned when he was seventeen. Anita gets an O face as this means Gabriel turned Nathaniel into a wereleopard illegally.

Gabriel liked to rape and torture people for fun. I have no idea why Anita is horrified that he would do something else illegal.

“It’s illegal in most states to contaminate anyone willingly with a potential fatal disease, regardless of age,” Richard said.

I shook my head. “I guess I’m starting to treat lycanthropy the way the law treats vampirism. If you’re eighteen you can choose.”

“The law doesn’t treat it the same,” he said.

I knew that, but I’d spent so much time among the shapeshifters, that I just sort of forgot. Careless of me. “I guess I forgot.”

“And you a federal marshal,” he said.

1136

Anita is so professional that SHE DOESN’T KNOW THE FUCKING LAW SHE’S SUPPOSED TO BE ENFORCING.

jesus christ

Also, how come vampirism isn’t considered a ‘fatal disease’? Becoming a vampire literally involves dying. But the law is A-OK with that as it doesn’t involve spending time with those dirty wererats I suppose.

Dr Lillian announces that Richard could have lost his arm but his super-duper wolf powers prevented it. I want to know how he almost lost his arm, considering that Damian bit a chunk out of Richard’s chest. Maybe LKH just forgot. Clair and Richard talk a little about shifting, and Anita thinks that Clair is super young, like twenty five. Even though Anita is what, twenty eight? Eh, whatever.

Richard is worried about his job but Anita starts whining about how Clair has no control and she’s too young to be out in public and that Clair is probably going to go crazy and try and eat someone.

Like Damian? Or is she just under this much scrutiny because she has a vagina? Richard plans to shift to heal (???? if it knocks him unconscious then surely it’s bad for him?) and then more about that werewolf that went mad earlier. Richard came as the wereleopards were worried about Anita.

Fredo said, “All your leopards are very serious about your and Micah’s safety.”

I looked at him. “I wasn’t aware of that.”

You’re their fucking leader, Anita. Of course they’re going to be concerned about your safety.

Richard and Anita bicker over who’s going home, and then it’s revealed that Nathaniel is Anita’s love potato.

Nathaniel gives everyone coffee in matching mugs and gives Anita hers. It’s pale brown, which makes me howl with laughter. Anita goes on and on and on about being such a coffee snob, and she’s just proven that she really isn’t. True coffee aficionados have their coffee black, Anita. You’re just diluting the pure coffeeness of it all.

Richard complains that Nathaniel treats his home like it’s his home. Nathaniel supposedly has that apartment that Anita pays for, but he is never there and lives with Anita. I don’t get Richard’s problem. Lillian steps in to say they don’t know how to act around a love potato.

[Nathaniel] set the creamer and pitcher on a little tray, along with little tongs for the sugar cubes. Why sugar cubes? Because Nathaniel seemed to get a kick out of asking how many lumps people wanted. He was like a kid playing house. No, that wasn’t fair. He was like a new bride that had never had a house, or a kitchen of her own, and was really enjoying the hostess stuff. But it was like he didn’t know what real people did in a house, so her was taking it from movies, books, or magazines. I mean nobody serves cream and sugar anymore on a little tray with little tongs, right?

no brains

No one gives a shit, LKH. NO BODY GIVES A SINGLE FUCK ABOUT THE SUGAR TONGS.

Nathaniel was wearing one of his favourite pairs of blue jeans, so faded that they were turning white in places. They fit his lower body like they were painted on, and it was a nice paint job.

tumblr_na03htdhbp1rvzu9do1_250

NO ONE GIVES A SHIT. THIS ADDS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO THE STORY. WHEN ARE WE GETTING BACK TO THE MURDER MYSTERY?

Anita goes on about how young Nathaniel looks which makes me want to hurl.

Richard complains some more about how Nathaniel is acting like this is his house. Golly gee why are we still on this issue? Richard calls him a ‘wife’, as this is a sexist nightmare, and he’s like but you aren’t fucking him why are you looking like you’re fucking him. So Anita is cruel about Clair and this is a black hole of despair.

On the upside, Nathaniel is making biscuits. Because the Stepford Wives is the ideal world to be living in.

Richard is annoyed because Nathaniel means something to Anita. Richard, why do you care? Anita is horrible to you. She cheated on you. She thinks you’re a piece of shit. Drop this shitshow, move to California, and forget all about it. Richard is whining about Anita is living with Micah and Nathaniel which is Bad because that means she is a slut or something.

“You’re always screw around when we aren’t dating,” I said.

Oh gosh Richard dates people other than Anita? Wow what a horrible person. It’s almost like they broke up AGES AGO because ANITA IS A HORRIBLE HORRIBLE PERSON.

You see, Richard is bitter because he thought Anita was cheating on him with Nathaniel.

Uh, LKH? You didn’t introduce Nathaniel until Burnt Offerings. Richard and Anita broke up in The Killing Dance. You know, the book BEFORE BURNT OFFERINGS. So, how exactly could Anita cheat with Nathaniel when she had no idea that he existed and had never interacted with him?

“Like I said, you broke up with me, Richard, not the other way around. You broke up with me, because, quote, you didn’t want to love someone who was more comfortable with the monsters than you were, unquote.”

