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


The living room was dark as I entered the house.

Well, you’ve been out. So it would be. Anita goes instantly into raptures about how the leopards can see in the dark and therefore they don’t need to turn the lights on. This would be more impressive if, you know, I didn’t need lights to walk around my home at night. Because I know where things are and I can see enough in the dark to get around without  walking into things. Like most people.

She doesn’t want to go into the bedroom, because Nathaniel and Micah are awful fucking people and won’t leave her house. She decides to call JC then decides that would be ‘cowardice’. The phone rings and it’s ‘Teddy’, a cultured werewolf who is also a bodybuilder that we’ve never met before and are likely to never meet again. He’s calling to let Anita know that Gil the werefox is in the hospital. Because she’s obviously the fucking person to call about shapeshifter news? Gil was in a car accident when some dude ran a red light. Gil was seriously injured, and is now handcuffed to the bed and the police are preparing to put him in a ‘safe house’.

Safe houses were really prisons for lycanthropes. They’d been designed originally for new lycanthropes, so you had someplace safe to go during your first few full moons. It was a good idea, since the first few moons could turn into a killing spree, unless you had other shapeshifters to watch over you. The newly furry spent a first full moons with no memory of what they’d done, and very little human int hem while they were in animal form. The safe houses were a good idea in theory, but in practice, once oyu went in, they never let you out. You never had enough control to pass their tests and get out. You were dangerous and would always be dangerous. The ACLU had begun the legal battles on grounds of illegal imprisonment without due process, but so far they were still bad places to be sent.

Oh gods, not this again.

This? Does not work. At all. LKH has been trying to tie the werewolves into some sort of civil rights thing, because too many people use werewolves and vampires as metaphors for those who suffer ongoing prejudice in the modern world.

The problem is that it doesn’t fucking work in the AB universe. People can fight against the prejudices of racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, etc, etc, (and the fact that I have to put an etc is fucking miserable) because there’s no basis to hate people for anything.

But AB werewolves? There’s a huge fucking reason to detain them permanently. They go into a murderous frenzy in the presence of blood. Their pack structure involves murder and rape. They eat their romantic partners alive if they don’t concentrate hard enough during sex.

There is no reason to be prejudiced towards people of different ethnicities, sexual identities, or genders. There is every fucking reason for the government to consider werewolves in this world to be a danger to other people. Because they are. They are uncontrollable murderous rapists, and there’s no reason given in the text why  the US government shouldn’t take an interest in keeping them contained.

Anita also gets cross that the hospital team are wearing ‘full hazardous material gear’ while treating Gil, as LKH is still treating ‘werewolfism’ as a metaphor for the AIDS crisis.

I’d wear a biohazard suit if I had to treat a shapeshifter in the AB universe. You think I’d want to be a unrepentant murder and part of the bullshit pack system?

Teddy then wants Anita to deal with some pack member who’s loosing control in a bar.

OH, AND WEREWOLVES ARE PERFECTLY SAFE, EH? AND WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU CALLING ANITA? WHAT THE FUCK CAN SHE DO? SHOOT HIM?

And then Teddy tuts at Anita for swearing. What the hell? Ugh. She’s got to go because… um, PLOT DEMANDS IT. She suggests that Micah would be better suited, which is fair. He comes into the room and Anita stares blankly at his abs. strong independent woman…. She hands the phone to Micah and he doesn’t want to deal with it.

Even though he’s head of the stupidly named coalition and is therefore responsible for maintaining the ‘respectability’ and safety of the shapeshifters in the city.

“Nathaniel has many fine skills, but this isn’t one of them.”

“You’re not really good at either,” he said, with a smile to soften the harsh truth.

I smiled back, because he was sooo right.

Unless you are writing about teenagers or doing a section with text or IM speech, do not use ‘sooo’ in the body of your narrative. It is childish.

Anyway, this means that Anita now has to deal with the ardeur with Nathaniel. Look at how that worked out. All neat and that.

batman glare

That doesn’t count as smart plotting. If you couldn’t make this happen naturally, then you’re a shit writer.

And then Damian the vampire walks in. Remember him? It’s okay if you don’t, LKH gives a whole page of backstory for him, otherwise you’d never fucking remember who he was. He’s Anita’s vampire servant and is a total non-character. Anita then blathers on about how vampires in the States are ‘more civilised’. Yeah, the stalky, murdery, rapey vampires are just so civilised and follow the law.

Damian must have come straight from work, because though he, like most of the vamps from Europe, almost never wore jeans and tennis shoes, he also didn’t like dressing up as much as Jean-Claude insisted on.

WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT

WHY THE FUCK DOES LKH THINK EVERYONE IN EUROPE GOES AROUND IN FURS AND DIAMONDS ALL THE TIME

I wear jeans and trainers all the shitting time. Whether or not I ‘dress up’ has nothing to fucking to do with the fact that I’m European.

Damian is dressed as a pirate for some reason. He works in a nightclub. Why the shit is he dressed as a pirate? Damian and Anita start talking about flirting and his gemstone eyes and how he can’t have sex with people while he’s working. He then starts whining that he needs his own room in the house because he wants to bring home people to fuck. This is purely to make Anita uncomfortable, as she is not happy with the thought of having strangers in the house. He goes on about how she is his master, and that he wants her to ‘touch me’.

