Sunday, December 16, 2012

Narcissus in Chains--Chapter 12

Edit 12/18/12--this page was part of a massive cluster fuck on my part. To see how I reacted to the cluster fuck, visit this page

So Nathanial drives Anita home after the mess with Micah. Nobody's talking. He's not playing music, which he usually likes to do, and Anita is focusing on her guns and weapons, and finding out that Nathanial is the one that put her gun in her robe pocket back at the club.

And then this happens:

“How are you doing?” His voice was very careful when he asked it, quiet in the rushing silence of the car. 

“I don’t want to talk about it.”
I think this is supposed to be about her potential lycanthropy. But lycanthropy hasn't been mentioned in a chapter, and she was just fucking raped in the shower by a total stranger. So it sounds as if they're talking about that.

Anita goes to the police department to prove she isn't dead. This ought to be an easy task. Show up, flash ID, say hi to your buddies, arrange for your undead mind-raping lover to be picked up (preferably by a body disposal service, but Anita isn't that smart) and then tell the police that a friend of yours has been kidnapped and held hostage for ransom. Seriously. Fuck the dominance shit, get these idiots into the habit of calling the cops, everyone's lives will be a whole lot better.

Does it work out this way? Well...

First she re-introduces herself to the leader of RPIT, an acronym I do not want to explain right now (read as preternatural cops and leave it at that) who is all like, "Did you die?" which is apparently a good question to ask of someone who raises the dead for a living. And it is a pretty good question, seeing as how the bad guy in the first book was a necromancer who had come back to life and had to do some pretty gnarly things to stay that way. Ah, the days when Anita and her boy-toy refused to sleep together until they were married. Back to the point, undead Anita could probably cause almost as much damage as still-living Anita, with the added cool points of being a Zombie. After verbally reassuring a cop who, for some reason, doesn't ask to  verify Anita's current posistion as the current president of the Being Alive Club (/Awesome GlaDOS), Anita wanders into the station and everybody freaks out.

Also, the plot breaks. It's a minor break, and I'm sure we can fix it with tape.

See, Anita's been unconsious for four days, and the boys in blue have been holding Jean Claude in prison all that time. One, this breaks the universe because if the cops can keep Jean Claude in jail any leingth of time they damn well ought to have guns that could knock him out, too. Anyway, they're basing holding Jean Claude for "questioning" on a few photographs of Anita covered in blood.

Anita has been seen covered in blood since the first book. Some of it is usually hers. Most of it is usually someone else's. The police have frequently gone with her on trips that leave her covered in someone else's blood. Ergo no police officer who knows Anita personally should be all that worried about a photograph of Anita covered in blood unless they have DNA evidence that it is all Anita's blood...and that Anita has bled enough to endanger her life. Blood on fabric? Spreads out. A lot. And nobody is talking about massive bloodstains inside of Narcissus in Chains or how the DNA results came back showing that Anita is also the daughter of a criminal syndacate or some shit (...I ODed on CSI the other night) so I still have to assume that all this is because somebody got a shot of Anita covered in a lot of red stuff.

Fuck. For all they knew it could have been ketchup.

So one cop tells Anita that another cop will want to question her. Why? Well...this is not explained. And then Cop says the most awesome line I have read in a while:

That seemed to surprise him, because he blinked and dropped his hand. “I’ll get Count Dracula out of hock, you go talk to Dolph.”

I am now imagining somebody attempting to pawn Vlad Tepes during one of those Discovery Channel "Reality" shows. It is Fred Saberhagen's Dracula. He is not happy.

Dolph, yet another cop, tells Anita he's glad he's alive. Hey, we haven't slaughtered any commas in a while:

"Thanks, me, too." 

One day the humble comma will go the way of the passenger pidgeon. We shall all be weeping

Dolph's primary interest is in finding out who hurt Anita, and then hurting them back. This is played off as being annoying and overly paternal and a pain in the ass, all at the same time. Anita shrugs him off. Dolph then demands to see all her scars. Most of them require Anita removing her shirt, so she removes her shirt. Dolph is amazed and disgusted, and wow, so am I! I'll bet this outfit gets slapped with one harrassment suit a year.

Hey, Anita? You have a very large number of very large men who are very, very, very angry and obviously more than willing to "forget" their badges for at least a few minutes. Why not bring some of them with you? 

And then Anita accuses Dolph of being so upset only becasue he didn't get to kill Jean Claude.

  One: Jean Claude fucking raped you. Stop being responsible for his undead ass.

Two: Dolph loves you. Every cop in the entire department clearly loves you. Every single one of them just put their jobs on the line to "lose" the guy they thought had killed you. If they wanted to kill Jean Claude they would have strapped him into a suntan bed and flicked the "on" switch. They lost him because he hurt you. They clearly still believe that he hurt you, that you are protecting him because that is what battered Significant Others do, and that continuing to "lose" him is the best thing they can do for the world in general. And they are absolutely right on all counts. 