No, it’s because you went to suck JC’s dick, Anita. It’s because you’re a cheat.

Richard whines some more about how Anita must have been cheating on him with a character that didn’t exist when their break up was being written, then Anita slutshames him for having a sex life that doesn’t involve her.

Richard admits he’s not in love with Clair, and Anita admits that she totally loves Nathaniel for all those wonderful personally traits that he has like…..

Nah, I got nothing either.

Nathaniel kisses her, as he’s a manipulative asshole. And then he says he wants intercourse.

How romantic.

Anita then faints. Because reasons.

Uh, when are we getting back to the plot? This long tangent into nothingness is not showing any signs of stopping.

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


Dreeeeeeeaaaaaaaaammmmmmmmmmmmmmms. Dreeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmmmmmmmmsssssss.

Dear Lord, I hate dream sequences. I hate them even in things I like. Last night, I dreamt that I was in the Star Wars universe, fighting off against random baddies, while flying a broomstick. Dreams fundamentally don’t make sense. They’re weird and random. Dream sequences in books are always far too structured for me to like. And, yes, I know that Anita’s dreams have ~*magic*~ behind them. It doesn’t mean I have to like it.

  • BM is in a nice gold dress.
  • She has a red mouth. SLUUUUUUUUUUUUU-
  • Anita is in a big poofy red dress.
  • BM calls her ‘ma petite’ because all that JC owns, BM owns.
  • Anita looks at BM’s breasts.
  • ORGIES. IMAGES OF ORGIES.
  • BM wants…. Anita. I think. I have no idea.

Anita wakes up and is BM. Ish. Nathaniel is all worried, and remember how he’d been triggered by memories of his childhood abuse? Yeah, well, Anita doesn’t. She wants sex now and she’s not about to ask Nathaniel if he’s okay with this.

You’re an asshole, Anita Blake.

She then screams SHTAPPPPPPPPPPPP and freaks out at Nathaniel, as if it’s his fault. The ardeurururur has kicked in because… eh, something has to happen. Jason runs in because he senses the POWER, and Anita screams that Nathaniel must be taken out of the room.

I have no idea why he can’t do it himself.

Anita then stares at Jason’s body.

There was no hair on his chest or stomach. A lot of strippers shaved their body hair. I’d seen Jason nude enough to know that he mostly shaved. I just hadn’t noticed how shaved. He was my friend, so even nude, he was still my friend. You don’t stare at your friend’s crotch to see how much body hair there is.

He was my friend, so even nude, he was still my friend.’ Wow. Much wisdom. Much insight.

Jason is confused as to how to deal with the ardeur. What, the ardeur, this magic that must be fed, requires feeding? The devil you say! Anita is momentarily upset at the thought of sleeping with Jason, although she could eat some food, or have sex by herself. But whatever. She whispers ‘Feed me’ –

– and Jason is all ‘SWEEEEEEEET DUDE’. It’s smell my cheese time!

Anita decides that she doesn’t want full intercourse, which is fine, and she takes forever to take Jason’s jeans off – all without mentioning that she’s intending to suck his dick. Dark! Edgy! Erotic! But can’t say ‘penis’ or ‘cock’. Because, um…. reasons! She doesn’t take Jason’s undies off, because she wants to suck his cock through the silk.

I drew back from him and the silk had turned dark blue where my mouth had touched him.

Do you know what kind of damage water does to silk? Actually, this is some of Anita’s ‘good girl’ horseshit as she just can’t bring herself to take off Jason’s underoos and jeans. He has to do it. STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN.

I drew more of him into my mouth, sliding my had down to cup lower things. He was smooth to the touch, everywhere I could touch with hand or mouth, there was nothing but the smooth perfection of him. He was shaved smooth.

I can’t even copy that out without giggling. How can anyone take that seriously? Plus, is it just me, or does that sound like he had a furry cock? Anita decides that non-hairy cock is A+ for her and carries on.

I drew his pants down farther, so that I could spread his legs, lick between them, along that thin line of skin between testicles and anus.

dog shock

Actual words to describe body parts????? I am shocked! Jason cums – I think, it’s hard to tell – and then decides enough is enough!

He bent down, grabbed my lower arms, drew me to my feet. He kissed me, and it was like he was trying to crawl inside me through my mouth, lips, tongue, teeth – something between a kiss and eating me.

Dude, you are not going to fit your head inside her mouth. Jason sticks his fingers between her legs (I hope he washed his hands, otherwise Anita’s due for a severe UTI) and then WHOOSH it’s time for vaginal penetration! You know, that thing Anita didn’t want.

He entered me, and it wasn’t hesitant, or gentle.

Um, then he forced? Ouch. And I see no mention of a condom magically appearing.

He stared down at me with eyes that were no longer human, but wolf.

EW.

He drew himself out of my body, slowly, an inch at a time until I was almost free, then he shoved himself back, and made me scream again. It wasn’t a scream of pain.

