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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Sixty Five

Dottie's chapter here 

"The room was black, utterly black, like being flung in to blindness, nothingness, a cave."

I could deconstruct this and go on and on about how it's one of the most inelegant, bland, cringe inducing sentences in all of literature, but I think the thing speaks for itself.

Some more shit about how the room is as darkity dark as LKH's gothic soul. A bunch of live bodies are hanging from the ceiling and Anita is stumbling around, bumping in to them. They're screaming and Anita tries crawling on the floor to get out from under. The floor is covered in blood. This is another scene that could be great if I gave a single shit about anyone or anything in this novel. As it is the only person I care about is Ulysses. It is a sad state of affairs when the only person I care about is a minor character I've met twice. Plus I only care about him because LKH is manipulating my emotions with the whole Ajax story. It's like she's trying to fuck me but doesn't understand that you can't approach a breast like you would a doorknob.

She's a bad writer, is what I am saying.

Anita is comforted by blood. She lies down in the puddle and lets it soothe her.

"Anita," Chimera said. "Anita, where are you?"

Why'd you let her loose in to the pitch black blind room cave of nothingness then, you fool?

"Great, he didn't know where I was. I wished I could think of something good to do with that information."

Seriously? Not one thing? Of course maybe I shouldn't be surprised, considering her whole plan (which everyone kept calling a palace revolt, by the way) is as thin as the glaze on a dime store doughnut.

When Anita encounters information that could be of great use to her, she does nothing. She is the protagonist of this novel.

The chained up men--who I assume are the kidnapped hyenas like Ajax and Dionysus--start prompting Anita to answer Chimera. This is all meant to be very spooky, I'm sure.

Holy shit you guys I just realized the true brilliance of this book. Its purpose is to so thoroughly kill your capacity for caring that you experience events the way Anita does, with absolutely no emotional investment. My god, it's a literary marvel.

Actually it's me desperately trying to assign meaning to something I've sunk so much time in to, don't mind me.

So basically Anita's plan is to lie very still in the dark darkity dark cave of blindness and wait for help to arrive. Our hero, everyone.

Yes, when faced with situations wherein they could be proactive, it's best to have your protagonist have a little lie down instead. Readers don't like it if your protagonists work any change on your marvelous creation. No, rather they'd prefer your heroine to be as passive as possible.

Chimera starts cutting pieces off of the bound hyenas in order to get Anita to answer him. There's screaming. Anita relents and speaks up, but only so she and Chimera can rehash the same dumb teh ebulz dialogue I've had to sit through twice now. Chimera is having a villain freak out because he doesn't understand why Anita cares so much. What?


Anita cares about nothing. Nothing. Certainly not other people. Hell, in the last chapter she was once again rambling on about how she can't care about people she hasn't met before.

It takes Anita until now to realize that maybe Chimera isn't interested in keeping up his end of the bargain when it comes to letting Micah and Cherry go.

Everyone in this is so fucking stupid. I wish I had a funny analogy or a good meme or something but this level of complete idiocy is so exhausting I can't think of a picture that would encompass my disgust.

Well, that's a good start.

Anita literally has no idea what to do without access to weapons. Then we get this gem:

"You don't feel the need to talk, do you?" [Chimera asks]

"Not unless I have something to say."

"That's unusual in a woman. Most of them can't stand the thought of silence. They talk and talk and talk."

Is this meant to make me hate Chimera? Set him up as some sort of sexist frothwand so I can enjoy it when Anita inevitably triumphs over him in some utterly uninspiring way? Because it doesn't work if throughout your entire novel, the main characters themselves have said more or less the exact same things.

There's no contrast. At all. Nothing Chimera has done has been worse than what the supposed good guys have done. Putting people in the oubliette, shooting Elizabeth apart, dithering until Nate and Stephen (who even remembers at this point) were horrifically tortured, threatening to kill Gil basically for just existing, constant exoticizing and devaluing of women and people of color, the romantization of socipathy, I could go on. And I am supposed to think Chimera is a monster? Anita is a monster.

Chimera asks if Anita wants to see her leopard, then turns on the lights. NOW he turns on the lights? NOT WHEN HE WAS TRYING TO FIND ANITA IN THE DARK?

What is this book.

I mean, other than a potential source of small animal bedding.

See, wouldn't making this little guy happy be a better use for the pages? Hell, I'd rather read about a rat in a sweater.

Chimera helps Anita out of the body forest. He takes her over to an alcove covered with a white sheet, only to move the sheet aside DRAMATICALLY!!! to reveal Cherry. Cherry has a ball gag in her mouth and is chained to the wall. She's been tortured. Given that so far no one has challenged Anita's bullshit notions that BDSM and torture are the same, this sits poorly with me.

"The bigger man stroked the snake man's head, like you'd pet a dog that you liked a lot."

Chimera is petting the Native guy like a dog. 

Anita's plan still consists of stalling until help arrives. That's awfully optimistic.

There are guys chained to the wall all around, too. They're all attractive. Anita wonders how long it took Narcissus to collect them, because he's a sexually decadent predatory queer person. Because that's not a pervasive and harmful stereotype, or anything. Plus, Anita is the kind of person that stops to comment on the attractiveness of torture victims.

Chimera makes creepy comments about how he doesn't want to give Cherry back to Anita because they have so few women to play with. Apparently, Narcissus is afraid to allow women in to his pack because "...he's not woman enough to keep it." 

