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Penguin
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PostSubject: Blue Moon snark   Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:54 am

I was told that the Anita Blake series was okay up until Obsidian Butterfly, which was where it all turned to crap. Having read up to Blue Moon, I beg to differ. It started to wobble earlier than that, then fell head over heels in shit in Blue Moon. I have no doubt it gets worse from there, but Blue Moon is pretty bad in its own right.

In Blue Moon, when last we left our heroine, she had been part of a love triangle with Richard Zeeman (alpha werewolf) and Jean-Claude (vampire master of St. Louis). After Richard made the faux pas of turning into a werewolf on top of Anita, showering her with transparent weregoop, she ran to Jean-Claude's place to wash the goop off and fuck the shit out of Jean-Claude. What follows are two or three novels of Anita having an awkward relationship with Jean-Claude and Richard giving Anita dirty looks.

You see, Anita can't completely break all ties to Richard because their little love triangle turns out to be a Triumvirate of Power. Basically, it might as well be called a BK Triple Stacker of Sue, because that's all it boils down to: Richard, the sexually repressed alpha werewolf commands the werewolves (even though he's a total little bitch), Jean-Claude the depraved, twagic past master vampire vampire master of St. Louis, and Anita Blake, Necromancer Sue, whose purpose in life seems to be to make people with plush penguins and Browning Hi-Powers look bad.

...Ahem. Anyway.

Blue Moon starts off with Anita having sexytime dreams with Jean-Claude (members of a Triumvirate can enter each others' dreams). She is rudely interrupted by the plot, which comes in the form of a phone call.

Quote :
"Anita, is that you?" It was Daniel Zeeman, Richard's baby brother. Daniel was twenty-four and cute as a bug's ear. Baby didn't really cover it.

Richard's family, like everything else about him, is pretty and perfect and wonderful. Which is why when Daniel drops the bomb that his brother's in jail, this is her reaction:

Quote :
"Richard's in jail," he repeated.
I didn't make him say it again, even though I wanted to. "What for?" I asked.
"Attempted rape," he said.
"What?" I said.
Daniel repeated it. It didn't make any more sense the second time I heard it. "Richard is the ultimate Boy Scout," I said. "I'd believe murder before I'd believe rape."

Anita Blake has seen Richard turn into a werewolf. She's seen him kill someone and eat their corpse. She has seen plenty of other were-beasts take on sexual domination of all kinds to play in their animalistic power games. She has been almost-raped and almost-murdered by a wereleopard alpha-equivalent. On camera. For a snuff film. But Richard, no, he's too perfect. He'll rip someone's heart out through their chest to take over the pack and eat their body, sure, but stick his penis in someone? Never!

Anyway, poor perfect Richard's been thrown in jail close to a full moon. A blue moon, which is only special in that it's a second blue moon in a month, and the book's title. But the big deal here is that Richard is in the closet: Once the local parents find out that a werewolf is teaching their kids science, he'll lose his job. Not even his parents know. Anyway, Richard won't get a lawyer because he's not just perfect, he's Perfect Stupid. And speaking of his parents...

Quote :
"I've got to go." He hung up as if afraid of being caught. His mom had probably come into the room. The Zeemans had four sons and a daughter. The sons were six feet or above. The daughter was five nine. They were all over twenty-one. And they were all scared of their mother. Not literally scared, but Charlotte Zeeman wore the pants in the family. One family dinner and I knew that.

Oh wonderful, another absurdly dominant female character. I'm sure there's no way Anita will wind up dominating her by the end of the story. No way. Uh-uh.

Chapter Two gets us some filler crap. Anita uses her lawyer connections to try and find a lawyer for Richard, and then gets a surprise visit from Jean-Claude. She answers the way she always does to show that she is tough and cautious and hard-boiled: Browning in hand. For once in his unlife, Jean-Claude doesn't react like a little bitch to this. Must be used to it by now. He throws some more exposition at her and wants to have sex because she's going to save Richard's ass, and then whines about how she won't let him drink her blood.

