One of my favorite books is That Hideous Streingth, a book that might as well be subtitled "The Problematic Chronicles" because it is written by a straight Christian white man and it has a sadistic lesbian as one of the secondary villians (who contributes fuck-all to the plot. I've spent the last several months trying to figure out what Lewis meant to do with her other than villianize lesbians, because he's got four other major villians in the piece and all of them serve a double purpose, and I can't come up with a thing.). I promise one day I will review this and be fair about it because it's not fair for me just to murder the books I hate when the books I love have issues too. Anyhoo, I bring it up, because it's the only book off the top of my head that has a banquet scene that is relivant to the novel's plot. It lasts for one chapter, most of which is actually Character X, Character Y and Merlin (...yes. That Merlin) Doing Things. It's dry as toast. Unless you get what Lewis is doing, and you have to be several flavors of fucked up to get it.
Compared to this? With the problematic antagonist factored into the equation? It's an awesome scene.
WHY DID WE HAVE TO HAVE FOUR FUCKING CHAPTERS DEDICATED TO A BANQUET IF NOBODY IS EVER GOING TO SIT DOWN TO EAT?
(Come to think of it, in THS most of the male protagonists's scenes are dinners of one kind or another. It's still better than this)
(Fuck, the scene where Mark has to eat in the Crazy Room is better than this)
So Anita and Jean Claude kneel beside Asher, and Asher is the most beautifulest thing that ever mattered and, because of this, Anita knows that Asher wasn't influencing her love for him through his vampiry powers because now he IS influencing her to feel like if she doesn't touch him, she'll die, and in case my regression to grade-school words isn't an indication, this isn't very clear what the fuck is actually going on.
I opened myself wide and let Asher roll through me like a stream, long dammed, flowing, flooding, filling up a land that has been too long without water.I like pretty words. I like strings of pretty words. Poetry makes me melt (Fatal Interview. Find it. Read it. Love it.) but I don't like overly complicated pretty words. I like my words to make sense on a casual read-through. You can be pretty and still function as a writer. It's hard. The prettier you get, the harder it is to understand you. Not because the reader is stupid, but because the human brain isn't wired to remember thirty fucking adjectives at once. Suffice to say, every time Laurel K. Hamilton starts trying for pretty words, I get a pretty fucking nasty headache.
The first half of that sentence is fine. It's not flowy, but it's pretty enough to get your point across. The rest of it is like "Yes. Okay. Uhhuh. I get it. This is the nine-millionth water meaphore you've used re: sex in your career. PLEASE MOVE ON TO THE NEXT POINT."
However, somebody on LKH_lashouts once pointed out that it helps to imagine it being spoken by Kronk from The Emperor's New Groove.
...and the water metaphores continue. Seriously. It's like every time LKH has to write about somebody having an orgasm, she takes a shot of something high proof, holds her breath until the burn goes away, and then writes about the burn.
So Belle goes back to being pouty because Asher has proved that he's got powers now, and Jean Claude won't let him be taken away. In fact, because Jean Claude is now the source of power for his own bloodline--AKA author asspull--Belle needs to get the fuck out of St. Louis before tomorrow night.
Belle is like "But you can't!" and JC is like "TRY ME" and I'm wondering why they couldn't have done this a long, LONG time ago. Before she started fucking with his people.
And then Anita somehow sorts out that Belle intends to kill the MOAD and take her place as ruler of the vampire council.
Anita tells Belle that's stupid, the MOAD will eat her for breakfast. Note: this is a character who has never appeared in the series prior to this, who has done nothing but sleep this entire time. THIS IS NOT HOW YOU INTRODUCE A MAJOR VILLIAN, PEOPLE.
Let's go over a few other introductions, just as examples:
Darth Vader: Choked people to death
Koobus from District 9: Hoo-rahed with multiple magazines of LARGE ammo, then called Wikus van de Merwe a little shit in a manner that implied he really wanted to bite Wikus's nose off.
Voldemorte: HE WAS THE BACK OF ANOTHER MAN'S HEAD. IN A FUCKING KID'S MOVIE.
The MOAD? Is asleep.
I am not afraid of the MOAD. At this point I think Belle could take care of business with a hammer and two feet of Balsa.
Name-calling ensues. The highlight is Belle calling Asher and Jean Claude "petite catamites" which isn't nice at all. Then she turns around and drives Musette's body to the exit.
Valentina and Bartolome ask if they can stay so that they can "fix" Stephen and Gregory. Because what they did was wrong, wrongety wrong and they want to help put the pieces back together.
LKH gets a brownie point. It's probably going to die alone, but she gets it none-the-less.
Richard is ordered to escort the guests to their rooms and make them all go away.
Anita muses that the only reason Belle let Valentina and Bartolome stay is, Belle feels guilty for turning children into vampires. I'd give LKH a second brownie point for calling what Valentina's maker did, and what Musette did to Bartolome rape of a child, BUT:
Valentina I understood because a vampire of Belle’s making had done the unspeakable. But bringing Bartolomé over as a child had been simply good business. I hadn’t thought Belle Morte lost any sleep over good business. But she’d still condemned him to an eternity in a child’s body. A child’s body with a man’s appetite forever.
Yeah, it is STRONGLY implied that Belle's guilt isn't for raping a child, it's for condemning a man with appetites to live forever AS a child. That it's the deprevation she feels guilt over, not the whole "We raped and turned a child" part.
In short, my loyal blog-readers: