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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.




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