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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Fifteen

Rafael calls. He's the wererat king, because all shifter societies are oligarchies for no good goddamn reason. I love rats too, so I am particularly peeved that the way they are portrayed in the AB verse has nothing to do with actual rats.  However, I do love Rafael in particular because his call wakes Anita up and saves us from another boring dream sequence.

30% on my Kindle, Rafael calls. at 31% the call ends. In 1% they manage to repeat the same information FIVE TIMES, which is that Rafael wants to accompany Anita to the lupanar. This serves the function of giving Anita allies to shore up her position, and underscores the point that if Richard dies in an alpha challenge with Jacob, Rafael's treaty will not automatically transfer to Jacob on Richard's death.

This is apparently how LKH sees me, because I am such a fucking idiot I need to be told the same thing five times.

Rafael, Anita, and Jason also all agree that Richard is just such a stupid baby, you guys, because men in this universe get four roles to choose from:

1). Teh hotz that inevitably sleeps with Anita. Has a sexually tragic past or feature, and fantastical characteristics of some kind that Anita just happens to find perfectly appealing. Only Anita can soothe his wounds with her magic vagina. Maybe I should give LKH points for being the only author in my recent memory who is actually writing this tired old trope with the woman in the role of the healer. Mm, nope, still terrible the other way around.

2). Straw misogynist with no personality other than hating Anita. Usually in a position of some authority. It's as if LKH heard the word privilege once and this is her attempt at using it to give her story some sort of depth. That sentence made me so sad I had to get emergency ice cream.

3). Carbon copies of her who agree with everything she says. Looks like Rafael is fitting neatly in to slot three. I predict that she won't sleep with him unless the ardeur forces her to do so, though, because he is a visible person of color and that's one step ahead of a death sentence as far as LKH/Anita are concerned.

4). Big idealistic babies who pig headedly do whatever the like even though Anita obviously has all the answers.

 I don't think I've EVER read another author who hated both women and men as much as LKH. Misogyny takes no prisoners.

So anyway, Rafael is stepping up to be the designated asshole polisher because Anita can't go anywhere without a yes man's tongue planted firmly between her cheeks Human Centipede style, while Richard is a big fucking baby who can't be trusted because he'd like to try and uphold the raw basics of autonomy and democracy. He doesn't want to order a hit on Jacob that breaks all werewolf rules, so he is a fucking fool. For someone who supposedly hates becoming a sociopath so much (you can't become one, really, but whatever) she sure has no compunctions about murdering someone who so far is guilty of merely disagreeing with her. 

Nathaniel has morning wood and it makes ardeur-y things happen. In other words, it "made things low in my body clench tight." 

Erotica is  very subjective but this is just unclear and weird. "Nathaniel's dick was hard against my thigh, and the feel of him against my skin made need rise up inside me like a lick of flame. My pussy clenched and pulsed with how badly I wanted him."

That's not great--I just did it off the top of my head, and it's pretty awkward--but at least we know what body parts belong where and what they're doing.  Things are also starting to "spill" a lot, as if sexual arousal is a tipped over gallon jar of mayo. Or like spilled milk. Spilled sexual milk, you guys. 

Her beast wakes up. I like this, even though it's more or less cribbed from Vampire: the Masquerade. There are no new ideas under the sun, after all. Anita starts to come on to Jason, too, because teh sexxorz powerz. I think she's cupping his balls but it's hard to tell because everything even faintly sexual is someone's "body." I CUPPED JASON'S BALLS. There. It's that easy. 

Jason reveals that J.C. had him stay so he could be Anita's ardeur food instead of Nathaniel. I am not sure what the problem with feeding on Nathaniel is, or why Anita couldn't have chosen someone instead of J.C. pushing her to allow Jason in to her bed. She realizes that Jason is one of the only people who simply wants to sleep with her because he wants to. He's not trying to get anything out of it and that amazes her. God, that is so sad. 

Apparently the ardeur also allows her to read the hearts of those around her. I wonder if this will remain throughout the next books or if LKH will forget about this too. 

