Newest Review: ... now he brands my guards as a threat to my unborn children. Bearing an heir has placed me halfway to my Aunt's throne - and dangerou... more
You nearly died? Drop trou. Let me see what I can do.
Swallowing Darkness - Laurell K. Hamilton
Member Name: Larachristina
Swallowing Darkness - Laurell K. Hamilton
Advantages: Well, its enjoyable. Although for what reasons, I have no idea.
Disadvantages: Very sloppy writing, terrible plot devices, slow plot.
I love books about fantasy or supernatural, and have loved Laurell K Hamiltons books so far. When her new one, "Swallowing Darkness" was released, I had it pre ordered, and eagerly tore into it, excited to see what would happen, after a cliffhanger of a last book.
Unfortunatly for me, not very much happens at all.
A bit of background.
Meredith NicEssus is a fairy princess. The faerie world has never treated her particularly well however. Her Father was a Prince of the Unseelie court (widely considered the darker court of Faerie), and her Mother belonged to the Seelie Court.
Having both brownie and human blood in her family tree, Meredith has never been quite sidhe (pure blood faerie) enough for her people.
To get away from faerie, Meredith takes on the persona of Merry Gentry, and for a while lived as a private investigator in LA.
When her Aunt, Queen Andair of the Unseelie Court announced that the heir of the throne would either be her son Cel, or Merry, things began to change.
Merry came back to faerie, aquired a new personal harem of faerie men, developed some exciting new powers, and made many new enemies.
Previous books in the series include,
A Kiss of Shadows (2000)
A Caress of Twilight (2002)
Seduced by Moonlight (2004)
A Stroke of Midnight (2005)
Mistral's Kiss (2006)
A Lick of Frost (2007)
Swallowing Darkness (2008)
The rest of this series, I would quite happily label as erotic fiction, as barely a page goes by without someones clothes dropping off.
This particular book though is far more sedate than the others, and there are only two sex scenes.As a result, i would label this book as a romance/thriller/supernatural/fantasy fiction.
Okee dokee. Here is the plot as short and sweet as I can manage it.
Merry Gentry is a faerie princess, heir to the Unseelie (one of the courts of Faeries) throne.
There were conditions upon her becoming heir. Her Aunt Andair, the current queen, told both her son Cel, and her neice Merry, that whoever got pregnant first, would become heir.
Merry got pregnant first. The book begins with Merry in hospital, after a battle of some sort in the previous book.
Half of the book is spent in the hospital room.
After the hospital, there are several attacks upon Merrys life, a wild hunt, some revenge, another murder plot, friends in danger, a bit of sex, a lot of magic....and thats about it.
What was wrong with it?
Blimming heck, nearly everything.
The writing is disgustingly sloppy. Words are often repeated with ridiculous frequency.
For example, in one very short paragraph, the word vines is repeated six times. This is just lazyness. Im sure Laurell K Hamilton could have cracked a thesaurus.
The action, and pacing of the plot is very very slow. Nothin at all seems to happen in the first section of the book, and it takes until page 66 for Merry to move out of the hospital room.
66 pages is quite a lot to spend in the same room with the same people, esspecially considering the same sentiments, words and actions seems to be repeated over and over.
The simplest statements are over explained. For example, Laurell K Hamilton could easily write *she was cold*, but instead, she writes three paragraphs on the cold...and ten repeates said three paragraphs a page later. Its like she has the memory of a goldfish.
The plot devices are the laziest I have ever had the displeasure to read. As soon as there is a problem, an obstacle, a sickness or a death, the *Goddess* comes to Merry, and gives her the answer, in the form of knowledge of what to do, or a spell to cure all.
I dont know why any of the characters waste their time worrying about things, considering the *Goddess* seems to bail them all out whenever things get tense.
The dialogue is inconsistent and choppy. Merrys speech is sometimes old fashioned, and sometimes modern, but neither is consistent enough to be convincing.
For a Laurell K Hamilton book, this one is suprisingly sex free. There are two sex scenes, but the first one is thrown in almost as an afterthought. as in *bloody hell, we forgot to have some loving in here. quick, throw it in*.
When one of her closest men nearly dies, Merry does n respond by talking to him, or comforting him, or just rejoicing that he is ok....she tries to give him a blow job. I mean, thats nearly psychotic. Clearly not a normal response. She doesnt ask him if he is ok, or how he is filling, just jumps in, mouth first. It seemed very insincere and rather inhuman to me.
Whats right with it?
Well, considering how much I have slated it, I still enjoyed it immensely.
I dont know why. I cant explain it. It appears to have no redeeming features whatsoever...but it was highly entertaining.
The characters are beautifully described, as are the places, an the history of faerie. The whole mythology is very interesting, and beautifully constructed.
The characters are nicely explained, and interact well together.
The descriptions of the monsters in particular are fantastic. Laurell K Hamilton, whilst not having the best train of thought in the world, certainly has a wonderful imagination.
Read this if you have read th previous Merry Gentry books, and if you have a fondness for Laurell K Hamiltons haphazard style of writing. Be warned though. Nothing is resolved from the previous book. Only about two days pass throughout the entire duration of this book, and thats just not enough time to resolve any previous questions.
If you are unfamiliar with the series, and expect some cohesion and care put into writing, then dont touch this with a bargepole.
for £10.79 in Hardback.
Summary: a rather lazy book, with a rather lazy plot line. still oddly enjoyable.