Turns out part of the problem is that Richard's in trouble in Tennessee, and the vampire master of wherever he is fears their Triumvirate a great deal. So he's gonna deny them safe passage to come and help Richard. Now, this is one detail that has always bothered me about these books. In the Anita Blake series, vampires are legal in the United States, recognized as citizens. Their power plays are not really any more concealed than that of any human with power. The ability to lay claim to a whole city and bar citizens safe passage in that area is something that I cannot imagine any human government letting an unappointed official just do. It's a pretty nonsensical plot device just thrown in an excuse for there to be more conflict. Sorry, Borodin. You don't get to see Montana.

Anyway, they get on the phone with this vampire master douche, who is named Colin. (Everyone typically goes by first name in the Anita Blake series for some reason). Anita Blake gets tough girl angry pretty fast and tries to be Jack Bauer.

Quote :
My shoulders started to tighten. It doesn't usually take much to piss me off, and he was working at it. "How are we supposed to help Richard, if you won't let us send anyone down there?" My voice was calm, but I could feel my throat tightening, my voice going just a little lower with the effort not to yell.

"What happens to your third is not my concern. Protecting my lands and my people, that is my concern."

"If anything happens to Richard because of this delay, I can make it your concern," I said, voice still quiet.

That's not good enough! We're running out of time!

Quote :
"See, already the threats begin."

The tightness in my shoulders spilled up my neck and came out my mouth. "Listen, you little pip-squeak, I am coming down there. I am not letting your paranoia hurt Richard.

You've read my file. You know what I'm capable of.

Quote :
"We will kill you then," he said.

"Look, Colin, stay out of my way, and I'll stay out of yours. You fuck with me, and I will destroy you, do you understand me? It's only a war if you start it, but if you start something, I swear to God I will finish it."

Tell me where the bomb is or I will kill your son. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The grandstanding comes to a close when Colin hangs up on her like a little bitch, and Jean-Claude makes her pay for this diplomatic disaster by letting her go, but only with a team of bodyguards. It will become clear very shortly that her bodyguards are just more useless baggage to take on the flight. Especially Anita's own wereleopards. Anita isn't a were-anything, but she's both lupa for the werewolves (the alpha bitch, basically) and Namir-ra for the wereleopards because she killed the last pair that lead them. The leopards are a bunch of quavering pussies, utterly dependent on Anita and all either highly psychologically damaged or mentally subnormal, or both. The wolves aren't much better, most of them having some grudge against her for what she did to Richard. At this point, all of the leopards and most of the wolves are "under her protection," often from each other, but also against vampires, humans, and owies that might cause one to tear up.

The whole point of this is obviously so that when the violence happens, Anita "the Executioner" Blake can take center stage and show everyone how tough she is. It's so contrived, the end of Chapter 2 practically admits it:

Quote :
Jean-Claude put the receiver up to his ear. "It is getting so that a person cannot insult a monster in St. Louis without answering to you, ma petite."

This is also apparently Hamilton's idea of Jean-Claude being angry at Anita.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:37 am

Moarcat wants etc, despite never having seen 24.

Incidentally, I am the only person on whom the "ma petite" thing really fucking grates? He's named Jean-Claude. You don't need to remind us that he's French.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:43 am

gaijinguy wrote:
Moarcat wants etc, despite never having seen 24.

Agreed.

Quote :
Incidentally, I am the only person on whom the "ma petite" thing really fucking grates? He's named Jean-Claude. You don't need to remind us that he's French.

No, you're not the only one, and I'm wondering if it's a real French term of endearment or just something that Hamilton pulled out of her ass.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:51 am

Malganis wrote:
Quote :
Incidentally, I am the only person on whom the "ma petite" thing really fucking grates? He's named Jean-Claude. You don't need to remind us that he's French.

No, you're not the only one, and I'm wondering if it's a real French term of endearment or just something that Hamilton pulled out of her ass.

I know "ma petite chou" ("my little cabbage") is a real term of endearment, but "my little [unspecified]" doesn't make much sense in almost any context.

EDIT: Now that I think of it, given that it lacks an object, I'm not sure why it's feminine. Maybe it's supposed to be "my little Anita," with the object as implicit? Any chance of some input from someone whose French isn't quite as rusty as mine?

What I really hate is how it's used with the same frequency as periods. It's like a much swishier version of Raijin's "ya know?" only this is supposed to be from some uber vampire lord, not some cloddish second-tier minion.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:34 pm

I think "ma petite" is one of the most common gripes about the Anita Blake series, even in the better novels early in the series. And at least in those ones, Anita Blake was still a vampire hunter, and would rather bluntly tell Jean-Claude to stop calling her that.

