Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it
It keeps me entertained and is a welcome break from reality.not sure what else to say so read it and see
Published 21 months ago by Simon R. Brown

versus
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Swallowing tedium
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...
Published on Nov. 5 2008 by E. A Solinas


Most Helpful First | Newest First

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Swallowing tedium, Nov. 5 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Swallowing Darkness: A Novel (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. So we end up with a bunch of vaguely connected crises, punctuated by interludes of Sparkly Magic From Goddess-Merry, magic horsies and lots of sparkly magic roses. It's a little like being alternately choked with flowers and clubbed with a rock.

"Swallowing Darkness" does manage an impressive amount of plot, including the resolution of couple half-forgotten subplots -- and a surprising twist during Merry's stay in the sluagh. Unfortunately most of the plot is just Hamilton slapping in new random problems whenever things get too peaceful. Whoops, somebody's suddenly dying! Eek, a traitor! Yikes, a royal challenge from out of nowhere!

Nor does Hamilton's writing help, since she seems to be bored with her own story when she isn't trying to channel Patricia McKillip's lush prose. Her incredibly stilted, rambling dialogue ("We ride." "To save your Storm Lord." "To save the future of faerie"), repetition (everybody seems to have "moonlight skin") and awkward descriptions ("Gold like the metal of a piece of jewelry") hamper the story even further.

And as with all Hamilton's fairy novels, we get hot pale supernatural men who all worship the heroine, dumb blinkered mortals, lightweight Wiccan theology, Christian-bashing, oral sex worship, and lots of nasty and/or crazy women who simply can't measure up to the heroine. Yes, even a sweet li'l old grandma, who is reviled for daring to hold a grudge against her mother's murderer.

But the book's biggest weakness is Merry Gentry herself. She floats through the book in a cloud of Convenient Magical Powers and occasionally pauses to cold-bloodedly kill people. Everybody is awed by her even if she kills them -- and she declares herself to be a goddess as well. It gets rather nauseating to have a heroine who is such a blatant self-insert.

"Swallowing Darkness" has some shreds of good plot in there, but they're surrounded by jack-in-the-box disasters and a main storyline that is being stretched way too far. And it's not over yet....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of plot, little style, Nov. 4 2008
By 
This review is from: Swallowing Darkness: A Novel (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Swallowing tedium, Jan. 10 2009
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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. So we end up with a bunch of vaguely connected crises, punctuated by interludes of Sparkly Magic From Goddess-Merry, magic horsies and lots of sparkly magic roses. It's a little like being alternately choked with flowers and clubbed with a rock.

"Swallowing Darkness" does manage an impressive amount of plot, including the resolution of couple half-forgotten subplots -- and a surprising twist during Merry's stay in the sluagh. Unfortunately most of the plot is just Hamilton slapping in new random problems whenever things get too peaceful. Whoops, somebody's suddenly dying! Eek, a traitor! Yikes, a royal challenge from out of nowhere!

Nor does Hamilton's writing help, since she seems to be bored with her own story when she isn't trying to channel Patricia McKillip's lush prose. Her incredibly stilted, rambling dialogue ("We ride." "To save your Storm Lord." "To save the future of faerie"), repetition (everybody seems to have "moonlight skin") and awkward descriptions ("Gold like the metal of a piece of jewelry") hamper the story even further.

And as with all Hamilton's fairy novels, we get hot pale supernatural men who all worship the heroine, dumb blinkered mortals, lightweight Wiccan theology, Christian-bashing, oral sex worship, and lots of nasty and/or crazy women who simply can't measure up to the heroine. Yes, even a sweet li'l old grandma, who is reviled for daring to hold a grudge against her mother's murderer. Apparently Merry's magic vagina not only turns you into a god, but erases all your past crimes.

But the book's biggest weakness is Merry Gentry herself. She floats through the book in a cloud of Convenient Magical Powers, and occasionally pauses to cold-bloodedly kill people. Everybody is awed by her, she declares herself to be a goddess, and her "ruby" blood spontaneously generates assorted fairy beasties (it's MAGIC!). It's rather nauseating to have a heroine who is such a blatant self-insert.

"Swallowing Darkness" has some shreds of good plot in there, but they're surrounded by jack-in-the-box disasters and a main storyline that is being stretched way too far. And it's not over yet....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it, March 26 2013
By 
Simon R. Brown (Toronto, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
It keeps me entertained and is a welcome break from reality.not sure what else to say so read it and see
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT ... AS USUAL!, Feb. 10 2009
I need to balance the ratio of previews with 5 stars.

I liked it A LOT!

I understand some frustrations since I have mine as well (the too quick sudden return of Frost... wished it was a bit more detailed)... but overall I really enjoyed the book and this will certainely not stop me to buy and read and re-read the serie again and again!

If you read LKH blog [...] you will understand that this book was the end of the gentry story with the love of her 6 men.

However... this is a new biginning for the next books who will follow this one.

LKH says (blog February 5th 2009):

I heard from my Merry editor today, and we'll be seeing the cover mock-up for Merry #8 DIVINE MISDEMEANORS tomorrow. And yes, for those who keep asking, it is the next Merry book, and not a new series, and no, you are not getting two Anita books in one year. I'm good, and I'm fast, but I'm not that good, or that fast. Greedy people. I'm looking forward to this book, because it's the first time I've ever allowed myself to simply play in Merry's world. We're no longer tied to the storyline that was our impetus for the first seven books. I thought it would be such a cool idea to have a plot that carried over from book to book and built to that overwhelming conclusion. It was cool, but as a writer, it was also restrictive. I couldn't go off and explore Merry's world the way I could with Anita. The over all plot was so important to her staying alive, that there was little room for detours. This book, DIVINE MISDEMEANORS is the first time I get to play. If I want to go play with the demi-fey; I can. If I want to play with long time Los Angeles fey exiles; I can. If I want to concentrate on Merry and her guys; I can. If I want it to be mostly about Jeremy and the Grey's Detective Agency; it will be. See, the world suddenly opens up, and we can go where we want, play with whom we want, and not have to be tied to a specific goal. I can play. I've promised to never, ever, tie another series, to a specific end, and plot, for books and books. The exception to that rule will be if I ever go back and finish the series that began with NIGHTSEER. That is a four books series with a definite end; no changing that. But that's okay, four books I can manage, but seven made me chaff. I feel like I can finally take a breath in Merry's world, too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Swallowing Darkness: A Novel
Swallowing Darkness: A Novel by Laurell K. Hamilton (Hardcover - Nov. 4 2008)
Used & New from: CDN$ 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews