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Divine Misdemeanors: A Novel (Merry Gentry) Mass Market Paperback – July 27, 2010

306 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Laurell K. Hamilton on Divine Misdemeanors

Meredith Gentry was created as a character so that my muse and I could have a break from writing the Anita Blake series. I’d written five Anita books in a row and was starting to have job anxiety dreams about her life instead of mine. I needed something different for my muse and me to play with. Merry was created to give me a different voice, a different world to visit. I guess she’s like a second child that you have so the first one won’t be an only. Then, like a parent that just didn’t understand that a second child doesn’t double your workload, but quadruples it, I was suddenly trying to do two different series at two different publishers. It went well since they’re both New York Times bestsellers. The audience for both crosses nicely and continues to grow with every book in a time when very few authors can say that. So it’s all good, but just like trying to juggle two kids instead of one, juggling two book series instead of just one presents its challenges.

At the beginning keeping Anita’s voice out of the Merry books was the biggest challenge. I was used to her, and her voice and attitude were closer to my own, so Anita wrote faster, clearer in my head. Merry was that second baby that is nothing like your first baby, so most of what you learned about taking care of character A doesn’t help a damn bit with character B. Who knew? But there comes a point when you make peace with the second child being so different from the first and so different from yourself. You find the unique joys in that second person, as I’ve found the joys in the Merry series that are different from Anita.

Anita fights me on paper and always has. She’s very much my rebel. Merry never fought on paper until the last book, Swallowing Darkness, and then she found things worth fighting for. She finally stood up and told me what she wanted and she was willing to do whatever it took to get there. I understood that. I let Merry’s desires, loves, and choices change where I had planned to end the first cycle of the series. Anita has thrown out entire last thirds of books by her choices, and even scrapped entire novel ideas because she’d simply grown in a different direction. If I did that for my oldest creation, how could I not do the same for my youngest creation?

In fact, Merry found her voice so pure and clear that on the last two Anita Blake novels I’ve had to chase her out of my head so Anita could be loud. Now the biggest challenge is balancing the writing schedule between two bestselling series, two different publishers, and that thing called a real life. Doing justice to my two imaginary worlds, and still managing to have a life in the real world... that’s the true challenge.--Laurell K. Hamilton

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Hamilton hits the ground running in her latest Meredith Gentry novel, this one set in Los Angeles, where a pregnant Meredith has been safely united with her fellow exiles from the faerie courts. The faerie princess/private eye's happiness is short-lived, however, when she catches wind of a serial killer who gets his kicks crafting hideous tableaux of butchered demi-fey. While Meredith hunts for the killer, her stable of guards struggle to protect her from herself. Just as full of steamy sex and wild magic as the previous seven volumes, this episode finds Meredith's powers, as well as her collection of gorgeous guards, expanding, with crowd-pleasing results. The friction among Meredith's men makes for good drama, and Hamilton doesn't shy away from difficult real-world issues like post-traumatic stress disorder and sexual abuse. Though newcomers will be lost, and mystery fans may feel the sex scenes crowd out the plot, veterans of the series will no doubt enjoy their return to Hamilton's meticulously constructed world.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Merry Gentry (Book 8)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (July 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345495977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345495976
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of two series that mix mystery, fantasy, magic, horror and romance. Her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels from Berkley Books began with GUILTY PLEASURES (now a hugely successful graphic novel from Marvel - the first sexy paranormal comic ever!) and continues with the SKIN TRADE, number seventeen in the series, in which Anita's complex personal and professional relationships with a master vampire and an alpha werewolf continue to evolve. There are now more than 6 million copies of Anita in print worldwide, in 16 languages. Hamilton's Ballantine series features Fey princess and private investigator, Merry Gentry and there are now six novels exceeding one million copies in print. Divine Misdemeanors, the eighth in the series will debut Octobe 29, 2009. She lives in St. Louis County Missouri with her husband Jonathon Green, daughter, one pug dog and one boxer/pug dog.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

354 of 394 people found the following review helpful By John Green, NCGBT VINE VOICE on December 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered the book off this site and it arrived today, so I settled in to see if the series would return to form or continue to slide. Six hours later, I think I'm about done with this series. LKH's writing is starting to remind me of Robert Newcomb's...

