Guilty Pleasures – Chapter 29 – I’m Accomplishing Nothing. But Look How Good At It I Am!

Posted: August 15, 2015 in Guilty Pleasures
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So.  Anita has helped a dead guy raise a zombie for a bunch of vampires to torture.  She left her junkie date back at the

sexy ladies!

sexy ladies!

freak party alone, knowing he can’t say no if he gets pressed.  And now she’s sliding around in panty hose.  I can’t tell you the last time I wore a pair of panty hose…

Anyway.  Even Anita knows that we seem to be on a fun string of pearls adventure, because just as we’re going to ask what next, she just goes ahead and does it for us.

And gets an answer.

“Greetings, animator.  You seem to be having a full night.”

Of course, it’s Nikolaos.  Because, why not.

But, Willie McCoy is with her!  I kind of love him.

Let me stop here for a minute and make a little listie…

  1. Her voice rose in a lilting song-song.  The dangerous little girl had returned.
  2. The child voice was slipping, like a mask sliding down.
  3. She was smiling, a cute, harmless, model, beautiful child.
  4. The perfect child bride wasn’t perfect anymore.
  5. She really needed a dimple to go with it all.
  6. She laughed then, a sound to bring a smile to your face and a song to your heart.
  7. I might never enjoy Shirley Temple movies again.
  8. The voice was cold, very adult.  Children didn’t know how to strip skin with their voice.
  9. She was tiny, a delicate fairy of a child.
  10. She reached a small pale hand toward me.
  11. She had to rise on tiptoe to breathe on my neck.  It should have ruined the menace.  It didn’t.
  12. A pale little hand shot out, the barest touch.  His whole body jerked backwards.
dimples!

dimples!

So there’s that.  We fucking get it.  Nikolaos is a tiny fucking girl.  A terrifyingly tiny little monster.  We’re supposed to understand by repetition that she’s a perversion, a child vampire is bad fucking news.

The thing about child vampires, and I’m thinking of our Valentina (is that her name?) and Bartolomew I think?  And think of Claudia from Anne Rice and whatever other kid vampire you can.  The fact is, they grow up.  And this is a thousand year old vampire master.  So she knows how to survive.  Shes had to be ruthless to rise to where she is, smart.  Anita of all people should understand this.

I think that it’s pretty interesting that the first villain that AB faces is smaller than she is.  She’s also blonde haired and blue eyed.  Tiny, delicate features and attributes.  Completely petulant.  You don’t get to be where this broad is in life by being a petulant child.  It’s one thing to act the part to make people underestimate you, and a completely other thing to actually be a petulant child.  It seems like for the past thousand years there has been absolutely no character arc for Nikolaos.  Was she always as powerful as she was?  Or did she slide under the radar for long enough to become as powerful as she is, then became a master?  Because that would imply that she has a lot more smarts than we’re giving her credit for.  I don’t buy it at all.

I fucking hate Tom Cruise.  But I agree with him..

I fucking hate Tom Cruise. But I agree with him..

The child vampire can be fucking terrifying.  Think of the neighbor kid that Aiden befriends in Being Human.  That kid is scary.  He is a child, with all the lack of impulse control that comes with being that age.  Aiden kills him because he knows that he’s not going to learn it.  There’s two options.  They stay kids, or they mature in children’s bodies.  A well put together story about one of them could be a good read.  You can’t just plop this girl in here as a terrifying master and expect us to believe with her behaviors that she’s lasted for this long without pissing someone bigger off and having them off her in a heartbeat.

Rant over.

So Anita has some remorse about raising her zombie and letting the vampires kill it.  We never actually find out why they wanted to raise and torture it, at least not in this chapter.  What is the back story of Estelle Hewitt?  Here’s what the Anita Blake wiki has to say about her.  Absolutely nothing more than what we’re given.  She was born, was something less than 65 when she died and was buried in her wedding dress.  The wiki has it wrong, she can’t be more than 65.  But whatever, 2015words.  She’s not an important character at all, so it doesn’t matter.  But what the fuck is her story?  Why was she buried in her wedding dress and why do these vampires want to rip her apart!?

I think Estelle is nothing more than a plot device.  She’s there to use the ritual to prove that Zachary isn’t alive.  After that, she’s only used in the conversation with Nikolaos for leverage.  Anita now wants to put down the zombie that she errant raised, the cost is going to be Nikolaos tasting her blood.  It’s weak.  The only reason she has importance for two chapters is to prove Zach’s death, give leverage and also to show that Anita does take responsibility for her zombies and has respect for the dead.  A trait I would think vampires would dig on.

“They won’t hurt it much.  My little vampires will be disappointed.  The dead cannot feed off the dead.”

“Ghouls can.  They feed off the dead.”

“But what is a ghoul, animator?  Is it truly dead?”

“Yes.”

Is this connected to the plot?  I’m so fucking lost.

Anita has to admit that she helped Zachary raise the zombie, and there’s a lot of conversational exposition.  Willie is pretty chivalrous.  We learn that he was punished for not being able to hire Anita the first time he talked to her.  Nothing like terror

This sucks!

This sucks!

in a cross lined coffin for something you had no control over.  All it took was the threat of a little rat man rape to make her change her mind.  Damn Willie, get it together.

