I am 27.
The entire world has changed since last year, far as I'm concerned. No, I'm not a successful writer. Yet. But last year I was not functional. And by "not functional" I mean suicidally depressed. As in I decided a few days before my 26th birthday that if I could not manage to get my book published THAT YEAR, I was not going to see 27. By my own choice.
I had a plan and everything. I'd done research. It was not a happy time.
One day I will have the guts to post the whole story, because a lot of it is me whining and it'll be really easy to look at it and go "oh, well. All she wants is attention." and not understand that my brain was so fucked up for the first six months of 2012 that the whining was the stuff I actually believed and nothing could convince me otherwise (and the clusterfuck that happened last April did not help matters at all). Today is not that day. But knowing where I am now, and knowing where I was last year...it's kind of awesome to me that I made it through to here, and I'm finally excited about where I'm going to go next.
...I have to review the sucky book now, don't I?
So. So far we have rehashed how awful Merry is, we've introduced a plot thread involving possible faerie civil war (revolving around sex) a rampaging war hell beast with no name, a plot thread involving Merry getting pregnant, and a plot thread involving high double digit mass murder.
And look, I'm sorry, I have to say it: I love true crime. Aphrodite Jones, Ann Rule, M. Williem Phelps, the list, my friends, the list goes on from there. So if you write about a mass murder that ranks up there with Jonestown, Waco and Heaven's Gate, and it is so boring I can't read it? YOU HAVE LOST THE GAME.
So, having stormed out of the crime scene in a huff because a police detective was less than polite to her and wasn't all that interested in the opinion of an untrained, violent civilian, Merry gets into a car to drive to nowhere.
This book now officially has no goal whatsoever.
She's all flustered and shaky, and Rhys tells her that she's in shock because what she saw was just oh, so bad.
Yes. Yes it was. Everybody has the right to be in shock after seeing fifty to a hundred dead bodies. But nobody else is in shock. Everybody else can handle it. Frost. The cops. It's only pretty perfect princess Merry who can't handle the big bad murder scene.
This is unfair on two levels: One, it makes this murder all about Merry fucking Gentry, and not about the people who died inside that house. The Lovely Bones is one of my favorite books because it is the ONLY murder-centric book I've read that focuses and glorifies the VICTIM of a terrible crime, rather than the murderer.
Secondly: It implies that the police are used to shit like this. They're not. I've heard stories about cops knowing what tests to run and what things to look for because they watched Forensic Files. I read a book on the Green River Killer written by the cop who ran the task force up until his election as Sherrif. I read the book about the cops trying to clean up the Branch Davidian compound after David Koresh had his people light it on fire. The good True Crime books don't dwell on the awful things, but rather on how it affects the cops. And it affects them badly every single time. I've heard at least three different stories about cops going through a terrible crime scene, doing their work, making sure their paperwork was fucking PERFECT, that the evidence was catalogued right, that everything was done, and then going home and shooting themselves because it was just. that. bad.
This book is implying that if a bad crime scene affects you negatively, there must be something wrong with you. You must be weak somehow. If a bad crime scene affects you, you are HUMAN. End of story.
Merry asks if the boys have seen worse. They have. She pressures them to tell her about it. They refuse. She pressures some more. And then Frost says this:
“I am sure Rhys has seen worse than I. I was not alive during the very first battles when our people fought the Firbolgs.”*twitch*
The most facinating part of Celtic mythology is the "invasions". I've been trying very hard to find a good source book on them. The "invasions" are peroids where one race takes over Ireland, and then another race battles the first race...I think? Like I said, finding concrete stuff on the "invasions" is difficult. I know the Book of Kells is a source for a lot of it.
Seeing it dismissed as a footnote in this book is like...UGH. IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO EXPLORE THE AWESOMENESS WHY ARE YOU BRINGING IT UP?
To justify Merry being shaky after seeing almost a hundred dead people. Because this world revolves around Merry.
Merry keeps pushing to find out about the "Something worse" the boys have seen. And then we get a sentence that just boils LKH's entire philosophy down beautifully:
There is no that can be worn down to yes, then there is NO. Rhys’s no was one of those.Yep. If you can wear somebody else's will down and make them agree with what you want, you can! Because sometimes you can turn an No into a Yes if you just try hard enough.
