Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Harlequin--chapter 26

Anita babbles about how relieved she feels around Edward (HIS PRIMARY GOAL FOR YEARS HAS BEEN TO KILL YOU IN ONE ON ONE COMBAT HOW THE FUCK CAN HE BE SAFE) and then goes into a list of all the vampires--her close personal friend vampires--will be saved if she mind-fucks all the swans in the country. ANITA IS JUSTIFYING COAST TO COAST RAPE BECAUSE IT WILL SAVE HER FRIENDS.

 Probably the low point is that she includes the vamps who left the Church of Eternal Life and blood-oathed themselves to Jean Claude. Again, the fact that if the master DIES you do too kind of takes all the fun out of the blood oathing thing, as does the whole "if I rape him you all feel it" aspect. She wants to protect these people, not because they are people and deserve to be protected, but because she feels that it's right to do so.

And she's protecting them via rape.

I couldn’t let them die, not if I could save them. But I so didn’t want to have sex with Donovan Reece.
Then don't.

Nope, we get a litany of how beautiful Donovan is, and of course this includes how freaking pale he is. " a caucasian vampire that hasn't fed" But because he's not an official predator and isn't mindlessly aggressive and a fucking idiot to boot, he pings her radar as food.

Guys? For your own health and safety? Don't underestimate prey animals. DO NOT underestimate prey animals. There are generations of Survival of the Fittest ensuring that that fluffy whatever you're cooing over is a descendant of a long line of badass motherfuckers. Ever notice how the "Let's climb on the big scary crococile and handle the killer snakes" type of TV naturalist are always AT LEAST fifteen feet away from the moose? This is not because they don't want to scare Mr. Moose. This is because they are scared of Mr. Moose and they want to get the fuck out of the way if Mr. Moose decides to introduce Mr. Cameraman to Mr. Antler. (And they don't go anywhere near the hippos. I still want my werehippo) Swans will break your bones with their wings while chasing you down to do so. I mean, we got a rabbit at my place of work who, when you handle her right, is the sweetest little thing ever but you offend her? You bleed. Profusely. Seriously, I explain to all the new people. Do not pick up the bunny. Do not put your hand on the floor where she can smell it, she's already got your scent, just start petting her RIGHT NOW (grooming is a bunny dominance thing, and rabbits read the hand-under-nose as a grooming demand. Dominant bunnies will bite, and most bunnies will at least make a shot for Top Bun. Which means you're bleeding right now and you don't know what you did.) and DO NOT put your hands in the cage when she's in there. I have heard pit bulls with less intimidating growls than the noises that come out of that goddamn rabbit.

Seriously. I'd love to get Hamilton alone in a room with an adorably fluffy dwarf rabbit for an hour. Just an hour. She'd be praying for the Holy Hand Grenade and then we'd get book after book of nothing but were-rabbits.

Sylvie shows up and, when Anita hesitates, says this:

“Anita is like a new lycanthrope. It means her hungers are not under her control completely . Donovan may be powerful, but he’s a prey animal, and her beasts smell that,” Sylvie said.
It's probably because Anita eats so rarely her inner zoo will leap at anything with a pulse. (And she probably wouldn't be in this crisis if somebody had ordered out for pizza before this bullshit started)

However, we do get proof that there is a God and he cares at least a little about my sanity:

“No oral sex,” Sylvie said,
Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God.

People come into the room. Anita needs an audience, I guess. She rambles for a minute about how she doesn't want any eighteen year old guards (Because she thinks they're too young to fuck) and then she looks for Asher. Requiem takes offence that she doesn't look for him, and we have to spend a little time soothing feathers and reassuring the vampire that Anita doesn't love him any less than she does all the other vampires in her life.

Because a poly relationship is all about jealousy, backbiting, and begging for sex.

London comes in the room. Anita is very careful to establish that he's older than Batman. Not kidding:

His nickname for centuries had been “the Dark Knight.” Yeah , long before Batman, there was London .
We also rehash how Anita broke her promise not to feed the Ardeur on London and how much happier he is now that he is an addict all over again. Excuse me, I need a vomit bucket.

Jason shows up next. Okay, this is the cameo chapter, then. Jason's sad because his leader (Richard) is dying and the MotC to replace Jean Claude if Jean Claude dies might not have wolf as an Animal to Call and might not want him reguardless. This is actually pretty good in character but it's a little...ah...much.

