“She’ll still be the same person inside the same body.”Going from "Vampires suck" to "WE MUST SAVE LIA" is not good consistent character development.
And then we get a random psychic jaguar. NO. REALLY. THAT HAPPENS.
“I am Balan, the messenger for those you call by numbers. I am honored to meet another God of the Night and a mighty fae prince.”Oh, and he goes out of his way to say that he works for the bad guys. UTAH. BABY-DINO. THIS IS WHAT SHOTGUNS ARE FOR.
They listen to the cat. OF COURSE THEY LISTEN TO THE FUCKING CAT. The cat tells Utah that Zero has Lia and is willing to trade her for Seir. Who was already working with him, but who walked right into Fin's hands without any pressure. GEE. DO YOU THINK THIS COULD BE A TRAP?
...also, Nina? Jaguars like getting wet. So when Balan AKA RANDOM KITTY gets rained on? He wouldn't squeal and rush off like that.
Kione confronts Utah with his feelings for Lia. You fucked her in a vampire storage room. It's a little late to be playing the virginal choirboy, Dino-dude.
So they rush off to tell Fin about the exchange and fail to mention that it is AN OBVIOUS FUCKING TRAP (seriously guys can you be any dumber?) and Fin greets them like any mature omnipotant being would:
“I hope this is important, Utah, because Zero just finished frying my brain, and I’d really like to kill someone.”I really hope these guys don't actually turn out to be gods later on in the series (...yes. there are many more books) because DAMN.
Also, he only points out that Seir is the more dangerous brother before he agrees to the trade. DUDE, I could cut Utah some slack because his sentience is younger than my tennis shoes, but FUCK, YOU ARE A GOD-LIKE-BEING. THIS IS SCREAMING OBVIOUS TRAP. WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING.
Well, it's time to go tell Balan that they're walking into the mouse trap with their arms open wide:
“I could make an exception for you.” He shifted his attention back to Utah. “Each side will be allowed ten representatives plus their leader. We will meet with you at two A.M. tomorrow at the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park.”
“A rose garden?” Utah glanced at Kione, who shrugged. “How do we get there?”
“I would suggest Google Maps.”Okay, on the one hand, that's a pretty good response to Utah's sense of entitlement (Dude. This is the bad side's messenger. What do you expect?) But dear holy God, Google Maps/Google Earth have no bleeding business being in paranormal fantasy things. It's like "Elves elves elves vampires elves shapeshifters elves ghosts elves mermaids elves GOOGLE EARTH MOTHERFUCKERS and now we're back to elves." ONE OF THESE THINGS JUST DOESN'T BELONG HERE.
Also: At this point Google Earth has contributed more to this quest than Utah. Just saying.
They go back to Seir's room, and the conversation makes about as much sense as it would if you gave Q a bottle of whiskey and made him play "Never have I Ever" with Zeus. It ends with Seir warning Utah that he should run if the three brothers ever get, like, touching close.
Utah heads to bed. He angsts for a while. And then we get a hard scene cut to the Rose Garden.
...I am not complaining about an abrubt scene jump because Anita Blake showed me bad jumps are better than writing every single red light (and sex scene) is a bigger error...but this part is SCREAMING to be its own chapter.
...Yeah, Utah? It's a rose garden. Christine likes green things. Get over it.
...and it's apparently February, which makes the blooming roses weird. Yeah, they probably are. You know what's even weirder? THE RAIN HAPPENING THROUGHOUT THIS BOOK. This is the first date we've gotten so far, and I'm not 100% sure but I think it'd be SNOWING right now.
“Christine is doing this. She always brings the heat. She’s a life freak. She’d try to grow stuff in the middle of Times Square and water it with tourists’ blood.” Seir’s mockery was back. “She’s bought completely into Zero’s out-of-death-comes-life crap. Kill the human polluters, and Earth will bloom again.”
...every word of that last bit is probably true. I'd really like to avoid such a draconian solution, though.
The two sides spend some time growling. What's not so good is that Jude brought the vampires that scarred up Kione, and Kione is more interested in killing them than he is in saving Lia.
One good person in this cast. That's all I ask.
Adam is there with Seir and Seven, and he apparently rigged it so the five vampires will kill Kione. Popcorn should be distributed all around, but instead everybody clears the floor and looks antsy. Utah figures Adam set this up. No shit, Sherlock.
Utah also gets disgusted when Lia's hypnotic suggestion to kill him kicks in. Great.
You know, that "confused rejection" trope is my least favorite romantic things. There are so many realistic ways to fuck up a relationship, muddled confusions because NOBODY CAN FUCKING COMMUNICATE THINGS should be down there with "canned spinach" as breakup reasons.
The Five Vampires and Kione exchange threats. They're both cheesy, but only Kione's is grade A Stilton with a side of red whine:
“I’ve waited centuries for this moment.” Kione began to glow. “I’ve suffered with your fucking curse, and I added every moment of agony to what you owe me. Tonight your bill comes due. I hope you die hard.” His smile would send grown men screaming into the night.Bruce Willis called. He said "Russia was enough, Leave me the fuck out of this one."
Darkness swirls. Dinos prepair to let loose with their bad prehistoric selves...and the chapter ends with Utah excercising self control and doing, you guessed it, absolutely nothing.