The bad news? That's an awful, awful lot of work.
Ah, well. We shall press on.
Uh...work went great? Um...artwork! Cats! Other...cool...stuff...
...yeah, this chapter starts off with more Richard. Which is kind of why I haven't reviewed anything in two days.
I didn’t know what to do for Richard anymore. I could help the pack as a whole, but helping Richard seemed beyond me. He needed healing, and I didn’t know how to do that.
Okay, let's go over Anita and Richard's relationship once more, for the record, to show you just how wronged Anita has been. Wrongity wrongity wronged.
-Anita met Richard in the third book, when he was ordered to basically fill Jason's role as Jean Claude's wolf to call (gag) before there was a Jason. He was ordered by the effectively psychopathic Alpha, Marcus, and his lets-add-sadism-to-the-murder mate Rania. Unlike most wolves, Richard was converted by blood transfusion and not by bitey-ness, which is weird because he is like the most POWERFUL WEREWOLF EVAR!!ONE111!one!
-He kept this secret from Anita and everyone else in his life because he works as a teacher in a highschool and discovery of his wolfyness would get him fired.
-Jean Claude gets miffed that Anita and Richard want to date in spite of the now revealed wolfy, and he demands that Anita date both of them equally, or else he'll kill Richard. Anita agrees.
-At some point Richard proposes marrige and Anita accepts
-Anita spends three books pressuring Richard to challenge Marcus for Alpha. She insists that she will always accept his beast and never run away from him, no matter what he does.
-Richard doesn't want to kill Marcus, because despite his wolfy, he is a non-violent person.
-Marcus and Rania spend three books effectively reenacting 120 Days of Sodom and selling the resulting videotapes for money. They kill several of Richard's friends and almost kill Anita.
-Antia continues to insist that Richard fight Marcus. She insists that she will always accept his beast and never run away from him, no matter what he does.
-Richard finally says "Fuck it" and kills Marcus. He shapeshifts on top of Anita, covering her in goo.
-Having just murdered a person and exposed his beast for her to see, he is now at his lowest and most vunruable. He turns to her for support, because she promised to accept his beast and never run away from him no matter what he does. The pack starts to eat Marcus.
-Anita rejects his beast, runs away from him, and gives Jean Claude a blow job.
-Richard dumps Anita.
-Two books and minimal interaction later, Richard is framed for a murder. Anita comes to his rescue. They have sex. They are now together again. He's decided that he loves Anita, and even though she's proven that she can't accept his beast or support him no matter what he does, he still loves her and he wants to be with her.
-Anita drops off the face of the planet for six fucking months
-Anita decides she wants to talk to Richard again, because one of her friends has been kidnapped and she needs help. Anita is also Lupa for his pack, and he's having political trouble because of the whole "We've dropped off Planet Earth for six fucking months" thing. Dispite all this, He goes to her rescue.
-Anita is raped by Micah in the shower. Nothing will ever justify that. However, she reports this as consensual sex, and mentions it as such to Richard. Then she promptly has more sex with Jean Claude, Asher, Nathanial and Jason, and while Jean Claude is a manipulative fucktard, she agreed to the foursome in the first place. In the process, she discovers that she has aquired the power of sex vampirism by osmosis.
-Richard politely tells her that she fucked up by dropping off planet earth without giving him so much as an e-mail, and that being fed upon is one of his hard limits, can she please not ever do that to him, okay, thank you very much. He'll discuss their relationship when his pack isn't trying to kill him and/or set him up with a brand new girlfriend.
-Anita pouts because he doesn't want to talk about their relationship.
-Richard is told that a new wolf he was attempting to educate on being wolfy has just eaten her human lover during sex. He goes to Anita's place for comfort because, thanks to the shitstorm the pack is now, he's got nowhere else to go.
-They have happy fluffy romantic sex.