Really? I don’t think having anything forcibly shoved inside your body would be anything less than painful! Christ, it’s depressing that so many female authors use words like ‘forced’, ‘shoved’, or ‘pounded’ in sex scenes. It just confirms a patriarchal narrative that men can’t help themselves and that a woman’s enjoyment is lesser than a man’s. Well, unless it’s specifically supposed to be rough sex. But even then, there are better ways to write it.

Jason howls like an actual wolf and I guess it’s orgasm time because they are both screaming. This reads like a bad write-up of some extremely generic straight porn. Jason asks to hold Anita, just this once, like they’re some sort of tragic couple in a rom-com. Anita wiggles a bit, digs nails into his back, and this happens:

He screamed, and his hips ground himself against me again.

Guess that nails in the back is Jason’s auto-destruct button. Good to know. Jason gasps about how amazing Anita was. ‘You were amazing’. Except… well, she didn’t really do anything. She sucked his cock a bit and then did nothing. She was just there while Jason went off like a Duracell rabbit.

This is exactly like generic straight porn.

Anita and Jason then talk about the size of his penis (it’s good) and realise they are both dripping with blood from scratching each other up. Infections. Hot. Jason then is sad because his sex will never be as good as JC’s or Asher’s – surely, that’s for your partner to decide if they liked the sex or not… – and Anita confides that sex with Asher is scary.

If you’re scared by your partner, then it’s not love! Anita doesn’t know if either of them is actually good at sex because of vampire powers. That’s actually an interesting point – they both can warp and manipulate a person’s mind and experiences, changing their perceptions of reality – but naturally, this is swept aside so Anita can say how sex isn’t actually sex (after all, only full intercourse is real sex, I bet she thinks lesbians just read newspapers in bed) and being biphobic.

You see, Jason is interested in having sex with Asher.

“I was a little confused for awhile about exactly what my preferences were. I mean I’ve been Jean-Claude’s pomme de sang for about two years now. It’s amazing when he feeds, Anita, a-fucking-mazing. Enjoying being with him this much made me think I might be gay. But I like girls. I’m not saying that with the right person bisexual isn’t a possibility, but not if it means never being able to do this again. I like girls.”

… because when you’re bisexual, you can’t have sex with women?

I have literally no idea what definition of bisexual LKH is working with. I thought it meant ‘a sexual attraction to both men and women’, but apparently there are a lot of hidden rules at work here. I shall have to convene with the bisexual collective and attempt to learn their secrets.

Anita says that she’s never allowed JC to feed on her, which Jason can’t believe. All people must be interested in the same fetishes, you see. Jason reveals that he’s never slept with JC, and that there’s a rule about vampires sleeping with people they feed on.

“Oh, come on, Anita, I’ve slept with him longer than you have. You’d have to be more of a flaming heterosexual than I am not to wonder.”

I have literally no idea what that is supposed to mean. Anyway, JC wouldn’t sleep with Jason because he was in love with Anita. *blech* Actually, JC wouldn’t sleep with him because of Anita’s raging homophobia and fear on man-on-man cooties. Anita says she would like a ‘menage a quatre’ with Asher, JC, and Micah, but she fears being ‘consumed’ by the world of vampires and shapeshifters.

I think that boat has thoroughly sailed, lady.

A look passed through [Jason’s] eyes that I couldn’t read. “You mean you’re afraid of loving anyone more than life itself?”

“Yes.”

“I would give one of my less favourite body parts for a woman to care for me as deeply as you do for Nathaniel.”

…. what.

what.

what.

I have no idea how this conversation went this way. Anita pouts because she can’t love so many men at once – yeah, right, I don’t think Anita understands what love is – and Jason goes on a long ramble about how Anita is always fighting the men she loves.

It’s a recap of her relationship foibles from the past eleven books. It’s tedious. And then Anita brings out the big guns about why she just can’t trust the men she loves.

“I loved my mother with my whole heart and my whole soul, she was my world. She died, and it nearly destroyed me. I never want to put my whole world in any one person’s hands again, Jason. If they die, I won’t die with them.”

Plus, she gave everything to Richard, and he’s a fucking asshole.

fuck you

Anita then feels SAD and might cry.

up with this i will not put

Jason is jealous that Anita is in love with everyone but him. He wants her to ‘consume’ him and Anita is like GTFO I need a shower.

So.

I think we need to talk about something else.

Um.

Highlander anyone?

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


It’s very hot in the UK right now so I am fairly sleepy. And I have lentil stew for dinner! MMMMMmmmm lentil stew with little smoked sausages….

Richard and Anita stare at each other. Anita is SAD. She asks for Gregory back, finally. Jacob smirks – as being evil is the only trait he has – and says that Gregory has been hidden on the werewolves land. If Anita can track him, she can have it back.

I raised my eyebrows at him. “I have to follow a scent trail like a dog?”

Yes, because it’s only dogs that ever use a sense of smell to locate anything. Plus, isn’t referring to werewolves as ‘dogs’ count as supernatural racism? Anita protests this, making Jacob smirk about how if she was a ‘true shapeshifter’ she could do it. Rafael argues that Anita hasn’t changed yet (because she is totally going to change) so she can’t do the test. Richard says that Anita can track Gregory in different ways, in any way someone as powerful as a Nimir-Ra can do.

