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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.


  1. What's worse about Anita's homophobia (to me, at least) is that it's not presented as anything bad. If it were at least used to give Anita some sort of actual texture as a person--instead of trying to constantly hammer us with the idea she's the an Earthly Assassin of Amazeballs--I could understand it. A bit like Harry Dresden's constantly chivalry; even HE knows it's stupid, but he also knows he's unable to do it, like a reflex. Anita, on the other hand, is just amazingly horrible, but it isn't Laurell's intent for her to be so, and it's even worse for it.

    Also, the necromancy works on vampires because somehow they're completely stone-dead during the day. THAT I don't understand at all (what, their soul just leaves for a vacation for a quarter of the day? The sudden rise in UV triggers a hasty retreat?), but at least in the sense vampires=biologically dead is at least consistent with other ideas about vampires. I myself can't fathom how that makes sense--if they're dead, why aren't they zombies? What makes them different?--but that's what 99% of the vampire-writing population seems to think.

  2. She's only okay with torture if it happens to those evily evil bad guys 'cause they deserve it, obviously. >_>