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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Nineteen

Chelsea is sporking Seduced by Moonlight here 

Dottie's break down is here

Oh yes. Here we go again.

Anita is naked--she wasn't before?--and I am supposed to find this naughty. These books are so tame. Give me a hook suspension or a bloody whipping with a horse whip and then we can talk. Give me a nasty gangbang where Anita takes like twenty dicks. Then maybe I'll think it's approaching dirty. This is just like those vanilla people who buy bondage 101 kits that include a feather and a blind fold. Or people who think covering each other in whip cream is the height of kink. Maybe I'm just a depraved pervert, but this shit is boring and insipid.

Anita realizes she tore a piece of skin off of Jason's neck, and runs to the bathroom to throw up. This I can actually empathize with. It reminds me of what is commonly known as top drop, the exhaustion and yes, guilt, that often comes when the scene is over and you realize how much you enjoyed tormenting your partner. Tops/dominants often need a kind of after care themselves, to work through their shame, so they can figure out that consensual 'violence' isn't the same as nonconsensual violence.

J.C. asks if he can come in. Again, he's the best person in a world with shockingly low standards. Out of all of them, he's the only one that bothers to ask what Anita wants or whether he can intrude on her space. He then goes on to ask if she needs anything, and fetches her aspirin and a toothbrush.

There's a legit adorable moment where J.C., in his fancy poncy ass robe, bustles around the bathroom getting Anita's things. He even gives her a choice of different toothpastes. Come on, that's fucking cute.

J.C. helps her talk through her feelings about everything that just happened. He cautions her not to dismiss Nathaniel so readily. Anita responds to this kindness by being a snippy asshole:

..."I want a little comfort from someone right now, and I guess you're it." 

Anita is all tangled up over enjoying being bitten. This is book ten. How can she be such a blushing virgin about stuff like this? You'd think sheer immersion in the kink subculture would erode her embarrassment eventually. Certainly before book ten.

"If my morals hadn't gotten in the way, I could have just marveled at the whole thing."

So basically, if you enjoy pain you're an amoral whore.

They talk about how Anita might gain an animal to call, thanks to the vampire marks making her vampiric enough to justify this new power. I LOVE the animal to call idea. If there was one concept I could steal from LKH, it would be this. But Anita does not need any more powers. What gets me the most about her suite of powers is that she never uses them effectively. What's the point of powering her up all the time if she just sits there passively book after book?

She claims she doesn't want to have sex with Nathaniel, when she already had sex with Nathaniel. I find it so outdated and silly to only consider penis in vagina sex as valid sex. Queer people might as well not exist in her world. Hell, even straight people who practice different types of outercourse don't exist either. Her mind is so fucking narrow and the worst part is, I don't understand why. Her Christianity has never been portrayed as the fundamentalist type, and she hasn't had any experiences that should, in my opinion, twist her perceptions to this extreme. If LKH were a better writer, she'd add something like escaping from the Quiverfull movement or her parents being in the FLDS. I would eat that up. But no. It's just bullshit superficial Madonna/whore nonsense.

J.C. does a fairly decent job of describing dominance and submission, though he's not exactly using it in that specific context:

"True power comes when others offer it to you and you merely accept it as a gift, not the spoils of some personal war."

We learn via infodump that Asher doesn't have an animal to call. Anita has a moment of self insight:

"Maybe I was growing up at last. Not every thought that came in to my head had to come out of my mouth." 

This seems like a good thing, but I'm going to argue that it's not. A character can certainly have moments of insight like this, but whether or not one is a grown up by necessity involves the opinions of others. That is to say, you can only self evaluate so much. If people around you are telling you you're hurting their feelings, you calling yourself compassionate is certainly going to fall flat.

J.C. says maybe Anita just wants Nathaniel. For some reason this pisses Anita off hardcore. She is such a shit to and about Nathaniel. I hate it. Just because he's ultra submissive and has been through some shit in his life doesn't mean she has the right to infantilize and trivialize his existence.

J.C. points out that what they all just did qualifies as sex, and thusly she's already had sex with Nathaniel.

Anita acts like a goddamn idiot, asking J.C. if he's really really sure it was sex. For some reason this makes her unhappy and scared. WHY? I mean yes, we could go with the raped by Micah thing, but obviously LKH is not operating under that assumption since she clearly didn't intend for that to be an in canon rape.

J.C. wins more points by saying:

"I am glad you are the woman you are, but there are moments when I wish that you could simply enjoy something without being chased around the room by your guilt and your morals afterwards. What we did tonight is a glorious thing, A thing to be shared and treasured, not something to be ashamed of." 

