So the plane arrives at a tiny airfield in Tennessee, out in the countryside. Hoo boy, I think I know what that means.
So I wonder if the Deep South will be depicted as a bunch of trailer-livin' racist sexist rednecks who've been a-marryin' their kinfolk for the last century and play banjos all the time with hayseeds stuck between their teeth. Because, you know, it's not like LKH peddles blatant exaggerated stereotypes or anything.
The town of Myerton, Tennessee, stretched below us in air so clean it sparkled like someone had dusted the clouds with ground diamonds.
- The question is, does it sparkle? Is it emo? Does it have lots of hair gel?
- And LKH doesn't seem to get how similes work. "In air so clean it sparkled" worked fine. People know what it means and how it looks. They know not to be literal about it.
- "Like someone had dusted the clouds with ground diamonds"... means that it literally DOES sparkle.
- And if that happens, you should probably call the experts to study this phenomenon.
That was the main reason one of the last remaining wild bands of Lesser Smokey Mountain Trolls lived in the area. Richard was finishing up his master's degree in biology. He'd been studying the trolls every summer for four years between teaching full time. Takes longer to get your master's degree part time.
So say hello AND goodbye to the Trolls, because they are a species who will NEVER be seen or referenced again after this book! Just like the fairies later get reconned out of existence.
So Anita thinks for awhile about how outdoorsy Richard is and how much he likes outdoorsy stuff, and how that adds to his Boy Scout image. That's actually getting a little annoying, mainly because Anita seems to think "Boy Scout" is some sort of contemptuous half-insult. Then some rotund mechanic guy in a trucker hat comes trotting over.
Then his eyes flicked to the coffins that were being unloaded from the storage compartment. Asher was in one. Damian was in the other.
And the third one has Damian's stuffed animal collection. He just can't travel without it.
So then Anita infodumps us on Damian, who has barely been mentioned in this book so far. Basically he's a not-very-powerful vampire who was a Viking when he was alive, but then got caught by some nameless evil vampire (let's just call her Voldemorta) who took Damian on a summer night over a thousand years ago, and she kept him. He really sucks as a vampire, honestly. The idea of a Viking vampire is... so many shades of awesome that I can't really communicate it.
And here's one of the biggest problems with LKH's series: she has all sorts of vampires who should be tough as nails and totally indomitable. They should not be emotionally fragile woobies who need Anita's protection - and if they're weak enough to need the protection of a small clumsy woman who only wins because of asspull Sue powers, then they should have been dead centuries ago. You didn't become a Viking by being a dependent wuss.
Anyone who was tough enough to be an experienced Viking raider would probably not just buckle under to an evil vampire and be her pet for eternity. They'd probably be plotting ways to kill her, not being soothing and quiet enough that she wouldn't feel he was a threat. And it's probable that they would rather die than live like that.
Yeah, they might be weaker in POWER, but I can't see any Viking raider who attacked CASTLES being that submissive in personality - he'd probably be really strong and intense in personality, not a wilting violet who needs Anita's help. And if he were somehow TURNED into such a person, it would probably be only if he was completely, utterly broken in spirit. And... there's no real aftereffects of Damian's time with Voldemorta to indicate what he might have gone through, except the usual "Oooo, she so scawy! I am vaguely scarred by this, but not enough to affect my daily behavior and stuff!"
Oh, and Damian being a Viking has absolutely NO impact on his character. I mean, he acts pretty much the same way as Asher, except with less gratuitous French. And we never really hear anything about the life he had BEFORE being a vampire - about Viking raids, his family, his personality before, or anything he did.
And... "Damien? WHAT KIND OF A VIKING NAME IS "DAMIEN"?! Was "Olaf" too exotic?!
He'd never be more than he was: a third or fourth banana for all eternity.
Which is even sadder when you consider that THIS guy is first banana.
Hello, cantaloupe crotch. Are you smuggling illegal immigrants in that groin?
Jean-Claude bargained for Damian's freedom when he came to be Master of the City. He ransomed Damian. I never knew what it cost Jean-Claude, but I knew that it hadn't been cheap.
He had to sacrifice his vintage Pokemon cards and his bootleg copy of the Star Wars Holiday Special.
So then a random big muscular black man comes out of the building, meaning that the introduction of Mechanic Man is totally pointless.
His skin was the color of coffee, two creams.
Don't worry, sensitive readers! He isn't TOO black for you to handle!
So then another character appears, and we are randomly infodumped about them. This guy is Jamil, who is an enforcer in Richard's pack. Time for a weird descriptive paragraph!
The enforcers were Sköll and Hati after the wolves that chase the sun and moon in Norse mythology.
... which seems random when you consider that they also use LATIN words in their pack as well. The two cultures aren't even related or anything. Shows LKH's wonderful grasp of mythology, huh?
When they catch them, it will be the end of the world. Tells you something about werewolf society that their enforcers were named after creatures that would bring about the end of everything.
