By Laurell K. Hamilton
Place: Publisher, Year: New York: Ballantine Books, 2004
Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, dark fantasy, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, horror, mystery, occult fiction, erotic fiction
Series: Meredith Gentry series ; 3
Intended audience: Adult
Number of pages: 372
Setting: Los Angeles, CA and the Unseelie Court at Cahokia
Time period: Contemporary
Plot summary: As Merry readies herself for a visit to the Unseelie Court, she must renegotiate with her allies for continued protection. This becomes a complex process given that she seems to have gained new powers from her encounter with the Nameless (in A Caress of Twilight). Meanwhile, there are still attempts on her life, and she is still trying to become pregnant.
Pacing: Fast paced, yet slower than the previous two books. The first half contains more scenes of dialog and discussion; most of the action occurs in the second half of the book.
Characterization: Told in first person through Merry’s eyes. Most of Merry’s men have gained new powers in this story, yet it doesn’t much change their personalities; they seem slow to grow.
Frame: The sunshine of LA is only mentioned in the first chapter. Most scenes take place at night and/or indoors in the dark. The Unseelie Court reveals itself to be both more gruesome and magical this time around.
Story line: An entertaining story filled with much (unusual) sex and violence designed to appeal to many Americans. While many stories about the Seelie and Unseelie Courts seem to divide the two into light and dark, good and bad, this story reveals shadows and grayness in both courts.
Women private investigators — Fiction
Supernatural — Fiction
Fairies — Fiction
Gentry, Meredith (Fictitious character) – Fiction
Similar authors: (From NoveList) Charlane Harris, Alan F. Troop, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jim Butcher
Personal notes: Much of the writing felt flat and uninspired in this book. Merry’s need to view and describe people by their bodies first is starting to irritate me. I also don’t like it when authors feel the need to repeatedly remind readers of what happened in previous books. I can understand that authors may want to do this so that anyone can pick up a book in the series and not be left out in the dark, but there is an art to this which I don’t think Hamilton has mastered (at least not at this point in this series). I found her filling in of back story to be repetitive and annoying. I am still interested in the story and series, but I just want the characters to grow a bit more.
Other (themes, diversity): Diversity – female leaders.