There's some stuff I missed that I want to cover in those first two chapters, then I'll move on later tonight. Remember how I mentioned that Jean-Claude wanted to fuck Anita and whined about not getting any blood?

Quote :
"Why face-to-face?" I asked, my voice a little breathy.
A smile curled his lips. "You know why."
"I want to hear you say it," I said.
His beautiful face fell into blank, careful lines, only his eyes held the heat like a banked fire. "I could not let you leave without touching you one last time. I want to do the wicked dance before you leave."

In case it weren't directly obvious, Anita's narration lets us know that "'the wicked dance' was his pet euphemism for sex." I find it rather amusing, since "wicked dance" doesn't conjure up mental images of sex so much as the Wicked Witch of the West at a strip club.

Come to think of it, Jean-Claude owns a strip club. Male strippers only though.

Anyway, the point of this extremely long and drawn-out exchange is that Jean-Claude is jealous of Richard, fears losing Anita to Richard, and believes this will happen because she won't let him drink her blood.

Quote :
He rolled onto his back, staring at the ceiling, carefully not looking at me. "I can enter every orifice of your body with every part of me, but you refuse me the last bit of yourself."

Necrophiliac nose-fucking foot-in-nipple fetish porn must be a reality in the Anita Blake universe.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:45 pm

gaijinguy wrote:
EDIT: Now that I think of it, given that it lacks an object, I'm not sure why it's feminine. Maybe it's supposed to be "my little Anita," with the object as implicit? Any chance of some input from someone whose French isn't quite as rusty as mine?

Yeah, that's the impression I get but "ma chère" or "my dear/darling" would probably be more appropriate
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:18 am

I think the idea is that Anita is rather short (something like 5'3") and so he just calls her that. Or something.

Anyway, Chaptah Trois.

This is where we are reintroduced to one of Anita's two inconsequential phobias: Flying. Fear of flying seems to be common amongst thinly-veiled author avatars; off the top of my head I know that Tom Clancy shares his fear of flying with Jack Ryan. (IIRC he even passed up on a ride in an F-15E, which went to an associate so he could write about it). When it comes to protagonists that are often called upon to deal with scary things on the ground, flying's a good fear to throw at them because they'll never have to deal with a hijacking, for example. You get to feel like you've humanized your character without ever having to make them flinch in battle.

Flying to Tennessee on Jean-Claude's private jet is mostly a filler scene to pass time and introduce Anita's entourage bodyguards. The long-running template of male characters of the Anita Blake series begins to come into play: Men are all either long-haired and jovial, long-haired and brooding, or short-haired and assholes, usually bureaucrats. Exception: People Anita has exerted dominance over, and police officers, although the latter is hit-or-miss.

Please bear in mind that these people are on a trip to rural Tennessee.

WERE-THINGY ROLL CALL

Quote :
Jason sat down on the seat next to me, and I let out a little yip. He laughed. "I can't believe you're this scared of flying." He pushed his chair with his feet, making it spin around, slowly, like a kid in Daddy's office chair. His thin blond hair was cut just above his shoulders, no bangs. His eyes were the same pale blue as the sky we were flying through. He was exactly my height, five three, which made him short, especially for a man. He never seemed to mind.

Oh, of course he doesn't mind. Being short is almost an advantage in the Anita Blake universe. Despite being 5'3" and only a handful of pounds over 100, she routinely throws men twice her weight and a foot taller over he shoulder. And that's with bad knees!

There's more description than that, but it's mostly about his life as a goofball werewolf who's just turned 21, and feeds Jean-Claude. At least he looks reasonably normal. He teases Anita too much, which brings us to...

Quote :
I yelled, "Zane!"
Zane appeared next to me. He was about six feet tall, stretched long and thin as if there wasn't enough skin to cover his bones. His hair had been dyed a shocking yellow, like buttercups, shaved on the sides and gelled into small, stiff spikes on top. He wore black vinyl pants, like a slick second skin, and a matching vest, no shirt. Shiny black boots completed the outfit.