That they're unbearably pretentious?
And what I would like to know is: WHY are they called that? They're just your basic thugs.
He was wearing a white sleeveless men's undershirt and loose, tailored white pants with a very sharp cuff rolled at the end of the pants legs. Black suspenders graced his upper body and matched the highly polished black shoes. A white linen jacket was thrown over one shoulder.
- Because when you think of clothes a werewolf would wear, you would think of the most stainable clothes in existence! Because it's not like an ENFORCER might get blood on himself or anything.
- So... he's wearing an undershirt but no shirt?
- And he's wearing black suspenders OVER that undershirt.
- I think that LKH thinks this sounds elegant and edgy... but remember, she also thought that a transparent red men's shirt looks "professional."
- It sounds more like Jamil is dressing this way:
Except that he's wearing a shirt more suitable for eating potato chips and watching TV in his underwear, not a tailored one. Yes, the stylishness is blinding me.
His dark skin gleamed against the whiteness of his clothes. His hair was nearly waist length in cornrows with white beads woven through the braids. Last time I'd seen him, the beads had been multicolored.
Yes, because a black man in the notoriously racist Anita Blake series couldn't have a low-key haircut that doesn't buy into some kind of stereotype. Why doesn't she just give him a sky-high afro and a pimp coat?
Also, what happens to the beads and braids when he turns werewolf?
But don't worry, LKH has more racist writing while attempting to show us that RACISM IS BAD MMKAY?
"You could try and blend in a little."
"I'm one of only two black men for about 50 miles," he said, "There's no way for me to blend in, Anita, so I don't try."
Yes, the South has hardly any black people, because it's entirely populated by racist white-trash rednecks who are always itchin' for a lynching. That's why you won't find a single black person in the Deep South.
I hate this series.
Oh, and here's a tip: People tend to react less to people of ANY RACE who don't wear blindingly white clothes and underwear as outerwear.
I wondered if Jamil had been having trouble with the locals. It seemed likely.
After all, it's not like there are ANY rural towns where black people aren't treated like shit. Rural towns are full of rednecks, and rednecks are all evil sexist racist pigs. Deliverance told me so!
He wasn't just African American. He was tall, handsome, and athletic looking. That alone would have gotten him on the redneck hit parade.
You know, Anita's snotty condemnation of others as being automatically racist is really, really head-slappingly obnoxious.
- Anita used the word "dago" in a previous book. Casually.
- In case you're not up on racist slang, it's a slur against people of Italian American (or outside the US, Hispanic/Portuguese) ancestry.
- The depictions of almost EVERYONE in this series is racist.
- White people are shallow and inherently racist. Anita casually refers to her father and stepmother as "good little Aryans," for the crime of being white and blonde.
- Black people are walking stereotypes of one type or another, and only attractive if they're practically white.
- Hispanic people are sinister, cruel and into evil occult stuff.
- American Indians get off the easiest as far as I recall, but Bernardo is still considered attractive BECAUSE he looks more like his white mother than his Amerindian dad. Classy.
- Anita's loathing of her Mexican side, which is entirely based on the fact that... well, that she's a racist. She's completely repulsed by/uninterested in everything Mexican, and absorbed none of its culture despite LIVING WITH HER MEXICAN GRANDMOTHER.
- Claiming that black people can't usually become vampires because of... sickle cell anemia. Yeah, because all black people have that. They can be werewolves - big bestial hairy monsters - but not the elegant sophisticated cultured vampires.
- Yes, I know there is Yasmeen in the second book, but I've read the graphic novels, and Yasmeen is not black. There is a black woman in the room, but she is a were, not a vampire. And she looks nothing like Yasmeen, so it's not an art thing.
- No non-white weres or vampires have any kind of culture - we're inundated in French/Britishness, and nobody has any African/Asian/Middle-Eastern/Indian/Aboriginal/etc culture.
- Nobody - ABSOLUTELY NOBODY - in the main cast is not lily-white.
- Anita gets to reap all the benefits of being lily-white, but claims she also isn't "white bread."
- The world is split into "ethnic" and "white."
- The entire fourth chapter of Hit List.
- And what, she thinks rednecks automatically hate handsome, athletic tall men and assume they must be gay? Sorry LKH, that's you.
- For more on the topic, check this out
The long cornrow hair and the killer fashion sense raised the question that he might violate the last white male bastion of homophobia.
If by "killer fashion sense" you mean fashion that might kill you with its badness, then yes.
Here's an idea: maybe the locals stare because HE'S NOT WEARING A SHIRT UNDER HIS SUSPENDERS! He is wearing an undershirt! You do not wear suspenders with that! But hey, since he's from the Big City and they're just stupid hicks, what do they know? We know they're racist sexist pieces of shit just because of where they live and the color of their skin!
