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


noe anita

Just when you think Anita Blake has lost all power it has over you…

OK, I am coming back to sporking. I am back, dudes, dudettes, and dudexs. I’m hoping to be back to sporking on a part time basis – I really can’t do the every day schedule anymore! I am not a young sporker out the gates anymore. I’m going back to university in September to train as a teacher (!!!) and I’m in a relationship – so I can’t spend hours every day screaming at Anita.

I’m not going to reveal personal information about my boyfriend, but his name is so ironic. As in, he is my boyfriend. Have I told you about my boyfriend? As I was saying, my boyfriend, who is my boyfriend.

That should be enough clues. Gods, these books are entrenched in my life.

Right, everyone is nude and nothing is happening. That should sum up everything that happened so far. Look, there’s not really that much to catch up on. We’re 150 pages in and nothing memorable has happened.

JC is calling for Anita but she’s full of fear. Anita is slumped with Nathaniel and Damian ‘their hair mingling like bright and dark ribbons’. Gregory is kneeling in front of them all, all half-leopard up in their business.

Even under spotted fur and yellow kitty-cat eyes, the hunger showed through. Not lust, hunger.

You know, I generally can’t read the expressions on a cat’s face that well. They just sort of look like cats all the time? Plus, if you say hunger, I think hunger. If you say lust, I’d think lust. Words mean things.

Richard is also there and his unhappiness/anger/bullshitedness and this pulls everyone out of Damian’s Terrible Worst Memory Ever. Through the power of plot convenience! JC then starts talking again, letting Anita know that Moroven (you know, Damian’s personal Voldemort) can be defeated through the ardeur’s ‘clean lust, free of pain and terror’.

I don’t understand how a moist vag defeats evil but I’m not a vampire hunter. Guess I don’t have the right qualifications.

Richard is very angry because… he’s Richard, and Anita is hesitant to feed on him. After all, Richard doesn’t ever want to be fed on and there’s been that whole issue in the past about how she did it without his consent because Anita is a horrible person. It’s a moment where Anita has a single concern for another living creature – well, until Richard, gritting his teeth, is all YES I HAVE SAID IT’S OKAY.

Well, I guess forced/coerced consent is a kind of consent. Ish.

‘I cannot hold Moroven’s fear off forever, ma petite, you must act before my strength fails us all.’

Oh no they’d be… hurt or dead. I wouldn’t want that, I’m so emotionally invested in all of these richly developed and nuanced characters.

834

‘Easy for you to say, it’s not your lily-white ass on the line.’

‘I am loosing against Moroven. I can feel her nightmare coming closer, and when it comes close enough, I will flee and save myself, in hopes that when darkness falls there will be something left to rescue.’

brave-sir-robin-holy-grail-day-demotivational-poster-1257624369

Anyway, Anita has to have all the sex with Richard because…. um… it’d be super bad you guise you have no idea.

My heart was in my throat like I’d swallowed a fish.

LKH, I’ve missed your terrible primary school metaphors.

Gregory doesn’t help things by sniffing and saying how yummy everything is. Anita is surprised that Gregory, who is in a half-leopard form, has leopard teeth. He licks her face and Anita makes noises from fear.

Gregory growled next to my skin. “Hmm, do it again.”

4vvo8

Gregory will only listen to Richard saying that this is bad and creepy and he should stop and then he laughs. Like a serial killer. He wants to ‘play’ and ‘torment’ her. Ah, rape imagery. I haven’t missed that.

Gregory only stops for reals when Micah (BOOOO) comes in with Clair, Richard’s girlfriend.

You didn’t usually hang on to someone like that unless they were your boyfriend. I realized there was an emotion I could feel through the fear – jealousy. What the hell was she doing hanging on to Micah?

  • She walked into a house and was greeted to a gross, bloody orgy.
  • A gross, bloody vampire lept at her and tried to eat her.
  • Said vampire bit a huge chunk of flesh from her boyfriend’s chest.
  • There is loads of fear floating around the place. Just hanging around.

So, yeah, Clair is scared. But, nope, EVIL SLOOOOOT.

Gregory senses that she’s weak and tries to apply his serial killer charms to Clair but Richard makes sure that Micah takes her out the room. This was pointless.

Richard and Gregory are afraid, blah blah, if Richard changes his clothes will be ruined, blah blah, where is the hot werewolf on werewolf orgy action I was promised, fear is floating around, blah blah.

It’s very riveting stuff, you can tell.

Gregory’s only answer was a low growl that made Nathaniel whimper again.

“God help me, she’s afraid to see me nude, and I fucking love it. I love that she’s afraid of me, and I hate myself for loving it. The ardeur will rise, but God alone knows what we’ll do before it does. With this much fear, with her, I don’t trust my control. And whatever happens I want clothes when it’s over, because I’m going to want to get the hell out of here.”

Okay, this is actually Richard speaking. Not that you can tell, because he’s not mentioned and Gregory’s actions are tagged alongside this little speech. Which is a totes realistic thing for someone to say. Richard then drops his pants.

