Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Narcissus in Chains--chapter 61

Anita interrogates the surviving wereheyena. His name is Bacchus.

Bacchus. Ulysses. Narcissis. Yeah. Why do the were heyenas have a naming theme? And why is that theme greek? The text mentioned earlier that Narcissus has been "adding to his ranks" until he has five, six hundred men. Just men. And they're all gay. And this is the middle of midwestern America. And LKH is expecting me to believe that Narcissus is grabbing random gay guys off the street of St. Louis and infecting them with were-heyena and he managed not to hit a John, or an Andy, or a


Narcissus has been infecting random men with therianthropy because he wants more people on his side. Narcissus, a gay person, is kidnapping and infecting "normal" people with a blood borne disease that utterly totally and permanently alters your life because he wants more allies.

Go fuck yourself, Laurel. Go. Fuck. Yourself. If you cannot figure out why that is disgusting and creepy and oh, so very wrong, you need to go back to human school and learn how to be one. GOOD. FUCKING. GOD.

And Narcissus is either limiting his recruting to gay greek men with romantic names, or he's taking their names away and replacing them with his own choices. In real life, Narcissus is a bad caracature of a marganilized people. In this universe he is a dangerous, dehumanizing predator rather like Anita, and in both worlds he needs to be erased before he does more damage to lable he identifies with.

 And then Narcissus introduces "Chimera", a panwere who is apparently into even more BDSM stuff than Narcissus. Chimera has abducted all the pack's lovers. Because of course the romantic partners are going to be easy to identify and hold onto. The feminine half of a gay partnership always dresses like Bobby Trendy.

And in case you can't recognise it, kiddies, that was sarcasm.

So the only person who can rescue these poor tortured wereheyenas from their own apathy is Anita. Somebody linked me to an article yesterday about how she's a straight warrrior or something. Yeah. No. If straight people get to elect a warriror my vote is going to go to somebody who can manage to avoid the penis when she doesn't actually want it. We don't need a warrior, though, so that election should be delayed a few more decades.

So if Anita doesn't co-operate with Chimera, he will kill all the weak little were-heyenas that Anita now has to protect. What does Chimera want?

Anita. As his mate.

Once again, the way to rescue a bunch of frightened shapeshifting predator men is through sex.

Anita is reluctant to come to the rescue until Bacchus reminds her of a traumatic point in her life, in which she was mailed parts of people she cared about to try to make her do something. At this point me and my dudes would be in the car halfway back to turn Chimera into a grease stain, but Anita has to be convinced and cajoled into having sex rescuing people.

Anita wonders why she wants to help someone she tried to kill. My vote is, because you are a person and these are also people and if you are a good human being you help other people not have parts chopped off of themselves. Anita decides its because she's an oversocialized, hormonal female.

That's what the text says. That's not me.

How did I go from trying to kill him to feeling bad for him? Maybe it was a girl thing, or maybe I’d been oversocialized as a child.
She gets a layout of the club from Bacchus, and the chapter ends.


  1. I'm impressed. Not every author can pack so much FUCKING GODAWFUL HOMOPHOBIC MISOGYNISTIC STUPID CRAP into one short chapter. LKH must have worked overtime on this.

  2. " Narcissus, a gay person, is kidnapping and infecting "normal" people with a blood borne disease that utterly totally and permanently alters your life because he wants more allies."

    ...oh god I never thought of this (probably because I was in high school the last time I read it). But you are completely right and I want to hurl now.

    It's implied at some point that Narcissus renames all these men after Greek lore. Why is never specified. My personal theory is that Narcissus himself has some quirk about it rather than it being a part of werehyena culture in general, but since we've yet to be shown any other Cackles in the series besides Narcissus's own, it's just a guess.

    And yes, what gay couples we do see do tend to very much fall into heteronormative 'there must be a man and a woman even if they're the same gender tropes'. Chimera is this big masculine guy if I remember correctly, and Narcissus is...yeah. Sylvie is tough, her girlfriend Gwen is just pretty. About the only exception I can maybe think of is Yasmeen and Marguerite, who both seem on the feminine side for the one chapter they appeared in, but that's because Yasmeen was there for the 'icky lesbians want Anita even though she doesn't want them, isn't that gross?' factor that comes up a lot, and Marguerite was there to be a 'other women, especially blondes, are jealous of Anita and also probably crazy' factor, which comes up even MORE.

