"Divine Misdemeanors" completely missed its original due date, and only barely scraped by the second. Huge chunks were torn out and replaced.
So it's no surprise that the eighth book in the fairy-porn Merry Gentry series is a trainwreck of a novel. Laurell K. Hamilton does make a valiant attempt to structure the book as a murder mystery, but unfortunately the mystery is a limp whodunnit where the who is glaringly obvious -- and it gets bogged down in magical sex, fairy politicking and whiny arguments between Merry's various boytoys.
Merry gets called out to handle a bizarre serial killing, in which the demi-fey have been murdered and arranged to resemble a child's picture book. And when Merry, Frost and Doyle investigate a local fey coffee shop, they find themselves involved with a crazed demi-fey and a fairy godmother (think Glinda on crack). Then the plot stops.
Instead, we're treated to more of Merry's superpowers -- she goes sauntering over to the Middle East and heals troops in the Black Coach, she creates a new Los Angeles sithen by having sex with Rhys, and she magically fixes shattered minds. And humans who have been near her are developing healing powers -- apparently she's sooooooo amazing that just being around her gives you a power-up.
Unfortunately it turns out that her vast harem of hairy pretty-boys isn't getting along too well. And of course the half-forgotten serial killer is still running amuck, murdering brownies and demi-fey and arranging them to look like pictures -- and it turns out that Merry's Magical Netherbits might be the perfect bait.
I'll give credit where credit is due: after seven books of glowy sparkly fairy porn, Hamilton did try hard to write an actual mystery... but sadly, it's a terrible mystery.Read more ›
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Divine Misdemeanors is Book 8 in the Meredith Gentry epic series. The book is a phenomenal read and a must to complete the enduring trials, conquest and accomplishments in Merry`s story. Laurell K Hamilton is an accomplished writer and artist. This book is very sadly not available from Kindle as an e-book. The rest of the series including the latest release "A Shiver of Light" are available.
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Laural Merlington is a phenomenal reader. Her range of voices still astounds me. I love Laurell's books so much that I buy the book and then buy the Audio version - unabridged. Make sure you get the unabridged version or you will be dissapointed.I have read the entire series and I'm still wanting more.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
348 of 388 people found the following review helpful
A Year Older, But No BetterDec 8 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
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.
224 of 249 people found the following review helpful
Heartbroken (again)Dec 15 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
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.
209 of 232 people found the following review helpful
I think I'm finally done.Dec 28 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
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.
63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Only mystery left is where did the plot go?Dec 4 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
0 stars, and spoiler alert.
This "novel" contains no plot, drama, or tension, unless teenage angst from immortal fairy boys is dramatic tension. Let's stop kidding ourselves, if you haven't figured out that every LKH story starts with a so-called mystery and ends when Merry/Anita pulls a deus ex machina out of her vagina, you haven't been paying attention. It's impossible to separate the two universes anymore.
Phrases and descriptions from AB appear with increasing frequency in MG and the way both characters de-volve (it certainly isn't character development) are identical. In this novel, LKH can't even get past the 2nd paragraph before it starts, Merry observes "They looked like so many broken Barbie dolls...". That's Anita's line. Why don't you write, "the dead fey looked like so much meat" and get it over with?
It's not a who-dunnit about murdered demi-fey. The first murder certainly implied that, but as the story unfolded it was clear the murders only occured to prompt more info-dumps and useless speculation from Merry about what powers "they" used to have. Does anyone else get irritated when Merry includes herself when she talks about what the fey have lost over the years, when she's barely thirty?
ON "THE MYSTERY": Hamilton writes that some magical detectives cannot detect anything, which another reviewer believes to be a dig at another author. It's interesting for LKH to say that when Merry performs NO detecting herself, unless investigating the colour of her harem's pubic hair counts as detective work. Does her harem have pubic hair? It occurs to me that LKH has missed a big opportunity here; she doesn't describe their rainbow pubes, and this could pad her novels an additional page or two.
A 3rd party contacts Merry independently to give up the killer, and Merry rides in on Harem members C and D to save the day. Nice job following clues! A god gets shot! And... nobody cares, because we already know that practically nothing can kill them anyway, and even if someone did salt and burn those bastards, Hawfyn heals all.
The idea of a human who wished to be a fairy godmother, but became an evil one, was an interesting premise, but unsurprisingly LKH botched it. She should have mentioned this fairy several novel back to lend it credibility today, but she didn't, so I assume she needed one red herring for this "hard boiled mystery".
ON EVERYTHING ELSE: Merry walked away from the throne. Why was so much time devoted to warning "her people", and worrying about her alliances, when those issues have no importance now?
Why so much personal angst about the trials and tribulations of being a ruler, when she doesn't intend to rule? Oh right, it's not a LKH story unless it involves multiple pissing content designed to emasculate all the men. I especially enjoyed that gay men turn bi-sexual after prolonged exposure to the super-powered vagina of creation.
