So, after finishing Throne of Jade, I finally got time for my other listed items… And very quickly realised the betrayal therein.
As many fans of Sookie Stackhouse could tell you, the series basically died at book eight or nine. I myself experienced how awful ten was, and should have decided to drop the series there. Boring hit the series hard long ago. When Dead Reckoning started with Sookie cleaning out the attic, I did a sort of sob-giggle-resignated-sigh and just gave up.
The Reckoning, the end of the Darkest Powers trilogy, was really the one that deserves to be called Betrayal. But it’s also one that I should have seen coming after I read the previous book.
Honestly, though, this book made me so mad that I think I actually cried. Beauty and the Beast is not about a girl who stays with an abusive guy because love will make him better. I wish people would stop saying it is. It is about a woman who looks past ugliness to find inner beauty. The Disney adaptation is the only one anyone knows, and everyone seems to misconstrue childish tantrums as an adult shouting abuse.
In The Darkest Powers trilogy, the intention is Beauty and the Beast, and the result is He Hit Me It Felt Like a Kiss.
The heroine has been physically harmed by the guy. Seriously harmed. Soon after he hurt her, she found out he had broken someone’s spine. She glosses over his violence because he shows her remorse. EVEN THOUGH HE HAS NOT CHANGED. He is controlling to the point of blaming her for getting into danger. Other characters remark upon his bad behaviour consistently. At one point, an adult tries to warn her that this guy might rape her, again with violence. She rolls her eyes and thinks about how she is sick of people only seeing the guy as a werewolf.
That last isn’t what made me rage out.
It’s a long story. The main character, Chloe, is an untrained necromancer. When she finally gets a lesson from a grownup necromancer, that teacher is insecure because her own powers are weaker and she insists that Chloe is lying about her experiences with her powers. Even with corroboration.
The teacher forces Chloe to summon spirits in a graveyard, which causes disaster. Chloe said no repeatedly and was forced. She is a child abused by an authority figure who accused her of being a liar and then a monster.
What does her love interest do? He lectures her for going to the graveyard. When she explains that she had no choice and a friend backs her up, he snaps at her. There is no such thing as trying to say no. You either say no or you don’t.
Say that to a rape victim, Kelley Armstrong. I fucking dare you.
But that isn’t where I lost it. No. I lost it when, after the friend called him on his outrageous shit, Chloe stopped her and said, “He’s right. It was my responsibility to say no, even if it meant standing up to an authority figure.”
The message sent by Chloe’s doormat behaviour is revolting. This boy is dangerous and constantly either demeaning her or ignoring her feelings.
This series and its characters can die in a fire.
- Rise of the evening Star – Brandon Mull
- The Mouse and His Child – Russell Hoban