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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Fifty Nine

Asher and Damian go down to the basement to die for the day. How in the hell does Anita afford this giant house? Especially considering she doesn't work? I mean technically she's part of Animator's Inc and RIPT (I think?) but she never seems to do anything for them. Does J.C. pay? TELL ME.

Micah calls and reports that all the wereleopards are going to be okay. Instead of feeling relief Anita obsesses over the fact that they don't say I love you at the end of the conversation, because good girls like her do not normally sleep with men they aren't in love with. That would be dirty and whoreish you see, and Snow White here is too pure and white for that sort of lower class behavior.

Anita's night shirt is another strapless silk affair. It would show her midriff if she wasn't "so damn short." Presumably this outfit is made for you, Anita, so it fits and is covering your belly on purpose. I don't need you to cram your Napoleon complex in to every other sentence, thank you very much.

She also has to constantly remind me that she doesn't like having bodyguards (the wererats are sleeping at her bedroom door) which is total bullshit. She not so secretly loves it because it makes her feel important. I hear LKH takes bodyguards with her to conventions, despite not in any way requiring them.

Anita and Nate sleep until the phone wakes them. Ulysses, Narcissus' bodyguard, has phoned. There's some irritating natter about how Ulysses can't possibly tell her anything important over the phone because this is the kind of bullshit we have to resort to in order for anything resembling plot to happen.

Ulysses finally reveals that the Rex's (werelion leader) life hangs in the balance. Anita says another grossly hypocritical thing:

"Would Narcissus really let the lion's Rex die, just because I won't come down to the club at the ass crack of dawn?"

It's almost like Narcissus threatened to kill a strange, terrified werefox should he put a single toe out of line. What a bastard that would make him, right? Oh.

Turns out Narcissus is actually trying to be helpful and has also been aiding other wereanimals on the down low, but because this entire world is such a crapsack he can't be seen doing so or it will be "bad for business."

It comes out in the course of this blabbering, ridiculous conversation that Narcissus knows about Amber's (the Regina, I assume) efforts to have a baby despite miscarrying a couple of times before. It's apparently weird for Narcissus to know about this even though it seems like basic political information to me. No, it's because Narcissus wants a baby himself. Anita says she never thought of Narcissus as paternal. Ulysses corrects her and says maternal. Look asshole, Narcissus isn't a mother just because he'd be the one giving birth. If he identifies as male and prefers that his titles be in accordance with that, then he's the father. Now if Narcissus wants to own the word maternal and the concept of mother, awesome. But there's no indication that such is true.

Hey just an aside, do you notice how none of the werecreatures have queer leaders? Nope. It's always a cis man and a cis woman, or in Donovan's case a single cis man. The only exception is Narcissus and he's been portrayed as aberrant from how hyenas normally do things. Despite queer behavior being found in a vast number of species, we're suspiciously heteronormative in the ABverse.

Ulysses hangs up but not before Anita detects that he is super sad and stuff. She doesn't like that because she assumes Narcissus has done something untoward to him. She acknowledges how stupid it is to complain about Richard being too soft and Narcissus being too hard, and goes on to say that she's never satisfied. But rest assured, nothing will change. Anita is the worst kind of person. She knows her manner is unfair, unpredictable and generally all around off putting, but she doesn't care enough about the feelings of others to bother changing any of it.

Anita rallies the troops to go off and see Narcissus. She has to tell the reader what everyone is wearing, as if I give a fuck whether or not Caleb has a shirt on.

Anita packs every knife she owns including that completely stupid knife she wears on her back. I can't think of a more impractical weapon. If you're going to carry a sword, you have to give me better justification than the author thinks it looks badass.

The ardeur seems dormant this morning and Anita counts that as a good thing.

Here's something about LKH books: the chapter cut offs are in completely weird places. I don't think a chapter should have a minimum or maximum length. Some of my chapters are two pages, others are fifty or whatever. Great. But the beat of a story is important. The cadence is off with an LKH book, because all the chapters just end in perfectly arbitrary places.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Fifty Eight

This is how I am after a power lifting session, except instead of junk food it's all kinds of meats.

So what dumbassery is Anita up to now? Can it possibly be worse than the last chapter? Let's find out!

I think they've taken Anita out of the bath and sort of draped her over the side, so that Anita's arm is still around Damian. She's covered in cold towels. Yet things were so dire at the start that she had to get in the bath with her clothes on? By the way if someone has a horrible wound--in this case, Damian needs a hot bath and contact with Anita to hold his psychic brain-case together--it's hard for me to believe it's terribly serious if you have time to drive all the way to the main character's house. Especially if the item you need to perform the healing is already in the place you started. 


And it's not like Anita is at home and can't get to Damian so they have to bring him to her. No. They had Anita there already! And yet everyone piled in to the clown car and came to Anita's house, despite it being out in the boonies. And whichever one of J.C.'s stupid clubs they were in is in the city. (I can't keep his ridiculous clubs straight). And Damian is so sick that every time he moves away from Anita he vomits blood and almost dies.

NO, I can't let this go! Why are you asking??

Asher replaces the cold towels down Anita's body and Nate says he's never seen a shapeshifter pass out due to being too hot before, even though Anita is not a shapeshifter so whatever. Are we still hung up on whether Anita is going to be a leopard? Oh, I'm sorry "Nimir-Ra for real" m'lady. I can save you the trouble: anything that would cause Anita to actually change and grow as a character or as a person will not happen.

There! Now we can be quiet about the whole leopard thing right, right?

Damian's eyes are the "colors of emeralds." Of all the cliche things you could compare green eyes to, I think this is the absolute tops.

..."as if his mother had fooled around with a cat in order to get him here."

Well Anita, you would know.

Damian has fed off of Nate and feels well enough to talk and move around a bit. Damian is very pleased to be bound to Anita and Anita natters on about how she would fight servitude and how she's only nice when people do what she wants. She acknowledges that Damian ought to be afraid of being bound to such a hardass as she is. Of course she calls herself "hard" and I call her "a psychopath" but to-may-to to-mah-to.

Damian is grateful and slavish because Anita saved him. Anita thinks they're both screwed. This is another instance where I have no fucking clue why Anita is reacting the way she is. She's the one that wanted to get him out of the box, and she knew he'd be bound to her when she did it. Her extreme avoidance of personal connection makes her pathetic and a bad leader on top of that. Her issues have gone on far too long and are eroding her power as the protagonist.

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.