This is my personal blog and does not necessarily reflect the collective views of Hard Limits Press

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cerulean Sins Chapter Five

Anita starts making calls, which is a flimsy excuse to go in to detail about all of Anita's main squeezes. Micah and J.C. are both her boyfriends now--le gasp--which still has her all aflutter because nice girls don't date two guys at once.

I am so sick of this asshole child-woman having the exact same Lifetime channel angst she had throughout the last book (and probably before that too; I haven't read the intervening books so I can't say for sure).

 Is it really that weird to date two people seriously? Now granted I live in Seattle, one of the most liberal places in the U.S. (that's not to say we don't have our share of -ism issues, mind you, but moving on). Every year there's a transgender film festival, for god's sake, which I think you'd be hard pressed to find most other places. One of our zip codes is literally the most diverse zip code in the entire united states. Not only that, Seattle is heavily kink friendly. One of our most popular newspapers has a weekly column written by a dominatrix. So I'm spoiled by where I grew up, basically.

Therefore it's hard for me to understand why dating two men at one time is causing Anita so much unending angst. I date two men and never once has this fact caused me an ounce of trouble, at least not to my face it hasn't. I take them to my mother's house for holidays. I am not in the closest about it in the slightest. The most that has ever happened to me--luckily--is this annoying thing where mono people assume one partner is romantic and the other is a mere roommate. Now, there may be shit talking behind my back. I don't know, and I frankly don't care unless it's directly impacting my rights in some way.

So it may be that I'm coming from a place of privilege when I vent my frustrations on Anita, but honestly even with her upbringing and even though she lives in St. Louis, she's had so many unique and counter culture experiences at this point that I think a reasonable adult should probably have exorcised some of these demons by now. It's not as though the concept of dating more than one person at a time was just sprung on her yesterday. What did she think her whole angst with Richard and J.C. was? Sure, they were competing for her instead of living in polyamorous harmony but she was still with both of them at once, more or less, and that went on for several books.

Anita leaves answering machine messages. "How do you leave phone messages like this? "Hi Micah, this is Anita, Musette has come to town early, invading Jean-Claude's territory. Asher and I are driving to the Circus now, if you don't hear from us by dawn send help. But don't come down to the Circus before that unless I call personally. The fewer people in the line of fire, the better."

Well, I imagine you leave exactly that message, is how.

Once again we have to be reminded that Richard is a dick, because even though he dumped Anita he acts like everything is her fault. I like how she conveniently leaves out the fact that she raped him and blamed the rape on him immediately afterwards.

The Circus actually includes a carnival midway. It's really hard for me to imagine what this club looks like and how big it is. I mean, Seattle has a shit ton of clubs but I don't think what Anita is describing really works in a club space. It sounds more like an amusement park, which makes me wonder how the hell they got such a big lot in the first place. I know this is probably a dumb thing to fixate on, but too many of these logic loops and I get thrown out of the story, or I would if there was story to this worth mentioning.

"Once upon a time I'd come to the Circus to kill vampires. Now I used the employee parking lot. Oh how the mighty have fallen."

Even Anita knows she's shit at her job. She is the gives vampires unrealistic blowjobs-er. Screams her orgasms into the unsuspecting mouths of nearby vampires-er. Whether she was ever the Executioner is up for debate, as far as I am concerned, because I think in like eleven books she's killed maybe five vampires.

Asher is scared shitless and once again Anita just doesn't have time for his stupid little feelings, because I am somehow supposed to root for and support her petty sociopathy at every turn. But don't you see, Anita must reject and belittle all things pertaining to empathy because to do otherwise would make her act all girly and stuff and we all know how icky girls are and that they give you cooties.

Anita tries to talk Asher out of the car. Damien turns up because sure, why not. More interchangeable characters will certainly make this travesty better.

Apparently Micah sent him. I don't know why a wereleopard has the authority to tell a vampire what to do, and more than that Damien is already Anita's servant (sigh) so why wouldn't he show up of his own accord to protect her?

Strap in because we now get to know what Damien looks like again, complete with his hair being like "a spill of blood."

Damien is wearing slacks and dress shoes because for some reason European vampires don't like to wear jeans and sneakers. Whatever. I am pretty sure casual clothes are available in most places and honestly, vampires are predators. Successful predators blend in to their surroundings. That's why serial murderers like Ted Bundy frighten us so much. He looked and talked and acted like an attractive, upwardly mobile young man that many a mother would have been glad to see date her daughter. He didn't run down the street foaming at the mouth with a knife blade clenched in his teeth. Had he done that he would have been apprehended long before he racked up such a huge body count. Vampires ought to be the same, or at least the successful, well fed ones should be.

Anita acknowledges that Damien has no free will now that he is her servant.

