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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Sixty

Anita and her entourage turn up at the club. Anita desperately tries to be clever about how she's not had any coffee, and oh my her attitude is just so endearingly crabby thereby. Considering she's got all the social graces of a moray eel on her best day I don't really see much of a difference here.

"I had finally broken down and bought sunglasses a few weeks ago..." 

Anita can't even buy sunglasses without fighting the idea for no reason at all. I know I've said this about a hojillion times, but what does Anita like? She has no likes. She sort of prefers black coffee and I am told she supposedly enjoys penguin themed things, but she hasn't once in this entire book interacted with a penguin themed object and thought oh my, these are my favorite, or held a penguin plush to her chest, or allowed herself any other expressions of softness or enjoyment. The only thing she seems to have an attachment to her is her Browning handgun, which is a deeper relationship than she has with anything sentient.

Because people like Anita are sad, pathetic shells.

Anita thinks she might need more than three hours to recover from heat exhaustion. Uh, you think? You're a single step away from heat stroke which should land your dumb ass in the hospital, and you're surprised you can't take a little nap and come around again? Well, at least she acknowledges that these conditions can kill you, though she decides in the space of two sentences that she actually had heat stroke instead (which makes all of this a hundred times more ridiculous), presumably because she realized heat exhaustion wasn't dramatic enough and didn't draw enough attention to her noble suffering.

Anita has Nathaniel, the wererat bodyguards (Bobby Lee and Cris), Gil, and Caleb (wereleopard creep) with her. What a random, ineffective collection of swinging dicks. I couldn't choose a worse gaggle of idiots if I tried. Why in the holy fuck is she taking these people in to such a tense situation? The bodyguards, okay fine. But Gil? He's been portrayed as absolutely useless when not cleaning something or nodding his head at Anita's every word. What does she think he's going to accomplish here? Maybe she's setting him up to fail so she can justify killing him. That sounds like something she would do. No, it sounds like something she would do if she were an interesting character. And Caleb? If they get in a fight is he going to take creepshots of the enemy until they run away crying?

Where the hell is Micah, by the way, and why isn't he here? Hell, Merle?Any other wereleopard besides Caleb, for god's sake?

Ulysses lets them in. He's wearing the same BDSM gear he was wearing five days ago. Something is rotten at the fuck club, and it's not just Ulysses' balls.

A bunch of werehyenas are gathered inside and they all look traumatized. Things are tense. Anita has a blathery internal monlouge of badassery where she tells us all how she'll let Joseph die if she has to because she hasn't met him and therefore he isn't real to her. Yes, people Anita hasn't physically interacted with, she is incapable of feeling empathy for.

Anita insists on keeping her guns. Ulysses gets down on his knees and begs her to turn the guns in, revealing that his lover Ajax is in some kind of terrible trouble and letting Anita keep her guns will make it that much worse. Oh, just in case you thought otherwise, he literally gets down on his knees and begs her, while weeping. She denies him anyway.

Let's have a moment of silence, because in my first read this was the moment where I lost whatever tiny feelings of good will I had somehow managed to establish around Anita up until this point. In my eyes a worthy protagonist would do as asked, knowing that she is resourceful enough to handle a variety of problems without an immature reliance on weapons. Weapons are only tools and they can easily turn in your hand. If your whole sense of worth and belief in yourself comes from your guns, you have failed as a human being and you're also a totally shit protagonist. This man's lover of four years is in presumably life threatening danger but Anita won't bend because without inert objects to prop up her ego she has nothing. She is nothing.

This is the saddest thing I have ever read.

Of course the as yet unidentified bad guys start shooting them from the catwalk. Cris takes a shot and is apparently killed. Gil starts screaming, because of course he does. WHY THE FUCK DID YOU  BRING HIM? Not only is Anita a jumped up sociopathic malignant narcissist with a Napoleon complex, she's a completely incompetent leader and can't make even the most obvious and simple of decisions. WHY THE FUCK AM I READING ABOUT THIS PERSON?

You guys. Ulysses apologies for leading her in to this trap--even though the fact that it was a trap should have been fucking obvious--and Anita turns the gun on him and threatens to kill him. She knows Ulysses wasn't lying about Ajax, since she has nascent shifter powers (sigh) and can smell a lie. Why the fuck does she think the proper response to this situation is to threaten Ulysses with death?

There's a confusing gunfight between Anita and Bobby Lee on the floor, and the unnamed bad guys on the catwalk. They take out a couple of the gunman but the werehyenas then rush them. More gun battle bullshit that could be interesting if the writing was good. Spoiler: it's not. Everyone still standing runs for the car and try to drive off. The werehyenas swarm the car. Anita and Bobby Lee shoot them while Nathaniel tries to get the car going. Somehow Anita draws the sword down her back in the cab of a fucking Jeep and kills a guy with it. 

LOL Anita's car has a hidden compartment with an Uzi in it. I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

Apparently they're going to drive through the city with a dead guy stuck to their windshield. Surely that won't draw any unwanted attention. Oh, there's a severed arm in here too because why not.

Hey look a suspiciously convenient back road out of a bucolic painting, strangely right next to a grimy BDSM club in what I assume is the industrial district! Thank goodness, I was wondering how our intrepid adventurers were going to get out of this pickle!

Turns out the body isn't a body at all and that the werehyena is still alive. His name is Bacchus. Anita says she questions him and he answers, but we're not shown any of that. Words is LKH's business, after all.

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