So last night I finished A Stroke of Midnight by Laurell K. Hamilton. And I have this opinion (ha! I always have an opinion). But before I share my (main) opinion with you, I’m going to warn you now that there will probably be spoilers in this post. I’ll try not to do major ones, but really, if you’ve read a Merry Gentry or Anita Blake book, you’re not going to be shocked that there’s sex in them. And I’ll try not to give away any major plot (what there was of it) spoilers either. But there will be spoilers. So don’t read this post and then be mad ‘cuz I’ve ruined the book for you.
Anyone who even remotely follows any online romance discussions has seen threads complaining about the “decline” of LKH’s books. Heavy on sex and short on plot. How the heroine’s of the two series are beginning to border on the ludicrous with how their powers just keep getting stronger and stronger. Until they’re almost parodies of any real characters (can you tell I’m not loving the direction LKH has taken these books?). Granted, the Meredith Gentry series started out a bit sexier, but as I recall, those earlier books moved a little faster and offered some hope that the reader could expect to actually have things develop within one book- not within three. And that she- or he- could hope to see a resolution to some of the plot points that have been developed before their now newborn child has grandchildren of their own.
Let me just say it- I didn’t like this newest book. I’m tired of the whole thing. I want to read about more than one friggin’ day. An entire book and all we get is one day? That just pretty well sucks. But there was plenty of sex. I should have kept count of how many men and times and different positions. But I didn’t. It just got old and I skimmed those parts. Okay, other stuff happened. But nothing that really means we’re much closer to anything. Yeah, the queen is brutal. There are sidhe trying to kill Merry *gasp* Merry has to get pregnant. She can give powers back. She has to have lots of sex. Magical things happen. Well damnit, you know what- I said I wasn’t going to do major spoilers and here I’ve told you everything that happens in the book. Color me bad.
But I didn’t start this post to talk about how much I disliked and was disappointed with this book. I wanted to wonder ‘aloud’ how many other people think this series is actually mass marketed, poorly disguised erotic romance? Yep. I think Laurell K. Hamilton is actually writing erotic romance here. Insert a few more descriptive words for body parts and that’s what it is. In fact, I’ll bet there is more sex in this book than some of the EC books that are rated Sensual. Although it was kind of boring since it’s all…getting it on, getting it on, magical stuff happening…gotta f**k now…put it in me…whoo whoo orgasm…magical stuff happening…oops, people getting killed while Merry and some guy were boinking like kinky bunnies…
Anyhow, given the discrimination that is still prevalent against erotic romance by some readers and reviewers (as well as other authors) I think that if this book was being published by an ebook publisher as an erotic romance, it would get totally panned. Of course, I have no trouble panning it as is 😉 but I know there are fangirls out there who will continue to insist that LKH and this series are da bomb, baby. And that they puffy heart LKH 4evah** Seriously, this book does not deserve to be published in hardcover. It had little in the way of plot development, no great strides in character development, and basically didn’t move the series along in any significant way. All there was, was lots of sex. Which people often claim (mistakenly) is true of erotic romance. If you know someone who says they will never read erotic romance or don’t like erotic romance but they puffy heart LKH, you have my permission to send them my way- I’ll set ’em straight and give ’em the goods; LKH is writing (not very well IMO) erotic romance in the form of the Meredith Gentry series.
If you’re looking for a book to go on your keeper shelf, an entertaining read, something that you’ll be able to recommend to your friends, this is not it. Leave it on your TBB- to be bought- pile until you can buy it in paperback- at the used bookstore 😉
**I’m sorry, I saw that line somewhere recently and had to steal it. I’d credit the original author but I can’t remember where the heck I saw it. Too many blogs- too litle brain cells