Anita’s hugely uncomfortable with all this and isn’t happy with how he’s acting. He gets in her face about ‘warm, wet, soft bodies’ and how he can’t trust strangers because they might kill him. Anita says how she’s got a crick in her neck from him being so close, so he grabs her and puts her on a kitchen counter, face to face now.

“You have but to tell me stop, and I will stop.”

Hmmmm. Damian freaks out because Anita gives him ‘peaceful eyes’. Well, I’d be pretty upset if someone just handed me a pair of eyeballs. He’s upset because of all this punishment and grabs her so hard he injures Anita. She finally says that he oughta fucking stop and get out her face. He’s angry because, like every other fucking guy in this world, he has some implicit right to stick his undead peener in her vagina.

Nathaniel comes in while Anita’s practically on the verge of crying because of how she treated Damian – not that he physically hurt her, and didn’t give a shit, no, that’s A-FUCKING-OK. Then it’s peanut butter ardeur time.

Something about how being meeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaannnnnnn to Damian means there’s some sort of vague price to be paid.

I have no fucking idea why.

WHY THINGS HAPPEN

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


Um, sorry for the huge posting gap.

Tonight marks the night where my very first play will receive its very first public performance. So I’ve been a bit busy with that! And with other things happening in my life and everything’s been rather super stressful for me so I abandoned public stuff to focus on my work. So I hope you all can forgive me for that.

Plus, I got a new budgie.

IMAG0089[1]

This is Nicky! He’s about 12 weeks old, he likes spinach, and he has a small claw deformity. He likes foraging on the ground and is about twice the size Edgar is already. He’s a little guzzle guts and he doesn’t sing, he squeals.

But, yes, Anita Blake. She was being forced to have sex with Asher because, um, REASONS.

Asher comes into JC’s boudoir. He’s wearing a white suit –

– and Anita thinks it looks awful. Anita is freaking out on the carpet, because that’s how I like my sex scenes to start. With one of the ‘consenting adults’ having a panic attack. JC says they want to involve him and Asher boggles at them.

I was still huddled on the rug at his feet, staring at Asher like he was the fox and I was the rabbit.

THAT IS NOT HEALTHY

Anita is unhappy and is made unhappier still by the fact that JC says that she must make a decision. She freaks out at the idea of consenting to sex. *headdesks*

I tried to smooth my numb hands down my legs to touch my skirt and found only my hose. The navy skirt was too short for me to have been sitting the way I was. If there’d been anyone in the room to see, they’d have been able to tell my underwear matched it.

  • Is LKH the pen name of a cis-male writer? Because there’s no way anyone who wears a skirt on a regular basis doesn’t know how to sit down without flashing their pants. Well, anyone under six or seven when it doesn’t matter if people see your pants.
  • Is your skirt a belt?
  • There are two other people in the room.
  • Your underwear matches what? Your tights or your skirt?

Anita is apparently upset because Asher is in danger because she was a fucking idiot. Well, I’m not going to argue with that. She touches Asher on the face and he freaks out. Yeah, he doesn’t like his women to consent. I remember. But no, he’s unhappy because Anita might think he’s disgusting and ugly because she’s incredibly shallow and wouldn’t deign to sleep with someone with a disfigurement unless she knew they had once been handsome.

Yep. Anita goes on a big paragraph about how she knows how glorious his body used to look, which is supposed to be all noble and shit, but is pretty disgusting because Anita’s basically saying ‘I’m only considering fucking you because you used to look good. You’re a freak, but you were nice once upon a time’.

You’re disgusting Anita.

Asher is confused as to what Anita wants and it takes him a while to understand. Then he’s struck by how selfless Anita is.

“She will do anything to keep her people safe, even take a cripple to her bed for one night.”

How noble Anita is, considering letting someone with a disfigurement put his penis inside her. And you’re not a cripple, Asher. You are not disabled. There is no impediment to your life other than your angst. Asher will not sleep with Anita because she’s initiated it  as it will ‘weaken’ Anita and JC. Anita manipulates Asher by saying how much she loves him.

Anita doesn’t even want to sleep with Asher. This is so messed up. If you want a vampire threesome, I’m not going to judge you! I’m not going to judge you for writing porn! But, nope, you have to wrap it up in this bullshit goody-goody girl nonsense, because it’s bad for women to enjoy and want sex. They have to be forced into it. Fuck this horseshit. I’d write a good version of a vampire threesome, but I’m shit at writing sex scenes, asexuality and all.

Here’s a Dottie writing challenge for you all. Write a great vampire threesome story. No plot, just actual porn with no hand-wringing, emotional manipulation, or consent issues. Hell, I’ll even give you two characters! I have a long-burning supernatural series, and this is one of the vampires from it. Arsinoe, a two thousand year old vampire who was a Ptolemaic princess in life. She’s Grecian, with dark skin, light blondey-brown hair, and a prominent Roman nose. She identifies as a lesbian and she has a girlfriend, who she calls Leda. Arsinoe is borderline sociopathic and enjoys inflicting pain. Leda was once a Parisian streetwalker, and Arsinoe found her while she was working. She’s olive skinned with black hair. She lives with Arsinoe, and enjoys access to money, material goods, and fine society. They live in the years before the French Revolution. Sometimes, they go walking the streets together. Go. Whatever you come up with, it’s better than this mess.

“I don’t know how much was Jean-Claude’s memories at first, but whatever it began as, I do love you. Me, no one else.”

“Yet you have not taken me to your bed.”