He undid his belt with one hand and squeezed the top button of his pants. The button popped open and, still gripping the top of his pants, he made a rolling motion with his hand and the buttons snapped open in a long rolling line. The front of his pants spilled open, and he spilled out. Either he wasn’t wearing any underwear or it couldn’t keep him contained

Thanks for that laundry list of actions describing a man unbuttoning his trousers. Because I had no idea how one unbuttoned trousers, it being an action that I am entirely unfamiliar with. Plus, A+ word repetition. And I doubt that Richard’s penis is strong enough to burst through his boxers.

Anyway, Anita is turned on and afraid and angry and shit.

I put my hands over my eyes like a child.

Ah, there’s the strong, sexually liberated adult woman we all know and love. Because there’s nothing that gets me wetter than a sex scene where a woman calls herself a child.

There’s a page where Anita feels like she’s going to scream and Richard is actually a nice person – getting her to calm down, and being there for her, in the moment, and not being an asshole.

I started to nod, then Damian grabbed my leg, and the fear roared back, and the scream ripped out of my throat. It wasn’t just Moroven’s power, it was Damian’s fear of that power, and the fact that I couldn’t shield against it.

FEEEEEEEAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRR and more vague metaphysical magic that never really comes across as a threat because that requires like, suspense and shit.

It’s nice to be back.

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


Dolph found us in the kitchen while I was helping Jason with the gloves. There’s an art to putting them on, and it was Jason’s first time, so he was like a small child with his first set of gloves, too few fingers and too many holes.

Fuck this! *puts on editor’s hat*.

Dolph came into the kitchen when I was helping Jason with his gloves. There’s a fine art to putting them on. It was Jason’s first time, so he was like a small child with his first set of gloves – too few fingers and too many holes.

Now, my grammar is not the best, but that last sentence really hurt. Plus, he can’t put on a pair of surgical gloves? Come on, dude, they’re not that difficult.

Dolph came in through the dining room the same way we’d come, though he almost filled the doorway, whereas Jason and I had walked though together with plenty of room to spare.

….

…. how big is that doorway? Fuck it, Anita and Jason are munchkins. That’s the only thing that makes sense. Anita goes on about how Dolph is actually Hulk Hogan and Dolph gets the grump as he notices Jason.

“What’s he doing here?” Dolph asked.

“You said if I wasn’t feeling well enough to drive I could bring a civvie driver, Jason’s my driver.”

“Don’t you have any human friends left?” he asked.

Yeah, that’s the issue. Not that you let a civilian into a crime scene and let him rub his hands on everything. Dolph isn’t happy with this but Anita and Jason just ignore him to talk about how surgical gloves feel ‘wet and powdery all at the same time’ and they have no idea why. Well, they shouldn’t feel wet, unless some cop pissed in them before you took them, but the powder can be there to dry your sweat or to just help keep them on your skin. Anita should know that these gloves have powder in. Back when this was written, non-powdered gloves weren’t that common.

Dolph keeps asking her to take Jason out of the crime scene. Jason and Anita keep talking about their gloves.

I slipped into my own pair of gloves with practised ease.

“Gosh,” Jason said, “that was nifty, you made that look easy.”

“Anita!” It was almost a yell.

We both looked up at Dolph. “You don’t have to shout, Dolph, I can hear you just fine.”

You’re a rude piece of shit, Anita Blake. Dolph is, effectively, your boss. Do you think I could get away with treating my boss like that? You think that ANYONE could get away with acting like that around their boss?

Anita whines about how Jason can’t go outside because of stupid reasons and Dolph is just getting more and more pissed. Detective Merlioni comes in and defers to Anita because…. um, he just does, and Dolph is just getting more mad. Anita tries to keep Jason in the garden, but Dolph just asks again for Jason to leave.

“Dolph, I do not feel well enough for this shit.”

“What shit?”

“Your shit with anyone not lily-human,” I said, and I sounded tired, not angry.

‘Lily-human’? Ah, so good humans are white. Good to know.

“Get out.”

I looked up at him. “What did you say?” Get out, take your pet werewolf and go home.”

“You bastard. […] I told you I was too sick to drive when you woke me up. –

No, you didn’t. I read the chapter. You didn’t mention you were sick at all.

– You agreed I could bring a driver, even a civilian. You didn’t say he had to be human. Now after dragging my ass down here, you’re going to send me home without having seen the crime scene?”

“Yes,” Dolph said, that one word almost choking in its brevity.

“No,” I said, “you’re not.”

“This is my murder, Anita, and I say who stays and who goes.”

“I’m not here on your sufferance, Dolph. I’m a federal marshal now, and I have the right to investigate any preternatural crime that I see fit.”

I can’t even get mad. If anyone, ANYONE, tries to argue to me that this is a well-written series, it features a likeable, realistic heroine, and approaches dark subjects with any maturity, I’m just going to show this chapter. Where Anita Blake helps some goober to put on gloves while her boss asks her a dozen times to comply with his orders and get an untrained civilian out of a crime scene. Because this? This is bullshit. Who the fuck thinks this is good writing?

Dolph gets pissed that Anita just won’t go or behave like an adult. She won’t go. Why?

“If I think your direct orders are jeopardizing this investigation, then, yes I am.”

“Never question my professionalism again, Anita, never.”

“When you act like a professional, I won’t.”

ANITA BLAKE IS ACCUSING SOMEONE ELSE OF BEING UNPROFESSIONAL.

