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Monday, June 30, 2014

Sorry!

I forgot to do any Anita chapters. Mea culpa. I will knock some out tomorrow.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Thirty Eight



So far, the majority of main characters in this book are rapists.

Micah, Anita, Richard...anyone I am missing? And these are supposed to be the good guys. What's really unfortunate is rape is all the bad guys like to do and we're meant to take it as evidence that they're evil, yet somehow I am also supposed to believe that rape is different and okay when a protagonist does it.

"An arm spilled over my shoulder..."

I'm tempted because then I wouldn't have to do the rest of this recap.

Richard kisses her and she can't admit that it makes her giggle, because giggling would be too girly, I assume.

"What I did last night would have broken things inside an ordinary human."

Why? I know Richard is supposed to be well endowed but I never got the idea that he's tragically huge like Micah. So how come being a shifter imbues him with special sex powers? Is this going to be like those awful fanfics where the guy shoves  past the cervix and starts womb fucking the hapless protag?


"I didn't need a mirror to feel my eyes go cool."

Well yes, since mirrors generally help you see things. Also shut up about your special eyes.


Anita actually says nipple!


He sucks like, half of her boob in to his mouth. God knows why this keeps coming up because she has such huge bazongas I can't figure out how anyone is supposed to fit a good half of one of those swollen melons in their mouth. Secondly, yes I am trans but I do happen to have breasts, and nothing about this sounds sexy to me. Does anyone else with breasts want to explain this one to me, or is it as batshit crazy as it sounds?

Suddenly Anita is an expert on the ardeur even though she's spent this whole novel shouting about why no one will explain things to her, especially things she ought to already know. She tells Richard that the ardeur calls to their beasts. It annoys me how everyone has to power up like Super Saiyans before they can fuck.

Richard is afraid of Anita now, which of course just arouses Anita more because something something the ardeur. Even Raina shows up. Good lord. It's like a whole group of supernatural creatures stand around and watch Anita get railed every time it happens. Awkward.

Raina shows her a memory of Richard chained to a bed, and when Richard comes inside Raina he shifts forms. What the hell kind of beds do these people own that can stand up to two wolf monsters fucking on top of it?

This book is making me say fuck a lot.

This image "drives [Anita] to her knees" even though she's already on her hands and knees on the bed.

Anita and Richard have some kind of crazy beast orgy that makes Richard scream. Here we go guys, because this just became a rape scene:

1). Richard can't control his beast, keep up his shields, and resist Anita's ardeur powers at the same time, and she knows it.

2). She knows she is going to feed off of him in the next moment

3). She is well acquinted with the fact that Richard has a hard limit about being fed on

4). She feeds on him anyway

Oh also, Richard has been terrified since all this became evident to him and he has been trying to get away from her that whole time.


There you go. I just summed up the entire ethos of the Anita Blake series, and most of the plot, when it deigns to make an appearance. You're welcome.

Oh sorry, she doesn't feed. She "fed, and fed, and fed" because if you say it more than once, it becomes more meaningful.

Richard also reacts in a way common to rape victims, which incidentally is very similar to Gregory's response to his rapist (Raina) showing up through the munin:

"He lay there, eyes unfocused, breathing labored, his heart beating too fast, filling his throat. He swallowed hard enough that it sounded like it hurt."

To me, that indicates that he's disassociated from the rape in an attempt to save his psyche. Plus, he's in shock over the soul destroying thing that was just done to him.

He tells her she had no right to feed from him, and the best she can come up with as far as a defense goes is "you didn't say no."


"You could have stopped me, Richard. All you had to do was either leave the marks open between us or let your beast go. You could have held the ardeur out. You made your choice on what to control."

You disgusting rapist motherfucker. How dare you. I KNOW THIS IS JUST A BOOK, okay? I know. But this is completely messed up. It's so wrong I can't even come up with a good explanation as to why, because it should be so fucking evident as to require no explanation. But apparently people like LKH exist and have no idea how problematic this is.

