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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lala's Book Corner: Divine Misdemeanors by Laurell K. Hamilton

19 Lovely Comments!
"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."
From GoodReads.
I am a big fan of the Merry Gentry series, as you can tell by the review I did for the first 7 books in the series. I f you haven't read it, you can check it out here. Though I am a bigger fan of Hamilton's Anita Blake series, I have read both series, in their entirety, twice.
For that reason, I was really looking forward to get my hands on the new Merry book. Finally, Dec. 8th arrived and I ran to (more like clicked) on of my favorite eBook store to get a copy. I just couldn't wait for a physical copy to be delivered and I really didn't want to spend that much for a hardcover. But I digress.
I started the book yesterday, only because I had already a book planned before it, but I ended up going through it quite quickly. I think that is a good testament of how much I enjoy Hamilton's writing. There are some authors that write so amazingly, that I can go through a book in less than a day. If I don;t, it means that I procrastinated on purpose, just so I had more time in that specific world.
Divine Misdemeanors (DM) is not even close to being the best in the series, and at some point during it I thought I was going to really not like it at all. However, I had to stop and think on it for a bit. Because my biggest problem with it was a certain lack of action compared to the previous 7 books. I stopped and thought about it. I got to the conclusion that it made sense that this book had so much less action and I actually came to really like some of the decisions Hamilton made when writing this book.
Laurell has said time and time again that DM is a new chapter in Merry's life. She has gone through the whole, will she or won't she get pregnant, be queen and so on. However, to be able to start a new chapter, you have to close the previous one in a way and that is what this book feels like. It feels like a transition to bigger and different things.
Merry and her band of merry men's story didn't end when she refused the crown for love and they all have to deal with the consequences of that choice. How would the rest of her men feel about it? How would she deal with the women that went back with them to L.A.? How would the newest members of her "court" deal with living in L.A.?
There were a lot of questions that the end of Swallowing Darkness (SD) brought to us. To be quite honest, I hadn't even though of that and it kind of took me off guard that there was more talk than action in this book. After a while, though, I realized how necessary it was and got to quite enjoy it.
I enjoyed getting to see all those characters that I missed since the last book. It was was quite comforting to get lost in a world that you feel you know pretty well. It was also nice to learn new things about Merry's men. I mean, in the previous books they were always in a hurry or having sex, so actually talking and getting to know each other wasn't really a priority lol.
We got to see that the return of some of their lost power has brought some arrogance and prejudice to the front and I love how Merry dealt with it. I really liked Merry in this book, I think she has evolved nicely into a fair ruler and has become the Queen of her little Court out of Faery. Sholto is one of my favorite characters and it was so cool to see his and Merry's relationship evolve. I liked that the fact that she actually is still Queen of the Slough has not been forgotten, I felt that had been overlooked by the end of SD.
The plot was another weak point in the book for me. I liked how it turned out, but the result could have been guessed pretty easily and it just wasn't gripping enough for me. I think what didn't get me to the edge of my seat in that department, was that I never really felt Merry was in danger. Though, I am happy she wasn't, the fact that I wasn't scared for her life at any point, made me not feel much thrill during the novel. The murders were quite awful though and I found that the idea was nice (inventive) and well thought out by the author.
I also liked that we got to be introduced to new characters in L.A. Some new and some Merry knew but we didn't. It helped make her "new" world out of the Unseelie Court more interesting. However, I do think she might get involved in her aunt's court once again, since after Cel's death in SD, Andais has gone even crazier and things are not going well in that department.
The sex in this book was really nice and it didnt'e feel overwhelming at all. There wasn't the urgency for it, like in previous books, since Merry is already preggers. I liked that it was more about having sex and making love because they wanted to and not a necessecity, I felt it brought a different dynamic to the series.
All in all, I ended up enjoying the book much more than I thought I would in the beginning. I found myself quite sad when it was over and I am already looking forward to the next one. Merry's magic continues to grow and strange and cool things are happening, that I am sure will be much to be discussed and dealt with in the future books.
I will give this Book 4 out of 5 Loveys. Because though it wasn't perfect, it was a great read.
As a Merry fan. the pace difference might be a shock, but I think it was a great transition book and I can't wait for more.
4/5 Loveys
Smut Level 3.5 =)
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19 Responses so far.