AFTER THE WHOLE GLOVES NONSENSE? HOW THE FUCK DOES ANYONE TAKE THESE BOOKS SERIOUSLY?

Dolph has had enough and is going to show Anita exactly why Jason shouldn’t be in the crime scene. Uh, other than that being against all the rules. Like, all of them. Especially that one. He then grabs Anita. Bad touch, dude. I only support you so far.

Anita whines about how sick she feels. Sorry, I don’t care. I mean, this is really horrible, but I’m glad that someone is finally saying no and showing you that your actions have consequences.

The crime scene is a knock-off of the Mary Kelly crime scene. That’s what it is. There’s a woman mutilated on bed, as if in sleep, and the room is splattered with her gore.

Dolph then holds Anita’s face and body into the side of the bed, and I stop enjoying his anger. Because now he’s ruined the case and is actually torturing a woman, knowing that she has a strain of lycanthropy and might be affected by the blood.

He taunts her by saying one of her friends did this.

Okay, LKH has yet to write a believable antagonist. They are hammy, ridiculous, and not scary. This? This is fucking scary and I don’t think LKH knows why. Because this is the shit that police officers actually do, especially to people of colour and minorities. (and jeeeez that is weird timing)

This is the only thing I have ever found realistic or scary in these books.

Detective Perry tries to break this torture up, but Dolph just shoves Anita’s face in more evidence. There are claw marks everywhere, so it might have been a shapeshifter. Not that you can ever bring this case to court, though. Seeing as you rubbed Anita’s face in all the evidence.

Perry tries to get Dolph to stop being a fucking torturing arsehole but Dolph starts ranting about how Anita must know who is responsible. Well, yeah, probably, but this isn’t the way to go around proving that. At all. Anita stomps on his instep with her heel, which should break her heel but whatever, she attacks him and is somehow stronger than him. Because reasons.

Anita gets away and then slips in the blood.

Yeah, that’s what happens when you wear HIGH HEELS TO A CRIME SCENE.

I landed hard n my ass, and blood spattered upwards. It soaked through my skirt and I struggled to my knees to keep it from soaking into my panties. The blood was cool to the touch, and then my knee smeared in something that wasn’t blood.

OK, the idea of getting someone’s blood in you cootch is disgustingly unpleasant, but I like the fact that Anita is covered in shit right now. Heh heh. I am that childish. She rushes out, vomits on the carpet, and passes out at the top of the stairs.

The floor came up to smack into my body, and there was nothing but a soft, gray nothingness, then the world was black, and my head didn’t hurt at all.

LKH has still never passed out, I see. Still sticking to the same, boring, inaccurate descriptions. Although she managed to write the torture very well.

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


It was full dark when we pulled up in front of my house.

OK, this book takes place in the summer, so let’s say full dark is about ten at night. Anita woke up at ten. That means she had sex and talked for twelve hours. She hasn’t peed. She hasn’t eaten. She hasn’t drunk. She also didn’t take a shower, so she must absolutely stink.

I don’t ask for much, but a little realism would be nice.

The lights in her home are all on and her driveway is full of cars. We now finally get an explanation for her moving out to the some place in the middle of nowhere, four books after the fact.

I’d left Jean-Claude in a huff with a firm date to come back tomorrow night and get Damian out of hock.

Yup, keep on bleating about how you care soooooo much about Damian. You couldn’t even be bothered to help him now! It’s not like you had anything better to do with your time! Anita worries the effect sex with have on the marks and reminds us that Nathanvile is with her.

I realized with a shock that I didn’t really think of Nathaniel as a person. Not as a grown-up separate human being kind of person anyway. He was more of a burden than a person to me. Someone to be rescued, helped. He was a cause, a project, not a person.

I thought this was going to be some character development and a realisation for Anita that she only sees Nathaniel as something to hump but it was not to be. Say, for all this talk of how abused Nathanvile is and how hopeless he is and how he can’t look after himself… we never see it in the text. I don’t see any evidence of him being a ‘burden’ other than demanding Anita pay for all his bills. Show, don’t tell. Nathanvile is as much a ‘natural submissive’ as Ana Steele is.

Anita is horrified that she had sex with Nathanvile (YOU ALREADY DID) because ‘I still considered Nathaniel a child, an abused child’. Would you stop that? She says she won’t need to feed for a few hours and Nathanvile reveals that JC told him all about the ardeur. Hopefully he actually listened. Anita bewails that she just wants to be queen of the wereleopards and they talk about how they both only consider sex to be intercourse.

Human sexual activity, or human sexual practice or human sexual behavior, is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People engage in a variety of sexual acts from time to time, and for a wide variety of reasons. Sexual activity normally results in sexual arousal and physiological changes in the aroused person, some of which are pronounced while others are more subtle.’

Does that say sex is limited to intercourse? Look, when an asexual knows more about sex than you do, you’ve got problems. Hell, teenage girls know more about sex than Anita Blake does! This is pathetic! How are your readership – who are adult women invested in the sexual and romantic story of your character – supposed to relate to a woman who behaves and thinks like a ten year old?

