Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Danse Macabre--chapter 5

This book is a carbon copy of Cerulean Sins. Right down to Jean Claude's stupid gold-and-silver drapes. Which are described in detail, as is the painting of JC, Asher and Juliana which isn't even in the room. We dedicate a lot of time and attention to something that isn't there.

Anita manages not to start an intercity war with her first comment. The nearest (white, blond) MotC introduces himself as Augustine AKA Auggie. This gives me the cold sweats for reasons I cannot immediately articulate, so I'm going to assume that Auggie is a nice vampire who never has sex with Anita. I will cringe appropretely when proven wrong.

Auggie also makes an excuse for JC not being there. He understands that business can't always wait, which makes me really wish Jean Claude's empire was something other than sex...or that Anita could distract herself from teh sex long enough for us to see what Jean Claude's business actually is. All we ever see of Jean Claude's businesses are the customer side, and I'm including Anita's visits to the dressing rooms. You don't see the day-to-day stuff. What happens when you run out of something needed, what regulations JC has to follow to run his clubs, what happens when the cops raid him (and you can bet your ass that happens frequently) who he has to pay off. You know, that kind of thing. But we'd much rather focus on Anita fucking every single male dancer in Jean Claude's employ, rather than on the things that could develop him as a character.

I looked into his eyes, until I saw that they were like the sky when it goes black, just before it falls down and destroys everything you own.
I can't decide if I like this description of Auggie's eyes, or if I hate it, and either way it kind of loses its own point halfway through. Auggie has black eyes. Auggie has black eyes. Auggie has BLACK EYES. DO YOU GET IT YET?

“Welcome, Samuel, Master of the City of Cape Cod. As Jean-Claude’s human servant I welcome you and yours to St. Louis.”

Why would anyone saddle themselves with "Master of the City of (insert whatever here)" Why not "Master of Cape Cod" or "Master of Tombstone", something you can say in one nice mouthful?

Sam here brought a woman with him, probably his blood apple, and Auggie probably brought his blood apple and these are the two women who are fighting. Lovely. One of them takes little snipes at Auggie because having a female character who isn't awful is too fucking hard.

His animal to call is mermaids.

MERMAIDS? What happened, did somebody forget to give Laurel her Animal-a-Day calendar? She couldn't think of ANYTHING else? Why not Harpy Eagles? Or Hippos? How about motherfucking dragons, if we're venturing into the mythological? MERMAIDS?

Please tell me they turn ugly. PLEASE. Big ugly razor-toothed mermaids. It's the only way this will be salvagible.

Samuel’s eyes were hazel, pale brown with an edge of grayish green around the pupil. The green shirt brought out more of the green, so his eyes were almost an olive green, but they were definitely hazel, not true green. But then I had high standards for true-green eyes.

Every time LKH starts describing color all I hear is:

That's it.


Anita describes Sam's wife. It's...uh...special.

She bowed a body that was inches taller than his, bowed and hid her face. I was betting it was because her face just didn’t look sorry enough. Her dress was somewhere between cream and white, and it matched her skin and her hair. She was all whites and creams and pearls. At first glance you might think albino, but then she raised her eyes back up to us both. Her eyes were black, so black that her pupils were lost in the color of her irises. Her lashes were golden, her eyebrows gold and white.
It's that last bit that cracks me up. I've got this mental picture of Anita leaning in until she can see the individual eyebrow hairs.

Thea, the mermaid with the special eyebrows, bows to Anita. Anita helps her up. Thea asks if Anita is helping "like a queen to a commoner" or if Anita is acknowledging that Thea is a superior. Anita takes way too many words to say "I have no idea. I suck at this" and Auggie says the following:

Auggie laughed an abrupt, very human-sounding laugh, turning me to look at him. “Jean-Claude said you were a breath of fresh air, Anita, but such an honest breeze, I’m not sure we’re up to it.”

You know, when I was four my favorite game with my mother was Barbie Beauty Pagent. This one time I didn't have enough bathing suits for both our barbies to compete against each other, so my mother suggested I let her have the bathing suit and my doll should wear an evening gown because the modesty would win points with the jury. Mom had to explain what modesty was, but once I got it, I went nuts on the concept. "I'm modest. I'm modest. I'm the modestest person ever. Aren't you impressed with my modesty!"

Yeah. Anita is played up as being the honestest person who ever honested, and it reminds me of four year old me trying to play up modesty because I didn't want my mother to know I'd never heard of the word before.

We also find out that Samuel and Thea are putting their sons on the chopping block so Anita can turn them into blood apples.

Worst. Parents. Ever.