  1. READFREEK says:

    I'm still on the fence about whether I want to read this series or not. Your review is swaying me in one direction. ;=)

  2. Veronica says:

    Another amazing review.. I usually try to stay away from reading other reviewers thoughts and posts but definitely glad I stopped by and read yours. I enjoyed reading yours, it gets me even more excited to read the book after reading your reviews. :)


  3. Read it in two days, and I agree, Its not her best work. Hell of a lot of arguing in this book, and I think she glossed over some things *I* felt important.

    Also, writing wise, the fact that she reiterates the same sentence several times in several paragraphs made me think she was wasn't reading what she was writing. As an author, if I did that in one of my own books, my editor would tear me a new one, but I guest being a NYTBS you can get away with it *wink*

    I liked some of the developments in the book though, and Loved seeing more of my favorite character (Sholto) and finally getting some perspective on Barinthus, but other then that the book lacked for me. Don't get me wrong, Ill keep reading them (I gave up on Anita a long time ago) but I don't think Ill be rushing out to buy the book release day in hardcover after this one.

  4. Larissa says:


    i gotta agree with you on the repeating and i think that was a direct result of her rushing to finish it... i forgot to say that, i thought she used too many "buy..." it got weird at some point hehe

    you are so right about the NYTBS lol =)))

    thanks for commenting =)

  5. Larissa,

    the other thing that she left WIDE open and it pissed me off is the Fear Dearg... Seriously? your going to leave that totally open like that?

    and the Damn Glida... They just seemed important in the beginning and then fell flat...

  6. Larissa says:

    so true lol

    its like she was thinking of doing something with them, build it up abd just what? ran out of space? time? forgot about it?

    really not cool

  7. I mean I understand when your trying to get people interested in something for a future book, but the damn blurb mentions Merry dealing with Gilda, you would think it was VERY important to the "plot". Not so much.

    And Ill tell ya, for a pregnant woman,shes still screwing far too many people... that Ivi scene and then Brii? It just left a bad taste in my mouth, too much like a fumbling College threesome...

    And dont get me started on Kitto.. LOL..

  8. Larissa says:

    LOL you are so right... I hate when I think of things and forget to mention them... she is having sex with far too many people... she has 6 baby daddiesm use them for crying out loud... instead of Ivy and Brii... we could have enjoyed a much better scene with Doyle and Frost... but noooo Ivy and Brii "needed" to know for sure she wasnt like her aunt...
    and Kitto... well... never mind...

  9. I mean if she was going to be nailing someone new she could have picked Adair and Abeloc, I like them and they have a vested interest with her, at least they were more then just mentioned in the other books.

    OOh and brining out some of the "relationships" with the other guards? So not far to ellaborate on them, or Rhy's new Sithen...

    I think she missed a lot in this.. you would think that if theres a Fear Dearg about she would talk to Sholto about it right?

    And now Mistral is sharing her with Barinthus? SERIOUSLY? After all that?

    She needs more time with her Sluagh king... I do love him... Infact I like all the kings except Mistral really.

    Like when she talks about how she didnt LOVE Sholto, but DOES love Mistral already? Sholto has been there since the beginning always on her side, One devastating bout of sex with Mistral at the Faerie mound and he gets his own book AND she loves him? OMG...

    OMG I'm so sorry I'm ranting...

  10. Larissa says:

    don't be sorry, Im lobing your rant... I feel like gave too high a rate to it already hahahha

    Mistral was such an ass in this book and he said what? one sentence... Sholto HAS been by her side since the beginning and she has the gal to say she doesnt love hin, 2 seconds later... she loves him... WTH?

    I think he is my favorite character of them all... I loved when she defended him in the car, that was pretty cool...

  11. See I agree there... Sholto is by far the best out of them all. And hes hot (the tentacles are a plus LOL) and YES, she did right by him by sticking up for him... I think hes the best for her (aside from Rhys) because he is content with what she can give him, hes not whiny like frost, or cro magnum man like Mistral... I seriously dont like his cocky ass.