Anita vows to fight the ardeur. She’s worried she will hurt Nathanvile. Blah blah. I don’t care. They go to Anita’s house and the whole leopard pack have let themselves into Anita’s home because they’re fucking freeloaders with no sense of personal space. Cherry rubs her face against Anita’s hand because, yeah, that’s how humans and big cats interact. Zane and Cherry bodyrub Anita because after living life as a human and not spending any time as a leopard they want to abandon what they are and go and shit in the dirt like an animal and roll around in it.

No, I am never going to be okay with animalistic behaviours for shapeshifters. THEY’RE NOT ANIMALS. WHY WOULD YOU ACT LIKE ONE?

Zane makes hurr hurr sex comments and gropes Nathaniel in an attempt to work out who he’s slept with. Anita bleats about getting Gregory but that would involve giving two shits about the flimsy plot. Cherry then announces that any girlfriend of Nathanvile must be approved of by the pack because… reasons.

No one cared a damn who slept with whom – until now.

When your characters are questioning your stupid plot, then you know it’s a stupid plot.

Elizabeth comes up with ‘the ultimate hooker’s walk’ – sigh – and she’s all smug because she’s eeeeevvvvvillllll. She’s dressed in skimpy clothing which Anita frowns on, despite her own predilection towards skimpy clothing.

Caleb was wearing a pair of bell-bottom jeans, no shoes, no shirt. The jeans were cut low enough to show off his belly-button ring.

Um, then they’re not very low cut? I mean, the top of my jeans don’t cover my belly button and I don’t have low cut jeans. Unless Caleb’s belly button is in his pelvic area.

I was too young to remember wearing bell-bottoms personally, but I did remember my older cousins competing to see who could get the widest bell. Even as a child I’d thought the pants were ugly. Time had not changed my opinion.

I’m twenty two and I have worn plenty of bell bottoms in my life. That’s because they were reintroduced to the world as ‘boot cut jeans’ in the late eighties and have remained popular ever since.

And look – you can see her belly button! Because she’s a not got a weird belly button!

Elizabeth and Caleb had S-E-X which Anita judges them for. Anita berates Elizabeth for not looking after Nathanvile but it would seem Elizabeth hates Nate because ‘he’s got standards now’. Why is she self shaming? Anita wants to know why Liz isn’t scared of her. Because the plot says so, I’m guessing. Anita knows she can’t punish Elizabeth because…. um. She just can’t. Anita then feels SAD for killing Elizabeth’s partner, Gabriel, who was an psychopathic rapist who enjoyed eating women alive.

Anita feels bad because Elizabeth loved Gabriel and a woman can only have her existence vindicated by a man. Again, we have only ever been told Liz and Gabriel were in a relationship. We never saw it, and it was only revealed after he was dead and… actually, I think this is the first time it’s come up. I knew Elizabeth had been one of Gabe’s leopards but it wasn’t really said that they had a close relationship.

More leopards appear. Merle has a woman with him. Anita immediately insults her appearance as the woman dares to not wear make up.

Merle was holding her hand, but not like they were a couple, more like a father holds a daughter’s hand – a comforting gesture.

LKH, why do you enjoy linking sex with imagery of children?

The woman, Gina, insults Anita for being too short.  Whatever. Vivian arrives. She’s like a ‘doll’.

She was simply one of the most beautiful women I’d ever seen, and the casual shorts and striped tank top with sandals couldn’t hide that.

Unless she’s wearing those shorts as a bag over her heard, they wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference to her appearance.

She was African-American by way of Ireland, and her skin skin was that flawless pale cocoa shade that you only get with that particular mixture.

Of course, we couldn’t have a black character who isn’t in some way white! God forbid we have actual people of colour in this book! *beats Anita with my wrist stumps* And that’s for making Vivian into some wonderful exotic creature as well!

Vivian looks incomplete and ‘lost’ without Stephen by her side, as women are only worthwhile when they’re with men. Anita is SAD because she forgot Stephen and Gregory are brothers and Gregory is getting hurt. Anita’s only brain cell must get lonely. Anita asks how Vivian is, which Liz scoffs at because… caring for people is bad? Vivian then faints and Anita gives her shit for not being strong enough to help her.

Liz then demands to know who Nathanvile is having sex with. I don’t know why people care. Anita tries to get everyone to help Gregory, but no one seems to care about him. Liz laughs about how Nathanvile broke the rules they only just set up. Caleb smells Nathanvile’s crotch and smells semen, but no vajeen, so he didn’t have sex.

YES HE DID. LKH, HOW CAN YOU WRITE ‘EDGY’ AND ‘DARK’ EROTICA WHEN YOU THINK ONLY BORING OLD VANILLA SEX COUNTS AS SEX?

The leopards strip Nathanvile and remark that he’s done something. Anita then has to reveal she was the only who marked Nate, dun dun dun. The fact no one can tell whether she’s lying or not mean she’s a real alpha or something.

oh god why does anyone care? I’m fucking bulletpointing, I can’t deal with this.

