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


When I finished having hysterics and everyone had rinsed enough blood off them to be presentable, or at least not make my neighbors call the police, I got dressed.

YOU LIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. YOU HAVE NO NEIGHBORS. THAT’S WHY YOU GOT THIS HOUSE.

Micah had pointed out that we’d probably all be going to bed, so why bother getting dressed, but I needed clothes.

Then put on a t-shirt and a pair of PJ bottoms? Don’t you just have stuff for lounging around in? Casual clothes? Doesn’t Anita ever behave like a normal human being?

Black everything from the skin out, including the shoulder holster, Browning Hi-Power, and hidden under my hair the hilt of a really big knife.

SO EDGY. Ah, the reappearance of that stupid fucking knife that makes no sense whatsoever. But it’s cool and all sort of ninja-y so that’s okay I guess. *rolls eyes*

Micah tried to point out that I probably didn’t need that much weaponry to go into my own kitchen. I looked at him, and he stopped. No one else complained.

HA HA HA HA HA

crazy-laugh-animated-gif

ISN’T SHE SO WITTY.

Anyway, Anita fusses about getting dressed because there’s SO MANY HAWT GUYS AROUND FOR LITTLE OLD HER and it’s too much for her delicate sensibilities.

Besides, Nathaniel promised he’d make coffee. I hated eating before ten o’clock, but coffee before ten was a necessity.

What time is this? When is this? Oh my god, this is all still the night/day after the wedding in the first few chapters. THERE HAS BEEN TWENTY CHAPTERS OF THIS NONSENSE.

LKH, you are not the genius you think you are. Your first draft is not gold. You have learnt nothing in your career as an author. If you knew a damn thing about the trade, you wouldn’t let this steaming turd be associated with your name.

Anita and Damian bicker back and forth for an entire page about his dressing gown. See, Anita doesn’t understand what a dressing gown is, even though a dressing gown is just the British term for a robe.

The editor should have just thrown this book in a shredder.

Anita comforts Damian that she’s not angry with him having no character but being a sex-mad rapist with sad puppy eyes. They try to sense each other’s feelings and Anita’s heart is broken because… I don’t know and I really don’t care. Maybe her breakfast (or dinner, because what time is this????) burrito was cold.

Micah came to stand in front of me. Once it had seemed odd to have such serious intelligence out of kitty-cat eyes. Now, they were just Micah’s eyes.

The phrase ‘kitty-cat eyes’ makes me want to punch things. It’s so ridiculously childish. Micah strokes her face and Anita wants to rub against it. She doesn’t and I have no idea why we have to hear about her thought process in minute detail. She then decides to rub against his hands. It seems nice and takes a half-page to do.

“I would spare you this, if you’d let me.”

Spare her what? What is even happening? The last TWELVE CHAPTERS have added absolutely nothing to the narrative. It does not form a substantive subplot and does not add to the main narrative – that hasn’t been mentioned for over a hundred pages.

Anita complains that men get weird after sex. That they get possessed or ‘just want a chance to do it again’. Well, the possessiveness comes from the fact that LKH decided to make all the love interests fucking awful abusers and rapists, and what’s wrong with wanting to have sex again? Is that considered weird? Isn’t that a sign that you’ve both had a good experience?

Nathaniel makes the decision for Anita that she won’t hide. I have no idea what she’s hiding from or why she can’t make a decision for herself.

Micah is upset that Anita is hurt. Presumably he’s angry that it was someone other than him did the hurting. I still have no idea what’s going on

Everyone makes jokes about coffee. This whole chapter should have been crossed out with an extremely large red pen.

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


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

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

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

ewwwwwwwwwwwww

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

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

“Did he shift?” I asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poor Clair.

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

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

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

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

 

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


The living room was dark as I entered the house.

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

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

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

Oh gods, not this again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I smiled back, because he was sooo right.

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

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

batman glare

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

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

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

WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have no fucking idea why.

WHY THINGS HAPPEN

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


Jason walks Anita to her car, because she can’t be left alone for even a solitary second, and Ronnie goes whizzing past in her car. She’s had a serious enough fight with Louis Fane that he’s been left behind and asks for a ride home.

“Can I grab a ride home?” It was Louie Fane, Dr Louis Fane, although his doctorate wasn’t in the biology of humans, but in the biology of bats.

