Sunday, July 19, 2009

Swallowing Darkness by Laurell Hamilton (4/5 stars)

This is the seventh book in the Merry Gentry series by Laurell Hamilton. It is the only Laurell Hamilton book for a long time that I really actually liked. This book was on par with some of the earlier novels in the series. The plot really progressed and the book overall could have wrapped up the series for good. Although I know "Divine Misdemeanors" is out later this year; I am not sure what to expect from that book since this book wraps up most of the big issues remaining in the series.

This book starts right where "A Lick of Frost" left off. Merry is in the hospital recovering from being raped by her uncle. Gran comes to visit her but something is wrong with Gran and Gran tries to take out Merry's men. All of this leads to Merry and Sholto summoning the Wild Hunt and going off on the ride of their lives. Miracles abound and great battles are fought; Merry shows her tough side even as she tries to protect the twin babies she carries.

This book spends a lot of time with Sholto and the slaugh; which I loved because the slaugh are probably the most interesting group in faerie. This book covered a lot of ground. Lots of really neat fairy magic happens and great relics of fairy are returned to Merry and her guards. There was a lot more action and fighting in this book than in any of the previous books and a lot less sex. I personally thought it made for a wonderful book.

Merry really toughens up and you start to see her strength. She starts to really exercise her special abilities and use her hands of power. The book proceeds at breakneck speed and you are thrown from battle to battle and from miracle to miracle as the Goddess makes her presence strongly known.

My biggest complaints about the book would be that Merry calls on the Goddess a lot; it almost seems like Merry can't solve anything without the Goddess's help. Also at multiple points in the book, despite her new-found toughness, Merry spends the majority of a fight laying underneath a guard while the guard takes the majority of the physcial battle damage and Merry can't see what is going on. Other than that this book was way better than any of the recent ones.

I also mentioned that this book basically ties up all the loose ends of the series. It would be a great place to end the series. Now that I know another book is coming out I am really confused about what more is going to happen, and a little worried that the series will, yet again, take a turn for the worse.

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