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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Fifty Seven

This is so dumb I don't even know how to snark it: Anita is in the hot bath with Damian, but she's still fully dressed and wearing all of her guns. 

Now, I am no gun expert but wouldn't being submerged in water render them useless? Why is this book so stupid? And considering Anita is supposed to be super attached to these weapons, why wouldn't she care for them properly and take them off before getting in the tub?

The chapter is two sentences in and already I am banging my head on my desk.

And then it gets dumber. 

They took Damian back to Anita's house, despite him going in to convulsions. Are you seriously telling me one of J.C.'s businesses only has one bathtub and it happens to be the one Gretchen is in? When the last couple of chapters had far too many 'jokes' about how much J.C. loves baths? This is the kind of shit you vomit up in Draft Zero, when your only goal is to get words on the page. You don't just leave it there. Editing, kids. It could save your life. Or at least your career.


"They'd filled the bathtub with hot, hot water..."

Funny because this book makes my brain fill up with hot, hot rage.



Holy fucking shit. They took Zane to the lycanthrope hospital. 


What the fuck. I am gobsmacked. Completely thrown for a loop. This is just indefensible. In one stupid decision LKH negated the whole first half of her book, such as it is. It wasn't exactly standing firm on its own as it was, but this has just cut it off at the knees.

So only Anita's touch will heal Damian, which is why they're in the bath together. Because Damian is Anita's vampire servant you see, which seems to confuse everyone even though I thought we'd established this fact already in the preceeding chapters. Apparently it is possible for a necromancer to take a vampire servant, but of course no one has seen this happen in forever so Asher can fondle Anita's balls about how special she is.

How come no one knows a thing about how vampires and necromancers interact? You'd think that would be fairly common knowledge by now; the connection is so obvious.

Even the way Asher wears a towel is gendered: "...smoothing the long towel under his knees in a gesture you don't see much in men."

Only now does Asher suggest that Anita take off her clothes.

"You offering to disrobe with no magic to prompt you. Now that is a first."

Anita, being unwilling to take clothes off in front of Asher to the point where you get in the tub fully dressed is really fucking weird. It does not make you more moral or modest. It just makes you sound mentally ill, or like a seriously poor decision maker.

Apparently this tub can hold Anita, Damian, and Asher because Asher has just got in to it to help Anita undress. Jesus Christ, how big is this fucking thing? They're in Anita's house now, too. I'd accept it if they were at one of J.C.'s over the top clubs, but what house has a tub so big you can fit three grown adults in it, with enough room left over for one of them to undress the other?

And now Nate is in the tub too?

Anita keeps telling them to get her clothes off because she's too hot from the bath. Nathaniel seems confused about how to do this, while allowing Anita to maintain skin contact with Damian at the same time. We've covered the fact that Anita needs her clothes off like six times now.

Anita pukes. Nate rips her clothes off. Gil comes in to clean it all up.

"He was a good flunkie."

Good to know you hold your allies in high esteem, Anita.

Anita passes out. Thank god, because that means the chapter is over.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Fifty Six

Pictured: Gretchen. 

"Never ask of anyone what you're not willing to do yourself."

LOL okay Anita.

Anita can't even decide who is going to be Damian's first meal. So basically, when it is finally on her to do some fucking leading she can't do it. She makes everyone else decide and Zane the wereleopard draws the short straw. Zero mention of how Zane feels about this, by the way, not that it matters because everyone would just ignore his protests anyway.

So hold up everyone. If Anita has a thing about being fed on, why is she willing to do it for Damian and not J.C.? J.C. is her lover. Sure, it could be because she's guilty regarding what befell Damian and feels obligated to let him feed, but the author has to show me that is so for me to believe it. So far I have no idea why she's so invested in this vampire who barely has a character, let alone a presence in the story.

Cherry is in love with Zane and this makes her afraid for his safety. Well gee Anita, if you had actually stepped up and acted like a leader you could have chosen someone else. And by the way? Why not Micah? He's is sooper leet shapeshifter alpha guy, so feeding Damian should be nothing to him. Hell, he already fed J.C. and he's probably recovered by now, so why the fuck are they making poor Zane do it instead?

Here comes one of the worst lines in the whole book: "They loved each other, and he was about to cry, cry for help, and loose the carrion birds to feed, and feed, and feed." 

My GOD I hope that is a reference to something. Even if it is it hardly makes the line less awful, but at least there'd be a reason that we're suddenly smack dab in the middle of a Ren Faire again. This is like Game of Thrones fanfiction. The bad kind. Of course LKH thinks her Merry books are just like Game of Thrones anyway, so I think I can assume why she thinks this kind of drivel is a good idea.

Hey WEIRDLY when they open the box Damian THE MURDEROUS PSYCHOPATH tries to kill them all! My goodness, who could have possibly foreseen this outcome?