That… was terribly written. You don’t need to reiterate who he is – he was reintroduced in the last chapter – and just say that he’s an expert on bats. You don’t need to qualify the existence of the scientific study of animal biology by showing how it’s connected to humans.

Anita and Jason both say it’s fine (even though it’s Anita’s Jeep and she’ll be driving, so Jason shouldn’t be offering the ride) and Louis says that he wants Anita to ‘talk some sense into [Ronnie]’. Um, right, whatever. Oh, right, and then it seems that Jason has a car and drove here himself? Right, okay, that’s – that’s badly written, whatever. Louis wants a heart-to-heart with Anita, as everything is being made to be about Anita at this wedding.

Louis asked Ronnie to marry him and she said no. That’s why they were fighting.

“Well, last I knew you guys were getting along really well.” Actually, the last time Ronnie had confided in me it had been a conversation that had set us both giggling, because it had been mostly about sex. We’d both overshared, which women do more than men –

STOP WITH YOUR GENDER BULLSHIT

and the sex had been as good between her and Louie as it had been between me and Micah. Which was pretty damned good.

So, Louis lubes up with soap and rapes Ronnie all the time?

Ronnie had this mistaken idea that dating Micah meant I’d dumped Jean-Claude. When she found out it didn’t meant that, she’d not taken it well. She just couldn’t seem to cope with me dating the undead. Picky, picky.

Hang on, you said that you hadn’t spoken to Ronnie in months. In fact, the last time you two interacted was back in Narcissus in Chains – BEFORE MICAH CAME ONTO THE SCENE. So, no, Ronnie shouldn’t know anything about Micah.

Louis says that they’ve been dating two years – really? Really? It’s been two years? TIMELINES ARE WEIRD – and he’s all offended that Ronnie just doesn’t want to marry anyone. He suggested they live together, but she’s not that interested in that either. Anita says she’ll talk to Ronnie for him.

You know, that’s a really cowardly way to discuss this issue. Louis, if you give even a single solitary fuck about Ronnie, YOU WILL talk to her. Don’t let someone else do it for you!

Anita sees that Louis is full of so much pain, like this was a murder or something. Micah comes along because it’s ardeur time. Louis then starts talking about how Ronnie and Anita haven’t spoken since Micah moved in (no, that happened beforehand) and how maybe Ronnie’s just jealous or something.

Yeah. Whatever.

I did the guy thing, and patted him awkwardly on the back.

Yeah, because men are these dense emotionless robots who never understand what you humans call FEEL-INGS.

[Louis] blinked and gave Micah an odd smile, that was almost a sob.

How can a facial expression be a noise?

“How did you talk her into moving in with you?”

Oh, yeah, because Anita is a feeble wimminz and Micah couldn’t talk and make a decision with her like adults. Anita must be pressured and manipulated into everything by men. And she certainly couldn’t take an active role in her love life, and men should just talk over her like she’s a child.

“I moved in with her,” he said, voice very quiet, very even, a careful voice, reserved for frightened children, and overly emotional adults. I’d heard that voice often enough aimed at me.

AND YOU THINK THAT’S NORMAL AND HEALTHY? MICAH TALKS AND DEALS WITH YOU LIKE YOU ARE A CHILD AND YOU JUST ACCEPT IT??????

“And she asked me.”

And let’s not ignore the fact that another manipulative abusive man just forced himself into Anita’s life and demanded she accept it without question.

Anita then relays the news to Jason, once Louis gets in Jason’s car (since when has he had a car? Why does he make Anita drive him around?), then Anita prepares to get in the Jeep but decides to stare at Nathaniel and think about what BDSM means. She’s just realising that seeing as Nathaniel is a submissive, that means he’s actually controlling her.

YES YES THAT’S WHAT HE’S DOING. HE’S CONTROLLING YOU BECAUSE HE’S A MANIPULATIVE ASSHOLE.

She thinks about how sad it is that no one read Nathaniel read bedtime stories and then she forgets about what she just realise as Nathaniel is just TOOO SAD Y’ALL. TOO SAD. She thinks about how Nathaniel suggested they have monster movie nights and how he runs around the house cleaning after her as she’s a disgusting slob who makes him into her slave. He is the princess she rescued, and she is his prince.

Look, the Nathaniel/Anita relationship is utterly unhealthy on each and every conceivable level. They should not be a couple. They just should not.

Marianne, Anita’s psychic helper, then calls Anita. She senses there’s something desperately wrong and starts to do a tarot reading for her.