What is LKH's attraction to this idea of *touching*? When my friends have man problems, I do not invite them over to sleep between me and my partner, so we can all heal our wounded souls. Do you? Does anyone??? I do NOT understand the massive, boring negotiations to all physical contact. "You can come over, and snuggle, but we're not having sex, or performing X intimate acts, but we can do Y." Is this what LKH thinks a BDSM relationship is?
The story just collapsed into the standard description of Merry's harem (skin, eyes, hair, clothes, wang size, powers), living situation, how hard is is to be a socialite/celebrity with a "day job", and, oh noes, a princess to boot! At first it seemed like a sensible sub-plot; Merry has a real dilemma, she has a large group to support but not enough money, and her socialite/celebrity/ status has rendered her ineffective at her former job.
Yet, how can you pity Merry for these circumstances? She chooses to dress in revealing clothing, she chooses to surround herself with ridiculous looking "guards", she chooses to leave Fairy, she chooses to hold press conferences about her sex life. Her "staff" COULD make money but choose not to. And then piss and moan about being paparazzi fodder with uncertain futures? Could LKH craft a more unsympathetic premise if she tried?
Some passages were just plain WEIRD; the wind likes my hair, glimmer porn, and Richard 2.0 (excuse me, Barinthus), sending the Black Coach to rescue the troops in Iraq, parking an SUV, Maeve Reed's house decor AGAIN, and the sithean apartment building which sprang from Merry's vagina. Let me off the WTF train now please.
I predict the next book will have Merry's harem star in porn to raise funds. LKH was oh-so-subtle in introducing the idea that fey enjoy porn. She is now openly promoting pedophilia and writing about fey with childish bodies having sex with adults. That is OFFENSIVE.
The only mysteries that remain in the Merry-verse that I can find are:
1. Why do her male characters, either vampires who have lived for a few hundred years, or sidhe who have lived thousands of years, and fall in love with a modern women; why do these men with so much life experience always have temper tantrums and sulk?
2. Why didn't Prince Essus invest his money in something? He lived for thousands of years, and left the court, and you expect us to believe that all-knowing-Daddy-Jesus couldn't invest his income to take care of his daughter?
3. Why is Andais still alive? Doesn't the wild hunt destroy oath-breakers?
4. Why should pregnant fairies avoid upsetting crime scenes, for the sake of the litter, but it's okay to have rough sex which involves being THROWN to the floor. How does that work exactly?
5. Why doesn't LKH use a spell check? Why does the exact same paragraph show up multiple times in one novel?
6. And who cleans all that fairy hair out of the shower drain? Oooh, maybe book 10 will include 5 chapters of Galen cleaning the bathroom with multiple product placements.
The increasingly ridiculous situations caused giggles to spill from my lips, as my auburn hair (which resembles a piece of Titanite with red impurities spun into hair) did not move in the wind, though it foamed down my back. As my mirth grew, my blue eyes bled to grey. At that point my boyfriend commented "When you read and laugh at the same time I know you're reading LKH!" which caused me to convulse so hard my vagina swallowed the moon. Then I mounted him, and we woke up the next day with awesome new powers.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2 starsJan. 14 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I would like to say that I read this installment in the Merry Gentry series in 2 days because I enjoyed it, but the truth is... I read it because I am can't stand to not finish a book or series I have started. Many times I was tempted to just toss it aside and give it a "Did Not Finish" tag. At first I wondered if I was set to not like this because I had followed along with Hamilton's tweets and blog posts.... so I knew how fast this book was thrown together and how much she appear to dislike writing it. However much I wish this was the case, I don't think it is.
Merry is a sidhe princess who has gathered a harem of men over the years, many of which I could do without. Doyle keeps me reading this series, he is oh so dark and yummy. Divine Misdemeanors picks up not long after book 7 leaves off. Merry is pregnant with twins, fathered by 6 of the men in her harem. She is now living in Los Angeles with a gathering of fey who have left the fairy mounds in St. Louis. She is back to working with the detective agency and we follow her as she is called in by the LAPD to help solve the case of a serial killer who is targeting fey.
I am not even sure where to start when discussing how bad this story is. The writing is awkward, the sex scenes drag on and are unexciting.
Seriously, "painted my orgasm on his skin" was used at least twice and it is a cheezy line to begin with. Secondly, no one orgasms as fast as Merry and surely not just from the sheer size of a man's junk. Add that together with the this absolutely horrid line from one of Merry's new men, "Not as tight as she was before I had my turn," and I was rolling my eyes instead of needing a cold shower.
The serial killer plot of the book was weak. It felt like an afterthought, yet there was no real plot that took the forefront. There were only minor developments in the story of Merry and her men and most of the book felt like boring filler. Too often I found myself wondering why certain paragraphs or phrases were thrown in. There wasn't even a scene with Merry and Doyle or Frost getting it on! How could there a Merry book without Doyle loving.....? Blasphemy.
Divine Misdemeanors was hugely disappointing. I am not even sure if my love of Doyle will have me picking up the next version. I am ashamed to say that I kind of wish Hamilton had ended the series with book 7, Swallowing Darkness. It was obvious that the series had to end or go in a new direction after Swallowing Darkness, but Divine Misdemeanors does nothing to encourage the reader that it is worth continuing on with.