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


I screamed, and Richard’s mouth was suddenly on mine. He kissed me, a gentle press of lips, Fear thrilled through me, all the way to my fingertips, as if terror were an electric current. I shoved him away from me.

But he really wants to have sex, so I guess that means all this is okay.

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Anita starts to panic (OH SO SEXY) and Richard starts looking ‘eager, anticipatory’. So I guess women cringing in fear gets him hard then. A+ for enforcement of rape culture. He starts sniffing Anita and his eyes turn wolfish. Damian starts to freak and he clings to Anita’s leg, sending an image of bodies being pinned down and held down and they both start to scream.

Richard’s response is to physically tear Anita away from Damian, tearing up her skin a little, and making everyone freaks. Still, it stops her from actually screaming so I guess that means all this strong rape imagery is okay?

No, not really.

Richard pulled on my arm, sharp, sudden. It threw me off balance, and he used that momentary stumble to swing me in against his body, my arm behind my back with his hand still on my wrist. I should have been more interested int he pain, but it was the sensation of being suddenly pressed against his naked body that overwhelmed me.

Well, I guess if a woman is sexually attracted at all to a man who intends to rape her, that means it’s not rape. All this physical violence, Richard throwing Anita around as if she were just an object to stick his dick in, ignoring her entirely… Ah, l’amour.

Anyway, all this romantic violence makes Moroven pull away… because she was possessing them I guess? Interested in what the fuck is happening because of reasons? We’re twenty one chapters in, and there’s been nothing more about this vampire serial killer that’s targeting exotic dancers. Like, this is meant to be a mystery novel and there’s just chapter after chapter after chapter of extraneous character bullshit.

We’d both thrown down out shields to help Jean-Claude raise the ardeur and save us, but shields protect you from so many things.

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Anita then bursts in tears. Understandable after all this bullshit, but nope, it’s not about Anita.

It was Damian who answered, and his voice let me know that he was close before his hand patted my shoulder. “Richard hates himself more than he loves anyone else.”

Who gives a shit about his man pain?

Gregory is upset that there’s no rape happening and Micah throws Gregory out. So he did one good thing in his entire life. Give him a sticker. Micah’s ‘beast’ comes awake and it’s like a big, friendly domestic cat. Anita and Micah’s ‘beasts’ rub against each other and she describes Micah’s ‘arms could be home’.

Look, I understand that. Being held by someone you love is incredibly comforting. But why does Anita love Micah? What do they have in common? What do they enjoy doing, beside boning? What do they do together? How do they comfort each other? How do they cheer each other up? How do they react when the other is ill? Why do they have a connection?

*crickets chirping*

Yeah, thought not. Connection, intimacy, and chemistry is built on a lot more than just a desire to bone each other.

Nathanavile kisses Anita and begs her to not be sad. He cries crocodile tears.

What is love? Sometimes it’s just letting yourself be who and what you are, and letting the person you’re supposed to love be who and what he is, too. Or maybe, what and who they are.

Yeah, but I don’t buy it. Not one of your characters demonstrate that you understand how to portray love in a meaningful or realistic sense. They don’t even fart in front of each other.

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


Anita wakes up. She’s been moved to somewhere with a tiled floor and had wet cloths put on her skin.

WHAT IS IT WITH THESE PEOPLE AND DRAPING WET CLOTHS ON ANITA? WHY IS THAT THEIR GO-TO FOR FIRST AID?

And, FYI, that’s a really bad thing to do when someone is ill. You’ve got to prevent loss of body heat in a first aid situation. Someone’s never had any first aid training, clearly.

Tammy’s the one looking after Anita. Anita immediately starts demanding Tammy lift her up and move her around.

She got an arm under my shoulders and lifted. Detective Tammy Reynolds was five ten and she worked out enough to keep the other – read male – cops from giving her grief. She didn’t have much trouble getting me up, my back against the bathtub.

Even I can help people up, and I’m five six and incredibly weak. It’s about momentum, rather than pure strength. Anita is surprised that she feels cold, despite the fact she’s been on a cold floor and has wet cloths on her. No shit, Anita.

“Have you been,” I coughed to clear my throat, “putting cool rags on me?”

“Yes, it helps me when I’m sick.”

Anita passed out. She’s not just plain old sick – you should have called an ambulance! Passing out is dangerous! It requires some emergency medical help! You’re a police officer! You should know this!

“Cold rags don’t seem to be helping me.” I didn’t tell her that it was probably one of the worst things she could have done for me. Ever since I had inherited Richard’s beast, or whoever’s beast, cold didn’t seem to help me when I was sick. I healed like a lycanthrope now, and that meant that my temperature ran hot when I was sick, like my body was cooking itself. A well-meaning doctor had almost killed me with ice baths for what they thought was a dangerously high fever.

  • Wolves and dogs are only two or three degrees hotter than humans. They’re not hot enough so a body is ‘cooking itself’.
  • Cold rags are bad FOR ANYONE IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION.
  • Most people are hot when they’re sick. It’s part of the body’s reaction to fighting germs/bacteria/viruses.
  • Shouldn’t Tammy be aware of how to administer first aid to members of the supernatural community?
  • Wouldn’t a doctor ask people if they have any shapeshifterness as they come into a hospital? Seeing as shapeshifters have been part of society for, like, ever, wouldn’t it be one of the questions asked along with if you have any allergies?
  • They jumped to ice baths without giving you fever reducing meds? Whatever.

Tammy then reveals she vomited and passed out too. And NO ONE CALLED A DOCTOR? WHAT THE FUCK? Anita thinks about how much she dislikes Tammy, because god forbid she ever think a nice thought about another woman.