Of course, Marianne does tarot. She doesn’t do any cool and esoteric ways of telling the future, like using a chicken to eat alphabetised corn. Tarot it is, and luckily, I have a little experience with tarot so we can point out all the potential fail here.

“I’m looking at the Knight of Cups here, that’s usually Nathaniel’s card.” I’d been skeptical, to say the least, when Marianne first got out a deck of cards to do a ‘reading’, but they were eerily accurate, at least in her hands.

Well, she knows you really well and is your emotional advisor, so… she would know what was happening and how you were thinking, making her readings accurate. And she is actually psychic, so you shouldn’t be sceptical at all.

When she’d first started, Nathaniel’s card had been the Page of Cups, a child’s card, or at least a very young person, but of late he’d been promoted. Knight of Cups.

  • Page of Cups – a young person who is sensitive and helpful but you don’t know them very well. At all.
  • Knight of Cups – a person who is a bringer of ideas, opportunities, and offers. He is amiable, intelligent, but easily bored and discouraged. IT ALSO INDICATES FRAUD, FALSE PROMISES, AND TRICKERY. It represents a person who has trouble discerning when and where the truth ends and lies begin.

Um, yeah, you should probably tell Anita that, Marianne.

“King of Wands, Micah is with you, too.”

  • King of Wands – a man who is fun, enthusiastic, passionate, makes you feel good about yourself – but is also reckless and will leave you in the lurch. He is a heartbreaker.

“The devil, temptation. You haven’t fed the ardeur yet.”

  • Nope.
  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE.
  • The Devil card represents a feeling of subjugation and enslavement. It is a card regarding addiction and breaking chains to finally feel free.
  • So, essentially, you’re telling Anita that she needs to break free of the situation and that she feels enslaved by the ardeur – which was forced onto her, and now she needs to ‘feed it’ like an addict.
  • If you think that, just tell her the correct meaning.

“The Priestess, you have a question for me.”

  • No. It means that Anita should trust her gut instinct. Her gut is telling her to not be with Nathaniel, so thanks for clearing that up.

Marianne wants to know whether Anita is doing something ‘silly’ like trying to pick between Micah and Nathaniel. Then she won’t hear anything more because it might ‘influence’ the reading. No shit.

“I put you in the center, Queen of Swords.”

  • Queen of Swords – a mature, intelligent, self-sufficient woman. So not Anita. At all.

“The past is the five of pentagrams, being left out in the cold, not getting your needs met.”

  • The five of pentacles warns against being so wrapped up in one area of your life that you ignore the others and suffer a form of loss in some way. So, Anita being so wrapped up in her adreur sex bullshit that she ignores friends, family, and her job.

“Deity is the six of cups, which can be someone from your past coming back into your life, someone you felt a strong connection with. Future is the Knight of Cups, Nathaniel’s card. The mundane is the four of pentacles, the Miser, holding on to things that no long help your life run smoothly. Now we’ll do the connecting cards.”

  • Six of Cups – living in the past, trying too hard to recreate the past, you will meet someone from your past and gain new experiences from it.
  • Four of pentacles – nice editing fail there – is not a miser? It represents financial security and a warning to not be too obsessed with material possessions.

“Connecting the mundane to the past is the Lover’s card. [OF COURSE IT FUCKING IS] Something happened in your live life that made you afraid of being hurt, or giving up someone, or something. Connecting the past to the deity is the King of Wands, usually Micah’s card, but it could be energy, a male presence in your life. Connecting deity to the future is the two of swords, you have a choice to make, and you think it’s difficult, but if you take off the blindfold, you can see, and you have what you need to do it. Connecting the future to the mundane is the Knight of Wands, another man in your life. You do draw a lot of male energy to you.”

  • Whyyyyyy won’t this stopppp
  • STAHP
  • The Two of Swords describes being stuck in an unpleasant situation, so that fits here.

“Overlaying the Miser is the six of swords, help unseen, or help from a spiritual source. Overlaying the Lover is the four of rods, the marriage card. Overlaying the out in the cold is the ten of pentacles, happy prosperous home. Hmmm. The King of Rods and the six of cups stand on their own, but the two of swords has crossed with the Queen of Wands. Nathaniel’s card is crossed by the Devil, temptation.”

