Kat Kennedy's Reviews > A Kiss of Shadows

A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton
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's review
Jul 10, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: books-that-deserve-painful-death
Read from July 10 to December 07, 2011

There was a lot about this book that I didn't like, but only some of it can be legitimately complained about.

I can't really complain about the amount and type of sex in this book like I could for Anita Blake because, unlike Anita Blake, this book is meant to have sex in it! It is Erotica.

Sure, the silent, gaping, hole where my soul is shrieking over the tentacle sex would be fun to discuss, but I really can't. I highly doubt many people would pick this book up without knowing that it's freaky beyond all reason and probably violates the Geneva Convention at least a couple of times. Plus, I'm pretty sure 35% of it is illegal in a minimum of three American states.

But luckily, LKH gives me plenty else to complain about and it just happens to be pretty much everything wrong with the later Anita Blake books too!

The writing in this novel was horrible but it was actually the story telling and characterization that made it particularly difficult to wade through.

The issue LKH has with taking 200 pages for all of the characters in Anita Blake to argue, discuss and consider her tampon brand is right here for easy access in MG.

Aside from a short opening scene, the majority of this 400 page novel occurs within 48 hour span. Of those 48 hours, Merry is unconscious for a good 24(ish, I suppose, it's easy to lose track of time during the waffling!)of those.

So basically the story revolves around Merry going back to Fairy, attending a party and heading home. Along the way she gives a sideways glance at a mystery that solves itself, has a lot of sex and relies on unpredictable, unexplainable sex/blood powers to fix all her problems and save the day.

I was hoping that this book, unlike Anita Blake, would actually show Merry CHOOSING to have sex with a bunch of men, but not really. Once again circumstances and people more powerful than herself force her to do it. Really. She's just a victim here, guys.

It's also a disturbing trend that LKH's female characters use their bodies/sex to heal emotional hurts in others because, despite everything healthy and normal, apparently you can do that.

If you want to get laid then just give Merry/Anita a sob story about how you're so broken up inside/can't get laid/have some kind of repressed issues etc and she'll most likely sleep with you then. Because that's all you need. Her magic cooter will heal all your ills. I wonder about the message it sends when Merry/Anita has so little self esteem and values her body so little. In fact, I worry about the disconnected way that Merry/Anita use their bodies - almost as if it was just a tool to share around for the greater good.

It almost makes me feel weird for only having sex with people because I WANT to have sex with them. The part where she only considers turning down a man with tentacles spewing out of his abdomen, because she won't be able to properly fake her orgasms was a little disconcerting!

Japanese porn and WTF?!?!?!?!
LKH, WTF? Give us back our tentacle sex. -Japan

Basically, unless you feel like reading something for shits tentacles and giggles, don't bother.

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Reading Progress

07/10/2011 page 1
0.0% "I'm...er, not entirely sure why I'm reading this." 3 comments
02/21/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-32 of 32) (32 new)

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Megan I loved this book when I was a high schooler wanting to read something my mother would disapprove of, but after I got older, I realized that's all it's good for - making the 15 year old in me giggle at the naughty. Great review!

message 2: by Flannery (new)

Flannery I couldn't make it through this book:-/ But I love the 'magic cooter' comment. Priceless.

Misty We read this in my bookclub, so discussing it was...interesting. I think all I said the whole time was

And LKH definitely has a type, doesn't she? If I have to read about ONE MORE lustily described, hair-to-the-floor man with interestingly-colored eyes, I may actually hunt her down and lobotomize her.

message 4: by Brad (new)

Brad I have a thing recently for tentacles, so I guess I am doomed to try it.

LethalLovely~Maybe I've Always Been More Comfortable in Chaos ROFLMAO! No! Not the tentacle sex! Even though Sholto is pretty damn hot minus the....*shudder*

Great review, Momma!

Christina I totally agree with this! Anita/Merry are never taking any responsibility for their sexuality. They just have to have sex because... their powers are pushing them to it, they don't want other person to feel bad, etc. I feel like the author is afraid that their characters will be seen as sluts or something. She really needs to get over that, especially with the amount of sex she puts in.

Spider the Doof Warrior Good points. Though for some odd reason I like this book.
Mostly Doyle... Who is awesome. And Sholto is kind of cool... but yeah...
They aren't sexy.