“It’s my damn doctor’s fault. He gives me a prescription for birth control pills then prescribes antibiotics, and doesn’t warn me that while I’m taking the antibiotic, the pill won’t work.”

Tammy’s pregnant. And I have issues with this.

  • No doctor would prescribe you a antibiotic without telling you it would impact on your pill. No. Just no.
  • You didn’t think to read the information leaflet in your antibiotic? I read all the leaflets I get in my medication! How else are you going to know the possible side effects or what you can’t eat with them or any other vital information you might need?
  • Didn’t you know that already? I knew that, and I haven’t been on the pill in years.
  • This is why you should use two contraceptive options if you’re not looking to have children. The pill is 96 – 99% effective. Use condoms and the pill together because swimmers are persistent.

Tammy starts to freak out at Anita, of all people, about how awful it is that she’s pregnant. She’s not wanting to get married, but she must – which is so old-fashioned and ridiculous it’s making my head spin – and that she’s not going to progress in her career. That, unfortunately, has some weight to it.

She then asks if Anita’s pregnant because Anita threw up and passed out too. No, wait, according to this page, Tammy didn’t pass out. She ‘came close’. Despite the OPPOSITE PAGE saying ‘I’m the only one who passed out’.

I don’t think vomiting and passing out are symptoms that strictly mean pregnancy, Tammy. They’re also signs of untreated blood loss. So there’s no need for a big pregnancy scare. Because nature wouldn’t allow Anita to reproduce.

“You’re freezing, Anita, you don’t have a fever.”

Is being cold a sign of pregnancy? Or is it a sign of being drenched in cold water and dumped on a cold floor?

Tammy grabs Anita and demands that she reveal how far along she is. Then gets angry when Anita won’t tell her. Jason then comes in, comments on how cold Anita is, and announces that he’s taking her home.

How about to a hospital?

Jason forces Anita out through the press and back into the Jeep. He says she needs to heal like a shapeshifter, with a hot bath and people touching her.

Yeah, I mean, when my dog had a uterine infection that nearly killed her, we didn’t take her to a vet. We just dunked her in a bath, stroked her, and hoped for the best.

Anita then passes out again.

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


This is another thirty page chapter.

Rafael the rat king had a black limo. He’d never struck me as limo kind of guy, and I said as much.

Why does he have a limo. Why does he need a limousine? Because he doesn’t want to make a spectacle of himself, which is not a reason. Everyone gets in.

All the leaders for in the back of the limo, which smacked of elitism to me, but it did allow us to talk together, and no one else seemed to have a problem with it. I wasn’t sure why it bugged me, but it did.

I’m not sure either, seeing as Anita is so elitist it hurts. I want to know where everyone else is sitting, if not in the back.

The back of a limousine is one big space, the only other area being where the driver sits. Are you telling me twenty or so people are all sat in the spare seat next to the driver? Or does LKH not actually know what a limousine looks like?

Rafael was tall, dark, handsome, and strongly Mexican. He spoke with no trace of an accent, or rather he sounded like he was from Missouri.

Then he has an accent. It’s just not a KOMEDY stereotypical Mexican accent. What, do you think all Mexicans or Hispanic people in America have come from over the border? Are they not allowed to live or come from the US?

Anita feels uncomfortable around Micah but can’t think why. Hmmm. It’s a mystery. With them is Donovan Reece, the new swan king. His skin is so pale it’s translucent which is stupid on many levels. He’s bleating about how thankful he is because, aw shucks, he was just helpless to save his people without Anita! pfft, do you think swans are capable of defending themselves? Nope, they’re birds, so they are useless.

As you may know, my family keeps birds and have kept birds for years. I have never known animals that resort to violence quite as quickly as birds do. Sure, they’re not as dangerous as dogs or cattle, but they are more than capable of defending themselves. I have seen chickens tear apart and devour rats that have dared to come into their nests. My great-grandmother owned a cockatiel who enjoyed attacking eyes (although, he was always very sweet with me and would nibble my nose and eat ginger cake from your hand). My cockerel, Eggs Benedict, has attacked and chased away dogs – even with a crippled foot stopping him from getting as fast as he could do. Birds will fuck you up if they get the chance. They are far less tame than other domestic animals, so no, I don’t believe that were-swans are helpless wretches.

Donovan witters on about how he and his people will be meat if they change – no, they really won’t, not if they have any real bird instincts – and how he won’t change shape unless he wants to. This makes Anita curse him for being so disgustingly arrogant.

You’ve got some fucking nerve.

Donovan apparently smells like food, and Anita knows he’s ‘soft and easily killed’ and instantly wants to devour him alive.

Fun fact – the only natural predator adult swans have are bears. LKH, I thought you were supposed to be an expert in biology.

Anita starts shouting out loud how Donovan smells like food and how he’s so tempting. I find this odd as it’s been established that Anita hates food and hates eating just as much as he hates everything else. Micah sympathises and Rafael wants to know exactly what Anita wants to do to Donovan.

“If you tell Mr Reece what you’re wanting to do to him, then maybe he’ll fly away home.”

They’re saying this in front of Donovan. Donovan who has done nothing wrong and is sticking his neck out by openly supporting Anita’s pack. Donovan points out that a rat is a prey animal too which lets Rafael monologue about how rats are amazing and omnivorous and not as weak as a mere bird.

Try telling that to the rats who were torn apart by my chickens.

Donovan gets annoyed and shoves his arm in Anita’s face, telling her to get a good whiff if he smells that good. Anita freaks out because ZOMG HE IS SO TASTY LIKE A DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER AND SCAMPI AND CHIPS and he remarks on how bad her control is. Rafael is worried about her, and Donovan is convinced that Anita won’t hurt him because she’s ‘the good guy’.