Zane the gay biker wereleopard chases Jason off by planting a big wet one on his lips. Jason doesn't have very far to go, what this being a little executive transport jet, so we get a mention of Anita's other inconsequential problem: Claustrophobia. People have accused of Laurell K. Hamilton of homophobia, and I kinda see it, but it seems like if anything, she's the female version of that guy who always wants to see lesbians doing it but anything else is OMG GAY GTFO. If nothing else, that's how the character seems to behave. If you run into a lesbian in this series, chances are she's another woman for Anita to gain dominance over.

Speaking of Anita dominating people, Anita basically took over for Zane as the leader of the wereleopards. This was because his idea of leadership was to be a raging asshole, but on the inside, he's just a little bitch. He wept for joy in the previous novel when Anita kicked his ass to set him straight, relieving him of the burden of trying to take over for the two sociopathic assholes she'd killed in the novel before that. One of them was the previous alpha bitch of Richard's pack. For some reason, in this novel this will come back to haunt her, and is probably the basis for the ardeur bullshit that is to come in later novels.

Anyway, everyone's settled down, so it's time to introduce a doormat important space filler character.

Quote :
Cherry joined us. She was tall and slender, with straight, naturally blond hair cut very, very short and close to a strong, triangular face. The eye shadow was gray, the eyeliner so black it looked like crayon. The lipstick was black. The makeup wasn't the colors I would've chosen for her, but it did match her clothes. Black fishnet stockings, vinyl miniskirt, black go-go boots, and a black lace bra underneath a fishnet shirt. She'd added the bra for my benefit. Left to her own devices, when she wasn't working as a nurse, she went pretty much topless.

Oh Anita, you vampire humping hunting prude. She goes on to speculate that Cherry getting laid off at the hospital had more to do with her being a werewolf than budget cuts. As a result she's a bitter nonconformist looking like every other late 1990s teenage bitter nonconformist. That's not snark, it actually says that in the narration. Anita goes on to praise Cherry's deep, sexy voice before realizing that with a crew dressed like this, they're going to show up on the cop's radar like the freaks they are.

And then we're introduced to a a walking trainwreck.

Quote :
Nathaniel gazed up at me with eyes the pale purple of Easter egg grass. Even if he cut the hair, the eyes would've given him trouble. He was short for a man, and also the youngest of us, nineteen. Someday, that body was going to match his shoulders, which were broad and very masculine. He was a stripper at Guilty Pleasures, a wereleopard, and once he'd been a male prostitute. I'd put a stop to that. If you're going to be a leopard queen, you might as well rule.

Anita basically infodumps the goings-on of previous novels at this point, letting us know that the dude who almost murder/raped her was in the habit of pimping out the wereleopards because they could take a lot of damage and cater to clientele with "exotic" tastes. That has little bearing on the story beyond why Nathaniel behaves the way he does.

You see, Nathaniel is extremely submissive, mentally and emotionally damaged from his time as a young prostitute, and has strange ideas about what sex means with regard to even platonic relationships. Of all the "bodyguards," he's the absolute worst, the biggest liability. In fairness to Hamilton as a writer, this actually comes back to bite Anita on the ass, but it's a long time in coming.

Thus laden, the aircraft lands on Portaby Airfield with its cargo of one Sue and all her baggage, to kick off chapter four.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:26 am

Penguin wrote:
She has been almost-raped and almost-murdered by a wereleopard alpha-equivalent. On camera. For a snuff film.
WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF BOOKS ARE THESE
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:56 am

Cyberwulf wrote:
Penguin wrote:
She has been almost-raped and almost-murdered by a wereleopard alpha-equivalent. On camera. For a snuff film.
WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF BOOKS ARE THESE

Well, they start off as Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter and progress to Anita Blake: Furry Porn Enthusiast and Her Amazing Man-Harem
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:13 pm

Cyberwulf wrote:
Penguin wrote:
She has been almost-raped and almost-murdered by a wereleopard alpha-equivalent. On camera. For a snuff film.
WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF BOOKS ARE THESE

I wish I could adequately explain that. They started off as something like urban fantasy noir, and ended as lycanthropic sex porn novels. Blue Moon falls in the "awkward transition stage" in between.

That's not to imply that the following books are any good, mind you.

Anyway, Chapter Four starts off with Anita and company running into some local hick who's expecting someone else with lots of money to land all fancy-like at the airport. This is cleared up by -surprise!- another exotic-looking werewolf.