You know what? I would actually go with LKH on this if she had any intention of exploring it. How do you care for someone who has no free will when it comes to your commands and desires? Is it possible for such a relationship to be healthy? What kind of abuses is Anita tempted to indulge in, and how does she deal with that? This is a pet peeve of mine, when authors include something very grey and problematic but then shy away from actually exploring it. Exploring it might lead a writer down paths some would consider offensive, but at least they'd be trying then. At least it would be interesting and challenging to the reader.

Instead we get some bullshit about how Anita wants to sex Damien up because of their bond, and that's it.

Asher tells Anita to touch Damien to draw power from him. ..."power flared between us like a breath of wind." For some reason flare and breath of wind just doesn't work for me. I am not convinced those images go together. At least Anita doesn't whine and bitch and moan about having to touch someone this time. A small victory but I'll take them where I can.

Blah blah power blah blah touching blah blah rightness, and Anita hits me with a line about knowing she doesn't love Richard anymore on the day her pussy no longer gets wet when she's near him. Oh well this is Anita so she says "body tighten" instead but come on, that's what she means. She has a really adolescent idea of love, doesn't she? It's embarrassing for a person in their mid thirties to conflate love and lust still.

Here comes Jason. Great. This is just a long chorus line of people I either don't care about or actively hate. He's wearing jeans because Americans love the casual look, apparently. Musette has offered to trade pomme de sangs with J.C.. In other words, she would feed on Jason and J.C. would feed on whoever her pomme de sang is. This is politically significant because trading like this is considered intimate. Of course Musette is doing this just to be an ass, because she knows J.C. doesn't want to let her feed on Jason.

Musette's pomme de sang is about fifteen years old and it's illegal to feed on minors in St. Louis. Jason informs Anita that two of Musette's vampire entourage are children. Except they're not really because they've been undead for hundreds of years. Now here's another thing that could be fascinating. Where do you draw the line with these things? Does it matter that they look like children, if they've had hundreds of years of experiences? Let the Right One In explored this somewhat, in that there was a pedophile character who traded sex with Eli for their mutual benefit, since Eli looks like a little girl despite being an ancient vampire.

Of course LKH by contrast is just including this to be darkity dark and shocking, which means she won't handle this delicately in the slightest. I am straight up disappointed. It's a book. It's essentially a free space to tease out the deeper meaning in social taboos, to create wholly magical societies that have alien moral codes in the eyes of the human characters. While a book can make you feel, words are not actions and you have free reign to do literally whatever you want. So it's especially irritating that she's just plopped these crudely drawn child vamps in to the middle for the sake of a cheap gross out.

Asher tells them that Musette isn't a child molester per se but likes to feed on the blood of children. Anita has some kind of seizure that knocks loose the fact that she's supposed to be the executioner, and protests because feeding on children is against the law. Yeah, we all know she won't do shit about it. I mean if she's that grossed out and she's so badass she ought to just march in there and execute the crap out of Musette.

Asher explains for the second time that Musette and by extension Belle Morte can't be fucked with because Belle Morte is le soudre de sang which essentially makes her the empress of her entire bloodline. Despite this being the simplest explanation in the world, Anita still doesn't get it. Asher uses small words and speaks slowly, and eventually Anita grasps that Belle considers her and Richard part of her bloodline and that they are therefore her property. She's sent Musette to test then so she can determine how to best use them. Belle Morte also considers the leopards and wolves hers, by proxy.

Anita's temper is kept in check thanks to Damien's influence because without someone else saving her from herself she's a useless toddler throwing a tantrum. I know characters don't have to be likable to be effective but she's really pushing it. Not to mention it turns out Damien was the plaything of an abusive female vampire, so he's basically traded one abuser for another by becoming Anita's servant. Gross. 

Jason makes piggish comments about Musette's breasts. Have I mentioned how much I loathe Jason? I hate Caleb even more (the leopard version). What is it with LKH including these walking penises whose entire character consists of being over the top sexists? It's really awful. It's not cute or endearing no matter how much the text tries to convince me otherwise.

Everyone's scared of Musette even though she looks like a Barbie Doll. Ergh.

Anita wants to kill her, everyone else says no. As much as I'd like to see Anita actually execute something, they do have a point about killing Musette bringing the entire vampire council down on them. Someone makes a comment about handcuffing Damien and Anita together, since Damien's influence calms her down. Jason pulls out a pair and says they're a prop he uses during his act, since he's a stripper.

"On one hand it was good to know Jason didn't carry around handcuffs for his own love life."


The thing I hate the most about Anita is that she's such an unapologetic judgmental dickhole. Why does she hate the idea of BDSM so much, especially consensual BDSM? She was a total fuckwaffle about Narcissus and Asher back in NiC, too. Would she rather everyone lived like her, trapped in a sexual hell she wants no part of but is forced to indulge in when the supernatural raises its ugly, engorged head?

Damien and Anita walk in to the club hand in hand, but it's not sexual you guys because that's what I care about when there's a murderous child molester vampire on the premises.

No comments:

Post a Comment