It's not even that she has bullshit bigoted ideas like "men can't be raped." She knows men can be raped because most of the male main characters have a tragic rape-y past. She even realizes men can be raped by women, so she can't hide behind ignorance there, either. Is it that because what just happened was based in magic, and therefore it doesn't count the same way? Well it does. It does count. If you're writing a magical world, magical violation is still rape. 

I hate it when people pull the won't someone think of the children card, I really really do. But I am fucking tempted because there are gaggles of adolescents on LKH's twitter feed telling her how these books helped make them sex positive. My god, this is sex positive? What planet am I on?


The next few pages are absolute radioactive waste. Why? Because now we must go through a bunch of circular hogwash nonsense dialouge that somehow makes this Richard's fault. Suddenly the reason he doesn't want to be with Anita is that he hates himself (what happened to all that crap about how he'd accepted his beast and who he was?) and wants to be normal, and Anita is too comfortable with "the monsters" for him.

Hey Richard? You're a werewolf. GET THE FUCK OVER IT. We've been going over the same psychological damage for what, ten books? Get you some character growth. Only I know it's not your fault, it's LKH's sheer inability to comprehend humans.

DEAR ANITA YOU ARE A RAPIST AND YOU JUST RAPED RICHARD. That is why he doesn't want to be with you. You stupid shithead.

This book deserves to be buried in a lead lined bunker somewhere under the Atlantic.

Oh boo hoo, Anita the rapist is crying because her rape victim didn't enjoy being raped. Cue the leopard cuddle pile, so a bunch of hollowed out enabler cutouts can drape their two dimensional selves all over her.

Good job, Anita. Your stupid posturing crap over how Nate is like a child has just made you in to a rapist, because you wouldn't accept the person who actually consented to be fed on. Or hell fine, if you didn't want him, hand pick someone else who wants to be fed on. It seems like you have all the choices in the world. But no, consent is icky, and makes you dirty, so you need to rape someone in order to stay moral.

DO YOU SEE WHAT THIS BOOK IS DOING TO ME? It made me type hte words "so you need to rape someone in order to stay moral."


The touching isn't sexual, you guys! WE ABSOLUTELY DO NOT PUT OUR DICKS IN THE BUTTER TUBS!

Wah things are over with Richard because Anita isn't human, and Richard wants a plain human. Yes, I'm sure that's why.



Friday, June 27, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Thirty Seven

Pretty sure this whole chapter is a sex scene


And so far? It's not terrible. I realize that's damning with faint praise, but given the rest of this book anything that isn't a complete literary war crime is pretty amazing.

..."we took turns exploring each other's mouths."


I hate descriptions of kissing. Sure, tell me if it's soft or needy or hard or whatever, but for god's sake I don't need to know exactly where your tongues are. 

"Nothing," he said, voice deep, lower than normal. It wasn't the growl of his beast, it was a peculiarly male sound. "I want to run my beast through you, Anita."


We're at the point where I don't even need to deconstruct "peculiarly male" right? Apparently once a cis dude's dick gets hard he starts projecting his voice like he's one of the Three Tenors.

Apparently Anita doesn't like supernatural stuff during sex. Well, that's news to me.

"He seemed bathed in a comfortableness that was rare for Richard. I'd seen it at the lupanar that he'd accepted his beast. But it was more than that; he'd accepted himself."

Did I mention that lupanar was the word for worehouse back in Pompeii? 

So he's accepted himself, but his self loathing before was so crushing that Anita couldn't help but soothe his battered little fee fees?

Woops, wrong script. Again.

Anita expresses uncertainty about their beasts touching, so since this is the ABverse this means that Richard should definitely just do it anyway which he does.

 
More glove, warmth, and wet analogies. I wonder if I can club myself hard enough with my coffee cup to make me pass out for a few precious seconds.

Richard's beast is "impossibly huge."