Quote :
It was Jamil, one of Richard's enforcers. The enforcers were Sköll and Hati after the wolves that chase the sun and moon in Norse mythology. 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 woud bring about the end of everything. Jamil was Sköll for Richard's pack, which meant he was his head enforcer.

Very poetic. Very irrelevant, very rarely if ever brought up again.

Quote :
He was tall and slender in the way a dancer is slender, all muscles and shoulders planed down to a smooth, graceful machine of flesh. He was wearing a white sleeveless men's undershirt and a loose, tailored white pants with a very sharp cuff rolled at the ends of the pant legs. Black suspenders graced his upper body and matched the highly polished black shoes. A white linen jacket was thrown over one shoulder. 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.

It often seems like Hamilton wants to create a new character, she picks up a fashion magazine, picks a photo at random, and makes that model her newest monster. Jamil basically gives Anita a few more details on what's going on: The area is racist, Richard has discovered that he has a penis and has started using it with wild abandon to try and find a replacement for Anita, and one of his "dates" happens to be the girl who's accusing him of rape.

Boring shit happens. They drive off. Anita and Jamil start testing each other, Anita badgers Cherry to fasten her seat belt, Anita explains in narration that Cherry and Nathaniel are just there to be rations for the vampires on their side. Yep, they're baggage all right.

Jamil figures the best thing to do, as a competent bodyguard, is to have Anita not be such a grandstanding I WILL LEAD THE CHARGE nutjob, and tries to convince her of this by, among other things, squeezing her arm hard enough to bruise.

Quote :
"What you fuzzballs keep forgetting is that strength isn't enough. Leverage, that's the ticket."
He frowned at me, obviously puzzled.

I would be too, if someone sounding like your mom trying to do a corny Jack Sparrow imitation said that to me.

Anyway, Anita wriggles out of it, slashes his arm with a knife, and then winds up training a gun on him after some tough talk. Then we get to a line that has shown up in every Anita Blake book since she started waxing sociopathic:

Quote :
"You really would do it," he said. "You'd kill me."
"You bet."

I'd take a shot right now if I could. Anyway, in the Anita Blake series, "You'd really do it, you'd kill me" is like saying "Okay, Uncle! I give up, Anita the Executioner!"

Thus ends the standoff. Anita has asserted her dominance over the pack once more. She yells at the werewolves, Jamil specifically, for wasting their time with macho bullshit. Then the owner of the cabins they're staying in shows up. He just happens to be a werewolf too! In fact, he's the alpha of the local pack! How fortuitous.

Anita further asserts her dominance by telling Verne, the owner, not to call her "little lady" and uses Jamil's shirt to clean her knife. Verne approves.

Quote :
"No wonder Richard's been having such a hard time finding a replacement for you. You are one solid, cast-iron, ball-busting bitch."
I looked at his smiling face. I think it was a compliment.

Anita loves getting macho compliments like that. If she were to ever be accused of being nice, she'd either go into an introspective meltdown, or say something stupid and macho to brush it off.

And on that happy note, Chapter 4 ends.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:17 pm

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Oh wait, this thread isn't about beer? Goddamn it.

I thought it would be about Sha Na Na.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:46 pm

Yeah, I agree Penguin, most of the AB books are bad in their own rights... but they're at least tolerable up to Obsidian Butterfly (which has very little to no sex in it, a shocker at this point in the series). I think Burnt Offerings was the one where I took a step back and went, "WTF am I reading?!"

Also, I LOL'd at this:

Quote :
Necrophiliac nose-fucking foot-in-nipple fetish porn must be a reality in the Anita Blake universe.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:20 pm

Queries: How old is Jean-Claude, roughly? How tall is he? Last time I checked, 5'3" wasn't notably short for a woman.

This is some bad prose, though. I can't make myself wade through it. I may go track down a French person for their opinion on the ma petite thing, because as far as I can tell, it's not wrong, just obnoxiously annoying.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:51 pm

Vespers wrote:
Queries: How old is Jean-Claude, roughly? How tall is he? Last time I checked, 5'3" wasn't notably short for a woman.

This is some bad prose, though. I can't make myself wade through it. I may go track down a French person for their opinion on the ma petite thing, because as far as I can tell, it's not wrong, just obnoxiously annoying.