...and Thea decides that she and Anita need to decide who is of higher rank so yes indeed, we're having a fucking pissing contest between Anita and a motherfucking mermaid. WITHIN FIVE MINUTES OF WALKING INTO THE ROOM. At least Anita isn't the source of this, but hey, bonus round! IT'S A WOMAN. YAY.

Anita decides to offer Thea her wrist because fuck if I know, and Thea goes for the throat instead, because why not, and the explination for this whole creep fest is:

“My wife is very competitive with other women, Anita,” Samuel said. “Surely Jean-Claude mentioned that, as he mentioned your temper to us.”

That, or the book is being written by someone who's focused more on proving how much better they are than everyone else than they are focused on writing a goddamned story. PEOPLE DO NOT INTERACT THIS WAY.

And then...Anita and Thea start making out. For serious. This is how the chapter closes:

“Succubus,” she whispered as she lowered her face toward mine. I knew in that instant that she was going to kiss me. “I am seeking another of my kind, Anita. Are you what I seek?” And with the last word she closed her mouth over mine.
The next chapter will be how Anita reacts to being kissed by another woman.

I peeked ahead.

Send help.


  1. Jean-Claude's design sense would make Liberace throw up.

    1. I think he already did, and JC is using the vomit.

  2. The merfolk don't ever turn ugly. Or even into merfolk. At least not onscreen; we hear in a later book that they can change to a mer-form, but other than that this is presumably a humanoid upper-half and fish-or-dolphin lower half, it's never described, nor is anything about them besides that they live a long time (like, centuries) but are not immortal. I hate so much how LKH introduces lamia and naga and fey and merpeople for like one book and then WE LEARN NOTHING EVER ABOUT THEM AGAIN EVER

    Vampires also appear in the series who can call ghosts and djinn, so admittedly Samuel isn't the only one whose animal to call is in not an animal at all. I am willing to accept this, I'd just like it explained. I also started wondering if there was ever a vamp who called humans...and then realized, they ALL can. Even the most basic vampires can roll/control humans like a vampire controlling its respective animal-to-call type. I chalk this up to them all having started as human and thus having the built-in connection, or something.

    I actually like Thea, briefly as she appears. I couldn't tell you my reasons though, really, besides that I guess I want to know more about merfolk and she's the only one we see at any length, and I like the idea of a species that looks human but thinks nothing like one (and not in the way that most of LKH's characters act nothing like real people, I mean) But I must say, lol, if Sam thinks his wife is competitive with other women, wait until he gets to know Anita!

    1. It's just so OBVIOUS to use mermaids in a sex-loaded series. You might as well shoot were-fish in a barrel or something.

      I think I do like Thea a bit. She's edgy, she does not seem fond of Anita and she's pushing buttons. It's interesting. But I gave up on connecting with ANY character in this series because I know it won't go anywhere. Anita will either fuck them, kill them, or they'll disappear after they Strawman whatever point LKH wants to make and/or contradict this week. And it's such a waste. I've found I actually enjoy writing characters who are good in their own right who DO NOT GIVE A FUCK about the main character. There's so much potential for conflict and character evolution...and instead it's just there because LKH can't write.

      And the human thing is REALLY cool. Never thought about it like that...IDK though, the animal-to-call thing creeps me out anyway. It seemed to me in the early books that it was ANIMAL to call, and that weres got grandfathered in because of their connection to the animal and their inability to fully control all the were's instincts. Wolves aren't sentient, and having part of the brain be awash in non-sentience makes a werewolf open to that control. Having the creature being called be something natively sentient is a bit too creepy. I think if the actual mechanism were elaborated on, like you said, it'd be better, but this has "Hey, won't this be cool" written all over it.

      ...And if I were writing this I'd have a master vampire double up on humans when they level up (or whatever it is that vampires do). Then they'd be PISSED and have something to motivate them other than "Hey, let's fuck Anita."

    2. I always figured she got the animal to call thing from Dracula, who could control various creatures of the night. It actually was wereanimals-inclusive from the start (Nikolaos, the villain of the first book, was able to control wererats along with regular rats) but it was played as creepy and something the therians did NOT appreciate it...like a lot in AB, it seems to depend on who is doing it. JC or Anita? It's fine! And the therians are fine with it! Nikolaos or Vittorio? It's bad! And the wererats/weretigers don't like them! And more and more, it's not even that, it's just "oh, this is cool!" as you said, which drives me nuts since it could be made SO TERRIBLE AND CREEPY AND AWFUL! My AB RP group played a lot with this idea and taking it to horrific places.

      And yeah, as far as I know, Thea never appears again after this book :C alas, that is probably best for her