He's here to take Anita's wolf, if he needs to.

We take an unnecessary pot-shot at the lions:

He was actually the same age as some of the werelion college students that Joseph had let me choose from. His excuse on the age had been that older lions had jobs and families. At the time I hadn’t questioned, but now, well, I’d probably be questioning everything the lions did for a while.

Yeah. Joseph prioritizes the mental health, families and well being of his charges over sustaining the hold of the local mafia don over the local supernatural community. Wow. What a horrible person. Not surrendering his marriage and his people to your unholy sex drive. Truely, this is the height of betrayal.

Sylvie then leaves, because the ardeur will be rising and Sylvie doesn't do girls and Anita is NOT GAY people. She was dreaming about that session with Belle Morte and even during it, she was imagining that she was a dude. She's completely het. Totally.


Micah comes in covered in blood. Most of it's Richard's.

Micah reminds us all that if Jean Claude dies, he takes Anita with him. Thus severing the last little bit of possible altruism Anita could have in her mass rape scene.

Edward promises to behead the Harlequin if Anita dies. Because they are that good friends. Even though he really wants to kill Anita. They're friendly.

End of chapter.


  1. "Because a poly relationship is all about jealousy, backbiting, and begging for sex."

    Another thing that ruffles my goddamn feathers. I am in a poly relationship and it is nothing like this. Yet, I can't think of a single fantasy series that attempts to portray this type of arrangement besides LKH's laughable highly offensive distortions thereof.

    1. LKH's version of poly reminds me an awful, awful lot of fundamentalist mormon relationships. Not the FLDS, because there's a forced element, but the Dargars or that idiot who got a show on TLC and then wondered why he was being prosecuted for bigamy. They swear up and down that they're happy, goddamn it, but once they start addressing the day to day stuff, it's just a great big tangle of envy.

      My personal theory is that it's from subordinating the desires of the partners. IE the husband saying that the wives need to "keep sweet" and keep their mouths shut. They can't demand equal treatment from the man because that's not biblical, so they have to fight for it amongst themselves. There isn't equal respect because the man is put first and the women aren't allowed to disobey, let alone look beyond the marriage or to each other for a relationship.

      Same goes here. Anita is the ONLY source of comfort, sex, and emotional intimacy her harem is allowed. She plays favorites, plays one guy off the other (Mostly Richard off the penis of the day) and ignores the members she doesn't like ATM while insisting that if they ever want back in her pants, they have to keep their own zippers locked tight.

      It's unhealthy, it's not fair, and it's being sold as normal for that type of relationship. Yay.

    2. that's very insightful and I agree. I suspect LKH does have unresolved issues with religion, and this may be one of the ways it's coming out in her writing.

    3. It might just be a red herring, though. There aren't any major polygamous cults in St. Louis. There's an offshoot of the Apostolic Bretheren (AKA that TLC dude's version) in Humansville, but that's not exactly neighborly to LKH. And she doesn't seem to have spent a great deal of time in Mormon circles (As opposed to, say, Stephenie Meyer, who is a Mormon and who lives in the only state more Mormon-y than Utah) From her wiki article, she was a methodist. Methodists and mormons are kind of like apples and durian as far as theology goes. They're valid to the people who like 'em, but they don't compare real well.

      It might just be that, like most of the polygamous cult marriges I've read about, LKH went into the relationship expecting it to be like a monogamous relationship and didn't have the self awareness to juggle her lovers without causing them to feel left out. She might have connected up with a few mormon polygamists for moral support or something, cause I doubt functional poly folk would put up with her specialness without correcting the stuff that is flat out wrong, but I really doubt that this is rooted in religion. It sounds more like amazing self-centeredness and a real lack of empathy than anything else.

  2. I have this amazing image of a wererabbit terrorizing the bleeding FUCK out of Anita & co., and thoroughly proving that prey animals are NOT TO BE MESSED WITH. There is a lot blood. It's beautiful. XD

    Also, I know this is nitpicky, but I'm pretty sure the lion dude's name is Joseph, not Jason. I've seen you use Jason a few times, and it gets confusing since Jason the werewolf is there, too. Unless LKH mixed the names (she's been known to do that; Vivian/Vanessa comes to mind...), which would be hilarious.