Anita thinks and thinks and has to be told that no one is allowed to help her. She is just that dense. It takes her a while to suddenly think;

“Can I use my own metaphysical abilities to aid me?”

Well done, Anita. You can have yourself a toffee.

Jacob is not happy.

“I don’t think your necromancy is going to help you locate your leopard.”

Actually, it might do. If the bones Gregory was lying on were the largest burial sight in the area, I might be able to track the bones and find him.

sight (countable and uncountable, plural sights)

  1. (in the singular) The ability to see.  [quotations ▼]
  2. The act of seeing; perception of objects by the eye; view.  [quotations ▼]
    to gain sight of land
  3. Something seen.  [quotations ▼]
  4. Something worth seeing; a spectacle.  [quotations ▼]
    You really look a sight in that silly costume!
  5. A device used in aiming a projectile, through which the person aiming looks at the intended target.
  6. A small aperture through which objects are to be seen, and by which their direction is settled or ascertained.  [quotations ▼]
    the sight of a quadrant
  7. (now colloquial) a great deal, a lot; frequently used to intensify a comparative.  [quotations ▼]
    a sight of money
    This is a darn sight better than what I’m used to at home!
  8. In a drawing, picture, etc., that part of the surface, as of paper or canvas, which is within the frame or the border or margin. In a frame, the open space, the opening.
  9. (obsolete) The instrument of seeing; the eye.  [quotations ▼]
  10. Mental view; opinion; judgment.  [quotations ▼]

Not a single one of those can be applied to that sentence. You mean ‘site’. And what bones? Gregory is lying down on a pile of bones? Since when? No one has said that. Anyway, why can’t Anita use her ‘beast’? Shouldn’t her beast be able to find one of her leopards?

Anita kneels on the ground ‘Indian fashion’. *swats with a plastic ruler* What does that even mean? Can’t you just say she knelt down without using an offensive descriptor? Anita is going to call the munin because…. she can’t use her other metaphysical abilities that might be useful.

The munin are the spirits of the dead, put into a sort of racial memory bank that can be access by lukoi who have the ability to speak with them.

‘Racial memory bank’. Werewolves aren’t a race. They’re not even a species. They cannot reproduce and create children that have inherited their characteristics. You fail biology.

Anita tries calling the munin but she can’t get in touch with them. Well, the only one she can find is Raina but Raina is always there.

Raina filled me like a hand inside a glove, and I was the glove.

Congratulations. I am melting like an icecube, for I am like a icecube put in a place to melt.

But I’d worked a long time to be able to control her. We’d worked out a deal of sorts. I used her memories and powers, and I let her have some fun. The problem was that Raina had been a sexually sadistic nymphomaniac when alive, and death hadn’t changed her much.

I don’t like that comma. And two issues;

  1. You let the spirit inside you that enjoys raping and torturing people to have ‘fun’. You’re a horrible person.
  2. I don’t see much of a difference between Raina and Anita any more.

Anyway, congrats Anita, you’re now being possessed by Raina. I guess that must be because we never see Anita make any attempts to better herself or improve her skill set.

“Anita?”

“Guess again, my honey wolf.”

He flinched at the nickname. In wolf form Richard is a ginger color, like red honey, though I’d never really thought of it like that before. Trust Raina to think of something thick and sticky when she looked at a man.

So… Richard is a different type of wolf from the other werewolves? Because wolves aren’t naturally different colours, like cats. Different species of wolves are different colours. And why did you switch to present tense? Anita starts to bicker with Raina and Jacob is totes surprised because Anita can’t call munin because she’s not lukoi because she’s totes going to be a wereleopard.

Raina likes Jacob but is totes shocked because Richard has ruined the pack. She wants to fix it and Anita agrees.

Either I had been corrupted, or Raina had never been quite as corrupt as I thought. I wasn’t sure which idea bothered me more.

Oh, I know what should bother you. You should be bothered you’re happy to be like a woman who liked to torture and rape people. Although there is no difference, really, between Raina and Anita now.

THAT IS A VERY BAD THING. I SHOULD BE ABLE TO TELL APART YOUR VILLAINS FROM YOUR HERO, IN A SERIES WHICH IS RELIANT ON BLACK AND WHITE MORALITY.

Anita asks Raina where Gregory is hidden. She gives a vague message that he’s in a hole on a pile of bones. Anita has a full on vision of what happened to Gregory which is incredibly vague. Raina fills her head with images of the people whose bones are in the pit. Anita flails around and cries. But she knows where Gregory is now, the only worry is having to repay Raina later.

You learnt diddly squat about controlling munin, Anita. You are useless.

Anita is angry that Richard put Gregory on a pile of bones and this makes Richard ANGRY. Anita gets ANGRY because someone made Gregory not able to turn (what else do you think would happen to him to stop him from running away?) and this means there’s someone who does ‘dirty work’.

Anita tries to punch Richard in the face and now all the werewolves are coming at her.

Well…. at least something is happening. It’s stupid and it took far too long to get to anything resembling a plot point, but it’s there. Somewhere.

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


A guy dances around on stage to the sound of panpipes while giving away jewellery to women in the crowd.

This is the world’s most boring stage show.