    And WHERE the HELL are Holly and IVY!? aside from Sholto I like them best... sick bastards, but its hot.

    Seriously though, If i hear one more time how tight she is... Im going to throw up. With the big swinging dicks shes got gracing her bed, I'm surprised those kids couldn't just walk outta that tunnel when the time comes! the only one she acknowledges as "not the biggest guy I have in my bed" is the 4 ft High Snake goblin! And dont get me started on Royal... Where the fuck is Sage? hes great..

    And the whole nod to our soldiers in the gulf? WTF was that? Was it so important that they had to put one of the goddamn nails on the front cover?

    OMG I have hijacked this post with negativity.... But honestly, If it was going to be this incomplete, I would have gladly waited for a better written book.

  12. Larissa says:

    ooooh I missed Holly and Ash too... they were mentioned but didnt show up =/

    you got me LMAO... you are so freaking right, no way in hell she still tight with the men she has sex with in a regular basis... damn

    the soldiers thing was also mentioned in the blurb... the blurb was better than the book LOL

    the idea that humans she saved are doing magic is interesting... but again, a plot that was not developed...

    Mistral rubs me the wrong way, always has... he gives her a dirty look because she was feeling ill and couldnt handle his rougher taste in sex? really?

    LOL Sholto and the tentacles are hot as hell... damn...
    I missed Sage too... WTH! she can't keep up with the men already in Merry's bed and adds more to it... annoying as hell... lol

  13. THANK YOU! seriously! And mistral should learn to curb his enthusiasm. Hes like the date rape football player you hear tale about. I really dont like him. So poo on him and his storm powers.

    Ok, so because That soldier prayed to the goddess, now the people she healed are doing magic? I dont get that... just the fact that the black coach is a freaking humvee now... that doesn't make sense.

    I liked Sage... Royal is kinda a letch. I mean hes as Skeevy as Mistral.

    But the Sex with Sholto was by far the best in the book.. the most creative I think, I need a Team Sholto button LOL...

  14. Larissa says:

    i just thought the same thing... LMAO i so need a team Sholto button lol

    im so gonna make one soon =))))

  15. Well send one my way when you make one.. LOL! hes the unsung hottie of the kings... everyone should love him, LOL

  16. Larissa says:

    so true LOL i'll send you one when i have it done =)))

  17. I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive from Amazon!

    I really liked your review.
    I've been following LKH's blog (because she writes such egotistical insanity) and she constantly complained about how hard it was for her to write 'DM' because this is the book in which Merry evolves.
    I haven't read it yet, but having read your post I guess LKH had a problem with the fact that Merry's evolution isn't triggered by sexual freedom (like Anita's was, though that's debatable) it's more the reverse for Merry - now comes the time when she settles into family life and pregnancy etc, etc.

    I'm really glad to hear Sholto and Merry's relationship is a focus in this book. You're right, that was overlooked in Swallowing Darkness, and since Sholto is one of my favorite's that was beyond frustrating!

    Great review!

  18. Annarkie says:

    YES YES YES! Mistral is soooo Date Rape Guy. And Ivi, Brii and Royal were totally unnecessary.
    And wtf with leaving us hanging with the Fear Durgh and Gilda? They were interesting characters. That was a total cop-out. I liked the black coach being featured, but the way it was, I found to be corny. All in all, though I still enjoyed the book, there were many disappointments and I think it's the 2nd worst book in the series. Mistral's Kiss was the worst. She spent the whole time on her back.

    Onto the positive. LOOVVED Sholto! He's sooo my fave. And I love that Galen was gaining wisdom and power in this one. And I loved that a few characters were getting some action of their own. Cathbodua and Usna. (I love Usna!) and Uther n' Saraid. Loved the foreshadowing about future conflict w' Barinthus and further problems in the other Courts.
    Some bad news, I heard LKH say on Twitter that Mistral was demanding a scene in the next book. She swore it wouldn't hurt the babies, but....Really? I think they'll be born with concussions!

  19. Mistral's Kiss was the worst. She spent the whole time on her back.

    Annarkie, I love you. and Good Lord Mistral is the WORST! hes going to be the Abusive father nobody wants. We need a LOT more Sholto, I think we should pickit for it LOL

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