5.0 out of 5 stars Couldnt put it down...
I am hopelessly hooked on Laurell K Hamilton. Every book that I pick up that she has written sucks me in and keeps me enthralled until the last page. I have read all of her Anita Blake books, but this was my first taste of The Merry Gentry series. Needless to say, it was very entertaining and action packed...things Ive come to expect from any Hamilton book. There was a...
Published on July 12 2004 by M. I.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Toxic kiss
Laurell K. Hamilton branches out from her bestselling Anita Blake novels with a new, fae-oriented series. She really shouldn't have bothered. While "Kiss of Shadows" starts off dark and intriguing, the plot rapidly degenerates into a NC-17 fantasy without much more than sweaty gyrations to recommend it.
Part-mortal Princess Meredith NicEssus -- undercover as...
Published on Feb. 22 2007 by E. A Solinas
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Toxic kiss,
Part-mortal Princess Meredith NicEssus -- undercover as Merry Gentry -- is a P.I. in Los Angeles, which apparently is swarming with fey and fey-wannabes. Keeping her identity a secret is vital, since she knows the dangers that would follow being uncovered. But while investigating a supernatural date-raper (and falling prey to him) Merry's identity leaks out.
Before you can say "bonk 'em all," she is given an ultimatum by her aunt, the queen of the Unseelie Court: she and her evil cousin Cel are both going to try to have a baby. The one who succeeds will be the next ruler -- the other is toast. Merry is assigned a harem of fae men, all of whom want her as much as she wants them. Physically, anyway.
Here's a warning: "Kiss of Shadows" has a lot of sex. A LOT of sex. A sufficient amount that, among other things, Merry hops in the happy sack with any guy lucky enough to meet her. Oh, and she has a male harem. Sound like an adult movie? Well, it pretty much is -- lots of excuses to have sex, including an enjoyable rape (did a woman really write this book?) and Merry nearly being molested by the entire L.A.P.D. And that's before it gets really raunchy.
For anyone hoping for more than soft-porn, the book is lacking. It starts off strong, with a battered woman and a magical want ad, and Merry going undercover to lure out the magic-sucking guy involved. But once she bonks her selkie boyfriend, the plot goes down the tubes. What is worse, the sex obscures the mysterious cultures and subcultures of the fey and sidhe -- Hamilton hints at interesting cultures, rituals and different races, but seems to lose interest in the idea.
Without a developed backdrop, the actual plot feels rushed and half-finished. Hamilton also could use a better editor, since her writing quickly becomes repetitive -- lots of hair, unusual eye color, strange powers. All the men are madly attractive, chiseled, and devoid of any individual personality. All the women are beautiful, usually dainty.
Merry isn't terribly interesting -- she starts off as a moderately entertaining P.I. with a barbed sense of humor. Then it just sort of fades away. Queen Andais is also moderately interesting, as the villain of the piece. Merry's harem guys have paint-by-numbers personalities, and after the initial introductions they just become a heap of interchangeable sexy bodies.
Buried somewhere in "Kiss of Shadows" is a really good novella, but it's choked by a poorly thought-out soft-porn movie. Hamilton had the right idea, but the execution is a painful "Kiss."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great start before the hormones took over,
When you take away the plot and add sex, it is usually called porn.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your time - don't bother reading this,
Sure, the Fae are ok with multiple partners, but do we need to read about Merry Gentry getting down and dirty with EACH AND EVERY one of them?
The story line has great potential, which is not explored at all. I'd say don't bother wasting your time on this or any of the other Merry Gentry books. Try the Anita Blake series instead.
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldnt put it down...,
This review is from: A Kiss of Shadows (Hardcover)I am hopelessly hooked on Laurell K Hamilton. Every book that I pick up that she has written sucks me in and keeps me enthralled until the last page. I have read all of her Anita Blake books, but this was my first taste of The Merry Gentry series. Needless to say, it was very entertaining and action packed...things Ive come to expect from any Hamilton book. There was a bit of sexual overkill as well, but Hamilton does tend to go overboard in that area and I was not surprised or offended by it.The book oozed with a steady supply of unbearably hott men as Merry made her way from one adventure to the next...trust me, even though her life was constantly in danger, she was one lucky girl. All in all, this was a fabulous read. A definite keeper.
