First off, book news:
As of today I have sold 366 books. This means that by my one-year anniversary (July 17th) I will have sold over one book a day for every day I've been publishing.
It is not because I am good or exceptional or anything. It is because each and every one of you are awesome. IDK why you are here, what brought you to the blog, if you're here for books or flogs or whatever, but it does not matter. You buy my books, you read my blog, and you tell me stuff I need to hear when I need to hear it and that makes each and every one of you awesome, awesome people.
Second: I am going to burn through the rest of this fucking book like it's made of petroleum, so let's start deciding on the next thing to do. I am willing to do good books too, so we can consider those too. I've already decided on an extra-curricular book to do, but it'll be a surprise.
Here's my ideas:
1. Redemption of Althalus David Eddings, includes the Drinking Game I made up
2. Eternal Prey, Nina Bangs--vampires and shapeshifting men posessed by the ghosts of dead dinosaurs. Not even joking.
3. The sequel to the book about the woman who had sex with a lake.
4. *sighs* More Anita Blake.
These are here not because I think they're awful (...with the exception of the latter) but because I think I can get a lot of comedy mileage out of them.
Thirdly, because we're discussing Rice and her book has basically been Wonderbread since the beginning, Rice decided that discussing the racist comments that got Paula Dean fired is just the best thing she could absolutely do.
Yeah, I had relatives who said awful things about black people behind their back, none of which I feel like repeating here or ever. No. Anne. No. It is not okay to say shitty things behind a person's back, regardless of circumstances.
If I ever become a multi-millionare I'm buying a billboard beside a highway and having it say "Treat other people with dignity, and don't be a dick".
Right. Shitty book.
The next chapter opens with Ruben taking advantage of an omnipotent narrator to go hunt a random boar.
(Rambly story time! I once had a traveling youth group leader visit my church, and on his way back from the first night of meetings he ran over a heard of Javelina. Having never heard of Javelina before, the guy sent a claim into the rental car's insurance company claiming that he had run over a heard of wild boar. He related this story to the class on the second night. On the third night he stood up, said that he understood that he had hit Javelina, he now knew everything he ever wanted to know about Javelina, and a few thousand things he did not, and that both he and the environment would be very happy if no one printed out the Wikipedia article on Peccary and gave it to him, ever, ever again.)
And when he comes back, Laura says that Stuart's doctor called Ruben in an attempt to get to Ruben's mother, because Stuart has broken out of his hospital room via his upper story window. And now Ruben has to go save the newly shifted wolf before he does something stupid. And of course, he doesn't make it and Stuart eats his stepdad.
I'd say this is yet another indication that Stuart has the better story. Ruben goes out and kills the first random bad guy he finds who smells even vaguely evil. Stuart manages to make his way across the entire city without killing anybody, and then he eats the son of a bitch who beat his mom and arranged for his boyfriend to die. And he doesn't just find him sitting in a chair. He's actively beating Stuart's mom when Stuart rips his head off. It's still in a moral dark gray zone--too dark for this book to handle it appropretely--but it's not "Wander around randomly until somebody does something to justify me killing them", which is what Ruben has done through this whole book. This is personal. Still not right, but Stuart is much less of an ass than Ruben, and given that he had to cross the whole city to get there, he's got something of a better moral compass.
It's not that much of an improvement, but it's better.
Ruben tracks Stuart through the woods until he finds him, and then they hunker down until Laura drives up in the car with their clothes.
Yeah. So somehow Laura, whose only instruction was "Follow me with the car and bring clothes for the boy" before Ruben took off on foot through the woods for ninety miles--yeah, speaking of Superman comparisons--manages to not only find their general location, but to get close enough to sing "Simple Gifts" to Ruben as a signal that they can safely approach.
Either we missed a few steps in logic, or Laura is a badly underestimated female, and she needs to dump Ruben's fuzzy ass and go find herself Sociopath!Sherlock, because at least Benedict Sherlock could appreciate Laura's tracking skills.
Ruben shifts back, Stuart is all awestruck, and he and Laura bundle him into the car.
They also start calling him the Boy Wolf, because Ruben has just aquired himself a sidekick. Like, a Tonto to his Lone Ranger. Robin to his Batman.
Excuse me. I need to go find a puke bucket.
Ruben wakes up and both his house phone and his cell phone are being blown the fuck up.