Nathaniel wants her, but he sees an ideal and not the real her. Anita is pretty much all alone even when surrounded by others. This is heartbreaking. Jason is the only one who just wants to sleep with her because he likes her and it sounds fun. By the by, where are Anita's friends? We've forgotten all about Ronnie, and Ronnie was pretty much it. Everyone else is a manipulative lover, a dependent, or food. That's no way to live.

She tries commanding them to leave because she doesn't want to feed on them. I guess this would be because she was raped and doesn't want to rape them now that she understands how destructive it is, but I think I'm giving this passage too much credit. Nathaniel protests and she tries dragging him around by the hair...? Sure, the super submissive will certainly respond to this negatively and want to leave as she has asked him to do. The fucked up thing is she seems to believe this, despite having known Nathaniel for a very long time now. Of course it just makes him get all hot and bothered instead, and she realizes that Nathaniel can't tell her no sexually.

"If someone can't tell you no, it's rape, or something like it."

Or something like it? Or something like it. OR SOMETHING LIKE IT.

If someone can't tell you no, it's definitely rape unless you have very specific agreed upon parameters that help you cope with such a situation. If someone is gagged and bound, for example, or asleep, or passed out (temporarily. If someone stays completely out for longer than a few seconds, call 911), and you have a behavioral framework agreed upon before the scene in question, agreed upon while you were both capable of consenting, then fine, it's not rape. Actually, I'm not sure why it's rape right now. Nathaniel is willing and so is Jason. She can tell whether or not Nathaniel is in to it because he wants to be or because he has to be thanks to her random mind reading pussy powers. So I am forced to conclude that LKH doesn't think the scene with Micah was rape, but she thinks a scene where Anita can literally sense consent is poised to become a rape scene. 

"I wanted to kiss Nathaniel, to fill his mouth with my tongue."

Ergh. I hate it when authors describe the mechanics of kissing. Sure, tell me if it's a soft kiss, gentle, hard, quick, lingering whatever, but please for the love of all that is holy don't tell me about tongues dancing or mashing or whatever. 

She demands they leave and they do. That might be the first time in this whole book that anyone has listened to Anita in a sexual situation. 

Authors, we need to have a talk. Now, I know I'm not the next great American author or anything (though dear god I don't think I'd want to be) but please stop using "like candy." 

Anita starts screaming because the ardeur wants her to feed. This is actually awesome. I love the idea that sex magic isn't all butterflies and hearts, but a terrible hunger that controls you. Nathaniel and Jason rush back in and try to hold her down so she doesn't go in to convulsions. Nice! I also think that Edward tearing the baby out of Bella could have been one of the best scenes in the Twilight series, so I suppose it's no surprise I am responding to this with something other than hatred.

Well, here's our daily Tiger is a picky jerk part of the post:

"They [Nathaniel and Jason] could bench press small elephants..."

I know she doesn't mean that literally but even so, that's just silly. Nathaniel in particular is a dancer.That is a very different kind of physical fitness from power lifting, which is what she's describing (bench, deadlift, squat). It also takes a not insignificant time commitment to achieve the type of strength she's describing, not to mention all the tinkering you have to do with diet and sleep to perform at your absolute best. I don't get the impression that anyone in this universe has time for a life outside of Anita. No one in this world has any dreams or wants that don't revolve around Anita, and they certainly don't have hobbies. You can't just sit around in Anita's bedroom and randomly get built. 

Anita's need for The D is so great that she nearly bucks both men off of her. 

"Anita, you're hurting yourself," Jason said.

This is all such bullshit because J.C. has inexplicably planned for this very poorly. He sent Jason in case Anita needed to feed, but that's it. You'd think a master vamp would have his shit together to the point where they don't need to tie her up overnight in order to control her, which is FUCKING STUPID. It's dangerous, it's ineffective, it's all around ridiculous. 