There's a truly awful paragraph long run on sentence that I don't have the strength to reproduce here. Anita claws the air because that's not weird at all. Anita is apparently so unfamiliar with orgasm that Richard has to explain what just happened. He chooses to do so using this cringe worthy euphemism: 

"I brought you..."



Richard confirms that he's shared beasts with Raina before. Anita apparently finds Richard's ongoing rape at Raina's hands hilarious because she bursts out laughing. She never has an appropriate human response to anything, does she?

"...as his finger caressed the edge of me."

I assume she means her clit, since he's feeling around under her pajama bottoms, but god only knows. He slides his finger inside her and she immediately starts screaming. He fingers her Gspot for like two seconds and she comes again. On the one hand it's nice to see a portrayal of multiple orgasms but Anita shrieking like a banshee is really off putting. 

"Good point," I said. 

"No," he said, "this is."

And then he jams his dick inside of her. So, is his dick pointed?

They have a sweet moment where Anita realizes that Richard has been holding back every time they've made love before, so as not to give in to his desire to turn her in to a werewolf. She tells him that now, since she's deriving strength from her beast, he doesn't have to be careful with her. Of course she sorta ruins it by calling Richard's thrusts "a wet hammering." 

Still, you know what? I think this is pretty good. It's one of her better sex scenes, at least.








Thursday, June 26, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Thirty Six

Dottie's post is here

Avery Teoda is sporking Gillian Key here


Anita is trying SO HARD to describe dawn breaking. Another LKH quirk that I hate is how her characters will repeat the same descriptor, in this case "white, white" in order to emphasize it. Also what in the ever loving fuck is up with the rest of this sentence?

"Dawn was sliding through the trees in a wash of white, white light that left the trees looking like black paper cut outs against the shining sky when I pulled the curtains and filled the bedroom with twilight dimness."

I mean really, what? It took me several tries to realize that she's saying she closed the curtains against the dawn and made the room comparitively dim. At least, I think that's what is going on. This fails on so many levels. Dawn can be described many ways, but I am not sure sliding is one of those ways. Holy run on sentence, Batman. The use of both dawn and twilight in the same run on is very confusing, leaving the reader (or me at least) confused as to what time of day or night it actually is.

Why LKH does this to herself I will never know. Why wait until the last minute to shit out a manuscript? The very thought horrifies me. I would hate to have anyone read my first drafts. My first drafts are so bad they might as well be radioactive, inflicting writer induced cancer on anyone dumb enough to gaze at them for too long. I can't imagine handing them in to be published. Like, where everyone can see them.


Anita says some stupid shit about how Nate is wearing lavender shorts, which are obviously women's shorts because they're purple. She goes on about how Nate is black in leopard form but his hair is auburn.


Anita apparently has a rule whereby the leopards can't sleep in her bed if they're in leopard form, which I find particularly rich given that she has a tiger orgy later where at least a couple of them are in animal form at the time. I don't care what your kink is! Do whatever you want! But seriously, don't sell me this vanilla good girl bullshit at the same time. Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth, Anita.

More shit about Nate's bite marks. Seriously. Why is this such a big deal? Fine, it's a symbol of ownership in wereleopard culture (or whatever passes for it, since they have very little culture) but good lord, who gives a fuck? Anita is supposedly the leopard queen and as such could probably have nearly any wereleopard she wanted as a lover and/or a toy. Her taking Nate as her own should matter to the others, but it should be a matter of course and not something that takes up WHOLE CHAPTERS.

So her and Nate are alone together and they're both wearing skimpy silk outfits. Anita thinks Richard won't tolerate them going to bed together even though what Anita does sexually is none of his fucking business. Merle shows up to inform Anita that Richard is sitting in her kitchen crying.