Around 400 years, and I honestly don't remember. Probably 5'9"-ish?

5'3" isn't remarkably short, but it's not very impressive, either.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:43 pm

Yeah, that's about right. Also, more silliness from Chapter Four:

Quote :
I'd turned my body in silhouette, my left hand with the knife behind my back, the back of my hand resting lightly on the top of my butt.

This is probably the most useless place for your knife hand to be with a target in threat in front of you. Even if you're holding a gun in your other hand, the number one rule with edged weapons is: Keep the sharp/pointy end towards the bad guy.

Quote :
I'd fallen into the stance I used at the shooting range when I was shooting targets.

Well, that explains it. Target shooting vs. defensive shooting is very different. Not that it matters to an author who learns about defensive shooting by watching people at the range.

Quote :
The gun was pointed at his head now, because he'd lowered his body mass until it was the biggest target. I'd saved Jamil's life once. He was a good man to have at Richard's back, even if he didn't always like me. I didn't always like him, so we were even. 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.

Because he's a bodyguard in a rather tribal society whose life is forfeit if his charge is hurt, he thinks Anita, the person he's supposed to protect right now, is just a girl. Otherwise he would let her charge into the front like a big huge Viking manly man, right?

In the first few novels, Anita's insecurity at being a woman in a heavily masculine, power-oriented environment was just that, and something to be overcome. Now it's more like it doesn't exist, it's just big tough Anita out there to kick chauvinistic ass, regardless of the consequences. Basically, to soothe her own ego, she's doing the supernatural equivalent of Hillary Clinton threatening to kill Secret Service agents unless they stay out of her way.

To put this in perspective with regard to the novels' universe, it used to be that Anita didn't like men doing stereotypical man-does-thing-for-woman things for her, like pulling out chairs or opening doors. It is rapidly approaching the point where she's not just uncomfortable with these things, she takes them as grounds to threaten them with deadly force.

It's no longer about being independent, it's about her terrible insecurities being played up as strengths.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:33 pm

Chapter Five.

Anita and company get settled into their new digs, and she tries to ring the lawyer. Surprise, surprise: Richard told him to fuck off, and he's less than happy about being a high-caliber, expensive lawyer in the middle of bumfuck Tennessee for no reason. Anita agrees to pay his fee, a nonspecific amount that is described as "a lot" and "a little outside of outrageous." After this delightful exchange, we're treated to one of Anita's obligatory costume descriptions that include how she conceals her gun, along with some needless backstory on her icy relationship with her stepmother. The narrative here doesn't quite go into it, but Anita's stepmother is traditional and blonde and Not Anita's Mom, so she can't appreciate a free-spirited tomboy like Anita, and buys her actual women's clothing. The narrative here of makes a big deal about Anita actually wearing something that she bought for her. Anita's stepmom and stepsister are just two background characters in a veritable army of tall blonde women Anita doesn't get along with.

Quote :
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Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, Queen to the Wereleopards, Lupa to the Werewolves, Necrophiliac Cock-Holster, Jack Bauer wannabe, terrible fucking human being.

She goes on in the narrative about cops and how they think, and how they're not cops and thus not "in the club," which is an excuse to spooge a few paragraphs at the reader about legislation in Congress proposing that vampire hunters be given federal mashall status. This is something that has been mentioned in several novels so far, and it still hasn't happened yet. It's a completely irrelevant point that almost invariably comes up every time Anita is frustrated by not being a legitimate policewoman. Every time I read it, I keep thinking of Hamilton brainstorming it: "No, no! She's not a blatant Sue yet! That would be too much! It'll have to come later!"

But it's already far too late.

Chapter five is short and stilted, and ends much as it is:

Quote :
"You're nervous about seeing Richard," he said.
"Don't be so damned smart."
He grinned. "Sorry."
"Like hell," I said. "Let's go."
We went.

"They goed and goed, until they finally went. (EEW!)"
-Homstarrunner.com (slightly paraphrased)


Last edited by Penguin on Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:13 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Edited for good or for awesome)
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Rabid Badger
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:28 pm

Quote :
To put this in perspective with regard to the novels' universe, it used to be that Anita didn't like men doing stereotypical man-does-thing-for-woman things for her, like pulling out chairs or opening doors. It is rapidly approaching the point where she's not just uncomfortable with these things, she takes them as grounds to threaten them with deadly force.