What if you had a friend who was constantly saying shit like, I don't want to be on medication because that would make me weak? Or, I can't go on welfare because I don't want to sponge off the government. And the whole time, you're sitting there, on medication and welfare, hearing a person you care about denigrate those very same things. That must be what it's like to be around Anita. She's careless and callous, nattering on about the horror of being a "monster" when everyone around her is a monster. She's a self centered, self absorbed, repressed asshole and I hate her. She's abusive. She constantly manipulates and uses people who are dependent on her. And you know what? It doesn't matter if she's doing it on purpose or not. The wound is the same, whether it came from friendly fire or from enemy fire.

To quote Mercedes Lackey, "friendly fire isn't."

More info dumping about how Jason filled Richard's place in the triumvirate and I don't give a fuck because this is so without craft I just can't.

J.C. tells her that even though she's fed the ardeur, it will always lurk just below the surface.

"Like being full but still admiring a beautifully made dessert." 

Anita doesn't like this analogy. Why the fuck not? She just hates everything and I hate her.

Useless nattering about Belle Morte and her powers. More shit about animals to call. Anita of course is the only person in two thousand years to cast Belle Morte out and defy her.

Finally, something emerges from the mire that is LKH's writing. Anita says she realizes she could have hurt Jason much worse than she did. This is another indication to me that she turns in her first drafts, because she's working through things on the page. Hence, all the revelations and explanations are in the wrong place, towards the end.

J.C. informs her that she needs to reward her pomme de sangs for their service. She suggests money and he tells her she's an ungrateful, insulting jerk, which she totally is. Also, how can she be this ignorant about vampire culture in book ten? How is she so incompetent?

J.C. then suggests she keep a pomme de sang near her for the next little while. Sage advice. He suggest Nathaniel but Anita doesn't want to. Why not?

"It would be like child molesting. He can't say no. If a person can't say no, then it's the same as rape."

So basically, Anita is acknowledging that she's both a child molester and a rapist SINCE SHE'S ALREADY HAD SEX WITH NATHANIEL TWICE. It's like someone told LKH her books suck on the consent front but she only took the bare basics to heart. She's sitting there going, I guess I better shoehorn in some of this weird consent thing I've heard about so all the jealous hater babies realize how wrong they are about me writing rape all the time.

Also Anita? It IS rape. It's not the same as rape. It is rape. You moron.

Even J.C. tells her she's being a condescending dehumanizing ass in regards to Nathaniel. Seriously, just because be desires a 24/7 slave relationship doesn't mean he's defective or incapable of knowing what he wants.

J.C. is jealous of Micah. My rage gland is empty and swollen. I've been forced to accept that no one in this book will refer to it or treat it as rape.

Anita has said some variation on what do you mean/what is this that supposed to mean like five times now, and J.C. has to explain everything to her like she's just suffered a traumatic brain injury. There is nothing good about Anita. She's a bigoted, closeted, repressed, stupid, incompetent waste of life.

J.C. and Anita are so concerned about Asher's dick, it's pathetic.

The only real sex is heterosexual, factory installed penis in vagina sex, and the only worth a man has is whether his dick gets erect. I have never, ever run across a piece of fiction where the author so clearly has this much gender baggage. Women, men, AND intersex people get the short end constantly. It is a pile of gender essentialist vomit. I am sitting her in awe of the shit spewing from LKH's keyboard.

They discuss the ardeur some more. I actually like the idea of the ardeur. I like the idea that being compelled to have sex is not a good thing. I like the idea that it can be used to control people. Interesting stuff. Too bad it's just a magical rape STD.

J.C. describes some of Belle Morte's activities thusly:

"She helped a marquis seduce a king and changed trade routes and alliances of three countries."

So why in the hell are all the vampires around Anita such ineffective idiots? Because LKH keeps reaching for concepts she can't handle. Some part of her must know it, which is why all the interesting stuff that could be a plot gets shoved in to her stupid epilogues.

J.C. explains the threeway he had with Asher and Julianna. He says that since Julianna was a human servant, she had no ability to consent, that instead Asher was the one who made decisions for her. Anita is enough of a hypocrite as to express distaste over this.

He talks about another vampire who has a dick so big, I shit you not, it is like a horse's dick. LKH takes herself way too seriously, because if she just owned the fact that everyone and everything in this world is straight out of a carnival on magic mushrooms it would be a fucking brilliant series. But no. I'm meant to swallow this--see what I did there?--whole.

J.C. says something very poignant about falling for Anita because he knew she was self sufficient. He has a lot of guilt for failing to save Julianna, and it makes sense that he would gravitate towards a lover who seems capable. But in my eyes Anita never seems capable, so once again I'm just being told she is so.
Anita waffles between sounding like a Ren Faire reject and a Valley girl. It's disconcerting and terrible characterization.

"You are simultaneously one of the most direct women I know, and one of the most self-deluding." 

