So business first, boys and girls.
I am AMAZED at your response to Dragon Breath. Yes, I figured you guys would like it, but there's "hey, this is a cool book" and there is the sales response, and also this:
|I did not expect this|
Seriously. How did I wind up with such awesome people?
...I have to follow this up with Anita Blake, don't I?
THE EMTS, EMERGENCY medical techs, had given Ronnie a blanket. They seemed to think she was suffering from shock. That wasn’t it. She was sobering up. Sobering up in the middle of a murder investigation, when she’d drunk more in one night than she’d consumed in the entire six years I’d known her.
LAUREL. YOUR MAIN DEMOGRAPHIC IS THE SAME GROUP OBSESSED WITH ANNE RULE BOOKS. WE KNOW WHAT AN EMT IS.
ALSO: YOU DO NOT SOBER UP THAT FAST. YOU VOMIT FROM ALCOHOL POISONING THAT FAST, BUT YOU DON'T SOBER UP. ALSO-ALSO--THE EMERGENCY MEDICAL EMT TECHNICIANS SHOULD BE TAKING RONNIE TO THE HOSPITAL FOR ALCOHOL POISIONING BECAUSE ACCORDING TO HER VOMIT THAT IS WHAT SHE HAS.
Now, let's address the medical fail here.
First off, detoxing off alcohol isn't something to laugh about. If you use large amounts of booze habitually and you attempt to detox without medical assistance, you will die. Not "might", sports fans. YOU WILL DIE. So the first question any EMT worth their salt would ask is "how often does she drink this much".
Two, and I have no intention of slut-shaming here. People have the right to indulge, to sleep with multiple partners, and to visit strip clubs if that's what they want. I drink way too much to throw stones in this department. But we've just managed to cross LKH's stupidity with actual medical conditions. Ronnie has drunk until she pukes. No bullshit, this is a dangerous situation. Our bodies are made to hold onto nutrition. Vomit wastes nutrition, therefore puking is a choice of last resort. You will only vomit if your body has decided it is better off without whatever lies in your stomach and trust me, it takes a lot to convince your stomach that it doesn't need that rib-eye. When you drink to the point of physical illness, the body is not puking because it "can't hold it's liquor" or because it's weak, or some other bullshit. It is puking because puke is suddenly critical to its continued well-being. It isn't safe to drink until you vomit and/or pass out. Especially if you pass out, because you're not asleep, you're unconscious, and that means something's gone wrong inside your brain and you won't wake up on your own. Aspirating your own vomit is a primary cause of death among heavy drinkers because if you pass out? You will not wake up if you vomit. If a friend of yours passes out while drinking, the VERY least you should do is call the nearest hospital/poison control and roll your friend over onto their side so that they won't inhale their puke, and that's not "good friend" behavior, that's "Basic human being" level shit. The best thing you can do is take them to the ER, NOW, because their body is in the process of shutting down forever. Just based on her behavior inside the club and her vomiting outside of it, Ronnie has mild to moderate alcohol poisoning and god only knows how much she drank before Anita got there. Her last drink could have been an hour ago, or she could have just downed five shots in the back room with Dallas (Which would be MASSIVELY FATAL. Seriously. As a bartender and a person raised around info about addiction, DO NOT DRINK MORE THAN FIVE DRINKS IN AN HOUR.) Any EMT worth their job would be racing her back to the nearest ER so she can drink activated charcoal and, you know, not die. It's not the booze in the system they give a fuck about, sports fans. It's the stuff still sitting in her stomach. Seriously. This could kill Ronnie. Why are they not taking her to the ER?
...because the novel revolves around Anita. Right.
The Anita Blake Series, ladies and gentlemen. Where Anita's friends can have life-threatening medical conditions and Anita will never give a shit.
So while her best friend is potentially dying of alcohol poisoning, a cop walks up to Anita and says 'I didn't recognise you with so many clothes on."
I shit you not.
Sheriff Melvin Christopher’s opening shot to me had been, “Almost didn’t recognize you with more clothes on, Miss Blake.”Well, it can't get any wors--
I smiled sweetly and said, “That’s Marshal Blake to you, sheriff, and you are awfully interested in women’s clothing for a heterosexual man in a rural area.” It had gone downhill from there.Anita Blake needs to go die in a fire.
YOU FOUND THE DEAD BODY OF A SEX WORKER AND YOUR BEST FRIEND IS DYING OF BOOZE AND YOU ARE TRADING HOMOPHOBIC BARBS WITH SOMEBODY YOU TECHNICALLY OUTRANK WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS.
Christopher gets so pissed he has to go for a walk around a parking lot. This allows Anita to watch Micah try to convince a cop that he doesn't work at the strip club, and neither does Nathanial. She decides to shove in and get up close and personal. This quickly descends into yet more homophobia. Because it's not like cops are expected to take sensativity training before they go on the job.
(I had to take sensativity training before I could make fucking doughnuts. OF COURSE THEY DO.)
They exchange barbs for a while, and finally Micah explains that he's a liason for were-whatevers, and this involves him taking off his glasses and showing off his kitty-cat eyes.
The cops freak out. Christopher reacts thusly:
“Beastiality and coffin-bait, that is pretty damn low for a white woman.”