And HOMOPHOBIA? Anita Blake is lecturing us on homophobia?! One of the most proudly homophobic series of the 21st century is LECTURING US ON HOMOPHOBIA?! KILL KILL MURDER MAIM BURN KILL...
I'm okay now, I'm okay now. But seriously, Anita being snotty about other people's homophobia is like a card-carrying KKKer being outraged that somebody is bullying a black kid. Yes, this stupid series is rife with it, despite the author's attempts to be gay-friendly. HOWEVER, the heroine spends most of the series having two possible reactions to homosexuality:
- Being all grossed out and forbidding it, penalty being no access to her magic vagina.
- Being turned on it by BL displays for her benefit (ie: sort of like those douches who like watching drunk chicks snog), as long as it's all about her titillation and not about each other.
Oh, and gayness is depicted as being no barrier to fucking Anita. Intersex people are treated as depraved freaks. The only semi-regular lesbian character is brutally raped, and another recurring one decides she likes men too. Two bisexual men with feelings for each other can ONLY have a relationship if they have a woman wedged between them.
And yes, in Bullet Anita fucks a woman. Whoopdedoo. Anita never overcomes her yaoi-fangirl attitude towards Teh Ghey. It just magically evaporates, and suddenly she's having lesbian sex with total strangers. I'm sure it will be retconned again once LKH alienates her lesbian friends.
Oh, and the real kicker? Jamil is a homophobe, according to LKH's own words. But it's only a big deal if WHITE people are homophobes.
So it turns out that the other dude is the bodyguard for a rich person named Frank Niley who is also arriving today to do some land surveying. And this is clearly significant because... they're talking about it.
Also, LKH must think that rural people are stupid, because would you look at semi-nude punks and strippers with knee-length hair and think, "Yes, those work for the wealthy businessman whose suit-wearing bodyguard is waiting here. They look so professional!"?
"Ed the plane mechanic tell you all this?"
Jamil nodded. "He likes to talk, even to me."
Because hey, it COULDN'T be that Ed isn't a racist. That would disrupt the status quo of LKH's hate-filled little world.
Jamil then whines that Richard won't let him do his job, and that if Richard did then he wouldn't be charged with rape: "It means if he'd let me watch over him like a good Sköll is supposed to, this rape charge would never have happened. I'd have been a witness, and it wouldn't be just her word against his."
Yes, it would be the word of a black werewolf in a cartoonishly racist town. Clearly that would have a lot of clout.
And is he complaining because Richard doesn't let him hang out in the corner and watch while he has sex? Dude, get some action of your own and stop trying to peep on your alpha's.
"Babe, you just read my mind."
"You know, Jamil, you're the only person who ever calls me babe. There's a reason for that."
Because he's a stereotype, like all "ethnic" people in this series?
So it turns out that Richard actually had sex with the woman in question, because...
"Richard's been trying to find a replacement for you."
But of course he never will, because he'll NEVER find anyone as perfect and alluring as the short, dumpy, whiny, foul-mouthed, violent bigot who maneuvered him into killing his late leader and then IMMEDIATELY hopped into bed with his rival. Clearly he can't find anyone else.
"So, he's been dating anything that moves."
"Just dating?" I asked.
Yes, they're going out for G-rated coffee and holding hands while Disney birds sing and small children frolic around. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK?!
And by the way, this is LKH's transparent attempt to make Anita NOT look like a total hosebag - sure, she ditched her fiance after pushing him into doing something brutal and traumatic, and immediately hopped into bed with his hated rival. But she's not a slut! HE'S the slut for sleeping with more than one woman!
He looked at me, almost smiling, then sighed. "No, not just dating."
I had to ask. "He's been sleeping around?"
GASP! A grown man having sex with women he's been dating, especially after a traumatic betrayal and breakup?! WHAT'S THIS WORLD COMING TO?! SCANDALOUS!
Apparently it is to Anita. Even though she's been having months and months of rumpy-pumpy with Jean-Claude after cheating on Richard, she actually has to stop and THINK about whether it's her business what her wronged ex-fiance does.
Did I really think he'd stay chaste when I hadn't?
The fact that she even has to ask this means that she did think that.
Was it any of my business what he did? No; no, it wasn't.
… which totally doesn't mean that he's not a slutty-slut-slut whose fault it was that I cheated on him! BOOO! HE'S A SLUT! Nobody ever gets to just move on from Anita's magical ass!
Jamil nodded almost to himself. "Good. I was worried."
"What, you thought I'd throw a fit and storm off, leaving him to his just desserts?"
"Something like that," he said.
So in other words… people who know Anita consider her to be a callous, hypocritical beyotch who would let her EX-BOYFRIEND be convicted falsely of rape, because he dared to move on months after they broke up BECAUSE SHE CHEATED ON HIM.
If LKH is trying to show us what a compassionate person Anita is, she's failing. She's just making her look slightly less horrible than other people think she is.
