Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cerulean Sins--chapter 17-18

Alright, my loyal blog readers. I have half a bottle of honey whiskey. If I make it through this chapter without finishing it, we will be golden.

I read ahead. I do not think we are going to make it.


MY BADGE ON its little cord around my neck got us past most of the cops. The few that questioned us recognized my name, or had worked with me before. Always good to be known.
EVEN THE TEXT ADMITS ANITA BLAKE HAS NO REASON TO BE ON THIS SIDE OF THE YELLOW TAPE. Seriously. The people who have worked with her before are the ones saying "What the fuck are you doing here?"


There is banter involving Zerbowski and another cop and Jason, who REALLY has no business being on this side of the yellow tape. Also? Thanks to John Dies At The End it will forever be "Do not duck casually under this tape" tape. Which your main character will always duck casually under because it's DNDCUTT tape.

There is half-assed flirting with Jason that somehow involves Micah, even though Micah is nowhere to be found. Okay. Anita finally points out that Jason is there to catch her if she faints.

At this point? She should be wearing hair restraints, one of those paper haz-mat suits, something over her mouth, something over her shoes (booties or rubber bands, but only if you are Amelia Sachs as played by Angelina Jolie) At this point? She is wearing none of these things. She is wandering around an active fucking crime scene with no hair restraint, no paper suit, no paper booties and thinks she will probably fall face first into prime evidence-collection territory at any given second.

Even Zerbowski is asking why she's here. Text says it's because he's worried about her health. Logic says that he realizes he had a prime chance to not have to explain to the DA why chain of custody got so thoroughly borked and they wound up playing polo with a victim's head or something, and they blew it because Dolph doesn't trust...yeah, we're getting to that.

Chapter eighteen opens with a crucifixion and random norse runes written all over the walls.

Hey, fun fact kiddos? LKH was in the process of converting to Paganism while she was writing these books, and her chosen branch of Fluffy McBunnikins has a heavy seasoning of Norse. So I think it's a safe fucking bet that the info dump about how fucked up the norse runes are in this murder scene (as in they are copied less like a spell and more like ABCDEFG) is here because she was studying norse runes when she wrote this part of the book.

I leaned forward too far and had to put my fingertips out to catch myself. My fingers touched dried blood on the wall. Only then did I realize I’d forgotten my surgical gloves. Fuck.

...Yeah, I'm getting a shot of whiskey. Be right back.

Seriously. HOW. THE FUCK. DO YOU CROSS COP TAPE AND NOT HAVE FIVE TECHS SCREAM "GLOVES" AT YOUR SORRY ASS? I worked in a bakery and we could not set foot inside the work area without having the hair net bag shoved in our faces. Gloves were everywhere. And we were just dealing with bread. Not murderers who need to be put away TONIGHT.


And then Anita brings up the whole Christian Witch thing. And I just. I can't.

“Bull-fucking-shit, Zerbrowski, he doesn’t trust her because she’s a witch. She’s a Christian witch for heaven’s sake, a Follower of the Way. You can’t get more mainstream in your occult expert than a Christian witch.”
Uh...what? Seriously. What the fuck are you talking about? You honestly expect me to believe that Witchcraft can mainstream in Christianity? Seriously. You really want me to buy that a Christian Witch is going to "win" the acceptance game any more than a "regular" witch is? This is what you are actively trying to do with your worldbuilding?

Did you even bother to ask any Christian witches about this before you typed that up?

Laurel, I could buy that if you had wasted three fucking seconds on this prior to walking onto the crime scene to build it up as a concept. But you've done nothing to differenciate this from the IRL concept, and IRL Christian witches get thrown out of both clubhouses faster than Anita can say "Let's fuck." Pagans see the Christian part, Christians see the Witch, and neither side really wants to have any of that get on their hemlines. And most of us them are fine with that, because you make that choice, knowing goddamned well which bridges you're burning on your way down and you're doing it for reasons. Most of which you're not going to share with another soul because you know you could see the fireworks from here. 

Yes. Magic is real in this universe and the Christian God is a deity of power most excellent, as proven by what happens whenever a vamp gets close to a cross. But you don't get to say "Christianity hates magic" and THEN say "Hee hee, ho ho, Christian Witches get accepted everywhere" and not take time to build that as a concept when in reality things are very fucking different. It's a lazy as fuck assumption, is all I'm saying.

Also? "Follower of the Way" is the laziest fucking title you could have possibly come up with. Yeah, Christian Witches are organized! And they are hyper fundies!

Anyway, after shitting on religion for a few paragraphs, Anita and Zerbowski identify that this is a very rich house. Anita says the fake crucifixion and the runes were to throw everybody off because this dude has money and somebody wants it.

