Kione calls down random lightening bolts and ends the fight with his five. WOW that was easy. But Lia points out that they're under Jude's protection. Jude has to come to their rescue if he wants to keep his street cred. So now the conflict is that if he kills them, Jude will attack him, he'll kill Jude and then Lia will be sad.
Seriously. This book has no idea how it feels about vampires. When they're attached to a human, they're good. When they're not, they're effectively tissue paper.
Fin and Lia both tell Utah that they have to keep Jude alive, and that means keeping the five vampires alive before Kione kills them and eats their liver. But why oh why is Kione justified in killing their undead asses? Is it just the curse? Is it a long feude a'la Hatfields and McCoys?
Nope. It's rape.
Remember how Kione can make people feel lust? Well apparently the Five Vampire's old (and now dead) clan couldn't "stand to attention" anymore until they found out about Kione. So they did the natural and reasonable thing, which was to kidnap his girlfriend, chain him to a post, point knives at the girlfriend, and rape him for several months because WHAT THE FUCK AM I READING.
Okay. It's one thing in the Anitaverse because EVERYTHING IS RAPE. Is there chastizement of a supernatural in the Anitaverse? It's rape. Is there a crime? It involved rape. Is Anita hungry? Here's rape with a side of rape, would you like fried rape with that? But weird and crazy as this book has been, we've been pretty careful on the consent thing.
So hey. Let's have a random rape and torture scene with a garnish of female suicide. Yeah. Kione's girlfriend--who doesn't get a discription beyond "Pretty woman", let alone a freaking name--throws herself on the vampire knives to free Kione from being raped until the girlfriend died of old age.
And just to add extra spice to this WTFery, when Kione plays the memory for everybody, Utah takes on the POV of the rapists.
So what does this add to the book? Kione is so very much a side character you could replace him with a lamp that shoots lightening at random intervals and nobody would notice. WHY DO WE NEED TO HAVE THIS IN HERE.
...because he makes Lia cry and prove that she's still human inside. NO. REALLY. THAT'S THE ENTIRE PURPOSE:
Maybe tonight, with this man, she’d allow herself to be human once more, with a human’s unapologetic expression of horror and grief for what Kione had endured. Sort of ironic that she should turn to her human side when she was no longer human. Dad would applaud.This would all be great if the five remaining members of the Vampire Clan From Hell didn't get away with it.
Lia brings up that Jude will die if Kione kills them. Jude shows up and is all "Let's get ready to Rumble, Elf-dude", and the vampire five offer to take the curse off IF Kione can prove that what he showed them is true. Rather than turning them into undead smears, he randomly teleports another surviving member of the clan--yes. The clan where ONLY FIVE MEMBERS SURVIVED, and these because they were not at the hell-orgy, has one extra member there to testify to the truth of Kione's words, which probably means he WAS there when Kione was raped and his girlfriend murdered, and that means that he probably PARTICIPATED, and Kione let him live because he might need a wittness.
When everybody agrees that these vampires are bad mojo and that Jude was nuts for taking them in in the first place.
Hey, let's take a second out from this rape plot line to establish that Lia has issues with her bloodlust due to being brainwashed. Established now? Yes? Good. Back to "Kione lets his rapists get away because FORGIVENESS!"
Lia argues for saving the Five so that Jude doesn't have to fight Kione and won't have to die. The most obvious solution--Jude says "FUCK this shit, you did NOT put this on the program guys" and lets the rapists die--not being employed, Lia argues that Jude is valuable to the fight to save humanity. Kione reacts reasonably:
“So you’re saying that the survival of the human race is more important than my puny complaint.”There should be a question mark on the end of that sentence. Other than that, though, it's a really good point. Kione was hurt badly, Kione's girlfriend was hurt badly, and these five assholes might not have participated in THAT, but they participated in making Kione's life a living hell ever since and NOTHING says these idiots have actually learned a damn thing about being good people. How does Lia respond?
She glared at him. “Stop putting words in my mouth. No one thinks your complaint is puny. But they’ve agreed to remove the curse. They weren’t even there when everything happened.
Yes. The rapist asshole vampires have agreed to stop torturing the rape victim, and this should make everything okay.
I don't like this book anymore.
(Seriously. I don't remember reading this the first time.)
Utah and Jude both confirm that they won't let Kione kill the vampires, so Kione agrees to let them go if they take the curse off. KIONE'S ARC IS NOW OVER. CONGRADULATIONS I AM SURE THIS ENLIGHTENED EVERYONE.
(WHY WAS THIS IN THE BOOK, NINA? YOU WERE DOING SO GOOD UNTIL NOW.)
And now we go back to Lia's bloodlust, because that's more important than the sufferings of a thousand year old rape victim.
Lia wants to kill Utah. Fin senses this. She tells him she fed on Zero, which should ring warning bells, but Zero is his usual, charming self:
“Congratulations. I’m sure you’re the first. Tell me if you feel yourself changing into a megalomaniac.” Fin turned and walked away.The defender of humanity, folks. DUDE. GET OFF MY SIDE.
Fin elects to send Lia home with Jude until she can get her bloodlust under control. The chapter ends with her telling Jude how weird it is that the only person she wants to feed on is Utah, and that she wants to kill him in the process.
WE ALREADY KNOW SHE IS BRAINWASHED. STOP DRAWING IT OUT.