...yeah, he's got a land-line. I don't. I know a few places that do but they are all businesses. I suspect I might be the only person reading this who doesn't have or need a landline, though, so I won't make too big a deal over it.
There's also a ton of people at his house, including a sherrif's car and an ambulance. Ruben does not make the obvious assumption--that the cops know he is the Man Wolf and are about to hit him like a ton of bricks--and decides to go downstairs. And apparently he's been getting SOS texts and calls and e-mails from everyone who loves him, and this is the second time this lot have arrived at the Perfect Mansion, and Laura's decision has been to let Ruben sleep.
I take back what I said about Laura's abilities. THE WORLD IS FALLING IN, LAURA. WAKE UP YOUR BOYFRIEND.
So the crowd of people are sitting outside the house's gate, waiting, and Ruben's family is on its way. They shove Stuart into the secret room where they found all of Marrok's shit, and Ruben goes downstairs to let people in.
We find out through fragementary e-mails--because having Ruben talk to another human being is asking too fucking much--that the crowd outside have come to "put Ruben away". Again, it could be for the whole Ruben Eats People thing, but of course it won't be. And the "they" in this case are Dr. Akim Jaska and a Random Female Doctor, who have shown up with a court order to have Ruben and Stuart handed over into their custody. Ruben gets tense, realizing that he's probably either going to have to run, hide in the secret room with Laura or Stuart, or fight his way out...
...and then his family comes to his rescue, screaming that the paperwork had better fucking be in order if they're thinking of hauling Ruben away.
Yes. His underdeveloped, much maligned and marginalized family are the people who rescue Ruben. Not Felix (though that's coming) and not Laura. The people he rejected because they wouldn't understand the wolfy urge to eat people are pulling the Pube Wolf's ass out of the fire.
I want this book rewritten as the Grace and Stuart show. For reals.
And of course, with his parents now running the delaying action, this is when Felix and one of his buddies show up. They haul Stuart and Laura out of the secret room and let the bad guys into the house. The smell of evil AKA Axe Body Spray fills the room. All the werewolves start twitching.
Grace continues to argue over the paperwork, pointing out that it's invalid, that the bad guys have no right to be there, and they all need to go home. The cops agree, but they're still all trooping into the mansion.
Also, Ruben, the top notch crime reporter, has no idea what a fifty-one-fifty is. It's the form and the call the cops use when someone has gone insane and the situation requires their intervention. If you like crime stuff, you know this. I begin to doubt the veracity of this pubic-hair wolf novel.
And then we get the Plot Bomb of Plot Bombs dropped on us.
So it is implied that Jaska and his russian girlfriend were both researchers in Soviet Russia, that they held Felix and Margon Spervier, and Marrok and the rest of his buddies in some kind of research facility for an unmentioned, implied-to-be-extensive period of time, and that Felix escaped and the fall of the Soviet Union ended his research. It is possible that Felix's escape and the fall of the Soviet Union happened at the same time.
We get pages dedicated to Laura making a salad, and this plot doesn't even get to be well defined.
I hate this book.
Especially because involuntary committment is exactly the right response to Ruben. Maybe not to Stuart, possibly not to Felix, but Ruben is killing random people. Lots and lots of random people, on the justification that they smell rather bad. He abso-fucking-lutely is a threat to the general population and a spree killer, and a regular jail can't hold him. Sticking him in a specialized facility is the only thing you could do for him. Based just on the information provided in this book, Jaska isn't the bad guy. He's the motherfucking hero.
Now, if he's killing kittens or doing human exparamentation or facilitating torture, I will revise that statement. But the ONLY things Jaska has done in this book is drink shitty cocktails, attempt to get a dangerous murdering non-human off the streets and into some kind of treatment, and smell bad. Ruben has killed at least a dozen people, passed his illness on to one kid, and depopulated quite a bit of wildlife. I know which one I'd feel comfortable eating dinner with, and it ain't the pube wolf.
And then Felix comes into the room with Margon, a wolf, and another wolf whose name I will never be able to spell correctly, so he is now The Baron. They all smile at Jaska, who turns the approximate color of used toothpaste. And right before the Russians shit themselves, another wolf comes bursting into the house and eats them. Specifically it bites their heads off. And then it runs away so the cops will chase it and not Ruben.
Everyone spends a lot of time looking at each other, and then Grace, the surgeon who has probably held many, many, many people's bowels in her hands at one point or another, fucking faints in her husband's arms.