    Also, also, I just got Starbleached Omnibus Edition. It - and you - are amazing. XD

    1. *Is amazing probably sounds more grammatically correct lol

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I'd really like LKH to try and get friendly with a wild swan because she thinks swans are just 'weak prey' animals. Swans are fucking scary. They are animals you don't mess with and have been known to break a man's bones from how hard they hit with their wings. I know they're pretty and delicate looking, but they are anything but delicate. I've heard stories about idiots letting their dogs loose around swans and then watching in horror as the swans proceed to beat the shit out of their dogs.

    Just because an animal doesn't have six inch fangs or claws, doesn't mean it isn't dangerous. LKH is so caught up in looks that she can't comprehend the idea of an animal that doesn't look dangerous, being dangerous. It's similar to how everyone who is good is super-beautiful, and the evil haters are ugly/fat/old. LKH has that immature and childish view of the world in that what you see is literally what you get. She needs to fucking grow up already.

    1. I know, right? It's like with the rabbit (I've become bunny obsessed) when it started biting people and scaring the staff at work. I knew vaguely that you could solve behavioral problems with training so I went to look that up...and the very first thing it said was that bunnies can be and often are aggressive little shits who do not like being picked up, snuggled, or otherwise treated like a stuffed animal and you SHOULD NOT EVER give them to a child as a pet because blood, bleeding, and serious bodily injury to both bunny and child will happen. Human and bunny behavior is just too different for casual contact. You have to make special allowances to get the nice, sweet, affectionate critter to come out...and even then, it might not always work. (FYI it is an awful lot of fun to make those allowances, because they're basically pet me first, respect my stuff, don't run past me without giving me a head pat, and play with me lots. You just have to do it all on the bunny's terms and be aware that they get mortally offended AKA bitey very easy)

      I had to explain to a group of children that the bunny was biting because they were crowded around it and it wanted to get away. Prey animals are much more aggressive and much more likely to fight their way out of a situation because they want to survive. Yeah, they freeze and get real still when being hunted and the predator is a few feet away, but if a real animal were stuck under Anita the way Donovan is? Anita would be seriously hurt.

      Prey animals are paranoid, quick to fight, slow to trust, territorial, social (which means they actually DO have the dominance stuff we assign to predator packs) and there's a fifty-fifty chance the one you get, especially if it's not fixed, will be aggressive as fuck. Anita's first response around a prey were critter should be to make no sudden movements and wait for the dude to calm down.

      And yep. She does.

  4. Oh hey, this is where LKH famously forgot Sylvie is a lesbian. In fact, I think that was basically her only defining characteristic in the other books she was in so it was even more wtf'y.

    My grandparents had a house rabbit through the 90's and he was fun, but yeah, I had scars for years.

  5. I’m pretty sure most predatory animals are in fact killed by prey animals in the course of trying to hunt them. Swans especially are the nastiest fuckers, and I say that with real fondness because I love the idea of this pretty graceful prey animal everyone thinks is so helpless and delicate actually being THE WORST OF THEM ALL. Not even talking shifters here, but as in actual animals.

    Sylvie has been a lesbian, and one in a committed relationship no less, for all the previous books. I’d heard LKH forgot about this and had her utter “I don’t do girls” at some point. SO THIS IS THAT FAMOUS MOMENT!

    1. I'd actually forgotten that. Yep, you're right, that's even more of a WTF then. I mean I can get forgetting a lot of details, but sexual orentation is kind of a key to a character, even if it's decided after you invent the character (I've got a couple that were like that, and a couple gay/trans characters who aren't out in my books because their romantic and/or personal lives haven't come up in text yet.)

      I mean if your characters are so real you buy birthday presents for them, they ought to be real enough for you to remember who they'd be attracted to. That's a pretty big part of their life, after all.

    2. Worst of all instead of admitting her mistake LaLa blamed it on a young "very vanilla" editor.

  6. In the book I have Sylvie's comment is I don't do men. Which makes sense for her to leave so if it spreads she won't end up with a guy. Was there a re edited version released? An earlier version says women?

    1. Direct copy paste from the kindle version:

      "Nothing personal, Anita. I mean you’re cute, but I don’t do women, and with you this weak, and Jean-Claude out of it, I don’t want to take the chance that this thing spreads through the room.”

      Hamilton, Laurell K. (2007-06-05). The Harlequin (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 15) (p. 238). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.