I LOVE it when men show a range of emotions in novels. I'm being serious. One of the things we now need to ask ourselves, now that feminism has begun to take hold, is how we can reimagine masculinity so that it is no longer toxic. We have to allow men to feel and express emotions that have traditionally been strictly associated with women, without demanding that men pay a high social cost to do so. This is of utmost importance. I think there's a lot of self loathing, aggression, and anger that comes along with being socialized as a Western cis male, and certainly a large amount of this comes about because we teach men that their only acceptable outlet for emotions is anger.

THAT SAID. I find it hard to empathize or even sympathize with Richard's emotions, because he's been acting like an unpredictable abusive asshole with uncontrolled bipolar disorder for the past few chapters. He hasn't done anything that would, in my view, inspire warm or soft feelings in the reader. So, his crying seems self indulgent and manipulative.

Anita heads for the kitchen. Caleb makes a stupid comment about her clothes because his only purpose is to be a big fucking baby. LKH loathes women, clearly, and she consistently objectifies men. They just exist to revolve around Anita, perfect, brainless bodies with technicolor hair and eyes that can rub up against her on demand. I don't like to conflate the author with the work, but in this case I feel fairly comfortable suggesting that LKH has some deep seated gender issues to work through. That's not an insult, because who doesn't, but I hope she figures it out before it poisons her because this shit is the definition of toxic. Even for a fantasy, it's bad. Everyone in her world is a mere commodity to be traded.


Richard has a halo around his head because the dawn is touching his beautiful honey hair and my god could we be more literal?

Turns out one of the newest werewolves, a woman named Louisa, snapped on her honeymoon and killed her human husband, Guy. Basically, Richard didn't teach Louisa how to control her beast during sex, because Louisa wanted to wait for marriage before losing her virginity. Apparently this means she couldn't control herself during orgasm and she killed her husband. Oh, please. Has this woman never heard of masturbating? Richard couldn't send her off with a Pure Wand and a porn mag?

"...Richard and the girl and her fiance had been more worried about appearance than reality."

What the hell does that mean? That Louisa was holding to those ideals because she wanted to keep up the appearance of being a good girl? What a perfectly horrible, perfectly Anita thing to think. And Anita is supposed to be a Christian! Granted, you don't have to hold to purity and virginity beliefs in order to be a Christian, but she should at least be familiar with the thought process. And the reality is, sometimes we hold to what we feel is right even though there may be a cost. It's implied that both Guy and Louisa knew that this was a possibility. Yes, Guy died for it and that is tragic, but sometimes you hold a conviction that strongly and you stick to it despite the price. The fact that Anita can't wrap her head around that speaks volumes.

Of course, this is all about her again because she's so tired and cynical, yall.


It is perfectly possible to burn out on juggling everyone else's crises, but Anita doesn't care a whit for any of these people. And whenever she does try and help she fucks up and makes the situation worse, so she has no justification for her supposed emotional exhaustion.

At least Anita tries to comfort him with a hug. They both end up on the ground and Richard screams and sobs his heart out. Anita actually realizes that he needs comfort instead of sex. Wow. I'm going to savor this moment because later she'll be back to being inappropriate again.

Richard says he appointed and Eros and Eranthe for the pack. These two initiate new werewolves in to sex, showing them how to control their beasts even during orgasm. I'm just going to say it: this is a fucking cool idea. If only LKH could put her ego aside and actually take her time with a manuscript, actually do some real world building, this kind of stuff could be really awesome. I guess that's part of why I am obsessed with these books. They could be so good. So much wasted potential.

Richard tells Anita that the bolverk position, according to werewolf lore, is filled by someone who does the Ulfric's dirty work. Again a very cool and interesting idea. Again, it will be ruined by hyper focus on Anita's supposed badassery and ruthlessness, because of course he's angling for Anita to fill this position too.

He asks Anita what Anita would do if she were named bolverk. She informs us that she's allowed three helpers, and drops their titles. Richard As You Know Bobs us, explaining what part of Norse myth the titles come from. Supposedly Anita has been learning about the lukoi from another Ulfric named Verne, which is really confusing considering she needs to have things that should be bog standard explained to her on the regular.


