Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Narcissus in Chains chapter 53

So. We are almost done with this book. So far, three people (Nathanial, Gregory, Damian) have been kidnapped and/or held in prison by a supernatural group's leader (Narcissus, Richard, Jean Claude) and Anita has had to have sex and/or preform a task to get her person back. Basically, this book is a nymphomaniac's D&D campaign.

In Gregory's case, Anita had to magically sense where Gregory was being kept via scent, something she failed at catastrophically.

In Damian's case, she goes down into the vampire prison and finds two coffins. And because she's supposed to be Damian's master, she has to magically sense which coffin has her boy in it. Only it's not Jean Claude requiring this. It's one of her body guards.

I can kind of understand repeating your plot twice in the same book, but this is the third time Anita has had to do this. 

She does it within a page, and discovers that, big surprise, Damian is monumantally fucked up. Folks, if vampires, who are not known for being members of PETA, decide that you are too homicidal for their company, you probably have issues. And Anita decides she wants to have mercy on whomever is locked up in the other coffin. Because she likes all of Jean Claude's vamps, and she doesn't any of them to get hurt.

This says one of two things:

-Either Jean Claude has a history of punishing people who haven't done anything wrong with the most atrocious punishments imaginable, thus totally negating Anita's trust in him as a person, but totally validating her desire to be kind to whomever is chained up in a coffin to hunger for all eternity.


-Anita is an idiot.

Seriously. IF Jean Claude is a good leader, whoever is locked in the coffin fucking deserves to be there. If Jean Claude is not a good leader and this dude doesn't deserve to be in there, YOU SHOULD NOT BE FUCKING JEAN CLAUDE. And what kind of person decides she wants to negate punishment on somebody just because she likes them? People LOVED Ted Bundy, and he didn't give a fuck. Jesus Christ, Anita, you are dating your own rapist. Your judgement of people SUCKS.


Jean Claude comes down before Anita can break the seal on the worst tupperware container, ever, and she grills him on who it might be. He says "Gretchen." Who is, apparently, a vampire that tried to kill Anita because she wanted Jean Claude all to herself.

She did this three fucking years ago, and she's been in the coffin ever sense.

We are all supposed to know who this is. Seriously. This is ten books into the series, I am assuming that "Gretchen" was a major character in a book five or six books back. Guys, this opens a very large, very nasty can of moral worms.

First off, it proves that Anita is an idiot. Somebody who tired to kill her is in the coffin. Do not have mercy on random coffins.

Second: Jean Claude is a bad leader too. He is not punishing Gretchen because she tried to kill A person, he's punishing her because she tried to kill his person. Anita. This is viewed as justifiable by the book, but I'm not buying. Jean Claude pitched a fit and locked this woman up in a coffin so she could starve and thirst for all eternity.

Folks, I know that we have *issues* with capitol punishment, but if you have somebody so bad the only punishment you can justify is locking them up to suffer for years on end, just kill the person. Fast kill is better than torment for all eternity.

Anita still wants to let Gretchen out of the coffin. She won't leave Damian in there any longer, either. She issues ultimatums to a dude who locks people up into coffins for years on end just because they nearly wiped out his fun.

I don't like any of these people anymore.

Anita demands that Jean Claude revive Gretchen, and then lend her Asher to revive Damian. And then she grills Jean Claude for pages and pages about whether or not Jean Claude and Asher would be lovers again if she got out of the way.

I think the answer is a big fat YES.

And then the chapter ends without resolving one fucking thing. BIG surprise, I know. I know. But there you have it.

Gag. Me .With. A. Spork.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Vampire culture and the way vampires rule is really fucking brutal in the Anitaverse, to the point that Jean-Claude is actually considered kind of a pussycat "nice" leader in-universe because putting his people in cross-locked coffins is what he does rather than something worse.

    Gretchen wasn't too major if I recall right. She just showed up to be a screeching evil blonde woman (this series hates blonde women) and jealous of Anita (also a problem the series has--everyone must be jealous of Anita, especially other women!), attacked Anita, then was shut away, literally, ever since.

    1. Brutality, I don't mind. But logic and some kind of comparison is necessary to make Jean Claude's choices make sense.

      Personally, I would say the choice to punish Gretchen that way is ALMOST justified. But the book doesn't want it to be justified for some reason, so it's not. And there's no other leader to compare Jean Claude to, good or bad.

      If you factor in the early books of the series, everything is different...but you really can't because this book is so different and pointless compared to the early books, they might as well be completely different characters.