Did I mention that they did absolutely no preparation for this moment? They just think standing around with guns drawn is enough. These people are idiots because they somehow couldn't realize that they can't get a shot at Damian without killing Zane, then Merle when Merle jumps in. Surprise! You can't shoot Damian without shooting Merle or Zane! Which you should have realized before doing this in the first place, Miss I know Judo and have a million guns.

Conveniently Damian attacks Anita instead of chowing down on all that delicious shapeshifter blood. How fortuitous, since Anita is his master and it's her blood that will restore him to sanity! My, what extraordinary luck!

Damian asks Anita what's happening as soon as he takes a mouthful of her blood. The last two paragraphs don't suck. Anita does the vamp ritual on him and he is overjoyed about it as they bond. I like that bit. I feel dirty for liking it. Hey, just like Anita! Could this mean I'm finally empathizing with her?

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Fifty Five

Dottie's chapter here 

Anita accuses J.C. of feeding off of Gretchen's energy, which apparently is "a line you do not cross." Shut the fuck up, Anita. Since when do you have any concept of boundaries? Would you like to float that line across to me again when you have sex with a sixteen year old boy later? I mean shit, you're a fictional character, do what you want. But don't insult me by giving me this whole good and moral crusader pap.

Anita stands over J.C. in a threatening manner. J.C. knocks her to the ground with him and pins her. I am sort of in J.C.'s camp on this one, considering Anita is essentially threatening him (and knows Judo, apparently, despite never demonstrating that knowledge in any kind of real time fashion). J.C. is the character I like the most in this novel, which is really sad when you consider the work overall.

He quite rightly tells her she has no idea whether that's true and that she's just wildly accusing him for the sake of it. Though, I don't know why she couldn't just you know, check, seeing as how she's a goddamn necromancer. No, LKH would rather J.C. and Anita rolled around on the floor some more, so here we are.

Anita tries to say it is in fact due to her necromancy even though it isn't and she's a lying liar who lies. In reality Gretchen's condition reminds her of some poorly described mummy monster with like forty heads hanging off of it that she presumably fought back in Obsidian Butterfly. 

Anita talks about the Master of Albuquerque's power being like a flock of birds, and Anita lets this flock of birds pour in through an opening in her body.

There's water, and stars, and slamming, and darkness, oh my. J.C. sees all of Anita's memories about dispatching the many headed monstrosity creature...thing. J.C. tells Anita that he won't be blamed for what he did to Gretchen because as Master of the City, he has greater concerns than Gretchen's life or even Anita's feelings about it. He points out that she hates Gretchen, anyway.

J.C.? You are totally right. And you're telling Anita to grow the fuck up, which I wholeheartedly support. In fact, he's the only one willing to tell Anita she's wrong. If only he would stick with it and ditch her for a servant that is actually competent.

J.C. is actually pissed off for once because Richard and Anita keep telling him what he can and can't do to the point where it's crippling him and his hold over the city. Again, he is totally right. He is an ancient amoral apex predator, and god knows why Anita stays with him if that is so morally reprehensible and offensive to her supposed principles (I maintain she has no principles).

I also love that he's taking her to task because she enjoys denigrating Richard for having morals, but thinks it's perfectly fine to clutch her own pearls and hit people once something she doesn't like happens.

Having roundly told Anita off for once, J.C. gets up and goes over to the coffin to continue waking Gretchen.

"If she were stronger it would be a more dangerous feeding..."

What? Why isn't she more dangerous now, when she's withering away to nothing for want of blood? The second she realizes there's food nearby everything in her is going to want to drain Jason down to a husk. Book, you make no sense.

Jason is afraid to be fed on but goes along with J.C. offering Jason's wrist to Gretchen anyway. LKH punctures the tension balloon some more: ..."the thing in the coffin was a nightmare."

If you have to tell me it's scary, it probably isn't.

"Most of the time if you saw a vamp looking like something made of dried sticks, it was well and truly dead."

She might as well have said "Gretchen looked like she was made of dirty Qtips" and it would have had about the same impact.

J.C. realizes Jason is afraid and asks if Jason would prefer to be rolled, i.e. mind controlled before the feeding happens. MY GOD someone in this book actually asked before they acted on someone else! I never thought this day would come!

Anita watches Gretchen feed on Jason for a bit after J.C. rolls him. She turns away and Micah is randomly here, but she doesn't want to meet his eyes. She has a little whine about how she's been fighting not to be "anything to anyone" and woe is her, people are hurt now because of it.

"I hated having other people pay the price for my problems. It was against the rules somehow." 

You heard it here first. It was against the rules SOMEHOW.