We're then given a horribly awkward discussion about sex between shapeshifters and humans, which apparently is unofficially verboten because they might turn into werethings DURING sex. You know that scene in The Incredible Hulk where Edward Norton almost has sex with Liv Tyler, but then he stops and says he'll turn into the Hulk DURING sex, which would be really awkward? Apparently it's like that.
"Richard doesn't do humans. He's afraid they're too fragile."
"So he has to settle for Kryptonians. Now THAT is a hot time!"
"I thought you just said he'd been sleeping with Ms. Schaffer."
"Having sex, but not doing the dirty deed."
Bill Clinton is calling. He says it depends on what your definitions of "doing" and "dirty deed" are.
I wasn't a virgin. I knew there were alternatives, but . . .
So if you're a virgin, you're unaware that oral sex even exists? And if you lose your virginity, you become magically aware of every "alternative"?
So then Anita contemplates how Richard refused to fuck her, even though she was begging him to (ah, feminism), because she hadn't yet seen him change into a werewolf. I can see why he did that. Once she DID see him change, the preternatural Expert To End All Experts immediately hopped in bed… er, bathtub with Jean-Claude, with no thought of how Richard would feel.
So the other weres are carrying the luggage and coffins, except Nathaniel, who is just sort of lazing around because he's useless.
I walked towards them. "Jesus, only one of those suitcases is mine. Who's the clotheshorse?"
Zane and Cherry put the coffin gently on the Tarmac. "Just one suitcase is mine," Zane said.
"Three of them are mine," Cherry said. She sounded vaguely embarrassed.
Well, she SHOULD. She's such a GURL that she actually packed clothes! Women are stupid and shallow and pack things that they actually need, because they're GIRLIE. Manly men like Anita only pack weapons! And manly men are superior to girlie girls! Because they're men! And manly! GIRLIE GIRLS SUUUUUUUUUUCCCKKKK!
And because Anita can't possibly wear nice clothes without being forced to, Jean-Claude sent along a big trunk that is probably filled with all the skanky leather clothes that LKH secretly wanted to wear, but didn't dare to. Yet.
I frowned at the trunk. "Please tell me there's nothing in there that Jean-Claude plans on me wearing."
"Last time he sent along a clown outfit. I scared hundreds of people."
"Maybe you'll get lucky," Jason said. "Maybe they'll try to kill you instead."
No no, Jason. The phrase is "maybe your readers will get lucky."
So after lying around doing his Bella Swan impression, Nathaniel starts whining about how he needs help carrying the coffin. It also turns out that he's lying on the coffin to reenact a scene from one of his porn movies. Uh… yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
He raised just his shoulders and head off the coffin like he was doing stomach crunches. His abs bunched nicely with the effort.
Does it shock anyone that she later ends up fucking him?
"You really haven't watched my movies, have you?"
"Sorry," I said.
"Waaaaaahhh you haven't watched my porn movies so you don't recognize scenes that I randomly reenact for no reason! I feel so hurt!"
Nathaniel also is wearing a silver clasp in his hair, which hurts him, but he's a BDSM junkie so obviously he likes hurting himself all the time.
Jason limped over to us, loaded with suitcases. "One of his movies is about a vampire who falls in love with an innocent young human."
"You've seen it," I said.
Yes, a twentysomething man watched porn. Stop the presses.
And because LKH doesn't know how to end a fricking conversation, they just drop the subject with no further thoughts on it. Instead, Anita starts picking a fight with Jamil so we can admire how ballsy she is.
"I don't do luggage."
"Which is to say, I don't have sex with luggage. Yet."
Anita snarls at him to help out, even though they've already gotten a bunch of the luggage to the car. It's also quite obnoxious since SHE hasn't helped at all.
"When Richard replaces you as lupa, I won't have to take shit from you."
"And trust me, that day can't come fast enough."
"Besides, this isn't giving you shit, Jamil. When I give you shit, you'll know it."
When she gives you shit, she pouts and looks angry! BE FRIGHTENED, DAMMIT!
But since Anita's bitchy bossiness is actually supposed to be charming, Jamil just laughs and helps with the luggage. And since Anita is the tuffest most manly-man to rule over everyone… she has one puny little suitcase to carry. Nathaniel remains useless.
"What about me?" Nathaniel said.
"Continue being jailbaity and emotionally damaged. The author thinks it's sexy."
And I'm not really exaggerating. Anita commands him to put his shirt on and sit next to the coffin so nobody… STEALS it. Yeah, I'm sure people are just dying to steal an occupied coffin, especially since most occupied coffins have non-vampire corpses in them. If you stole it, you might end up with the decaying remains of Aunt Mildred.
Nathaniel's response? He whines that there are women who want to see him shirtless, because teenaged porn-hooker weirdos with knee-length hair are just SO attractive.
I felt very sorry for Nathaniel. He'd had a rough life.
