Thursday, February 6, 2014

Harlequin--chapter 43

Anita finally makes it into the church. She showcases amazing lack of concern for Micah, who she gave her leopard to.

Micah moved wide around us all. Was he still fighting off his beast? I trusted him to handle it. I had to trust him, because there were things happening that I didn’t trust anyone else to handle.
On the one hand, Micah is more capable than just about any other shifter in the series. On the other hand...she's supposed to love Micah, and she's heading off into a supernatural warzone with him. If he's fighting his beast, he's a liability and he's probably going to get shot, or stabbed, or severely hurt because he's more focused on not going leopard than he is on not getting dead. Anita should be worried about him, goddamn it, but instead we get this "He's a man, he can handle it" attitude that's just...yeah.

She was elegant in a skintight version of the Harlequin’s motley, all red, blue, white, black, and gold with a short half skirt to pretend at modesty. A gold tricorn hat had multicolored balls to echo the colors of the rest. Her mask left a white chin and crimson mouth bare.
 NOT SCARY LAUREL. NOT SCARY. How very much not scary?

This. She means this.

Either Laurell K. Hamilton is severely colorblind with the dress sense of a rabid chipmunk, or she has never seen a picture of these things, EVER. NOBODY is scary gothic elegant in pantomime gear. That's kind of the entire point. 

And you know what? The three minutes of googling it took to find that image tells me I'm exactly right. Blue blazing Jesus Fuck did Laurel get the pantomime imagry wrong. Holy fuck. See, that dude up there? That's Harlequin. Columbine is another character. She took the entire Harlequinade (YOU WERE SO FUCKING CLOSE LAUREL. SO FUCKING CLOSE) picked one character to be the group name, and gave the rest of the character names to, well, characters. So the naming convention for her killer vampire clowns is basically like taking the DC universe, saying that they're the Superman, collectively, and this character is Wonder Woman.

Speaking of which, from here on out whenever our villians are mentioned I want you to picture this:

The girl is Columbine. The boy is Harlequin.
By the way? The Wikipedia article I used to source this information has existed since 2007. She has NO EXCUSE not to know this shit.

Meanwhile, Richard decided to attend this fight for his life in random bondage gear. He's got a full face mask (I think it's called a "gimp" mask, but don't trust me on that) and everything. Why? This is not explained. So we got Jareth the Goblin King and the promo art for American Horror Story on one side of the stage, and a kid's show on the other.

Picture that. PICTURE THAT.

Colombine opens the gambit by smothering everybody with her magic and making Anita feel choky and uncomfortable. She threatens to take free will from everybody she touches.

*looks up at picture*.

Throw in the ballet shoes and it'd be legit scary. As is? No.

So we get paragraphs about how dainty and delicate and fluffy Columbine's power is, and how Anita's manly power of manly manliness smashes it into little bitty pieces. I DO NOT MAKE THIS UP.

 I thrust that power into the delicate, coaxing touch. There was nothing delicate about what I did. I smashed into her power with a hammer, straight through that deceptive softness. it just me or is that fight scene more than a little...erm...rapy.

Anita then smells everybody in the church. It's kind of creepy.

And then Malcolm proves that he's a bad-ass motherfucker who should not be touched. He realizes that Anita is doing fuck all to save his vamps, most of 'em are already taken by Columbine, and instead of letting her dither around, he sticks his hand in Damian's mouth and makes the dude bite down. Blood flows. The lesser of two evils is chosen, and BAM, all his vamps are blood oathed to Anita.

Malcolm also proves to be a pretty genuine dude for a vampire. Can I be reading his book?

Anita then wallows in being a sexual vampire from Belle Morte's line for a little. Apparently this exposes Malcolm to all the shitty abuse Anita's men have suffered and then LKH proves that she doesn't understand human values at all:

Malcolm gave us (His vampire's) problems and hopes. What we gave him back was the scent of their skin, the finger brush along a collar, a dozen different aftershaves, twenty different perfumes, from powdery sweetness to an herbal cleanness that was almost bitter.
Yeah. Malcolm tries to show Anita that his vampires are real people in desperate need of protection, and she tells him what they smell like. ARE YOU MISSING THE POINT ON PURPOSE OR IS THIS JUST AN OFF DAY

Columbine points out that she's gonna take the congregation anyway. She and Jean Claude dither about the rules for a minute. Because having these be established BEFORE the fight would be, you know, logical. Then we take a break for random homophobia. It doesn't accomplish much.

Columbine starts cutting the ties between Anita and her new vampire horde. The vampire horde starts crawling all over and/or petting Anita. Because everything can be solved by heavy petting sessions, I guess. She then starts kissing them and using a little tiny bit of the ardeur--a proven addictive thing--to get them back on her side.

If I hadn’t tasted Malcolm’s power only moments before, maybe I couldn’t have done it, but his intent was so pure, so unselfish, that it was like the ardeur had learned a new flavor. I offered that flavor to them. I offered them a choice. I gave them cool water and safety. She offered terror and punishment. She was threat. I was promise.

Replace "Ardeur" with "Cocaine" and see how far that gets ya.

We then get something really close to the Danarys body-surfing scene from Game of Thrones. Anita is their savor and she passes through the crowd while they celebrate. Columbine uses her servant to amp up her power. Anita and Micah play tonsil hockey and somehow this solves things. Columbine then starts doing the doubt thing again and Nathanial's perfect belief in Anita saves her.

I'd be using the vomiting Applebloom pic, but I think she'd have an eating disorder at this point.

And of course we have to turn on Richard now. He can't break free of the self-doubt because he has no one to love him, poor him, he's crippling Jean Claude, so he'll have to go. The chapter ends with Anita running towards him.

We're reading a book about fighting clowns. Mostly rape, but also fighting assassin clowns.


  1. Did someone troll her and tell her that the clowns were actually scary? Or did she see some goofy horror movie and assume it was canon?

  2. I think she might be trying to shoot for the Harley Quinn thing with the clothes - she IS creepy when played straight and not goofed up by kids cartoons, and her clothes being clown-ish only adds to the FUCKING INSANE part in the comics because of how much they clash, but LKH fails to do it so badly it just comes off as sad.

    1. Harly is fucking terrifying. So is The Joker. But what makes 'em scary isn't the outfit. It's things like "I'm going to make this pencil disappear". It doesn't take time to do that, but it takes a lot of effort, and it's got nothing to do with the clothes.

      The motley in this chapter? ALL about the clothes. LKH is trying to sell red, green, yellow and maroon costumes with a fucking tri-cornered pom pom hat as scary.

      ...and sticking Richard in the gimp suit isn't helping AT ALL.

  3. No, not in the slightest. I would have her read the comics to get it right, but then I'm terrified that she would make a horribly ridiculous version of the Joker, make-up and all, and I don't want his integrity compromised.

    Also, we don't need more horrible people in this series. >_>