Like with the last few novels, we get that big, bold, easy-to-read, double-spaced type to help pad the page count and charge more for it. Combined with the lack of actual story progress, this would barely make a `how I spent my summer vacation' essay. Which is kinda how it reads.

The dialogue often feels stilted and wooden, like they're reading off cue cards. There's also way too much info-dumping; we're constantly treated to recaps of previous events- Andais' attempt to drown her, the appearance of the Nameless, Taranis' attack on her, etc. This is the eighth book of the series- if you don't know all this stuff by now, why are you reading this?

The so-called plot is tepid. A series of ritualistic murders amongst the fey in Los Angeles- and who could kill these hardy immortals?- brings the attention of the Grey Detective Agency, and Merry's crew in particular. The investigation leads them to a lone witness, whose story is interrupted by... Glinda, the Fairy Godmother of L.A. (rim shot!) Complete with glitter and magic wand. Seriously. Not kidding.

Glinda has a grudge against Merry for stealing the allegiance of L.A.'s magic folk from her, so much so that she impedes the investigation in a scene that plays out all too predictably. The good part of being back in L.A. is that we get to see characters that haven't been heard from in a while- like Uther the Jack-in-Irons and Jeremy Grey.
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68 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Patty on December 4, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
0 stars, and spoiler alert.

This "novel" contains no plot, drama, or tension, unless teenage angst from immortal fairy boys is dramatic tension. Let's stop kidding ourselves, if you haven't figured out that every LKH story starts with a so-called mystery and ends when Merry/Anita pulls a deus ex machina out of her vagina, you haven't been paying attention. It's impossible to separate the two universes anymore.

Phrases and descriptions from AB appear with increasing frequency in MG and the way both characters de-volve (it certainly isn't character development) are identical. In this novel, LKH can't even get past the 2nd paragraph before it starts, Merry observes "They looked like so many broken Barbie dolls...". That's Anita's line. Why don't you write, "the dead fey looked like so much meat" and get it over with?

It's not a who-dunnit about murdered demi-fey. The first murder certainly implied that, but as the story unfolded it was clear the murders only occured to prompt more info-dumps and useless speculation from Merry about what powers "they" used to have. Does anyone else get irritated when Merry includes herself when she talks about what the fey have lost over the years, when she's barely thirty?

Hamilton writes that some magical detectives cannot detect anything, which another reviewer believes to be a dig at another author. It's interesting for LKH to say that when Merry performs NO detecting herself, unless investigating the colour of her harem's pubic hair counts as detective work. Does her harem have pubic hair? It occurs to me that LKH has missed a big opportunity here; she doesn't describe their rainbow pubes, and this could pad her novels an additional page or two.
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228 of 253 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Let me start by saying that I've read each book of each series multiple times. I've overlooked the inconsistencies from all over, the arrogance of an author writing down to her readers, the bad (quality) sex, and the horrible reviews of others who actually have opinions that I value. I gave up my time, sleep, even money that could have been spent buying from other authors that I love. I allowed myself to truly care about the characters and what was happening in their worlds. And I was rewarded with this? *sigh*

There are several wonderful ideas throughout both of LKH's worlds. There are paths that would be fascinating to see and follow. She even walks a few steps down a couple of them. But then it dissolves into a pit of nothingness. My heart has been broken in both series.

Divine Misdemeanors like others before it had the potential to be something good. It could have been fun, adventurous, and redeeming. What it turned out to be is choppy, incomplete (and often spacey) scenes which are never cohesive. It is not the ending of a story nor the beginning of another. It's just badly disguised fluff. It is my opinion that each book in any series should further the story along. If an author comes to a time when that doesn't happen, perhaps it is time to give up the series or at the very least honor the characters you have given birth to enough to set them aside until such time as you can do them justice.

Anything further I could say would slip into the way of personal critisim of the author (because I truly am heartbroken she had destroyed characters I've come to adore) so I will conclude by saying to those who haven't read this, don't bother, especially if you are looking for the magic that once caught you.
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