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I pre-ordered the book off this site and it arrived today, so I settled in to see if the series would return to form or continue to slide. Six hours later, I think I'm about done with this series. LKH's writing is starting to remind me of Robert Newcomb's...
Like with the last few novels, we get that big, bold, easy-to-read, double-spaced type to help pad the page count and charge more for it. Combined with the lack of actual story progress, this would barely make a `how I spent my summer vacation' essay. Which is kinda how it reads.
The dialogue often feels stilted and wooden, like they're reading off cue cards. There's also way too much info-dumping; we're constantly treated to recaps of previous events- Andais' attempt to drown her, the appearance of the Nameless, Taranis' attack on her, etc. This is the eighth book of the series- if you don't know all this stuff by now, why are you reading this?
*SPOILER ALERTS* The so-called plot is tepid. A series of ritualistic murders amongst the fey in Los Angeles- and who could kill these hardy immortals?- brings the attention of the Grey Detective Agency, and Merry's crew in particular. The investigation leads them to a lone witness, whose story is interrupted by... Glinda, the Fairy Godmother of L.A. (rim shot!) Complete with glitter and magic wand. Seriously. Not kidding.
Glinda has a grudge against Merry for stealing the allegiance of L.A.'s magic folk from her, so much so that she impedes the investigation in a scene that plays out all too predictably. The good part of being back in L.A. is that we get to see characters that haven't been heard from in a while- like Uther the Jack-in-Irons and Jeremy Grey.
Everyone returns home for more info-dumps and we have new characters thrown at us ostensibly to show the new depths of cruelty that Andais and Cel had sunk to, but again- after seven books...
Recurring characters start popping up in sequential order, simply to remind us they're still around. This brings us to more of the now-standard `magic-as-an-excuse-for-sex' scenes where more fey come into their true power after experiencing Merry's Magically Blessed Vagina. Merry is so attuned to the divine that Rhys even gets his own Sithen after a turn with her! She's one big "Staples' Easy Button"!
The only interesting part of the book comes when Barinthus challenges Merry about not being the queen he thinks she needs to be. It sums up what's gone wrong with the series- this exchange went to the crux of the series so far, and some very intriguing side issues are raised, but ultimately becomes a distant sub-plot in this yawn-inducing yarn, and quickly pushed aside for more of Merry's Vagina Miracles!
The investigation continues- because it has to- with more murders happening. I had to laugh in one section because there were a couple of instances of blatant Product Placement thrust into the story; I know times are hard, but damn! The killers are discovered... that is to say, revealed... by a former associate of theirs who suddenly decides to give them up. (Detective work? We don't need no stinking detective work!) This leads to a climax that's a straight up Hollywood Cliched Standoff, after which Merry and the boys return home to cuddle.
I can't express how sorry I am to see such an initially intriguing storyline come to this. I seriously doubt she's even trying anymore- despite what she wrote in the dedication. The Meredith Gentry Series is no longer on my "to-do" list.
I am still a huge fan but I feel like you gave in to criticism in this book and lost yourself. It's almost as if you thought 'if this is what people think they're getting then why try for more.' There is something about this series that keeps me wanting more but I had some huge problems with this book.
1. There were times where comments were so similar that if I hadn't read certain bits again I would have thought Merry had repeated herself and the information was taken as new (as I believe one reviewer already commented on). When in actual fact it was almost the same comment with a little bit of new information tacked on.
2. Merry really didn't need another man in her bed and yet Royal (a character I've never liked) was thrown in there just to make another part of the plot work. Which incidentally was not needed.
3. What happened to Barinthus? I can't work out if he has had a drastic change of character and then suddenly changed back again or if his behaviour is leading somewhere else. I think I'm missing something.
4. I was expecting some nice detective work and then before Merry had a chance to figure it out along came her prime suspect and gave her all the answers. How disappointing.
I'm sure I will eventually purchase the next book but it won't be until the price has dropped. Sorry Laurell.
after reading the 3rd book, I gave up on buying anymore of this set as I was fed up with reading about sex, sex and yet more sex.
OK, there is some sex in this book but there is more of a storyline than there was in the 3rd book.
Someone or something is killing the Demi-Fey and Merry is asked by Lucy the local cop who respects her opinion, to come down to the crime scene and see if she can fathom out what has happened. What she finds there, isn't nice at all. In fact it's a massacre. The killer has also used a picture out of a fairy tale book to match the crime scene.
Then there are more murders of the Demi-Fey and Merry and her 'Bodyguards/Lovers' must find out who is perpetrating these evil murders so they can be brought to book.
The end is very surprising indeed and you will be amazed when you find out who was behind the murders.
How long Merry and her 'Court' can still stay in L.A., is down to the actress whose home they are currently living in. When she returns, where will Merry and her 'Court' go?
Not a bad read but there are better authors who write about the Sidhe.
Quite where this author has got the names for the King of the Seelie Court and the Queen of the Unseelie Court is a worry for me as everyone knows that it is always Oberon and Titania who rule over the Seelie Court and Mab who rules the Unseelie Court.
I agree with many of the other reviews of this book especially around the direction the series is taking. After getting mid-way through the Anita Blake books and them losing all sense of a story I found myself preferring this series. But LKH is taking the Merry books in the same direction as the anita blake books. There is now no difference between the series, the focus is solely on how many men/ paranormal beings the female lead caharacter can have sex with. Without the massive sections of the book which focusses on all the sexual encounters the story would take up less than 100 pages!!! I will no longer buy LKH books as soon as they are released - I will be waiting until they are a lot cheaper and I can trust that they have a proper story line.
Plot is sacrificed too willingly for smut. Smut is fun but a fulfilling read it does not make. Just like the Anita Blake series I recommend sticking to the first few books and departing once it becomes little more than an unnecessary lecture on the virtues of having umpteen lovers. It’s not as controversial as the author obviously believes it to be and maybe it’s a sign of the times and this readers jaded views but it’ll take more than a boat load of fraught emotional sex with a harem of increasingly needy lovers to keep the pages turning. Find the balance again Laurel please! It was so good before!
This book had everything anyone could want from a Merry Gentry novel; lots of sex (of course), some detective work, more characters that you just want to know more and more about, further back story on some of the original characters and a great overall plot.