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A Kiss of Shadows: Meredith Gentry, Book 1 | [Laurell K. Hamilton]

A Kiss of Shadows: Meredith Gentry, Book 1

"All it would take was my true name being mentioned after dark, and it would float back to my aunt. She was the Queen of Air and Darkness, and that meant that anything said in the dark was hers to hear, eventually. The fact that spotting the missing Elven American Princess had become more popular than spotting Elvis helped."
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Publisher's Summary

"All it would take was my true name being mentioned after dark, and it would float back to my aunt. She was the Queen of Air and Darkness, and that meant that anything said in the dark was hers to hear, eventually.

"The fact that spotting the missing Elven American Princess had become more popular than spotting Elvis helped. Her magic was always chasing blind leads: Princess Meredith skiing in Utah. Princess Meredith dancing in Paris. Princess Meredith gambling in Vegas. After three years, I was still a front-page story for the tabloids, though the latest headlines had been speculating that I was as dead as the King of Rock and Roll."

In fact, Meredith has been posing as a human in Los Angeles, living as a private investigator specializing in supernatural crime. But now Doyle, the Queen's chief bodyguard and assassin, has been dispatched to fetch her back - whether she likes it or not. And suddenly Meredith finds herself a pawn in her dreaded aunt's plans...plans that affect the future of the entire UnSeelie Court.

The requirements of the job: to enjoy the constant company of the most beautiful - and immortal - men in the world. The reward: the crown - and the opportunity to continue to live. The penalty: death.

Fairie tales: listen to another Meredith Gentry fantasy.

©2000 Laurell K. Hamilton; (P)2000 Laurell K. Hamilton

What the Critics Say

"[A]n edgy story of sex, violence, and magic that manages to be both disturbing and entertaining." (Library Journal)
"As wild as the novel's premise is, memorable characters and wicked wit make it all delicious, ribald fun." (Publishers Weekly)
"I've never read a writer with a more fertile imagination." (Diana Gabaldon)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1022 )
5 star
 (462)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.1 (591 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (578 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (68)
2 star
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1 star
 (18)
Performance
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  •  
    Mysticalsister San Francisco, CA, United States 03-21-09
    Mysticalsister San Francisco, CA, United States 03-21-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not for the prudish reader -- but,"

    If your not shy about very well written sex scenes, that are also important to the storyline, than this series is a wild ride. Princess Meridith is descended from several fertility goddesses, so naturally her greatest power is expressed in the bedroom. Her lovers are all beings who have lost their power, and consequently, the world of the fey is dying -- but through her, they, and the fey, are revitalized. As a fiction writer, I find Ms. Hamilton's depictions to be a masterclass in writing a compelling sex scene. As a fan, I am endlessly entertained by her originality, and the courage of her convictions to tell the story as it is meant to be told. Having read the series, I'm now enjoying the audio books, just as much, if not more. The narrator is perfect.

    For those who find it to be too much, I say, quit complaining and move along. This series is meant for adults. Go read Harry Potter. Again.

    26 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Willie Allen, TX, USA 03-24-09
    Willie Allen, TX, USA 03-24-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    8
    Overall
    "A Kiss of Shadows"

    This book is a tease. The plot and characters are great even the sex is cool, for about half of the book. Ms. Hamilton has a great flow to her dialogue and she creates a great land escape for the book. At some point in the story she seems to stop trying to have a great book and just settles for an ok sexual fantasy book. Also the narrator does a bad job with male voices. There are some female narrators that handle male voices a lot better.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan indianapolis, IN, United States 06-02-09
    Jonathan indianapolis, IN, United States 06-02-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "compelling adult fantasy"

    firstly, let me say the narrator is a perfect match for the book. some combo's just work. i put this on par with michael prichard's readings of nero wolf; marguerite gavin's readings of the hollows series; james earl jones as the voice of darth vader.

    there is a good plot here, it just isn't obvious early on. there is a good deal of sex also. though i for one think that it is done with style and taste, not the crass porn others have called it. if this were a film i would give it an R, not an X. in most cases it certainly furthers the plot. by the end of the book i was hooked and am greatly looking forward to book 2. lots of loose ends for the story to continue on. whatever will become of our heroine's poor brother?

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Port McNeill, British Columbia, Canada 12-27-09
    Kelly Port McNeill, British Columbia, Canada 12-27-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thumbs Down"

    If you are looking for an action/mystery with a fantasy setting this isn't the book for you. If you are looking for multiple sex scenes with fantasy characters, you are in the right place. The plot takes the protagonist from partner to partner with very little content in between.
    I found this title very disappointing and was unable to finish it. Titles of this genre (erotic fantasy?) should be differentiated from traditional sci-fi/fantasy.

    18 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue A McCrory 04-14-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Get a New Narrator!"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes and no. This is actually a review of the first FOUR books - to be fair, the author is to blame for some of the problems here. She has a tendency to use the same metaphors, descriptions, phrases, over and over and over and over until you want to say ENOUGH ALREADY, are there no other descriptive phrases you can use? Here's a thesaurus, try using it.