Anita says something I agree with!


"The only true happiness, Richard, is in knowing who you are--what you are--and making peace with it."

Or at least I partly agree with it. I'm sure there are other paths to true happiness, but knowing and accepting one's self certainly helps. Of course Anita is just going to use this to justify her shitty doings, but hey. Trust a callous narcissist to twist any and all concepts to her benefit.

Anita and Richard want to fuck now. He asks her if she wants to stop and she says no!


I think this is the first time Anita has wanted to have sex in this entire godforsaken novel.

She puts her hand on his hip as they get up to go to the bedroom, which means her hand is "so very close to other things."

Dick. Cock. Member. Manhood. Even penis. I don't care. Not "other things."

Richard carries her to the bedroom. Anita is apparently so modest she wants to go there instead of doing it on the kitchen floor, but I guess Richard carting her past everyone like a sack of sexual potatoes is just hunky dory.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Thirty Five


This chapter opens with a hokey Robert Frost reference. Fail.

Gregory is bundled up and sitting at the picnic table in the backyard, because for some reason this makes the most sense for someone in shock. Honestly, he should be dead by now. Shock can kill you. Also, my god this place is nowhere approaching sterile, though maybe that doesn't matter for weres.

Richard is still throwing a silly little hissy fit and his power is so terrible and close and pressing. I love Claudia by the way because her job is to protect Anita, even from Richard, and Claudia straight up tells Anita that Anita doesn't have the good sense to determine whether he's a danger to her or not right now. She's also a brick shithouse and a rat. She has a lot going for her.

Richard is going to call Stephen's beast so Anita can see how to do it and hopefully save Gregory thereby.

"The energy built around us like like invisible lightning lashing around us."

The Dept. of Redundancy Dept. would like to have a word with you.

Anita asks Richard "what's with the power display?" Oh, I don't know he could be trying to show you how to call beasts so you can save Gregory. What the hell is happening here? We just went over this. People have been nattering about it for like a bazillion chapters. There's very little to indicate that Richard is using more power than he needs, which would be a different matter.

Richard starts to call Stephen's beast and Anita tries to cram as many storm and rain analogies down my throat as possible. They're not exactly jewels of literary craft, either.

"For a second or two, I thought the heavy, clear liquid that burst around us was rain, but it was hot like blood, and it didn't fall from the sky." 


Stephen's human body explodes and leaves behind his "man-wolf" shape. I think wolfman would be a more likely description but whatever. Richard apparently didn't need to call Stephen's beast in such a painful and explosive way, but did it just because he could. Great, so he's just managed to piss off every single shapeshifter in the yard, which means three whole shapeshifter groups.

Apparently this is out of some deep seated self loathing which Anita can feel through the marks.

This is another nasty little abusive tidbit. Abusers have reasons for what they do. But no matter what those reasons are, abuse is never okay. Making Richard harm Stephen because he's just oh so woe is him doesn't have the effect I think LKH is hoping for. It doesn't make him someone I am inclined to sympathize with. Instead I'm put off by his petty problems, his willingness to devolve in to the very tactics he claims to abhor when things don't go his way, his possessiveness and jealousy. He is an abuser, or at the very least he's showing the signs of becoming one.

Anita however is sufficiently moved, because she wouldn't know a healthy emotion if it turned up in the morning to make her pancakes and eggs. Richard--no shit!--shouts "don't you dare have pity for me!" like he's the disabled character in a shitty high school play.

Anita and Richard's beasts fight and it's not at all clear how this translates to their physical bodies. That's a shame, because I love the idea of having a beast. Vampire: the Masquerade did it. I'm doing it (sorta) with my weretigers. It's just plain cool. But I want to know how it works. Despite the bodyguards making a big deal out of protecting her from Richard, they do nothing while Anita and Richard roll around on the deck.

