Shannon's Reviews > Divine Misdemeanors

Divine Misdemeanors by Laurell K. Hamilton
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did not like it
bookshelves: fairies, erotic-fantasy, borrowed, terrible-writing, hated-this-book, hate-this-series, wtf-is-wrong-with-me, abandoned-series, abandoned-author
Recommended for: only hardcore fans

I'm not really sure why I read this series anymore. The actual mystery of the novel is shoved aside for the better part of the book to make way for arguing, sex, and pissing contests. And if it's not that, then the rest of the book is made up of hair and eye color descriptions for all the various characters. Hamilton's fascination with hair down to the ankles and with the varying heights of the characters is mind-boggling. She seems to spend more time thinking up these various combinations than actually working on the plot.

Merry's decided she's going to be a detective now that she's been exiled to California. She gets called in to help the police with a case where faeries are being murdered and arranged and posed to look like pages out of a fairy tale book. Merry's men don't want her to get too involved since she's pregnant, but Merry is stubborn and wants to know who's killing her people. About 250 pages go by after this initial setup and we arrive at the conclusion of the story. The mystery is figured out and wrapped up within the last 30 pages or so. Just about everything that happens in between is either a rehash of old events, pissing contests between the men, or Merry running around trying not to get herself killed.

Doyle and Frost, Merry's two main men are little more than bodyguards in this book. She doesn't sleep with them and Frost barely says a word at all. Doyle's main phrase throughout the book is; "Once I was the Queen's Darkness ..." while Frost's phrase is; "I was once the Killing Frost ..." They both like to wax poetic on how badass they used to be but it just seems silly now. It's gotten to the point where I honestly like Sholto better, his character is more developed and he actually has a personality. Doyle and Frost seem castrated and I've grown bored with them.

My biggest problem with this book though is the repetition and constant explanations that are unnecessary and bog the book down. There are so many phrases and scenes in this book that feel lifted from the previous novels that at times it feels like Hamilton copied and pasted to fill up the pages. There would be times when someone would say or do something wrong and this would be pointed out to the reader and then someone would say, "what did I miss, why is that wrong?" and then it'd be explained.

Then, if things weren't being explained constantly, Merry was arguing with her men about who was in charge. And if Merry wasn't arguing about who was in charge then the men were arguing with each other. I don't know why Hamilton thinks this moves the plot along because it doesn't. It's frustrating to say the least.

The men Merry sleeps with in this book are mostly secondary characters and it's gotten to the point where it just doesn't make sense anymore. She claims to love Doyle and Frost as her main men but hardly spends any time with them. She's pregnant now so she doesn't have to whore around so much but she chooses to anyway and I don't see the reason for this other than Hamilton wanting to write all the different and strange sex scenes. I have to say that probably without the sex scenes this book would be even weaker than it was though.

This series has so much potential and each book it just seems to be wasted. The main mystery is forgotten for most of the book and then neatly wrapped up within the last few pages. Hamilton's writing suffers more and more with each book and she could really benefit from a new editor, or maybe even a break from writing all together. I'm mostly disappointed because I thought Swallowing Darkness was actually a step-up from the previous books, but now it seems like that was just an anomaly. I honestly don't know if Hamilton will ever change her writing though, because she does sell her books. I can hope though.
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Reading Progress

June 18, 2009 – Shelved
December 4, 2009 – Started Reading
December 4, 2009 –
page 0
0.0% "Muahahaha.... we got it in early!"
December 5, 2009 –
page 172
51.65% "Sigh ... I'm kind of disappointed with this one."
December 6, 2009 –
page 277
83.18% "Whenever Merry has sex with Kitto it really creeps me out. And nothing is happening in this book and I'm almost done. Gotta take a break ..."
December 7, 2009 –
page 333
100.0% "Right now, I'm giving this 1 star. I'm going to think it over and write up a review but honestly, this one was not good at all."
December 7, 2009 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-42 of 42 (42 new)

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FlibBityFLooB I'm going to be reading this when it arrives from amazon tomorrow, but it sounds like it may not be worth it. Great review! :)


Shannon FlibBityFLooB wrote: "I'm going to be reading this when it arrives from amazon tomorrow, but it sounds like it may not be worth it. Great review! :)"

Thanks! I think if you're a hardcore fan you'll need to read it but I can't imagine recommending it to someone new to the series. I'm really curious to see what other people think though.