George Carlin has a line about how you can't just play the notes to a blues song and say you're "playing the blues." You can't just play the notes, "you have to know why they need to be played." That is the essence of having a narcissistic or antisocial personality disorder, right there. You realize there are rules to society, but you don't understand why, and you especially don't understand why they should apply to you. This is what Anita is doing. She perceives that there are guidelines to a successful social interaction, but she doesn't truly understand the purpose of those guidelines. What she means is she doesn't like it when the people around her suffer because it puts a burden on her. She might even have to apologize or make soothing noises in their general direction and let's face it, that shit is just such a drag.

J.C. does the vampire rituals to Gretchen in order to bind her, and Gretchen feeds from him and becomes whole again. Anita and J.C. tell her that she can be free of the coffin as long as she leaves Anita alone, which she agrees to.

J.C. says he needs to take Gretchen away and put her in a hot bath so the awakening will hold, and Asher implies he'll kill Damian if they can't fix him. Anita shrills about how they're not going to kill him, waaah. Even though he might be a murderous psychopath. For a book with the subtitle "Vampire Hunter" there sure is an extreme lack of vampire hunting.

J.C. tells her to shove it, essentially, that either Damian will come back to his senses or he will die. He stalks out with Gretchen in his arms. Damn, I like him in this scene. If only he were allowed to call Anita on her shit on the regular. And take away the rapist parts. Then this novel could actually be salvaged.

We all know that won't happen.

Anita has to decide who is going to feed Damian first.


Narcissus in Chains Chapter Fifty Four

Anita is a snarky dick about the process of bringing Gretchen back around, even though she's the fool who won't let the issue drop. Anita can't plan. Like, at all. You'd think being a successful protagonist would entail some ability to delegate and prioritize, but no. Hamilton suffers from the notion that a heroine is only empowered if she is a high powered bull headed idiotic sarcastic ass.

Jason is going to be Gretchen's first meal and will take the bulk of "the damage" when she comes out of the coffin. On its face this makes sense considering he's a shifter and can heal by changing forms, but the means of shifting in LKH's world is so inefficient one has to wonder if the ability to do so will really help him here. J.C. will be meal number two, though I am left to wonder how they expect to pry a starving vampire off of Jason before she kills him.

The purpose of J.C. feeding her is to bond Gretchen to him all over again. Apparently it will bind her to the Master of the City, her bloodline, and her maker, which in this case is J.C. himself. One wonders how the hell you can be oathed to your bloodline, though. Aren't you just a part of it? Once a vampire is created their lineage is what it is. How in the world could you even remove it in the first place?

Damian is in a shakier position because the only connection he has is to Anita, since she's his master now for some reason that has yet to become clear to me. But they're going to spend their energy and blood on Gretchen first, even though she has a much better chance of 'living' and should be saved for last. Damian will be permanently mad if they can't bring him back around by the way, but rest assured that even if it were to happen Anita wouldn't stake him. Then she'd have to do some actually, and we've already established that she is in fact the Suck Vampire Dick-er instead.

Anita proves my point by angsting about how she doesn't want to have to kill Gretchen. O...kay. Even though apparently the last time Gretchen was around, she tried to kill Anita? Even though she's a murderous vampire?

Oh here we fucking go again:

"The idea of being Gretchen's first meal made him [Jason] laugh, that anticipatory sound that is half grown-up male, and half little boy. The sound men reserve for things that combine sex and usually sports, cars, technology, or danger--depends on your man. I am sure there are men out there who would give that purring, excited laugh at the thought of gardening, or poetry, but I haven't met them."

That is just hilariously, cartoonishly offensive. Really? Okay men, I want you to sit in the sharing circle so the Almighty Anita can hand out your interests on little cards. There are only five cards and you may never trade them in for anything else. If you do not like the items listed on these cards, tough fucking shit, for you are a MAN and your only purpose is to be a sexual predator and/or a big stupid baby that is entertained solely by shiny things.

I ALSO love FUCKING LOATHE how this is another passage just dripping with the caustic ichor of cishet assumptions. There is one kind of man, and he is a cisgender straight guy. Big surprise! Except totally not. You see, in Anita's world gay relationships aren't real, and gay sex only grudgingly exists, and then only to titillate Anita primarily.

Also ladies if you thought you were getting out of here alive, think again: If you WANT one of those five cards, because perhaps you love, say, technology? NO. NO CARD FOR YOU. For you are forever tainted by your vagina. Pick one of the following:

1). Exotic fetish object
2). Mannish grunting bodyguard
3). Stupid vapid whore who wears too much makeup and is totes trying toooo haaard you guys

That's it. That's all you get.

So they open the coffin and Gretchen is all horrifying and wizened, though any suspense LKH has managed to build is ruined by ..."they eyes that stared back at me were filled with something brown and dried, like big raisins." 

Can you think of a less serious analogy than that? If you're trying to for creeping horror, raisin is a bad word to use. It's like trying to be serious but saying sneeze or snozzberries or slap my ass and call me Susan. It does not work.

