I am still way behind Dottie, but let's play a spot of catch up, shall we?
"Musette made no move to protect herself. Angelito stayed with the other men across the room. It was as if neither of them saw me as a threat. You'd think with my reputation vampires would stop underestimating me."
You only have a reputation because Word of God says you do.
Can anyone tell me how many times Anita has actually killed a vampire (or anyone for that matter) on screen? And how it compares to the time she spends fucking or endlessly nattering on? I know I'm like a broken record on this subject but it baffles me how any writer could think merely stating something is enough to convince readers. Is your heroine supposed to be tough and capable? By god you had better put her in a situation where she needs to be tough and capable, and then have her apply those skills/traits to the problem at hand.
Musette licks the knife blade clean of Asher's blood, taunting Anita.
"It was as if Asher didn't matter at all to her."
Uh, I think that's been well established. Or weren't the ridiculous paintings enough to drive that point home?
Anita grabs Musette's hand before Musette can stab Asher a third time, which prompts Anita to muse (ha) that maybe Musette expects her to "fight like a girl, whatever that means."
Isn't it great how Anita works internalized misogyny in even when there's no pertinent segue to help her along?
Anita knocks Musette to the floor and stabs her with the same blade Musette was using on Asher. Well shit, that's more like it. It only took sixty two pages for something mildly interesting to happen.
Werehyenas show up, presumably because they're Asher's animal to call. Anita's beast awakens. Her beast is "like a snake." NO bad author, no cookie. It already IS an animal, don't compare it to ANOTHER animal. "This chicken sandwich is like canned tuna." See? That's fucking weird.
Bobby Lee the southern fried wererat is here, because somehow Micah is psychic and knew to send him, and Bobby Lee is also a mutant and can fold reality in order to appear here not twenty seconds after the knife went in to Musette''s body.
Anita gives Musette a tuffy tuff speech about how no one messes with "our" bloodline, even though Anita isn't a vampire. Then again she also co-leads the shapeshifter coalition so obviously she sees no problem with appropriating identities and leadership roles that don't and shouldn't belong to her.
Belle Morte starts to take Musette over to respond to Anita's message, making Belle's eyes turn the color of "poisoned honey." What color is that, pray tell?
"Fear drove through me like a blade..." Tsk tsk. That's just lazy.
Belle Morte's voice comes out of Musette's body and Anita thinks Belle would probably give really good phone sex. I'm sorry, but I don't like Anita enough to accept this kind of comment from her during a tense moment. She'd had to have a consistent character and I'd have to understand her as a person before this would work. As it is she just sounds crass and callous. Not in a good way.
Belle and J.C. have a conversation wherein J.C. is actually badass and tells Belle Morte to fuck herself, and that if she is so arrogant as to send a servant of hers in to their territory without warning again, that servant will be summarily executed. Oh J.C., why aren't these books about you and Asher?
Even Anita admits she's "superfluous." Finally something we can agree on!
J.C. tells Belle Morte that love and possession are not the same thing, implying that Anita's love has taught him the difference. You have to be fucking kidding me. Anita, who constantly objectifies everyone around her? My leopards this, and my wolves that, and Nate my kitty slave?
J.C. says this in a very straightforward way, only to have Musette/Belle inform him that he speaks "in riddles." For an all powerful vampire she sure is dense.
Anita points out that maybe Belle shouldn't have rejected Asher if she wanted to keep J.C. around.
Anita tells Belle to get lost because she's "tired of trying to explain color to the blind." Belle Morte doesn't know what that means. God it annoys me how LKH tries to establish how foreign these vampires are by having them misunderstand simple idioms. How is Belle such a political powerhouse when she can't even decipher basic shit like this? Her vampires are from all over the world, and it's not like she's short on time. A lot of idioms also find use cross culturally. It might be put somewhat differently from one language to the next, but the idea is there. "Kick the bucket", for example, is used in a lot of cultures. Now, it may be "taking off the clogs" or "kicking the void" but the outcome is the same.
J.C. starts using "threat" as a noun again which annoys the ever loving piss out of me. Belle Morte doesn't know why Anita won't act properly scared of her, necessitating MORE TALKING.
Anita takes the knife out. Belle communicates an image of herself nude on a featherbed and Anita admits to wanting her (!) but don't get too excited because only naughty vampire magic can make Anita feel the dirty bad wrong lesbian feelings.
Anita comes back to herself and J.C. and Damian are holding her. Jason is standing over both of them. Is it just me or do people fall down a lot in this universe?
There are wolves here now too and they have an "almost eatable" smell. Eatable? This is the same woman who used superfluous a couple of paragraphs ago.
Anita manages to get in a dig about how Richard should be here to watch her and J.C.'s backs. Maybe you shouldn't have raped him then, Anita. Just a thought.
Anita uses the phrase "Mexican stand off." Maybe that would sound innocuous from someone else, but everything out of Anita's mouth is highly suspect.
Belle tries to use the ardeur against them but they have such good control now that it doesn't work. And all the wolves howl, because reasons. LKH has also described BM inhabiting Musette's body as a mask moving under her skin like three times now in as many pages. I guess it's marginally better than the whole toothpicks under melted wax bullshit she uses to describe (and I use that word very loosely) shapeshifters.
The wererats are here for Anita because she made friends with them. I guess the mass rape later on will come as a special surprise, then.
Anita waxes on about Angelito's muscles. Bobby Lee tells Anita--oh I'm sorry, I mean "honey-child"--that he would follow her to the "ends of the earth."
Anita tells everyone to keep an eye on Musette and Musette's vampires.
Oh shit, here comes Meng Die. Strap in, everyone.
"Meng Die was lovely, delicate, with perfectly straight black hair cut just above her shoulders; her skin was like pale porcelain. She would have looked like a perfect China doll if she hadn't liked wearing skintight black leather most of the time."
Meng Die's animal to call is the wolves, but the wolves don't like her because she's "too damn unfriendly." Uh huh. These are the same people who let Raina and Marcus rule them. What you mean is she is a racist stereotype and any behavior she exhibits outside of that stereotype will be punished accordingly. Meng Die doesn't behave like a hothouse orchid, so she barely warrants screen time even though with wolves as her animal to call she should be a major player.
Guys, I'm really going to hate Black Jade, aren't I?
Faust is here. Faust has burgundy hair and copper colored eyes, which sounds like an atrocious combination to me. I don't know why we're pausing the story for these appearance info dumps. It's not hard to work this stuff in to the action. He's a master vampire but he isn't a strong one, or something, so he can't have his own city.
Everyone leaves and Anita ponders the fact that a two thousand year old all powerful vampire being ticked off at you is probably a bad thing.