You know, they could have just taken Gregory to the hospital. Its been hours now. This whole time he could have been receiving actual competent medical care.

Richard says he's sorry. Anita says "you're always sorry." 


See the part that says apologies?

Turns out whenever "true" alpha shifters, like an Ulfric and a Nimir-Ra, meet, their beasts need to have a dominance fight. That's what happened with Anita and Richard. Again, Anita has to have this explained to her despite being a supposed expert on supernaturals. How long has she been living with the leopards now, acting as their queen? And she never thought to learn thing one about their culture or customs?


Anyway, Richard wins back some points by leaving the dominance fight at a stand still, because he doesn't care about those kinds of games. Thank god someone doesn't.

Richard takes off his shirt and he and Anita are instantly hot for each other. Richard says he'll call Jamil's beast the right way so Anita can learn how. Poor Stephen. Jamil doesn't like to be nude and keeps his pants on. I find it a bit suspicious that the only black male character doesn't like to show his body. That's right Jamil, keep your icky darkie body covered so Snow White here doesn't have to look at it. I think Jamil is also one of the only people she never sleeps with. I wonder why?

The description of Richard calling Jamil's beast is actually pretty cool. Jamil is also black in wolf form and is "Little Red Riding Hood's worst nightmare." Considering that story has very rape-y overtones, I find the comparison at best unfortunate.


Anita drags Gregory's beast out of him--surprise, she needed to do it the way Richard did Stephen, so we can justify that whole mess--and he tells her he can hear again. Everyone freaks out with joy because Anita is Jesus Christ healing the sick.




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Thirty Four

This is seriously the worst chapter yet. 


I don't think I understand what is happening here. Anita calls J.C. to ask if J.C. tried to make Richard extra special jealous over the ardeur thing and this FUCKING BORING BULLSHIT about Nate's bite marks. He says no but then blathers on about how Nate isn't a "dominant" so it's threatening to Richard that he's sharing Anita? Er, shouldn't it make Richard less jealous, since Anita is obviously dominating Nate and not the other way around? Also why is everything in this world organized in to dominant or submissive categories? Sure, it's arguably a story about a BDSM household and of course things will cleave along those lines, but:

1) it's possible to be in to kink without being in to D/s

2). Switches (people who are both dominant and submissive) exist

3). No seriously, switches exist

4). The concept of Anita living in a BDSM household is fine but should have nothing to do with how the supernaturals in the 'verse act. the fact that D/s is part and parcel of being a shifter no matter what kind of animal you're modeled on is goofy as fuck especially since LKH never thinks to explain why this is.

Anita accuses J.C. of being Machiavellian because no one knows anything about The Prince, even J.C. who more than ought to. If these books were satirical they would be so much better.

Not only that I am still not sure what J.C. is supposedly being manipulative about. So he told Richard the truth about the ardeur and about their BORING AS FUCK 'fiveway' which was hardly more titillating than playing doctor, and this is manipulative somehow?


Not.

Oh my god Anita is STILL cracking on about how the ardeur might be temporary. These are not the actions of a strong protagonist. A strong protagonist may be thrown for a loop by life sometimes, but they don't ooze around like a plate of grey slop for chapter upon chapter, bemoaning their fate and going on and on and ON about how maybe the terrible thing will go away. They face up to reality and do something. A strong person doesn't constantly complain and cry and bemoan their hand in life, no matter how dire. They fucking figure out how to play that hand to the best of their ability, to get what they desire and/or need. A character that whines about not having all the choices in the world earns only my contempt.


J.C. quite reasonably points out that Anita doesn't need to be in love with someone in order to have good sex with them. She insists that she doesn't do casual sex and how she doesn't want Nate as her pomme de sang because LKH IS TRYING TO KILL ME WITH HER WORDS. Seriously, this book is slowly causing a defect in my brain considering how my RAGE VEIN IS ALWAYS PULSING. This is the worst pile of shit I have ever been subjected to and one day I am going to have a stroke and die because of this. Why do I give a single fuck about anything that's happening?

