March 09, 2004
5. Seduced by Moonlight, Laurell K. Hamilton
I was so excited about the first two Merry Gentry books. Here was someone who was dealing with faerie mythos in modern times, in an interesting (and yes, often soft-core porn) way. I thought the morality of Hamilton's fae was pretty spot on. And at the center of it all, Merry Gentry was an interesting character. Capable, but weaker than everyone around her--something she had to worry about and struggle with constantly. She was part of faerie, and yet not.
And now, with the third book, we see Hamilton do with Merry what it took her nine or ten books to do with Anita Blake: she Mary Sue'd the character to death. Merry's gradually gotten more powerful before now, but in the third book, boom! She's Uber Fae! Everybody wants her! She can do everything!
I won't spoil the details in case you want to read it, but if you're like me, you'll be rolling your eyes for much of the book. Once again we have endless scenes of the attractive men around our short, feisty heroine going, "But no one's ever been able to DO that before, Merry/Anita!" I'd have to double check this, but it seems like the more powerful Hamilton makes her main character, the more often we see scenes of her weak and "near death" (yeah right) from some Herculean feat, lolling in the arms of one of her harem. By my calculations, this means the next MG book will be 300 pages of Merry doing the impossible and then languishing in Doyle's arms.
I'm frustrated, yes. This could have been so much more. There's absolutely no plot until you're over halfway through the book, for god's sake! And I don't mean that the first half is all porn, either. It's a little bit of porn, then an ENDLESS series of conversations either about how powerful Merry now is or about her resolving the jealousy of everybody sleeping with her.
And yet, I know I'll keep reading. If nothing else, it's giving me a clear view of what NOT to do in my own work.
March 02, 2004
4. Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
I was due for some good, entertaining fiction, and this one came my way via the local library's book sale--it was mine for the rock bottom price of $0.25. I already knew I loved Neil Gaiman. I've always been sort of enh on Terry Pratchett because his humor tends to get rather shrill at times--but this time I think the shrillness was toned down a bit by Gaiman. I think they work well together.
Anyway, it was a fun look at the nature of good and evil. Humorous and mildly thought-provoking at the same time.