Saturday, January 19, 2013

Narcissus in Chains 44

This book has induced a pavlovian response in me. Anita mentions that a male is curled somewhere in her vacinity, and my sex drive immediately dies.

Donovan Reece is the dude in question, and the dehumanization begins immediately. He's pretty. He's SO pretty, sports fans, that he is like a statue. An object, in other words.

I'm just going to leave this here:

He's also got the swanmanes with him, AKA the female swan shapeshifters. Words, as I have learned recently, are very important. And using a word that does not imply humanity towards a human individual makes them into something less than human. The description goes to the other Alphas in the room, and we get a truely WTF description of...people.

Donovan took over then, introducing me to the man and woman sitting between them. They were both dark-complected. Their bone structure was pure middle America, nothing special, but their eyes were too big, too dark, the hair truly black. There was something exotic about them that straight European just doesn’t give you. They also looked amazingly alike, like male and female versions of each other. They were Ethan and Olivia MacNair, respectively.

For half that paragraph, I thought she was describing African Americans. Then I thought it might be Indians, Arabs or Native Americans. And then we got to "European" and I went back and re-read the rest of the paragraph. No, no, it says "dark complected". ...And then I got to the names. Well, maybe they're something related to Roma (I know nothing about Irish Travelers, but that, maybe?) There's a big chested predator-shifter that Anita treats with respect, and then we get this:

 One man was slender with golden red hair, and strangely up-tilted green eyes. He sat on the floor, huddled against the side of the couch as if he were hiding.
Prey critter folks. I gaurentee it.

I swear to fucking god I am writing that werehippo story, and nobody on this planet is going to stop me.

And then...we have honest to god effective characterization:

The woman was tall, nearly six feet, broad-shouldered, strong-looking. Her hair was brown, streaked with gray, pulled back from her face in a loose ponytail. Her face was bare of makeup. She offered me a hand, and gave me one of the best handshakes I’ve ever had from another woman.
First reaction: Fuck you Anita Blake. Second reaction: I want to read six million books about this woman, and I don't even know her name.

BTW, her name is Janet Talbot. I'll bet money she gets severely injured and/or killed by the end of the book. She fucking outshined Anita in the space of one paragraph. 

The folks with the Irish names are the were-cobras. Their leader is Nilisha.  And her husband/Alpha/Mate/made up word was killed leaving another woman's house.

Yep. He's dead. Way to victim blame, LKH.

Olivia, Nilisha's daughter, and Nilisha have a fight. (How many times did LKH type that name? I hate it after three reps...) Anita herds everybody out to stop the fight. Nilisha asks what everyone is doing. Janet replies "Somewhere quieter" and holy fuck, I love this woman. She reminds me of Johanna Mason.

It turns out that Janet is missing a son, the werebears are missing their Ursa, (Think of that yourself, Laurel?) Gil the fragile red-head is just scared (Yep. Prey animal) and Christine is a rep for the folk only present in ones or twos, and is the city's only weretiger.

That shudder you felt was millions of desperate fans crying out in terror. Disturbed force is disturbed, folks.

Hey, this book hasn't really pissed me off this chapter yet. We might just survive without ge--

Christine continued as if I hadn’t spoken. Focused, Christine was always focused. “Joseph’s mate is pregnant. Amber would be here but she’s under complete bed rest until the baby is born.” 

“Until she loses it, you mean,” Cherry said.

I glanced at her. “You say that like she’s lost some before.” 
“This is her third try,” Cherry said.
Oh FUCK YOU Laurell.

FYI boys and girls, I'm not supposed to be here. I'm a pill baby, ladies and gents, and Mom was on the pill because she lost two kids before she had me. Due to a bad drug from the fifties, Mom's cervix was mush. She was told that she would not have kids, ever, and that she should give up. And she did. My brother and I were both woopsies, and she was glad to have us both. My mom also had to have total bed rest for me. (For my brother, they just sewed everything up and told her "See you in six months!").

So Fuck you, LKH, for dismissing that kind of dedication and dreaming as something stupid.

Admittedly, there's a reason for this. Weres can't carry to term because the shifting puts too much stress on the fetus. EXCEPT THAT'S TOTALLY FUCKING NOT TRUE AT ALL. The were-snakes bear children, I know the were-tigers bear kids because hereditary shifting is a big plot-point in the future books.