  • Six of swords – moving away from a bad situation.
  • Four of rods – I think you mean four of wands, unless you’re using a mixture of decks, which is a dick move – means taking a break from a hard situation and enjoying life. It is not a marriage card.
  • Ten of pentacles – a happy family life, not home.
  • King of Rods – King of Wands, I’m guessing, because the editor clearly didn’t give a shit – we’ve covered that one.
  • Six of cups – the past.
  • Queen of Wands – an extremely capable woman who has no problems in combining a successful career with a happy home life. Hahhhhhh that’s not Anita, at all.
  • Nathaniel’s card is crossed with feelings of enslavement and a need to break free. hmmmmm.

I’m getting a totally different reading from this deck than Marianne is. What I’m reading is that Anita could be happier in life if she moved on, abandoned all this ardeur bullshit, and left all these assholes behind.

Marianne then reads about the murder and how it will all work out ‘but not without loss’ and it’ll involve someone from the past. Thanks for revealing the plot to us all. She then gives Anita a message from God.

I am serious.

” ‘You know what you need to do. Why are you asking me?’ ”

I licked my suddenly dry lips, and said, “It doesn’t bother you that you just took a message from God for me?”

“Well, it wasn’t from him directly. He just sent it.”

WILL YOU STOP WITH THIS ‘GOD HIMSELF DIRECTLY APPROVES OF ANITA’ BULLSHIT?

Marianne tells Anita to just follow her heart and trust herself (eugh) and then she hangs up so Anita can go into her home.

I got out of the Jeep and hoped I was grown-up enough for this particular choice.

No. You’re not. Because you consistently refuse to behave like a grown woman. Get a clue, dump all these assholes, and move on with your life.

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


The first time I saw when I hit the parking lot wasn’t any of the men, it was Ronnie.

Ah, yes, the sole female character Anita likes – who was made unpleasant and promptly shoved out of the books as soon as poss. She’s having a very intense argument with Louis Fane, her wererat boyfriend.

Ronnie had had problems with me dating a vampire, Jean-Claude in particular, but her main objection seemed to be the vampire part. At a time when I’d needed girl advice and a little sympathy, she’d offered only her outrage, and anger.

JC blackmailed you into dating him, stalked you, put you in danger, forced the vampire mark on you, and then, finally abused you at a time when you were emotionally vulnerable. I don’t think it’s the ‘vampire’ part that Ronnie dislikes.

Anita considers just going along and inserting herself into the argument, because –

Like, there’s no other reason why you would go INSERT YOURSELF INTO SOMEONE ELSE’S ARGUMENT. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST THAT IS REALLY RUDE.

Anita then turns around and heads back to the door leading out of the wedding reception, and all of her boytoys are waiting for her. Even though it was Nathaniel who ran out, and they should be talking to him? Oh yes, Anita am feel uncomfortable when we are not about her.

“Nathaniel says you didn’t want to dance with him,” Micah said.

WHO FUCKING CARES. What does it matter? Who the shit cares????

Anita didn’t want to play ‘kissy-face in front of cops’ because she is twelve years old. This hurts Nathaniel, as this meant Anita only kissed him because she had to, not because she wanted to.

This is supposed to be some gritty dark detective series, not some teen soap opera. I don’t care about the meaning of kisses!

Micah starts giving Anita shit, and she just wants to avoid a fight (so she’s not like that bitch Ronnie ammirite). She points out that the ardeur was rising, so she would have been forced to go out and feed it unwillingly. She would not want to have sex in the parking lot outside her friend’s wedding, which is a far thing to not want, and Nathaniel only accepts this reason under great sufferance.

Anyway, this means that the ardeur will be back later for Ardeur 2: Electric Boogaloo which will be very bad. Nathaniel is guilttripping Anita so badly that she’s obliged to touch him.

I am going to reach through time and space and punch out Nathaniel’s teeth.

Jason then gives Anita shot about how they had sex once and how badly he really needs to have sex with her again or his balls will turn blue and explode or something.

“I love the fact that I can make you blush now,” he said.

I love humiliating you! It makes me tingly all over in a sexual way!

I’d learned in the last few months that Jason used his teasing and laughter as a shield to hide a rather insightful intelligence that was sometimes so perceptive it was painful.

Since when has Jason ever shown the slightest hint of intelligence?

Jason then proceeds to make Anita feel bad for denying Nathaniel a true orgasm through penetrative sex. Because, obvs, Nathaniel is entitled to free access to her vagina.