In a healthy universe, no means no. This is not a healthy universe.
Merry asks what she missed in there, because she was "sheilding" too hard to see anything. Because you could go into that place and come out covered in "riders".
*sighs*. Okay. So two, three years ago I decided to be a little flexible in my beleif system. I am a Christian, I believe in the basic creed, but there are a lot of fun wrinkles I've allowed myself because God is bigger, and Romans 14 and SI issues, and it's a really long story. But somewhere in all of this I managed to wind up with a new-age-y councelor. Now, she was very good for my SI issues and she was very good with the aftermath of my sexual assault, but eventually we went from doing nice, normal talk therapy to trying to deal with issues from past lives.
I do not believe in re-incarnation. And if it is there, I do not remember a goddamned thing from any past life, ever. But I wound up going along with it because my head was pretty fucked up back then, too. Eventually we got tired of past life things (mostly because when we tried regression I just got the giggles) and she decided that I had "riders". And that's when things got weird. Dowsing rods were involved, mostly to measure the circumfrence of my "aura" or whatever, but most of it was me sitting in a chair with my eyes closed and my arm stuck out in midair while the councelor asked the "rider" questions and pushed on my wrist. It wasn't too long after this that I stopped going to counciling completely, because I was trying to get my head on straight, not revamp my religious beliefs into...that.
I think LKH and my old councelor would either love each other to itty bitty pieces or they would start having magic battles or something. Fluffy bunny dark vs. fluffy bunny light. Apparently, they're both using the same study manual.
And then Rhys accuses her of not being brave enough to risk getting a "rider" in exchange for looking at a crime scene. No shit, Sherlock. If I thought I'd pick up a hitchhiker of somekind at a scene like that? The Death Star wouldn't have sheilds as good as mine.
They argue, and Rhys finally says it's a ghost. I just summed up four pages of LKH's trademarked "is it this?" "How could it be this?" "Oh I know it's this because--" nonsense. You're very welcome. And it's not just any ghost, it's the ghost of an immortal, and not just any immortal, but an elder god.
...please realize along with me that this book could very well have been about the ressurection of Cthulhu.
Instead, we focus on how the sidhe sometimes release the ghosts of the elder gods on the fey because why not? They're all fucking sociopaths anyway. Only one sidhe could do the spell, and he's dead, and the rest of them would be killed if they tried to do the spell, so whoever is using it is either a moron or really, really desperate.
But you know? We haven't gotten LKH's patented brand of religious superiority in a while. Let's see if we can't fix that:
but some of the elder ones can be brought back to full strength if they get enough lives. Sometimes one of them will convince a cult somewhere that they’re the devil and get them to sacrifice themselves,Yes. Cults believe that they are worshipping Satan. Except that, unless we're talking about a very special brand of melodramatic, they don't.
David Koresh had his people believing that he was the reincarnation of Christ.
Jim Jones had his people believing that they were building a better world
Heaven's Gate believed that Jesus/Te had come back to take everybody back in his/her magical spaceship behind the Hale-Bopp comet.
Jeffery Lundgren had people believing that he was God.
I could go on all night.
The thing about evil, when it is truely evil, is that it doesn't present itself as an ugly nasty thing to be feared. It presents itself as, if you'll pardon the Christian imagry, an angel of light. Something that is good, that appeals to you and to your basic desire to be good. Sociopaths aren't marked by their disgusting actions; they're marked by their charm. Evil presents itself as something desirable. Otherwise people would run away from it.
Or to quote Lewis, "The fine flower of unholiness can grow only in the close neighborhood of the holy; nowhere do we tempt so well as on the very steps of the altar."
Yeah, there's a big fuck you for that dismissive bullshit, LKH.
And now they're talking about how the magician has to be sidhe, and how revealing this to the cops could get them all thrown out of the country.
Uh...why? Seriously. Unless you actually want them gone, why would one bad apple be enough to get the whole race thrown out? Branch Davidians still exist. We haven't thrown them out of society just because David Koresh was an unbelievable fucking monster. We keep germans around.
This is never explained, because Rhys goes off on this long "Everybody forgets about me" insane gigglefest that makes him, officially, the creepiest character in the novel.
The chapter ends with them going to pick up Kitto.