Remind me to stay away from her; my mother raised me to hold the door open for anyone who came in behind me irregardless of their gender. I just thought I was being taught to be polite-apparently, I've been oppressing female vampire hunters all these years.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:01 pm

Rabid Badger wrote:
Quote :
To put this in perspective with regard to the novels' universe, it used to be that Anita didn't like men doing stereotypical man-does-thing-for-woman things for her, like pulling out chairs or opening doors. It is rapidly approaching the point where she's not just uncomfortable with these things, she takes them as grounds to threaten them with deadly force.

Remind me to stay away from her; my mother raised me to hold the door open for anyone who came in behind me irregardless of their gender. I just thought I was being taught to be polite-apparently, I've been oppressing female vampire hunters all these years.

Rabiiiiiiiiid.

/pet peeve.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:06 pm

Blooferlady wrote:
Rabid Badger wrote:
Quote :
To put this in perspective with regard to the novels' universe, it used to be that Anita didn't like men doing stereotypical man-does-thing-for-woman things for her, like pulling out chairs or opening doors. It is rapidly approaching the point where she's not just uncomfortable with these things, she takes them as grounds to threaten them with deadly force.

Remind me to stay away from her; my mother raised me to hold the door open for anyone who came in behind me no matter what their gender. I just thought I was being taught to be polite-apparently, I've been oppressing female vampire hunters all these years.

Rabiiiiiiiiid.

/pet peeve.

Better now?
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:10 pm

Yes. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:02 pm

I think from now on, I'm just going to record myself reading the most ridiculous and/or lame lines I come across all gruff PI style.

Rabid Badger wrote:
Quote :
To put this in perspective with regard to
the novels' universe, it used to be that Anita didn't like men doing
stereotypical man-does-thing-for-woman things for her, like pulling out
chairs or opening doors. It is rapidly approaching the point where she's
not just uncomfortable with these things, she takes them as grounds to
threaten them with deadly force.

Remind me to stay away from her; my mother raised me to hold the door open for anyone who came in behind me irregardless of their gender. I just thought I was being taught to be polite-apparently, I've been oppressing female vampire hunters all these years.

Yeah, I usually get the door for everyone too. It's also pretty much a requirement in a job that involves a lot of people moving big heavy objects like toolboxes: If your hands are free, someone's gonna need some help getting in or out.

Anyway, Ch. 6.

Anita drives their van to Myerton, the town where Richard is in jail, which is the cause for some wry comments about the validity of the assurance that "you can't miss it." The drive also takes forever because she's a cautious driver and gets made fun of for it by Jason the Werewolf, who is supposed to be some sort of jovial free spirit, but is really just a huge, immature dick.

Speaking of big immature dicks...

Quote :
There was a low, one-story building made of white-painted cinder blocks. There was a small, gravel parking lot out front but no cars. The van took up most of the parking lot. I parked as close to the side as I could, hearing the soft swish of tree branches along the top of the van. There was probably a police car out there someplace that would be parking next to me. I think they had room.
There was a small wooden sign, elegantly carved, hanging beside the door. It read, Police Station. That was it, the only hint. Couldn't miss it - Jamil had a sense of humor. Either that or he was still pissed that I'd cut him. Childish.

We're introduced to another lycanthropic underwear model. This one's from San Francisco, goes by Shang-Da, and he's the other top enforcer in the pack. He gets a passing spooky description, and then we bust into the cop shop.

We meet a rather large police officer who is probably one of the only worthwhile characters in this book, because the banter between him and Anita is actually somewhat enjoyable as they flip each other shit for various macho things. It's the first, and possibly only, banter with her in the book that does not reflect a desire to sex her up.