And then I find out that Tammy Reynolds, the Christian Witch, is dating Larry Kirkland, Anita's trainee animator, and I am now pissed. Because Tammy turns into a royal...erm, pain in the later books and it is implied explicitly that it is her Christianity at fault. Because, you know, people in service to the Goddess have to follow threefold laws and Do No Harm and other things like that, but Christian Witches obviously get to ignore the book of rules, laws and examples central to their faith, because Special and Mainstream and Christianity is meaningless restrictive and LKH obviously knows all. And, you know, it's not like God ever brought the fucking roof down on somebody just for disrespecting his drinking cups or breaking an oath they made to God in private. And it's not like somebody swearing themselves into service with a Deity with that kind of history would feel driven to obey and respect that Deity in the way he commands, which in the case of Christianity means not shitting all over other people and their things. And...

Yeah, I could go off on this all night, so I'm going to stop here.

Anyway, Anita says that there is no magic involves and asks if she can go home. Zerbowski just tells her to go to the other crime scene, because nobody's fucked that up yet and they both need to be even. She and Jason leave and the chapter ends.

Well, at least she's shitting on a "safe" subject. Last time it was gay people. So far, this time it's just a little teeny tiny piddling disorganized sect of the largest religion in the world.

...Yeah. It's my sect. I'm pissed.


  1. Even Zerbowski is asking why she's here. Text says it's because he's worried about her health.

    Isn't Anita the character who still brags about the time she threw up on a corpse? I'd be worried about her health too.

    "And here we see some valuable evidence that will help us catch and convict a brutal murderer. Also, said evidence is a dead person, so please remember to be respectfu-"


  2. I'm sorry she crapped on your religion, that sucks. :/
    I don't know how much Germanic Neopaganism LKH had taken on in her pursuit of Wicca; I mainly just see things about her mucking about with runes posted on Lashouts. Interestingly enough though, I follow a Heathen blog on tumblr that frequently has a lot of discussions on how Midwestern Asatru has a disturbing tendency to be basically right-wing uber-conservatism - rigid gender roles for men and women, misogyny, white supremacy, homobigotry, disdain for other paths, etc. It sounds just up her alley :(

    1. Duamuteffe, as someone who is Asatru and in the Midwest, I felt compelled to say that the way you described Asatru in specific and Heatherny in general is inaccurate (and no, I'm not offended - I'm aware of this bias, having had it myself before looking deeper into the religion). Are there racists, misogynist and homophobes in the religion? Yes, just as Christianity (just to select the dominant religion in the U.S.) has racists (KKK), misogynists (take your pick) and homophobes (Westbro church). Every religion has it's bad seeds. Asatru is a very small religion and is considered "out there" so whenever we have a bad apple, it seems far more representative of our faith in general. Our faith *always* gets mentioned as part of our lives when we have a problem, like the police officer who was arrested. Most of the local articles about him mentioned that he was Heathen, but a Christian who is arrested never has their religion mention. It's the invisible majority issue.

      But all of the Heathens I have spoken to personally are open, honest and good people who have worshiped with people of all colors, sexual orientations and genders. They don't care who you sleep with, what's between your legs, or what color your skin is - are you a good person, upstanding and honorable? That's far more important.

      And that is my PSA for today. :D Feel free to contact me if you have any questions; I'm new to Asatru (relatively) but I'll be happy to find answers if I don't know them. deprough (at) gmail (dot) com

    2. Many good points there. Thanks for bringing it up.

      It's depressing how often there's a "cluster factor" in terms of unusual things. Perhaps not in what is actually there, but in what gets reported and discussed. Reasonable religion doesn't make for good news. Reasonable anything doesn't make for good news. Insane and crazy? Yep, that gets reported. And because the only thing you know is Insane and Crazy, that's all you assume exists. There's also a kind of pocket mentality--when you're in the pocket, be it Asatru or Christianity, you assume that EVERYBODY understands your pocket as well as you do. It isn't until you start talking to people outside the pocket that you understand NOBODY even knew the pocket exists. And this can be problematic if the pocket is something like Asatru, something that only attracts attention when its nutcases break out and do something newsworthy, thus bringing the pocket to the public's attention.

      (...also the reverse, when you learn that behavior accepted by the "pocket" is unacceptable in the outside world. That's always fun. Like dental surgery kind of fun)

  3. So hey, remember The Host? Remember that movie they're making? http://bobbleheadzombie.tumblr.com/post/46697865256/im-gonna-continue-on-my-rant-about-how-fucking