But AGAIN this whole thing is just another stupid set piece, there to force Anita and Nathaniel to dry hump. There's no reason for Jason to leave Nathaniel to control her. In fact it's stupid for him to do so since he must realize that Nathaniel can't resist a sexually aggressive Anita, especially considering the fact we've gone over Nate's inability to say no to pretty much anyone let alone Anita several times in this book alone. Yet once more, we're just here because LKH started with wanting Anita and Nate to hump, then twisted everything around them until so the scene would kinda sorta fit together and she could fap uncontrollably.

So her and Nathaniel start making out. 

..."our bodies locked together in a warm, vanilla-scented nest of his hair, like being rolled in warm satin." 

"Nathaniel kissed me as if he would climb inside me through my mouth..."

Anita says buttocks, which sadly is the closest we've ever come to her using grown up words for body parts. That's an F + for effort.

Anita tells Nathaniel to stop and after one false start, he actually does. Of course he's portrayed as doing so only because he's so broken that he accepts any demand thrown his way. Being able to stop when a sexual partner asks you to stop = having a psyche so damaged you can't even protect yourself from torture and certain death. The Anita verse, everyone.

She won't bang Nathaniel. Why not? Is she honestly concerned about his ability to consent? I don't believe that because clearly no one in this world cares about consent. But fine, if not him then why not Jason? Or why not find someone she is close to? She has all the choices she could possibly want, save J.C. and Richard. And since we've already established that no one in this verse can say no to Anita anyway, well, have them all line up like it's an old fashioned brothel and pick one out. Hell, pick out several. 

Anita decides she'll just bite him a lot instead of having sex with him. This is sex. Is there really a meaningful distinction to be made here between penis and vagina sex and what they're doing? I am going to argue that no, there isn't. There certainly isn't for Nathaniel. 

Where the hell is Jason, anyway? I bet he's letting this happen, because he's a gross creep. 

Later, I'm sure he'll tell Anita how he knows best and she should be happy about his decisions and not worry her pretty little head over such trivialities like whether she wants to have sex with someone or not. 

This next bit is truly alarming. Is she biting his balls? His taint? His ass cheeks? Please send help:

"I slid his shorts down his body until he lay nude underneath me. I spread his legs so I could kneel between them, lowered my mouth to that smooth, untouched skin, and marked him." 


"I slid my satin top off and wiggled out of the shorts. I laid my naked body on his and rolled along his back, his buttocks..."

I can't even explain to you how hilarious this is to me. She's naked and she's just...rolling back on forth on Nathaniel's ass? OMG that is hilarious. I have tears in my eyes picturing this, as if they're both little erotic Weeble Wobbles. 

...I spread his legs as far as they would go, and bit down, marking areas untouched, getting ever closer, until I could see him pressed between his body and the bed."

WHAT IS HAPPENING. There's him, there's his body, and there's the bed. I only know what she's talking about because I have (ahem) watched porn in my life, so I think she's talking about the shot where a guy's hard dick is shown from behind so you can get the full dick'n'balls experience. Fine, okay. But what is she biting?

Help, I need an adult. 

Seriously though. Is it the inside of his ass cheeks? His taint? It's not his balls because she says so. THEN WHAT. I need one of those anatomy models from nursing school. 

She licks and bites his balls until Nathaniel comes and she's sated. I'm sorry, but that is sex. Of course Anita thinks all sex is strictly penis in vagina, though, of course.

It turns out J.C. was worried Anita would tear out Nathaniel's throat in her feeding frenzy. THEN WHY HAVE NATHANIEL BE THERE AT ALL? Why does everyone insist on endangering this extraordinarily vulnerable person? Not that it matters, because Anita is so special that she tames the ardeur instead of it taking hold of her completely. 

It bothers me how Anita has no personality beyond being generally unpleasant and obsessed with guns. Everyone in this story is a container, a doll, something that merely holds a collection of items or exists to wear whatever outfits its owner fancies that day. Every time Anita gains a new power, it's as if LKH is adding another accessory to her favorite Barbie. There's no character there.

J.C. wakes up. Joy.