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Customer Review

24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So close, but yet so far, April 16, 2005
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This review is from: A Stroke of Midnight (Meredith Gentry, Book 4) (Hardcover)
I am a diehard fan of LKH, I mean I even enjoyed Incubus although I see why everyone was so upset about it. That being said, I felt a real sense of disappointment after reading this book. I love the Gentry series, but this installment just didn't deliver.

Here are some of the bad points:

NOTHING seemed to have happened or been resolved. I mean, great, she's the incarnation of the Goddess and her aunt is crazy, I get it. But it seems as if LKH just sort of threw in these random happenings to justify the book. Double murder - 1 chapter. Spring is formed - 1 chapter. Rest of the book, pointless.

The sex - I have absolutely no problem with there being explicit sex in a book. I enjoy it, h*ll I even read erotic romances. I have a problem with POINTLESS BORING sex. They're having sex and keep on stopping in the middle of it to have long drawn out conversations?! Seriously, I think if I had three guys on me, we wouldn't stop in the middle with a, "hey this is how I feel, etc. etc." I understand that the sex is an integral part, but please make it interesting and please make it advance the story. Even if it doesn't advance the story, at least keep it shorter and spicier so readers don't feel like they're being fed the same filler bull over and over. I almost feel as if LKH had a quota. She had to fill a certain amount of pages, and she didn't have enough story to do so, so...eureka! Lots of filler sex. I am awaiting the next installment, and I'll probably even buy it, but at the same time I shudder at the thought of reading when Merry goes to the goblin court. I can just picture the nonstop pointless and choppy sex that will probably be the whole book.

Characters - I really want her to stop throwing in these random, fluff characters. She introduces them, and they just kind of hover in the background, completely unnecessary, but ready to step in for a short quip or as a partner in sex. Half of the time I don't even remember their names and who they are. Ex: the one guard who's convinced Merry is his anasenguer (sp?) and vows his life for her. I'm pretty sure his name starts with an A, but what kind of "god" he is I couldn't tell you. I'm guessing a fertility god but that's just because most of them are.

More on the characters - I think LKH has a real problem with a stronger male lead. I hate reading novels where all the women do is cry and whine, so why the h*ll would I want to read one where that's all the male characters do? I understand Merry is a dominant, strong, female character not to be messed with. Hurray, I applaud that. But just b/c she's strong, why does that mean the males have to be weak? The male characters can still seem real (by showing weaknesses), without devolving into the role of children. I didn't know Merry was a babysitter. I think having stronger male characters would actually compliment Merry's role as ruler.

Does everyone HAVE to want Merry. It seems like every man she meets wants to have sex with her. Ok, I can suspend belief and believe that. I can just assume that every man she meets will want her (whatever the reason; be it power, political, etc) but I'm a tired of her being and doing EVERYTHING. It's kind of like the game that little kids play. You know, I'm the princess, well then I'm a queen, then I'm the empress, then I'm the ruler of the world, oh yeah well then I'm the queen of the universe, etc. etc.

LKH has gone even further in this vein with the Blake series, and I do not want to see it happening to Gentry and totally ruining it. I have a hard time accepting it, and that's why Anita and Merry are beginning to seem less and less real to me.

The novel did have some good points, I enjoyed reading parts of it, and at least there was a little bit of an explanation for some things.

All of that being said, I am still a fan of LKH. As evidenced in her earlier novels she does have talent and a wry wit that I enjoy tremendously. But for some reason her most recent novels have seemed to rely less on her talent, and more on pointlessness. I have a real problem with her treating her readers as if they have less intelligence and she can just continue to spoon us the same drivel and we'll keep on singing her praises.

LKH seems to have developed a bit of an ego since her books have done so well. Now it's almost as if she's just not even trying to put the same thought that she did in earlier works.

I will probably buy the next installment in the Blake and Gentry series. But if they continue on in this vein, with random sex to fill the pages, and not much of a story I intend to stop following the series. I hope LKH actually reads and listens to customer reviews and that she realizes what she's doing and saves the series. If she still doesn't, well then I guess she'll just keep on losing more and more fans.
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