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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Space Battle Lunchtime Volume 1: Lights, Camera, Snacktion!
Natalie Reiss
Progress: 20/120 pages
Fluency
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: A Novel
Becky Chambers
Progress: 148/441 pages
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas, Bill Homewood, Naxos AudioBooks
Progress: 667/3165 minutes
A Matter of Oaths
Helen S. Wright
Progress: 101/277 pages
Report on the Selected Problems of the Technical Departments of the University of Illinois Library
Raynard C. Swank
Progress: 20/42 pages
Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases
Professor Roy Benaroch, The Great Courses, The Great Courses
Progress: 34/725 minutes

Swallowing Darkness (Meredith Gentry, Book 7)

Swallowing Darkness - Laurell K. Hamilton I'm so glad I finally finished this book - now I can get it out of my apartment. I really shouldn't check out any more of Hamilton's books, although I'm sure I will anyway. But, who knows, maybe I won't - I think I might be to the point where I don't really care how the Meredith Gentry series ends or what happens to Anita Blake next.Unlike some of the earlier books in this series, this particular one doesn't have a whole lot of sex in it. There's some talking about sex (for instance, an awkward conversation in which Meredith tells Mistral she doesn't want him to kneel before her, except under certain circumstances, and, because Mistral doesn't get it, Doyle must explain that she's referring to oral sex), accidental Red Cap groping, accompanied by a Red Cap hard-on, and one actual sex scene involving Meredith in a threesome with Ash and Holly. That leaves an impressive number of pages for actual plot. Unfortunately, it seems as though all the sex in the previous books really did serve a purpose - it obscured how boring and mechanical the plot was. With nothing to hide behind, all that comes to the surface in this book. One of Meredith's men ends up in danger, and Meredith and the power of the Goddess move in to save him. Repeat. Sprinkle in lots of long, excruciatingly detailed conversations in which characters explain things to each other so that everything is always very clear. If the explanations involve sex, that's great, right? Sexy. Yup. And if you don't think so, you're a prude.The one bit that I thought had promise was Gran's reaction to some of the fathers of Meredith's children. All the other problems in the book were magicked away so often that "the power of the Goddess" became something of a joke, but Meredith loved her grandmother, so emotional strife with her would actually have to be worked through for things to really work out. Or so I thought. It turns out that, what the power of the Goddess can't fix, death can.One other thing that kind of, well, pissed me off about this book was Meredith's attitude towards her relationships (which, since Anita has the same sort of attitude, is part of my general problem with Hamilton's recent works). First, there's the whole "love" issue. Meredith frequently notices how sad several of her men become when they realize that they'll never be her "one and only." At one point, if I remember correctly, Meredith thinks of it as a queenly thing - she can't love just one person, because, as a queen, her love has to be spread out more. And yet, by the end, it's clear that, at the very least, she loves Doyle and Frost more than her other men - but she also loves her other men. Lucky her, rather than having to choose between any of them, she gets to have all of them. Even luckier, none of them rebel too much, which brings me to the next thing about this whole situation that pisses me off.At one point, Sholto does rebel. Faerie handfasts Meredith and Sholto - even though several other men are also the fathers of her children, Faerie only handfasted Meredith and Sholto at that point. Sholto, Doyle, and Mistral all point out that this means that Sholto is now Meredith's husband, and it is technically his right to choose not to share her with the other men. It's their people's law. However, it's not a law Meredith particularly wants to follow, so she refuses to listen and cites a legend about a goddess that she thinks proves Sholto doesn't have sole rights to her. Also, in her words to Sholto: "...you wouldn't like what would happen if you tried to make me be monogamous with just you" (p. 163). I really, really wanted to smack her after she said this. She's allowed to sleep with multiple men (and, in the case of Ash and Holly, even men who aren't the fathers of her children), and they're supposed to put up with it. Plus, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't react pleasantly if any of them decided they wanted to sleep with other women in addition to her.I can't really say that I hated this book, I think because I was so relieved that it wasn't filled with horribly detailed sex scenes (the suggestive title was worrisome). I disliked it, though. If I do read the next book, it'll only be because I want to appease the part of me that forces me to plod through terrible things just so I won't have a partially finished story nagging me in the back of my mind.(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)