Dottie's chapter here
My god, there's more.
They all head for the club. Anita is letting Zeke hold her weapons.
After not being parted from her precious, precious guns for like a hojillion chapters, even when faced with a traumatized man whose lover is being held hostage begging her to put the guns down, now she's letting some mook werewolf hold them for her? A werewolf the fucking bad guy sent to her door?
They go up to the upstairs hallway, the all white and silver one from the beginning. They go to the Room of Swords where Nathaniel was being held before. Chimera is there, wearing a bondage hood and a business suit. That's...kind of awesome, actually.
..."Gina had a note under her shawl to slip to the hyenas. The note was from Bacchus, asking one of them to let him in the secret entrance. Apparently Chimera had never asked if there was a secret entrance to the club, so no one had told him."
Chimera is a fucking idiot then. If your story hinges on everyone being too stupid to breathe in and out, your story is probably shit.
Chimera is all,
1). My goodness who could have foreseen the abused woman who has every reason to hate me hiding something under her shawl in order to help the 'good' guys? Not me, because then I would be a competent villain!
2). Also if I were truly villainous I would make her strip and check all of her um, orifices before letting her go off with my mooks.
3). Not only are there four hundred (five hundred?) hyenas in this club (Narcissus has to be violating some fire safety rules with this, by the way) there's a secret entrance. And yet even with all of these resources they can't figure out how to kill twenty five usurpers and rescue their lovers. I mean everyone in this book is an incompetent shitbag anyway but this is a whole other level. I can't suspend my disbelief this far. I don't have enough hooks and my mind-ceiling isn't load bearing past a certain point.
There's a snake guy here who looks like he's about to propose marriage, he just loves Chimera that much. Anita deduces that the snakes must worship Chimera as a god, because that's what silly brown foreigners do. I mean, they'll just prop up any old bundle of sticks and call it god, right? What primitives.
Chimera and Anita go back and forth for awhile, blathering about who owns Micah and how long Anita has been Nimir-Ra. Chimera wants Anita to join his pard, so I guess he's a leopard as well as a whole zoo full of other critters.
Man, this panwere thing has such potential. Damn, it could have been so cool. In fact the plot of this book, such as it is, could have been quite respectable given the proper care and craft. The what could have been factor is what keeps me sort of obsessed with this series. All the love I might have felt has turned to hatred instead.
Chimera tells her he's just trying to unite everyone, man.
"I'm not sure torture and blackmail is the way to get it done."
That's as rich as foie gras and truffles, Miss Blake, considering the source.
Chimera is in pain. The snake man touches him with "dark" hands.
Chimera takes the hood off. Turns out Chimera and Orlando King are one and the same. Oh, don't remember who Orlando is? Why, he's the bounty hunter from earlier, mentioned all of one time. Le gasp. Teh horrorzzz.
THESE THINGS DON'T WORK UNLESS YOU TAKE THE TIME TO ESTABLISH THE CHARACTER THROUGHOUT THE NOVEL.
Who gives a sad little squirt about Orlando King? No one, because he hasn't been a force in this novel at all.
Turns out Orlando contracted lycanthropy on one of his hunts. After Orlando is infected with wolf cooties he decided he's going to go out in a blaze of glory, killing as many shifters as possible until one of them wins out and ends him. Orlando sounds like a dick, by the way.
Anita once again describes the snake guy as dark, because an actual person of color is just so fucking shocking to her she has to make extra sure we realize the guy has a lot of melanin and isn't that just so weird.
So basically Orlando is too badass to kill, but dumb enough to get infected with like six strains of therianthropy in the course of his hunts. That sounds like it makes for a shitty bounty hunter, but what do I know?
Oh snap, here it is:
"They thought I was a god because I could take so many forms. They worshipped me..."
Hey, white guys. Indigenous people don't need you to worship, okay? It's like how a lot of white people want to attribute everything brown folk did to some kind of contact with 'civilized' whites, or aliens, or spirits, because fucking aliens showing up and helping the Mayans build their temples is easier to believe than a society of indigenous people being smart and capable enough to create their own culture.
That's fucked up right? I mean, obviously so? I can't believe I have to explain this. And holy shit, you guys, NiC was published in 2001. You'd think it was published in the South during slavery days.
Ugh as if that wasn't enough, Orlando has a new personality to go with each animal form.
Anita calls Chimera crazy about a million times. Look, I'm not bothered by the word crazy. Whatever. As a mentally ill person it doesn't stick in my craw. But out of Anita's mouth, it's just offensive. Like literally everything else that spews from her noxious word hole.
"I looked up at Zeke and tried to tell him with my eyes that he should have told me that Chimera was this crazy."
He did. More than once.
The Chimera personality is in control now. Turns out he's the embodiment of Orlando's hatred and general sociopathy. Oh, gag.
Orlando's job was to "...kill other people, women as well as men." What a weird qualifier. I mean if you say people, don't we assume you're including women in that? I find it very telling that in an Anita Blake book, the audience needs to be told that "people" happens to include "women."
Anita is going with the just keep him talking strategy in the hopes that the hyenas are actually mobilizing and planning on doing something useful. Given their track record so far, that's a pretty terrible basket to put all your eggs in.
Chimera is teh ebulz and tells her he's done, oh, such horrible things. But it won't do to tell her about them, no. He must show her.
This is where I learn that they're not in the room yet, I guess, so they go in now.