We open with Vachon, laying some wisdom about vampires on us that made me, literally, laugh out loud, because yes.
The older they were, the more arrogant they became. Vachon was very well aware of the faults of his kind. It wasn’t just the hunger, or the fear of sunlight, or all the other restrictions that went with the lifestyle that made vampires so annoying to deal with. It was the sheer, bloody-minded, overbearing, unthinking arrogance that came with the territory that irritated him the most. The oldest ones were the worst, of course. They were the ones who’d been brought up to think of themselves as godlike even in their mortal days.
OMG, it’s like looking into a mirror for all my characters. Except – maybe – Josephine and Max. Too young for it yet, but it’ll come. You can’t walk around being the strongest thing in almost any room and not start to feel arrogant. I mean, seriously. Wouldn’t you feel arrogant if you were Chuck Norris?
This all comes around to the fact that Vachon’s annoyed with Nick, and Nick’s “to the manor born” attitude. Vachon’s worried about the headless bodies, the zombies, and what’s Nick tell him? Nothing. Vachon is a leader in his own way, of his own bunch of vampires, and what’s he supposed to tell them when they look to him to solve this problem? “Sorry, can’t; Nick’s handling it.”
I wouldn’t feel good about that. Would you?
So Vachon goes to the Raven and sits at the bar, drinking blood and thinking that the club might not even exist in a couple of weeks. How would he know? No one’s looping him in.
Lacroix comes up and gets his own glass of what we’re told is a blood substitute.
Hold the fuck up. What?! Blood substitutes? Like, TrueBlood?
When did this happen? This is a big fucking deal for vampires, guys, and for everyone else. I mean, if the substitute is good enough to keep a vampire fed – regardless of taste – then it’s good enough to keep humans alive, right? Like, that would be a huge leap forward for biology and medicine. It deserves more than two sentences in the middle of chapter 11, yo. World-building fail.
You have to introduce big-fucking-deal details like this ASAP. And you have to weave them into the story, so that your reader isn’t record-scratching more than halfway through the novel. Like, we could have heard about this at any time, about how it would be a solution to Radu and his zombies. If he never has to feed again, well…problem solved, right? And Nick! I mean, I know he insists on being human, like that’s such a great racket, but blood substitute! No killing necessary! Not even cows. I mean, he won’t be able to spend all that puffy-shirt time with his gravy boat anymore, but hey, he can catch up on his Netflix!
And if this isn’t what Sizemore means by “blood substitute” – like, if it’s just some cow’s blood sangria, or something, she needs to specify that, too. (I refuse to use “bovine brewskis”. REFUSE.) Otherwise, I’m not paying attention to the scene. I’m imagining how awesome it would be that everyone could get blood transfusions and shit.
Anyway. Vachon doesn’t want to talk to Lacroix, but he knows he has to bring up Tammy. Instead of doing so, however, he asks if Lacroix is missing the old days, because he seems restless. Lacroix says he doesn’t, but reflects to himself that he is, in fact, restless.
And then things get…icky. Well. Off-putting is a better what to say it, I guess. I don’t know.
Lacroix’s sent Tammy off to screw some dude from the club. Like, just some stranger he picked out for her, and she, of course, does whatever Lacroix tells her. Which, this isn’t exactly the icky part – plenty of people have these kinds of fantasies, and it’s perfectly fine to (SAFELY) act them out if everyone’s a consenting adult and everyone knows the rules and that they can call it off whenever they get uncomfortable.
And I’m not opposed to exploring the dark side of BDSM scenes like this in fiction. That’s what fiction’s for – exploring the dark sides of things. But look. Tammy doesn’t seem capable of the kind of consent necessary for this sort of play, and Lacroix is certainly not some trained Dom who’s looking out for her best interests and safety. It feels…exploitative, both that Lacroix is exploiting Tammy’s need for someone to tell her what to do, and in that it’s exploiting BDSM tropes to illustrate how fucked up this relationship is.
Which is bullshit, frankly. You can show me a fucked-up relationship without relying on close-minded shorthand. Should do so, in fact, because this feels offensive. Plenty of BDSMers are perfectly happy, cheerful couples who don’t need therapy. Seriously. We’re not all crazy fucked-up people trying to work out our problems with our daddies.
Anyway. Lacroix’s a little jealous of…the dude Tammy’s banging, I guess? He has mixed feelings about her submission; he finds it a little sad, despite thinking he deserves it. And Tammy reminds him of Divia.
He brushes all this off, of course, with this:
“It’s the twentieth century,”…”All this constant examining of motives and reasons has become second nature. … I should have made a quick meal of Freud when I had the chance.”
Vachon and Lacroix have an exchange about how the world changes, and so should they, but they don’t, really. They refer to the Tru Blood again, saying it’s like diet food, without seasoning. Which brings them around, finally, to Tammy. Vachon says that Urs is worried, that she sees a lot of herself in Tammy. He reminds Lacroix that Urs was terribly unhappy for over a century, and Lacroix says that isn’t such a long time to get used to being dead, is it? Vachon assumes that Lacroix hasn’t been listening to him, but Lacroix says he has, and that he always thinks seriously about making children, because he intends that they be with him forever.
Lacroix goes to talk to Janette about Radu. Of course, he’s not Nick – and he’s already been with Janette for seven hundred years at this point (putting her death in, what, 1000? 1100?) – so he doesn’t bungle it. At least, not immediately. But he does make it clear that this isn’t up to her – if Lacroix goes, she goes.
She reminds him that when he made her, he told her she’d never have to obey another man. He points out that she’s been very free to come and go as she pleases – and she fires back that it was only with Lacroix’s permission. He agrees: “Permission you do not have now.”
She accuses him of treating her like a child, and then suggests that it might be time for him to make another daughter.
Lacroix didn’t agree at the time, but now he’s considering bringing Tammy across. He gets up from the bar, ready to go to work as the Nightcrawler, when Nick walks in. Lacroix tries to fob him off, but Nick’s not having it, and drags him into the back to talk.
Next week: Bankruptcy! No, wait, I mean Chapter 12! Will Tammy get a backbone? Will Nick find Radu? Will Sizemore introduce any more random shit out of left field? Come back to find out!Show RitS Post List