Quote :
My executioner's license is in a nice fake-leather carrying case. It had my picture on it and looked damned official, but it was all I had to flash, so I flashed it. I went in, holding the license out in front, because I was bringing a gun into a police station. Cops tended to not like that.
"I'm Anita Blake, vampire executioner."
The cop moved just his eyes; his hands were hidden behind the desk. "We didn't call for an executioner."
"I'm not here on official business," I said. I stood in front of the desk. I started to put the license away, but he held his hand out for it, and I gave it to him.
He studied the license while he asked, "Why are you here?"
"I'm a friend of Richard Zeeman."
His grey eyes flicked up then. It wasn't a friendly look. He tossed the license back on top of the desk.
I picked it up. "Is there a problem, Officer..." I read his nameplate. "Maiden?"
He shook his head. No problem except that your friend is a damned rapist. I never understood why the meanest son of a bitch in the world always seems to have a girlfriend."
"I'm not his girlfriend," I said. "I'm exactly what I said I was: His friend."

I'll give Hamilton credit where credit is due: She is pretty successfully setting up this business as a case of "the lady doth protest too much" and a protagonist in denial about her feelings.

Anyway, she finally has the reunion with Richard the Perfect, making him out to be this tall dark and handsome guy weathering jail, when he really just comes across as a yuppie doucher right where he belongs.

She gets him to talk to his lawyer, and we get to this lovely bit of dialog.

Quote :
He stepped away from the bars. "Why do I need a lawyer when I'm innocent?"
Belisarius answered, "you've been charged with rape. The judge has refused you bail. Son, if we can't break her story, you're looking at two to five years, if we're lucky. The pictures are in the file. She was beat up pretty bad. She's a pretty little blond thing.

OHNOES NOT A BLOND WOMAN! THE ARYANS HAVE FOUND A WAY PAST OUR MAGINOT LINE!
VIVA LE RESISTANCE!

Quote :
She'll come into court dressed like everyone's favorite second grade teacher. The one you had a crush on that smelled like Ivory soap." He stood up and started walking toward us as he talked. "We'll cut your hair-"
"Cut his hair?" I exclaimed.

Anita is horrified at the thought of any good-guy male in this novel not looking like a porn star. Remember, in this universe, the longer your hair, the stronger and more trustworthy you are.

Quote :
Belisarius frowned at me. "Cut your hair, dress you up nice. It helps that you're handsome and white, but you're still a big, strong-looking man." He shook his head. "It's not you we have to prove innocent, Mr. Zeeman. It's Ms. Schaffer we have to prove guilty."
Richard frowned. "What do you mean?"
"We have to make her look like the whore of Babylon. But first, I'll file a motion that no bail is excessive for a first offense. Hell, you don't even have a traffic ticket. I'll get you out."

"Fortunately for us, Richard the Perfect, you don't look like a black meth addict determined to pop out of random bushes to stick his penis in any white woman who happens to stroll by. You are also too perfect to have the most minor of misdemeanors on your record, so we can use that in court as well."

The chapter pretty much ends with Richard saying bitter, whiny bitch things about Anita and Jean-Claude until she bolts from the cell.

Quote :
"Yeah, I'm jealous. Happy?"
He nodded. "Yes."
"I'm out of here." I wrote the phone number of the cabin on Belisarius's notebook and pressed the buzzer to be let out.
"I'm glad you came, Anita," Richard said.
I kept my back turned to the door, hoping Maiden would hurry. "I wish I could say the same, Richard."
The door opened. I escaped.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the man our protagonist has dropped everything for: Love life, job, and free time. The one who's so bitter that after at least two novels' worth of time, he's going to be a petty little shit about how she dumped him and wants to see any possible discomfort twisted into her like a knife.

That's not to say Anita is a terribly sympathetic character at that point. It's just that the whole plot of this novel is "sociopath drops everything to save the biggest douche of the universe, and then far more important stuff happens but that's all completely ancillary to the story."
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rae
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:39 pm

Luuuuuurve the reading there. The gruff detective voice definitely works for Ms. Blake.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:33 am

rae wrote:
Luuuuuurve the reading there. The gruff detective voice definitely works for Ms. Blake.
I loved that, especially at the "I'm not his girlfriend" part. :D
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:28 am

theweirdkind wrote:
rae wrote:
Luuuuuurve the reading there. The gruff detective voice definitely works for Ms. Blake.
I loved that, especially at the "I'm not his girlfriend" part. :D

I had Bill listen to it last night. The "I'm not his girlfriend" made him about spew water out of his nose laughing.
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PostSubject: Re: Blue Moon snark   Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:36 am

MOAR DRAMATIC READING PLX

(Also, the voice you use for the narration would do for Rorschach, in a pinch.)
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