And then I remember: It's just a hobby. For now.
(sobs quietly to self. God, I suck at this)
So now Anita and company are going to eat dinner. A banquet. Involving sex crazy vampires.
Written by a woman who cannot write a sex scene without involving food imagry.
I am terrified. Please, oh please, oh please, let nobody be eating a banana. THERE WILL BE NO BANANAS.
So the feast takes place in...*sporfle*. Yeah:
It was literally cavernous, because it had originally been a cave, a huge, towering, space that water had carved out of solid stone over a few million years.No, really? And that's how a cave is formed? Oh, my god I did not know this. /sarcasm. Seriously, though? I'm having sudden Captive of Gor flashbacks. Is there a mark on her thigh? Is it HIGH on the THIGH? Does it go all the way up to the SKY? If ever if ever a cave there was, this cavern is one because because...
...because because because because because. Come on. You HAVE to finish that song every time you hear it. And then we get a description of how the air in a natural cave is different from the air in a man-made cave. How? What are the tactile differences between a man made cave and a natural one? We never find out, because it's just freaking different, so there.
The cave is also lit by gas. Bootleggers did it. I suppose having somebody come through and put track lighting up--or at minimum, hipster-style christmas lights--is just asking too freaking much. Hey, anybody heard that story about how laying gas lines next to water mains blew up a whole town? (It's number 5 on the list) One lazy contractor. Series problem solved. Just sayin.
And then we get the banquet table described, and everything is white and gold. White and gold. Gold. Gold. More white. More gold. This happens:
The tablecloth was triple layered, one long and white that nearly dragged the floor, a gold edge of leaves and flowers embroidered around its hem. The middle layer was a delicate gold lace. The top was a different layer of gold— white and gold— as if someone had taken gold paint and dabbed it sponge-like on white linen.
And I realize that in addition to food similes, somebody needs to take the paint away from LKH too.
Anita is confused by the flatware:
But two things confused me. First, there were way more golden utensils at each place than I knew what to do with. What the hell do you use a tiny two-tined fork for anyway?
Seafood. Specifically, for getting oysters, clams, mussels and bits of crab meat out of the shells. We have them at work for oyster season and Paella parties.You're welcome.
The other thing that Anita is confused about are the place settings on the floor.
Like I said. Captive of Gor flashbacks. I don't want to know. Seriously. No bananas, no dog leashes, no dogfood bowls. Please. God in heaven. Please.
The ONE good thing in all of this is the underage HUMAN CHILD Musette feeds on got shipped back home. So we don't have to deal with that. Yet.
JC then shows up to ask Anita why she isn't being social. Probably because writing one of those stab-you-in-the-neck formal dinners is fucking hard and LKH didn't want to fuck with it. (I've written one. It is in the to be released main novel and FUCK I hated writing it. I love it to itty bitty pieces, but tooling well crafted barbs that appear to come up on the fly is somewhat akin to that kissing scene in Fight Club. You know. The one involving the lye? It feels roughly like that.)
So Anita confesses that she's bolted from the party because Musette keeps asking Anita if she and Asher have had sex, and Anita apparently defines sex as vanilla intercourse, because she says no.
Asher provides sordid details of what they did to prove she's wrong. I'm not copy and pasting them in and no power on earth can make me. Let's just say that "Seed" isn't an improvement over semen.
So Anita asks him who will eat on the floor and he answers "Anyone who is food" because you don't invite the cow to join you for hamburgers. Which is bullshit because one, getting the hamburger kills the cow unless you are a god-awful sadist, and two, a cow can't have a detailed conversation about why J.J. Abrams is or is not a good pick to direct Star Wars (I think he is, but he's also one more major nerd franchise away from "One Ring to Rule them All" territory and I don't really want to have to haul a lightsaber up Mt. Doom) (...look, if you're eating dinner with me you're either talking nerd, storytelling or the History of Knitting. You want P vs. NP you go find somebody with more brains)
(I can manage a half-assed analysis of Pride and Prejudice involving dysfunctional family roles, but that's just because my Dad is a rehab counselor)
Which means Jason and Nathanial will be eating on the floor.
This is all happening at Belle's request. And I have a bad feeling that the next chapter is going to be Anita valliantly rehumanizing the dehumanized victims, because Jean Claude doesn't have either the spine or the stones to stand up to his Maker and say "No". I guess giving JC something approaching a moral compass would just destroy the sexy sexy fun times.
Valentina shows up and apparently she's visited the Mother of all Darkness too, and she and Anita commisurate about it for a few minutes.
...can we move on to the awful sex and stop rehashing the not-a-plot please? It's getting boring in here.
Valentina also says that there's going to be a surprise, one that Musette doesn't know about, and only Valentina and Anita will understand how terrible awful it is to have that surprise happen.
And then we find out that Damian, Anita's human servant, is "a touch homophobic".
I hate this book.
And then we find out that Richard cut his own hair off, and this is apparently a substitute for self injury, and I will be right back, folks, but that requires serious medication.
|this serious. No. That is not my glass or my bottle. But it is my poison of choice.|
First off, I would like to call bullshit on that, because no. No, it's not. Maybe it's low grade baby stuff, but I know several happy sane, well adjusted people who cut their own hair because fuck hairdressers, that's why. Doing a shitty job trimming your hair does not equal S/I or suicidal ideation.
But let's say Richard cut his hair because he knew it'd piss off Anita. Sometimes that's a good vent after you end a relationship. But let's say Anita is exactly right, and he chopped off his hair because he is in an unhappy place. Well, one, it's better than actively carving on your own skin. And two, say it with me now:
ANITA FUCKING RAPED FUCKING RICHARD.
Anita violated him when he was at a deep, dark, emotional low because her hunger was more important than accepting his limits and honoring his trust. He was at a point where he needed her, and all she wanted was sex. It's not okay when you are male, it's not okay when you're female. It's not okay ever. The last person on earth who should be worrying about Richard's mindset is the woman who did more than her share of damage to his psyche. Start fixing yourself, princess, because that log in your eye is starting to hurt other people too.
Nathanial shows up wearing a white g-string, boots, eye makeup, and nothing else.
Can we have the dancing girl in the bells and red silk and just get it over with already? Seriously, why is vampire society Gor? Why did it suddenly become okay for vampire society to be Gor?
Meanwhile Micah is amused because Rapey the Vampire has been hitting on him all night and he's just peachy with it, thank you.
I have just reached the point where I am convinced Laurel K. Hamilton wrote this with the genders reversed, and then just did a find and replace for the pronouns. Everything about that is so fucking wrong I don't even know where to start.
Finally Bobby Lee shows up and tells everybody they need to get back out there, and everybody piles out into the Vampire Ice Cream Social.