4.0 out of 5 stars Faerie-love,
2.0 out of 5 stars Merry Disappointment.,
After reading some reviews and Amazon recommending this book based on my liking of the Kushiel trilogy, I was eagerly waiting to read this book.
I loved the Kushiel Trilogy. It has great characterization, and sex scenes (even some crude ones) that really add to the story. A Kiss of Shadows has shallow characters that are mostly interested in having sex. Again, if this book was a movie, it would be an adult film with some story in it to justify the sex, and not the saga I was expecting.
4.0 out of 5 stars Hooked on Laurell K. Hamilton!,
I loved the fanciful language throughout the novel. I gave up on fantasy fiction a long time ago due to the lackluster books in said genre. Laurell K. Hamilton's writing is wonderfully creative and incredibly riveting. I cannot fathom the bad reviews here. Most people have complained about the many sex scenes in the novel and thought that Meredith was promiscuous. I for one loved the erotic undertone. I am a fan of erotica and I thought that the sexual content in this novel wasn't bad at all. The one thing I didn't like about Shadows is that Ms. Hamilton over explains the plot. The novel should've been a bit shorter. Other than that, it's great. Laurell has made me fall in love with fantasy fiction all over again. I cannot wait to read the other parts of this series. And since I've become a vampire novel enthusiast, I shall definitely give her Anita Blake series a whirl.
3.0 out of 5 stars Forget what you know about fairies,
(Apologies in advance if I keep comparing the 2 series here. I figure most people found this book from the Anita Blake series but certainly not all.)
Merry Gentry (nee NicEssus) is part fey but has been hiding her true identity for 3 years among the humans. She's really a royal princess from a seriously dysfunctional fairy family. Her Aunt is the head of the Unseelie court and wanted Merry dead. For the past 3 years, her family and the tabliod press have been seeking her out. She's been hiding with the aid of glamour spells and making a living at a supernatural detective agency not entirely unlike Anita's Animators Inc.
The story begins much like an Anita story. Some clients come for help, Merry reluctantly assists with the prodding of her boss. A big bad appears, there's a fight, then there's some sex. Then however the story takes an unexpected turn which I won't spoil for you.
As a character, Merry is distinct from Anita Blake and that's a good thing. She's neither as tough nor as sociopathic. She can, however, hold her own as she discovers she's more powerful that she ever suspected. Much like Anita, all men want Meredith but since she's part supernatural being and an heir to the throne this facet of the story doesn't come across as obnoxiously as it does in the Anitaverse. Hamilton also finds a rather clever way to explain why all this lust is essential to the story-again no spoilers. Also, even though Merry is less human than Anita I found her far more accessible. This book is as sexually charged as the latter entries in the Anita series so take that as a caveat emptor if this really, really turned you off. I didn't find it as squirm-worthy though (is that a word?), probably for the reasons I've already described. The pain element and the goblin (don't ask) did however catch me a bit off guard.
Hamilton is still a genius with blending her magical world with ours but the first entry in the series is largely about fey interactions exclusively. The writing is fast-paced and enjoyable. Hamilton is no Steinbeck but she knows how to keep you involved. If you shun fantasy because you feel silly reading about unicorns and elves, this series will definitely appeal. I'm not sure if Hamilton created fantasy noir but she is it's most visible purveyor. I've already got book two which I plan to begin-whaddaya know-as soon as I end this review.
2.0 out of 5 stars A Little Lackluster and Disappointing,
I have no problem with the overtly erotic, and at times, kinky nature of the multiple encounters Merry has, but they would be best served with more tightly-drawn characters, backstory, and a stronger driving plot or intrigue.
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Like Anita Blake Series, But Still an Addiction,
That all said, I've obviously read quite a few of the books! 5 total. Despite the similarites, the books are entertaining and fun to read. The books take you to another world full of gorgeous men and butt-kicking women, which I utltimately find hard to resist.
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A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton (Audio Cassette - Nov. 1 2000)
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