Friday, July 19, 2013

Incubus Dreams--chapter 38-39

Dear Laurel K. Hamilton:




This is the passage that brought that out:

  • His hair looked as if the darkness had been drawn out into some dark thread and formed into curls. The only color was the drowning blue of his eyes and the crimson smear of lipstick across his face. It wasn’t my lipstick, or at least not most of it.
We're still in the fucking club, by the way. But I do like "Drowning blue". That's better than sapphire, husky blue, ocean blue, carribean, or all the other permutations of "I want his eyes to be special". "Drowning" evokes specific imagry without being too frufru. If LKH could just tone it the fuck down for five seconds, these little gems would actually be worth something.

Then we get a passage that made me go wha? ...and then I realized that LKH is trying to show us how Jean Claude's voice effects people he's rolling, and I know showing is good, but it shouldn't make you feel like you just dropped acid.

And of course we get a moment of homophobia when a random dude freaks out over being sexually attracted to Jean Claude. Because, you know, we absolutely had to have this interlude. 

 And then we get a makeout session between Jean Claude and a random female. And I really have to ask this: WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO LET A VAMPIRE RUN A FUCKING STRIP CLUB.

I know. Anit-discrimination and whatnot. But you know what black people and trans people and other sorts of people can't do? They can't fucking roll your mind and erase will and inhibition and make you come WILLINGLY to your death. JEAN CLAUDE JUST VIOLATED EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN HIS CLUB, MULTIPLE TIMES, AND HE WOUND THIS RANDOM WOMAN UP AND IS NOW FEEDING OFF HER PHYSICAL ENERGIES WITHOUT HER CONSENT. He's on the record stating that the whole reason he has the clubs is so he can feed his variation of the ardeur without having to, you know, actually fuck. HE. IS FEEDING. OFF HIS CUSTOMERS. WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.

This would be good if he were an antagonist, but he's supposed to be the good guy. And you would think SOMEBODY in all this would go "Uh...he's going to be regulated by a magic user while he's doing this, right?"

This entire series started when one of Jean Claude's (now dead) minions rolled one of Anita's friends and threatened to kill her if she didn't do what Jean Claude/Nicolaus wanted. This entire series is based on the idea that being in this fucking club is not safe.

And here's Anita, sitting in the middle of it, watching Jean Claude do whatever the fuck he wants.

And hey, because it's entirely possible you might have forgotten about all this, the text is kind enough to remind us:

“Nikolaos knew that he was feeding off the audience without ever touching them, so she forbade him to touch any of the customers.” His gaze went past me to the stage. “I think she had some clue what he could have been, and she did everything she could to make sure he didn’t come into that power.”
OR Nikolaos was smart enough to know that if the general public ever found out what Jean Claude was doing, he, and by extension her, would be staked and beheaded for general fuckery and she told him to knock it off.

Oh, and two paragraphs later we get a time-line on this novel series. It's been about three years since Anita killed Nikolaos.


Anita thinks about how three years ago she would have used this kiss as an excuse to dump Jean Claude's undead ass like a hot rock. Which again, brings up my preffered headcannon for this series, this being that Jean Claude wants Anita's power but couldn't give one blue fuck about her as a person, and he's steadily corrupted her because, hey, now he gets to touch, man.

And then Anita says she's greatful that Jean Claude is feeding off the customers because, as his vampire servant, her job is to feed him, and if he had not started soul-sucking random women she would still be backstage screwing everybody Jean Claude could pitch in her direction.

I really don't know where to start. How about the fact that this? What she just said? It's so textbook codependant and abuse-victim that I want to hold a fucking intervention. OH IT IS OKAY THAT HE IS DOING SOMETHING THAT WOULD NORMALLY HAVE VIOLATED MY MORAL CODE BECAUSE THE ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE ME DOING SOMETHING MUCH WORSE BECAUSE HE WOULD MAKE ME.

No. The alternative is that YOU. LEAVE. YOU LEAVE. If your SO is placing demands on you that put your life and well-being in danger you fucking leave. And fuck the consequences. Especially when, as in this case, his own stupidity is causing them. Jean Claude just basically held this entire fucking club hostage so that Anita would screw in a back room, and he had Anita screw in a back room so that she would give him permission to take his ardeur feedings to the next level. THIS IS SO MANIPULATIVE AND WRONG AND...