Anita is so disturbed by the sight that she punches J.C. in the face for doing this to Gretchen. Hypocrite. Miss I Wanna Be the Bolverk so I can commit atrocities in Richard's name. This does inspire empathy, just disgust.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Free books through Hard Limits Press, plus Narcissus in Chains Chapter Fifty Three

Before we get down to business, let me direct you to a promotion my press is currently offering. In the spirit of Kindle Unlimited, No Deadly Thing and The Wicked Instead are free for a week through the company website. You can choose any of the available E-formats and have it auto delivered to your inbox!

These novels are both multicultural urban fantasy tales and are set in a shared world.  Snag your copies today!

Now, on to the next Anita chapter because I haven't absorbed enough abuse today, apparently.

They go down in to the vampire equivalent of prison in order to fetch Damian. The room is just a bare concrete basement. Of course Anita doesn't seem to realize that it doesn't matter what the place looks like, because the vampires bound up in coffins can't tell the damn difference between the most opulent palace imaginable and a piece of shit cell underground. You could argue that the surroundings are intended to intimidate people who come down here who aren't yet trapped, but this is of course never handled in a way where it feels intentional.

There are two coffins here instead of one, prompting everyone to wonder who is in coffin number two. Anita is supposedly Damian's master despite not being a vampire herself. Okay granted she's a necromancer but I still don't quite understand how necromancy and vampirism are meant to intersect. Furthermore I know this will never be explained because LKH is so clearly making it up as she goes along, so I am forced to just accept the fact that Anita can control Damian at face value.

Oh noes, J.C. and Micah have fallen behind and that's upsetting because they might be getting gay cooties on each other.

Anita does necromancy woo woo to the first coffin, trying to figure out if it's Damian in there. There's a reasonably cool image of Anita standing over the coffin while having a vision of Damian looking up at her. Damian is still barking mad.

Anita says some more offensive crap about Christianity, that she has long ago given up her "narrow" ideas of what god is and that she shouldn't feel weird praying for a vampire because "the deal was, if God was okay with what I was doing, I had to be too."

So this woman has at least once this novel experienced what she believes to be God giving her a free golden ticket to a theme park full of tacky sex and death rides, but she's still guilty every time she takes a seat on the cock Ferris wheel. Uh, why? God just handed you an all seasons pass and despite how fucking unlikely I think that is, Anita supposedly believes it to be true. Now religious doubt is a thing as are crises of faith, but she doesn't seem to really go through these processes. She flip flops more than a dying fish, thrashing about helplessly in the bottom of this shoddily constructed story-boat.

Guess what? It's both!

Anita wants to know who is in the other coffin because she doesn't approve of torture and wants to rescue them. This is stupid for a couple of reasons.

1). She has no idea why the other vampire is in there. This isn't torture per se, considering it is literally the only way to control a rampaging vampire short of killing them. J.C. put Damian in a coffin as a favor to Anita, because otherwise he would have had no choice but to euthanize Damian for everyone's safety. It's safe to assume that the other vampire is locked up for the same reasons.

2). Damian clearly broke the law in a spectacular way and if Anita wanted to at all live up to the title of the book (Vampire hunter!) she would stake him without another thought. But she's actually the heal-vampires-with-her-magical-pussy-er, so that won't happen.

3). She shot Elizabeth repeatedly to teach Elizabeth a lesson. That is torture. But she doesn't approve of torture guys! She's moral and stuff!

J.C. turns up. Jason has taken Micah off to find Micah some clothes, so he doesn't put his ballsack all over J.C.s furniture anymore.

A vampire named Gretchen is in the other coffin. Apparently back in the early days she tried to kill Anita and get J.C. for herself, so J.C. stuck her in the coffin to wither. Apparently this offends Anita's sensibilities because she's a disgusting hypocrite who thinks torture is only okay if she's the one doing it.

Anita says Gretchen has been in there for three years. I am not even touching this fucking timeline.

Anita at least has the decency to take a relatively moral stance as she screams at J.C. for torturing this woman for three years, though it falls flat considering that Anita goes on and on and on about how ruthless and practical she herself is at the slightest provocation. Remember how she threatened Gil with death if he let his perfectly reasonable fear get in the way of her dark gothity goth life of violence and grit?

She wants to get Gretchen out tonight too because one more night could apparently damage Gretchen irrevocably. Gretchen has been in for three years. She can wait a little longer. Not to mention this is just a rehash of rescuing Gregory, which was also handled poorly.

Will this book never end?

J.C. points out that getting a vampire to revive after an extended time in a cross wrapped coffin is a laborious and delicate process, and that they don't have the resources to bring both Gretchen and Damian back at the same time. He reveals that Asher also knows what to do, though, so Anita suggests she and Asher deal with Damian while J.C. deals with Gretchen. J.C. asks if Anita still trusts Asher after his jealousy display. She confirms that yes she does, but then proves she's as dumb as a box of hammers by asking why Asher got mad at her.

