Monday, January 20, 2014

The Harlequin--chapter 23

Everything else in this chapter cannot be outweighed by the fact that it is a rapist's afterglow. Like, literally, everything from this point on could be the best writing of LKH's career and it wouldn't redeem the bullshit we just read. We're supposed to root for Anita after she just raped hundreds of people, simultaneously. Many of whom were her bodyguards, supporters, and friends. Hey, she just raped Ronnie's fiancee! Let's see her explain that to her best  friend. Should go great over dinner.

Really. I could stop now. It's not theoretical anymore. Anita Blake consciously raped all the were-rats. She knew what she was doing the entire time.

But nope. Not only is this chapter irredeemable just because of it's context, we also have a great big beautiful WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT because of its context.

Anita Blake is about to have wild lesbian sex.

Not kidding. Not even remotely. Go get your booze of choice, guys and girls. It's...special.

The chapter opens with Anita describing herself being defibrillated. Pain, and she's out. More pain, and then she's out. Oh, hey, we get a full color description of how it feels when the paddles go over her boobs and what the paddles look like, which means she's responsive and consious and I didn't know it was possible to be in fibrillation and still be able to count the hairs on your doctor's nose.

I smelled burning, something was burning. I saw those little flat paddles I’d had used once before on my chest. I realized I was what was burning.
And I thought the "Edward stops my heart by kissing me" scene in Twilight was illogical. Anita, sadly, doesn't die. Dr. Lillian realizes that the defib isn't working so she starts hitting Anita in the face. And while the actual approved medical device failed, and the (presumable) CPR failed, getting hit in the face actually works.

Obviously casa Hamilton watched The Abyss the night before she wrote this.

Anita is apparently life support for Richard and Jean Claude, and they are draining her to stay alive, so she's dying too. Lillian gives her morphene. This sounds astoundingly stupid to me. However, given that Dr. Lillian is also one of the official rape victims (she's part of the Rodere, right?) I have to hope it's an intentional overdose. Either that, or Lillian is a fucking saint and the worst doctor in the history of the world.

Anita goes off into lala land and dreams about a ball. Everybody there is dressed up in Harlequin masks. Belle Morte shows up and the description stops making any fucking sense at all.

The hem of a crimson dress was at my hands. She knelt beside me. She was still the brunette beauty who had nearly conquered all of Europe once.
Is Anita wearing the dress? Is Belle Morte wearing a dress? I'm about to move into a lot of fail but it doesn't matter because I am fascinated by this damn dress. Anita does drop to her knees in front of Belle because her imaginary corset is too tight and it's strangling her. Belle, realizing that Jean Claude is dying, takes Anita to an imaginary bedroom and cuts the imaginary corset off with an imaginary knife. I am sure we're supposed to find this gothic and exciting but it's imaginary. Not interesting. It would be interesting if, say, the corset was symbolic of broken ribs or drowning or a punctured lung or--

“What happens in my dreams can be very real, ma petite. Corsets here made your breathing there harder. You don’t have enough breath to spare.”
What the fuck.

Belle offers to help Anita. She thinks Jean Claude is already dead. Anita contradicts her, so of course Jean Claude isn't dead. He and Richard are being kept alive by Anita's other tri-whatever, her, Damian and Nathanial. The tri-whatever that is established to be weak to the point of killing Damian. The one that's been the crisis-motivator for about three different sex scenes. We're supposed to believe that a power drain that has killed Damian about three times now is strong enough to keep Richard and Jean Claude alive. If Damian and Nate aren't dead-past-reviving when Anita wakes up I'm calling bullshit.

Something Jean-Claude did in this new emergency has taught you better control of the power between you and your other triumvirate; your kitty and your vampire.”
That's an ass-pull if I've ever seen one. Also: Belle Morte would not say "kitty". That's not in character. Try again.

Belle Morte then soul kisses Anita (IN THE DREAM) to find out how the Harlequin showed up. She and Anita begin trading memories. This is mericfully brief and Belle asks what color mask they got. Anita says White and Belle starts laughing because trying to kill Richard means the Harlequin have broken the rules. The idiots who attacked Anita will be killed and the Harlequin disbanded.

Alright, look. I have to ask. This is a "Who watches the Watchmen" situation if I ever saw one. The Harlequin are the all-powerful justice giving boogymen of the vampire world and they've just gone over to the dark side. Who in their right mind would try to stop them? Enforce Vampire law on them? The Council? They just said fuck the council. They will probably kill any master who tries to kill them. Great. They get disbanded. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO ACCOMPLISH THIS. making out, apparently.

No. I'm serious. Anita and Belle Morte start pawing each other and kissing and it is very, very much a makeout scene. I sat here mouth wide open going OH YOU ARE NOT GOING THERE ARE YOU and apparently we are. But it can't be a homosexual makeout scene so Anita is imagining herself as being Jean Claude and does male things with her body even though her body is still, in the dream-world, very much female.

I ended up on top of her, and my body kept forgetting that it wasn’t male. I pressed her to the bed, with my body between her legs. But I could not do what I was remembering. I swore in frustration , because more than anything in the world in that moment I wanted to pierce her body.

The lengths LKH is going through to avoid having a lesbian sex scene are astounding. Seriously, if she put half the effort into the bedroom gymnastics as she's putting into these mental ones, this series would at least be interesting. Anita is not gay people. She might be making out with an incredibly hot woman but she's imagining herself as a guy. So there.