So then we hand-wave where Primo went--cross-wrapped coffin. Anita makes sure it is guarded so either he's breaking out or we're just letting Anita play at being big-chick on campus--and then Antia finally leaves the club.

Anita then gets to keep Requiem for a while, and she goes into more detail about how pretty he is. And I love how whenever she has somebody who isn't all white, LKH doesn't just say "mixed race" or at least identify the race(s) being blended. No, it's not about what the person has, it's about what they don't have:

His face was exotic, in the way that people can be when some ancestor didn’t come from Northern or Southern Europe. The straight black hair, the ever-so-slight uptilt to the edge of his eyes made me bet he’d come from somewhere much farther east.
Oooooh, this is a subtle one, my dear blog-readers, but it's a biggie. She just turned being mixed race into a negative, a void, by saying where the ancestors aren't. And then she doesn't bother to fill that void back up because identifying what the character is not--fully white--is more important than stating what they actually are.

Anita is halfway out the door before Nate pulls a "You promised to mark me tonight and I'll be furry by the time you get home" on her, and she realizes he fully intended for her to be a part of his act tonight. Without telling her.


Eventually she just kisses Nate on the lips and heads off into the night, while Jean Claude continues to feed off women. And I have to say it, the comparison between the massive amount of red lipstick he's taken off his willing victims and blood? Yeah, that's pretty damn good.

Next chapter.

We find out that Anita has gray-outs WHILE SHE IS DRIVING WHAT THE FUCKING HELL.

There was a white car in front of me, like magic, it just appeared. I slammed on the brakes, and Graham squeaked again. My pulse was thudding in my throat. I hadn’t seen that car. I signaled that I was turning right. Right meant I didn’t have to cross any lanes of traffic. The suddenly appearing white car had scared me.
So Anita pulls into the nearest parking lot to get off the road...and there are two men in her car.


But no. Anita has a sudden orgasm flashback, and then starts remembering the time she rescued Richard's family from a torturer. Meanwhile she gives Requiem and Other Random Dude AKA Grahme the orgasm memory too. Because...FUCK IF I KNOW WHY.

Then we get a long conversation about how Belle Morte tortured using pleasure. Because we need to know this.

You know what I want? A nice, non-erotic scene where somebody brushes their teeth. You know. Something normal.

And then we get a "She doesn't know she's beautiful" segment. Gag me.

And then....I'm going to copy and paste this in, and then I'm going to go raid my alcohol supply for something strong:

“You keep saying that, like you’re apologizing, why? Why are you apologizing?” 

I looked at Requiem for help, though I didn’t hold much hope. But he did help. “I believe that Anita sees it as unasked-for sexual contact. A sort of rape, if you will.”
 “Can’t rape the willing,” Graham said, and he stretched himself taller in the seat, settling more into it, and his eyes were bleeding back to human.

Yeah, this book has polished off my supply of Magellen. I have to go buy more tomorrow. LKH sucks.

But there is one thing I kind of like. Requiem tells Graham about how Anita and JC have hit a new power plateau and he's all like "Oh, yeah. That can be scary sometimes," like it's something that happens every fucking day.


"Yeah. I remember my first time. You know, they've got a support group for that."

(OH MY FUCKING GOD how have I run this blog so long without mentioning Zebra Girl? If you like dark/funny Paranormal stuff GO READ ZEBRA GIRL NOW I will be waiting here IT EVEN HAS WEREWOLVES GO GO GO GO)

(and then we can console each other over how the current FUCKING AWESOME story arc has taken THREE FUCKING YEARS and there is still no climax in sight)

Oh, and Anita thinks that Jean Claude is now infected with Damian and Nathanial's neediness. Because that is totally like herpes.

Also, Jean Claude gave Anita Requiem and Graham-Cracker here to Anita because she might need to fuck something between jobs. Or on the job. Or in the middle of the job. Because that is how you portray an empowered female. Someone so sexually charged she literally can go nowhere without a man.


The chapter ends with basically "That's depressing".

Yep, it is.

GOD this book sucks.

1 comment:

  1. "Because that is how you portray an empowered female. Someone so sexually charged she literally can go nowhere without a man."

    I have to say, one thing LKH is very good at is serving as an example of what NEVER to do in one's own work.