Then she hits me with this as if she's pelting me with rotten melons:

"if it weren't for qualms, would you be doing Asher right now?"

What the fuck is your problem, Anita? Why do you hate men who love and desire other men? Is it because the idea that maybe your vagina is not required that threatening? You're overflowing with straight privilege to the point where it's drowning the people around you, because you're a manipulative narcissist who even has J.C., supposed master vampire, eating out of your hand. You're like every shitty straight person who tries to justify their virulent homophobia by couching it in sugary terms like "social qualms." Social qualms my queer ass. You hate gay people and gay sex is gross to you. Just admit that you can't stand the thought of two men enjoying themselves sexually without thinking about or interacting with you. If the intention here was to show the intersection between homophobia and narcissism I'd be giving LKH an award right now.

Even J.C. laughs at her turn of phrase, because she's a hideous child-woman.

"I am saying that Asher deserves better than a hidden relationship where we could never show public affection for fear of hurting you. I would rather give him up completely to someone else, male or female, than play second--or lower--to you forever."

I am just going to sit back and savor this moment because it's even more delicious than my holier than thou Seattle fair trade mocha. Mmmm.

"I just couldn't deal with two men and me. Yeah, yeah, it was the middle class Midwestern value system, but it was the way I looked at the world. I couldn't change that, could I? And if I could, did I want to?"

Let's see, you're a homophobic bigot comprised entirely of personality disorders and privilege and you know full well that is the case yet you don't want to change it even if you could (protip: you could)? And I am supposed to empathize with you? You're the main character?

Anita has the gall to worry that she's not being bigoted enough about Asher and J.C. as lovers, in that she's worried she isn't going "screaming in to the night" at the very thought.

Ahem. HOW ARE THERE SO MANY FANS WHO RELATE TO THIS CHARACTER? You all need to check yourselves because this shit? This shit is completely indefensible. This is NOT a character struggling with internalized bullshit, because frankly everyone has internalized bullshit to overcome. This is someone presented as smugly defending her own prejudice. I don't even have words for how gross this chapter is.

AND you'll note that once again we're dealing with relationship drama instead of getting Damian and Gretchen out of their coffins.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Fifty Two

Dottie's chapter is here 

Let's swoop down and vanquish this piece of crap, shall we?

"I sat on the white couch with its brand new bullet hole."

1). We already know the couch is white.

2). It being white doesn't really contrast with the fact that there's a bullet hole in it, even though LKH plainly wants me to think this is a wonderful juxtaposition of refinement and violence. Out of everything she has to work with to showcase this, she chooses the fucking couch.

3). The sentence implies that the bullet hole is a character in and of itself, personified and sitting next to Anita..

Micah is actually sitting next to her and the fact that he's naked makes her uncomfortable because...actually, I have no idea why. He raped her They've had sex. She's gone on and on and fucking on about how nudity isn't assumed to be sexual for shapeshifters. Also I think shapeshifters in the ABverse can't take their clothes with them when they change forms, so presumably she's seen a lot of naked wolves and cats before now. But whatever, she's a perpetual spoiled child so she has to act like a coy Precious Moments statue at all times, because image is more important than substance.

Bobby Lee and Cris try to stand behind Anita but she won't let them, because she doesn't like people standing behind her. Interestingly in The Diva Ate Her, the author 'character' has this same quirk. I think LKH also confirmed this to be so during one of her writing Anita has given me PTSD rants (UGH). Surprise, surprise. Did you know LKH is afraid of flying, and conveniently so is Anita?

Now, in a way I can understand this impulse. I've never written anything in first person before now, and the ms I am working on does draw on my life in some minor (note: MINOR) ways because it's easier to maintain a first person voice if you know what the fuck you are talking about. At the same time, you can't blatantly recreate yourself. Your MC must be a separate person from you, distinct, with their own voice and their own challenges. Sure, you can have your MC drive the same car you drive because you know exactly how it works and it's easy to riff on it when the MC needs to mention something about her mode of transportation. What you should not do is give your MC all your personal and private tics and fears.

Merle is here, and Gil the pointless werefox, and I think Nathaniel and Jason? I can't keep all this character soup down. Asher likes to lurk around like the Phantom of the Opera with his hair over one half of his face. What with all the stupid pop culture references it would be awesome if he was the Phantom of the Opera. Fuck vampire Elvis, I want vampire Eric.

..."I could still feel the weight of [Asher's] gaze, like a hand pushing."

What is this, like the eleventy bazillion time she's used this analogy?

I think Asher is jealous because Micah and J.C. have a little homoerotic vibe going on. Even though we've been told that feeding off of someone is both emotional and sexual, Anita is going to stand by and let J.C. feed off of Micah even though she won't let Asher and J.C. be together. I hate her and her homophobic face so much. I guess Micah has been sanctified by Anita's holy vagina, so she knows he won't turn gay on her.