  • Nate and Anita smell like each other.
  • Anita announces she might be a leopard now.
  • Liz can’t believe Anita marked someone. Even though Anita has done this before.
  • Liz says Micah is like Gabriel. Oh, yes he is. I can’t argue with that.
  • Micah appears wearing booty shorts. Ick.
  • Anita tries to say he looks feminine without implying Micah is in any way connected to icky womanness.
  • Micah wants to know why everyone is arguing. Um, how come he’s just taken control of things so easily? Oh, well I guess he raped his competition into submission, so I suppose he can do what he wants.
  • Anita has to strip to prove Nate and her did something. *rolls eyes*
  • Caleb tries to grope Anita.
  • ‘be afraid, Elizabeth, be very afraid’. ARGHHHH.
  • Elizabeth punches Anita in the face. I love Elizabeth.
  • Micah starts to referring Anita as his possession.
  • They’re soul mates you see.
  • *vomits*
  • Anita and Micah start to make out and he gets an instant erection.
  • Doiiiing.
  • ‘We are a mated pair, Anita. It’s legend among the leopards that you can find your perfect mate, and from the first moment you have sex you’re bound, more than marriage, more than law. We will always crave each other. Our souls will always call to each other. Our beasts will always hunt together.’
  • Do you want the pair to have a genuine romance or affection? Then fuck you, because love is destiny and magic and instant.
  • The readers follow this series for the relationships between Anita, JC, and Richard, not for insta-better-than-you.
  • Liz is appropriately bitchy. God i love her.
  • Anita won’t put her shirt on again. For reasons.
  • She then shoots Liz in the chest.
  • Because violence is the only solution to any problem.
  • She says she will kill Liz. Oh, Anita, you’re such an admirable person.
  • Everyone starts to worship Anita some more.
  • All hail Queen Anita.

To recap the plot so far: nothing has happened. Again.

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


Now that Olaf has gone off on a raping spree, Anita, Bernardo, and Edward can sit and sort through the files they shouldn’t have on the serial mutilations. Anita discovers that contrary to what the doctor at the hospital said (that there was no evidence of cutting tools on any of the bodies or living victims) that there were slivers of obsidian found in the mutilated corpses.

I don’t think obsidian knives leave slivers behind, because that would make it a terrible blade. Come on, they get used for surgical blades, obsidian does NOT splinter away at the slightest pressure!

“Did the Aztecs ever get up this far?” I asked.

Edward didn’t treat it like a weird question. “Yes.”

“So I’m not the first one to point out the obsidian clue might mean Aztec magic?”

“No,” he said.

“Thanks for telling me that we’re looking for some kind of Aztec monster.”

Um, no, Anita. You think it’s Aztec because you’re stupid. The Aztec Empire did not stretch to New Mexico.

Look, see. NO WHERE NEAR NEW MEXICO.

What I think LKH has confused the Aztec Empire with the origins of the Aztec people. The Nahuatl people came from north of Mexico, and moved down through Mexico in time. But the Aztec Empire did not go to New Mexico.

And I notice that Anita doesn’t think of any of the other peoples of New Mexico. She jumps to the most famous and well known group of Mexican races that have no business being in New Mexico. Surely, she should think of the local Native American tribes? Instead of the Aztec. But here are the many, many groups of Mesoamerica who might be involved (except that this is waaaay too north for them): the Capacha, the Cholula, the Cocle, the Epi-Olmec, the Huastec, the Izapa, the Mezcala, the Mixtec, the Olmec, the Pipil, the Quelepa, the Teuchitlan, the Tarascan, the Teotihuacan, the Tlatilco, the Tlaxcaltec, the Toltec, the Totonac, the Veracruz, the Xochipala, and the Zapotec. But, whatever, just use whoever is obvious. And impossible.

Edward explains that the police went to the local professor specialising in Mesoamerican history, but Professor Dallas couldn’t make any connections that might explain the mutilations. Luckily, Anita knows better and knows of an Aztec deity that demanded priests skin sacrifices alive for. Or it might be Mayan. Because the Aztec and the Maya are exactly the same.

I did some quick google fu, and while the Aztecs flayed the bodies of sacrifice victims, especially for the god Xipe Totec – ‘The Flayed One’ – I could not find any evidence that they did this to people who were alive. It was done to the dead, and even then, it’s most likely that the Spanish invaders drastically over-estimated and exaggerated the circumstances, nature, and extent of these practises. That’s the problem with studying Mesoamerican history – the Spanish invaders destroyed the cultures they found and destroyed their records. Shitheads.

Sorry, rant tangent. Back to Anita’s stupid conclusions.

Anyway, Edward says that the police can’t find any weight to the Aztec tangent but says that Professor Dallas spends all her time in a club in Albuquerque that is run by the Master of the City. The Master of the City is a Aztec vampire, who calls herself ‘Itzpapalotl’, after the goddess. The police spoke to her, in what must be a centuries old display of bigotry, but she was on stage for three murders so is not considered a suspect. Do you think she could sue them for racial prejudice? Like, ‘I am an Aztec and they presume I commit blood sacrifices’?

Edward then says they should go and interview her because… Itzpapalotl is Aztec, and probably knows something?

Anita protests that it will be politically impossible, considering her connection to JC. This is a valid point, but Edward says that reading files is too boring so they should talk to Itzpapalotl. They shout at Bernardo, and settle into more paperwork.

