Top critical review
Oh LKH... Do Better
Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2014
I will start by saying I literally own all of the books from this series, and from the Anita Blake series. I must admit, for this series and Anita's I have continued purchasing hoping that there will be a return to the early LKH style, that was full of plot, snappy dialogue, action, and great character development. And having said that, I need her to do better. I truly believe that the author has not read her books from the beginning, she has not refreshed herself on the stories she began. And that is truly hurting her writing, and stunting her growth as an author. I was really looking forward to this book, since it's been so long since the last Merry installment. And I must say I'm disappointed.
The first let down is that everything seems to happen in the last 3 chapters. We've gone 40 chapters of repetitive dialogue and unnecessary character description, and missed opportunities for a great book, to land at the end with so much happening, almost no explanation, just gave a rushed ending feel. The major event was very sad, and there was no preparing for it, but it's wrapped up so quickly, that you barely have time to realize what happened. A bit more surrounding that plot point, as well as the issues with Andais & Taranis would have made for a better book. The lengthy descriptions of people we already know, and the slow moving chapters were just too much filler, constantly. Also, the repetitive signs of the roses, and other such things, became really annoying. Oh and the babies! We don't really see any of Merry being pregnant and with her men, we really don't see the relationships that the men are developing with the babies, all of these things are happening outside of the reader's perception. We really get brief glimpses of them, and when we do it's not really about them, its usually Merry going into some tizzy about one thing or the other. Which brings me to another point, Merry is constantly crying and hysterical now? Really?
I think several things need to happen to get this series back on track, and this honestly goes for her Anita Blake series as well. LKH desperately needs to go back and read every book in the series, with a lot of focus on the books that made people fall in love with the series in the first place. Then, I think she needs a great editor who is invested in the series, and also able to point out the flaws in character development and repetitiveness that are plaguing these books. I've heard that this is the last book on her contract that allows for no editing, and I am hoping that is accurate information. Writer's alway have problems editing their own content, because they're too invested in what they've written, and can't take a few steps back from it to accurately assess issues. And finally, I think that she needs to take some of herself out of the books. I can't help but feel like she is writing her own personality, wishes and fantasies too heavily into these characters. Yes, these books come from author's imaginations and experiences, but the characters are supposed to be given life through the author, not the author plopping themselves into the book, if that makes sense.
I hope that she gets it together over there, and brings back the spark and creativity that made her great in the first place. Otherwise, she will soon lose me, and other fans who have been there from the beginning.