So now we’re going to hang with Aleksei.
Of course, Aleksei promptly reminds us that Gillian is oh so itty bitty and blonde and “too delicate looking to be a soldier” Jesus Christ. If I went around informing every small woman I know how delicate she was all the time, I would get throat punched to death. I expect no less from this asshole.
Aleksei apparently has amazing “legendary” powers now that Dracula’s shields have been destroyed, so he’s basically a walking talking deus ex machina sex behemoth. Honestly, how do you move forward with a story like that? Characters who are immensely powerful right off the bat leave no room for growth or challenge or development…which I guess means this entire series will be a long trail of Gillian doing idiotic shit and the author constructing reasons why she succeeds or fails according to the phrase of the moon and the direction of the midnight wind.
We’re given some information about vampire masters, which is not only boring, it’s completely misplaced, not that that should be any surprise by now. 92% of the way through the book, your world building should be more or less complete and whole so you can actually use the shit you set up, not pull more shit out of your slippery asshole as it occurs to you.
Here’s a good paragraph:
Then there were a few…a very, very few, that [were] blessed with almost godlike power. Those gifts took time to manifest over the centuries. The rottweiler would suddenly evolve into a Tyrannosaurus Rex, becoming a true Vampire Lord.
As far as actual action goes, Aleksei gets on the plane and thinks about Gillian and then falls asleep. Sounds like every plane ride I’ve ever taken: shuffle on, be annoyed by some screeching mouth-breather, then eventually drift off.
Cut to Gillian et. al, who are…fuck, they’re going to talk about the pile of bodies they found. You know. The “tranny hookers.” Give me a minute to breathe deeply before I continue reading. I really wish I had a print copy to set on fire right now.
“He’s targeting what in his mind is worse than a woman selling her body. A lot of those bodies were trannies. He must have a real beef against men masquerading as women.”
An open letter to Talia Gryphon’s editor
WHY THE FUCK DID YOU LET THIS BLATANTLY TRANSPHOBIC BULLSHIT GET PAST YOU?
Please. Tell. Me. This. Is not. Going. To. Become. An actual. Plot point. My blood pressure is just fine the way it is, thank you.
On the other hand, I’m not sure it’s any better if it were a throwaway point. Ugh.
Their conversation about Jack limps to a close, Kimber and Pavel go off to fuck or something, leaving Trocar laying on Gillian’s bed. He keeps watching her like a creeper. There’s some stupid back and forth about whether she’s going to fuck him, but of course she doesn’t because she’s only allowed to fuck Aleksei now.
She checks her email, which apparently she’s been neglecting again like a responsible special forces operative. Her friend-mentor-whatever fills her (and ostensibly the reader) in on what’s happening.
This would actually be somewhat interesting if I weren’t counting the minutes until this goddamn book is over. It would have been really interesting way earlier in the book. This kind of world building is the only thing that has genuine potential: the conflict between human and paranormal law enforcement agencies and how that makes it difficult to solve crimes.
Gerhardt, the mentor-friend-whatever, tells Gillian to be careful blah blah and reminds her she’s a soldier and “not a police officer.” He’s absolutely right, though I’m honestly not sure why that matters here. It seems like this particular situation actually does warrant a soldier. What could a cop do differently or better?
They talk about Jack’s sexual sadism and whatnot because they’re both psychologists. I assume this is Gryphon’s effort toward showing off that professional knowledge of mental health she apparently has (*sob*), though it really reads more like a scene from Criminal Minds, slapped with some long “as you know Bob” monologues.
JESUS CHRIST it is 94% of the way through the book and THIS is what is going on?
Now they’re talking about the paper she’s going to write when this is all over. Holy fuck, I’m going to write a paper after this is over about the repulsive sexual politics in PNR as illustrated in Gillian Fucking Key.
Gillian goes back into the room and Trocar is still hitting on her. He tells her in depth why she’s so attractive, namely because “Human females generally manage to become simpering, clinging fools around an Elf’s beauty. That you do not, makes you particularly attractive.” See, y’all, Gillian is SO STRONG-WILLED AND AMAZING, that’s why everybody shatters their kneecaps to lick her asshole. She puts him off and he reminds her that he’s lawful evil (close paraphrase, ain’t even making that up). Oh my god. I’ve never read a book that was this boring this close to the end.
She falls asleep and he wakes her up hugging her oh my god
NOT THIS AGAIN OMG
Oh. Apparently he’s just going to hold her?
She wakes up and Aleksei is standing in her hotel room. Apparently this cuddling Trocar thing is a weak-ass attempt to fabricate more personal tension, because obvs Aleksei is jealous about the mostly-naked elf in her bed. SIGH.
Gillian rightly tells him it’s none of his damn business what she was doing and he’s making “fuckwitted assumptions.” In this case, she’s absolutely right. While Gillian is in the bathroom, Kimber makes fun of Aleksei: “You’ve been cut off at the knees just like the rest of them.” I have no idea what the fuck this is supposed to mean.
Aleksei is a jealous dick. Gillian for once is completely in the right because she doesn’t want to get distracted with his bullshit. That doesn’t mean this isn’t some fuckery, though. The “man is an unreasonable green-eyed dick-swinging monster” trope is just as fucking tiresome as the bitchy jealous female trope. Aleksei apparently gives no fucks about his own brother because Gillian was sleeping in the same bed as someone else and he doesn’t want to believe her when she says nothing happened. In what fucking universe is this attractive in a potential mate? To ANYBODY?
They all go downstairs and there are detectives waiting for Gillian. Gerhardt sent them to help and to give them leads on Jack’s murder victims or something. Gillian says she doesn’t have anything for them, but the detectives try to insist that they can detain her. There’s some back and forth about whether Gillian will give up information or not, blah blah. I’m starting to see where Gillian got her certified incompetence from, if this is Gerhardt’s version of help.
96% OF THE WAY THROUGH THE BOOK YOU GUYS
The detectives decide to detain Kimber and Pavel while Gillian, Aleksei, and Trocar go off to fetch Tanis. Oh, good! Maybe everyone else will die and the only two intelligent characters will be left!
Oh my god, are we fucking serious right now?
Chapter 31 here. Chapter 32 coming soon.