Look, the club has an Aztec theme. Why not make it like Alice Cooper’s stage shows – a gory and violent, almost cartoonish, story with a clear villain who is defeated by the forces of good in the end. Put in some music and a lot of fake blood and you’ve got a really fun stage show. This… is just boring. Really boring. I thought this series was meant to be really gory and intense and dark. What I’ve got is a bloke dancing to panpipes, the sort of thing you see at any folk festival around the world.

I don’t usually wax poetic about music, but this was different. Somehow you knew it wasn’t just a song, just something to listen to and forget, or hum in off moments. When you think of ritual music, you think of drums, something with a beat to remind us of our hearts, and the ebb and flow of our bodies. Some of it’s made to remind us of why the ritual is happening. All ritual at its heart is for the sake of divinity. All right, not all, but most. Most of it is yelling, hey God, look at me, look at us, hope you like it. We’re all just children at heart, hoping Dad or Mom likes the present we picked out.

Of course, sometimes Mom and Dad can have quite a temper.

  • OH MY GOD SHUT UP
  • I like how she immediately presumes that this must be ritualistic music, because dirty ethnic people can’t ever play music because it’s nice. NOPE always a ritual.
  • It’s just a single panpipe being played. That would not fill me with inspiration. That would make me think white people with dreadlocks are about to descend.
  • Well done for working out that ritualistic behaviour tends to be connected to spirituality.
  • Does that not just confirm that Anita’s mother was abusive? I mean, I know it’s using the God as father metaphor, but I still think Anita’s mother enjoyed smashing her daughter’s head into things.
  • Maybe her mother was psychic and knew what her daughter would become and was trying to save us all.

Cesar (i can’t be bothered to correctly accent this motherfucker) shoves his head in Anita’s hands so she can remove his jade earrings. Despite being ancient Aztec artefacts, they have modern earring backs which Anita can’t undo because she is no girly girl and has never worn earrings in her life. She has apparently never opened a clutch press and is an idiot. He then smashes his ‘flute’ – you said it was panpipes they are not the same – on the stage in front of the jaguar men.

Oh, and then the show becomes a mock sacrifice. It just needed a really long and boring opener. Anita instantly believes it’s real, because she’s a moron. The priest shoves a knife into Cesar’s ribs, which was not how the Aztec did it. And I can’t believe they made it campy and theatrical. They are actually stabbing Cesar, because the vampires in this series are morons.

“He can’t survive without his heart, not even a shapeshifter can survive that.”

“They won’t take his heart, I swear it.” [Dallas] stroked my hand where it gripped her like you’d soothe a nervous dog.

I leaned in close to her, and whispered, “If they take his heart when I could have stopped it, I’ll have your heart on a knife before I leave New Mexico. You still willing to swear?”

IT IS A STAGE SHOW

IT IS NOT REAL

WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID?

The priest talks about holding Cesar’s heart and waves around a hand covered in blood.

They cheered. They fucking cheered.

BECAUSE IT’S NOT REAL. IT’S A GORY STAGESHOW. IT’S FUN. DO YOU UNDERSTAND FUN?

Anita then bitches that she’s had enough of people into S&M, because… having your chest opened up on stage is clearly about getting your rocks off. CLEARLY. Then Anita is invited to meet Madam Master of the City. There’s a bit of hassle as Anita tried to wipe her hands clean of blood and then Itzpapalotl pops up in a red cloak next to her.

Itzapapalotl is ‘milky brown’ because no person of colour in these books is allowed to not be somehow connected to whiteness.

Her eyes were black, not brown, but truly black after the obsidian blade she was named for.

Her name means ‘obsidian butterfly’. She is not named after obsidian knives.

Anita sees skulls and wolves in Itzpapalotl’s eyes and oh god the descriptions last a page. She’s short with black hair. Edward pulls out a gun because why not. Papa knows immediately that Anita is a human servant, and Anita caves and tells her instantly. Papa says she will talk to Anita about the mutilations for the blood on her hands, which is Cesar’s. Although I thought the blood was Anita’s from when she cut open her thumb in the last chapter. Did LKH forget that happened? The group vote to go and meet Papa, and Dallas says it’s a high honour.

“I didn’t impress her. I attracted her,” I said.

Dallas frowned. “Attracted her. She likes men.”

why is everyone an idiot

This lets Anita boast about how much power she’s got and that there’s no real difference between arrogance and stupidity.

Oh, how right you are.

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


The greeting ceremony that had been interrupted last night was back on for tonight.

It wasn’t interrupted. Anita decided to go away and fight with vampires. The ceremony barely got a mention. LKH came up with something interesting that didn’t really go anywhere and thrust it into the plot where it sat and didn’t really do anything worthwhile.

Executing almost all of Colin’s vamps meant that Verne’s pack was in charge now. They had the personnel to keep Colin from making more vamps. Apparently, if there was no tie between vampires and wereanimals in an area, then whoever had the strength could rule over the others.

Why. Why does that mean vampires get to rule over wereanimals. Can’t you tell me why. Why won’t you ever explain your shitty worldbuilding.