I think this is a kind of strawman zen, you know? Everybody in this book is a stuffed shirt, including Anita's triple-E bra, so it kind of comes back around on itself in this mobius strip of wanton stupidity. Yes, the sheriff is a moron for saying that out loud, but look at everything else around this.
It'd be pretty if it weren't utterly fucking repellant.
The pissing contest continues until somebody's radio declares an Officer Down. Then everybody forgets that they're a racist POS for a second and piles into the cars. Anita tells Micah and Nate that she loves them just before she drives off.
I, for one, really hope Ronnie is okay.
(CAN I EMPHASIZE HOW NOT SAFE SHE IS RIGHT NOW? PLEASE, BLOG READERS, DO NOT DRINK UNTIL YOU PUKE, AND IF A FRIEND DOES, SEE THAT THEY GET MEDICAL ATTENTION, PROMISE ME THIS THANK YOU.)
Next chapter: The cop is still alive, though it takes a lot of posturing before we discover this.
The cop tells them that a vampire came and abducted a dancer from a club he was watching. How and why is entirely immaterial, because we've only got so much book left and we wasted most of it on criminally boring sex. Anita realizes immediately that this is a trap. Vittorio has abducted this dancer so that Anita and Co. will have to strike early, while it is still dark, rather than at dawn when the vampires are dead. She decides that they will have to spring the trap anyway, because the girl's life is at stake.
She gets the Special Forces dude on the line, discusses things, and Christopher is all like "WOW SHE REALLY IS TALKING TO SPECIAL FORCES I GUESS SHE IS A COP."
To which I reply that it is less sexism, though I'll give points cause that is there, and more Anita's inabilty to look professional, ever.
There is a dry erase board. It is full of diagrams.
I could care less. Why does this have to be explained?
Also: if Anita has declined to give these dudes the address, how could they have reconned it this thoroughly? It reads like they've been planning all night.
We are info dumped a lot of fucking useless info, like how the owner of the condo at the address has no furniture.
Again: I. Could. Care. Less. GET BACK TO THE STORY.
Anita gives this speech:
“Dawn Morgan may still be alive in there,” I said. “But every minute we wait cuts her chances of survival. You can hate that your captain let me come, you can fucking hate me, I don’t care, but let’s get this done. I’d like to get to Dawn before it’s too late, Sergeant Hudson. Just once, I’d like not to be the cleanup crew and be there early enough to have something left to rescue.”
I would find this moving if the trigger had not been the question "are we boring you, Miss Blake?", implying that she was ignoring critical information during the breifing. I'd also be more inclined to find this "You can hate me" speech more moving if I did not know (through personal use of it) that "Fine, hate me" is Passive Aggression at its finest. (For the record, when I used that speech I was very wrong and I am very sorry for using it). (It was the Worst Thing I ever Did On The Internet) the "hate me" speech is also an admission of guilt. You know on some level that you've done something worthy of hate, and you're trying to head things off before they get there.
I'd also be more moved if Anita hadn't spent many chapters ignoring a friend's medical and mental crisis because it was a little inconvenient. You know, right up until the dead body.
...OH GOOD FUCKING GOD LAUREL. PARAGRAPH BREAKS ARE YOUR FRIEND.
(I can't reproduce this, but I hit an ENTIRE KINDLE PAGE-AND-A-HALF that is one big paragraph. My eyes crossed. Given that this is the paragraph that would justify the "hate me" speech, this is a bad move.)
And the depressing thing is? There is not. one. sentence. in that paragraph worth reading. We go from one cop's hair, to Anita's hair, to how if Anita cuts her hair Micah cuts his, to how insecure having long hair makes her feel, to how she's just a little girl (...you die instantly for that one.) just a "voodoo dabbler" in this great, wide world of MEN and somehow this becomes another debate about how well Anita does her job vs. how well the cops do theirs, and as we've already covered, ANITA REALLY SUCKS AT HER JOB.
That's kind of what all my issues with this series boil down to. Anita doesn't suck at this job because she's a woman. She doesn't suck at this job because she sleeps with people. She doesn't suck at this job because she challenges gender roles. She sucks at the job because she doesn't give one flying fuck about it. She doesn't bother protecting the chain of evidence. She doesn't put on protective clothing when she arrives at a crime scene--clothing that is aimed at protecting the crime scene from the investigator, and not the other way around--she wastes time on pissing contests that ought to be used processing evidence, and when she has evidence the police desperately need, she uses it to leverage special treatment out of the investigators. Anita is not an investigator in any way, shape, or form because she doesn't bother, and she hasn't for several books. She hurtles from one event to the next like a sex-propelled grenade, but the instant something in the job requires self-restraint she crashes harder than a bumper-car shoved into a Tunnel of Love ride.
ANITA BLAKE IS A DEFENSE ATTOURNEY'S DREAM.
Of course, it's not about how Anita fails at her job. It's about how she's a dangerous girl:
“You-are-a-fuck-ing-assassin.”Reproduced verbatum from the book.
Anita treats this like it's a point of pride.
In the end, Special Forces refuse to take her along for the ride, so Anita decides that it's her warrent, she's going in without them.
END OF CHAPTER THANK YOU GOD.