I am not saying relationship shit isn't important in a novel. You can even dwell on it, if you want. You must however make it interesting, relevant, and evocative. Guess what this mess isn't?

Apparently J.C. is the "ultimate plotter" despite him never doing anything to earn the title.

They go round and round about Richard, and Belle Mort, and the ardeur, and Anita says:

"So you finally admit you don't know what's going on either?"

HE SAID IN THE BEGINNING THAT HE DIDN'T KNOW. HE HAS SAID HE DOESN'T KNOW LIKE A HUNDRED TIMES, WHENEVER THE ARDEUR IS BROUGHT UP.

WHAT THE FUCK AM I READING?


blah blah blah J.C. and Anita are so practical and ruthless and it's the same goddamn posturing garbage over the leopards and wolves that I've been forced to slog through for over half of this 'book' now.

Anita at least has the goddamn sense to realize that she, J.C., and Richard need some guidance about what's going on between them magically. She suggests Marianne, her witch friend. Marianne must love having a hypocritical fundamentalist Christian lecture her patronizingly about how her Christianity is so very "'stract" all the time, because even in a universe where magic exists and the presence of at least one god has been confirmed, only Anita's faith is real and true.


Okay so Anita doesn't want to have sex with Richard right now--despite that never coming up as a possibility between them anyway--because he's in a bad mood and she doesn't like it when he's in a bad mood. Good thing she's been encouraging him to be a brutal heartless dictator for the whole length of this travesty, then.

J.C. tells her she needs someone to feed off and she again treats me to a what does that even mean session, where I fantasize about pulling all her hair out strand by strand, or perhaps making the leap in total blindness by putting out both my eyes with a fountain pen. Oh wait, these books have an audio book version now. Fuck.

J.C. says she seduced Micah and she agrees.



Anita says she hasn't forgotten Damian. That's nice, because I certainly have. She angsts about who she will feed on when the ardeur hits, despite being given a million choices.

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Thirty Three

Dottie's break down here


Richard comes in with his two tokens, Jamil and Shang Da. He is pissed off because it looks as though Nathaniel and Anita are in a compromising position. For a series that is supposedly about a dark and vicious supernatural world, this sort of HEELARIOUS misunderstanding comes up a lot.

I also feel completely comfortable saying that Richard has zero right to be pissed off at Anita at this moment. He may not have wanted to dump her, but dump her he did, and it's none of his damn business what Anita does with her body or her emotions, or who she does it with. I guess I am supposed to feel like he's this amazing powerful alpha male but I just think he's a childish jerk.

Things are hot and biting, because everything in the ABverse is hot,  biting, like a hand of some description, or like a big fuzzy animal. Also she sure feels her face do things a lot, like right now where it decides independently of her to become neutral and sort of pleasant.


"Richard was one of those big men who never seemed big unless he was angry."


Richard reveals that he already knows about the ardeur thanks to J.C. and reiterates his hard limit regarding being fed on, which he tells Anita in no uncertain terms means that he will not allow her to sate the ardeur through using him for sex. I am on board with this but then Richard ruins it by being a nasty asshole for no good reason. Sorry Richard, when you dump a girl she then has the right to fuck whoever she wants. You goddamn hideous manchild.

He starts shoving the table around because that is somehow supposed to be intimidating.


He makes a big ol fucking deal about Nate's bite marks. Oh my god, why does everyone care about this so much? Why are shifters so stupid as to assign so much social weight to something as vanilla as a few visible bite marks? I don't think she even broke skin. Richard starts to intimidate Nate because he can. I am starting to think he might have deserved the rape charge in Blue Moon.

I hate how the fact that he's a were is portrayed as a justification for his abusive ways. Being a were doesn't mean you get to come in and act like this. Wolves don't really do this in the wild, so I fail to see why his behavior should get a pass just because he's a werewolf. He's also human, and the human side shouldn't just get shunted to the side once you turn.