Also, just to remind you: We are watching an admitted serial rapist get it on with another person not one hour after they raped hundreds of people. know, it's rather amazing that when LKH wants to get edgy she starts doing oral sex. This time it's oral between Anita and Belle Morte, and for fucking once Anita is on the receiving end (But she's imagining that she's male! It's not gay!) but you know what? Oral sex is about as edgy as a spoon. Oral sex between lesbians, we'll upgrade to a spork. It's not that edgy.

Oral sex. Lots of comments from Anita about how weird and unusual it feels to be getting pleasure as a woman and not as a man.

I am not making this up. I am not drunk enough to be making this up.

In a legitimately good scene Belle tells Anita that the surviving Harlequin will have to kill Anita before she testifies that they broke the rules, and Anita rolls her eyes and tries to say "THEN TELL SOMEBODY WHEN YOU WAKE UP, BELLE"...but LKH ruins it by having Anita be too precious weak to get the words out. Belle could have said "It has to be said in real life" or "No one will take my word for it after the fiasco in Cerulean Sins" but nope. Anita has to be too weak to talk IN HER OWN FUCKING GODDAMN DREAM.

Belle says she'll make a psychic phone call to the rest of her people in St. Louis, and that Anita will need to fuck a great deal when she wakes up if she wants to keep Jean Claude and Richard alive. Because, you know, raping HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE AT ONCE BY YOUR OWN MOTHERFUCKING ADMISSION isn't nearly enough.

I do not even. There is no even. I will never even again.

End of chapter.



  1. I know you think this is bad, and it is bad, it truly is. But I have to warn you that you are coming up on a part that is just going...words cannot explain how horrible it is. Brace yourself, shit is coming.

    1. I read ahead.

      Jesus fucking Christ how is this written by a human capable of functioning in society. I've spent the last thirty minutes trying to unlayer the onion and every time I do there's another layer of shit to dig through. This is actually offensive on every single possible level.

  2. I didn't think it would be possible, but LKH just made girl-on-girl fantasy sex un-sexy.

  3. AB books really are things that you have to at least read the spork of, if not the actual thing, or you just literally can't even believe what actually happened did.

    1. It's a make out scene between two women. One of them is cannon bisexual. It'd be perfectly fine to have a makeout scene between Belle and Anita but NO that'd be gay and awful so we have to have paragraphs dedicated to Anita imagining that she's a man.

      It'd even be cool to have Anita imagine that she's male because she's got gender issues (God that would explain an awful lot about her character, including the misogyny) but it's not just her imagining she's a man. She's imagining she's Jean Claude so she doesn't have to own the "crime" of imagining herself to be another gender same as she doesn't have to own the "crime" of having sex with a woman because she's imagining herself as a man.

      But if she just LET ANITA HAVE CONSENSUAL SEX WITH ANOTHER WOMAN this chapter wouldn't be half the WTF it is. It'd be like "huh. Sex between women. Interesting...I'll have to remember that move." and then we move on to the plot. But because it has to be ABSOLUTELY TRANSPARENT THAT THIS IS NOT GAY SEX, we have "I'm really Jean Claude right now."

    2. I think LKH's issues with girl/girl sex is that she's trying really, really, really hard to be edgy and 'super-kinky' when it comes to sex when her tastes are really pretty standard. So she essentially has to force Anita into a lesbian sex scene, because it's something she really doesn't find enticing/arousing (despite all her claims to having a 'girlfriend). Later on we'll see how Anita 'has' to have a girlfriend with Black Jade. Black Jade, like all of LKH's Asian women, is depicted as a fragile, delicate little porcelain doll that needs Anita. See, Anita isn't fucking Black Jade because she wants to or is attracted to her, no she does it because she has to and it's the only way she can rescue Black Jade and gain more power.

      Yeah, LKH is so fucked up that she thinks the only way you can legitimately rescue an abuse victim who has been raped for to fuck her. It's like she literally cannot think of any solution to a problem that doesn't involve sex.

    3. Sorry, "Black Jade"? Does she not get a real name? Why do all the European-descended people get vaguely realistic names while this delicate Asian doll gets a generic 'Oriental' appellation like "Black Jade"?

      Never mind, don't answer that. I can guess.

    4. She does have a Chinese name which is 'Yiyu', which means Black Jade (get it, because she's a black tiger and she's Asian ::eyeroll::). But many of the characters will simply refer to her as Black Jade, sometimes outright saying/thinking "Yiyu, or Black Jade."

      The name shows both how paper-thin and racist her character is. Of course she's Black Jade because she's a black tiger and Anita 'collects' her because she needs a black tiger. The 'jade' part is thrown in there because she's Asian. If someone tries to argue that it's not racist, look at the parts where characters will say/think 'Yiyu, or Black Jade.' They wouldn't do that with a white character with a 'normal' name. The equivalent would be pointing out that Richard's name means 'brave power' or that Nathaniel means 'God has given,' every time that character is on the scene. They only do that with Yiyu because her character is entirely dependent on her being the Chinese black tiger sex-doll for Anita, and to show how 'weird' non-white names are. It's kinda that annoying thing people like to do with non-white/American names by focusing on the meaning because every foreign name is 'crazy' and 'exotic.'

  4. And her "sex" scene with Yiyu is completely not sexy. It's possible to make something sexy even if it's not the reader's usual preference if you're a decent writer. Of course LaLa isn't a decent wtiter. I guess it isn't a great surprise since 99% of her sex scenes aren't sexy and of them are downright disturbing.