Reading about people reading paperwork which they find boring is boring. Intensely boring. The only thing vaguely interesting is listening to Anita go on about all the serial murderer cases she’s worked on which isn’t true. Anita has a go at Bernardo for being nice to her, they talk about coffee, and everyone complains about the paperwork. Apparently, going over case notes is too boring for all the super special crime fighting badasses!

“I don’t think paperwork is going to catch this bastard.”

Yeah, it’s only MOST SERIAL KILLERS who are caught out by people noticing small discrepancies and tiny mistakes. But this serial mutilator can only be found through going out to clubs!

Um, why don’t you contact the sellers of obsidian knives in the area? They can’t be in high demand. Get all the names of buyers and check up on them. There. You’ve got a line of enquiry.

Edward asks Bernardo if he’s bored. Bernardo turns to Edward and confirms this.

I found myself staring at his chest. I had an urge to rise up out of my chair, spill the papers to the floor and run my tongue over his chest.

…. I can only think of your comma problems when I read this sentence. I mean, it’s not sexy. It just sounds like she’s lapping up hairs with her tongue. It’s the opposite of sexy.

Why was Bernardo affecting me like this?

Because you’re sex crazy? If you’re gagging for a shag this much, just buy yourself a vibrator. But, no, Anita is a ‘good girl’ and seems to think masturbation is wrong. Or isn’t aware of it at all, which is weird.

Anita is so full of lust that everyone else in the room notices. Bernardo puts some papers together, and Anita starts dribbling down her chin at his muscles. Edward sends him from the room before Anita jumps him in a fit of blind lust. That’s right – Edward doesn’t think women are capable of sexually controlling themselves. Although Anita probably can’t. He then says that Bernardo can only be dealt with by treating him like a child, because that’s not racist.

Edward talks about Anita’s sex life. She hasn’t been dating anyone for six months which… is impossible. Blue Moon took place in August/September. This book takes place in May. Anita dumped JC and Richard at the end of Blue Moon, but in order for her to be single and massively randy now she would have had to dump them in December. Which she didn’t. This timeline is fucked up.

Anita then goes on about how horny she is and how she doesn’t believe in casual sex, basically confirming that LKH doesn’t believe that you can be happy without sex and that masturbation is somehow wrong for women to do. Because if I were writing this – and if I were writing it, it would be Hannah and her junky scifi universe – Anita would just get a vibrator and writhe around in a bathtub and be happy.

Edward tells Anita she just needs a ‘good uncomplicated fuck’ and Anita surprises herself by asking ‘was part of the reason I was still mooning over them the lack of sex?’. So, yeah, I believe Anita is sooooo in love with the pair of them, when her only problem is not getting laid for six months.

And, you know, the be all and end all of your life should be how much sex you’re getting. Because sex is the most important and fulfilling thing in the world. Verily, your life is useless if you do not have the importance of sex in it.

Guess us asexuals should just go and kill ourselves because we don’t care about it that much. (Some of us. Asexuality is a very big and strange thing)

Anita hits back at Edward by saying that his relationship with Donna is complicated and… that’s a thing. That’s something, all right, not that I know what it’s got to do with anything.

“You always go into everything like it’s life or death. Only life and death are life and death.”

Congratulations for working out the meanings of those words.

Anita complains that Edward has emotions now.

Twenty chapters in, and we have worked out that murders have happened. There is a Clue, but no one cares. How is this crime ever going to get solved?

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


… and I’m back.

The parent’s new home doesn’t have internet yet, so obvs, not gonna be able to post. And I ended up staying longer than I meant to because, quite simply, the thought of going back to London was making me weep uncontrollably. I love London, but it’s making me very depressed. I simply don’t feel like I’m going anywhere. I feel like I’m stagnating, and wasting my life. In short, Dottie is not doing very well right now, and needed time at home.

I’m going home for Christmas in about a week and a bit, so updates are going to be disrupted. I am hoping to post some audio commentaries for the anniversary next week, but it depends on my workload and how I’m feeling. Right now, I feel like doing nothing but playing Lego Harry Potter until New Year’s.

BUT ANITA ALWAYS CALLS ME BACK.

Let’s do this thang.

Colin taunts Anita for not being tuff, so she lets us know his eyes are grey. Anita demands to know what Colin wants, as she no longer has any patience. The patience is lying in the basket.

Colin’s main grievance is that he thinks Asher has been sent here to replace him, and bitches about JC. This is half of a good grievance, as Asher was part of the good old Vamp Council, but the minute he starts complaining about JC, I know this is veering into wank bank material. Anywho, Colin wants Asher DEAD, right now.

Colin then explains at length how he’s convinced Asher is going to replace him, which involves lots of gossip about how amazing Anita is and how everyone is in love with her and that’s all anyone in the community can talk about. This sends Colin’s motivation right into the bucket, because I do not buy any motivation that is solely based in ‘OMG ANITA SO AWESOME I AM THREATENED BY HER POWERS OF AWESOME’. I don’t think you get to be a thousand years old by believing gossip and immediately getting yer knickers in a twist.

This all breaks the truce, so Anita whips out the gun that she already whipped out twice and never put away, and runs towards vampires firing it and screaming.

Like Rambo.

This is 100% a picture of Anita Blake.