    And while I realize the sex is supposed to be between magical beings and therefore it's probably to be expected that some of the acts described would be - um - improbable? In some cases physically impossible?

    On the other hand, the books aren't a complete waste of time - they are interesting if you like this kind of magical/erotic/urban romance/fantasy thing. And if you can get passed the issues with the narration - OMG, the issues with the narration. See below for my rant over that.


    Would you recommend A Kiss of Shadows to your friends? Why or why not?

    Probably not as an audiobook, simply because of the narration issues I'm going to describe below.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Get someone else to record them - pretty much ANYONE else.

    1. Narrator cannot seem to maintain consistency in how she pronounces names. For the first three books, "Doyle" is pronounced how you would expect. Suddenly, in the fourth book, she begins pronouncing it "Dole" (like the pineapple brand).

    2. She cannot be consistent in how she voices different characters. In the first couple, Doyle has what can only be described as a robotic, uninflected, machine-like voice - completely unappealing. Suddenly, in book 3 or 4, she switches to a Gaelic accent of some kind - which is MUCH better, but still disconcerting because of the change.

    3. Learn how to pronounce Gaelic names! She pronounces "Siobhan" (which even a quick Google search tells you should be pronounced Shiv-awn) as "See-O-Bon" in one book, then switches to "See-O-Ban" in another. Neither is correct. It's mangled so badly I didn't know what character she was referring to (and I read these in Kindle format first, so I was somewhat familiar with the characters and plotlines before listening to the audiobook).

    4. Pronounces "Sholto" correctly for first couple of books, then switches to "Sho-lo-to" for the next couple (what? You added a syllable that doesn't exist!)

    5. Pronounces "Andais" as "An-days" (or something close to that) for the first couple of books (which is probably close to correct) but then suddenly starts pronouncing it "An-day-day-ice" (again, extra syllable that doesn't exist). A comparison example would be "Alais" - which is pronounced similar to but not quite exactly like "Alice" - Andais should be pronounced in a similar fashion.

    6. She mispronounces any number of other words, to the point that it's distracting.

    7. Voice characterizations are - as previously stated - inconsistent and (to my ear) inappropriate for the character.

    8. Pronounces "Mistral" correctly for first couple of books (Miss-TRAL) but then switches in third or fourth book to "Mis-ter-all" - again, extra syllables that aren't there and SHOULDN'T BE INFERRED AND PRONOUNCED.

    Awful, just generally awful.


    Could you see A Kiss of Shadows being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No. Too much improbable sex.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erika Lake Stevens, WA, United States 08-28-13
    Erika Lake Stevens, WA, United States 08-28-13 Member Since 2011
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    "more cons than pros"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    less sex - more story


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    less graphic sex stuff


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    her voice seems to old/smokers for the character. did not seem to fit.


    Was A Kiss of Shadows worth the listening time?

    yes and no. not worth using up my credit. :(


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SANDRA HUDSON, Cayman Islands 12-18-09
    SANDRA HUDSON, Cayman Islands 12-18-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Could've been a 5 star listen"

    I liked the story, the characters especially. But the narrator, threw the whole audiobook experience in the can. Her version of male voices made all the male characters seem to be decripit and the farthest thing from sexy. I hope the next book has a new narrator. The narrator's voice was confusing from one male character to another. Other than that, the book was good.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Montgomery, AL, United States 12-28-08
    George Montgomery, AL, United States 12-28-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Kiss of Shadows"

    There is a plot going here but basically it's a porno novel. If you don't want to read about very graphic sex acts, this is not the choice for you.

    19 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heidi St. Paul MN 11-29-09
    Heidi St. Paul MN 11-29-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hey... it's just sex..."

    Really. This book is just sex. I don't mind sex in books. In fact, sometimes it is nice. This book is JUST sex. The main character turns around and there is another fey creature to have some sort of sexual encounter with. She can't even go to the bathroom without sex. I got this book because the Anita Blake books are pretty good(I am waiting around for another Patricia Briggs or Charlaine Harris book and I need something to fill my time). There are some Anita Blake books missing in the series here on Audible so I thought I'd try this author's other series. It is NOT good. Seriously NOT good. Anita Blake is a prude and Meredith Gentry is the exact opposite and not in a good way. There is NO plot. Try the Anita Blake series. It's a little better than okay. This is alot worse than okay.... alot worse.

    22 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer WOODBRIDGE, VIRGINIA, United States 06-02-14
    Amazon Customer WOODBRIDGE, VIRGINIA, United States 06-02-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wrong kind of climax"
    What would have made A Kiss of Shadows better?

    A little less sex, a little less overly abstract descriptions that left me wondering what the author was actually trying to say, a whole lot more plot development and perhaps a feeling of a conclusion. I literally said aload "that's it?" when the audiobook ended. I understand that it is the first in a series of books but at least have the book that has some tension and a sense of victory of some sort. My review here is longer than a descriptive summary of the book would be.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I have no idea but Laurell Hamilton will not be the author of it


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator failed horribly at any male voice becoming very monotone.


    What character would you cut from A Kiss of Shadows?

    Hard to say since a lot of them may be used later in the series that was just not needed for this book. If anything the queen's second spy did nothing for the story.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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