But I had promises to keep, and miles to go before I could sleep. Or at least a couple of miracles to perform before I could go to bed.Because it's oh, so big of her to go work to save the man that she nearly killed with her own stupidity. Throwing him in the oubliette was Richard's doing, but summoning Rania makes this just as much her fault, and I STILL cannot get over how stupid that was.
By the way, the best horror story I ever read was a Robert Frost poem. No lie.
Anyway, they're all on the back porch. Now, this is going to be about Gregory, and rescuing him from his wounds, and making nice for the sake of a wounded man, right?
I just noticed that Anita never refers to her wereleopards as people, and she never calls them leopards unless she's actually talking. She calls them cats. It gives you the impression that these are small, sweet creatures who would absolutely allow a doctor to work them over when they are so badly injured.
I've had badly hurt cats before. They are just as likely to make you bleed, and they won't be nice about it. I cannot imagine what a hurt leopard could do, but I really doubt it'd be "huddle and snuggle"
And i know I've said that I love Laurel K. Hamilton's narrative voice, and I do, but dear sweet God:
Richard’s power crept on the summer darkness like close thunder, making the hot, sticky night even thicker and making it harder to breathe.
Does every noun need to have a tail? And look, "night" gets a twofer. And there's a lot of problems with those adjective choices. Summer would get a pass if it were alone. With everything else it just sets my teeth on edge. But "Richard's power crept like close thunder" doesn't work for shit. IDK about you, but in my universe thunder close to me does not "creep". That implies sneaking. It goes boom. Night cannot get thicker, and every time you pile more than one adjective in front of a noun, the verbal power of the other ones get diluted.
Richard is so angry Anita's body guards start circling the wagons. Anita tells them to knock it off, they kind of shrug and say "tell him that," and then, because we haven't had anything horrible happen in a while, LKH goes right back to the awful suck.
It's long, it goes on for several passages, but to sum it up in short, Richard rips Stephen's beast out of his body as quickly and painfully as he possibly can. It is explosive. People are standing around in pieces of his human body when it is over. Richard then smiles and says, "Now you try."
A few minutes later it's established that there IS a gentler way to do it, and Richard is so pissed off he did it the way he wanted to: the violent, rape-tastic way.
So to put this into better terms: Richard was brought here to help Anita summon the beast of a severely damaged wereleopard so that he doesn't die. Because Richard is pissed at Anita and angry with himself, he decided to teach Anita how to do it as violently as possible, probably hoping on some level that she'd violate the leopards the way he just violated the fuck out of his wolf.
And then he and Anita argue about it.
Gregory is still lying there. Anita scores some good hits--Richard's in a nasty mood and he's taking it out on people who don't deserve it--but it's all kind of moot when you've got a dying man curled up on a picnic table.
And it's just because Richard is hurting so much, and he hates himself so much, and he's so angry and I so do not care because they are STILL ignoring somebody whose physical pain is 100% worse than theirs is.
And it's even more unforgivable when they stop fighting and start flirting.
And then he summons Jamal's beast gently.
You know, I find it kind of weird that when bad things happen, they happen exclusively to the subs. Stephen was submissive and he got hurt bad by his master. Jamal is more of an equal, so he gets the soft treatment. Anita protects her subs, so far, but they still get lost and hurt more than anybody else. I have no commentary, but it's disturbing as shit. Replace "sub" with "woman" and you'd get eye-bleeding rage.
And it gets proven when the only way Anita can get Gregory to shift is the nasty, rapy violent way, and not the gentle coaxing.
But he's healed, and according to this awful book, if the ending is good it doesn't matter how you get there. Everybody celebrates.
Except us. Because FUCK that sucked.