  3. The worldbuilding fails continue to annoy me.

    The supernaturla has been around since forever, right? But the culture still looks like modern day North America? OK, I can buy that. I read superhero comics. I will accept that supernaturla vampires and shapeshifters live in modern society, integrated with only a few minor changes to history. We just accept that the local SWAT teams have silver bullets and the CDC has a federal-level task force on vampirism transmission...

    Oh wait, shifters and vamps aren't integrated at all. They still live in secret clubs and lead seperate lives from their mundane neighbours, and the government doesn't touch them at all.

    They are outside of society's laws, living in gangs ruled by sociopaths, and yet somehow suburbanites know all this and can pop down to the mall to hire a necromancer?


    On an unrelated note, I want to see a werehuman. By day Cleavon Barnes is a mild-mannered IT guy from Chicago, but at night he transforms into a white guy named Chad who feeds upon the martinis of the living.

    1. Managed to mis-type 'supernatural' twice. I haz shame.

    2. From the United States Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal (Except weres and vampires, because fuck those guys)"

    3. I admit I actually really like the disgustingly brutal and dark side of how the preternaturals operate. I'm a big fan of very dark fantasy as well as horror and gore, and I really like monsters being monsters versus just people with fangs. That said, I really hate how EVERY monster is either, well, a monster, or they're this shaking heap of a victim that has to be protected in the most demeaning way possible. There can be normal people and middle grounds in this still! And there should be! It also bothers me how little separates the good guys from the bad guys. I like horrible gory evil stuff, yes, but I can't root for a good guy who is doing it or allowing it, and Anita Blake and her guys fail on that big-time.

      The fact that they do live in these secret clubs with rules very much outside human law makes me roll my eyes at how every cop that doesn't like supernaturals (note: pretty much none of them do in this series) are portrayed as these hateful, stupid bigots. Um, maybe they just resent the fact that these people run things like a mob of sadists most of the time, but the second they need the police, suddenly they're a-okay with human laws? I know if I were a cop, that would bug me TREMENDOUSLY. And while the ins and outs of preternatural groups are not public knowledge, people do at least understand things like "Master of the City" and "Human Servant" because by the time of the current books, everyone in St. Louis knows JC is the Master and Anita is his girlfriend and servant. In fact, they're considered the "hottest couple in the city" by tabloids, who for some reason treat Anita like a celebrity.

      Which makes me scream even more when the cops are portrayed as assholes for not trusting Anita based on her ties to Jean-Claude. Dude, he is the monster equivalent of a mob boss running his own empire by his own rules, and they KNOW this, they just likely can't prove anything. If you were simply dating a human mob boss, that would be good enough reason to not trust you, conflict of interest, etc. But you are psychically BOUND to one, and you work specifically on preternatural cases, usually in the city that JC rules, and you expect them NOT to wonder if you might not use your position to further your Master's interests? Noooo, they're just bad jealous bigots!

      And if that was just Anita? I wouldn't mind. But LKH never considers any of this either and always shows Anita as being in the right.

    4. Yeah, that's the problem. That whole 'known and part of society'/'no actually they're awesome Dark Beasts Of Teh Nights'/'no they're tabloid fodder'/'no they live in gangs and are ruled by thugs'/'no they live in the suburbs'/etc...

      It gets right back to Anita's Sue-ness. When the supernatural is supposed to be integrated into society we see that Anita has a day-job dealing with magic and that she's so much cooler than everyone else because she accepts supernaturals as people. When the supernatural is supposed to be dark and scary we see that shifters and vampires live in horrific enclaves under the arbitrary rule of complete monsters and Anita is so much tougher than everyone else and she can just take all these packs over without any real pushback.

    5. Oh man, speaking of taking over the current books, she's not only Lupa of the werewolves and Nimir-Ra of the wereleopards, but Regina of the werelions and Little Queen of her own tiger clan.

      This is because all her inner beasts (she ends up with a whole zoo of them--a wolf, all the big cats, five different colors of tigers, but she doesn't shapeshift and isn't vulnerable to silver yet still gets superstrength, etc.)are queens of their respective groups. Like, they just inherently are. She doesn't have to earn it or fight to keep it like the other leaders of the same types of therian groups. Other therians just KNOW she's a queen of their respective type of beast, even though the ONLY type of shifters that have born leaders are the swans (who conveniently have had a Swan King born to this generation, but oddly not a Swan Queen!)

      pisses me off so much