Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Why? Why? Why?
The questions keep piling up every time I read another one of her books. Why do I subject myself to this, over and over again? Maybe I'm inherently defeatist, surrendering utterly to a character I once loved deeply and truly before she became a fucking whore. To be sure, I have gone through all sorts of mental gymnastics to get me this far, purchasing hardcover books for each and every one of these mammoth tomes as they came out, actually managing to summon my own zombies of enthusiasm when I realize there's a new book coming out, each and every time.
And after reading yet another, I ask myself the same damn question:
First, to be fair, this is more of a 1.5 star book. All the parts I love are there and easily definable. It wouldn't be a difficult task to cut and paste the sections together into one unified whole that may reach a hundred or a hundred and fifty pages, max. So what are these sections, you ask? The very start of the novel. A few digressions with Manny. All of the interactions with the police. And finally, the end. These parts could actually take up less than a fifth of the actual novel.
The rest is WORTHLESS. It's all just whiny relationship shit, boring sex, drama, whiny relationship shit, boring sex, more boring sex, and to be entirely fair, a tiny bit less Drama than most of the previous novels. But STILL, it's just filler. How many fucking lovers can one woman not just fuck, but maintain deep and meaningful relationships with while managing to make every single reader of LKH's books completely forget or wish they could forget all those fucking lovers?
I had to take up cutting myself to keep awake during all the damn filler.
So I ask myself, and have been asking myself as one unending rant as I read this novel, WHY AM I STILL READING THIS SERIES?
Answer: When it's good, it's really great. When there's plot and powerups and horror and action, it's really top-shelf enjoyment. I can string all those adventures together and see how she's levelled up and feel a warm glow of deep and true satisfaction. Hell, I ate the first eight novels in a few days, years ago, and swore that this was written just for me. And then we get away from her long-drawn-out celibacy and jump into a threesome. Okay. Not really interesting me, but all the action and suspense is great. Then we have a metaphysical and magical reason why she needs to feed on sex like a vampire. I go, okay, still not interesting me, but I'll stick with the series because the action is still fascinating and the big bad has my full attention. Then, later, we have whole novels full of all the side characters she has to fuck to survive. And then I'm going, "What the hell am I doing?"
Other than a few good novels spread thin in the next fifteen, most of it is filler. I swear it's like watching the original Naruto after Ero-Senin took him off to train in the ways of being a sage. Years and years and years of goddamned stupid filler. I want to cry and shake my hands at the heavens and pray for ONE GOOD EDITOR to put their foot down upon LKH's manuscript and say, "Cut it out, already! Kill your fucking darlings. No one cares. Go back to telling good stories."
Am I going to torture myself with the next one?
Possibly. I'm unreasonably loyal to those I've decided to be loyal with. Even when I've been BDSM'd to fucking hell and back without a freaking safe word.
By the way, that fifth of the novel was pretty good and tight. Perhaps we need to have a wikipage devoted to LKH to delineate all the pages where actual plot happens and instruct us which pages to skip. I'd donate to that kickstarter. Hell yes.
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