You are awesome, every single one of you, and don't let anybody tell you different ever.
So Ruben RUNS BACK TO THE HOUSE, only he is confused. Someone is threatening Laura and he doesn't smell evil. How can someone be threatening and not be evil?
Here are a bunch of reasons that will never be considered by this book:
-Ruben's magical nose is not infalliable
-Attacker A just took a bath
-The orchid trees are in the way
-Attacker A is downwind
-Evil doesn't actually have a scent. It's actually Axe body spray.
Here is the reason the book will go with:
-this is a major character ass-pulled at the eleventh hour to info dump a lot of information that could otherwise have been gathered in an interesting and entertaining way, preferably with gun fights and darkity darkness a'la Guilty Pleasures era Anita Blake, but will instead be dumped into our laps by this dude so that we can have another entertaining chapter dedicated to Ruben eating a Savannah cat.
I want to give Rubes baby a date with a Fila Brazileiro. Talk about a canine that will eat you...
Ruben does some minor property damage and gets into his own house, because opening a door takes too long? He goes upstairs to Laura, who is all "He's here to kill you, run!" and...we get our first confirmed brown character in this book:
Across from her, to the right, stood a small slender and composed figure, a dark-skinned man. His features had a slightly Asian cast. He appeared to be perhaps fifty years old and he had short insignificant black hair and small black eyes.I'd like to know how short hair can be insignificant.
And of course the dude has to kill them, but he doesn't smell of evil intent. Of course he doesn't. Ruben's got more murders at this point than the Texas Seven combined. Anybody would be justified taking him out.
So the info dumping starts and it turns out that this dude--who has no name, goddamn it--was the guardian of the house. Only it went on for a long time and he wasn't good at it, and he shouldn't have made Ruben and now he has to fix his own mistake.
Random Asian-ish Dude, you are now my favorite character. Here. Have a Howlitzer.
And of course when Random Asian-ish Dude (Who will now be called Rad because NAMES GODDAMN IT) transforms, he isn't nearly as big as Ruben and is somehow "sinister". And yet not giving off the aura of evil, so we know this is a good guy and Ruben is misinterpreting things. We know it because Anne Rice has just smashed us over the head with it.
So the two wolves square off while the book abandons past tense for a couple sentences, and Ruben demands to know what will happen next. Rad says he's here to kill Ruben and Laura. We got that part. We then find out that the werewolf curse is called the
The dialogue here is not what I'd call steller:
“Yes, the Chrism— that’s what we’ve called it for ages. The gift, the power— there are a hundred ancient words for it— what does it matter?”And there's a lot of "I could tell you but I'm not" kind of monologuing. And then this happens:
It was grotesque, the cultured, polished voice coming from such a bestial face. And so this is how I look to them, Reuben thought— just this hideous and monstrous.I'd be a lot less skeeved out by this if: 1. we had not gotten upteen chapters about how AWESOME werewolfyness was, 2. we had ANY OTHER NON-WHITE CHARACTERS OTHER THAN THIS DUDE and 3. if Ruben were looking in a mirror, and not at another person. Seriously. He couldn't see his own animalistic qualities in any of those six zillion selfies he took? He had to see another wolf to see it?
And oh god, Rice is laying it on thick with this dude. Everything Rad does is "Sinister" or "Malevolent" and ALL of his physical atributes are "dark" and it is repeated multiple times. MULTIPLE. TIMES. It's like "HEY THIS GUY IS MALEVOLANT AND SINISTER AND HIS EYES ARE DARK AND HIS FUR IS DARK AND DARKITY DARK AND SINISTER AND HAVE YOU GOTTEN MY POINT YET? HE'S DARK." And yeah, he's the first person to call Ruben on his shit, though it's less the "Murdering people horribly" part and more the "Doing it in public" part.
Please fix this Rice. It's not too late to fix it. Have Rad do something...well, Rad,
And then we get the best line in the whole book:
No one can conceivably know what will happen when the Chrism hits the pluripotent progenitor cells.”That is not a typo. That is exactly as written in the book. And it turns out it is a word that has something to do with stem cells. I *think* it has something to do with a cell's ability to become multiple other things--ie, stem cells becoming heart, liver, skin, ect.
So basically in Anne Rice's world werewolves have something to do with stem cells.
It makes perfect sense.
By the way, I want to start a petition allowing us to restrict Wikipedia searching rights after heinous gross literary abuses of the privilege. Who's with me?
And then we get a name for the werewolves. Because "Werewolf" is too passe and "Wolf Man" is trademarked by Marvel: Morphenkinder, and Morphenkind.
You use the German pronounciation. Morphenkint.
I am not going to say that these are Aryan werewolves. I'm just going to think it really, really hard.
We find out that Rad was left to guard Marchant, and that he left the house so that Ruben and Marchant could grind pelvises, and he came back when she died, so he has a major, major case of greif and is also the worst body guard ever. YOU DON'T LEAVE THEM ALONE, RAD. YOU JUST TUNE THE MUFFLED SIGHS OUT UNTIL THE THUMPING NOISE GOES AWAY.
The name "Felix Nideck" is dropped. Again.
They clash and fight for a while. Much furniture is broken. Leroy will earn his keep again (I will forgive every literary sin this book has committed if one character asks Leroy for their shoes. Just one.) and this continues until Laura hits Rad in the head with the axe.
Ruben allows Rad to flail around for a good while, and then he beheads Rad and throws the head in the fire.
WRONG CHARACTER, RICE. RIGHT THOUGHT. WRONG FUCKING CHARACTER.
Ladies and Gentlemen I would like to hold a moment of silence for Rad, a character who was given no name prior to his death at the hands of the biggest shit-head werewolf in the history of wolves, and yet who fought the good fight against murdering assholes the world over.
Sleep well, Random Asian-ish Werewolf Dude. You will be greatly missed.
And then the body...evaporates? While this happens:
Come poetry, come fantasy, come wild imagination, come dreams. The gleaming black hair began to fall away from the head and the body which lay only a few feet away.We're reading about a decomposing werewolf body. What the fuck does the bolded part have to do with anything?
The chapter ends on that note.
So basically, there's no body, so there will be no reprocussions from this, and Ruben has a lot of knowledge that he didn't have before.
And the only confirmed brown character in the novel so far got to swoop around the set in everything but the Fu Manchu mustache being all sinister before dying THE most horrible death in the novel so far. AND THAT IS SAYING A LOT.
I will let someone far wiser than me comment on that part.