“I love a lot of people that I don’t sleep with. Okay, that I don’t have sex with. I want you to come to bed tonight, please, Asher, and not just for sleeping.”

Remember kids: sexual love is the only kind of love that matters.

Asher pouts because she surely will abandon him in the morning. She will not love him toooomorrrroowwww.

“You took four men into that bed over there, four of us, yet you have sex with only Jean-Claude. You feed the ardeur from Nathaniel, but you have not fucked him.” He let go of my hands and shook his head, laughing. “Only you could have the strength of will to sleep night after night beside such beauty and not take all that Nathaniel had to offer. I have met saints and priests over the centuries that had not your will to resist temptation.”

dagrrhrghgbbbbbbrrrrr

Um, Anita got a handjob from Jason and sucked Nathaniel’s cock. Again, penetrative sex is the only sex that counts, which makes no sense. And, yeah, Anita is more saintly than actual fucking saints. You’d think Catholic rage would set in from Anita but nope, she doesn’t give a shit about her faith. Asher is annoyed that Anita is friends with Jason as how dare people have sex with people but not be in love with them!

Anita says this is all so embarrassing, because she’s just a good girl at heart tee hee hee, and Asher pouts because he just doesn’t want to force Anita to sleep with someone with a disfigurement. He brings up Micah and is all confuzzled that Micah is okay with Anita being in an open relationship.

I don’t get why Asher is all astonished by this. This is still the guy who lived in an open threesome with JC, right?

“He seems perfect for you,” Asher said, voice full of soft irony.

My voice is soft bronzy. I can only take that LKH meant the metals, as I have no idea what is supposed to be ironic in that sentence. Is she lampshading the fact that Micah is a rapist and an arsehole?

Asher pouts that if Anita only sleeps with him once, he’ll go and find another place to live. Great, more emotional manipulation! Anita is upset because she just can’t make decisions, damnit, and she can’t have sex with someone and not love them. She imprints on people, like a sexual duckling. Asher then goes on about how she’d be making a huge sacrifice by sleeping with someone with a disfigurement.

LKH, your attitude regarding disability and disfigurement is absolutely disgusting. You cannot seem to comprehend why people would find disabled people sexually attractive. I… have nothing to say to that. I just find your ableism baffling.

Anita launches into a big BUT I LOVE YOU speech. The speech would have more emotional impact if we ever saw Anita and Asher interact, ever saw any of the things mentioned, and if Asher hadn’t wanted to violently rape Anita when he was first introduced.

“I love the way your hair shines in the light. I love the way you smile when you’re not trying to hide or impress anyone. I love your laughter. I love the way your voice can hold sorrow like the taste of rain. I love the way you watch Jean-Claude when he moves through a room, when you don’t think anyone’s watching, because it’s exactly the way I watch him. I love your eyes. I love your pain. I love you.”

Anita loves Asher specifically because he’s in pain. What. The. Fuck.

Plus, it would have been nice to see any of this in any of the books. Show, don’t tell. Basic rule of writing.

Asher and Anita kiss. I do not care one single bit. The only thing I care about is getting some actual interesting vampire threesomes from my readers.

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


I’m too hot, I’m cramping, and I have a burnt tongue.

It’s time to review some bad fiction.

“I see what you mean about being practical,” Micah said.

Anita can’t even rehem a dress. She’s not practical in the slightest. Anita launches into woe mode, as she is such a sociopath.

“I don’t think you’re a sociopath, Anita. I think you do what needs to be done to protect your pard.”

What, like letting them get brutally tortured for hours at a time? She’s such an amazing leader. Micah nods and agrees with everything Anita has ever done (and ever will do) but thinks that Richard is right as well. What do you agree with, Micah? Richard and Anita have opposing viewpoints. You can’t agree with them both – not when the argument is whether a man should die! You can’t half brutally murder Gregory.

It made me tired that Micah agreed with me. I wasn’t in love with him.

What? People can only agree with each other when they’re in romantic love? What? WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY?

Micah announces that he is going to shower now but that he wants to sill talk to Anita. Anita is trying to run off and get JC out of prison, but hey, that can wait. Even though JC is the established character and the easiest way to piss off a fanbase is to suddenly proclaim a brand new character the perfectest and bestest and the most important character ever at the expense of established characters. Anyway, he’s showering all that blood away and saying that Anita is the most powerful leopard queen he’s ever ever ever met.

He turns around and Anita can see the great big chunks she ripped out of his flesh. He calls them ‘love bites’ which makes me heave. They’re not healing because wounds inflicted by shapeshifters to shapeshifters take longer to heal.

No. No. The last nine books proved that is bullshit. You have created rules. Follow them.

Anita remembers some continuity and remarks that when she bit Verne in Blue Moon, it was considered horribly rude. But, nope, to wereleopards it means ‘the sex was good’.

So all wereleopard sex has to involve people biting chunks out of each other. Why? Why must all wereleopards be into pain?

They exchange vague talk about how Micah could do great things for the pard based on… him being nude in a shower. Micah says he will be honoured if Anita lets him accompany her to the meeting with Richard tomorrow.

His hands slid downward, trailing white suds over his stomach, his hips, then slid between his legs, working the soap over himself.

Do wereleopards flirt by wanking off in front of you? Because that’s sexual harassment, and I don’t have to take it. Plus, would it kill you to say penis?

I knew from my own experience of getting the stuff off me that you had to scrub more where it had touched you, but his hands stayed until he was slick, thick with bubbles, and partially erect by the time his hands slid to his thighs.

