Monday, June 10, 2013

The Wolf Gift--Chapter 22

Deciding to write down everything about my self-publishing stuff has been very cathartic. What I didn't realize is how INCREDIBLY nervy I am about posting it online. Esp because I'd say a lot of it is religious-mania crazy...and yet it is part of the story.

Ah, well. If you like it I'm glad. If you don't like it, post about it on twitter or something. It's not like I'd ever have an actual good reputation.

Anyway, where's Ruben?

...he and Laura are having a freak out in the middle of the rug. Okay. Good to know.

So I’m not a Morphenkind. So I’m odious, loathsome, an offense. Well, this offense to the species has just killed this Morphenkind with a little help, of course, from his beloved and her ax.
Ruben. You've known her maybe a week, and most of that was wolfy booty call. WHICH I HAVE NOT FORGIVEN YOU FOR. It's probably a little early to be all "I WUB YOU" with this one.

 Oh, and there is a body after all. It was just the wolfyness fading away. So now Ruben has to go bury him.

And you know, I didn't think this book could take any deeper a turn towards the stupid, but oh my fucking GOD:

 “Bury him! Reuben, you can’t.” Laura looked up at him as if awakened from a nightmare. She wiped at her nose with the back of her hand. “Reuben, you can’t simply bury him. Surely you realize how valuable, how utterly priceless, this body is— to you!”

“In this body are all the cellular secrets of this power,” Laura said. “If ever you are to find out, if ever you are to know. Why, you can’t discard this thing. That’s unthinkable.”

“But Reuben, you can’t simply take this thing, this mysterious thing, and consign it to the dirt, you can’t just bury it. My God, this is an unimaginable organism, of which the world knows nothing. It points the way to understanding—.”

I'm not even going to touch the pricklier aspects of mining the only (confirmed) non-white body in the entire book for DNA to save/educate a white man. But just...just...HOW. HOW DO YOU GO FROM WAILING ON THE FLOOR TO "OH NO MY BELOVED THIS BODY IS THE ANSWER TO ALL OUR PROBLEMS WE CANNOT BURY IT IN THE COLD COLD GROUND"

Also (please don't shoot me guys for pointing it out) Rad had no value when he was alive. Now he's dead, he's fucking priceless. He could save Ruben's life. He's not so valuable that he gets a real name, now. No. That's asking too much. But he's fucking priceless.

Yeah. Is anybody else seeing parallels to Henrietta Lacks here?

Then Laura hits on the second most racist/creepy-as-fuck/sociopathic idea in the last twenty-two chapters:

“What if (Rad's body) were found, and analyzed and blamed for all the crimes that have occurred?”
Laura wants to take Rad's human body and dump it at the side of the road so that its blend of wolf and human DNA and the Christ Chrism inside it can be detected, and Rad can be blamed for RUBEN'S crimes. Because it's perfectly moral and just and right to blame your crimes on a dead man.

Especially if he's a different race then you.

I'm sorry. It's just that even fucking Rosy's race was left ambiguous and the very first confirmed bad wolf is also the very first confirmed not-a-white-person.

...AND WHY ARE WE NOT READING THE STORY OF A( POSSIBLY IMMORTAL) KICK ASS EVIL SLAYING ASIAN WEREWOLF? THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN FUCKING AWESOME. If for no other reason than Rad obviously had morals and shit, where as Ruben just has shit.

THANK GOD Ruben shoots that idea down too... because the mitocondrial DNA would prove that Rad ain't the murderer.

Let's do this fail by the numbers, mkay?

1. Rad is the werewolf that made Ruben. Ergo Rad is the werewolf whose saliva/DNA, if this exists, would be on file re: Marchant. So there actually is a chance that the authorties would identify Rad as the BadWolf instead of Ruben and let Ruben go scott free.

2. ...except that it wouldn't. Because clearly no DNA from the wolf survives long enough to be tested. Unless Anne Rice knows enough about police procedures to have it take for. fucking. ever. for DNA to come back on a case, especially if you've got nothing to match it to and you just have to plug it into a database and pray, DNA testing in this universe probably takes just a couple of days, because that's what would work for this plot and most people assume that DNA=magic. CSI logic. Anyway, anybody remember what happened really early on in the book?

He screwed Marchant. Who then died in a horrible and pointless way so that she could be a symbol of things rather than an active castmate, because eww, girl. And the police ran a rape kit on her body. And Ruben said "Yeah, that's my sperm" and surrendered a DNA sample that would be kept to test against other DNA sources at the crime scene, and then kept on file in the nearest database because cops do that.


So the fact that his ass hasn't been hauled in for mauling people means one of two things. Either (a. Anne Rice is going for real accuracy and DNA takes one to two to SIX months to process, OR (b. WEREWOLVES DO NOT DROP HUMAN DNA AND THERE IS NOTHING TO TEST.

Given that B would keep Ruben's holier-than-thou ass out of hot water, I'm gonna bet that Rice isn't going for procedural accuracy on this one.

Now. If Ruben is arrested/chased/ousted as the Man Wolf PUBLICLY AND BY THE POLICE before this novel is over, I will print this blog post out on edible paper and eat it. But I don't think this will come up because HELLO, if Ruben had ANY BRAINS AT ALL he would remember that his DNA is currently on file and/or being processed by the cops, that it WILL hit a national database very soon, and that THIS is what he should be worrying about. Not Rad, or Laura, or maybe sort of kind of being caught. Nope. He should be packing and moving to Anywhere Not Here. Not calling or trying to find out if his samples have been processed yet, because the cops don't just remember these kinds of phone calls, they fucking wait for them. If Ruben had two of the brain cells Rice insists he does have, he would have sold the house and left for a very small island that doesn't have extradition. And then felt very stupid when it turns out werewolves don't secrete DNA.

