So when you see mistakes in the release, you can blame me for it.
Fortunately today's chapter is going to be short and brief and problem free, and we'll blow through it quick, and...
...fuck. It's this chapter.
Anita ended the last chapter with the dead ghost of the former lupa crowing that she'd pushed Anita into triggering a fight. This chapter starts with Anita being restrained and Richard saying "Fuck, I deserved that hit". There is no fight.
Hey, guys? Do you remember the Nancy Drew Books? I remember the Nancy Drew books. Especially how every chapter ended with both a cliffhanger and an exclimation point! Even if it was just a knock! on a door! And this chapter really REALLY reminds me of Nancy Drew in the scenes where she's in trouble but yeah, not really.
Anita calls bullshit on Richard for using the oubliette. Richard says it was Jacob's idea. NO, Rich. You do not pass the buck like that. You're the boss, you decide. Maybe your problem is not that you're trying to impose democratsy, but that you're trying to impose it without first instating a bill of rights, or removing the barbaric things that make rule-by-force a necessity. (Look, if most people could vote their enemies into a guilotine, an Iron Maiden, or a rack, we wouldn't have Justin Bieber anymore. Just sayin') YOU are in charge of the pack, YOU should have decided where Gregory was stored until it was time to kill him. You have six hundred people in this pack, I'm sure you could have found a bank vault or something to house him in. And it is absofuckinglutely your responsibility to make sure that your ideals are followed in your pack, and to punish the shit out of people who fall back into the old ways because the old ways are fucking wrong.
It's not Richard's morality holding him back, in other words. It's Richard's inability to enforce it, or to stay on top of what's happening in the pack. Richard is not leading, and his morals have nothing to do with it.
But rather than calling bullshit on Richard, because fuck yes this is still on him, Anita goes psychopath on Jacob for suggesting it. So "Kill the Messenger" is in full force in this pack. Nice to know.
Laurell K. Hamilton, meanwhile, tries to be funny:
He stepped back from me, averting his eyes, his face. “You heard the Ulfric. Go fetch your cat before we change our minds.”
“You couldn’t change your mind with a hundred watt bulb and a team of helpers.”
He frowned at me then. Sometimes my humor is a little esoteric, or maybe it’s just not funny. Jacob didn’t find it funny.
Humor is hard. Humor without being offensive is even harder. So to make up for that bullshit, let me show you a man ten thousand times more talented at humor than anybody else. John Pinette:
That? Right there? It's six minutes of genious. Dramatic stories? I can do those. (maybe). I cannot, and will never be able to do humor, and I am perfectly content with that, because we have John Pinette.
Right. Shitty book now.
Anita pulls lupa rank, which she still has for now, and kicks Jacob in the face. Yeah, Jake and Elizabeth are probably going to get together at some point. Richard says that he's "voting her back in", and IDK if that means as lupa for life or if we're still going to watch them have public sex later in the book, but if it's the former, well...much as I DO NOT want to see Anita and Richard make out on a chunk of rocks with pretensions, way to chicken-shit your book out of a crisis, LKH.
Jacob calls Richard out on turning things back into a dictatorship, Richard hulks out and gives a speech that ends with this little gem:
“I thought we were people, not animals. I thought we could change the old ways and make something better. But we all felt it tonight when Anita and her leopards melded. Something safe and good. I’ve tried to be temperate and kind, and look where it’s gotten us. Jacob said Anita is my backbone. No, but she’s doing something right, something that I’ve missed. If you won’t take kindness, then we’ll have to try something else.”
And I just had a VERY unpleasant flashback.
I had a very ill-fated foray into the world of Robert Jordan several years back. It ended when somebody complained about how the series slowed down after book four, and I stood there going "...it gets slower? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?". They recommended Terry Goodkind to me as a replacement. And while Wizard's First Rule was less "replacement" and more "direct fucking rip-off of Jordan's second book", I liked it. And I liked the second one, and the third one, all the way up to Temple of the Winds. Along the way, Richard, the lead, and Kahlan, his wife, got stranger and stranger and more militant, and Richard began getting preachy, but I'd never heard of Ayn Rand or Objectivism, and even if I had, Goodkind was too good of an author to destroy a good series by shoe-horning his own politics into the plot.
And then Faith of the Fallen happened. It was a good book. It was very clearly the book that Goodkind had been working towards from the beginning, because the writing sizzled (at least, compared to the book before, which I cannot remember one goddamned thing about) but HOLY FUCK. It was a freaking love letter to Ayn Rand.
In this book, boys and girls, I think I can safely say that LKH has a similar adjenda. And we just got our thesis statement. "If kindness won't work, we go for the kill."
Except not one fucking person in this book has been kind.
Ah, but now that Richard has agreed with Anita, shown his fangs and gone back on his word by throwing Jacob into the oubliette as soon as they get Gregory out, he's now perfect Ulfric material.
End of chapter.
Next chapter: Time to gross us all out, folks. They go get Gregory.