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Friday, July 11, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Forty Six

The MacNairs (snakes) and Mrs. Talbot (dog) leave. Christine leaves despite Anita offering a place for her to stay, because the only thing LKH knows about tigers is that they're independent.

For some reason Donovan is always introduced as Donovan Reese instead of just Donovan. Anita has the brass balls to say "I hope her [Christine's] independence doesn't get her hurt" as if Anita herself isn't independent to the point of outright stupidity on a regular basis.

Donovan calls the swanmanes his "girls" and because this chapter's theme is Anita being a giant hypocrite she tells him he ought to call them "his people" as if that makes a fucking bit of difference. Anita is just as objectifying if not moreso than Donovan, but she believes it is her duty to police his word choice. Not to mention, Anita has no idea what the swanmanes prefer and you'll notice that she doesn't ask, either. No, she just imposes what makes her comfortable on to a situation she doesn't understand.

Donovan implies that wereswan society is centered around a male king, and every other swan is a female. I would love to know why this is given the behavior of actual swans, but just like every other deviation it's just there because LKH wants it to be. The reader is expected to open wide and swallow it whole without even looking at the ingredient list.

Donovan is carrying a gun but he doesn't have a permit to do so. Basically this just exists so Anita can hold forth about her gun knowledge, such as it is. Donovan says Anita isn't anyone's alpha and therefore she's a fucking saint again for doing the bare minimum required of a decent person. This is especially odd, though, because up until now the tongue baths have all been about how Anita even as a plain human makes a better Nimir Ra than an actual wereleopard. So yes, she is someone's alpha. God help them.

In a normal book I might not even mention this (because presumably the writer's skill would have nullified this issue before it began) but how fucked up is it that Anita, an outsider, makes a better leopard leader than a leopard? She hasn't done any work to offset her outsider status. She hasn't learned about their culture. She hasn't undergone any initiations or rituals. She hasn't petitioned the elders--or whoever happens to hold the most knowledge and cultural influence--as a student. What I am saying is she doesn't have to be a leopard to be a leopard leader. Urban fantasy is all about never fitting neatly anywhere. But she should do her due diligence and act respectfully towards the culture she's attempting to join.

Anita rightly points out how stupid it is that the wereanimal groups won't help each other. I find it extra ridiculous because some of these animals don't even have territorial instincts as such, and for those that do what counts as territory is quite different. And yet somehow they're all isolationist dicks who won't work together despite having nothing to fight over, or even encountering one another in the wild.

"You mean a coalition of wereanimals?"

Thanks for clumsily foreshadowing yet another way Anita will show her supposed awesomeness, Donovan.

Anita natters on about friendship and the wereanimals helping each other. Apparently Micah and Gil, the useless werefox, are still here. Gil's entire purpose is to hang around being terrified so Anita can monologue at him in an effort to show how tough and fair she is.

Gil has no family or pack. He's the only werefox in town and wants to stay with Anita until this all blows over. Anita tells him if he's lying to her, she'll kill him. Jesus. Can you imagine encountering someone like this? It's like knowing the Dread Pirate Roberts. Hello, Gil. I'll probably kill you in the morning.

Except without the awesomeness or the endearing quirkiness.

Anita babbles on about how Gil has to help in emergencies and how if he doesn't, she'll kill him. Way to make the terrified guy feel safe, you jumped up little sociopath.

Gil is an "emotional cripple" and Anita hates his "weakness." 

As if Anita has any right to call anyone else an emotional cripple. Give me a fucking break. I guess it takes one to know one.

The rest of the conversation is mind numbingly ridiculous. She touches Gil's face, because now that he is being inducted in to Anita's inner circle he needs the ritual coating of Cheetoh dust.

They say the same fucking thing for like two pages. They do a rendition of I can't pay the rent! You must pay the rent! for like a bazillion words, except they're talking about killing "bad guys." 

Anita doesn't care about Gil because he's a liability and in a fight he's a casualty. Oh my god this is so over the top worthless I can't even muster up a cogent criticism. Well, okay, yes I can:  it's a circular masturbatory first draft meandering that I resent having wasted my time on.

Anita realizes she isn't a sociopath because a sociopath would just kick Gil out. That is not even a little bit true. Gil has victim written all over him. A sociopath is more likely to welcome him with open arms so they can get their hooks in him, make him feel guilty and burdensome for needing protection, maybe sleep with him or otherwise love bomb him so he's enmeshed and feels like he can't extricate himself when things inevitably go bad. That way he can continue being an emotional food source until the sociopath sucks him dry of hope, love, and self respect. Not only is Anita a shitty animator, a shitty law enforcement officer, AND a shitty leader, she's also amazingly shit at being a sociopath.

Gil agrees to Anita's terms and Anita smiles, but it doesn't reach her eyes so we can know how badass she is.

1 comment:

  1. I was confused the first time I read the book as to the point of Gil, and the conversation about his uselessness. Are they going to war, that Anita would actually have to worry about him getting underfoot? Not that I remember. She just rambled on about him being a liability for...some reason.