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.