Donovan points out he’s going out on a limb to support Anita, as the swans have always remain independent of shifter politics in St Louis. This leads into a big recap of the shit from The Lunatic Cafe regarding Kaspar and how swans are the only shifters who can shift at will because they have a curse rather than a disease. Um, if it’s a curse, then how come it’s not punishing them? Having the ability to turn into a bird at any point is not a curse. I’d say that was an enchantment. A curse is designed to hurt the person afflicted with it, and the swans aren’t being damaged by this at all.

Donovan reveals that he was born to be a swan king which Anita finds surprising. Even though she’s a predestined wereleopard queen now mated with a predestined wereleopard king. Consistency! IT’S PRETTY FUCKING IMPORTANT. Donovan got the title in an intimate manner and then asks whether Anita killed Kaspar. She didn’t, and Donovan reveals he’d have liked to kill Kaspar because DUN DUN DUN Kaspar was a rapist and sexual sadist who made the women in his care addicted to rape and sexual sadism.

LKH, I can’t tell your heroes apart from your villains. That is not good.

Donovan starts stripping to show them ‘the symbol of my kingship’. Ok. The sight of his stomach makes Anita go ZOMG HUNGRY and crawls towards him. Micah sighs, because this is totally a sign of Anita becoming a wereleopard, there’s no chance that nothing else might happen. Donovan has a feathery stomach because…

Micah touches Anita and she instantly drops a gusher. Her hunger can be turned into sex – because this has to be said yet again – and he was worried she was about to change.

I turned, still held in his arms, half-pinned between his knees. “You thought I was going to change?”

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They reveal that if Anita was to change, there would be no way to stop her. So, yeah, a confined space is a great idea. And of Donovan’s mark of kingship?

“I have a birthmark in the shape of a swan. My family knew from my birth what I was meant to be.”

“I’ve heard of such things,” Micah said, “but I thought it was legend.”

I think it’s bullshit that became a parodyed cliché years ago. Who the hell bases a system of government on birthmarks? That’s incredibly stupid. Donovan and Anita swap sob stories about how they’re so not normal and how they’re lives are ruined, sigh. Rafael tells Anita to grow up and reveals that her and Micah’s auras (well, the colours of their beasts) mixed or something.

“Micah said he thought birthmarks in the shape of your beast was legend. Well, until just now, I believed talk of a perfect mate was legend. Like true fated love, just a romantic story.”

Come on, THEY ARE THE TRUEST OF TRUE LOVES, EVEN DOWN TO BEING PREDICTED BY DESTINY. Rafael predicts that Richard will not like this. Donovan points out that Richard dumped Anita.

“When has logic dictated how a man acts when he sees the love of his life in someone else’s arms?”

If I was Richard, I’d be glad to be rid of her.

Rafel realises that Anita might be upset about being dumped – how perceptive – and warns her to not make Richard angry.

“Yeah, I’m hurt, and maybe a part of me wants to punish Richard for that, but it’s not just him dumping me. It’s the mess he’s made of the pack. He’s endangered people I care about, and he’s doing his usual Boy Scout shit that doesn’t even work well in the human world, let alone with a bunch of werewolves. I’m tired, Rafel, I’m tired of it, and him.”

Um. LKH, you can go and live in a fascist autocracy, but I like the freedom to play a part in the governance of society.

Anita says Richard must give up his morality because…. she is the supreme authority for all life and all knowledge, all hail Anita. Richard is going to get himself killed which endangers the rest of the trifroce.

“What do you want me to say, Rafael? That Richard and I have a fundamental difference of philosophy in nearly every important area? There’s more than reason we didn’t get married and live happily ever after.”

The Reasons Why Anita and Richard Did Not Get Married

  1. Anita forced Richard to a point where he killed someone.
  2. Anita cheated on Richard.

Yeah, Richard’s stance on the ethics and complications of democracy had nothing to do with it.

Anita sighs about how the fact she left made Richard like democracy and has to fix all these problems she left. Um, how the pack works is nothing to do with you, clunge-gunge. Anita is going to fix things by killing all those who oppose her and Rafael points out the problems with that. He also agrees that the werewolves can’t be democratic which means he has thoroughly got himself on my shit list. He then demands Anita hide the fact she and Micah are ‘lovers’. Micah and Anita start to talk about how wereleopards have a group mind because that’s how leopards – SOLITARY HUNTERS WITH NO PACK STRUCTURE – work.

I remind you all, this is happening in the back of a limo with twenty or so people listening in, not that LKH remembers that. She doesn’t want her and Micah’s packs to be joined but, whoops, the fact that he raped her means that’s already happened. Micah says Anita’s pack is a mess and Anita retorts that Gina looks seriously abused.

Sick burn?

Micah gets all defensive about it and Anita strikes back at him about how he can’t judge her if he can’t even protect or help his own people. She’s suddenly become Hannah Blake, and Micah’s response makes it seem that he’s the one doing the abusing. It feels like Gina is the last wereleopard queen who Micah raped and subsumed into his pack. Micah says it’s all much more complicated than Anita can possibly understand and gives her shit for what’s happened to Gregory.

I hate Micah.

They promise to help everyone together as a fawmilllyyy and Anita, channelling Hannah again, asks to know what’s happening with Gina. Micah decides to tell her.

“Once we were taken away by a very bad man. He still wants us, and I’m searching for a home strong enough to keep us safe.”

I think you need to look up what ‘complicated’ means. Because that? It is nothing like the definition of ‘complicated’. And ‘a very bad man’? Are you five years old?

Micah starts talking about how much trouble he is which, for most people, is a sign to run away from a man. Rafael sympathises for Anita in this situation because he’s got an ex-wife and a son he’s not allowed to see. Something that is not like this in any way shape or form. Anita then talks about how she was dumped by a WASP for being Mexican.

