Saturday, December 30, 2006

I dreamt of warm flesh and tossed cookies...

I actually read Mistral's Kiss by Laurell K. Hamilton almost a week ago, but then I got an upper respiratory infection for Christmas (not quite as nice as the laptop I got last year), and I've been in a fog since then. Every time
I tried to write this review my head felt like it would explode. Then again reading this book often had the same effect on me. If this review is not quite coherent, I blame it on my sickness and the muddling effect Laurell K.'s writing has on the brain. There will most definitely be spoilers ahead, and some meanness. I just can't help it. As I skimmed some of the book to prepare myself to write, I found myself giggling and shaking my head all over again. Don't read her books with a drink in hand. Spewing will likely occur at some point.

Now I have nothing against LKH as a person. On the contrary, I find her inane, somewhat incoherent pronouncements, TMI, and delusions of grandeur (see the notorious blog) rather amusing and refreshing. And she seems like quite the animal lover. I'm sure she's lovely and she has managed to land herself at #1 on the NYT bestseller list a number of times. But Christ on a Cracker, what a steaming pile of crap!!! I stand in awe.I want to just quote chunks to illustrate how shitty her writing is, but undoubtedly I will write for far too long as it is, so we'll skip it.

I read my first Anita Blake way back in 1998. I thought it was ok, but I didn't quite get what the fuss was. I didn't like Miss Anita all that much. I thought her a bit self-righteous and, for me, she crossed the line from spunky to annoying. And Jean-Claude was okay, but he always evoked a strange mix of Prince circa Purple Rain, and the lead singer of the Cult, in my mind. Not sexy.
So I read them a bit here and there, but didn't get truly sucked in until A Kiss of Shadows, the first installment of Hamilton's Meredith Gentry series. I don't know why this series grabbed me so much. Perhaps it was because of Doyle, the Queen's Darkness, and my favorite male character by LKH (also the only one Meredith has any chemistry with). Perhaps it was because Merry lacked Anita's need to moralize and justify every action. Perhaps it was because of Sholto, the guy with the tentacles that Merry almost gives a BJ to. Perhaps my Irish blood means I like all things Faerie. Anyhow, I got caught up in the adventures of Merry, an LA P.I. who is also a Faerie princess. These books take place in a universe where the Faerie made a treaty with Thomas Jefferson to live in America and so humans live alongside all sorts of fey creatures. Merry is forced by her aunt, the Unseelie Sidhe Queen, into a competition with her psycho cousin, Cel, to become the next ruler. She's got to conceive if she wants to be the queen. To that end, she's given a bunch of her aunt's guards, including the aforementioned Doyle (Doyle 4 king 4 eva!), to fuck. The sidhe are like the nobles of the Fey, and the Unseelie are the bad guys (although the Seelie seem like assholes too). These guys aren't little guys with wings, they're tall and supposedly hot, and in true LKH form, we are treated to endless descriptions of their hair and eyes.

The first books had mystery plots, but by the third it had pretty much descended into a sexfest. Plus LKH kept adding more and more guys, and who could keep track anymore? It went from like eight or nine to like, twenty. The time frame also slowed down, so the entire books would take place over the course of a night. I can barely remember anything from #4, Stroke of Midnight, except for one good Doyle/Frost/Merry scene. So now we're up to #5, Mistral's Kiss.

The book begins with the line, "I dreamt of warm flesh and cookies," and moves right into an endless, unintentionally hilarious sex scene. I mean, unless I was reading something wrong, Mistral literally falls through the door and onto Merry while she's doing it with some other guy, then he gets in on the act. That's pretty fricking funny. Then, through the power of Merry's magic va-jay-jay, all of them are transported naked into a magic forest. And then Merry's aunt, Queen Andais sweeps in and is mean to everybody and sweeps out. Then people are glowing and climbing trees or something. And having conversations and standing around naked. And meanwhile Merry still spread-eagle with two guys on her, with twigs digging into her back. And I'm wondering if anyone's ever going to get off. This is why I find LKH's "erotica" so not erotic. The scenes are so interminable, and there's so much other stuff going on that I get distracted by the details. I'm wondering how many of them are standing around, and where's that creepy little Kitto guy who wears the running shorts from the boy's department. Is he in the forest too? And Mistral almost bites off Merry's boob, and I'm wondering if he can dislocate his jaw to get one of her big jugs into his mouth. Oy, I'm getting dizzy reliving it all.

In a smart move on LKH's part, when Merry finally finishes, the freaky sex magic makes all the guys we don't give a crap about get swallowed up by trees and the ground and stuff. So we're left with Merry, Mistral, the drunk one, and characters that we have gotten to know, like Doyle (4eva!), Frost, and Rhys. And they wander around the forest (nekkid) trying to get back home. Then they end up in the realm of the Sluagh, which means Sholto! And tentacles! Yay! I like Sholto, and I've been waiting for four books to see how Hamilton writes tentacle sex. Yes, we finally have the scene, and yes, it was disappointing. Then the magic hoo-ha causes more freaky shit to happen, and everyone's running about naked and bloody and dirty, and all I can think about is all those schlongs flapping in the wind, then they pop out in LA. The End. No joke. I think there was a tiny bit of development in the story arc at the end, but I was feeling lightheaded by then. Like I am now, thinking about it.

This book was pretty much pointless, plotless shlock. However, it was more entertaining shlock than the two previous installments. Nothing happened, but it was less boring, and that's a good thing, right? I do still enjoy this series (probably because of all the unintentional funny). I'll probably keep up with it until we get more Merry/Doyle action, but I don't understand how long it can be dragged out. How many more guys can she screw? Get knocked up already! I'm not giving this one a grade, because it is beyond a grade.

See, I told ya, incoherent.


Anonymous said...

I believe I found the fifth book difficult to read too. Haha, the only thing I liked about the fifth book was the entire Wild Hunt chasing them out into the parking lot (still naked). And Merry's great revelation.

I believe Ms. Hamilton tried to justify all the orgy in the 6th book. I think everyone agrees the 6th book and the 5th book could have been released together. Or maybe the 4th and the 5th book since the timeline of the 4th does lead into the fifth anwyay.

Still, I find that I'm continuing to read the series because a) I haven't read any other author who writes about the fae in a darker light, b) I want to speculate on the prophesy, Doyle's past and Essus' killer and c) Doyle makes up for most of Meredith's lacks. And I really want to speculate on all the can of worms book 6 opened.

Devon said...

Oh you found an oldie! This review inspired some meanness,but really every time I think of it I want to laugh and laugh. It was sooo stupid.

I haven't read #6 yet. Re-reading this review makes me want to.

Thanks for stopping by!