J.C. turns up in a black fur edged robe, his hair wet and his crazy pale skin showing through as he moves. I don't get why he's supposed to be sexy, really, but maybe it's just me. Things get super homoerotic as him and Micah give each other sexy looks and Micah blushes. Anita feels jealous now. J.C. stands behind Micah and leans in to bite him, but Anita has to interrupt and say there ought to be a little privacy despite neither man giving any sign that they give a shit who watches. Merle isn't happy about any of this but I am deriving some small measure of satisfaction because this is the only remotely hot thing that has happened in this entire book.

So J.C. finally bites Micah.

"Jean-Claude reared back, drawing him half over the couch. Micah cried out, his hands going to Jean-Claude's arm, holding on, as the vampire rocked his body backwards. Jean-Claude moved his hand from Micah's face to his waist, as if he knew the other man wouldn't move away now. He held Micah, arms across his chest and waist, Micah's hands on Jean-Claude's arm."

You'll note she just told us the same thing twice. Oh well. Onward!

"He stretched Micah's body backwards as he'd lengthened the man's neck earlier, so that Micah's body showed in a long, clean line, back curved against Jean-Claude's body, so that both of them were bowed backwards." 

Obviously this writing is terrible. It's clumsy, confusing, and absolute shit with pronouns. BUT it is also the only thing to even sort of titillate me in this whole mess. Points for effort I guess. Ugh. Though this is a bunch of horribly thoughtless bullshit again, because I can only imagine how poor denied Asher feels watching this. It's also implied that Merle doesn't like this because he's watched Micah get fed on before, but fuck emotional nuance let's do it in front of him anyway yay!

Do you think that will be enough to kill my feelings?

...seeing without a doubt that what was happening was making his body happy."

Micah has an erection. There. I just saved you a lot of trouble.

I guess it's okay if guys engage in homosexual activity if they're in front of Anita, so Anita can objectify and ogle them during. Also it's very obvious Asher's crime is that he isn't banging Anita, and thus he will be denied the cock.

In The Diva Ate Her there's a very telling scene where Miram, the author character, tells Melody, the assistant, that a big publishing name owes her because he is gay and therefore will never sleep with her. Somehow this translates to him being obligated to do what Miriam wants regarding her book release. I think that sums up this entire book's homophobia problem right there. As long as the men pay tribute to Anita's vagina, they will occasionally be allowed homosexual activity should it please her. Of course just like the stereotypical image of straight girls making out with each other in order to get male attention, the homosexual activity in these books will primarily involve Anita and will be done for Anita's pleasure.

I am sick to death of reading the words "drowning blue." 

Oh my god, Micah's eyes are also "drowning black" ! What in the blue fuck does drowning black mean? I mean blue, okay, the ocean. Obv. But drowning black? This is a new low.

Micah's gaze is "like something pushing against me."

I'm LKH and I don't edit, so you peons get to read my special thoughts as many damn times as I want.

Asher points out that they came here to rescue Damian. Anita tells him to fuck off and that she won't "salve his male ego." 

Dear Anita. You are a thoughtless avatar of callousness, sent to earth to do the gender binary's work here on earth. I hate every fiber of your being. Does it occur to you that your indefensible homophobia has kept Asher and J.C. apart, when they have a history your tiny human mind can't even begin to comprehend? And that you just allowed J.C. the intimacy of feeding off Micah the stunt cock who is a relative newcomer to this whole complex group dynamic, while making Asher watch? You are a failure of a human being. You need to be sent back to the factory and refurbished. Failing that, you would do more good if you were dismantled for parts. You are goddamn lucky all Asher did was tell you to soak your head.

Anita decides to go get Damian. Bobby Lee, Micah, and J.C. follow along.

Who gives a fuck about Damian again? Oh right, absolutely no one.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Fifty One

Look what I got. So this next part? It's a rant. You can skip it if you like and get right to the Anita chapter.

The book pictured above is supposedly fiction, written by LKH's first personal assistant Darla after the two parted ways. The book just so happens to be about a personal assistant to a spec fic author. The author gets more and more famous and more and more crazy as times goes on.

Right. If this isn't about LKH I will pound my computer in to shrapnel and eat the pieces.

And you know what? I believe every word. It fits with everything I have always suspected about LKH from reading between the lines in the ABverse. She is a whiny, petty, emotional vampire who wants loads of praise for even the most basic of tasks completed (the assistant 'character' mentions LKH attempting to bake a boxed cake). The author 'character' is basically a container for personality disorder symptoms. It is so textbook and so fucking familiar (not to mention vomit inducing) that I had to set it down at times.