I don’t think Rafael really wants to hear your sob story about how you were just too Hispanic while being perfectly white for this random college guy who is never named. I think Rafael has probably had actual racial slurs thrown at him in his life, compared to your bullshit fluff.

Anita sighs about how she just loves too many people. The limo has arrived, ready to meet Richard, and Anita goes out to meet him on Rafael’s arm. So, Anita’s such a strong independent woman she must make herself look powerful by propping herself on a man.

Funny how phallic objects are always more useful the bigger they are. Anyone who tells you size doesn’t matter has been seeing too many small knives.

That’s bullshit. A scalpel is small, but manages to cut people open very enough.  A steak knife is small, but cuts meat well enough. A skinning knife is small, but does the job. A knife is designed for a specific purpose – they’re not supposed to be big! A big sharp object is a machete or a SWORD. LKH, do research! You just sound ridiculous!

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


Anita and Edward continue to read the files on the mutilations.

Reading about paperwork isn’t interesting. They just discuss how each of the victims felt a compulsion to go out and do something on the night they were attacked, which is interesting. But then Anita just goes on about how she doesn’t understand how Donna can’t see how cold and mean Edward is, and it’s just more ‘oh donna is so stupid lolz’ and I want to smack my head on a table.

Anita thinks that the compulsion was some sort of latent psychic abilities, even though it sounds like some force is instilling the idea in the victim’s heads. And then she talks about mental illnesses again. Oh joy. It wasn’t offensive the first time.

“I’m saying that psychic ability can masquerade as mental illness. –

In a world where psychic abilities have been known about and openly accepted for centuries, doctors would not consistently confuse mental illness with psychic abilities. Mental illnesses are many and complex, and being able to hear voices is not synonymous with mental illness.

I know ghost hunters that hear the voices of the dead like whispers in their ears, one of the classic symptoms of psycophernia.

Again, this is a world where GHOST HUNTING AND PSYCHICS ARE OPENLY ACCEPTED AND HAVE BEEN KNOWN ABOUT SINCE THE BEGINNING OF HUMAN EXISTENCE. IF YOUR CHILD CAN HEAR GHOST VOICES, YOU ARE GOING TO KNOW THAT THEY ARE HEARING GHOST VOICES!

Psychophrenia, not ‘psyco-hernia’, is paranoid psychophrenia and used to be called paranoid schizophrenia. ‘Hearing voices’ is not necessarily a symptom. A symptom of serious paranoid psychophrenia can be auditory hallucinations, but one of those things people forget about the whole ‘hearing voices thing’ is that people are mostly aware of the fact that the voices are not real or are abnormal. You know that the voices aren’t real and you fight them because you know it’s not right. You’ll fight it until you start to see the evidence of your delusions in the world around you, and it stops being abnormal.

If you are hearing the voices of dead people, then it’s going to be obvious to EVERYONE that you are not having hallucinations. Because you live in a world where that is AN ACCEPTED THING FOR PEOPLE TO DO.

Empaths, people who draw impressions from other people, can be depressed because they’re surrounded by depressed people, and they don’t know how to shield themselves.

For a start, that can happen with people in the actual world, and as someone with depression, I would argue that’s not how it works. For me, my depression is rooted inside my internal voice, which is highly critical and attacks me. Just having sad emotions inside you doesn’t give you depression, not without the process that begins it and perpetuates it.

plus empaths what are you a child that’s stupid

Really strong clairvoyants can spread their lives getting visions from everything they touch, unable to turn it off, again seeing things that aren’t there. Psycophernia.

Psychophrenia. And are they excessively paranoid? No? Then they can never be perceived as having that particular mental illness. Hallucinations are a symptom of several different illnesses, so don’t just keep throwing out that one misspelled word that does not mean what you think it means.

Demonic possession can mask itself as multiple personality.

In a world with demonic possession, why would a doctor ever confuse the two? Especially seeing as it would be obvious if YOU WERE BEING USED AS A MEATSUIT BY A FUCKING DEMON!

I could give you examples for the next hour matching mental illness with different types of power.”

Yeah, fucking right. This argument makes no sense. And borders on offensive. ‘oh mental illness doesn’t exist, it’s just psychic powers’ fuck that.

Anita and Edward then talk about how stooooopid the police are for a page and then Anita suggests that people felt compulsions to leave because of ghosts. This is stupid. If you think a supernatural force is doing the mutilations, why can’t you stretch your mind to think ‘oh, it’s bringing victims to it’? She gets to that eventually, after talking about witchcraft and backtracking that bullshit she said in Blue Moon by saying that there are both good and bad witches.

Edward talks about devils and demonologists and Anita poo-poos it.

“Let’s just say I’m tired of running into them without knowing that much about them.”

You have met one. And you sort of caused it to go running around and killing people. She then goes on an angst monologue about how many dark and evil things she has seen. The pair of them talk about whether it all has a supernatural cause. Then Olaf comes in, fresh from his raping spree, and they make jokes at him. He asks why she’s even here and it gets even more stupid.

“The Greeks believe that once there were no male and no female, that all souls were one. Then the souls were torn apart, male and female. The Greeks thought that when you found the other half of your soul, your soul mate, that it would be your perfect lover. But I think if you find your other half, you would be too much alike to be lovers, but you would still be soul mates. […] She is like a piece of my soul, Olaf.”

why.

why

Olaf stared down at him. “You cannot mean to say that this girl, die Zimtzicke of a girl is better than Bernardo or me.”

“That’s exactly what I mean.”

Die Zimtzicke meant a quarrelsome or bitchy woman. Couldn’t really argue with that one.