This terrifies the vampires, so Anita starts screaming ‘Nobody move, nobody fucking move!’ which does not stop me thinking she has morphed into tiny lady Rambo.

Colin and Anita exchange lukewarm threats. He wants to kill some of her followers as recompense; she will not let him do that. Rinse and repeat EVERY single villain/Anita conversation ever. The only thing that is moderately interesting is Anita claiming that ‘death is the ultimate threat’ which is pretty weak in tuffy tuff talk. The eight of them are surrounded by a hundred bad guys, that Richard won’t kill, as Anita disgustedly reminds us, and then half of them start to rot. Barnaby is Colin’s second, as he brought rotting to the ‘dance’, which was already used as werewolf terminology, start being more inventive. Damian hates this, and has a GOOD THING TO SAY.

This is actually a good thing, which is surprising.

“You ask why Asher is content to remain with Jean-Claude when he could go elsewhere and be his own master. Maybe he is tired as I am tired of the struggle. The in-fighting. The fucking politics. Jean-Claude ransomed me from my master. I am not a master vampire, nor will I ever be. I have no special powers. Yet Jean-Claude bargained for me. I serve him not out of fear but out of gratitude.”

I like this. Damian may be an assaulting asshat, but he knows the problems in the systems.

Colin thinks this is just a sign of weakness, as LKH is incapable of writing an intelligent villain. He actually does a villain laugh, and then thinks this is all about Anita’s magical sex powers, jumping the gun considerably. He demands Asher and Jason as the price for safe passage in his territory. Anita is against this, as she has suddenly developed morals. Then she is jumped on by a female werewolf and kills her.

Everyone starts fighting, but I know everyone in Anita’s gang is going to be okay so there’s no real tension in the scene. Anita is being awesome, and putting crosses on rotting vampires and the like. Nikki, Colin’s human servant, makes a beeline for her. She wails on Anita with a stick, as Nikki is stupid. Anita has managed to loose her gun and all her weapons, so is being chased around by a woman waving a large club….

Uh, wasn’t Nikki Native American? Why is the only Native American in this book running around with a club?

Oh, unfortunate implications. You make reading these books like opening up a box of chocolates.

Crunchy frog chocolates, that is.

There’s some POWER throwing Anita about, and she casually drops that the pack worships Odin. Um, of course. She then thinks it could be turned into a church, as of course, Nordic paganism has churches, which is a word very charged with Christian intent and meaning.

The fighting sort of comes to a random stop, as Anita hasn’t been paying attention. Her gang is all alive, but only Verne and a random woman is left of the local wolves. All those goons, all of them are dead. But Nikki has made it to the tree, so Anita runs towards it. She channels the POWER of the dead and this sends all of Colin’s vampires on fire.

Nikki is very unhappy, and starts running around with the club again. She threatens Anita, then runs away again. Barnaby and Colin have just randomly gone.

This book got very weird, very quickly.

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


Anita wakes up snuggling into a bare thigh so she immediately thinks she’s asleep in her father’s lap.

Um

I guess that’s where her anger comes from

wow

i didn’t expect that

let’s move on

She’s actually asleep face first in Jason’s crotch, who has the sense to not make a lewd joke. This upsets Anita, as you can sense when something’s wrong with Jason when he’s not making disgusting comments. JC and Padma are arguing in French over the prone body of Rafael, the Rat King. Padma wants the wererats, even though he’s not going to be living in St. Louis and will be returning to wherever the Council is based, making this yet another pointless villain chapter.

Oh, and Sylvie is here too. Padma wants the wolves for some reason. Anita’s reaction is to be all ‘ewwww why is she here??’ and to only try and look after her friend, Rafael. Even though she made a bargain with the Traveler to save her friends, Rafael doesn’t count because…. reasons, and she isn’t leaping up to defend Sylvie.

The Traveler comes in as Hannah and says Anita can’t save Rafael because she can’t be friends with everyone, and pfffftttt she can’t make any more bargains. There’s a time limit of a day and then they’re fucked. Hey look a villain being treacherous. Didn’t expect that.

“We made a deal. I kept my end of it,” I said.

He tried to cross his arms over his chest, but had to settle for his stomach, arms cradling the breasts. Women are just not designed to look tough.

Fuck you, Hamilton. I am fed up with your fucking internalised patriarchal bullshit.

Anyway, at these winning words, the Traveler decides to let Rafael go because… I don’t fucking know. Because the fucking plot fucking says so. I am too fucked off right now for this.

Anita stops to cry over poor butchered Rafael and finally remembers that Sylvie is a human being worth caring for and fighting for. Not that she bothered but now she is sad at the sight of Sylvie.

What I saw stopped me in my tracks.

Her pants were down around her ankles, shoes still on. I took a step towards her, then another, and was almost running by the time I got to her. I slid to my knees beside her. Blood stained her thighs. Her hands were balled into fists, eyes squeezed tight. She was whispering something, very softly, over and over. I touched her arm and she flinched. Her voice rose just enough for me to heat the one word, “No, no, no.” Over and over and over like a mantra.

I was crying. I’d been talking about putting a bullet in Sylvie earlier today. Now I was crying for her. Some big tough sociopath I turned to be. I had my problems with Sylvie, but this… She didn’t even like men under the best of circumstances.

christ i

what can i say after that?