-Anita then tells him the sex-vampirism is in play and she needs to feed. He tells her please no, please respect his limits and give him five minutes to get anybody else on the planet into her room, if she loves him she won't do it, don't do it, don't feed on him, oh no, please don't.
-Anita rapes Richard anyway, because he should accept her beast and never run away from her, no matter what she does.
-Richard dumps her raping, hypocritical ass for the second time.
In short, boys and girls, YES, Richard needs healing. And NO Anita cannot heal him. But this is less "I am helpless before his fucked-uped-ness" and more "I AM THE AXE THAT BEHEADED HIM" kind of "I can't help him". Their relationship, and to be real specific, the way she stomped all over it, is the reason why he needs healing. Both directly--she should be glad he didn't kill himself after the whole eating-Marcus incident--and indirectly, by assuming the role of Lupa, a role is was not in any way, shape, or form ready to accept. Richard's problem now is that he keeps going back.
Of course, that's a survival mechanism battered spouses have, because they can never be sure that their abuser won't come back and kill them for leaving. He does need to grow the fuck up, and possibly move to the other side of St. Louis, but there's a psychological principal involved, is all I'm saying.
So Anita and crew pile into a car and head to the circus, and halfway there Anita smells roses.
At this point I am not sure which I hate more, the clinging to Richard or the invasions by
We are given a description of an orgy that could not possibly exist as described. This is implied to have happened several centuries in the past, and it comes to Anita via psychic dream vision...thing. Several of the men Bella has fucked to death using the Ardeur. Because we absolutely need this plot point. Then, while posessed by Bella's power, Anita starts licking Nathanial. They figure out that Bella has raised blood lust and not basic lust, and then Anita starts literally going for everybody's throat. Caleb and Nathanial have to restrain her so that Jason can get off the highway.
This is starting to get to me, almost as much as Bella Swan's constant helplessness. Mostly because this is the same damn thing, only with sex involved. Anita doesn't fight this. She doesn't even make an effort to fight it. She's just thrown around and has to constantly be rescued by everybody around her, and of course, they're always men. And I say that not because it's a sexist thing (though it kind of is) but because LKH is writing this for sex partner count and not, you know, actual storytelling. Because the point is not developing characters or forwarding the story, it's fucking. That's the entire point. Just like how the whole point of the entire Twilight series was to watch Bella and Edward paw each other.
Seriously. While Anita is posessed by blood lust she gets thrown around the car like four times, just by Jason's driving. And Jason is really fucking lucky that there isn't a traffic cop around with an itch to arrest somebody for DWI, because to throw Anita into doors and floors and ankles that often he must be driving by the Braille method.
Anita figures out that Richard spent all fucking day fighting the bloodlust, and that Bella Morte has a hold over her that she didn't have over Richard, and we finally find out why Caleb is involved in this mess, because Anita attaches herself to him like a Limpet.
Note: Nobody says "Don't suck the blood of this guy who has not given his consent, it would be wrong and bad, especially because you're posessed by a vampire at the moment". No, it's all "Nathanial's too weak for you to feed on, and I'm driving" which leaves Caleb by default.
I cannot tell you enough how that dialogue exchange squicked me out.
There are a few books that I have literally worn out from reading so often. One of them is The Sagittarius Whorl by Julian May. It was a new copy when I bought it. I read it so much that pages started falling out two years later. (I now own the e-book). I recommend the entire Hundred Concern series because DAMN, that is hard sci-fi done awesome (and her unrelated but still fucking awesome Jack the Bodiless series is the first sci-fi series that presented same-sex marrige as the same thing as heterosexual marrige) (Seriously. Go read Julian May), but the relivance here is that there is an...well, I can't call it an attempted rape scene because rape is never actually attempted, only discussed. But this moment happens during the build up for the climax:
Alistair Drummond put down the empty champagne flute and lifted the Ivanov. “You’re a very lovely woman, Joanna. I’d like you to share my bed tonight.”
“No, thank you,” she said politely. “I’m afraid I’ve just started my period.”