… did you just explain using soap to your audience? what.

Anita just stares with her mouth open. She tries to make her excuses and get away, but Micah says it’s okay to be attracted to him and that as they’re specially born wereleopard leaders, they’re destined to be attracted to each other.

Can you stop writing like a child? Because it’s that level of stupid.

Micah soaps his shoulders. Anita stares at him until the soap slides all the way to his waist.

“You’re an attractive man, naked, covered in soap. I’m human, so sue me.”

Ick. Soap is not sexy. Soap is, you know, soapy. Whipped cream. Chocolate. Strawberries. Those are erotic things to be covered in. Soap… is soapy. It dries your skin out and it burns in intimate areas.

Those huge yellow green eyes suddenly looked perfectly at home in his face.

Where were they before? Floating around his head?

Micah says how amazing and rare it was for them to share their beasts – don’t Anita and Richard do that all the time? – then grabs her and pulls her into the shower.

I was shaking my head, and finally stopped moving with him. He kept pulling on the towel and it unwrapped, starting to slide down my body. I grabbed it, holding it just below my suddenly bare breasts.

“No,” I said, my voice strangled, but I repeated it. “No.”

He stepped him into me, pressing the slick hardness of him against my lower hand and arm. He tried to uncurl my fingers from the towel, and I held on for dear life. “Touch me, Anita, cup me in your hands.”

“No.”

“I know you want to, I can smell it,” he said.

Arousal DOES NOT mean consent. And I have no idea how this scene differs from the original rapey hardback edition, but this is still pretty fucking rapey. Anita says ‘No’ three times and Micah doesn’t listen to her, just tells her that she wants it so hard fucking luck because she’s going to have sex anyway. She told him no, clearly does not want to have sex with him, but he’s going to just rape her because ~*destiny*~.

FUCK YOU MICAH. I’M WILL CRUSH THAT GIANT DICK OF YOURS BETWEEN TWO BRICKS. I AM FED UP OF READING ABOUT RAPE.

“You’re a stranger. I don’t do strangers.”

“I’m not a stranger. I’m your Nimir-Raj, and you are my Nimir-Ra. We could never be strangers.”

You only met an hour ago. You are strangers. Plus, look, she’s saying NO A FUCKING GAIN.

Micah just starts kissing her and mouth raping her. Anita can taste soap which is disgusting. Licking a soap bar is not my idea of a sexy time. Anita opens her mindlink with JC and he makes her respond to Micah’s sexual overtures.

  • Anita said no, but Micah said they must have sex.
  • Anita said no, but Micah mouthraped her.
  • Anita says no, but JC starts forcing her to enjoy and respond.
  • THIS IS RAPE.
  • THIS IS RAPE.
  • FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP WRITING RAPES.

Micah rubs his cock on her crotch. Anita isn’t really paying attention, as she’s trying to get some answers out of JC. He’s blathering on about how she must feed on his lust and how she now has JC’s demon.

Okay, skip the bolded parts of you have triggers. Because this is really disturbing.

I found I did have a voice and said, “Micah, stop, please stop.”

Micah licked the back of my neck, and I shuddered, pressed against the wet wall.

“Please, Micah, I’m not on birth control.” A clear thought at last.

He bit softly at the back of my neck. “I had myself fixed two years ago. You’re safe with me, Anita.”

“Please, Micah, please don’t.”

He bit harder, just this side of drawing blood. and my body went passive, calm. It was as if he’d hit a switch I didn’t know I had. When he pressed himself inside me, he was slick, and I knew that sometime when I’d been paying attention to Jean-Claude inside my head, he’d spread more soap on himself, allowing that thick hardness to slide more easily inside me.

He pinned me to the wall and slid inside me, one tight inch at a time. It wasn’t that he was long so much as he was wide – wide enough that it was just this side of pain to have him work himself inside me, even with the soap.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a more graphic or realistic rape scene. Because there is no way to argue that as consensual. Anita is begging him to stop, but Micah hurts her until she is quiet and passive. He forces himself inside her and it’s painful. This is rape, and it’s being presented to us as consensual sex. Anita starts to enjoy this as she grows wetter but still says ‘I didn’t want sex’. It reads as a scene from a Victorian book – that it’s not rape of you have a reaction.

No. This is rape. It’s horrible, brutal, and humiliating.

And, DEAR GOD, you should not put soap in your vagina! Sorry, I felt that needed to be commented on. Soap is a terrible lubricant.

I don’t want to look over the rest of the chapter, because LKH is desperately trying to sell this mess as being consensual and that Anita likes it really. It’s not rape if you’re wet, after all. Micah pounds her as hard as he can, because he’s a disgusting rapist cunt, and Anita ‘feeds’ on him.

They hug when he’s done.

I started to cry. He was afraid he’d hurt me, but that wasn’t it. I couldn’t explain the tears to him, because I didn’t want to say it out loud.

She’s crying because she’s now a ‘monster’.

Anita, sweetheart, you’re crying because a stranger brutally raped you while your boyfriend, someone who professes to love you, forced you to enjoy it.

God, I’m welling up. This was appalling.

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


Anita has found a soul in the house.

She asks Ramirez if anyone died in the house. He denies this, citing the fact that there are just spots of blood in the house. Wow. He is officially the least imaginative or inquisitive police officer ever.

There was blood like black juice soaked into the carpet.