I can. Because ‘die zimtzicke’ means ‘the dimwit’. It might be an accurate statement, but it’s not the one you think it is. And why did LKH say ‘the dimwit’? She understands that other languages use the word ‘the’ and don’t use it in front of words where it isn’t needed as in English?

Zimtzicke.

Anita declares she is tired, and Olaf calls her a coward for not wanting to look at the police photographs. She just says nyah nyah, I’m a woman, I don’t feel the need to have pissing contests.

Whatever.

Edward then tells Anita that she gets to sleep in the room next to Olaf’s tonight, and that she’ll have to take precautions to not get violently raped in her sleep. Surely, Anita and Edward are soul mates, he cares about her so much. They then talk about how Anita isn’t like most women who get ‘mushy’ when they talk about soul mates and that they’re going to sneak Anita into the club of the Aztec vampire, which is massively insulting to her political position and will get them killed, and Anita puts a chair under her doorknob to keep Olaf out which I don’t think will work.

She then talks about her guns for two pages. Two very tedious pages.

My god, this was a very long and boring chapter.

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


Anita has a shower and reminds us all of how icky rotting flesh is, something which I think few of us needed to be reminded of. She phones JC, so that Monsieur Twatwaffle can know what has happened. He doesn’t believe that Colin could have been so stupid, meaning that momentarily he and I are thinking alike.

“I told Colin what would happen if he messed with us. He pushed the button, not me.”

“Who are you trying to convince, ma petite, me or yourself?”

I thought about that for a moment. “I don’t know.”

“Are you admitting you were wrong?” His voice held mild amusement.

A lot of people died in horrible ways because of Anita’s actions. Please, don’t be amused by that JC.

Anita then complains about eugh, it’s so awful that people need you and you feel like you have to need people.

I hated needing people. They all had a tendency to die on me.

You father didn’t die. Your boyfriend isn’t dead. Your friends aren’t dead. Your boss isn’t dead. Your elderly ex-neighbour isn’t dead. Your best friend isn’t dead. The people who have died in your life have been your mother when you were eight (which is tough going, but she didn’t die and leave you in the care system, you had a family to look after you), an aunt (who had nothing to do with your life), and Phillip (who you hated and judged until he died).

Stop acting so hurt and wounded, Anita. Not when you mowed down thirty vampires just an hour ago.

Asher strokes her by saying how fragile she is which… yeah, she is an incredibly fragile person. Her entire self esteem is bound up in being seen as tuff and sexually attractive. Take that away, and she crumbles. Which is kinda tragic.

Damian breaks into the moment to say that Jason is having a breakdown in the shower.

I sighed. Great, just what I need, another crisis.

Normally when my friends are having breakdowns I can’t help but be utterly destroyed that someone I care for has been brought so low. Obviously, I am a terrible friend in comparison.

Anita goes through and does nothing but internally complain about how awful it is to have to comfort another human being. Well, she contemplates sending someone else in. The men are all dismissed for being too macho, but Cherry? It’d be cowardly to send another woman in. But not the men. Which says something. I’m not sure what, but I don’t like it.

She becomes rapidly worried as Jason refuses to tease her as she enters the bathroom. Well, he’s having a mental breakdown. When that happens, most of us don’t like to crack jokes. Jason is sat in the shower crying as he can’t get the rot off him. Anita makes snide remarks and is generally unhelpful. Jason tries to explain how he’s so afraid of rotting vampires, and that his fear is ruining his life and his mind.

There is then a page where Anita explains at length how Jason was traumatised and how she thinks about it, but there’s something missing. Like that time in the last book where Anita physically held Jason down so he could get raped by another rotting vampire. Although, seeing as she has to comfort him, I’m guessing that’s why we’re not bringing that up.

Except I will, ‘cos I ain’t gonna forget that happened.

It had haunted my dreams for a while just witnessing it.

Christ. Of course, we have to remember HOW PRECIOUS ANITA IS and HOW SPECIAL SHE IS. Not think about Jason, who probably has a stress disorder from all of this.

Anita gripes about taking off her wrist sheaths, and saying how it’s a sign of how ‘paranoid’ she is that she’s wearing them. Which is bullshit, as she wears them to bed every night.

The heat from the water as I reached for the knob was almost frightening. Years of being told, don’t touch, hot.

It’s amazing how LKH entirely fails at sounding like a human being.

I knew that fire killed wereanimals, but apparently heat didn’t.

Well, I would logically assume that hot water would kill a werewolf. Hot water does share many similarities with fire, after all.

Jason begs to not be put through anything like… all of it again, but seeing as he’s talking to a woman who held him down to be raped, I doubt his begging is going to do much. Anita washes him clear of the rotter ooze, making complaints the whole while about ‘EW. NAKED MAN’.

Grow up. Your friend is in need. Realise you have a pair of ovaries, and harden the fuck up.

Jason says that he can’t leave, as JC wouldn’t like it, and would probably find an ‘appropriate’ means to punish him. Anita is close to him, and likens the whole experience to a science experiment. I mean, who doesn’t compare to trying to help a friend in need to cutting out the brain of a frog? That’s normal, right?

Jason breaks from his breakdown to note that Anita smells like Cherry’s ‘base’ makeup, which I think is the same as foundation. This is a great Shit on Cherry Moment.

“I don’t own any base so she put some of hers on me earlier. She wears base that is way too pale for her, so it works for me. I thought I got it all off.”

Anita is soooooo pale and her skin is soooooooo flawlessly perf. Bleurgh.

Jason presses against her closer, and Anita seems to get a wee bit turned on. This relieves her, because surely, this means Jason is back to normal! So then Jason wraps his arms around her waist, pushes her to the floor, and pins her down, ready to assault her.

Right.