Beth Barkley Although I like the books because I have an obsession with sidhe fiction, I definitely see where your points are coming from. Mostly, I just wanted to comment on your review because "magic cooter" made me snort-laugh, thank you!

message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy I didn't even read the book, but I came across your review on accident and had to give you props on "Her magic cooter will heal all your ills." I'm still giggling. :)

message 10: by Ashley (new)

Ashley umm tentacle sex?? I dont think I can read this book... That goes a little beyond kinky for me...

Miriam It's not just you, Ashley -- the character was practically gagging during that scene. Blech.

message 12: by Ashley (new)

Ashley You would think that if it is enough to make you gag you wouldnt do it. When I think about an erotic book I believe that it is supposed to invoke erotic feelings not gag reflexes lol

Miriam Yeah, if I wanted to have to skip scenes because they made me sick I would read horror instead of erotica!

message 14: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Well I am happy for the warning! I thought about giving this series a shot because I liked her Anita Blake series but now I know to stay far away.

Miriam That's why I read these, but there was way more sex and at the same time way less sexiness.

Alexandra Your reviews are hilarious! I agree that there are some serious issues with Anita and Merry, but I will say that these books are a potent aphrodisiac... especially for those of us who like our erotica on the kinky side.

Miriam You can have my share of the tentacle porn if you'll give me your share of the plot-action :)

Alexandra Deal!

Miriam Now I'm envisioning a build-your-own-book function where the author could write extra or alternative scenes and the reader could choose.

Scene: Anita meets Detective McHotjunk in his office.

And then the reader could select
A) Anita and the Detective have violent handcuff sex.
B) Anita and the Detective discuss the investigation.

For a nominal extra fee the reader could see both scenes. I think there could be money in that.

Alexandra OMG that's brilliant!!! It's like one of those "choose your own adventure books" I read in the third grade. What would be even hotter is if you could choose your level of kinkiness. Some gals are good with a little flirting and non-descriptive vanilla sex, whereas others of us need some tie-me-down and beat me with a log while in half-man half-leopard form to get the juices going. It would be a perfect compromise!

message 21: by Miriam (last edited Nov 29, 2012 03:43PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Miriam This is where e-format would be awesome! The sex scene could start, and then there could be clickable drop-down folds for how graphic or kinky you wanted it to go. Maybe with some tag words in case readers are looking for or avoiding particular things.

Alexandra We totally need to market this idea to publishers! I should contact LKH and see what she thinks- it would be awesome to have an author on board with the idea and I can see how many of the criticisms of her work in particular could be remedied with such an approach.

Spider the Doof Warrior That would be brilliant.

message 24: by Bex (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bex Forgan i liked the tentacle scene. i found it intriguing.

Kristy Clay This review was at least 5 times better than this shitty book!

message 26: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Dawson Your review was AMAZING. I'm so glad I read it.

message 27: by Amaryllis (last edited Oct 12, 2014 06:52AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amaryllis DUCIEL And that's when I curse french publishers : here, this book WASN'T classified as an Erotica.

Elizabeth Young *chuckle* I laughed out loud at the "WTF? Give us back our tentacle sex! ~Japan" comment. :)
Yeah, I have to agree with you. I've never read something so bug-nuts in all my life. Sadly I read the next 6 hopefully they would get better but when they didn't and got even more gratuitous, I decided to not bother. I don't have a problem with sex in books normally but I do have a problem with sex used in place of plot and I found these books a waste of time.

message 29: by Kristy (new)

Kristy Well I read the Anita Blake series a while back and got burned out on those for all the same reasons thanks for your review BC I was looking for a new series and this popped up thanks for saving me the time

message 30: by Nickey (new)

Nickey I can see what you mean. It doesn't bother me. I found the book an enjoyable look into a way of life drastically different than my own. I consider Merry and Anita, people who just have different views on sex and sexuality from your average woman. Sex means something different to everyone. Personally, I am obsessed with reading about it, but when it comes to my personal life, my vagina is on lockdown unless you own my heart, which I do not hand out freely.

That being said, I know not everyone has that same point of view. I think Hamilton, by having the women not quite human makes sense of this strange sexual behavior.

message 31: by Alexa (new)

Alexa Ashryver Merry is already a whore in the summary I don't know if it is possible for her to become a bigger whore. Honestly, I don't wanna find out.....

message 32: by Serenity (new) - added it

Serenity Chaotic First "Magic Cooter"

You win the prize!

Second the comments to your review.. Too funny!!

3rd.. Never going to look at Calamari the same again..
Thank you

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