CJ - It's only a Paper Moon Yeah, I stopped reading it after the Kiss of Frost or whichever that book was.

It just got .... tedious.


message 4: by Julia (new)

Julia Shannon,

I gave up on LKH looong ago, but I do appreciate your review!


Shannon Very tedious and completely unimaginative. I don't buy her books anymore either. I'm not giving her any more money until she starts writing better. Thankfully they're such a quick read that I don't waste too much time on them though.


Shannon Julia wrote: "Shannon,

I gave up on LKH looong ago, but I do appreciate your review!"


Thanks! Honestly, I don't know if I could give up completely. I think I'm just too invested in the series and it's like a train wreck that I just have to see the end of.




Shannon I found this on Amazon and thought it was hilarious:

Phrases I never want to hear again


message 8: by Shanon (new)

Shanon I felt Swallowing Darkness was a good book after a string of bad ones in this series. It's sad to hear that LKH goes right back to no plot in favor of physical descriptions, sex & stubborness you'd think Merry would be over by now. /sigh/ I was invested in this series but I think Swallowing Darkness was a good ending so I'm done.

Thanks for the great review Shannon!


Shannon Shanon wrote: "I was invested in this series but I think Swallowing Darkness was a good ending so I'm done. "

Nooo, you have to suffer along with me! ; )


message 10: by new_user (new)

new_user This is a great review. I can imagine exactly what you mean, and I've never read LKH before, and I don't blame you for disliking this book, from the sounds of it. LOL.


message 11: by I ♥ Bookie Nookie (bookienookiereviews.blogspot.com) (last edited Dec 08, 2009 10:30AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

I ♥ Bookie Nookie (bookienookiereviews.blogspot.com) i didnt read all your review because I didnt want to spoil what little I was looking forward to...we have discussed this before, but her over explaining everything gets so boring and I find myself skimming the pages to get to something interesting.

I did read down to the part that Frost and Doyle are little more than body guards now and they don't even have sex? Good lord, that is the main thing I looked forward to in this series is a little dirty hot sex. Bummer...

Well, I am like number 200 on the wait list at the library, maybe by that time i will have forgotten how bad it is supposed to be...


The Flooze Damn it.

It's funny...this whole review could be rewritten, substituting Anita Blake's details for Merry's, and it would apply perfectly to Skin Trade. Maybe we can hope that they suck more because they are bridge books? Maybe?

::foolishly hopeful::


FlibBityFLooB Cherra wrote: "Good lord, that is the main thing I looked forward to in this series is a little dirty hot sex. Bummer..."

HEHEHE! Dirty little hot sex ;) I agree, Frost & Doyle were the two to look forward to, so if they are truly only guards in this one I will be bummed out :P
Incidently, 200 people in the wait list. EEK! There must be a lot of horny Laura Hamilton fans in Florida *grin*



Shannon Cherra wrote: "I did read down to the part that Frost and Doyle are little more than body guards now and they don't even have sex? Good lord, that is the main thing I looked forward to in this series is a little dirty hot sex. Bummer..."

There are sex scenes but they're mostly with secondary characters. Frost is hardly even in the book. You get to hear how his hair is like Christmas tinsel and the story about how he used to be Jacky Frost (AGAIN) and that's about it.


Shannon Michelle M. wrote: "It's funny...this whole review could be rewritten, substituting Anita Blake's details for Merry's, and it would apply perfectly to Skin Trade."

My thoughts EXACTLY. I used to look forward to Merry's books more because they hadn't gotten as bad as Anita's. Now that's not even the case anymore. It really is sad.


CJ - It's only a Paper Moon Shannon wrote: "I found this on Amazon and thought it was hilarious:

Phrases I never want to hear again"


I second the Drinking Game!