… which just made him hotter! Emotional ravagement is sexy!
We're also told that Anita, for some unspecified reason, is actually paying for an apartment so Nathaniel won't turn tricks to make the rent. Why isn't Jean-Claude doing this? Nathaniel works for him, so why doesn't he just take the rent money out of Nathaniel's paychecks and send it in?
Oh wait, Anita needs to "take care of my people," which means that she does whatever keeps them indebted to her.
The van was large, black, and looked sinister. The sort of thing serial killers drive in made-for-TV movies. Serial killers did drive vans in real life, but they tended to be pale colors with rust spots.
Ooooooh, marvel at how smart Anita is! She knows what kinds of vehicles serial killers drive! And now I can see why LKH wet herself with fear when she saw a white van in an upscale business district! SERIAL KILLERS!
So they drive off, and Anita starts meditating on how she's rather see a steep cliffside than a bunch of trees. It's because she doesn't like the "illusion of safety", and prefers to see how far they could fall before they die. What?!
Falling from high places is one of my least favorite things to do. I don't clutch the upholstery like in the airplane, but I'm a flatlander at heart and would be glad to be in the lower valley.
… so why is she insisting that she'd rather see the distance they could fall INSTEAD of seeing the trees?! It's like LKH was writing in two different reactions that contradicted each other, but she tried to squish em in anyway!
Anita also finds out that they'll be staying in cabins, which she apparently interprets as "backwoods shacks with no electricity and raccoons under the floor."
"Indoor plumbing, beds, electricity, the works, if you aren't too particular about the decor."
"Not a fashion plate?"
"Not hardly," he said.
"Well good! A manly man like me can't be seen in a quaint little cottage with up-to-date decor!"
Again, the conversation just ends with no warning, and Anita instead obsesses on whether Cherry is wearing her seat-belt, because WAH WAH Anita's mom died when she was little, which was apparently her own fault because she didn't buckle up.
"I know you could survive a trip through the windshield," I said, "but having you heal that much damage would sort of blow your cover."
- Yes, if they get in an accident on a remote country road with no one around, it will TOTALLY blow their cover.
- Also, what cover?
- I know Anita decides a minute later that they're supposed to be "playing human," but clearly she's neglected to mention this little fact to her loyal wereleopards.
We then are told that the wereleopards are basically so pathetic that they are even willing to accept a human bossing them around. I swear, weregerbils would be more intimidating than these wusses.
"You should have told me we were trying to blend in. I'd have dressed differently."
"You're right; I should have said something." Truthfully, it hadn't occurred to me until just that moment.
All hail the mighty Nimir-Ra! She lies to her followers and never plans ahead! What a wonderful leader!
They have a long boring discussion about the lack of taxis and the driving plans. Then Anita magically deduces that they're all hiding something from her.
"Why is everyone so solicitous of me? I mean, I know there may be problems, but you guys are being awful cautious."
I dunno, genius. Maybe it's because you were screaming insults at the freaked-out Master of this region, who now has carte blanche to KILL YOUR ASS.
So why are they being so protective of a waste of space like Anita? Because Jean-Claude told them that if anything happens to her, HE'S GOING TO KILL THEM.
"If anything happens to you, Jean-Claude's going to kill us."
I frowned at her. "I don't understand."
What's not to understand, you bitchy bimbo?! If you get hurt/killed, HE WILL KILL ALL THE OTHERS. It's that simple!
I can't tell if Anita is just that stupid, or if LKH thinks her readers are.
"Jean-Claude couldn't come here himself," Jamil said. "It would be seen as an act of war. But he's worried about you. He told us all that if we let you get killed, and he survives your death, he'll kill us, all of us." ...
"Define all," I said.
- Apparently Anita IS that stupid. She needs the word "all" defined for her.
- Bill Clinton is still on the line, wanting to talk to you.
- And wow, what wonderful kind loving people Anita and JC are.
- Anita apparently doesn't give a flying poop that her boyfriend is planning to MURDER a bunch of people if this dumb bint gets herself killed. She just keeps picking at words.
- JC plans to murder a bunch of innocent people if his idiot girlfriend gets herself killed because of a conflict SHE STARTED IN THE FIRST PLACE.
- And yes, I think we ARE supposed to still be on Anita's side, even though her stupidity has caused a massive conflict, leads to multiple people's deaths, and is endangering a bunch of innocent weres and vampires who had the misfortune to be selected to guard her. BITCH.
- I might add that her presence isn't even NECESSARY. I mean, her showing up won't help Richard's case, as far as she knows.
"If you're a real bodyguard, you can't guard two people. You can only guard one at a time."
"Why?" Cherry asked.
"Because you can't take a bullet for more than one person, and that's what a bodyguard does."
"Have I mentioned how tuff and strong and macho I am? I'm SO knowledgeable about dangerous danger stuff!"
"Only about fifteen hundred times this trip."