The body then shrinks. As reported through the worst dialogue in the entire book so far:

“Look at it,” she said. “The bones inside are disintegrating. It’s flattening out. I want to touch it, but I can’t.”


 And then because Rad is now ash (...I'm not commentinging. I'm not. I promise) Ruben realizes that there is no DNA and he is perfectly safe.

Fuck you Anne Rice, that is the shittiest cop-out you've taken so far.

And then they start trying to use science to explain Werewolves because getting magic all over everything would be bad. And Anne Rice totally found a new word when she was researching this. Laura repeats "Pluripotent proginator cells" three times in the next paragraph.

 The Chrism is also apparently "wolf fluid".

Well, now we have concrete proof that Anne Rice has never met a furry. Otherwise she would have known better.

So werewolves happen when a bite injects the Chrism and the Chrism goes into the stem cells and makes them turn into wolf cells, but only under conditions that are never properly defined or explained. And when these cells are cut off from life they dissolve into little bits of ashy nothing, and this makes you capable of sniffing out the evil in someone's butt because that's totally scientific too.

We didn't need werewolves explained in science. We didn't need it when Carlisle explained extra chromosomes to Jacob, and we don't need it with Ruben and Laura. We're all fans of urban fantasy. We all know what werewolves are. Bitey. Shifty. Moony. We don't need any extra info. Especially not when it's rolled in stupid. 

So then Ruben decides that his mother realized what was going on somehow--uh, because Plot?--and decided to protect him--because Ruben is a fucking moron, and Plot--and he feels guilty but he can't bring her into this story because Guilt and Laura and Jim and PLOT PLOT PLOT damn it, it doesn't have to make sense.

Ruben goes though Rad's clothing. He has no identification. His clothing, however, is expensive. Florentine labels. Because god forbid we have a middle class major castmate or *gasp* somebody even poorer.

And then he finds Rad's wristwatch, which is engraved with the word "Marrok".


Yeah, so Sir Marrok was a werewolf figure in King Arthur's court in some of the not so common Arthurian lore. But you know what else comes up in a google search for Marrok? What is, in fact, the very first item in the same search?

Anne Rice's main wolfy competition.
Yes, again. It's public domain and it might be a coincidence, but it's not that common a myth. And the Marrok in the Mercyverse is Bran, who is the dude who sang "Simple Gifts" at his buddy's funeral in Cry Wolf, which is the song that Ruben was singing when he found Laura. 

And that's not the last co-relation either. Werewolf mythos is very specific about who gets infected when bitten: EVERYBODY. Scratch? You're wolfy. Bite? Wolf. Hair in eye? Hope you like howling. In both Anita Blake and Sunshine, were-whatever-ism is also spread through blood transfusions, which is simultaneously awesome worldbuilding and fucking terrifying.. I've only read two books/series where the wolfyness is hard to contract, to the point of being potentially lethal: Wolf Gift and the Mercy Thompson novels. I'd say the difference is in the Mercyverse you have to be fatally wounded for werewolf-ism to even have a chance of working on you, but Ruben was fatally wounded during Marchant's murder, and Rad was a little more worried about killing Ruben than he was info dumping.

I have tried VERY HARD not to compare this book to the Mercyverse because I know it's not a fan fave, but this shit is NOT making it easy. Let's just say if the wolves turn out to be immortal--and at this point that is a HUGE possibility--I will be side-eyeing this book so very fucking hard.

Also, Mercy? Either we've invented an invisible anti-gravity bra or that is a really bad boob job.

So Ruben and Laura fix the door and Ruben goes to bed to sleep, and instead of sleeping he thinks about Felix Nidek, and realizes that Felix is the one who came and took the tablets. Because of course the audience didn't figure this out the ELEVEN-THOUSANDTH TIME that Felix was mentioned.

And then Ruben decides that: no werewolf has evil intent when they try to kill him (GEE I WONDER WHY) and that means he won't be able to smell them when they come here. Ruben makes death defying leaps in logic, doesn't he?

Ruben confused. He thinks about Felix, and about finding how Marrok got into the house, and about Felix, and about getting Laura safe, and then FINALLY, AFTER ALL POSSIBLE TENSION HAS BEEN RESOLVED BY DISSOLVING WEREWOLF BODY, Ruben remembers that he left his sperm in Marchant and that the cops can test that. Oh, well, gee, he would have worried about that if the wolf hadn't dissolved right in front of him.

Hate this book. HATE THIS BOOK.

Some philosophical ramblings are said RE: Felix, and Laura and Ruben "fall into each other's arms" and go to bed.


  1. Just because it's not a fan fave doesn't mean parallels can't be drawn if you see them! Go for it! Considering he was also the guy singing that song, it is pretty fishy. The hard-to-infect and name Marrok, I wouldn't personally see as red flags, BUT THAT *ONE* SONG? WHAT ARE THE ODDS.

    Speaking of parallels, oh man, I didn't even think about the Lacks thing but eeeep

    Hee. I had the same thought at 'wolf fluid'

    1. The hard-to-infect is a little YMMV, the Marrok thing a little less so.

      The Marrok *AND* hard-to-infect AND Simple Gifts? That's fishy.

      The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has been on my to-read pile FOREVER. I need to buckle down and read the thing.

      ...honestly, what else *can* you think?

    2. ...I also just discovered that they're doing a Mercy Thompson comic book, and they're using the artist from the Anita Blake comic book.

      My inner fangirl is now comatose from weeping.

    3. Oh, that is SAD. Moon Called didn't strike a chord much for me at all, but it definitely deserves better than the Liefield-esque illustrations that AB got.