A woman was brutally raped to the point where blood is running down her legs all to make a big point about how Anita isn’t as tough as she makes herself to be and a shitty crack at lesbians. ‘Oh, being raped must be bad when you’re a lesbian’. Fuck you. This is disgusting. Rape is not a cheap plot device. There has to be a reason it is used. Here, it’s been used because it’s a crime that happens to women. That’s it. There’s no other reason. Hamilton wanted something horrific to happen to a woman, so she thought ‘i noews whut is suuuuupppper dark, lol, rape is so bad and she is a big old gay so itz even wurse’. Sylvie could have been tortured. She could have been hurt. But no, because she’s a lesbian and because she’s a woman, she gets brutally raped. It’s not acceptable when men do it, and it’s not acceptable when female misogynists do it.

Sylvie is so out of it she can’t even open her eyes, and Anita screams at Jason about touching her – ‘she won’t want a man to touch her!’. Jason is a pack member, so you’d think she’d be comforted by that, but Anita Blake: Rape Expert knows all. She then screams to find out who did it. Bearing in mind we’ve already met a horrible rapist, this should not be a surprise.

Anita remembers she is carrying a sub-machine gun, then realises that they are not made to hit precise targets in a crowd. The Traveler laughs and asks if she would want Hannah to die and laughs some more.

“Padma did not personally rape your friend,” the Traveler said. “Any unskilled man can rape, but it takes a true artist to skin a live shapeshifter.”

I guess Rafael was skinned then. Sylvie wasn’t. She was brutally raped. Don’t make make pretentious philosophical speeches about it.

Fernando walked through the door, and I knew. He might not be the only one, but he’d been one of them.

So Sylvie was gang-raped. For the sake of cheap drama and pathos for Anita.

Fernando smirks and rubs his own pubes. Like JC does when he rapes! Anita swears she will hunt down the men who hurt Sylvie and kill them all.

Sylvie now wakes up and only allows blessed Saint Anita Blake to help her. Saint Anita Blake, patron saint of gang-raped women, even though she hates the victim and wants to kill her.

Her pants were pink linen. I couldn’t find the underwear. It was gone. I knew she’d been wearing some, because Sylvie wouldn’t go without. She was a lady, and ladies didn’t do that.

SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP FOR THE EVERLOVING SAKE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD SHUT YOUR FUCKING MOUTH BITCH

Stop your sanctimonious saintly bullshit Anita and LKH.

Anita promises that she will kill the rapists. Sylvie says she won’t kill Richard now, so Anita commends her, because she would not want to kill a victim of gang-rape.

AHAHAHAHAAHA SO FUNNY

MORE OF THAT HUMOUR THERE

LKH IS SUCH A WITTY WITTY PERSON

AHAHAHAHAAHAH

Anita leaves with Sylvie and Rafael. Fernando tries to keep Rafael, but Anita makes a crack about how Fernando is just so submissive and that’s why he’s angry. JC says about how they must go, because his presence counted for so much, and Fernando bursts into laughter. Again. Anita demands Hannah, and then Fernando kisses Anita. She pulls another gun on him, despite already having a gun out, and promises to kill him.

I am going to spend a lot of time staring out of windows after reading this.

This was awful.

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


Glad it’s just a short chapter because I’m graduating tomorrow (yay!) and I’ve got my parents over tonight which is, ah, complicated. They haven’t been in a room together in twelve years and the stress is making my IBS flare-up badly. ARGH I WANT TO GOT TO SLEEP AND WAKE UP TOMORROW MORNING, READY TO GRADUATE.

Although I have been waiting for my graduation day since I was a little girl. My first memory is my mother’s university graduation when I was two, so this has been a very long time coming indeed.

Monica is now in hospital. She has not taken Robert’s death well, and the baby is distressed. She has had to be sedated to prevent the baby from miscarrying. This is hugely tragic, but Anita’s only comments are how Monica has careful makeup and that apparently she was gripping onto Anita’s hand so hard blood was dripping down her forearm.

Whatever.

There’s a police officer outside Monica’s hospital room in case a hate group comes to kill her and her baby. Edward rings up and says that the deadline has been extended to forty eight hours.  He advises Anita to go underground but Anita isn’t done being noble. Edward then suggests that she hides out at the Circus of the Damned. That place where Anita’s asshole blackmailing boyfriend lives. Where anyone who knew anything about her would look if Anita wasn’t at home. Sure, Edward says it’s a ‘fortress’ but fire does a lot of damage to fortresses.

Anita is going to stay at Richard’s. Again, a place where someone would immediately think to look for her.

“We’re planning for worst-case scenarios from now on, Anita. No more chances.”

Yeah. Except she’s staying with her boyfriend. Who is famous. In a famous building. How inconspicuous.

Anita phones Richard to let him know of this. Richard is understandably a bit pissed off that his girlfriend is staying with her other boyfriend. He is supportive though, and offers to bring her stuff over for her. Hanging up, Anita then thinks JC might just go ‘eh’ and kill Richard. Wow. What a guy. Anita thinks she could get Damian executed for what he did, but she doesn’t bother to tell anyone.

She’s such a wonderful person. I’m so glad Anita is there to save us all.