"Feel my biceps!"
So they head over to a really crappy-sounding bunch of "cabins," while Anita natters on about how the wereleopards have different morals from her. It's pretty dull.
"Anita is our Nimir-ra. She's supposed to protect us, not the other way around."
"Oh no! A plastic bag is blowing our way! SAVE US, OH STRONG AND MANLY ANITA!"
And even though Jamil is a werewolf with superhuman strength, reflexes and speed, Anita's misogyny and dated 1980s feminism won't allow anyone with a penis to protect her.
"No," I said. "I didn't agree to this. I can take care of myself, thank you very much."
In case you're wondering, yes, she ends up with dozens of bodyguards hovering around her at all times later in the series.
I opened the door, and Jamil reached across and grabbed my arm. His hand looked very dark against the paleness of my arm.
HAS SHE MENTIONED THAT THE MENACING BEAST-MAN GRABBING A SUPER-LILY-WHITE WOMAN IS BLACK?! CUZ HE IS! THIS BOOK IS SO TOTALLY NOT RACIST!
Then Jamil takes a truly shocking tack: he tries to use reason and logic with Anita Blake. Well, Anita ain't listening to any of THAT!
"Anita, please, you are one of the toughest humans I've ever met. You are the most dangerous human female I've ever seen."
Yes, she beats up suburban housewives and stakes unconscious, tied-up vampires. Truly she is terrifying.
"But you are human, and the things you're up against aren't."
"Some of them are Smurfs!"
Anita reflects that Jamil is so strong that He could probably deadlift an elephant if it didn't wiggle too much. He could certainly crush my arm. So what she's saying is that in a subculture of people just as strong as Jamil, she can hold her own because she's so tuff and manly. Uh, no she can't.
Anita has no special training, no special strength (at this point) and no special speed. If Jamil decided to incapacitate her by snapping both her femurs and putting her in the hospital, HE COULD DO IT. Zoom, snap snap. She openly admits that she can't keep him from harming her! Yet she's insisting that she doesn't need protection and she can totally take care of herself WHEN PEOPLE WHO CAN EASILY SNAP HER LIMBS OFF ARE OUT TO GET HER.
And it's DOUBLY stupid because not only is Anita a weakling compared to the others, but she already knows that the Master of… Tennessee (?!) is out to get her. So there are potentially hundreds of weres and vampires planning to kill her, and she insists she can "Take care of herself!"
I'm sure LKH was orgasming over how tough and awesome this makes Anita, but it doesn't. If you're a human surrounded by weres and vampires who wanna kill you, insisting "I can take care of myself!" IS NOT TOUGH, IT'S STUPID. No, you can't. And it just highlights what a horribly storyteller LKH is that she doesn't realize that this makes Anita look pants-on-head stupid, not tough.
Jamil even points out that she's endangering ALL their lives by putting herself in harm's way. Does Anita care? Nope! Despite allegedly loving and caring for all "her people," she doesn't give a shit if she gets them killed by her beloved Cantaloupe Crotch.
"What you fuzzballs keep forgetting is that strength isn't enough. Leverage, there's the ticket."
- Fuzzballs. Yeah, that's nice. All tolerance and respect, this... thing.
- Also, I'm pretty sure "leverage" means Anita's going to stomp into the local police station and wave her imaginary penis at them.
- Also, he's not trying to protect you from the local cops, genius. He's trying to protect you from the COUNTLESS HOSTILE VAMPIRES who now have carte blanche to chew off your face. I don't think "leverage" will work on them.
- And even if it did, YOU HAVE NO LEVERAGE. LKH just thinks this makes Anita sound like she knows what she's doing.
- "Strength isn't enough"? Since when? Anita gets to be queen of multiple societies who are ALL ABOUT STRENGTH.
I pushed myself out of the van, tucking my legs so he was suddenly trying to hold my entire body weight with a one-handed grip on my forearm.
… which, considering that she just said he could LIFT AN ELEPHANT, means he shouldn't notice at all.
But no, since this is another opportunity for Anita to be a wannabe badass, she tumbles to the ground while reaching for a gun… and suddenly she has a knife in her hand instead. No, there's no mention of her pulling it out - it's just suddenly there.
I was trusting that Jamil wasn't going to kill me. We were grandstanding. If I was wrong on that, I was about to die.
This entire fight is about him trying to keep you ALIVE, you stupid cow. If he wanted to kill you, he could just let you go swanning around without protection.
Jamil spilled over the seat,
And left an enormous wolf-shaped stain.
He was treating me like a shapeshifter who knew the rules. You didn't kill over small stuff. You bled each other, but you didn't kill.
Now if someone refuses to fuck you, THEN you totally get to kill them!
And because Anita is fucking insane, she slashes Jamil's arm open and then points a gun at him. And I remind you, this is all because he wanted to keep all of them from dying. He simply wanted to accompany her as a bodyguard so he and the others wouldn't be murdered, so Anita "Keep My People Safe" Blake slashes him with a knife and then points a gun at him.