Anyway, Anita walks out through the trees and says how wereanimals aren’t people (can you stop that.) and how it’s so obvious that they aren’t people because they look like people. Jamil walks up on her, probably waiting to get back for her cutting him, but Anita is preoccupied. The werewolf ghosts are ‘calling’ to her, and she’s just circling around being possessed.

Richard had informed me that my killing of Colin’s vamps inside the lupanar would be our gift, the gift that the visiting Ulfric and lupa gave to the resident pack.

The gift was usually a freshly killed animal, jewelry for the lupa, or something mystical.

Oh, so the man gets the mystical stuff and the killed animal, but the woman gets jewellery. Because a woman would never want anything else.

Anita complains about how she isn’t allowed to have her gun, but she still has that huge knife down her back.

The big knife down my spine was still invisible unless you looked really hard at my back.

A two foot knife is not invisible, unless it has some sort of spell cast upon it to make it literally invisible.

Let me demonstrate.

TPhoto_00082

I’m using this roll of gift wrap as my stand in super illegal sword.

TPhoto_00083

If I wear it as Anita wears her knife, you can see how obvious it is that I have a roll of gift wrap stuffed down the back of my shirt. It also makes it really hard to turn my head around and move easily, so it’s a really stupid way to carry a weapon around.

Anita then goes on about her new favourite toy, a four-inch switchblade that is massively illegal. She is so insufferably smug about how her ‘friends’ found her this perfect knife and I just want her to stop.

Anyway, the wereleopards arrive and everyone starts going on about how amazing it is that Anita can feel the call of the werewolves, even though she’s joined in a mystical bond with a werewolf and is the co-leader of a werewolf pack. In short, it’s hard to act as if something is wonderful and amazing when it’s entirely expected.

Richard isn’t with them, as he’s with his family. That is where I would expect him to be, considering he was in a police cell for X amount of days.

His mother just hadn’t understood why he couldn’t stay longer. All of the Zeeman men were so pussy whipped – ah, henpecked, sorry.

I’m sorry, but when a mother asks to see her son when he’s been confined in a cell and accused of a disgusting crime, I am not going to call her a horrendous nagging harpy. I am going to call her a mother who has been intensely stressed and not knowing whether her son is going to prison and is overjoyed that he has been released. But no, we must throw around sexist insults for the crime of ‘wanting to spend time with your child’.

Anita finally works out that, oh yeah, the reason why she’s being affected by werewolf magic is because she’s magically joined with Richard. Tell me, when did it become so bad to have a character that was intelligent? Jason touches her shoulder, and Raina’s memories flood into her head. Everyone crowds around her, and then Anita falls on the floor, rolling around and screaming. I should feel sorry for her, but I’m enjoying her pain right now.

Anita ends up sharing the memories with Jason and Cherry – Cherry who, it turns out, was forced into having sex with Raina, and starts freaking out because she can smell her and bursts into tears. Why isn’t Cherry the heroine of this series? I like Cherry. Anyway, there is mass confusion over this but luckily the pack’s witch turns up in the right amount of time to explain this all away.

Anita accuses her of not being a werewolf as Marianne – the witch – doesn’t ‘taste’ like a werewolf. Marianne makes her own energy, and praises Anita for using the word ‘taste’ instead of ‘feel’ as ‘feel’ is too imprecise. If it were me, I’d say that taste has a very specific context whereas feel can be used appropriately in either context. Marianne isn’t a werewolf anyway, but instead of being made interesting in her own right, she is yet another fawner.

They all start talking about how there might be fight, as Richard is being a knob by running around and sleeping with all the women and being all dominant. So, not making any effort to fit into the local pack at all then. Anita then says how much she looks like Red Riding Hood which… no. Anita, you’re walking into the woods in a massive group of people, and you’re not a little girl. It doesn’t work on any level. Marianne tries making some jokes but Anita threatens her in response. She has the nerve to call Marianne ‘condescending’ then outright call her a ‘backcountry wisewoman’ so, you know, a hick.

Marianne asks to touch Anita’s hand to judge how powerful she is. The pack thinks Anita will steal all their powers because, you know, hicks. Anita reluctantly holds out her left hand. Marianne tells her this is an insult. Anita refuses to change, as how dare you ask that she respect your culture.

They start sensing each others auras. This confirms that they are both powerful. Anita can sense that Marianne has an artificial valve in her heart, but only yells at Marianne when she tries to explain it. The sound turns Anita on and she decides she would like to kill Marianne. Anita seems to be worried by this, but I don’t see what’s so different from normal.

 

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


Three o’clock in the morning, and Anita’s rolling into the police station. A sly comment by Zerbrowski about how high the slit is on Anita’s dress reminds me that she’s still wearing the stupid thing.

Coming into the RIP squad room, the place is full of penguins. You see, now everyone knows about Anita’s collection, they’ve been taking the piss out of her ever since. Stuffed toy penguins have been showing up at every single crime scene for the past six months. Funny once or twice. It’s a fucking campaign after this amount of time. As the only woman and the only Hispanic on the team, you’d think Anita would have had words with people before now.

Dolph is in the interview room with the victim, and now Anita is blaming Zerbrowski for calling the woman the ‘supposed victim’. No, you did that yourself lady. The squad then shout sexual comments at Anita.