Well, I can’t be too critical of the moment to be honest. Jason is very traumatised. If this was in the hands of a skilled author, then this would be a truly tragic moment. Jason has spoken of how he can’t ‘get it off me’. He has been repeatedly raped, and in one instance, was held down by a friend who had the power to help him. By assaulting Anita, he is reclaiming his identity as the dominant male, not the victim, and can punish her for what she did. This attack, with a woman he has always seemed to like, can be claimed as a consensual act, which can erase the trauma which has been wrought on him before. It is a moment no one can get away from, as the trauma of these events spreads and spreads in this incestuous circle and no one seeks to better themselves or prevent what is happening.

But nope, this is LKH, so it’s WACKY SITCOM ANTICS. Anita jokes about how she’d totes kill him, and Jason jokes about stealing kisses and trying for something more! And then Richard comes in and finds them!

Next week, Anita has to balance hiding a zombie in the house while her boss comes over for a very important dinner! And JC finds himself with an abandoned ferret! And this ending will always be stupid and contrived, because it in no way meets the tone and genre of this book!

So, I guess Blue Moon suddenly and violently went back to the rape theme, but not in any good ways. If there are any good ways of having a ‘rape theme’.

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


What can happen after yesterday’s unpleasantness?

It’s time for a trip to the doctors!

Rafael is on an examining table, hooked up to IVs and painkillers, although for a man who’s been skinned you’d expect he’d be under sedation. He is conscious as they are… doing whatever they’re doing. I have no idea why he’s getting all the attention – and yet no treatment – when there is a woman who was brutally gang raped. But whatevs, women aren’t as important.

“Will he heal?”

[Dr. Lillian] nodded. “Yes. The real danger with this type of injury once you survive the shock and blood loss is infection. We can’t get infections.”

“Let’s hear it for the terminally furry,” I said.

She smiled and patted my shoulder. “I know humour is your way of dealing with stress, but don’t try it on Rafael tonight.”

That was humour?

Rafael is avoiding sedation until he talks to Anita, because… reasons, and Anita remembers Sylvie. Lillian says she will heal, but she’s not a therapist. All she knows is that Sylvie wants to go with Anita, as Anita is safe and comforting.

I think I vomited a little in my mouth.

Sylvie can’t feel safe at the wererat emergency room because obvs Elizabeth would have told Padma about this place, the filthy whore. Sylvie can go with Anita after there has been a long, pointless discussion with Rafael. There is some description of the treatment Rafael is not getting (salve. That’s the solution to being skinned alive. Salve) and Anita sits by his head. Rafael wants to know how Anita got him free. I’d like to know as well, seeing as none of it made any sense, and she just says she bargained for him, offering nothing for everything. Despite Rafael specifying his question as the first of many, he doesn’t ask any more. Anita gets Lillian and walks off to bother Sylvie.

She was in a small room where Lillian had hoped she could get some sleep. Sylvie had been joined by her lady friend, significant other, lover, whatever.

Girlfriend. Partner. You could at least bother to have some respect.

Anita goes in and immediately notices that tall Sylvie looks ‘fragile in the small bed’.

she was raped so brutally she had blood dripping down her legs. Could you not be so stupid please?

Gwen looks like ‘a pale, finely made doll’ because women, especially women who love women, are all pathetic delicate messes.

Sylvie has an important message to bestow upon Anita. You see, Gregory, the brother of Stephen, was ordered to rape her but refused. This is serious and dramatic because…. ummm… I’m not sure. Gregory was seen once in the last book and was already an insane rapist.

“I thought Gregory was one of the stars of Raina’s porn films.”

“He was,” Sylvie said softly.

What I wanted to ask was, when did he get to be squeamish? but that seemed crude. “Did he suddenly grow a conscience?” I asked.

Look, Gregory was already an insane rapist but

WHY IN THE FLYING FUCK ARE YOU IMPLYING THAT ALL PORN ACTORS WOULD BE WILLING TO RAPE PEOPLE FOR THE LULZ?

LKH, for a woman who goes on about how she’s so in touch with her sensual side and bitches at people for ‘not getting’ erotica, you are one of the most prudish writers I have ever read.

Sylvie confirms that Anita is the saintly new alpha, and that Gregory refused to honour Elizabeth’s deals as Anita needs to do them. Sylvie wants all the wereleopards dead as they filmed the rape, as this was her punishment for speaking out against Marcus and Raina so they made her an example….

what? This was about Padma torturing her for control of the wolves! It has nothing to do with Raina!

Oh no

This was a previous rape that happened before. I guess Sylvie needed a further humiliation to make her look even more worthless in comparison to Anita.

god

Anyway, Sylvie confirms that Anita is the most amazingest person to ever live and that the wereleopards adore her.

“He said you were their leopard lionne, their rampant leopard.”

Oh no not more pointless bullshit nonsense for the therian packs that I have to remember but I don’t want to because LKH decided to make her mythology pointless and endlessly confusing.

Leoparde lionne is a term from French heraldry. It’s a leopard, or even a lion, rampant in action on a crest. It symbolizes brave and generous warriors having done some brave deed. In this case it means a protector, even an avenger –

– Gabriel was a lion passant, a sleeping lion. He led but did not protect. In effect, Gregory did not merely refused to harm Sylvie, he also told the Master of Beasts that if he was harmed, you would save him.”

“How can I be their leoparde what-you-call-it if I’m not a leopard?”

Because you ARE THE MOST SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE IN THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD.

And why does a type of shapeshifter that originates in Africa and Asia use French heraldic terms to describe their hierarchy?

oh and Viv was expected to rape Sylvie but refused but i don’t remember who vivian is.