Wow. Again. That’s such a… imaginative and visceral description right there. It reminds me of when I split Ribena on the carpet! Anita realises that Ramierz is right because she can’t find any other signs of death, meaning that her asking him was entirely pointless.

Marks come rushing in, demanding that Anita leave the crime scene. He starts shoving her out of the door with a perfect reason why.

“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

‘Hi, my name is Lieutenant Marks and I’ll be your strawman for this evening’. God forbid she create a human being for once.

I rose on tiptoe and planted a big kiss on his mouth. He stumbled back, pushing away from me so hard that he fell into the bedroom and left me pushed into the hallway beyond. Masculine laughter filled the hallway. Two bright spots of color flamed on Marks’ cheeks as he lay panting on the carpet.

“You’re lying on your evidence, Marks,” I said.

This is an adult gritty paranormal thriller. This is how a grown woman thinks adults behave. I’m fairly sure that this is how aliens write people interacting.

Edward reveals that Marks has gotten her kicked off the case, and neither of them understand why this is happened. I figured it was probably because Marks witnessed her kicking a colleague in the face.

“Where’s that famous temper of yours?”

“Maybe I’m growing up,” I said.

AH AH AH WHAT A STORY ANITA

Anita tells Edward about the soul she found, and has to explain the whole AB universe soul thing for Edward’s benefit, but mainly the audience’s. Edward then reveals that despite Anita being told that the whole family was in hospital, they actually have a son who is missing. Because lord knows someone investigating a crime can’t be told the details of a crime, that would just be bonkers!

Edward is impressed by Anita’s ‘deductive reasoning’ that if two out of three people are in the hospital, that other person is missing.

Edward says he’ll take Anita out to lunch, and that he’s got copies of all the relevant documents for Anita to peruse at leisure. Why?

“I told you the Santa Fe police like Ted.”

Yeah, they like a bounty hunter enough to just give him confidential files on an ongoing case. That’s how the police work! You just show up with a smile and a can-do attitude and suddenly, you’re given information that you have no legal right to have.

Anita then bitches about Marks’s lack of professionalism. Excuse me while I choke on the level of hypocrisy evident there. She declares that Marks must be ‘replaced’, sounding like a mafia boss. Edward suggests that Anita go out with Ramierz because BLAH relationship dramas BLAH. BLAH good guys BLAH. BLAH date some ‘men’ BLAH.

Who gives a shit?

What would it be like to date someone “normal”? I didn’t know.

Are we ignoring that guy you were engaged to at university? Because he was human and normal.

BLAH BLAH RELATIONSHIP WOES BLAH

Gosh, I literally could not care less about Anita’s relationship woes. I have actual real things to worry about.

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


Richard, Shang-Da, Jamil, and Anita head on down to the Happy Cowboy, because bringing Richard into this situation is a wise idea.

Anita feels sorry for Shang-Da because he is so obviously Chinese and rednecks are sooooo racist.

Maybe he, like Jamil, was tired of trying to pass.

Oh god. You had to bring up ‘passing’ which is a subject I can’t really talk about. ‘Passing’ is something Anita should know about and have an opinion on, as a half-Hispanic woman. I found this on tumblr the other day and thought it appropriate for this discussion, should it occur;

Being Mexican American is tough. Anglos jump all over you if you don’t speak English perfectly, Mexicans jump all over you if you dont speak Spanish perfectly. Why’re you laughing? What’s so funny? I’m serious! …Japanese Americans, Italian Americans, German Americans, their homelands are on the other side of the ocean, ours is right next door, right over there. And we gotta prove to the Mexicans how Mexican we are, and we gotta prove to the Americans how American we are. We gotta be MORE Mexican than the Mexicans, and MORE American than the Americans; both at the same time! It’s exhausting! Man, nobody knows how tough it is to be Mexican American.
Abraham Quintanilla

I bring it up, as it is another way that LKH fails in having her main character be believable. LKH made Anita half-Mexican to make her be ‘cool’ and ‘exotic’. It’s why she fails on any discussion of racism, as she simply doesn’t understand the culture she is trying to work with. I believe that white people can write people of varying cultures and backgrounds but in order to do so, you have to know exactly what you’re talking about. Having your character be something because you think it’s cool is a terrible thing to do. So don’t do it!

Anita and Jason (when did he arrive?) go inside the place and it’s full of people on cowboy boots and country music and cigarette smoke because HICKS and they locate Charlotte, who is wearing a disgusting butter yellow jacket. She’s poking Betty Schaffer, as Charlotte is a very stupid woman. Betty, conveniently, is a whore.

The second woman had a mane of coloured blond [it’s blonde. women are blonde. men are blond.] hair, but I was betting that neither the color nor the curl were real. It had to be Betty Schaffer, and the name didn’t suit her. She looked like someone named Farrah or Tiffany.

She’s such a filthy, filthy whore. How dare she dye her hair.

Anita then gets hit on instantly, as that’s how bars work. The guy then insults the height of Jason.

“I like them small,” I said, my face very serious. “It makes oral sex easier.”

oh how shocking i don’t care

They now get to Charlotte, who is screaming full steam at Betty, and now we know what she’s wearing to prove how much more of a whore she is.

Betty was tall, but the spike-heeled boots put her at six feet. The jeans were painted on, the blouse was midriff, and there was no bra. She had small enough breasts that she could get away without, but it was still noticeable and meant to be. She looked like a cowboy hooker. Richard had dated her. It made me think worse of him.