May, Julian (2010-12-15). The Sagittarius Whorl: Book Three of the Rampart Worlds Trilogy (Kindle Locations 6182-6188). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
To provide a measure of context, Joanna is the narrator's ex-wife and currant love interest (it's complicated) and Alistar Drummond is the series's big bad, and he's currently holding Joanna and the Narrator by gunpoint. The point is that Joanna defends herself from a truly awful human being by making herself an unsuitable sex partner.
(She then throws a plate at Alistar's head, because he really is a fucking awful human being, and manages to escape the threatened violence, because Joanna really is one cool lady.)
My point? Jason is saving himself and Nathanial from Anita by making them both unsuitable sex partners.
Anita is the heroine for this series.
This is not okay.
If you are dealing with a reasonable human being, the whole lack of consent thing? Yeah. That should be enough. If the first thing I think of is rapy dialogue in an unrelated book? And the person doing the rapy-ness in one book is the bad guy and is the heroine in the other? You're not doing something right. Admittedly I *kind* of like this because it shows what being posessed would be like without tresspassing into omnescient territory, but Anita isn't resisting this. At all. There are no "No, this is wrong, I shouldn't be doing this, I had to fight this" moments. There are no "Jason, turn the wheel now!" moments. Nope. Anita is going along with it. She asks Bella why it has to be blood a couple times, but she's not calling this event wrong.
...I have to go back to Cerulean Sins now, don't I?
So she starts pawing Caleb, and this part literally made me laugh out loud:
I could feel Caleb’s chest under my hands, feel the roughness of the hair that traced the edge of his nipples, and finally the nipples themselves, growing hard and firm under my fingers. The tiny metal barbells that pierced them were a distraction. I wanted to roll his nipples between my fingertips, and the metal interfered. Like a toothpick in your sandwich, they got in the way.STOP WITH THE FOOD METAPHORES THEY ARE NO LONGER SEXY.
So then everybody except Caleb understands that Anita, WHILE BEING POSESSED BY A VAMPIRE, wants to drink someone's blood...and she's settled on Caleb because the other two have managed to manufacture a really good excuse for exclusion. How do the other guys react to this?
“It looks like it’s your turn to take one for the team,” Jason’s voice from the front. ...“You’re going to get munched on,” Jason said.I've really tried to avoid the "if the sexes were reversed" argument, but I'm about to hit that one hard. Because if Anita were a dude? And that was another girl saying the chosen victim had to "take one for the team"?
Yeah. I can't go any further down that road. ANITA SHOULD NOT BE ON ANYONE'S TEAM, SHE IS NOT A GOOD PERSON.
Then Bella Morte declares that the tri-whatever between Anita, Jean Claude and Richard (Ya'll remember that, right? That thing which has not been relevant to the series for THREE FUCKING BOOKS NOW?) is incomplete because neither living member bears the fourth mark, which I cannot remember for the life of me (it involved drinking blood.) and so Bella will force Anita to take the marks from HER and make Anita become HER servant and this is basically the entire fucking plot from the second fucking book, isn't it?
Oh. The third book. I'm sorry. You're still recycling old material, Laurel. Bad author. No cookie.
Anita tries to resist Bella Morte by reaching for Jean Claude. But Jean Claude is still dead to the world (You know, a series has to really suck to make me long for Sookie fucking Stackhouse's blond, self-righteous ass) so Anita turns to Richard.
I've spent the last twenty minutes trying to find a .gif that would fit my feelings, and I've decided it is time to bring out an oldie but goodie:
Somehow Richard manages to come through and keeps Bella Morte from giving Anita the second of the four marks--somehow the giving of the first mark happened off camera, isn't that nice--and Anita is protected from Bella Morte's terrible advances by the sheild of Richard's love and innate goodness.
This book has fucking schizophrenia, I swear to God.
The chapter ends with Bella Morte insisting that she'll get her, my precious, and her little dog too.
Too bad I can't melt this book with a bucket of water.