None of this is Richard's business and Anita and Nate owe him nothing. But of course I'm supposed to think that this is sexy because jealousy is supposed to be sexy, and look how much he must love Anita if he's this upset. Well guess what, it's not sexy or loving. It's possessive and objectifying (in a way neither Anita nor Nate consented to) and a huge red flag that Richard is a person who doesn't understand or respect boundaries which is quite rich since he expects everyone else to respect his boundaries, such as not wanting to be fed on.


The same way that Micah was a textbook rapist, Richard is a textbook abusive boyfriend. He's the poster child for breakup violence.

According to that same site, here are the warning signs for abuse:

1). Checks your cell phone or email without your permission

2). Constantly puts you down

3). Extreme jealousy or insecurity 

4). Explosive temper

5). Isolating you from family or friends

6). Makes false accusations 

7). Mood swings

8). Physically hurts you in any way

9). Possessive

10). Tells you what to do

You're not looking too good there, Rich. The only reason I didn't slap him with #5 is because Anita has no family or friends that matter, so no one can really isolate her from them. She has people who exist to oppose her for stupid reasons, or people that want to fuck her for stupid reasons, and that's it. Since she has several personality disorders she either views people as those who can give her something she wants, or those who can't and are therefore worthless burdens to her.


Richard asks Nate whether Anita sucked him off. Anita and Nate both say no even though she totally did. Richard starts to manhandle Nate and Anita threatens Richard with a knife. In this case I am going to give Anita a pass, because it reads like legitimate self defense to me after watching Richard have a disgusting thwarted little boy hissy fit. He deserves to have that knife shoved through his fucking eye.

He calls Anita's bluff about being willing to kill him. She isn't willing so "I had no threat." That is the weirdest way to construct a sentence and LKH keeps doing it. I have never, not once, in my entire life heard anyone say "they fear my threat" or any variations thereon.

This brings me to another problem: Anita does not have a consistent character voice. She either sounds like a Valley Girl ("like, so"), like a Ren Faire reject, ("pretty to think so" "Nimir-Ra in truth") or an enforcer in a bad mafia movie. ("they fear my threat.") There's no unifying thread to how she speaks or thinks. This is pretty basic stuff, guys.


Anita does cut his arm though and takes Nate out of his grasp. Good. You fucking deserved that Richard, that and more. She tells Richard he isn't allowed to put a hand on her leopards or on his wolves, not out of anger. I would be more on her side if SHE HADN'T SPENT THE MAJORITY OF THIS GODFORSAKEN BOOK TELLING HIM HE ISN'T VIOLENT ENOUGH. 

God, these books are terrible. The chapters barely fit together. No one's motivations stay consistent from scene to scene. Everyone talks like they have multiple personalities, but not in an interesting way where it's acknowledged that they have dissociative identity disorder, because that would be interesting and god knows we can't have that. Fucking terrible. And I've been accused of jealousy because I'm sporking them! Jealous? Of that? 


I'm just going to say it: yes, I am hands down a better writer than LKH. If that makes me a jealous hater baby, well I've never been so proud to be one. That and she can cry herself to sleep on a bed made of hundred dollar bills if she wants. Forgive me for not worrying too much about her feelings regarding this matter. Ugh.

Lillian shows up and talks about how Richard needs stitches. HE IS A FUCKING WEREWOLF. I FEEL LIKE I AM TAKING CRAZY PILLS.

Fine, just tell me that it costs too much energy and pain to shift for every little wound. Sure, I'll buy that. Something. Because right now I am forced to conclude that LKH keeps forgetting her universe's most basic rules every five minutes.


Anita thinks that J.C. has deliberately put the info about the ardeur and Nate across to Richard in a way that is guaranteed to turn him in to a rage monster. Remember how everyone in these books is a piece of shit?