A Kiss of Shadows: Not my cup of mead

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review A Kiss of Shadows Meredith Gentry Laurell K HamiltonA Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton

Laurell K. Hamilton promises a story of modern-day faeries and their complex court intrigue, which in theory is right up my alley, but I didn’t really get into A Kiss of Shadows.

By about page 100, my significant other was laughing because I kept yelling aloud, “Is she going to sleep with HIM, TOO?” The entire plot of the book seems to consist of Merry’s sexual adventures. That would be OK if it were good erotica, but there is far too much gory violence to sustain the sexy mood. To sum up the book: Sex scene, gore scene, sex scene, gory sex scene…well, you get the picture.

For urban faerie adventures with more plot, try Charles de Lint (Jack of Kinrowan), Emma Bull (War for the Oaks), James A. Hetley (The Summer Country), Diana Wynne Jones (Fire and Hemlock), or Nancy Springer (Fair Peril).

~Kelly Lasiter


fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsreview Meredith Gentry A Kiss of Shadows Laurell K HamiltonOkay, I should have known better. I mean, look at the covers, right? But I gave A Kiss of Shadows, the first in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Meredith Gentry series, a try because it was the only fantasy novel available for free download from my public library that I hadn’t read yet. The story sounded interesting and I figured that I should give an LKH book a try. So, this was my first LKH book. And my last.

I read 100 pages before I quit. It was competently written, the dialogue seemed natural, and the pace was quick. But, the purpose of the book was glaringly clear from the first page. Let me sum up the major “plot” points of the first 100 pages for you (it’s written in the first person):

  • A description of how hot I look at my professional job in my way too short skirt, black thigh-high stockings, and high heels.
  • My graphic conversation with the wife and mistress (who may be lovers) of a man who’s a sadist.
  • A very long description of my getting dressed up and wired (by a man), while everybody watches and admires how hot I look, so I can go meet the sadist.
  • My kinky evening with the sadist which ended up with him being murdered and me going to the police station.
  • How all the policemen couldn’t keep their hands off me ’cause I’m so hot, even though they think I might be a murderer.
  • How I went home and wanted to sleep, but my lover Roane [hee hee] wouldn’t let me ’cause I’m so hot.
  • The details of my night with Roane and how it was so good that Roane turned into a seal and left me for the ocean, but I’m fine with that.
  • How my boss woke me up so he could get me out of town because the faerie queen now knows where I am, and I was naked and he admired me ’cause I’m so hot.

I gave A Kiss of Shadows a fair chance, but this one obviously fits into the category of “I really want to write erotica but I don’t want to be called an erotica writer so I’ll stick a faerie princess in it and call it fantasy instead.” Yuck.

Lesson learned, and I didn’t have to spend any money. I recommend that you don’t either.

~Kat Hooper

Meredith Gentry — (2000-2014) Publisher: Meredith Gentry is a private investigator who specializes in supernatural crime. She has, however, a strange secret. She is in fact a faerie princess in hiding. Her aunt wants her back in the faerie world and the penalty for refusal is death.

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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