On the other hand there were points where I truly empathized with LKH. There's one scene in particular where no one buys her favorite oatmeal packets, so there are none available for breakfast the next morning. This makes LKH burst in to tears like a child. Full disclosure: I have done exactly this thing. I've done it more than once. Because if you're beset by anxiety and god knows whatever else all the time, even the tiniest break in your routine or the slightest disruption of things that bring you comfort can feel like major crises. And admittedly, I took can be very child-like. I think it comes with the territory, somehow. I never grew out of the need to be taken care of, exactly, not the way a normal person would. So lest you think I feel absolutely nothing for LKH's situation, well, I do.

I also find myself disgusted with LKH, but even more so with everyone around her. It's not always easy to recognize that a person you're close to cares absolutely nothing for you as more than an emotional food source, but good fucking lord people at some point we have to stop absorbing so much abuse and start setting boundaries. People like LKH are more or less incapable of change. The only thing we can change, or that Darla can change, is herself. The fact that it took her ten years to get away from LKH is baffling to me. Their situation could be called abusive, but Darla has plenty of options. She left a reasonable job to be LKH's assistant in the first place. (She also loves to go on about how she is superior to LKH because she shops at the discount store, whereas LKH spends soooo much money on clothes. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. You are not an earthy generous soul just because you shop at Goodwill).

So basically, they're both assholes. Also, everyone around LKH is a shitty enabler. This does LKH herself no favors, and of course means that no one else gets their needs met. I mean, really. We are seriously lacking some basic education on self respect and self validation if this is the kind of shit a whole gaggle of grown, supposedly capable humans will endure day in and day out. It bothers the hell out of me that everyone is glued to the news worried they're going to get robbed, when really? This is the kind of damage that leaves ever lasting marks. Being robbed is horrible but it's also not very likely and doesn't happen to the same person every single day for years, whereas someone who wants to in essence drain your soul of all goodness for as long as you'll let them feed off of you could be living in your fucking house right now. Sleeping in your bed. Eating at your dinner table and smiling at you when you get home from work.

Let me just put it this way. If someone is constantly accusing you of flirting with people you have no interest in, constantly changing their expectations without telling you and then getting mad at you for not meeting them, constantly bitching and moaning and throwing melodramatic fits..that shit is not normal. If a person is expecting you to read their mind, if you constantly have to walk on eggshells around them, if at any minute there could be a tantrum over the smallest things, if they imitate your successes and try to make you feel as if you failed, not normal. There are billions of people in this world, and life is short. You don't have the time to waste on people who don;t reciprocate, people who don't validate, people who don't care.

And I want to say one more thing: yes, even if they are related to you. Even if you think they're your best friend in the world. Even if they're your mother or father. No one has the right to treat you in a way that violates your boundaries. If you've clearly set your limits (you do owe people clear limits) and even after warnings and corrections (some missteps are honest ones. We all have baggage and we don't always understand other people's right away), the person in question keeps violating them? They're done. You cut them out. If you can manage it, you tell them exactly why and then you stop talking to them or seeing them. Sometimes maybe they'll learn from it and come around, but a lot of times they won't. It happens and you're better off without them.

Right. Back to Anita.

J.C. and Micah are bleeding still. Anita screams for Asher because that is sure to help in some way that is not at all clear to me at the moment. Micah shapeshifts because finally a shapeshifter is handling their problems in a reasonable fashion, you know, instead of letting themselves get carted off to the hospital so their arm will be mangled for life instead of just shifting right then and there. ANYWAY.

Anita touches J.C. and the marks "flare." This is fucking irritating. Anita basically has to power up like a Dragonball Z character for five fucking episodes before anything happens. Not only must we have the ardeur, but the marks have to make an appearance, and probably Anita's beasts will be next. It's inelegant as hell and frankly obscures the already flat characters even more. They're not even people, again, just containers for kewl powahs. Fitting considering the tell all 'novel' as "Miriam" (LKH) is just a container for symptoms and hate.

"I blinked and found Jean-Claude's face glowing like carved alabaster with white light inside of it."

So J.C.'s fingers are "like stone" and we've also had some nonsense about alabaster, and then she hits me with this rotting roadkill carcass:

"His skin glowed behind the coating of blood, like rubies spread across diamonds."

WHAP. Right across the face. Entrails everywhere.

"His eyes were pools of molten sapphire flame..."

Holy descriptions, Batman! And once more with the roadkill, meaning I will never get the smell of beaten horse out of my clothes.

"A wind sprang from his body, from our bodies..."

So a great whistling nor'easter is coming out of their no no places. Because that's what body means in this book. Or maybe it's like this:

Okay so literally? There is a breeze around them. I am not making this up. Ooh, but it's grave wind because that's so coo--no wait, I mean what the fuck is that really?

Reading this book turns you in to Anita, insofar as it will make you cry BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEEEEAN at the heavens every ten minutes.

Jason is here and he's healed now. From what? I don't even remember at this point. J.C. and Anita reach out for Richard because maaaarks. Micah touches J.C. and Anita, but then literally starts screaming "Nooo!" a second later for no reason I can discern.

