Monday, February 3, 2014

Harlequin--chapter 40

First off, blog-readers, I need to inform ya'll of a recent Thing in the book-publishing world. Publish America, a company that is about as honest as dog shit is clean, is now calling itself American Star Books. So if you want to get published? Avoid. They are scum.

Second: This book. Read this book. One of my editors, Tiger Gray, is also the author. It's really, really good and definitely worth reading. Not doing it because they're my friend (They are :D) but because it's a DAMN good book.

...I've put this off long enough, haven't I?

Anita goes into Peter's room. Leaving aside the squick of a rapist talking to a rapist after she's molested by another rapist, the first thing Peter does is look straight at her boobs. Anita bemoans her choice in shirt. It's all the shirt's fault, because boys will be boys. The ENTIRE PARAGRAPH is an ungodly wreck, disjointed and meaningless. I hate it.

We go over all of Anita's scars. This is kind of a good place to put the Scar Accounting (closer to the beginning would be better) but there's an emotional subtext that should be there (Anita comforting kid who just almost died defending her) that isn't. This doesn't come off as a "look, we're both alive!" moment. It's more...look at what I survived.

And then Anita almost shows Peter her ass. Because her best scars are on her ass. But she shows off her tummy scars instead.

Anita mentions that she carries four kinds of lycanthropy.

Peter points out that the whole point of the shot is you can't get more than one kind, isn't that bullshit?

Laurel K. Hamilton goes "SHUT UP YOU ARE MESSING UP MY BOOK"

The readers cry.

Then Anita and Peter discuss Cisco's death and Peter is all "I can't believe he died to save me" And Anita straight up sabotages that, because NOBODY is allowed to be a hero if Anita can't be a hero.

“I was there, Peter. Cisco did his job. He didn’t sacrifice himself to save you.” I wasn’t entirely sure that was true, but I kept talking. “I don’t think he meant to sacrifice himself at all. Shapeshifters don’t usually die that easily.”

Yes. Because bodyguards are totally safe the entire time.

Peter and Anita than discuss the DUMBEST MEDICAL CHOICE IN HISTORY AKA the anti-lycanthropy shot. There's a little less than a fifty-fifty chance of getting lycanthropy from the shot. Peter decides to risk not taking the shot, which means this stupidity is a non-issue introduced for NO REASON WHATSOEVER. Especially when, after this scene, he's not in the book anymore. So here you have it. Random character introduced and then removed in the space of about ten chapters for no reason whatsoever.

And then, in a moment of really gross egotism, Anita compares her mother dying in a car wreck when she was eight, miles away from where Anita was, to Peter's dad being eaten by a werewolf while Peter watched. This is supposed to comfort Peter somehow. It just comes off once again as Anita's things--pain, this time--having to be bigger than everyone else's pain.

You know, there's a thing that C.S. Lewis said, that pain doesn't scale. At all. After a certain point you can't double pain or triple pain, and you sure as hell can't fit two people's pain into one person. So yeah. With pain, the whole pissing context is even more special bullshit. It's not whose pain is bigger that's the problem. It's that the pain exists.

 We then swing back and forth on the shot issue again, because this chapter is too short, apparently.

And then Zerbowski shows up. I think I shall designate him Offical Plot Carrier from here on out because when he shows up, we get plot.

There's a scene where Nate embraces Anita that reads like it's Zerbowski snogging her instead. Nice one. Also, the offical story about how Peter got hurt is that Anita went in to save him, and not the other way around. WHY WOULD YOU HAVE TO CHANGE THIS? Everyone knows that Anita has body guards, because everyone knows that Anita's Jean Claude's girlfriend. Admitting to the cops that her people got hit by somebody trying for her wouldn't be bad for anyone. Except maybe her pride.

Zerbowski goes on a long speech about how Sleeping With The Vampires Makes Anita A Better Cop. RIGHT.

And then Anita gets a random phone call from a random vamp. Random Vamp was rolled by Malcolm. He's got shit going down at the Church of Eternal Life and he wants Anita and Jean Claude to come down to the church and blood-oath all his people RIGHT NOW. Random Vamp then wakes up and is like "MESSAGE WHAT MESSAGE WHERE THE FUCK AM I"

So it turns out female vamp's Harlequin name is Columbine. Her servant is Giovanni. They're down at the church making asses of themselves. Random Other Dude comes on the phone. It's probably Giovanni but this is never explained. Apparently there are NO LAWS WHATSOEVER protecting vampires from other vampires and that makes the Church fair game. But Columbine will make it a contest of wills and she'll get to keep it if Jean Claude blows it. Anita calls Jean Claude and fills him in. Then she doubts that she'll be able to save the Church vampires, only to remember she's the main character in this fucking book, and that means somebody must be fucking with her. She throws the enemy vampires out of her head.

Anita also acknowledges this as "emotional rape". Yeah, but what she did to the were-rats, wereswans et all isn't?

Anyhoo, the enemy vampires keep coming back and clouding her judgement. Then Nathanial grabs her and he has Perfect Faith in her, and this Perfect Faith fills her mind and expells the self-doubt that was crippling Anita, because he is her one true love and this is just oh, so very special.

End of chapter. Bring me a vomit bucket.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. oh hey thanks! you can get it even cheaper on the publisher's website:

    print is available there too :)

  3. Wait, her ASS? She has shown off her scars in every book I've sporked so far, and there has NEVER been any on her ass. Nice try, LKH

    "There's a little less than a fifty-fifty chance of getting lycanthropy from the shot." WHAT? HOW IS THIS ALLOWED TO THE PUBLIC? I always thought it was a slim shot, like one in a million or something, WTF

    1. Yes. Apparently Gabriel gave her pretty delicate scars when he tried to rape her during one of his and Rania's snuff films.

      And this is the anti-lycanthropy, "You got attacked so here's a live shot of lycanthropy" shot.

  4. Okay. Faced with traumatized kid who has grown up to be a double rapist and is sexually obsessed with Anita, Anita's response is to wear tight revealing clothes and give the kid a private show of her body?

    Yeah, that'll help his recovery.

  5. More thoughts...

    This kid was badly traumatized, and has created a link in his mind between sex and violence. He has already hurt two girls and shows no sign of stopping. Anita tacitly supports his actions - "Sounds like buyer's remorse to me." - and is utterly uninterested in either locking this kid away or getting him to a good shrink.

    Then they reinforce the sex-violence link by dragging this kid into a fight, followed by Anita playing a private game of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" with him. If they're trying to turn the kid into a violent sex-predator, it's working. And now that Anita's gotten him good and revved up, she's sending him back to high school.

    This goes way beyond rape apology. This is rape enabling.

    1. I have nothing to add to this, but I want you to see me nodding approvingly from over in my corner here.