Gillian Key: The Hateread – Key to Conflict, Chapter 31

First things first! I’m 90% of the way through the book (HALLELUJAH) and I’m looking for my next hateread. I’ll probably review the next Gillian book at some point, but I might need a break before I beat my head against that wall some more. Want to see me get angry on the internet for something new? Leave me a comment with your suggestions.

Now back to the cesspit of Gillian.


I’ll start the way the chapter starts:

Rule number one in the United States Marine Corps was that you left no one behind.”

And then I’d like to point out this exchange, two flips of my Kindle pages back:

Tanis’s skeletal hand on her arm stopped her. “They have another, Gillian. I heard his screams.” [….]


“Well, that’s great. Look, we are not stopping to rescue everyone that could possibly be held captive in this palatial shit-hole.”

rdj shrug

I’ma just leave that there. I think it speaks for itself.

They decide to go off and rescue Luis, with the critically injured Tanis along, for whatever reason. Tanis doesn’t want to leave Grace, the ghost. Apparently she was his…lover? Or something? I don’t know. Grace says she can’t leave, but Trocar comes up with the idea of Grace possessing the dead Fey’s body. OH MY GOD WHO CARES.

i don't give a shit

Blah blah, Grace has a body now, they finally start moving. They find Luis unguarded, and the rest of their weapons are also in the same room. Jesus CHRIST can we have ONE obstacle or inconvenience here other than stumbling over pointless exchanges and awkward diction?

Tanis is so weak he doesn’t react to Luis’s blood, except he does, and he fights Pavel and Trocar. So Gillian and Kimber, objectively the weakest people in the room, drag him out. I don’t fucking know.

Trocar and Pavel offer to cart the vampires into the forest to hide them. Trocar feeds Tanis some blood, which is apparently a surprise because Grael always have “ulterior motives.” It would be more meaningful if I knew more than the BAREST information about the Tolkien/Forgotten Realms-esque elves, for fuck’s sake.

The vampires have to be buried and there’s some dumb exchange about who gets buried and how the others will come back to them blah blah. Tanis wants to know why Gillian came after him because “I cannot imagine Aleksei allowing such a thing, piccola.” Because every action a woman makes in this goddamn book is either by permission of a man or in defiance of his displeasure, like it’s the fucking nineteenth century. Tanis informs them that Aleksei is on his way to rescue her, and they wonder why Dracula et. al decided to let them escape.

good question

Trocar goes off to find Tanis “prey,” not a “victim,” as Tanis helpfully informs us, because victim is apparently an offensive word dear god is this over yet. “He melted into the trees. No small trick for a six-foot, two-inch Elf wearing a red leather slutsuit.” Oh yeah, I forgot Trocar is all goth-bondaged out and Pavel is wearing his porn extra loincloth and Gillian and Kimber are still Lisa Frank characters covered in gore. This image has potential as grotesque and kind of darkly funny, which means of course it’s not mentioned.

Kimber points out that Dracula probably let them escape because “they knew we’d take a spy with us,” which of course means Grace. Smart Kimber for pointing that out. Why oh why isn’t SHE the protagonist? She thinks it must be either Grace or Luis, the latter of which isn’t likely. Gillian doesn’t think it’s Grace because that’s “too obvious.”

The discussion never gets finished because Trocar comes back with two joggers who are apparently “Elfstruck,” whatever that means. We’re given a paragraph of the feeding ritual and habits of vampires that belonged at least 15 chapters ago.

So Tanis is apparently going to be fine, much to my grievous disappointment.

disappointed gordon ramsay

Gillian turns right around and it’s all of a sudden assumed that Kimber is, in fact, correct, despite Gillian dismissing that idea two seconds before.

Grace is in love with Tanis. Apparently she’s into hideous Misogyny Monsters, too. She promised Dracula she would help Tanis stay alive “so he wouldn’t despair and Face the Sun” before Aleksei showed up to rescue him. I guess that’s…kind of clever? Anyway, she’s doing it because the person who killed her is Dracula’s servant and Dracula said he’d kill the servant in exchange for her help, which seems needlessly complicated.

Gillian is pissed and she holds Grace over a pile of dog shit to torment her. Grace is basically Tinkerbell at this point, remember, and is apparently so horrified by the idea of being covered in dog shit that she starts wailing. Gillian tells her to change back to human size and she can’t figure out how to. Trocar binds Grace blah blah and now they’re going back to the hotel to figure out what to do next. Pavel “lead the group of Daywalkers back to their temporary digs.” Wait, what? Isn’t a Daywalker a type of vampire? CONSISTENCY WTF


This is a necessary chapter, I suppose, but because it’s this book, it’s fucking boring. I don’t care about the squeaking, fluttering throwaway character Grace, I don’t care that Luis needed rescuing too because I don’t know him as a character at all, Tanis is a smug asshole even now, Trocar is just as bad, Pavel says nothing, and Gillian is…Gillian. The only intelligent thinker in this group is Kimber, and her idea is dismissed out of hand for some dumbfuck reason and then when she’s proved right, Gillian acts like it was her idea all along.

But at least there’s no transphobic bullshit?

That’s the level of discourse here. At least there’s no transphobia.

Chapter 30 here. Chapter 32 here.


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