And then Olivia suggests they call the police.

SOMEBODY HAS FINALLY MADE THE SANE CHOICE. I know they're not actually going to involve the cops, BUT SOMEONE SUGGESTED THEY DO THE SMART THING. Let me enjoy it while it lasts.

It turns out, though, that everybody already has reported their people missing. And that, because they kept the shape shifting secret and made no obvious connection between the missing, the cops aren't doing anything.

So this book expects me to believe that there is a cluster of missing people, all of whom are caucasian, all of whom had relatively good family lives, one of whom is twenty-one, none of whom showed any signs of intending to disappear, and that the police don't give a shit.

And then...holy. fucking. shit. Folks, Anita is going to call the cops and tip them off that there's a connection between the people in this cluster. Anita Blake is going to tell the truth about things. SHE IS GOING TO SAVE PEOPLE'S LIVES FOR REAL BY NOT BEING STUPID.

The chapter ends with her going to the phone. Hot shit, boys and girls. This could actually be good.

And this is why I keep reading this series. Because this could have been the whole book. This could have been beautiful. And it won't be, because non-con sex is more interesting than a whole bunch of missing Alphas.


  1. LKH has a habit of disregarding her story-canon. This makes the rules/laws of magic into mere suggestions, to be broken at the author's whim and always in Anita Sue's favour. The problem isn't so much that Rules are Rules and must never be violated, but that the rules of a setting control what kind of story we're reading. Are we reading a suoernatural thriller with harsh consequences for playing with magic, or are we reading a dubcon/NC story where the protagonist gets to have hot sex eith every cool kind of shapeshifter out there?

    Also, yeah - Fuck you Anita they're people. Not animals. People.

  2. Actually, we find out later in the books why the tigers can do it and no one else can. They have a special technique where one tiger can 'take the beast' of the other, so during the full moon, one who can do this will do it for the pregnant woman so that she doesn't shift at all. In the book I'm reading right now (Bullet) the tiger boyfriend Anita has now (she...gets a lot) has come to live in St. Louis and is now teaching it to the therians there and apparently it was some age-old secret. That's the part I really don't buy. They keep it under wraps (why?) for THIS long, and then all of a sudden one guy just decides to tell everyone? And there's no apparent repercussions for him from other tigers or anything, so it doesn't seem to be something they guarded, just something they never bothered to tell any other shifter groups...which is stupid, because it's really valuable information that could have gotten them favors or ahead politically from other therians. And you can't tell me that at some point it didn't hit other therians that oh hey, have you ever noticed tigers can carry a pregnancy to term, we should look in on that!

    As for the snakes, they can have children like mammals (maybe they know the same trick as the tigers?) or like reptiles. Yup, eggs. So no fear of the baby not surviving the shift, it's already outside of you while it gestates!

    Talbot, as well as all the other characters introduced here, never re-occurs. LKH just forgets them all, along with the fact she ever even introduced these species. We're on book twenty-something now, and we have yet to hear anymore about weresnakes, weredogs, werebears, or werefoxes. We get loads and loads and loads on freaking tigers though, because LKH really just has a blatant favoritism for big cats. Other animals aren't cool and badass and pretty enough, I guess.

  3. " They have a special technique where one tiger can 'take the beast' of the other, so during the full moon, one who can do this will do it for the pregnant woman so that she doesn't shift at all."

    Wait wait wait the weretigers have a special secret technique that allows them to control whether or not they shift AND allows them to breed true? But they're not the dominant population among shapeshifters?

    Imma call bullshit here. Bullshit, or more worldbuilding fail.

  4. Oh, and werehippos would be fucking awesome.

  5. I'm sorry, your summery was wonderful but all I can think of is "You like E.A. too? Oh my goodness!" and then I get all excited because you're already so neat already.
    Now I'll go back under my rock in embarrassment that I just fangirled.

    1. I think I've met one other person who even knows who she is...and he got to see her live in Austin. Yes. Love love love love LOVE E.A.

      (I fangirl squee all the time. I got it all over a customer last night because he read books and I read books and we both read the Hunger Games before it was a thing, and his wife spent the whole conversation thinking that both of us were nuts, in a good natured way.)

  6. I love Emilie Autumn but we accidently stole my plush spider and it was my fault for waving it at her. Also my werewolves can reproduce. They also are not rapey and horrible.