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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.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #94720 in Books
- Published on: 2009-12-08
- Released on: 2009-12-08
- Format: Deckle Edge
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: 1.16" h x 6.55" w x 9.53" l, 1.27 pounds
- Binding: Hardcover
- 352 pages
- ISBN13: 9780345495969
- Condition: New
- Notes: BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
Laurell K. Hamilton on Divine Misdemeanors
Meredith Gentry was created as a character so that my muse and I could have a break from writing the Anita Blake series. I’d written five Anita books in a row and was starting to have job anxiety dreams about her life instead of mine. I needed something different for my muse and me to play with. Merry was created to give me a different voice, a different world to visit. I guess she’s like a second child that you have so the first one won’t be an only. Then, like a parent that just didn’t understand that a second child doesn’t double your workload, but quadruples it, I was suddenly trying to do two different series at two different publishers. It went well since they’re both New York Times bestsellers. The audience for both crosses nicely and continues to grow with every book in a time when very few authors can say that. So it’s all good, but just like trying to juggle two kids instead of one, juggling two book series instead of just one presents its challenges.
At the beginning keeping Anita’s voice out of the Merry books was the biggest challenge. I was used to her, and her voice and attitude were closer to my own, so Anita wrote faster, clearer in my head. Merry was that second baby that is nothing like your first baby, so most of what you learned about taking care of character A doesn’t help a damn bit with character B. Who knew? But there comes a point when you make peace with the second child being so different from the first and so different from yourself. You find the unique joys in that second person, as I’ve found the joys in the Merry series that are different from Anita.
Anita fights me on paper and always has. She’s very much my rebel. Merry never fought on paper until the last book, Swallowing Darkness, and then she found things worth fighting for. She finally stood up and told me what she wanted and she was willing to do whatever it took to get there. I understood that. I let Merry’s desires, loves, and choices change where I had planned to end the first cycle of the series. Anita has thrown out entire last thirds of books by her choices, and even scrapped entire novel ideas because she’d simply grown in a different direction. If I did that for my oldest creation, how could I not do the same for my youngest creation?
In fact, Merry found her voice so pure and clear that on the last two Anita Blake novels I’ve had to chase her out of my head so Anita could be loud. Now the biggest challenge is balancing the writing schedule between two bestselling series, two different publishers, and that thing called a real life. Doing justice to my two imaginary worlds, and still managing to have a life in the real world... that’s the true challenge.--Laurell K. Hamilton
From Publishers Weekly
Hamilton hits the ground running in her latest Meredith Gentry novel, this one set in Los Angeles, where a pregnant Meredith has been safely united with her fellow exiles from the faerie courts. The faerie princess/private eye's happiness is short-lived, however, when she catches wind of a serial killer who gets his kicks crafting hideous tableaux of butchered demi-fey. While Meredith hunts for the killer, her stable of guards struggle to protect her from herself. Just as full of steamy sex and wild magic as the previous seven volumes, this episode finds Meredith's powers, as well as her collection of gorgeous guards, expanding, with crowd-pleasing results. The friction among Meredith's men makes for good drama, and Hamilton doesn't shy away from difficult real-world issues like post-traumatic stress disorder and sexual abuse. Though newcomers will be lost, and mystery fans may feel the sex scenes crowd out the plot, veterans of the series will no doubt enjoy their return to Hamilton's meticulously constructed world.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
L.A. PI Merry Gentry, aka Princess Meredith NicEssus, finally achieves her goal: to become pregnant with heirs to the UnSeelie Court in order to gain the crown. Except that along the way, she realizes that love and motherhood are higher callings. She refuses the crown and leads those willing to follow into exile in the human world. There UnSeelie politics still impede, but her loved ones and followers can make a new start for themselves, while Merry can get back to work. But the smallest among them, the demi-fey, are being murdered, and finding the killer proves more of a challenge as Merry’s growing celebrity hampers the investigation. The mystery aspect in the latest installment in Hamilton’s popular series starts out with great page-turner potential, then struggles to overcome some heavy personal drama, only to fizzle out in a too simply resolved conclusion. However, the novel as a whole rebounds as new conflicts emerge within Merry’s clan as their faerie powers grow. Hamilton provides a tension-filled ending and offers her diehard fans more of the sexually entwined politics, mesmerizing imagery, and wry humor that have kept them loyal and always eager for the next title. --Nina C. Davis
I think I'm finally done.
I started out interested in this series, and eagerly awaited each release. I stuck with it all the way through eight books, even though they really started to slip and make little sense long ago. I was first a little worried when the main problem introduced in one installment, on top of the other long-running issues, was not even solved during the book! It felt like a great waste of time, and I came out with more questions than enjoyment.
It seems that the author thinks nothing of our memory. Detailed character description fills half of each book, even repeating descriptions of the same characters several times. I couldn't count during this latest one how many times I felt the need to skip a paragraph because I already understood the qualities of Barinthus' hair. Come on, we're in book 8 now... I know all about what Frost and Doyle, her main boyfriends, look like. And on top of having to reread these descriptions over and over, they really start to flow together. If I read the books simply to imagine six-foot-plus elven dudes with flowing hair down to their ankles, I'd be in heaven, but I suppose I expect a little more story in my novels.
Conversation is awkward, and full of statements of the obvious. Magic is cool and all, but also repetitive, and solutions to conflicts just seem ridiculous. We waded through how many books to find out which guy would get her pregnant, just to see the three fathers for each twin baby solution? So much story about becoming the next queen, and having to rule with one of her many suitors, just to have the entire plotline of the previous seven books thrown away when she decides not to become queen after all? I get it, it's more fun if the story focuses on lounging about with dozens of beautiful men, having all sorts of sex - even though the sex scenes are repetitive. Every time in this book, he blah blah blah'd until she "screamed out his name." How can she keep up with the names?
At least this one wasn't full of typos, as the ones before, but I really doubt I'll pick up another one to see if the trend continues.
A Year Older, But No Better
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?
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.
Let me start by saying that I've read each book of each series multiple times. I've overlooked the inconsistencies from all over, the arrogance of an author writing down to her readers, the bad (quality) sex, and the horrible reviews of others who actually have opinions that I value. I gave up my time, sleep, even money that could have been spent buying from other authors that I love. I allowed myself to truly care about the characters and what was happening in their worlds. And I was rewarded with this? *sigh*
There are several wonderful ideas throughout both of LKH's worlds. There are paths that would be fascinating to see and follow. She even walks a few steps down a couple of them. But then it dissolves into a pit of nothingness. My heart has been broken in both series.
Divine Misdemeanors like others before it had the potential to be something good. It could have been fun, adventurous, and redeeming. What it turned out to be is choppy, incomplete (and often spacey) scenes which are never cohesive. It is not the ending of a story nor the beginning of another. It's just badly disguised fluff. It is my opinion that each book in any series should further the story along. If an author comes to a time when that doesn't happen, perhaps it is time to give up the series or at the very least honor the characters you have given birth to enough to set them aside until such time as you can do them justice.
Anything further I could say would slip into the way of personal critisim of the author (because I truly am heartbroken she had destroyed characters I've come to adore) so I will conclude by saying to those who haven't read this, don't bother, especially if you are looking for the magic that once caught you.