Even LKH knows, somewhere in her subconcious, that she's a terrible writer and her main character is an inconsistent fool. I feel bad for her. She's dug herself a hole so deep she'll probably never climb out of it.

J.C. gives Anita a list of acceptable pomme de sangs (obviously that's not how you pluralize french, but the book does it that way) that won't make him jealous. I think this is good, actually, because this is a fairly common thing in polyamory. Discussing these things in the open is a basic skill if you want to do an open relationship properly.

"Please don't tell me I'm going to turn in to a slut-girl."

"You are stronger willed than that."

The messages in these books are disgusting. 

Damian is mentioned. He's Anita's vampire servant--or has that happened yet?--because people in this world are simply dolls that Anita collects, soulless, beady eyes and all.

A bunch of fucking nattering about vampire bullshit.

I know that J.C. raped her a couple of books ago, though I didn't read that for myself, but I'm starting to think that nowadays he's the one being abused. Everything he says centers around Anita being unpredictable. Unpredictability is one of the cornerstones of abuse. He walks on eggshells around her, because he can never guess when she'll fly in to a rage next. His whole existence is about placating her.

J.C. has kept Damian trapped in a coffin for the past six months and Anita is enraged even though her own pigheadedness is to blame. J.C. gives her a lot of perfectly good reasons for doing it, but Anita desperately wants to blame someone other than herself,  because she's a narcissistic fleshbag crammed full of hate and bile.

Turns out that when Damian went crazy, he murdered two innocents. But will Anita put on her executioner hat and kill him in return? Of course not, because the law she claims to love doesn't apply to her vampires.

Oh, Anita is guilty now. She also denigrates witchcraft because she's a monotheist. Christian witches exist, you close minded waste.

Apparently god keeps telling her she isn't evil. Okay then. This isn't Old Testament times where Anita could potentially get away with some of this shit. Can any of you picture Jesus signing the dotted line and condoning rape and murder? I sure can't.

We're told she prays a lot, despite that never, to my knowledge, being depicted on screen. God isn't a real being to Anita. He's an imaginary friend she's made in her own image, whose only purpose is to give the thumbs up to whatever depraved shit Anita gets up to. I'm not a Christian but I am a polytheist, and even I am offended by this. God(s) is/are not there to lick your asshole.

Anita has a religious moment and claims she's learned a lesson.


  1. That first thought reminded me of reading in the local news that, after 50 Shades hit it big, local hardware stores were getting slammed by idiots buying rope for bondage. Off the shelf. Shitty hardware store rope when there are plenty of stores in the area WHO SELL ROPE SPECIFICALLY FOR SAID PURPOSE. I imagine they thought they were being sly, because heaven forbid they go to an actual sex shop and let people know what they were doing. I also don't want to imagine how many of them actually hurt themselves with their Ace Hardware-brand burlap shit.

    I cannot seriously deal with the fact that Anita is so stupid when it comes to vampires and their ways. Even if in general vampires are close-lipped about their society, it still makes no sense that people don't know something as simple as who a pomme de sange is, and how to deal with them. It literally does not, especially in the US, where they are legal living citizens who are recognized as such. And ESPECIALLY when one is an executioner of said vampires, which would suggest said moron would want to know about the people she kills in case it's actually important to her job. *headdesk*

    1. I KNOW! How can she be so absolutely, utterly incompetent, especially after ten books? The mind boggles.

  2. I found the weird religious stuff at the end to be that - really weird and out of place. Like, I get Anita reflecting on her faith and what's happening to her, but it felt really out of place at the end of this chapter.

    1. I think for me it's awkward because it's like her ethnicity. It only comes up when it's convenient for Anita, and at all other times it is undetectable.

  3. I know I'm a couple years late to the party here but I've been reading rants in your archive while recovering from another damn surgery (my body seems to be on a bizarre mission to self-destruct) and THANK YOU for mentioning top drop and the need for aftercare on both sides of the BDSM equation. I'm into S&M, generally the more extreme (though RACK for certain!) play whenever I'm healthy and healed enough to indulge and as soon as I'm steady after a scene, I ALWAYS want to give comfort/cuddles/aftercare to my play partner. And I've found that unfortunately, most tops are less likely to ask for it which really sucks. I think if it were more openly discussed more often, they'd feel a little less uncomfy about it. Heh. Sorry to rant and I know I'm preaching to the choir!

    As far as the book goes... man, fuck you, Anita. You really are a heartless, narcissistic, self-satisfied, reprehensible piece of unidentifiable uck stuck to the bottom of the world's most horrible shoe. >_<

    1. oh funny, I am recovering from surgery too! thank you for the compliment. I try to be thoughtful about these instead of just posting HAH YOU SUCK over and over :P