Anita is planning something, so Sylvie begs her to not do anything foolish. Anita then demands she never challenge Richard, because Sylvie is wicked and vindictive and now she’s being medically treated, Anita can hate her again. Anita threatens to kill Sylvie. You stay classy Anita. This means she’s forbidding fights for succession so this is undermining Richard but Anita’s been told off-screen that Richard is near suicidal so instead of leaving him alone to heal, Anita is going to force herself into his life and undermine him.

oh and liv raped Sylvie, justifying Anita kneecapping her. obviously she was totally depraved and evil.

Anita walks out, happy that she threatened to murder a victim of gang rape, and ruminates on how all the vampires are sleeping in the basement of her house. The house that Anita does not have. She lives in a rented apartment. Where does she have a basement? She worries about the wereleopards, and does not once consider going to the police.

It’s so hard being Anita Blake.

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


Circus of the Damned is a combination of traveling carnival, circus, and one of the lower rungs of hell.

The only thing I have a real issue with regarding the Circus is that it’s constantly touted as a safe place to bring children for a night out. A place where men run around half naked in leather is not a place for children.

Anita is annoyed that the police dared to question her for three hours, after she brutally killed a woman in a public bathroom. Well, the police were talked out of charging her on a claim that it was ‘self-defence’ but as I’ve said before, there are limitations to the self-defence laws, especially regarding excessive force. I count gutting a woman like a fish as ‘excessive’. But now she’s met up with Edward, and leave it all behind her.

Jason closed the door behind us. I had missed him earlier at Danse Macabre. I certainly would have remembered the outfit. He was wearing a sleeveless plastic shirt, molded to his body. The pants were half crinkly blue cloth that looked like colored foil, with oval plastic windows, exposing his thigh, calf, and as he turned, one buttock.

Wow. The Circus of the Damned is a perfect place for families. And laytex fetishists.

Jason is giggly and ditzy because that’s apparently his characterisation now, and Edward is actually quite sensible, giving Anita the best advice on how to avoid a headshot. Anita rolls her eyes and is amazed that Edward really truly thinks that someone might dare to kill her.

Anita, there have already been two attempts on your life in as many days. I think it’s time to believe that people want to kill you.

She seems to take Edward’s words to heart as she’s now scared and worried about the prospect of being killed. I would like some more consistency on this please – Anita is flipflopping between flippancy and fear and it’s very annoying and redundant for her to suddenly realise how serious the situation is over and over. And over.

And then the moment is broken by Jason wriggling and flouncing to show off his exposed buttock. He enjoys flirting and says that for a woman who hates flirting, Anita sure has a lot of guys after her. Well, two. And one of them is forcing himself upon her because he is a massive penis. And Anita is a Mary Sue, of course she has guys running around after her!

I am then sad as Jason reveals that he’s given up on college and now lives in the Circus. It sounds like Jason has had all that he enjoyed about himself removed by vampire mindwiping.

Anita is shown into JC’s private suite, which is decorated in black and white and is described in so much detail that I just can’t.

There was one other addition to the room that stopped me in my tracks.  A painting hung above the fireplace. Three people dressed in the style of the 1600s.

‘The style of the 1600s’. The singular style of the seventeenth century. Oh yes, that seventeenth century style that lasted from 1600 to 1699.

Are you talking about this style from 1605?

This style from 1606?

This style from the 1620s?

This style from 1623?

Or maybe the 1630s is what she’s after?

A very lovely look from the late 1630s.

I’ll miss out the Puritan fashions that rose to prominence during the 1640s and 50s as this is a portrait of JC being rich and French and Catholic… which is a shame, as there are some really nice portraits of Puritan fashions.

A nice couple from the 1660s, even if the bloke looks rather like Terry Jones from Monty Python.

The late 1670s seem to favour a larger sleeve.

Men’s fashions do evolve slower than females, but they have arrived at fancy coats and big wigs by the 1670s, remaining similar until the end of the century.

By the end of the century, one can see the beginnings of early Georgian fashion styles for women.

BUT YES DO YOU SEE MY POINT

The fashions have changed hugely from decade to decade. You cannot just say ‘the 1600s’ because it’s BS. Fashions and trends change constantly and there is a vast gulf between a stylish couple of the 1620s and a stylish couple of the 1670s. And it’s very historically nitpicky of me, but you’d think she’d describe as being like something – as in ‘like Musketeers’ or, um, English Restoration fashions of the 1660s.

The woman wore white and silver with a square bodice showing quite a bit of décolletage, her brown hair styled in careful ringlets. She held a red rose loosely in one hand. A man stood behind her, tall and slender, with dark gold hair in ringlets over his shoulders. He had a moustache and a Vandyke beard, so dark gold they were almost brown. He wore one of those floppy hats with feathers and was dressed in white and gold. But it was the other man who made me walk towards the painting.

He was seated just behind the woman. He was dressed in black –

OF COURSE HE IS AS IT IS JC. EVEN THOUGH BLACK WAS A FASHIONABLE COLOUR IN SPAIN AND FRANCE AND SPAIN WERE BITTER ENEMIES AT THIS POINT AND I’M SORRY i’ll shut up

– with silver embroidery and a wide lace collar and lace cuffs. He held a floppy black hat with a single white feather and a silver buckle across his lap. Black hair hair fell in ringlets over his shoulders. He was clean shaven, and the artist had managed to capture the sinking blue of his eyes.

‘sinking blue’?

And yeah, JC is essentially dressed as a Musketeer. We’re looking at about the late 1620s and the 1630s, but I’m not sure if the woman should be showing so much cleavage. If she’s married, she probably ought to be more covered up, as one can see from the portrait of Henrietta Maria from the 1630s.

I knew Jean-Claude was centuries old, but I’d never had such obvious proof, never had it shoved in my face. The portrait bothered me for another reason. It made me wonder if Jean-Claude had lied about his age.

