ext_15611 ([identity profile] desert-vixen.livejournal.com) wrote in [community profile] lkh_lashouts2016-05-27 10:22 pm

Wounded Snark

 Since we won't have an Anita Blake book to entertain us this summer, I found myself a copy of the Dead Ice paperback with the Wounded short story in it.

 I'll be in normal, any quotes from the book will be in BOLD.  There's not really any spoilers in this, it's more like Dancing.

Wounded opens with a reminder about the gigantic rock JC gave her (“big enough to signal airplanes”) and a brief speech about how the world is mean.

Of course, Anita is carrying at the wedding reception for Connie and “the groom”.  She “hadn’t thought about dancing at the reception and whether the gun would stay concealed”. Cue speech about what she’s carrying (Sig Sauer .380 in a Galco Tuck-and-Go) and how she had to have her dressy suit retrofitted with belt loops, and how she used to carry at the small of her back, but then training drills showed her it was a bad idea.

Nathaniel, of course, is all dressed up – gray tailored suit that shows his “broad shoulders, slender waist, and nice ass and slid over the swell of his thighs like a polite glove: tight enough to show off, but not so tight it was obvious.” And of course, he’s wearing a lavender shirt and he could probably tan but he doesn’t bother, and did we mention his eyes are like violets “to the shirt’s paler lilac”?  The meanies at the DMV make him put blue, though.  He also has a “silver tie with a tie bar that looked silver but was actually platinum because it wouldn’t make his skin react, since like most shapeshifters he was allergic to silver.” His almost-ankle length hair is back in its braid, but of course Anita has to remind us that he’s an exotic dancer and often wears it down for work.

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I think about watching a guy strip, him having Crystal Gayle-style hair isn’t exactly my first choice.

Reminder about how many dancers there are in Anita’s life.

Then we have Manny and Rosita Rodriguez, parents of the bride, which means we also get subjected to another rundown of how people look and wondering about their genetics.  Manny is 5’6’’, while Rosita is described as a 5’8’’ or 5’9’’ Amazon who is built similarly to her brothers, who are “not just tall but wide, like big burly refrigerators who smiled often”.  Apparently once upon a time, Rosita was a little slip of a girl, but Manny married her before she’d stopped growing.

(I just snark this stuff, I don’t write it.)

So apparently she got taller (how old was she when they got married?) and broader from three pregnancies and several miscarriages, and Anita seems a little puzzled that Manny looks at her like “she were still the delicate girl he had fallen in love with”.  Also, LKH describes Manny as dancing with his head on his wife’s bosom, which I don’t think works with only a 2 inch height difference, unless Rosita’s rocking some serious heels.  (Despite describing what numerous other people are wearing, we don’t find this out.)

Their daughters are lean and wiry, like their dad, but tall “like models” like their mom.

Then we come to their 13 year old brother, Tomas, who was shot in the last book and is still on the injured list.  He’s got good hair, which we all know Anita likes – “sort of bad-boy I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-like-this style” that takes a lot of hair stuff to pull off.  Shock!  The men got their hair done for the wedding.  (Not sure why this was a shock.  Also, did we mention the kid is 13?)

Enter Micah, who is “elegant and dapper in his tailored black pinstripe suit” (Italian cut, if you care, because he’s so slim).  Also how he looks like a swimmer with the “upside-down triangle thing” but he’s a runner and he’s already tan even though it’s just May but he’s always dark anyway.  Forest green shirt, if you’re wondering.  Hair also in a braid, and we’re spared from a description of his eyes, because he’s busy wearing his sunglasses inside (not, however, at night).  Talk about how Micah is a good listener and his role in the Coalition for Better Understanding Between Human and Lycanthrope Communities and it’s continually spelled out in the book.

It takes four pages to have one of LKH’s “gender roles” moments – Tomas doesn’t want to talk about what happened because he’s a BOY.

Nate asks Anita to dance with him, and we get a line about she’s not good at it, but they all love to dance, so she does.  They “dance-danced” instead of doing the “high school prom thing of pressing their bodies as close as possible and dancing in little circles” – they “have daylight” between them.  Of course Anita has to think about how he leads her on the dance floor just like he does in the bedroom, and apparently Nate gets to be the boss on the dance floor.

