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Swallowing Darkness (Meredith Gentry Series #7) [Paperback]

Laurell K. Hamilton
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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3.0 out of 5 stars
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Swallowing tedium Nov. 5 2008
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
For her last few books, Laurell K. Hamilton has been toning down the sexual content in favor of what can be loosely termed "plot."

Well, turns out there are far worse things than endless sparkly-magical sex scenes. After the shattering cliffhanger ending of the previous book, the seventh Merry Gentry book "Swallowing Darkness" promptly goes on a road tour of Faerie instead of sticking to an actual central plot. It feels like Hamilton has gone as far as she can, and is flailing around instead of getting out of the water.

In the aftermath of being raped by her uncle, Merry is recovering in the hospital... and despite all the moping about how doctors "can't undo the damage," she gets over the rape by cuddling her favorite boytoy.

After ordering her various fey boytoys not to attack Taranis, she receives a visit from her feisty brownie grandma. Unfortunately there's a malign influence warping Gran's thoughts -- with disastrous and fatal results for three people close to Merry. Enraged, she and Sholto summon the Wild Hunt and set out to destroy the conspirators.

But it turns out that the conspiracy goes far further than Merry expected -- and that certain Golden Court sidhe are trying to weed out the stronger boytoys. And of course, divine magical favors just rain down on Merry whenever she sneezes. To keep her entire harem (half of whom I've forgotten) safe, Merry decides to take drastic steps in the human world... but only finds a new conflict with her cousin Cel.

Having knocked up her heroine -- which is supposedly the series' goal -- Laurell K. Hamilton seems to be at a loss for what to do to keep the series going ahead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it March 26 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
It keeps me entertained and is a welcome break from reality.not sure what else to say so read it and see
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1.0 out of 5 stars Swallowing tedium Jan. 10 2009
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
For her last few books, Laurell K. Hamilton has been toning down the sexual content in favor of what can be loosely termed "plot."

Well, turns out there are far worse things than endless sparkly-magical sex scenes. After the shattering cliffhanger ending of the previous book, the seventh Merry Gentry book "Swallowing Darkness" promptly goes on a road tour of Faerie instead of sticking to an actual central plot. It feels like Hamilton has gone as far as she can, and is flailing around instead of getting out of the water.

In the aftermath of being raped by her uncle, Merry is recovering in the hospital, where she gets over her rape by cuddling with her fave boytoy. Rape as minor inconvenience -- how nice.

After ordering her various fey boytoys not to attack Taranis, she receives a visit from her feisty brownie grandma. Unfortunately there's a malign influence warping Gran's thoughts -- with disastrous and fatal results for three people close to Merry. Enraged, she and Sholto summon the Wild Hunt and set out to destroy the conspirators.

But it turns out that the conspiracy goes far further than Merry expected -- and that certain Golden Court sidhe are trying to weed out the stronger boytoys. And of course, divine magical favors just rain down on Merry whenever she sneezes. To keep her entire harem (half of whom I've forgotten) safe, Merry decides to take drastic steps in the human world... but only finds a new conflict with her cousin Cel.

Having knocked up her heroine -- which is supposedly the series' goal -- Laurell K. Hamilton seems to be at a loss for what to do to keep the series going ahead.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of plot, little style Nov. 4 2008
Format:Hardcover
Laurell K. Hamilton's principal strength as a writer is the vividness of the worlds she creates. Her universes are so evocative it keeps readers coming back for more. One main weakness is an imperfect grasp of the basics of writing. Twenty years ago, editors and proofreaders would have smoothed some of these wrinkles. Nowadays, the author is on their own.

After several installments where Merry's storyline advanced in mincing half steps (Seduced by Moonlight, A Stroke of Midnight, Mistral's Kiss), the previous book, A Lick of Frost, showed marked plotting improvement. I was restless with anticipation for book seven.

In Swallowing Darkness, the pace is breakneck. Sadly, the plot advances and answered questions come hurtling at the reader's head with little regard for pacing, transitions, or style. Major plot points depends on Merry and others doing something stupid and (with respect) out of character. It seems as if Ms. Hamilton is tired of wrestling with a protagonist other than Anita Blake, and wants to dump all the answers to Merry's story in our laps and wash her hands of the whole universe.

While I enjoyed discovering the resolution to many of plot questions, I continue to be frustrated at how this author fails to grow as a writer. I'm so tired of last chapters where a few sentences of plot exposition attempt to tidy away unraveled loose ends. As a reader of much amateur published fiction (fanfic) I'm familiar with the prima donna creator who never gets any better because she refuses to regard any of the basics as important, and spurns constructive criticism or editing. Sadly, Ms. Hamilton continues to be such a writer, and therefore rates 3 stars for this outing, instead of the 4 or 5 stars she could achieve.
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