Zerbrowski was waiting on the stairs for me. “I don’t know whether you’ll flash me more leg if I walk in front of you, looking back, or behind you. I think in front.”

“Push it too far, Zerbrowski, and I’ll tell Katie on you.”

“She knows I’m a lech.”

And yet you continue, showing how much disrespect you have for the woman you say you love.

“How did you ever convince Katie to date you, let alone marry you?”

“I got her drunk,” he said.

I don’t like Zerbrowski.

Anita goes up to Dolph, who is described as looking like a pro-wrestler because that’s very normal, and they all make snide comments about how they want Anita to flash them. Anita is shown into the interview room, where Vicki Pierce has just finished talking to Dolph. Vicki has been crying, and Anita says that she has big blue eyes and has been plying Dolph with wiles.  Vicki says that she’s tired and wants to go home. She tries pleading with Anita, saying that it’s hard being around all men after being assaulted.

You’d think RIP would have more female officers for instances like these.

Anita thinks it’s all an act (and seeing as Anita is suspicious of her, I’m guessing Vicki will turn out to be evil) so decides to stand right next to her, deliberately invading Vicki’s personal space. Vicki asks if she’s a lawyer, so Anita tries to steamroll her so the interview isn’t stopped. Vicki starts to tell her story, which is that she had car trouble and went into the bar to phone a car, but Anita immediately pooh-poohs it by saying that Vicki is giving too much information and is justifying herself.

Like, I don’t know, a woman trying to make a group of unsympathetic detectives believe that she was attacked without her consent?

Anita thinks how it’s all so rehearsed and that Vicki is an icky chain-smoker, as if chain smoking is a sign of pure evil. To me, it’s what people do when they’re in a stressful situation. Vicki continues her story regardless, saying she was bitten and didn’t realise the vamp was a vamp until that moment. She responded by throwing her drink in his face and lighting his face on fire. She’d heard vamps were afraid of fire, and that he’d leave her alone.

Anita asks why didn’t Vicki suspect that the vampire might be made angry. Because when you’ve been attacked in a public place and defend yourself, your mind immediately thinks ‘oh, how will this impact my attacker??’

Anita and Dolph then purposefully confuse Vicki over whether or not she knew that vampires were combustible, and pull apart her story. They say Vicki should have known Burnt Offerings was a vampire hangout (‘you should have known men would be in that bar’) because a family friendly restaurant is clearly the first place for a vampire to go.

“It’s not in the vampire district,” she said. “How was I to know that it was a vampire bar?”

“How about the picture of Christopher Lee as Dracula on the sign outside?” I said.

Guess that makes my local movie memorabilia shop a vampire hang out. Or the Count Dracula Club restaurant in Budapest.

And again – this place is a family friendly restaurant. Hardly a hip and happening nightspot. It’s not the place I’d want to go if I were a vamp on the pull.

Vikci bursts into tears and wants to know why they’re treating her like a criminal. She pulls away the bandage to show off the bite. It’s just two small holes, nothing else.

Apparently this means that Vicki is lying and was bitten before she came in, because it should have bruising around it if the vampire sucks but doesn’t feed. Vicki’s story made it sound like the vamp just sunk fangs in before she shoved him off, but who am I to argue with the vampire expert? Dolph and Anita quickly decide Vicki must be some kind of extremist with an agenda against vampires. She’s even a trained actress, so she must have been lying!

“Why did you need me? You had it all solved.”

“The bite, the fact that vampires burn that easily…” He shook his head. “None of this shit is in the literature.”

“The books aren’t designed for police work, Dolph.”

Of course! Why would you want your police force to do their jobs? Why would you want them to investigate and prevent crime? Just have them waste thousands of dollars on being fucking creepy to the only woman in the team! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Anita sighs about how much damage this will all do to the vampire community, and Dolph and her discuss the issue of the segregation of vampire communities and businesses. Dolph is all for it. Yeah, separate but equal. The government can just pull out all the signs they have from the last time they did it! They just have to repaint them. It’s like recycling.

Dolph finally notices that Anita has a serious hand injury and is furious she’s invovled with something else. He threatens to throw her in jail, before he remembers that shit like that is massively illegal. He then teases about how she’s killed so many people but the police have only been able to prove two of them.

ahahahahahaidon’tfindthatfunny

Anita smiles and says she’ll get her federal badge and then she’ll be above the laugh.

HA HA HA

Anita leaves for home, as she’s tired and we’re finally reaching a midpoint, and thinks about how sad she is that Dolph is so grumpy with her. Oh, he just hates vampires so much! And that’s meant to be endearing! And if he gets any more suspicious, he’ll find all those illegal murders she did and she’ll get put in prison!

Oh how charming *vomits profusely*

I’d used my animating powers to kill humans. If it could be proved, it was an automatic death sentence. A death sentence for someone who had used magic to kill was not the same sort of sentence as, say, an axe murderer got. A guy could chop up his family and spend the next fifteen years on death row with appeals. There are no appeals for magic-induced murder. Trial, conviction, death within six weeks, usually less.