Enter the line dance.  (Which, given LKH’s predilection for the 80s and early 90s, I’m betting on the Electric Slide.)  In case you didn’t know, line dances don’t require a partner.  Nate doesn’t seem to know it.

Then Anita has a run-in with the mother of the groom (you won’t believe this, but of course the female character who gets all bitchy with Anita is…TALL and BLONDE!) over the fact that Anita’s concealed carry wasn’t so concealed during the dance.  She also possibly has a bad fake spray tan.

Passive-aggressive moment where Anita calls the MOG “Ms. Conroy”, and she snaps back about being a Mrs. – she “has no desire to be a Ms. anything”.

Let the pissing contest (can you have an Anita story without one?) begin!

Anita can’t give the firearm to the “coat-check girl like it’s a purse.” Cue the whole BS about how she has to be armed all the time because she’s a U.S. Marshal.  (LKH seems to think “ready to respond” means that the gun is in hand at all times.  There really is no reason she couldn’t have the gun in the car.  It’s not like she’s going to beamed straight out of the reception to a bad situation.)

The MOG is like a bad caricature of a liberal who’s anti-gun – she “doesn’t feel safe with it in the room”.

She doesn’t know why Anita is being so difficult.  (Because she’s Anita Blake, that’s why.)

I have to give Anita the point that it is safe on her hip, but then she has to go assume the coat-check girl has never handled one in her life, which seems silly to me.

The MOG keeps ratcheting up the threats, but finally backs off when Anita tells her to talk to Rosita.  I find it laughable that the MOG brings up the fact that Tomas was shot – because Anita was right there when it happened.

The bridal party color is royal blue, in case you were interested.  At least in this one the men have black tuxes and royal blue cummerbunds, instead of the blue tux atrocity Asher wears.

Nate’s digging the DJ’s skills and unbuttoning his shirt.  Why not just take off the jacket?  I think that’s what most guys would do.

Cue reminder that Nate is all vanilla-scented.  Also cue flashback to one day when Anita was little and had a snow day with her mom, and they made cookies, and the smell takes her back.  It’s a sweet little scene, actually, except for the part where she thinks about “icing everywhere to lick, and spread over those hot cookies” considering what cookies has also been used for in the Anitaverse.  And then of course, the reminder that the never had another snow day because her mom died.  Anita says she thinks about it every time she touches him, and how weird it is.  (Hear me not disagreeing.)

Then it’s time for the mandatory public group snuggle, in which Anita and Micah can both fit under Nate’s arms because he’s got half-a-foot on them, and Anita and Micah nuzzle faces while Nate looks down.

Did I mention that Micah smells like cinnamon and spice, so that he and Nate are pretty much sugar and spice?

There’s also a deal about her mother mixing Mexican hot chocolate with American hot chocolate, and a weird metaphor for Anita being mixed.

Then we have a happy-cry moment, and Anita telling us how having guys who wore makeup on stage had made her better at girly stuff.  (Except, apparently, lipstick smearing.)

Nate wants the three of them to be like Rosita and Manny in 20 years.  Micah and Anita seem less sure it's going to happen.  (Why not? No one important ever dies anyway?)

The three of them need to talk to Tomas about his issues.

Also, she doesn’t mention it but Micah must take his sunglasses off somewhere, because there’s several references to his eyes.

Manny’s other daughter is working in sports medicine, and we get to hear about her love life woes.

Connie is apparently wearing a big fancy gown with a “hoop skirt”.  She keeps using this word, and I’m pretty sure Connie is not wearing an actual hoop skirt, but a big dress with crinoline underneath it.   It’s not a Gone with The Wind re-enactment.  Anita bets that all the bridesmaids have to help Connie hold it up if she goes to the bathroom.  (Quite likely.)

Mercedes has brown eyes like “milk chocolate Easter candy” and Anita has nearly black eyes, even though she’s mixed.

There’s a decent conversation about how Tomas might benefit from a male counselor (because he’s trying to be a guy) rather than the current one.  Apparently no one has considered the idea of trying a new counselor just because the old one isn’t much help.  A whole bunch of discussion about his injury and how he’s healing, and whether or not he’ll run again like he used to – and honestly, all I can think is, WHY?  We will never see this character again (I hope, given her track record with young guys).