By the way - I loved Frost and then...ugh ugh ugh.


message 17: by Beanbag (new)

Beanbag Love Great review! I read the first one and had a hard time remembering it twelve hours after finishing it. I keep meaning to go on to the second one, but it's hard to get going on a series that I can see will disappoint me later. :-/


Carolyn F. Shannon wrote: "I found this on Amazon and thought it was hilarious:

Phrases I never want to hear again"


Hysterical. I'm going to do the drinking game this Saturday and see how long I last.


I ♥ Bookie Nookie (bookienookiereviews.blogspot.com) FlibBityFLooB wrote: "Cherra wrote: "Good lord, that is the main thing I looked forward to in this series is a little dirty hot sex. Bummer..."

HEHEHE! Dirty little hot sex ;) I agree, Frost & Doyle were the two t..."


yep...those dirty little library people...


I ♥ Bookie Nookie (bookienookiereviews.blogspot.com) Shannon wrote: "Cherra wrote: "I did read down to the part that Frost and Doyle are little more than body guards now and they don't even have sex? Good lord, that is the main thing I looked forward to in this seri..."

you brought up another good point in the review--WHAT IS UP WITH THE HAIR COLORS? It really gets on my nerves--I actually skim over the paragraph when she goes into crazy detail about the length and color of their hair and the odd coloring of their skin. Very strange.


The Flooze I'm having flash backs of Sweet Valley Twins. How in every book it would describe them as identical with long blonde hair and blue eyes except one had a beauty mark etc., etc.

The only one of Merry's men that freaks me out is Galen because I can't imagine the light green skin. Makes me think of sea sickness or a corpse.


message 22: by new_user (new)

new_user LOL. I'm telling you, it's the anime influence. Don't you think so, Shannon?


Carolyn F. Michelle M. wrote: "I'm having flash backs of Sweet Valley Twins. How in every book it would describe them as identical with long blonde hair and blue eyes except one had a beauty mark etc., etc.

The only one of M..."


What about Kitto?



The Flooze Kitto I don't imagine as exactly humanlike, so it removes a lot of that sense of oddity. He's more goblin in my head so it's easy to remember him as being "other." With Galen, I imagine a sweet, sorta surferesque, normal looking guy, and then suddenly remember to green-wash him. Makes for an odd image in my head.

That said, you're right...Kitto does freak me out because I think of him as rather childlike...makes the sex bizarre to me.


Shannon Carolyn wrote: "Shannon wrote: "I found this on Amazon and thought it was hilarious:

Phrases I never want to hear again"

Hysterical. I'm going to do the drinking game this Saturday and see how long I last. "


You'll have to let us know how far you get before you pass out. Lol.


Shannon Beanbag wrote: "Great review! I read the first one and had a hard time remembering it twelve hours after finishing it. I keep meaning to go on to the second one, but it's hard to get going on a series that I can see will disappoint me later. :-/"

Thanks! I know what you mean though, I can't honestly recommend this series to anyone anymore. And when people ask me about Anita's books I tell them they're good for a while and then it's just downhill after book 8 or so. Do you really want to invest all that time and energy into reading a series that just craps out at the end?


Shannon Cherra wrote: "you brought up another good point in the review--WHAT IS UP WITH THE HAIR COLORS? It really gets on my nerves--I actually skim over the paragraph when she goes into crazy detail about the length and color of their hair and the odd coloring of their skin. Very strange."

You know what also drives me nuts? Why can't anyone be a normal height? I realize they're magical beings and all but does everyone have to be either 7 feet or 4 feet tall? Such a strange thing to be fixated on along with all the weird hair, skin, and tri-colored eyes.


Shannon Michelle M. wrote: "The only one of Merry's men that freaks me out is Galen because I can't imagine the light green skin. Makes me think of sea sickness or a corpse."

"With Galen, I imagine a sweet, sorta surferesque, normal looking guy, and then suddenly remember to green-wash him. Makes for an odd image in my head."