Three: You are a bitch. And not the good, awesome, Sigorney Weaver kind of bitch, either. You are everything that people hate about women.

Anita then discerns that Dolph hates Jean Claude because a woman in his life is sleeping with a vampire, and she calls him on it. LKH might be going for "ball-buster" here, but it just comes off as "heartless bitch." Sunshine, you don't go for the low blow with your father figures. You just don't.

Dolph tells Anita to get out, with trimmings. Anita walks past Dolph carefully, because literally every other man in her life would have hit her after getting that angry, so naturally Dolph, the upstanding police officer, would do that too. Welcome to Battered Wife symptom number two: Overreaction to the emotions of others. Anita, you and Bella Swan go stand in that corner over there and come back when you're in touch with your inner selves again.

Anita figures it's Dolph's wife having an affair with a vampire. She doesn't want to ask many questions. Hey, sunshine? How about not bringing that shit up in the first place.

Speaking of which, I think there's something in vampire saliva that makes you forget all concept of bounderies. Because fuck me...

And then Anita finds out they hired a bounty hunter to help them convict Jean Claude of Anita's murder.

*deep breath*


I'm better now. 

The dude's name is Orlando King. Orlando. I am now imagining Lando Calurissian in Crocodile Dundee's getup. Orlando even flirts with Anita in record time. He doesn't say "What have we here?" but it comes pretty damn close. Anita wonders if he's flirting (He called you pretty. He is) and decides she's not that pretty, she doesn't get it, and she's probably paranoid. 

...I need to develop a Mary Sue drinking game, don't I?

Anita retrieves Nathanial, who has all the lady cops drooling over his stripperific ways (Yeah. No.) and heads off to get Jean Claude.

You know, I'll bet every cop in that department has a packet of domestic abuse cards with Anita's name on it, and none of them have the guts to do it. They're not slipping Nathaniel their number because they wanna sleep with him, 'Nita. They're trying to get you into some form of halfway decent therapy. 

And then we get "Fuck you" retcon number ninty nine. Anita wraps herself around Jean Claude, exactly the way battered women snuzzle their abusers, and Cop One says this: 

“I’ve never seen you be that  .  .  . soft with anyone before.” It startled me. 

“You’ve seen me kiss Richard before.”
 He nodded. “That was lust. This is  .  .  .” He shook his head, glancing up at Jean-Claude, then back to me. “He makes you feel safe.”

I will not make this review any longer by pointing out the ten zillion reasons why this is bullshit. I will just point out that, one, Jean Claude mind-raped Anita less than twelve hours ago, and two, that contradicts every character interaction in the last nine books so heard I think the book just strained something. 

And then the characters talk about how Anita's experiances have "mellowed" her. 

    There is an attempt at humor, it doesn't work, and the chapter ends with everybody heading home.

There are sixty-five chapters in this book. And an epilogue.

This really is going to suck, isn't it?

Next chapter: I just read ahead a few pages, and I am going to have a fucking meltdown. You will be here to watch it. This might just be worse than Captive of Gor.


  1. "Next chapter: I just read ahead a few pages, and
    I am going to have a fucking meltdown."

    It gets worse? Seriously? How?!

    World-building question: Since shapeshifters and vampires are known quantities in this world, why do the SWAT cops not have 50-cal machine guns firing silver-plated bullets? If Joe 'Asshole of the Year' Arpaio can have an APC with mounted machine guns IRL, so can these guys.

    1. I am, like the owner of this blog, a former fan who really loves the world that LKH created, but one of the flaws of that world is that even though monsters have always been real and people have always known that, they seem to have very few ways to deal with them, and most people (aside from Anita) seem to have no basic knowledge of how they work (like, for instance, don't look into a vampire's eyes.) It's less like they've always been here and more like they randomly appeared recently.

  2. You'll see tomorrow. Mostly through victim blaming and kill-it-with-fire stupidity.

    RE: the world: I. DON'T. KNOW. TECHNICALLY it would make the dominance fights in the groups a moot point ("911 emergancy what is your problem?" "Yeah, the werewolf dude down the street and his buddies are at it again, could you please send RPIT back with the Barretts?" "Absolutely sir, what is your address?") but a creative author could find a way around that. In Silver Borne we have our one and only true dominance fight between Adam Hautptman and (REDACTED IDIOT) and it is highly ritualized, both participants are human (Mostly because Adam is too badly hurt to shift) and the rules are carefully followed and enforced.

    Mostly because Bran would kill the moron who broke them. You do not fuck with Bran.

    (Next Mercy Thompson book not out until frickin MARCH, goddamn it. Where is my Mercy.)

    Also, in the Mercy books you can buy silver-plated bullets at Wal-Mart.

    ...I really shouldn't wander off the topic, should I? It's funny how ANY desire to read Anita Blake as anything other than utter bottom of the barrel crack up and died when I read Moon Called for the first time.