Look, how Anita treats Nathaniel is disgusting, but NO ONE is entitled to your body as a ‘reward’. That’s not how it works. She has to be Nathaniel’s girlfriend because. BECAUSE. Jason also mentions that he told Nathaniel that Anita prefers a man to make decisions regarding sex for her.

I am going to fire you FROM A CANNON INTO THE SUN JASON.

Anita thinks that Nathaniel should not base his life on her, which is fair.

“[All this] is not a life decision. I meant like a career choice, maybe go back to college.”

“He’s got a job, Anita, and he makes better money as a stripper than most college graduates do.”

Yeah, that’s the point of having life experiences. Capitalism. Just keep on forcing women into things they don’t want to do, Jason. That shows what a great guy you are.

Anita tries to point out that she’s working on feeding on the ardeur from a distance and not require sex, but Jason pooh-poohs this, being the clear expert on the ardeur and everything.

Look, I could continue to tell you what exactly is happening, but it boils down to the same thing: Jason gaslighting Anita into accepting a situation she does not want and does not feel comfortable with. Because he’s a horrible person and a horrible character reflecting horrible opinions.

“Anita, you have two men who live with you. They both love you. They both want you. They both support your career. Between the two of them, they’re like your wife. There are people in this world who would kill to have what you have. And you’d just throw it all away.”

BECAUSE

SHE

DOESN’T

WANT

IT

HOW

HARD

IS

THAT

TO

UNDERSTAND

?

Also apparently LKH only sees relationships as having man/wife, man/object, trousers/skirts analogies. I bet she questions who’s the ‘guy’ in lesbian relationships.

“You needed a wife in that old 1950s sort of way.”

“Doesn’t everybody,” I said.

Yeah, who doesn’t want to be a woman in the 1950s? Who doesn’t want to get treated like shit and being treated as a societal inferior and forced to work 80+ hours a week in the home?

“Please, Anita, go home, and don’t freak. Just go home, and be happy. Be happy, and let everyone around you be happy. Is that so hard?”

Well, when you get gaslit by a friend to turn against what you initially wanted… then surely you can be truly happy!

This was a awful chapter. I’d never treat a friend like this. If this is what friendship and love is supposed to be, then I’m glad to be all wrong.

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


By the time Nathaniel and Jason came looking for us Micah was back to normal.

There’s a distinct lack of commas in that sentence. And, again, we’re reminded of how Anita felt so threatened by possibly feeling/being treated like anyone else that she had to bring three dates to this wedding.

Normal for Micah mean that if I hadn’t seen him break down, even I wouldn’t have guessed. In fact, he was so back to normal that it made me wonder how many other breakdowns I’d missed. Or had I caused this one?

  • Does it strike anyone else as being slightly suspicious that Micah is able to emotionally breakdown and then instantly be able to act as if absolutely nothing happened? It seems, methinks, that someone has not experience one or seen one happen. I have, on both counts. It takes me a long time to calm back down.
  • I might be reading too much into it all, given that every single person in the Anita Blake universe appears to be lying and emotionally manipulating every one else, all at the same time.
  • Anita, you are not the centre of everyone’s universe. Some people react to things that are completely nothing to do with you.

Nathaniel smushes up against Anita, because Everything Is About Anita At All Times, and Jason decides to ask for sex.

“It’s after midnight, we thought you’d be outside feeding the ardeur.” His grin was way too wicked to match the mildish words.

“I’m able to go longer between feedings,” I said, “sometimes fourteen, or even sixteen hours.”

“Oh, pooh,” he said, and stamped his foot, pouting. It was a wonderful imitation of a childish snit, except for the devilish twinkle in his eye. “I was hoping to take another one for the team.”

Oh my god. The men around Anita have all recognised that childish behaviour and actions are what sexually interests Anita, and have started acting in kind. Gross. Anita turns him down but Jason is desperate to sleep with her again, for reasons I cannot fathom. Anita just lays there and does nothing when she has sex. You might as well have sex with a blow-up doll, it all amounts to the same. Anyway, being forced to have sex with Jason is only an option when there’s a sexing emergency. Everyone rushes to make sure that Anita or JC do not take any blame for this ridiculous situation – it’s all BM, ‘the wicked, sexy vampire of the west’ (what the fuck?), going around being evil and shit. They begin to praise that Anita is so strong because… I dunno, I have no idea how Anita is strong or interesting.

