You guys, seriously read Chelsea's Merry Gentry/Elsie Dinsmore sporks. She has some amazing things to say about fundamentalist Christianity that everyone should hear.
Oh right, back to the Anita Blake salt mines.
The snake man has a copper eye and a black outline around said eye, that looks like "dramatic makeup." For some reason I really detest her makeup comparisons. I think because it takes away from the tension. Makeup is not a tense topic. It also implies that the bad guys are putting on an act, that their dangerous natures are not in fact very dangerous, and that we ought to all just go home now. Comparing a battle to a stage play or an evening out at the local dance club is not, in my mind, terribly effective.
There's a lot of thinking going on, stabbed through with commas willy nilly until I'm damn near drowning in the blood of the English language. Some crap about how if Anita shoots the snake guy, snake guy will probably blow Caleb's head off with silver shot. Even Anita acknowledges that she's having trouble caring, which makes me wonder why LKH chose Caleb to be the one put in mortal danger. He's spent the entire novel being a total slug, the kind that leaves sexual harassment ooze to mark its trail. Since he's been getting his sticky, shiny sexism all over everyone for the entirety of this 'novel' I'm actually hoping that he does get his head blown off.
I mean really. Of all the people she could have picked? Caleb? I seriously care more about Micah the rapist. At least he's had more lines. What about Nathaniel, since the set up has been there since the beginning? Or were you just constantly referring to him as "anyone's meat" for the fucking fun of it?
Bad guy engages in some predictable bad guy talk about how he'll kill Caleb. Claudia informs him that he too will die in that case. Claudia, I believe. Anita, not so much.
"He gave a hissing laugh..."
Seriously, what the fuck does that sound like? Anyone? Because I've got nothing.
Anita realizes more snake people are trying to get in and she actually says something sort of awesome:
"No one else comes through that doorway, or I'll blow you away and let Caleb take his chances."
Well shit, that's more like it.
Caleb only now starts to panic, because he only has emotions when he discovers that Anita doesn't like him much. Shotgun pressed to his temple, fine. Anita won't rescue him and doesn't like him? Panic. Woe.
"The snake-head turned to one side, bird-like."
NO IT ISN'T. IT'S A SNAKE, IT'S SNAKE-LIKE.
This might be an irrational thing to me, but don't compare one animal to another unless you're going to spend a little more time drawing the connection in for me.
This tuna sandwich smells meaty, like chicken! See what I mean? Also, gross.
A fight actually breaks out, but only because Claudia gets sick of talking and blows snake dude's head apart. I wish this book was about Claudia. Oh snap, when I'm done with the first anti AB book I am so writing another one about a mercenary wererat brick shithouse.
Anita shoots him too and ruins the paltry thrill of the only action scene in a hojillion pages by using that stupid as broken eggs "thicker things" NONSENSE THAT MAKES ME IN TO A RAGE MONSTER.
Snake dudes come in, windows break, shots are fired, stuff actually happens. Of course everyone is as cliche as possible the whole time, and Anita even gets to indulge in this old clunker: "like a puppet whose strings had been cut."
That's a demerit, Mrs. Hamilton.
The words door, bullets, cabinets, and shotgun are used so often they become a kind of thick word porridge that my mind-spoon is stuck upright in. Anita becomes Neo from the Matrix as everything randomly slows down. Only now, when Marco shows up for the second time, do I realize that Marco actually is a werelion and not a snake. Another demerit for poor description, Mrs. Hamilton. You're on your way to having your bathroom privileges revoked, plus you won't be attending the school's spirit assembly.
SHE SERIOUSLY HITS ME WITH THIS:
"I had all the time in the world to see the two snakes and the lion man Marco come through in a blur of movement that was so fast I knew that none of them was human."
So, it's the speed that told her they weren't human, even though she introduced them as a lion and two snakes. Okay look, I admit, my first book still has typos and some editing problems (hopefully both will be fixed for the next printing) here and there. I acknowledge that. But holy fuck woman, you were traditionally published! How is this possible? You don't see anyone offering to massage my literary balls in the hopes I'll produce another thick spurt of story the way you must have done for you. No one is feeding me grapes whilst speedily editing my work at a brisk pace, smile included no charge. Fine, fine, maybe you don't actually get grapes, but you do have a team of vetted professionals on your side. How does this sort of crap stay in? This tripe? Fuck that, I love tripe. That is an insult to tripe.
Seriously, try it some time. I'm not kidding. It's delicious.
Anita and Claudia shoot the snakes, but Marco gets a shot off at both Anita and Claudia. Claudia is hurt. Anita is saved by either Micah or Nate (considering they're the only two black leopards, and a black leopard tackled Marco) even though the bullet has already been fired.
Also wow, what the fuck has this house full of fucking leopards been doing this entire time? Just standing around shivering and crying without Anita to tell them what to do, I'll bet, despite being predator animals more than capable of tangling with other shifters.
Merle decides to get a few shots in, finally being depicted as doing something. This fight is all out of order, by the way. It should be something like, inciting event, protag reacts, takes note of what the others around her are doing relative to her own position and actions, repeat. Obviously not as mechanically as all that, but I should have known what Merle was up to before now. The way it's staggered out makes it seem like only now, after the initial gunfire is done, has he decided to come out from his hiding place and kick a guy around for a bit.
Claudia is badly hurt. Her dominant hand and arm are totally mangled, and she's still badass enough to just be like fuck it, and pass her gun to her other hand. That's my girl. I think this book should be about her and Merle. Of course Anita proves that she's an inappropriate sociopathic alien because her only thought is that she hopes clumsy Claudia doesn't shoot her by accident.
Nate shows and actually has a gun in his hand like a competent person. Joke's on you, Anita.
Micah turns up in leopardman form. He has his dick out, because of course he does. Anita insists that she doesn't find his animal form sexy. Okay. Weretiger orgy. That's all I'm going to say. And bear in mind (heh) if she does like animal form and leopardman form, awesome. Have whatever kinks you want. But don't shit in my bowl and call it chocolate ice cream, lady.
Basically Cherry and Zane hid under the kitchen table the whole time, despite the ability to turn in to LEOPARD MONSTERS.
Claudia is very hurt but not shifting, despite having more than enough adrenaline in her to manage it. Igor is probably dead. Oh here come the police, oh woe, because Anita doesn't have time to hide the bodies. I mean shit, why would she? She's obviously just lived through a home invasion and she's ever so white, after all. Claudia can't shift because the cops will shoot any shifters in animal form. WHAT. First how can they fucking tell, and second SHE TURNS IN TO A RAT. They weigh AT THEIR BIGGEST about a pound. Claudia gives us some bullshit about how she needs to sit around and be wounded to prove that a home invasion happened. Cool, well that will only cripple her for life, instead of being a mild inconvenience she could easily heal with shifting.
Micah shifts back to human form. It's "like hard things thrown in wax, covered, melted."
That's the best she can do, eh?
So Micah is human now, but there's shapeshifter goo everywhere. Gosh, this surely won't alert the police as to the presence of weres! Well, actually it probably won't because every single law enforcement officer in the ABverse is but a pathetic straw sexist running around to Benny Hill music.
The police don't shoot Anita because she is a dainty woman.