And this is our heroine.
Is there ANYONE in the world whose name isn't "Laurell" who can understand this?
Wait, I think I got it. This insane scene is for two reasons:
- We've gone three whole chapters without Anita physically menacing someone. Since she's a brainless thug who thinks she's actually intimidating, this must be remedied with a random fight scene! Against one of the people on HER side!
- Jamil dared to imply that Anita isn't the strongest, tuffest, most dangerous person in the world. He must die for this insolence!
Unsurprisingly Jamil wants to rip Anita's head off for this. I hope he does.
Standing didn't help things. I didn't shoot better standing. But somehow I wanted to be on my feet.
Does she usually have her minions fetch her a chair when she wants to shoot a gun?
He could break my neck with one blow. Hell, he could explode my skull like an egg.
Oh, but I thought she could "take care of herself" and she didn't have to worry about being attacked. What a surprise.
I pointed the Browning at him one-handed, knife still in my left. "Don't do it, Jamil. I'd hate to lose you over something this stupid."
Something this stupid?! YOU STARTED THE FUCKING FIGHT, YOU DUMB BITCH. And the "something this stupid" is you throwing a bitchfit because you selfishly don't care if other people die or not, as long as your pseudo-feminist principles are upheld.
"Anita," Jason said, voice very calm, no teasing, no jokes. "Anita, what's going on?"
"Ask Mr. Macho there."
OW! OW! The irony of Anita calling someone else "Mr Macho" is hurting me! THE IRONY BURNS!
"Jamil was trying to explain to Anita how she couldn't handle herself against shapeshifters and vampires."
Which she can't.
Additionally, he was trying to emphasize that they were all endangered if Anita put herself in danger. So if she goes and gets herself killed, which seems likely given her stupidity, he and the others die too.
Cherry's deep, caressing voice said, "She could have sliced your throat open instead of your arm. She could have shot you in the head when you reached for her."
And he could have turned on the super-speed and popped her head like an overripe tomato, or ripped off her arm when she let herself fall to the ground. He didn't, because if he killed her then HE and the others would be endangered.
Please, LKH, stop pretending that your dumbass heroine is a credible threat to ANY of the super powered Sue species you've made. It works in series like Grimm because hardly any of the Wesen has superhuman speed or major super-strength, so it makes sense that the Grimms can take them down just by being skilled. But in a series where they can lift ELEPHANTS or CARS? Doesn't make sense!
I wish I were watching Grimm. That series doesn't suck.
Unsurprisingly, Jamil wants to kill Anita now, and somehow his inner wolf has…. either caused his head to expand or his body to shrink. I don't really get what that means.
because he'd lowered his body mass until it was the biggest target.
… so um, being a werewolf means you can suddenly turn into a bobblehead? How does that work?
I'd saved Jamil's life once.
I saved him from a deadly serial killer disguised as the mailman! Jamil was pissed off and insisted it WAS the mailman, but I know better! He was in a big white vehicle!
He was a good man to have at Richard's back, even if he didn't always like me.
Join the club, man.
But I respected him, and until now, I thought he respected me. His little show in the van said he still thought of me as a girl.
Ah, the casual misogyny. I missed thee.
- Yes, he thinks of you as a girl. Because you are. See that vagina that gives frequent flier miles later in the series? That means you're female.
- No, he didn't grab your arm because he didn't respect you. He did that because he was trying to reason with you… which is totally useless since you're incapable of reason.
- And he wasn't trying to convince you to let the were BODYGUARDS protect you because you're female, you blithering idiot. If you were a human male, you'd be every bit as vulnerable.
- He even says, explicitly, that "you are one of the toughest humans I've ever met. You are the most dangerous human female I've ever seen." Funny, that doesn't sound disrespectful to me. It definitely doesn't sound like he thinks of her as one of the dreaded "girls."
- But in Anita's world, female = pathetic weakling who can never be respected, and the only way to show respect is to let her needlessly endanger everybody around her to prove what a man she is. What a great feminist heroine!
And then Anita lectures us for the thousandth time about how it doesn't bother her to kill people, and she goes to her white-noise place. Again, this is all about someone not pretending Anita is the tuffest strongest he-male in the world.
In my saner moments, I worried that I was becoming a sociopath.
Yeah, it doesn't bother her to shoot someone she knows in the face for a minor disrespect. She just "worries" because she thinks that worrying means she ISN'T a sociopath.
But right now, there was nothing but a very calm knowledge that I'd do it. I'd pull the trigger and watch him die at my feet. And feel nothing.
Our heroine, everyone. Don't you admire her so much?