I think worse of him for putting up with your bullshit, Anita.

Two large guys wearing T-shirts that matched the guy who had carded us at the door were at the edge of the crowd. I think they were sort of puzzled by Charlotte. She was tiny and female and hadn’t hit anyone yet.

Bullshit.

Bouncers take anyone out who looks like they might be trouble. I have seen enough fights in pubs to know that it makes no difference whether you’re small, haven’t thrown a punch yet or fucking female – they will take you outside. And the insinuation that ‘oh, women don’t get into fights, and bullshitty chivalry nonsense’? What a load. I’ve seen more women get into fights when they’re drunk then men, and they do not fight nice.

Betty has enough of this and screams back that Richard raped her. Charlotte flips, but Anita suggests they go outside. She knows Richard isn’t a rapist and he’s outside waiting to see her. This means that Charlotte throws a beer at Betty, who slaps her in return. Charlotte then punches Betty to the floor. The bouncers then decide to do their job, as they should have done before this, but Anita intervenes, which would get her in trouble too.

She weighed more than she looked like she did, and she was struggling. Unlike most women, she was good at struggling.

I would have thought Anita couldn’t carry much more than her own tiny weight, and thanks for saying – again – how pathetic women are at everything. Anita drops her to the floor and asks whether she wants to be carried out unconscious or go out walking.

“Richard will come in here in just a few minutes to see what’s wrong. If he gets near her again, the local cops will revoke his bail and lock him up again.” It was only partially true. Legally, he had every right to enter the bar, but I was betting that Charlotte didn’t know that. Most law-abiding citizens wouldn’t have.

I think that Charlotte wouldn’t want Richard to go near Betty anyway, as it would damage his protestations of innocence. They go outside and Charlotte is pissed and they both hate betty and oh god this is boring and frustrating. charlotte is just a different version of anita. she asks richard how he could date such a filthy whore and demands to know whether they had sex.

“No, I never slept with Betty.”

He was saying he’d never had intercourse with her.

No fucking shit. That’s what he just said.

Charlotte would take it mean that no sex at all had happened, just like I had.

Because Charlotte was apparently born under a rock, and only thinks sex is actual penetrative acts. Bullshit. She would see through what Richard said.

Charlotte then cries, as she didn’t bother to go see Richard while he was in jail, what a wonderful mother. Anita talks about how much this unmans her sons, and that no one is assertive around their parents, blah blah blah. A big deal is then made over the fact that – get this – Jason reads. Like, everyone would look down on him for reading!

a\jhasdgasddfgggggggggggggggggggggggggggsjhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

That is the sound of my soul dying.

anyway the zeemans have to take their mother home before the cops come but there’s some kind of formal ceremony going on to celebrate the meeting of two packs sharing a full moon. Anita has to go home to prepare, but can’t go with Jamil and Jason as ‘Mom will not understand a chaperone that isn’t family’.

I was right. Charlotte Zeeman was born under a rock. A rock from 1910.

Then Richard declares that he loves Anita but doesn’t really like her, and anita tries to force him to tell charlotte what he is. there’s fuss about choosing a bodyguard, but it ends up being jason and jamil anyway and then they talk about richard’s family and i don’t care. I literally could not care less. I don’t think they’re ever going to matter.

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


Keep sending your suggestions in! I’ll try to write the post before the end of the week – before I move to London for my MA on Saturday and I’ll be a leeetle bit busy for introspection and analysis of character design and motivation.

The Circus of the Damned is in a converted warehouse. From the front it looks like a carnival with posters promoting the freak show, and dancing clowns twirling on top of the glowing sign. From the back, it’s just dark.

What was the point in saying that? Why does the Circus – which is not a circus, and is not for children – decorated with clowns? What is the point in saying that, shocker, the back of a converted warehouse looks like a converted warehouse? Why is no one actually fucking reading what LKH is writing and realising how bad it is and how much she needs an editor?

Anita parks her Jeep – even though she did that in the last chapter… – and goes on about how silent JC and Asher are.

Mammals can freeze, but a rabbit frozen waiting for the fox to pass is a vibrating thing. It breathes fast and faster. Its heart pounds. Vampires are more like snakes. A snake will put a length of its body out, then freeze. There is no sense of movement stopped. No sense that movement will continue. In that moment of frozen time a snake seems unreal, more like a work of art, something carved rather than something alive. Jean-Claude seemed to have fallen into a well of silence where movement, even breath, was forbidden.

That is half of a good analogy. That is true of rabbits. However, LKH is choosing to conveniently ignore for the snake of her pretty analogy is that the fox, that mammal you brushed over, can freeze and wait. It’s a predator. It has to be still and stealthy in order to catch prey. A fox can be so still and silent as to dissolve away into the background that you don’t even know it’s there. But no, that’s not the point. This whole paragraph is to show off LKH’s biology skills (*snigger*) and that JC is, like, so beautiful and so hawt.

Oh, and Asher has ‘a perfect golden presence’ and his silence ‘filled the Jeep like icy water’. Suck my ovaries, Hamilton.

Anita asks if she’ll be patted down with weapons, but I’m sure that any organisation worth its salt would do this anyway. Especially when they know about Anita and how trigger happy she is by now.

“This is a challenge, ma petite. They will let us be dangerous. Though I would not flaunt your weaponry. Your little gun is fine.”