This is the point in the book, more or less, where the reader should be getting the pay off for everything that has gone before. Action! Adventure! Possible death and destruction! Mysteries solved and babies kissed! Or...whatever. You get my drift. But as things come to a close for NiC the writing gets even more nonsensical--and trust me, I didn't think that was possible--purple, and fucking boring. Usually I am pretty good at translating LKH speak but I have no clue what is going on here beyond some awkward power up bullshit that I don't care about.

"We knelt, bound by flesh, magic, and blood."

This is a perfect example of an author indulgence. I bet it sounds epic and amazing to LKH but unfortunately the reader is left wondering what in the blue fuck she is dithering on about. Flesh? Blood? How is it binding them? Have they melted together like body parts from The Thing?

This chapter is terrible. So terrible. I need to invent whole new words to describe its awfulness. And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, heeeere comes Belle Morte! Because why not? When you already have a confused pastiche of powers and hokey imagery, that's the perfect time to add honey and roses.

Anita THEN involves her necromancy because why not? This power pizza needs another topping! Belle Morte is teh evuls and has been influencing J.C. Anita casts her out, Satan.

Bobby Lee (wererat bodyguard) comes back in and tells Anita she's a dumbass for making them wait outside. Good job Bobby Lee.

So J.C. and Asher figure out that long ago Belle compelled another vampire in to killing his human servant, thereby killing himself. If I may this human servant bullshit is totally backwards. A human servant should empower the vampire primarily, not the other way around. Hence the word servant. Of course the servant ought to get something out of it too because willing servants are in some ways a lot easier to care for than unwilling ones, but ultimately I don't understand why having servants seems to weaken a vampire. Making a vampire more vulnerable because he has servants is backwards. By definition a servant is supposed to make things easier on their employer/master/whatever, not harder.

At the time they thought Belle couldn't have done it because it just wasn't possible. Anita says "I think it's like real possible..." because this is YA now and Anita is a spunky teenage girl who can see ghosts.

Oh god, here it is. I knew it was coming. Anita doesn't understand why Micah and J.C. aren't mad at each other, considering they just tried to kill each other. It's like, totally a guy thing, and now that they've had their little bullshit power display they respect each other and Anita like totally can't get it because she has a vagina.

You know what? Here's a thought I had the other day: part of a privileged person's refusal to accept that privilege exists is a lack of empathy. When you see a man get angry over male privilege he is probably feeling invalidated and offended on a certain level, yes, and in a lot of ways he doesn't want to share his power, but mostly it's a lack of empathy. Not that a man defending himself over whether male privilege exists necessarily can't feel empathy, it's that he can't or doesn't want to express empathy or learn a new kind of empathy. And while adults need to take personal responsibility for themselves, some of this issue starts in childhood. It starts, in part, when we teach little cis boys that the only acceptable emotions for them are anger and its permutations (jealousy, envy). It starts when we blunt and twist their ability to cry, or express gratitude, or hug. It starts when we take away the words "I love you." This isn't an excuse or a reason to start protecting those with privilege from the need to dismantle it, but the fact is we're taught our roles from day one. Men are taught (I am speaking very generally here) to be closed systems. To never admit they're wrong, because that would be to show weakness. Because ultimately, acknowledging that the world is inherently unfair for arbitrary reasons requires openness. It requires kindness, and humility, and compassion.

In short, LKH is perpetuating some very fucking dangerous and sick gender role bullshit here with this. While it's certainly true that for all the reasons I listed men may be inclined to settle their problems in an aggressive manner, there's no examination of the phenomenon in an LKH book. We're just meant to take it as gospel that by nature, men are inherently violent animals who can't settle disputes without resorting to violence despite the fact that Anita herself employs violence in almost every situation she finds herself in.


Look, look at this shitty book.

Anita makes a crack about how only men could make friends by throwing punches. J.C. points out that it's the same reason Anita and Edward are friends, because even J.C. knows Anita is a total hypocrite.
Just to put the rotten cherry on the shit sundae, Anita also says that Micah's ruthlessness bothers her even though she is herself ruthless.

Anita mentions Damian. Oh right him. I think it's obvious that I don't give half a fuck. J.C. needs blood and Micah offers again. Anita makes a crack about how there's just oh so much testosterone in the room, because she has to be a pissy ass and make rude gendered comments even though she's as big a swinging dick as anyone in here.

Micah shifts in to human form so J.C. can feed. We have to hear about his hair again, which is magically straight now. Kill meeeee.

J.C. wants to wash off the blood before feeding off of Micah. I think Asher is jealous, oh boo hoo. They tease J.C. about how he can't take a short bath, prompting Bobby Lee to say "I thought that was the man's line."

Gender roles are so much fun!

I hate you too Bobby Lee.