I laid my head on [Nathaniel’s] shoulder, curving my face into the bend of his neck, and getting that whiff of vanilla. He’d always smelled like vanilla to me. I’d thought once it was shampoo, or soap, but it wasn’t.

NO ONE SMELLS NATURALLY OF VANILLA

NO ONE

Jason has to prompt Nathaniel to ask something – because Nathaniel is keeping up this poor damaged widdly boy act – and Nathaniel is desperate to dance with her. Anita agrees. Everyone is shocked.

“Where is Anita, and what have you done with her?” Jason asked, face very serious.

Sorry, but I had to. That line is in every single bad piece of fan fiction. It is a famous sign of bad fiction, this little non-joke that always crops up in the written works of bad authors.

THE ULTIMATE PROOF AMMIRITE

Anita and Nathaniel smile and giggle at each other and go off to dance

this wedding’s lasted like seven chapters how many more will it go on? Is it the whole book? Will it ever end??

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


We ended up standing at the far side of the parking lot, where trees grew in a tall, thin line.

Did you dance all the way there? Did you dance out of the reception into the parking lot?

Micah’s hair streamed around his face, like a thick, dark cloud. He’d taken off his glasses, and the streetlights made his eyes very yellow, even with the green shirt on, as if they reflected differently than they should have, or would have, if they’d been human eyes.

Um, aren’t you always going on about how Micah has cat eyes? Which do react to light differently than human eyes?

Anita wants to walk with the wind – are you going to fucking paint with the colours of the wind or something – and Micah is ready to reveal why his nose healing is such a big thing.

Can you hear how much I don’t care about these non-emotions? None of this is emotionally resonant to me, especially rn. I don’t care about your bullshit made-up backstory Micah.

Anyway, Micah reveals that he has long hair because Chimera (yeah, remember that villain that amounted to nothing in the text of Narcissus in Chains but was actually important) made certain members of the pard have long hair to show that they were ‘weak’ for not participating on torture. They would then be gang raped.

  • Merle was also a victim of this, but Caleb enjoyed inflicting rape and pain immensely. Anita has no opinion on this in regards to Caleb because she is a horrible person.
  • In Narcissus in Chains, it’s implied that this was what happened to the female members of the group. I guess that these women no longer exist because then their suffering would be in ‘competition’ with Micah’s pain.
  • Anita forces Micah to have long hair. In return, Micah forces Anita to have long hair. In light of this revelation, that got EVEN WORSE AS A DYNAMIC. GAH.
  • Your immediate response to meeting Anita was to sexually assault her, Micah. I’m not going to let this go.
  • I still think that Micah is a huge fucking liar that moves around the country using and abusing women.
  • LKH is STILL using rape as drama when she has no need to.
  • Bisexual people are still evil, I see.

Micah tries to blame this all on Narcissus having mental health issues. Yeah, okay. Thanks for that.

“Part of him was the ultimate male bully, and that part raped women. Part of him was gay, and the two parts hated each other.”

  • Gay men can still hate women. Gayness doesn’t erase misogyny.
  • No, homophobia is not caused by people being repressed about their sexuality and having to lash out. That is an incredibly offensive and backwards idea. It’s a fucking stupid way of looking at prejudice.

Anyway, because Micah was totes the best, Chimera wanted him for a partner in life, but Micah refused to rape and torture people –

EXCEPT WHAT YOU DID WITH ANITA. CHIMERA ASKED YOU TO INFILTRATE THE GROUP AND RAPE HER. AND YOU DID.

– so Chimera kept beating him and then ate his nose. When it grew back, Chimera broke it again –

you know, I wonder why Anita can only be surrounded by ‘broken’ and damaged men. Is it because she can keep them damaged and abuse them, oh yes it is because she’s a horrible person.

Micah then has a breakdown because he wasn’t man enough to save his people he had to rely on Anita. She holds him and it’s a Moment, because this was a perfect moment to have at someone else’s wedding.

This chapter was… um, well, full of awkwardly shoe-horned in backstory designed to make us feel sorry for the character after what happened in NiC. From a meta writer’s perspective, I’m not sure that it works. It feels very out of place and contradicts what has already stated to have happened, insomuch that was said in NiC. In terms of Micah as a person… look I still think he’s a horribly manipulative liar.

so

um

this was unpleasant