Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cerulean Sins--Chapter 29

And we're off! Note my supreme confidence in my editing abilities: The countdown to the next Exiles book is going!

It feels relatively important for me to mark that this time last year? Yeah, I was at what I thought was the lowest I could possibly get. And then things happened and I really did find out just how low I could get, which was very, very, very VERY scary.

Everything is different this year. I'm encouraged and excited and I really cannot wait for this summer. I think it's going to be a blast. A lot of work, but worlds away from where I was last year.

...right. Sucky book time. What chapter are we on?


Oh. Right. It's the plot dump chapter.

Can I go back to talking about my own books please? How about self publishing stuff? No? Trade publishing stuff? Kittens? Dryer lint? Actively good books? How about movies? I've addicted my stepfather to Lord of the Rings, to the point that he actively gives up his wrestling matches to watch them...

I have to review this chapter, don't I? Aw, fuck.

Yeah, so Anita had some kind of posessed-sex-fit in the car while it was barreling down the highway at speed, forcing Jason, the driver, to sling her around the passenger compartment by yanking the wheel really hard. And the chapter ended with "OH I AM SO POPULAR AND IT SUCKS SO HARD."

And then Nathanial puts a cross on Anita and it gets better.

Yes. Big strong empowered expert vampire hunter. Has to have Designated Victim save them using lore they already know. Seriously. EVEN THE TEXT admits that Anita not wearing a cross right now is stupid.

And then we walk straight into CHRISTIANITY DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY:

Theoretically, he could live forever, and with the fourth mark, so could I. So why had I refused it so far? One, it scared me. I wasn’t sure as a Christian how I felt about living forever. I mean, what happened to heaven, and God, and the judgment thing? Theologically, what would it mean?
Uh...that you miss out on heaven and the whole judgement thing, except that eventually the Earth is going to die and, unless you've got a space ship, that means that you'll die too. It'll just take you a long time to get there. And I love how on one hand she's depending on religious symbolism to protect everybody she loves and at the same time she's using it as an excuse to chicken out on taking her relationship with JC to the next level.

Honey, I'd be less worried about the sin and sex part, and be a little more worried about how you're pretty much crapping on your own dinner plate at this point. God's really forgiving about a lot of things, but disrespecting Him and His Things is kind of the deal breaker. And right now is borderline "God is the great Slot Machine in the Sky! Put in enough Faith Tokens and you'll get a pony!" territory. Seriously. The question is not "Will God still provide his support and protection if I take the fourth mark". It's "Will I still get all my faith brownie points and go to heaven?"

Oh, and then they find out they're being followed, and head off into some poor innocent neighborhood that never did anything to anybody to make sure. Only the car turns off into a driveway, so it's totally not a threat, you guys.

Yep. Because it couldn't be a car full of people trained in how not to be noticed while tailing people, now could it?

And they decide to park in this neighborhood because Belle is back, and Anita is now confident that she's protected from Belle because she believes, and her cross begins to glow.

Question: IF a vampire believes in God and walks past a cross, do they flash themselves?

Caleb asked how could I believe. What I always wanted to ask, is, how can you not believe?

These paragraphs are just dripping with this veneer of specialness that reminds me of nothing so much as the Left Behind series. I hate the Left Behind series. The writing is awful, the fastest way to die in the series is be female and/or brown (I think the Token Brown Female got crushed by flying cars, actually) but the biggest issue I had with it was how the Christians did petty stupid shit to their enemies through the entire series, and then talked about how Great God Is and how there are armies of angels protecting them.

Belief is great. Vampires are believers. Demons believe. This is basically saying that merely acknowledging God's existence is enough to force him to protect you. Like he owes you for saying "hi" once in a while. And I need to get off the subject because oh boy, is there a big deal on the horizon.

So Belle Morte hovers and pouts because Anita's wearing a cross, and then she looks past Anita in some kind of dream-vision-mirror thing and sees:

Darkness. Darkness like a wave, rising up, up over me, over us, like a liquid mountain towering to the impossibly tall sky.... Darkness absolute, darkness so black that it held shines of other colors, like an oil slick, or a trick of the eye. As if this blackness was a darkness made up of every color that had ever existed, every sight that had ever been seen, every sigh, every scream, since time began. I had heard the term primordial darkness, but until this moment I had never understood what it meant. Now I understood, I truly understood, and I despaired.
It's the first appearance of the Mother of all Darkness. Which Anita dispels by saying "Hail Marys"

So The MOAD breaks the universe's rules and uses shapeshifting abilities she should not have to attack Anita.

WHY? WHAT? WHO IS THIS? WHY ARE WE BEING ATTACKED BY THE WALL OF BLACKETY BLACK BLACKNESS? Oh, these things are unimportant. Anita has to tame a total stranger's beast now!

The boys help her, and just like with the battle with Belle Morte, Anita is dragged into the MOAD's room, and the Mother of all Darkness is asleep under a blanket. Attempts at being creepy are made, and Anita goes back to the car.

The chapter is not done yet. Why is the chapter not done yet?

Anita infodumps about what the fuck this is via Jean Claude's memories, which is rich because this thing has never been mentioned before and it reads like she's just been dropped in because LKH knew things with Belle Morte were getting repetitive.  This is going to be the Big Bad for many many many books. This is all the introduction it gets.

The book ends with Anita calling the Mother of all Darkness "Mommie dearest" and that's the end of the chapter.

Hey, remember how Mr. Oliver in the third book was implied to be the Oldest Vampire Ever because he was actually homo erectus and not homo sapiens? Yeah. I have the feeling that LKH forgot that part.


  1. Maybe Mr. Oliver's Post-It note fell behind her desk.

  2. “Yep. Because it couldn't be a car full of people trained in how not to be noticed while tailing people, now could it?”

    Of course not, because villains in this universe are stupidly incompetent for some reason. They’d never be that clever.

    “Question: IF a vampire believes in God and walks past a cross, do they flash themselves?”
    I’ve asked that myself! To my knowledge it’s never brought up, even though there was a religious vampire in Burnt Offerings. I had two religious vamps (a Catholic, albeit a very screwy one, and a Voodooisant) in an Anita Blake roleplay once and having an answer then sure would have been useful. Of course, in the Anitaverse, Voodoo is not treated as a religion so much as an evil magical system that also, for some reason, seems to have its roots in Mexico versus the Africa diaspora…

    ….black IS all the other colors, Anita. They teach you that in first grade art class.