Bullshit. Sorry, but all criminals have a right to appeal. It’s sort of illegal to take that away. And automatic death sentence? I don’t think the law works that way. It takes a lot of judiciary process to try someone under the death sentence. There’s a lot of hoops to jump through, and I don’t think you can mark someone up for the death sentence with just one fucking stamp, and no thinking.

The last witch burnt alive by a mob in this country was only in 1953.

Bullshit.

Look, mobs do horrendous things (still do), but I don’t think mass mobs would burn people alive in the fifties. They didn’t even do it during the height of the witch craze in the seventeenth century.

Her name was Agnes Simpson.

Like I believe a mob in the fifties was hunting down white women.

I’d seen the black-and-white photos of her death. Anyone who studied preternatural anything had to have her picture in at least one textbook. The photo that stayed with me was one in which her face was untouched, pale, even from a distance terror plain in her face. Her long brown hair moving in the heat but not yet burning. Only her nightgown and robe had caught fire. Her head thrown back, screaming. The photo won the Pulitzer Prize. The rest of the photos aren’t seen as often. A progression of photographs that ends with her burned and blackened and dead.

Anita then goes on a pretentious ramble about how maybe the Pulitzer Prize is a charm against nightmares, but what annoys me is that she just says this. She has no emotional connection to it. She doesn’t even pass judgement on it, only the photographer. She doesn’t think anything. It is just something she knows. This frustrates me about LKH’s writing style. She doesn’t make connections. Things happen. They just exist. They make no impact.

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


Updates are going to be fairly patchy over the next two weeks – I’ve got a work experience internship at SFX, the sci fi magazine! I’m heading down to Bath tomorrow evening, and I’m starting on Monday. I’m so excited, and I’ve been waiting for it for a year for this! It’s going to be very cool, so just be aware that I may have to delay being upset about Anita for some evenings.

Anita is waking up and realises that someone with long hair is sat on the bed and staring at her. No, it’s not JC. It’s Cassandra, wearing a voluminous white lace nightgown.

Yes, Victorian nightgown. She looked delicate, doll-like.

Yeah, almost like like that blouse you wore in the last novel. Almost like you’re judging Cassandra for having the exact same fashion tastes as you have. Strangely hypocritical.

Anita had panicked and pulled out her gun so she starts to calm down. She warns Cassie against bothering her in her sleep, while saying that she’s uncomfortable with sharing a bed. She stresses how it’s so not a sexual thing, which I find odd. I’m not overly fond of sharing a bed with people but that’s because I like my own space. Why must LKH always drag sex into everything?

Cassie says that Richard and JC are chatting outside about some sort of plan. JC said to not bother getting dressed, which sets off both mine and Anita’s creep alarms. Anita gets dressed, the whole while thinking about how Cassie just looks so silly and childish and that tomorrow is the big fight between Richard and Marcus.

You said tomorrow yesterday.

Anita thinks about how much she loves Richard and how she wished the clothing she brought was not practical. I guess when you watch your boyfriend tear someone apart you really want to wear your evening gown. The specks of blood and flesh will just make the colour pop. She… walks back into her room, and Richard is standing around in his boxers and JC in a floor-length robe with a fur collar. Richard’s boxers are too tight so Anita must force herself to look at JC. Lordy.

“Do you remember some months ago, before Christmas, when we accidentally set off some sort of magical energy in your apartment?” Jean-Claude asked.

POWER.

Every time she talks about POWER I think of Jeremy Clarkson. He seems oddly appropriate here.

“Monsieur Zeeman and I believe that the three of us could share power, become a triumvirate.”

I looked from one to the other. “Explain.”

“There is a link between myself and wolves. There is a link between you, my little necromancer, and the dead. Lust and love have always held a magical energy. I can show you individual spells that can use the link between vampire and their animal, between necromancer and vampire. We should not be surprised there is power between us.”

“Make your point,” I said.

Jean-Claude smiled. “I believe we could call up enough power to back down a certain Ulfric. I know Marcus. He will not fight if he believes he has no hope of winning.”

He should know he has no hope of winning, seeing as the whole pack don’t support him. How stupid is Marcus, if he doesn’t realise the blindingly obvious?

JC can bind the two of them as human servants without any vampire marks and they will work as a sort of… tri…force. JC then demands that Anita must wear her sexiest lingerie, as to form this triforce they must all be enflamed with lust.

Yeah, and this lusty triforce will be nothing compared to the power of a simple, unblock-able kill spell. I mean, seriously, I can’t rate the power of lust against the power of Avada Kedavra.

Even though both of them promise this will not involve sex, Anita immediately screams her head off at the possibility of what she keeps referring to as a ménage a trois when she could just call it a threesome and stop being so coy about it. She screams about JC feeding on Jason – which she already knew about, she knew that Jason is JC’s pet – and that JC always has ulterior motives. Are you only just picking up on that now?

Anita stops screaming to start crying. She does not want to have JC permanently in her life. She is genuinely upset and distressed about this, so Richard guilt trips her into agreeing by saying that if Anita really hated JC this much, she’d have killed him a long time ago.

You were doing so well, Richard. You were doing so well.

Anita finally agrees. I’m actually feeling sorry for her again. She is surrounded by the worst of people.