LKH wanted to show how awful dealing with teenagers is. Boo hoo. They still saved Anita's ass.
Claudia and Remus got there first, because you just can’t outrun a shapeshifter. Edward and Olaf were close behind, but they didn’t get there first.YOU DON'T SAY.
How can you read that and go "I absolutely need to repeat myself here, the reader might not get who got there first."
That said, I would like to read LKH's version of Who's on First, as it would probably be entertaining. For all the wrong reasons.
Everybody empties their clips into Soledad, and she just keeps on growing back. Cisco gets his throat ripped out offscreen and his struggles to breathe are mentioned in passing. Anita fills her full of silver. She keeps coming.
I really like this. Anita's response to everything is "Shoot it" and now she can't kill Soledad. This could be interesting. High stakes, a risky situation. Claudia throws herself on Soledad and they roll around for a while. Olaf runs for a flame thrower. Soledad makes a few threats about how killing her and her mistress won't stop the wild hunt (gag) and instead of making a snappy comment Anita just quotes the Harlequin rules at Soledad, because the Harlequin is totally listening to their own rules.
Anita adds that she's totally safe from reprisals because she'll be killing the two female vamps using her warrents. Which are for two different vamps with different names and everything. Soledad correctly points out that this is bullshit, Anita doesn't have warrents for the Harlequin vamps and would thus be guilty of murder, and Anita replies with a MASSIVE leap in logic.
“But the warrant is worded sort of vaguely. It states that I can kill the vampire responsible for the death of the victim, and that I can, at my discretion, kill anyone who assisted in that death. It also allows me to kill anyone who tries to impede me in carrying out my court-appointed duty.” I looked into that strangely beautiful face. “Which means you.”Laurel K. Hamilton actually thought this was heroic. That it wasn't wrong, that it isn't a horrible abuse of power, that this is exactly what a heroine of good standing and character would do: violate the law to commit random murder.
Anita and Olaf then begin firing at Soledad again, because he found fire in the form of a can of WD-40. That works great against wasps, but this is a full sized tiger person who can shrug off having her head blown off.
Olaf glided into the circle with his torch and his squeezy can of accelerant.This is the best line in the book. I have no idea why but it made me laugh till I hurt myself.
And he doesn't do the smart thing and use the oil can as a makeshift flame thrower. Nope. He sprays Soledad with the stuff like it's fucking lighter fluid and then jams the torch into random wounds.
He shoved the torch into the wound I’d made, and she started to scream. The smell of burning hair was strong and bitter. It began to overwhelm the scent of the accelerant. He set her afire. He covered her in the thick oily liquid and burned her. She was too hurt to do much, but she could scream, and writhe. It looked like it hurt. It smelled like burning hair, and finally , when she stopped moving, it smelled like burning meat, and oil. She made a high-pitched keening noise for a very, very long time.Our heroine. Sets her enemies on fire and watches them burn. That sounds badass, but I want you to do something for me, folks: hold your breath for a minute. See how long it takes you to get through that minute, and then imagine watching somebody burn to death, screaming, while you're holding your breath. And this probably lasted ten or fifteen minutes because this woman was fucking hard to kill.
Heroine. Upstanding heroine we are supposed to worship for being awesome.
And then Olaf and Anita take Soledad's head and heart because why the fuck not. Anita is pragmatic--Soledad could still jump up and eat her--but Olaf is actively getting off on this and LKH is very careful to point out how very much he's enjoying it.
Our heroine: Pairing up with rapist murderers because why the fuck not.
Oh hey, remember when I said that Anita got hurt so bad her guts are hanging out? She decapitates Soledad before Edward points this out to her.
Edward knelt beside me. He touched the front of my shirt. His hand came away crimson like he’d dipped it in red paint. He ripped my shirt open to my chest. The claw marks looked like angry, jagged mouths. There was something pink and bloody and shiny bulging out of one of the mouths like a swollen tongue.
I like that last image, but if your intestine is trying to get in on the exciting external action sequence, you'd probably be feeling it. If not pain, than the fact that you're sensing the touch of things in places things shouldn't be. Like your intestine.
Edward races Anita to the hospital ward. Which apparently they have in Not-The-Circus and Not-Guilty Pleasures. End of chapter.
Chapter 32: Cisco dies. Even the text acknowledges that Cisco shouldn't have died because Anitaverse shifters can heal throat wounds faster than they can bleed out, but Cisco still dies. I'm glossing over this because there's a big world-breaker of a plot twist coming up.
That said, if Anita hadn't spent the whole book shitting on Cisco, we might actually care that he's dead.
Richard tries to save Cisco, and of course fails. So he and the other wolves go off to mourn. Anita hands her warrents off to Edward's Ted persona so that he can serve them for her. She calls Zerbowski to clear this and hands the phone over to Edward so the doctors can put her internal organs back where they go. And in the next chapter, LKH forgets how her world works.
See, Peter got scratched by Soledad, which means he's been exposed to shifter...whatever. Virus? Blood? And now there's a chance he'll turn furry. Small chance, because Tiger doesn't catch very well, but there's a chance. And Peter doesn't like shifters because one of 'em killed his Dad.
How do they fix this?
“They want to give him a live shot.” “What?” I said, and it was almost a yell. “Yeah,” Graham said. “But that will give him whatever lycanthropy is in the shot.” “Not if he’s already got tiger lycanthropy,” Graham said. “What?”“Apparently, they had some people who were attacked by more than one beast in a single night. The two different strains canceled each other out. They came up clean and completely human.”This is bullshit. Both Chimera and Anita carry two strains of therianthropy. Chimera got his over the course of a month but Anita was infected with at least two of her strains during the fight with Chimera. This is the very, VERY thin logic the book uses to convince us that Anita could carry four different kinds of shifter in her bloodstream, so it's very important that this concept remain unchallenged. But now, when a character would shift with devistating personal consequences, suddenly getting infected by two strains of shifter cancel each other out.
Meaning Anita should be clean.
LKH tries to convince us that Edward is better than Superman
“Ted Forrester, federal marshal”— he said it the way you’d say “Superman, Man of Steel”—“ is with him. He seems to be helping him choose.”
And instead of pointing out that Anita caught her difficult issues on the same night she asks them what kind of kitty cat is in the shot, because if Peter gets tiger twice that seals the deal. Graham goes off to check it out. Anita angsts because she wants to check her stitches but Requiem is in the room and she'd rather not be naked in front of him. The idea of putting the bedsheets over her head or something doesn't occur to her.
Requiem points out that Olaf and Edward went to kill the Harlequin, only found Soledad's dead mistress and hacked her into tiny pieces. Once again we are reminded that Olaf wanted to kill a live one. Requiem also points out that the council is pissed because they killed the Harlequin and that Jean Claude could be completely borked. Anita says Belle Morte told her something completely different, because Belle Morte is a completely trustworthy source of info.
Requiem then starts flipping out and quoting random love poetry, which isn't different from his usual thing. For some reason this scares Anita, though, so she starts screaming for help...and Dolph walks through the door.
The cop who nearly put Anita through a crime scene wall and still somehow kept his badge.