Anita has an interesting moment where she realizes she can look at Nikolaos and start to see all her flaws that she’s not supposed to see.  Instead of keeping this to herself, she blurts it out about the little scar next to her mouth.  Stupid ass.  You have literally one advantage over this lady.  ONE.  And you blow it.  And in doing so, you possibly could have blown the cover for JC who is still very much under this lady’s power.  What the fuck are you doing?  Think about shit for a moment before you just go off and say things.

Some learning happening while we’re chatting away.

“No tasting.”  I said.

“Then let me enter your mind again.  That’s a type of feeding.”

I shook my head, too rapid, too many times.  I’d die before I let her in my mind again.  If I had the choice.

It’s either the neck or the mind.  Let’s just mark it right here, Anita does not want vampires in her mind.  Never mind the fact that she’s going to use this shit like a telepathic baby monitor later, or that she’s going to forcefully dive into other people’s minds and eat their emotions, but right here, that’s the shit she don’t like.

“Call it a shadow feeding, human.  Blood and fear are always precious, no matter how one obtains them.”

It’s interesting that she calls Anita ‘human’ here and refers to her in other places as ‘animator’.  And there’s going to be nothing in it for her to taste Anita’s blood right then.  Here’s an interesting question.  Is she going to be able to taste weird stuff by just having a lick?  Does blood have properties to vampires that we don’t perceive?  If someone powerful were to taste Anita, would they be able to tell that she’s an animator?  Marked?  A necromancer?  It’s interesting.  But not explored, so it doesn’t matter.

We learn that vampire masters can use telepathy to talk to their vampires.  It’s in this way, Nikolaos is able to tell Theresa to shoo the vampires away and leave the zombie alone.

2z5jiivSo it’s coming down to the taste and dayum, they are dragging it out.  The suspense it literally killing me.

We’re saved from it by Phillip, who comes plowing down through the trees.  Apparently being gone for probably over an hour has tipped him off that there might be something wrong with his date.  Why not go head to head with a master vampire over her virtue?  I mean, she didn’t just insult you own or anything.

There’s a completely campy moment where Willie is going to clothesline Phillip, but Phillip just walks around the outstretched arm.  Really?  You think she may have picked a better body guard, or maybe two of them or something.  Hahah.  I love Willie though, I really do.

Phillip is all, don’t hurt my lady!  And Nikolaos is just like, dude, we already have a thing.  I’m just going to lick her all creepy like.  It’s a thing!  And Phillip is like, aww, man, you said you wouldn’t hurt her and stuff.  And Nikolaos is like, dude, we have this shit under control.  She’s all like, I keep my word, most of the time.  Stop hatin.

So we get that Nikolaos keeps her word, with the caveat that it’s only most of the time.  This leaves her far from being reliable, but she might be able to be trusted to at least not kill Anita tonight.  What she would break her word for is never really defined, so it doesn’t matter.

His face crumbled with confusion.  He didn’t seem to know what to do.  His courage seemed to have spilled out on the grass.  But he didn’t back off.  Big point for him.  I would have backed off, maybe.  Probably.  Oh, hell, Phillip was being brave, and I didn’t want to see him die because of it.

Actually, it seems like he’s been pretty brave all around for the most part, you’ve just been seeing it after something shitty happens to him that you put him into in the first place.  So whatever, Nikolaos kicks his feet out from under him and bitchslaps him light enough to draw blood from his face.  Again, everyone please remember that this little thing is fucking dangerous.

This could escalate farther, but we’re saved by the company of the Church of Eternal Life.  They’re coming to break up the pervert party!  Nikolaos excuses herself, can’t risk getting caught by them, and she runs off into the trees, leaving Willie all batman-hitchhikingby himself, bumming a ride home from Anita.  Poor dude can’t catch a break.

So Anita, Phillip and Willie make a run for the car.  Anita pulls out her gun, knowing that the bullets won’t kill the vampires, but they might slow them down.  Screw Crystal, Madge and Harvey, they’re on their own.  Someone is going to call the cops, and there’s no way she’s going to be able to explain being there.  Uh, yeah, you were conducting part of an investigation.  And if that fails, there’s a zombie in the back, she could be putting down.  There’s reasons other than the sexy party for her to be there.  Stupid.

Anita caps a rushing vampire in the belly and they make it to the car, only the human rushed them.  Really?  The human?  She fired her weapon and feels cornered.  She’s shooting mid mass and you’re THE ONLY ONE that can be seriously hurt by her bullets!  Why the bloody fuck would you rush the car, mysterious ballsy human!?

At any rate, they get the fuck outta dodge.

“Safe, but for how long?”  He sounded as tired as I felt.

I patted his arm.  “Everything will be all right, Phillip.”

No.  I knew this guy was going to die as soon as I read this line.  Anita has effectively signed his death warrant.

I can’t even.  

This is a winding bumbling chapter where nothing really got accomplished.  The zombie NEVER got put to rest.  For all we know, she’s still wandering around, attracting ghouls and whatever.  Nikolaos never got to taste Anita.  Phillip never found his balls.  Willie is left scrambling for gas money.  It’s a fucking mess.  There’s too much in the air for her right now, she’s going to have to start teasing out some of the plot soon.  Very soon.

Back to Chapter Links.

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