Well, I’m sure that’s prize worthy. Page 76, and the ‘villainous organisation of death and fear’ are already entirely incompetent and pointless as antagonists. LKH clearly can’t be bothered to put any effort into them. What group of people say ‘hey, this woman already almost killed one of our emissary’s today, let’s allow her to walk in armed to the teeth – what’s the harm in that?’.

Anita then just drones on and on about how amazing Asher’s eyes are, and how blue and beautiful they are, and ermmeghedd he’s so perfect.

“The same vamp made you both, right? […] Where’d she go?” I asked. “Unnaturally-Beautiful-Studs-R-Us?”

This displeases Asher, as he wants her to be terrified.

“What can I say? I’m a hair and eye person, and you have great hair and amazing eyes.”

THIS GUY THREATENED TO TORTURE YOU. Stop going on about how amazing and beautiful and perfect he is when he wants to slice your skin off inch by inch and rape you with farm tools!

But no, she is afraid. She’s afraid of his hate.

Bitch should be afraid of my hatred.

“Hatred makes us all ugly,” I said.

HA

HA

DON’T MAKE ME LAUGH

ANITA, YOU ARE FILLED WITH HATE

ANY TIME YOU MEET ANOTHER WOMAN, I HAVE TO READ PAGES AND PAGES OF HOW MANY WAYS YOU HATE THEM

plus how ugly do I look right now?

TPhoto_00061

Asher hisses at her, because wow how terrifying, and he strips off his overcoat to reveal…. a tweed suit jacket!

TPhoto_00062

Did something happen?

Asher starts unbuttoning his shirt to flash off his scars. Oh god, not another scar flasher.

He bared his chest to the light, shirt still carefully tucked into his pants.

What? How? How do you undo your shirt and pull it open without untucking it from your trousers?

The scars dribbled down his flesh like someone had drawn a dividing line down the center of his body. One half pale and perfect, the other half monstrous. They’d been more careful of his face and neck. They had not been careful of his chest.

NO SHIT. That’s kinda what the preceding sentence was implying.

The scars cut deep runnels. The skin so melted that it didn’t even look real anymore. The scars flowed down his stomach into the belted top of his pants.

I stared because that’s what he wanted me to do.

TPhoto_00063

oh i’m so scared, i’m quaking in my skinnies

His scars were wide and fierce and fearful. “The scars go all the way down,” he said.

Bet cha dollars to donuts they didn’t burn his penis off. If I was a torturous member of the French Inquisition – and for all you know, I could be – that’s the first thing I’d do. Because when I torture people, I’m not aiming for a ‘badass’ aesthetic. I’m looking to fucking torture people.

then this happens. I… don’t understand.

“I asked you once before, Asher. What do you want me to say?”

He pushed himself as far away from me as he could back against the Jeep’s door. “Why doesn’t she look away? Why doesn’t she hate me? Why isn’t she disgusted with this body?”

… are you asking me?

I don’t know, dude. I just want to know if you were castrated by the Catholic church and whether that’s the source of your impotent rage.*

He yelled, “Why don’t I see in her eyes what I see in everyone’s eyes?”

Are these deleted lyrics from Phantom of the Opera? Who talks like this outside of a musical?

“You do not see horror in my eyes, mon ami,” Jean-Claude said.

“No,” Asher said, “I see worse. I see pity!”

He then flings himself out of the Jeep, presumably to go and make chandeliers crash all over St. Louis. But whatever, I’m past caring at this point.

TPhoto_00064

*And that is how you write a recursive pun.

 

 

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


Anita gets dressed in an outfit that is described in excessive detail, and decides to hold a gun to satisfy her persecution complex.

I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that it wasn’t facing a room full of lycanthropes that bothered me, it was facing a room full of people who knew that Richard and I had been making out. I preferred danger to embarrassment any day.

Oh no people know that you like kissing your boyfriend what a terrible problem that you have

Anita is dreading dealing with people, but goes through to the meeting she wasn’t invited to anyway. Rafael, the Rat King, is here. Apparently, Marcus has a vision of united all the shapechangers under one leader because he’s such a horrible guy even though I remember him being perfectly reasonable in The Lunatic Cafe. Raina has ruined him, and even though they could simply get rid of Raina, they need to kill Marcus. And leaving Raina, who is the one actually doing all the horrendous things, to continue doing what she’s doing.

Christine, who I remember Anita didn’t like, is here too, and she’s a weretiger. I can’t remember whether we were told this is The Lunatic Cafe but I find it a bit odd that she can change into a tiger. I know that weretigers are a thing, but Christine doesn’t appear to have any connection with Asia.

Christine proves herself to be the proverbial bitch by daring to ask why Anita didn’t solve this all by killing Raina when she had the chance. A very valid question, I think.

Louie, the wererat professor who I was sure died, is here, in his role as Rafael’s lieutenant. Anita complains to him – in front of everyone – how everyone is being so mean to her. Luckily, Stephen waltzes into the room in a new outfit and distracts her. Louie tells Anita that everyone is just hostile – they’re really not – because JC has started supporting Richard. This means that Marcus can’t be king of the shapeshifters. This is bad because Marcus will go on a mad killing spree if he doesn’t have his way.

Are you sure you’re not describing Anita?

Richard says that Anita should sit with them, but she refuses which causes a shitstorm. This means she’s ‘laughing’ at them. Richard wants her to sit with him, but when she comes over, they get pissy because she isn’t pack. Make up your fucking minds. A guy called Neal is angry because Anita knows their super special secret words.