    And I guess the Traveler and his Human Servant? But considering their whole gig is that the Traveler continually possesses new bodies of men for said Servant to have sex with him in (aka raping the real owner of the body), they're really not an improvement.

    Chimera is the start of a long line of villains in the books after this who are focused only on Anita, usually sexually. There were a few before, but plenty who weren't and had goals, aims, desires, etc that had nothing to do with her. After this, I don't think that happens anymore.

    1. Oh wait, Yasmeen and Marguerite DO show up in another chapter...in which the former holds an unwilling man down while the latter rubs his groin. So they get to both be 'the girl' because they're not lesbians, they're bisexual women.

      Bisexuals who are aggressive crazy rapists that team up to assault heterosexual men (the guy, larry) and heterosexual women (Anita)


    2. What bothers me the most is...these people are not explored as people. They don't have a character beyond their defined lables. Sylvie is gay and a contender for werewolf Alpha. Great. Does she like chocolate or vanilla ice cream? Bad movies? When she smashes her thumb does she say "Sugar" or "Shit?" We don't know. We'll never know. She isn't a person. She's five or six pieces of tape stick to a plastic doll.

      And that means that when LKH needs to create a villian and has to make it a disgusting, morally reprehensible creature, the first thing she reaches for is "homosexual" and the second is "Sexual sadist".

      It's horrible.

  3. " Narcissus, a gay person, is kidnapping and infecting "normal" people with a blood borne disease that utterly totally and permanently alters your life because he wants more allies."

    And we have more worldbuilding fail, people. Another big huge chunk of it, oozing with poorly thought out unfortunate implications. This sex-predator is going around kidnapping people, raping them, infecting them with a dangerous disease, and enslaving them... And local law enforcement response is?

    Oozing, I say.

    1. It's also honestly weird to me how NONE of these guys turn on Narcissus either. He probably infected at least some of them nonconsensually, his lover Chimera has caused their lovers to be tortured horribly, and yet somehow after this book he remains leader
      and tries to hook up with a vampire who can control hyenas and were hyenas and in fact wants to become the bound servant of that vampire, which would make all his were hyenas under the control of that vampire as well. He is a TERRIBLE leader. But no one ever steps up and stages a coup? I get that he probably infected many of them recently so they’re likely not strong types at all supernatural-wise but THERE IS LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF THEM.

    2. "It's also honestly weird to me how NONE of these guys turn on Narcissus either."

      That part I understand, looking at it from LKH's point of view. The world is hierarchal, the strong rule the weak, and Beta weaklings never seriously challenge manly Alphas.

      And putting it like that makes LKH sound like an MRA. It's a good match, really.

  4. All of the gay men who live in a pack together are named from Greek lore? That's like making all lesbians poets from Lesbos.
    I think that's the nail in the coffin that these people aren't characters, they're 'gays'.

  5. "All of the gay men who live in a pack together
    are named from Greek lore?"

    Oh yuck. I managed to miss that, but you're right. That's exactly what LJH has done here. Classy and not stereotyping at all.

    Oh, and yet another research/worldbuilding fail just occured to me: Hyenas aren't canines. They're more closely related to cats than they are to dogs or wolves. Once again LKH's shifters act like neither real-world animals or real-world people.

    1. What? Does this mean that leopards don't sleep in 'puppy' piles?

    2. Ug, I realized that that might have come across as being snide at you. That wasn't my intention :/.

    3. Yeah, I figured you were snarking at the book. No worries.

    4. It's really funny that you mention this because LKH just posted on her blog (or twitter or something) that she JUST FOUND THIS OUT about hyenas. And I was like "...wait, so you didn't know that when you wrote Narcissus in Chains?" This is pretty hilarious when you consider LKH has a habit of BRAGGING about how much research she does.

  6. " Narcissus, a gay person, is kidnapping and infecting "normal" people with a blood borne disease that utterly totally and permanently alters your life because he wants more allies."

    I remember reading this book. I remember thinking, "Boy, this is really lousy." But I really feel like I should have noticed this horrible, horrible point. Maybe I was just lost in the morass of crap that passes for a plot and didn't notice?

    1. The fun part about doing these blogs? I usually realize the awful shit while I am typing. Talking it out tends to make things become VERY clear.

      Just reading? Unless you are a GOD of social justice issues and PC ness, you will not catch these things. Especially because LKH cannot plot her way out of a paper bag, and skimming is less a negative and more a must do if you want to finish these books ever.

      Basically...yeah. You were lost. We were all lost.