Cue discussion about how Anita almost lost mobility in her arm, but did weights like it was her new religion, and now she’s stronger than ever.

Cue Anita thinking about Nate’s hard childhood.

Mercedes says that neither Anita or Micah look 30, which sets off a whole inner monologue about how lycanthropy can affect aging.

Cue Anita’s panwere-medical miracle – no one like me monologue.

Also some reminiscing about the really old vampires, and the debates about whether or not they exist, and how she knows they do.

Then they have a very important talk with Tomas, in which we have to hear about his hair again.  Tomas knows he’s “pretty” and is more self-aware than a lot of boys.  Anita tries to get down on Tomas’ level, which she actually doesn’t do a bad job of.

Cue someone “giving eyes” of various descriptions, twice in about 4 paragraphs.  I hate that phrase SO MUCH.

Anita shows off all her battle scars as a prelude to lecturing the kid about doing his physical therapy.

Tomas says that Anita “has more muscles than any girl I know”.  And he thinks she’d look great in a bikini.  Then he checks out Anita’s chest, so she gives him the “eyes up here” line.

Anita tells the scandalized sister that “if he’s old enough to look, he’s old enough to get called out on it, and he’s old enough to start doing it without being pervy about it.”

Nate chimes in that “you can look without being creepy, it just takes practice.”

Then Tomas has a fit of sullen teenager attitude.  It’s kind of refreshing, since at least he is a teenager.  Unlike Anita…

He does call her on her constant one-upping: “Jesus, Anita, you have a worse story for everything.”

Then there’s a whole long block about how he needs to do his physical therapy, and not become a victim, and how it’s all in his control – with additions of sad stories from Nate and Micah.

Cue line about how Anita’s not the princess in this story, Nate is (for this moment, at least).

Another kiss (in privacy, at least) where Anita has to fix her lipstick.

Then the vamps show up (JC and unspecified others) for a social coup.

Cue standard JC description – long black curls, tall, black boots that made him taller, pale skin... you know the drill.  Anita talks about how no one complains about him wearing all black to the wedding, but I don’t think anyone cares if men wear all black.  “Rosita simpered and flustered as if she were the most delicate teenager.”

Then a bit about how their in-public kissing has to be choreographed because they’re the biggest celebs ever and people will start rumors.  Also line about how JC can pretty much afford whatever he wants. (So essentially, JC is this universe’s Roarke.  Think about it.)

JC almost-not-quite fondles Anita’s bottom.  We also hear how apparently headlines have been that Anita is “infamous for playing the field” and how the princess is her and she has to pick one prince, because people just don’t understand.  Marrying JC isn’t going to make her monogamous, anymore than someone who is bi marrying a partner makes them not attracted to the other sex (because we all know that in Anita-land you can’t just be attracted, you must ACT.)

The poly-preach section ends with “The rest of the world was  looking for love to be simple, like a fairy tale.  Why did most people want love to fit inside a child’s story?  Why wouldn’t they let true love grow up and be real?”

Possibly because for many people, monogamy is “grown up and real”?  Also, a lot of the fairy tales are not simple or childlike.

There’s a ref to someone posting a pic of JC and Nate kissing on FB before they leave the reception, after Nate and JC share a clinch.  Then Nate kisses Anita, and she can taste JC and her own lipstick “smooth and slightly sweet”.  She wears it and can’t taste it, unless they kiss her.  Then Nate and Micah have a big clinch, that Anita describes as one of the most passionate she’s seen them share in public.

Nate’s all happy because it’s a wedding, and they’re going to have a wedding, and he never thought he’d have that.

They’re all four “thrivers”, not survivors.

There’s an acknowledgement that the metaphysical ties can be heaven or hell, and with Nate it’s heaven, and that she and JC have the experience of being tied to someone hellish (wait, did you think we’d get out of this with no Richard and/or Asher bashing?)

JC says Nate needs a ring, and Anita thinks that Nate has “wedding fever like a girl.”

It ends with a less-careful kiss between Anita and JC, “lipstick be damned”.  Never mind that they’re making out at someone else’s wedding, which is just rude.


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