Yeah, Merry basically has Anita's job sans Zombies. I do not know who Jeremy Gray is other than Fae and her boss. He's ugly and he dresses in gray, and that's it.
You know what made Anita awesome for nine books? It wasn't the guns. It wasn't the steakings and beheadings and bloodbaths and zombies and magic and all that jazz.
No. It was the penguins. Anita Blake went through fucking hell for nine books, and she still collected stuffed penguins. Richard was awesome NOT because he was the baddest werewolf in the pack, which he was. It was because he was the baddest werewolf in the pack and he still taught highschool...um, science, wasn't it? What made the books so good were these little time out moments when we realized that oh, hey, Edward, the biggest sociopath in the series, has an entire family that he loves. Seriously, that was the last awesome moment in the series, watching EDWARD play with his kids. These little moments of cutesy gave us this hope in the bleak, black darkness that hey, everything can still be alright because we have stuffed penguins. Some day the world will end, my friends. Someday we will all be wandering around in gas masks and the things that give us hope will not be the great victories and moments of awesome redemption. No, it'll be the dandelions growing where roses used to be, and the occasional warm bottle of coke.
There's a few flickers of it in Merry--like where they all decide to go see a movie--but it's very rare. Jeremy Gray is so inhuman he needs to build model trains out of toothpicks and bottle caps to make up for it. And he doesn't.
Yeah, we're not even two sentences into this chapter and I've gone off the deep end.
Merry is drinking tea and petting Kitto. Somebody else pointed out that Kitto is a very problematic character, kind of like that seventeen year old kid Anita ropes into the harem in later books, and like Nathanial in Narcissus. The difference between Cynric and Nathanial, though, is that where all three characters are described as child-like, Kitto is the only one described as child-sized. As in a twelve year old.
And she is keeping him under her desk and petting him like a cat.
There is something severely disturbing about how both Anita Blake and Merry Gentry reach for the most child-like person in their many lovers every time they need comfort. It's like the men are all too fucking scary, so lets go grab the kid and snuggle them for a few hours.
I am not going to touch this with a ten foot pole. I do not even want to come close to understanding this psychologically. I just want to sit here and hope it goes away.
Oh, but we do find one special thing out about Jeremy Gray's species. A big nose to them is like big feet. Apparently this is LKH's way of indicating that this character has a big dong. Because humanizing a character definately needs to take a back seat to penis jokes.
(In a side note, I just re-read John Dies At The End for the seventeenth time or so. It is amazing how a book can simultaneously be the most terrifying thing ever and also be one big long running dick joke. If you have not read it yet, you do not understand life and you need to go fix the problem right now. If nothing else it will make you giggle every time you see, write or say the word "penis". This door cannot be opened.)
...see, this is my brain trying to protect me from the utter suck. It's not as trash-tastic as Narcissus, it's just boring. I think I skimmed this real fast to get on to the "plot", so to speak, because I seem to remember being halfway to Maeve Reed's house by now.
Jeremy is in the uncomfortable position of having to be impolite, because it is an insult among the Fey to notice that somebody is having hysterics. Convienent that three pages of description-via-dialogue can be politeness, and unnecessary conflict can be caused by "are you alright?" being a deathly insult. Jeremy finally takes the bull by the horns and asks for a status update as her boss. She answers, and somehow the entire conversation manages to make her look like an idiot. She had to do it to make the men obey her. Guys, there has GOT to be a better way to lead than by holding a knife to someone else's throat. And I must point out, you earn respect by solving problems. Maybe the reason the men don't respect Merry is because Merry isn't doing anything worth talking about.
Jeremy points this out, obliquely. It's a waste of words, given that I've read most of this series and she never does what he's telling her to do (use a treaty between herself and the goblins to her personal benefit). In fact, the same Reactive Hero Disease that afflicted Anita Blake has been with Merry Gentry since birth.
Kitto also points this out, and then points out that nobody treats him like a person. Merry agrees and stops petting him. He freaks out and then...I think I literally want to vomit, folks:
He clambered into my lap like a child, forcing my hands to encircle him to keep him from falling. My right hand slid over the slickness of the scales on his back; my left cupped the smooth, hairless curve of his thigh. The sidhe didn’t have much body hair, and snake goblins had none. The mixed heritage had left Kitto smooth and perfect like he’d been waxed from neck to toe. It added to the doll-like image and made him seem perpetually childlike.
Oh, but it gets better. See, Jeremy leaves to let Merry and Kitto cuddle, and who should show up but Rhys.
Rhys, having just been flung against a wall and stabbed by his lover for attacking the goblin child-man, wisely elects to leave and let Doyle deal with it. But Merry decides to force him to come back into the room and discuss things with her...while Kitto is sitting on her lap with his hands up her blouse.
See, Kitto has to bite Merry to renew her treaty with the Goblins. Due to Rhys fucking everything up by attacking him, if Merry doesn't "share flesh" with the man-child the treaty will be null and void. But Merry only likes pain when it's tied up with sex, so she wants Rhys, specificially, to "distract" her.
I've been relatively open with what I call the Black Truck incident. If you are new to the blog, that was the time I was sexually assaulted in a stranger's truck. The thing I remember the clearest was the song playing on the radio. "Second Chance" by Shinedown. I love that song. I still love that song. I just cannot listen to that song. Ever. I heard it on the chef's radio at work a couple days ago and got rattled, which isn't a good thing to be on a busy night. I *think* I've handled most of my issues reguarding this, but I still cannot listen through that whole song without either sobbing or feeling like I'm going to choke.
Rhys is not avoiding the goblins because he is prejudiced against them. He's avoiding them because the goblins tortured him sexually for a long peroid of time. A female goblin tore out his eye and kept it in a jar which she showed off to him on more than one occasion. The only thing I've ever heard of that comes close to what LKH describes for Rhys is the Colleen Stan "Girl in a Box" case.
And now she wants to force him to male love to her around a Goblin because she needs to prove that she's the boss.
This is not leadership, folks. This is abuse.
And of course Doyle agrees, because she is the princess and her word is law, and also we haven't had a sex scene in this book yet, so now we're going to have a non-con makeout session that is so very, very, very fucking rapy, and it's the heroine responsible for the rapy bits.
Thank god the chapter ends with Rhys taking his fancy ass coat off.