SAME HERE! And I was reading over in the Amazon forum somewhere and apparently Nitta (I think) used to have purple skin and now he has tanned brown skin. Even though it's a crazy inconsistency I'm glad I don't have to imagine someone purple.


Shannon new_user wrote: "LOL. I'm telling you, it's the anime influence. Don't you think so, Shannon?"

Yes, definitely. She had to have gotten the idea of Sholto's "extra bits" from watching hentai.




Shannon Carolyn wrote: "What about Kitto?"

Kitto creeps me out! I hate how she describes him as childlike. Those scenes really bother me and I don't understand LKH's need to reinforce the idea of how small and innocent Kitto looks, it's just not right.


message 31: by new_user (new)

new_user And the ankle-length, many-colored hair! Eyes too. LOL.


Shannon new_user wrote: "And the ankle-length, many-colored hair! Eyes too. LOL."

Very true. Harems are very popular as well, both male and female.




Cathy Good review, thanks. I'm about 1/2 through and enjoying it, but... I like that Merry and her world feels instantly accessible and real. Merry's voice is very clear to me. I even like the descriptions of hair and height and such, although it is a bit excessive. I like being able to picture things clearly, to feel like I could step into the room and everything and everyone would be familiar. Plus inner vs. outer beauty is a theme and the looks are part of the story for me.

But the last book had plot and drive that this seems to lack. So far it's just drifting. I have no problem with sex with multiple partners when it moves a plot along. I just can't figure out yet why she needed to have sex with 2 new guards to prove she wasn't going to go crazy jealous. Or comforting a former noble who was tortured and broken by Andais. How does that add to the story of the new plan the Goddess has for humans, which is what I thought this book would be about. The mystery is just the "episode" that moves the arc of the story along, at least in every other series, be it book or TV. There are some items that add to the arc so far, but it's so unfocused. Mostly it's a collection of encounters that tell micro-stories of related to Merry's history, family, compassion, leadership or magic, but that don't contribute to an overall story arc. Interesting but irrelevant moments.

Sorry, that was longer than I inteneded, the ideas swimming around in my head suddenly came together when i read the review and comments. I'm sure you'll see a lot of it again in my review. Hopefully I'll find more meat in the 2nd half to mitigate my current feeling of eh-ness.


Gothicladybug im just gonna cry over this and anita skin trade truly just made me wanna cry i will read it cause as some one said im too invested in it to stop but i feel like shes killing people i love with slow painful deaths


Gothicladybug Shannon wrote: "Julia wrote: "Shannon,

I gave up on LKH looong ago, but I do appreciate your review!"

Thanks! Honestly, I don't know if I could give up completely. I think I'm just too invested in the series and..."


i totally agree down to the letter


message 36: by Galla (new)

Galla It's more fun to read rants about LKH's more recent books than it is to actually read the books these days. Thanks for taking one for the team, lol!

I'm in the same boat with True Blood. I just couldn't take it anymore--but I do love checking on message boards after an episode airs to see everyone's "WTF" factor explode.


message 37: by Llsbear3 (new)

Llsbear3 I just want to know what the children look like. Two
kids with four fathers. A black child with green hair
& blue eyes or a white child with blue hair & green
eyes. Just think of the possible gene matching.


Courtney Nance Dude... I'm so mad at you for shitting on my favorite series.... Ive been waiting for years for a the next one, and I hope she's not put off by people like you...


Shannon Courtney wrote: "Dude... I'm so mad at you for shitting on my favorite series.... Ive been waiting for years for a the next one, and I hope she's not put off by people like you..."

Ask me if I care


message 40: by Supratim (new)

Supratim Nice review, Holy Terror!


Suzanne the Bookaholic and Proud I'm going to be reading this soon, and now I'm worried that it's come to the same fate like other series where they just go downhill, great review by the way xx


message 42: by Lea (new) - added it

Lea Kane So true about the hair down to the ankles. That's not attractive or desirable at all. She definitely uses describing things as filler and I don't care what color all three rings to each of their eyes looks like.


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