Chimera pulls back the rest of the curtain to reveal Micah, who is all beaten and bloody. For some reason. Even though Cherry has been healing her wounds and Micah hasn't, despite Micah supposedly being the bestest evah leopard that ever leoparded. I don't even know why I am still getting pissed over all of these tiny things when the entire novel has such massive flaws, but oh well here we are.

"Oh, I don't know, I enjoy rape, it adds spice."

See, here's a moment where I'm meant to be horrified but considering ANITA RAPED RICHARD IN THIS VERY SAME BOOK I DO NOT GIVE A FLYING FUCK IF THE BAD GUY IS ALSO A RAPIST. YOU ARE ALL RAPISTS. YOU ARE ALL BAD GUYS. And you know what? I don't give a fuck about the concerns of violent rapists. So watching two of them argue doesn't even do me the courtesy of being simply boring. No, it has to insult me by being offensive and cheap, too.

Now Anita realizes she can't rely on help coming.

Everything in this chapter is horrible. Everything. It makes no sense, it's offensive and tawdry, it's by turns boring and the kind of shit that deserves to be burned. Everything is once again out of order. Realizing she can't rely on the plan should be her first thought, not a realization she comes to halfway through the chapter.

Orlando is a closeted gay man. This is the reason for all of his hate.

LKH is like one of those demonic machines from a Stephen King story, but instead of mangling people she just churns out GOP propaganda. Guess Orlando should have just prayed the gay away.

Chimera stops midway through his bad guy speech and Anita realizes she can hear a fight downstairs. Thank god someone is doing something.

Chimera and Abuta, the snake man, back Anita up against the door. Anita randomly jumps to asking Chimera why he kidnapped all the shifter alphas. O...kay. He wanted to rule their groups apparently, though I am still not sure why he would even want to do so. I mean it doesn't have to be complicated. I have a villain whose motivations amount to, hang out with whoever will provide me with the most victims. But you have to show the reader something. 

Chimera changes in a way Anita has never seen before. She thinks flowers and Superman are appropriate analogies right now. Interestingly she compares Chimera to things and people generally considered positive. Hmm.

Turns out Orlando is all of the alphas. Also kind of a cool idea. Also totally wasted. Chimera shifts a bunch and a shitty fight scene starts.

"Chimera came at me like grace contained in violence..."

No shit, the ardeur rises.

Jean Claude wakes up under the Circus. The beasts come out of Anita. The ardeur is there. Chimera is afraid. Anita feels J.C's blood thirst and Richard's desire to eat flesh, because for some reason in this universe werewolves eat people. Chimera asks Anita "what are you?" all dramatic like. Anita presses him up against the wall. This is all stomach turning, by the way. Also I am not sure why a woman swaying her hips and stuff would scare a man who is currently a massive lion monster, but it's Anita so who knows.

Orlando's personality wants to die and Anita can tell this because she can do whatever the fuck she wants if it's convenient for the author.

Anita has a random vision of Richard being attacked by a werehyena and she can sense how much Richard wants to die. Probably because he's dealing with suicidal feelings after you raped him, Anita.

Anita gets tossed across the room. God, I hate this scene so much.

Anita finds the alcove with weapons in it and finds a silver sword. Lucky her. Abuta comes to attack her and she stabs him. "He said something in a language I didn't understand."


I bet he'll leave a "dark" corpse.

Chimera starts cutting up one leopard or the other in retaliation. I'd still like to know how Chimera subdued all of these powerful shifters, by the way. Changing in to a bunch of different forms doesn't wash. These packs and pards have hundreds and hundreds of members.

Expecting sense at this point is a fool's errand.

Chimera wacks Anita, throwing her to the ground. Why he doesn't just kill her right there I don't know. He cradles Abuta because aww, he's sad his pet dog is dying. Anita can see that Cherry and Micah are both opened up. Intensities are out, chests are opened, whatever. There's torture porn. Moving on.

Anita panics and can feel Richard again because what this scene needs is more random confusing shit.


Both Richard and Micah are about to die. Anita calls something or other. She just calls it her power. "It was the worst thing I'd ever seen done and I didn't hesitate." The truly courageous thing to do would be to let them die instead of perpetuating some kind of atrocity. but I think we're long past that point.

Anita drains all of the power out of Chimera using her necromancy and feeds it to Micah and Richard, and thereby to the wolves and presumably the leopards.

"They were no longer dependent on Richard's broken will..."

So even though Richard has been raped by the protagonist and has innumerable other issues, merely breaking up Anita and Richard's relationship isn't enough. No, we must continue to assassinate his character to the point where it's truly disgusting. Also in case you weren't clear, Anita is better than stupid broken Richard. She's better than everyone. She's better than you.

"His [Chimera's] skin was like dirty tissue paper on skeleton sticks when I finally let him go."

Anyone know what a skeleton stick is? No? Just checking.

"Chimera was like a Twinkie with all the filling sucked out when I finally let him go." Not exactly the most terrifying thing you've ever heard, is it? Even then it would be more relevant because at least it would be food related.

Cherry and Micah are healed and they break their chains. Cherry is the size of a pony! You're telling me that not only do these people turn in to leopards, they turn in to pony sized ones? Yet these people can't even wipe their asses without Anita to help them.

The hyenas heal too. Well good, they're the only people I give even half a shit about. Richard comes in and refuses to shift and heal the rest of his wounds because, reasons. Then he leaves. Okay glad to know him showing up had a point.

Anita cries and everyone group hugs her. No really.

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