I skipped it last night because HOW CAN I MAKE ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY NOTHING FUNNY?!?
One POS paragraph at a time, CW, we can do this.
Anita comes out of the bathroom. This is starting to induce a pavlovian cringe--going into and out of bathrooms. Nothing happens this time, though, because it's just Jean Claude talking to a blond vampire. And it's the first blond where I can't decide if she's supposed to be teh evuls blonde, or an actual character.
Her long blond hair fell in a pale wave around her body, like a second robe, so long. She was a vision in pale delicate colors, then she looked at me. Her eyes were a pale icy blue, the wrong color of blue for that delicate face. Her face was a near-perfect oval, dainty and unreal, as if someone had carved her from some white, pure rock, and breathed life into her. Unless she worked at it, hers was a cold beauty. If her eyes had been a brighter blue, I think it would have made her look warmer.Look. Speaking as an artist the most important aspects of an eye are that they are wet and roughly the right shape. Dramatic pictures aside, most people don't notice eye color. For example, I fucking love the picture of Sharbat Gula (Aka the National Geographic Afgan girl) because it's a good picture. The only reason I can tell you her eyes are green are 1. I looked up the picture several days ago and 2. I just looked it up again so I could refer to her by name and not title. And the green is more of a "well...I guess so" and not, you know, GREEN. Green eyes, blue eyes, violet eyes and gray eyes are all REALLY close together. You don't notice them from across the room. The famous "Don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes" line meant "let them get REALLY FUCKING CLOSE."
And I don't see how turning up the saturation would make blue less cold.
She had the blond Nordic beauty that I’d craved as a child. Craved so I’d fit in with my blond, blue-eyed father and his new family.
....you know, for all that Anita goes on and on and on and on about being mixed, and how it's thoroughly traumatic for her that she's not blond...she doesn't have a lot of Hispanic. The pale skin thing is negligable--you live in South Texas, you meet a lot of people who are mixed race, and you meet a lot of white people who married Hispanic people and took the Hispanic last name. I have, no shit, met an awful lot of blond, blue eyed Garzas. And Anita has no cultural ties to Hispanic things. There's no Tejano music, there's no mad rushes for pan Dulce or Bunuelos for New Year's. There is NOTHING to suggest Anita either has Hispanic heritage or values that Hispanic heritage. She brings it up a lot, sure, but it's always in how that heritage never measured up to white people--her heritage is only mentioned when it's a negative. And while we're on the subject of blue eyes, there's a really interesting Creator Approved picture from the Anita Blake Comic Book...
|This image belongs to Marvel. I have nothing to do with this. Come on Anita, pout harder.|
Remember all those "Jean Claude has too-blue eyes" descriptions? Yeah. I can't tell.
Also: Marvel paid really good money for that image. And coloring job.
And Anita isn't Nordic/Hispanic. She's German. German skintone might be white, but hair and eyes pretty much come in brown brown brown and uh...brown. There's the occasional blonde and blue set thrown in, but most of the "I ARE ARYAN GERMAN" actors--both when the Nazis were in charge and after--come from Sweden and Norway. Maybe her stepmom really is from nordic stock, but she'd be whining about the blond hair even if she weren't Hispanic.
Just one "I spent today tracking down my heritage" mention. Just one.
The big crisis is that Elinor is awake before noon. Yeah, everybody got a powerup, remember? A lot of vampires are waking before they're supposed to. I wanted one of them to turn into a charizard, but I guess you can't have everything.
Elinor also doesn't need to feed, because Jean Claude is full and then some. They contemplate how this will help them expand their power base. But enough about that, because Requiem is here!
Requiem shrugged back the hood without using his hands, the way you’d flip long hair behind your back. The hood slid down and the right side of his face was a mass of deep-purple bruises. One of his eyes was almost swollen shut...
I call bullshit. Not on the injuries. Abuse is wrong and always will be. I call bullshit on the whole "Meng Die beats up Requiem" thing. This isn't a character fail. This is a creator fail. The ONLY reason this is here is to obliterate any trace of Meng Die as a strong, competent female character anywhere near Anita's level. Because that can't be allowed at all. LKH wrote a character, realized that character was in competition with her main character, and decided to demonize the first character so that Anita would stay on top. How fucking competitive do you have to be to character assassinate your own fucking creations?
Oh, and here's the other reason Requiem had to get battered into a pulp:
I did it without being asked. I’d noticed the bruises last night, but hadn’t seen all the bandages under his shirt. I had had no idea how hurt he was. I hesitated in the bathroom with the scissors in my hand. I caught sight of myself in the mirror. I looked sort of startled. Had he really dumped Meng Die because of me? Dumped another woman on the off chance that I might take him as a pomme de sang? I stared at myself in the mirror and just didn’t see a woman who could make a man dump someone on the possibility of sex. Elinore, maybe, but me… I just didn’t think so.
Anita is so desirable men would risk death at the hands of a woman to get to lie adoringly at Anita's precious feet.
Oh, and she's so modest she'll never admit it in a million years...but she sure is thinking it.
Because it's not like one vampire just pounded another into raw meat, and this is wrong or anything. Nope. It's to prove that Anita is just that wonderful.
And Meng Die did this where everyone could see, so Anita asks how they covered it up:
“Mass hypnosis is not illegal, ma petite, only personal hypnotism.”Mah. Gah. Gabada. Whaaaa...you're serious? LKH, you seriously expect your audience to swallow that the government left a loophole that big in the vampire laws? It's illegal to hypnotize one person, but not a whole crowd? Well, fuck, why aren't vampires on the payroll for politicians? Vote for me...vote for meeee...
Also: Way to go covering up serious domestic violence, Jean Claude. A sane person would have dropped Meng's cross-wrapped coffin off at the police station with a nice folder of photographs of Requiem's face, but you're much better than that.
Everyone in this book is horrible. EVERYONE.
And of course Requiem is addicted to the ardeur and the only cure is to send him far away and never let him have pleasure again, so Anita has to take him into her bed. It's selfish for her not to. I mean, he just got beaten the fuck up for her and all. It's just her self-doubt telling her she can't possibly love more than one person. And look at those battered blue puppy eyes, don't you just want to?
“I don’t want to collect men,” I said. I stared down at the man in my lap. “I certainly don’t want them this… besotted. This a level of wanting that’s just wrong.”The one thing that never fails to amaze me is how this book manages to say exactly the truth when it's trying to do "Character A is sorting through their inhibitions."
“Ma petite, you must meet this obligation.”
I stared at him. “Obligation?”
“You have addicted him to you. Would you be as cruel as Belle Morte herself and cast him away, with this desire riding him?”This book was published in 2006. TWO THOUSAND MOTHERFUCKING SIX.
And then Elinor and Jean Claude reveal that Anita is basically the dumping ground for Jean Claude's own ardeur, and she's taken all the pressure off of him. Isn't that nice.
Anita finally agrees, but not for right now...probably because even LKH knows the readers will revolt if she forces another sex scene down our throats. Requiem is hurt.
And then Wicked and Truth show up.
Anita and Jean Claude decide that means the powerup is tied to Anita's ardeur and not so much Belle's line--which doesn't explain Elinor but whatever--and that they need to go test the ardeur on more vampires. End of chapter.
Hate. Hate hate hate hate HATE this book.