I mean, no one else is allowed to use these Scandinavian and German words. Not even people from Germany or the Scandinavian countries.

Sylvie suddenly declares that not everything has to do with pack hierarchy so Anita should sit with them. Anita is sad that she agrees with pagans. I can’t believe that they’ve been arguing about where Anita will sit for two pages.

Anita condescends to sit with the shapechangers, all the while thinking how awful it is. Now that the problems with the seating plan are settled, everyone can now talk about who saved Stephen and how awesome that particular person is.

Who knew that a book about being relentlessly hunted by hitmen could be so boring?

Neal is annoyed that Anita saved Stephen so sniffing the pair, he decides to get his own back by being offended that they’ve slept together. Oh, I see the pay off from that ridiculous scene where Stephen and Anita slept together!

Sylvie calls Anita a damn dirty HUMAN and decides to not listen to both Stephen and Anita saying they didn’t do anything.

“Stephen and I did not have sex. We literally slept together, nothing else.”

Neal plunged his face into Stephen’s crotch and sniffed. It wasn’t a very human gesture. Stephen let him do it, and that wasn’t very human, either.

Jason leaned in, sniffing my leg.

Okay, you have, an, issue with your commas. And thrusting your head in someone’s crotch constitutes sexual assault. You should ask permission first.

Neal’s nose knows, and now knows that Stephen and Anita were totally platonic bed partners. So Sylvie grabs Anita around the waits, flings her to the ground, knocks Anita’s gun away, and locks her hands around Anita’s throat in a strangle hold.

Um.

Right.

Richard throws around power, but doesn’t actually do anything helpful. Sylvie is going to make Anita into Richard’s proper mate, so everyone is just standing around and watching.

Why does no one in these books ever do anything? Why do characters just stand around staring at things and having no discernible opinion on events unfolding before them?

Well, Jason makes jokes. I don’t like Jason anymore.

Richard won’t actually do anything so Sylvie monologues about how Richard just won’t be able to have sex with Anita if she too is a werewolf. Sylvie just drones on and on and on and then BLAM. Richard throws out power, before punching a woman across the room so hard that she flies into a wall.

On one hand: he finally did something.

On the other hand: he punched a woman smaller than he was ten feet into a wall.

“I am pack leader,” Richard’s voice roared, and he raised clawed hands to the sky.

How come he has claws? Wolves don’t have claws! Where have the claws come from?

Richard says that no one is infected without their consent, which is good. Sylvie, who hasn’t learnt anything, says ‘nuts to that you won’t do anything to stop that!’. Rafael says that he will kill anyone to protect Anita because… I guess she helped with with Miss Nikky. Sylvie insults Richard about the Rat King doing his dirty work as she is apparently unable to learnt that insulting guys with the ability to punch you in the face across the room is not a good idea.

A bunch of werewolves who were apparently in the room the whole time without being mentioned or doing anything or saying anything crawl across the floor to lick Richard.

“I will kill to keep you safe. Does that make you happy?”

I stared up at [Richard]. “No,” I said. “I thought it would, but no.”

Strictly speaking Richard, you didn’t say squat about killing anyone to keep Anita safe. You let the only POC in the room stand up and say he’d lay his life on the line for your girlfriend, but you chickened out of saying it yourself.

“I said I’d kill for you, Anita.” His voice was soft and harsh at the same time. “Don’t you believe I’d do it?”

… are you trying to pass this off as romantic love talk? Saying you would kill someone isn’t very romantic.

Richard proclaims that Anita is his mate and predictably, Sylvie and Neal are the only ones who say that you can’t have a non-werewolf take a werewolf’s position in a werewolf pack. I do think that they have a point, even if they are unreasonable assholes. I would guess that being a head honco in a werewolf pack has certain duties that only a werewolf may be able to do.

Anita says that she will make Richard kill Marcus (WHAT IS WRONG WITH MARCUS) so this makes Sylvie instantly forgive her and say that she can be a dominant alpha female because she is a good influence on Richard. Yeah, I think we have different opinions of what constitutes ‘good’.

All that’s left is to prove to Neal that Anita is totes srs. All she has to do is kill a lot of people! …. wait…

Then the doorbell rings. It’s Edward. The guy who enjoys hunting down and killing shapeshifters. Coming to a house full of shapeshifters. I see no problems here.

Anita tries to go to the door but Neal was going to beat in her head when her back was turned. Richard warns her so she can duck, and I want to know what kind of idiot tries to kill a woman in a room full of people when the two most powerful men in the room have both said that they will kill to protect her?

Anita and Neal now have to fight.

They fight for a bit then Neal smashes through a window. That’s very stupid, as he jumps straight into Edward’s arms. Edward controls him easily. Neal struggles around in the arms of a man with no supernatural abilities and promises to kill Anita.

Neal, you are not very clever.

Anyway, Anita planned for him to leap out the window and cut himself so that she won the fight and make him declare her alpha female.

Jason patted me on the back. “Tomorrow night we’ll take you out chasing deer.”

“I thought you’d chase cars,” I said.

He grinned. “What fun is that? Cars don’t bleed.”

I smiled, and then stopped. His eyes were as innocent as spring skies, as joyous, and staring into them, I wasn’t sure if he was kidding me or not. I almost asked, but didn’t. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

I’m going to go away now. I may watch Holy Flying Circus again. Dealing with Anita’s world exhausts me.