So to date, our heroine has shown what a caring, wonderful person she is by
- Going apeshit at another Master of the City because she didn't get her way instantly,
- charging into another Master's territory,
- possibly starting a war,
- not giving a shit when her boyfriend says he plans to kill innocent people if she gets her stupid ass killed,
- putting her huge ego ahead of those innocent people's safety, and
- planning to kill a man for putting a hand on her arm and regarding her as weaker than him, even though SHE IS.
Realistically, Jamil would use his superspeed and the car to zoom around and rip out Anita's arms. But since LKH is writing this book, Reality has moved to Nebraska and changed its name. Instead, Jamil wusses out because Anita outranks him, even though Richard's obviously doing his best to jettison the baggage.
Then he very, very slowly sat back on his knees,
He sat on his KNEES? Does she mean he knelt down, or is she implying that he has backwards knees like a bird?!
"You really would do it," he said. "You'd kill me."
"I love killing people! It's what proves that I'm the manliest macho man in the world!"
But it turns out that Jamil is pissed off because the other werewolves have been making fun of him, because he's in a wolf pack where the lupa is a HUMAN woman. I can see why they're teasing him, since it's sort of like the alpha female of an actual wolf pack be a duck.
I couldn't find a picture of wolves with a duck.
"You stupid son of a bitch. Your pride is wounded that I'm higher in the pack than you are."
"Which is obviously MUCH stupider than my pride being wounded because you pointed out that I'm not the strongest tuffest person around! YOU'RE SO DUMB!"
"You guys just drive me crazy," I said. I was almost yelling. "We do not have time for macho bullshit."
- "I'M the only one who gets to stop everything for macho bullshit! Nobody else!"
- I am yelling right now. Can't you tell? This is how I yell.
- Zane apparently hasn't noticed that logic isn't Anita's strong point, because he tries to use reason. AGAIN.
"You couldn't have taken Jamil without the knife and the gun. You won't always have them with you."
"Is that a threat?" I asked.
YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN?! This psycho sees every person pointing out that she's just a human and is really vulnerable to were/vampire attacks… as THREATENING her.
And then some dude comes wandering out to see them. You know, I've pointed this out before, but it bears repeating: LKH is one of the worst writers of dialogue EVER. She doesn't know how to end a conversation. Nobody ever stops and thinks about what was said; they just randomly switch topics, or get interrupted.
He'd frozen in the doorway, hands on the wooden edges of the doorjamb. "Easy there, little lady."
Then I shot him several times for implying that I was a GIRL. That'll show him!
Who is this guy? He's a local werewolf Ulfric, so Anita immediately points a gun at him even though he's going out of his way to be nonthreatening. Again, our heroine.
I put the Browning up because to keep it out would be rude. I was here as his guest in more than one way. Besides, I had to trust someone enough to put the gun up.
What, it's a revelation to her that she can't just charge around waving her gun 24/7? It apparently doesn't occur to her that she shouldn't point a gun at him because he hasn't done anything remotely threatening, it just occurs to her that she has to trust SOMEBODY. Not, you know, THE PEOPLE SHE'S WITH.
I couldn't keep it naked in my hand the entire trip. I still had the naked blade,
My, LKH loves the word "naked." She used it twice in two short sentences. AWKWARD.
And because Anita is Like So Badass And Stuff, we get a brief lecture on how she has to clean her blades or it will make the sheaths all messy. Yeah we couldn't figure THAT out without the expert telling us. I would have assumed that the blood evaporates into fairy sparkles!
I started to wipe the blood on the edge of the black jacket. Black's good for that.
OH FANGASM, she's so awesome and hardcore! Please tell me again what a badass Anita is!
Then she selfishly demands that Jamil take off his shirt and give it to her so she can wipe off her blade. Yes, the white woman commands a black man to hand over his clothes so she won't get her pretty jacket dirty. So Jamil does it, probably while fantasizing about turning her into bitch fillet.
"No wonder Richard's been having such a hard time finding a replacement for you."
"He's probably afraid that you'll shoot the new lupa in the face."
"You are a solid, cast-iron, ball-busting bitch."
I looked at his smiling face. I think it was a compliment.
No, it doesn't sound like it. See, when men call a woman a ball-busting bitch, it's generally meant in an angry, resentful way. He's probably smiling because he's thinking about what a messed-up sad sack you would have to be to put up with Anita.
I wasn't down here to win Miss Congeniality. I was down here to rescue Richard and to stay alive. Bitch was just about the right speed for that.
- Bitch is what is making "stay alive" so hard, you moron.
- If you HAD been Miss Congeniality, you might not have a bunch of vampires wanting to kill you for invading their turf. You might have been able to talk the local Master into LETTING you come in.
- But no, you decided you wanted to be "bitch," screamed abuse at the Master, and now he's within his rights to kill you and everyone else with you.
- And somehow I doubt "bitch" will get much cooperation from the local police, since they have no reason to let "bitch" have her way. So how will that rescue Richard? Oh wait, it won't.