Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Divine Misdemeanors by Laurell K Hamilton

You may know me best as Meredith Nic Essus, princess of faerie. Or perhaps as Merry Gentry, Los Angeles private eye. In the fey and mortal realms alike, my life is the stuff of royal intrigue and celebrity drama. Among my own, I have confronted horrendous enemies, endured my noble kin’s treachery and malevolence, and honored my duty to conceive a royal heir—all for the right to claim the throne. But I turned my back on court and crown, choosing exile in the human world—and in the arms of my beloved Frost and Darkness.

While I may have rejected the monarchy, I cannot abandon my people. Someone is killing the fey, which has left the LAPD baffled and my guardsmen and me deeply disturbed. My kind are not easily captured or killed. At least not by mortals. I must get to the bottom of these horrendous murders, even if that means going up against Gilda, the Fairy Godmother, my rival for fey loyalties in Los Angeles.

But even stranger things are happening. Mortals I once healed with magic are suddenly performing miracles, a shocking phenomenon wreaking havoc on human/faerie relations. Though I am innocent, dark suspicions of banned magical activities swirl around me.

I thought I’d left the blood and politics behind in my own turbulent realm. I had dreamed of an idyllic life in sunny L.A. with my beloved ones beside me. But it becomes time to wake up and realize that evil knows no borders, and that nobody lives forever—even if they’re magical.

So anyone who talked to me after LKH's last Merry Gentry book was released knows that I thought that should have been her last. I felt like it ended really well, the story had seen a complete arc and completion, and the characters had pretty much received the happy ending that LKH says these books will have. Well alas, it was not to be, more books are coming and this one is just the latest. I finished this book in just a few hours, which tells you my first opinion - it is a fun, and engaging, read. The action is cut throat and the plot is slightly winding, both elements combining in a story you don't want to put down. Now on the negatives - first, this book didn't really do much. No particular character's story was furthered in a really meaningful way and while one bad guy/faerie/whatever got their comeuppance, I just didn't quite feel fulfilled by the whole thing. Also - I love LKH's characters, but I feel like I've hit character overload. I'm starting to forget who all the supporting people are, their stories: everything that makes them unique. I'm hoping that later on in the series more of the people who are supporting characters at this point will take on more front man roles. We'll just have to see. And......and wow do I hesitate to say this....I almost feel like the sex was completely extraneous in this book. There wasn't a total abundance of it everywhere, but I did feel like a good half of the partnerships that happen were unnecessary and maybe took away from pages that could have been used for something else. But who knows, this series has been intricately entwined with sexual and emotional relationships from the beginning, and I never had a problem up until this point. Maybe I was just in a mood. Eh - who knows.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up, definitely. A fast paced, exciting, and just plain fun read. It doesn't detract from the rest of the series.

Series - 1) A Kiss of Shadows 2) A Caress of Twilight 3) Seduced by Moonlight 4) A Stroke of Midnight 5) Mistral's Kiss 6) A Lick of Frost 7) Swallowing Darkness 8) Divine Misdemeanors