Has he even said how old he is? I can’t remember.

Anyway, JC has shown up behind her in another hideous outfit. Today’s shirt is a frilly, lacey, buttoned, crop top. Make of that what you will. He’s actually not bothered about getting in Anita’s pants today but starts asking a lot of questions about Robert’s death. He doesn’t ask that whether it might have had anything to do with the rotting vampire who wants to stop his body rotting and might turn to black magic. Anita thinks that JC clearly didn’t care about Robert as he treated him like crap. Well, he treats you like crap but you know he cares.

JC and Robert had been hanging around together for a century. I think his next lines are more telling as to their true relationship. Not Master and Servant, but Child and Toy.

“Robert was not my friend, but he was mine. Mine to punish, mine to reward, mine to protect.”

‘WAAAAAAA PEOPLE TOOK MY TOY WAAAAAAAAA’

JC does promise to look after Monica had her child, which is good of him.

Anita then asks about the painting. The other two are Julianna and Asher, which weirds me out as one of my friends is called Asher and I really don’t want to mix the two up.

I have issues with him being called Asher other than that. Asher is a Hebrew Biblical name. Names inspired by Hebrew versions of the Bible did not come into vogue until the Protestant Revolution, and then, only in Protestant areas. If Asher comes from France (and I don’t know if he does) he would not have that name unless he’s a very out and brave Huguenot from brave and out there Huguenot parents.

Look, the history of names is very important. If you’re ever creating historical vampires, there are a lot of sociological trends you’ve got to take into account.

Anita then accuses JC of being older than the said he was. Hey, which person in the room has the magical power to tell vampire ages? Oh yes, it’s YOU Anita. You should have known he was lying all along.

“The clothing is from the 1600s, around the time of Dumas’s The Three Musketeers.”

What the 1840s? Sorry, I’m being difficult. I get what she’s trying to say, but she’s doing it in the stupidest way.

Anyway, JC is actually a century older  than he said – two hundred and ten – because he has the magic power of hiding his true age so he can move around other vampire masters so he can… I don’t know. He pretended to be a mere hundred years old when he met up with Asher and….

hey wait the maths doesn’t add up

This book was written in 1996. JC is three hundred and ten-ish. That means he was turned in the 1680s. How was he running around like a Musketeer in the 1630s and pretending to be ‘only’ a hundred years old when he wouldn’t have existed?

They say writers can’t do math. It would appear that editors can’t do it either.

Anyway, JC ‘humbled’ himself to save Asher from being tortured by the wicked Church.

“The Church had a theory that vampires could be cured by holy items. They bound Asher with holy items and silver chains. they used holy water on him, drop by drop, trying to save his soul.”

Ok. Which Church? Asher’s name would suggest the Calvinist church, which was the most popular flavour of Protestant thought in France. You have to be specific about these things. And trying to cure a vampire? Yeah, whatever. France, like England, is one of those few countries around the world that don’t have a lot of native vampire lore. And priests would not be trying to save his soul, seeing as 17th century vampires were bloated corpses that wandered around for forty days. They’d kill him for being an abomination against God.

Julianna (which isn’t French. It’s Hungarian. ‘Julienne’ is the French version. Just because it has the ‘anna’ on the end means it’s French) was burnt as a witch. France was a country that did burn witches, but I’m a bit iffy on when. The portrait is in the 1630s, which was the time of the largest French witchcraft trials. However, they began to decline in the 1640s and the craze for finding witches was over. The societal pressures were declining. If the three of them were bumming around Europe for twenty years, then I’m not sure that Julianna would have been considered a witch. Unless the portrait was painted just before she died.

JC was off on a ship to see his mother so couldn’t stop her dying. Not that there was much he could really do. Asher, JC, and Julianna were living in a group and dearly loved each other.

“You mean a ménage a trois?”

No shit Anita.

Asher tried to ask the Grand High Vampire Council if he could kill Anita, in payment for Julianna’s life, but they said no. Huh. He could be a suspect but JC’s doesn’t think it could be so. Because…. SHUT UP WITH YOUR DEMANDS FOR EXPLANATIONS.

Jason has been sat there, being bored.

“You never ask questions?” I asked.

“I’m just his pet. You don’t answer questions for your pet.”

“And that doesn’t bother you?”

And that doesn’t bother you, Anita? It bothers me how JC treats Jason.

Jason smiled. “Why should I care about the painting? The woman’s dead, so I can’t have sex with her. Why should I care?”

I… I have nothing for this little smear.

JC punches him in the face for this. He then says how this proves that Richard is no true man, because he isn’t cruel enough to beat people around the head. I guess this means I could lead a werewolf pack. I’d start by using a tire iron on the characters in this book. JC says that killing people is the best way to rule over people, which is, uh, kinda dumb.

Anita says that she would like to go to sleep. This starts JC gyrating and being all ‘huh huh sexy times for we huh huh’ and oh good god I wish he was dead. Anita is feeling rather tempted and is quite uncomfortable, so JC starts mocking her discomfort.

What a gentlemen he is. I can’t wait until they date.

Anita just asks to go to her room, alone, and unmolested. JC laughs at her and says how her resistance is growing thin. Her resistance to your blackmail and your refusal to take ‘no’ as an answer. But he’s not creepy and rapey because he has eyes that shine in the darkness.

They walk to … JC’s bedroom and Anita talks about staring at his ass.

And he still had the cutest butt I’d ever seen on a dead man.

Shame he’s a massive control freak who abuses people for his own pleasure and profit. BUT HE’S REAL CUTE THOUGH.

Give me a fucking break.

PS I graduated yesterday. I am a Bachelor of the Arts. I am now fully qualified to rant about history.