Sunday, April 07, 2002
Review: "A Caress of Twilight" by Laurell K. Hamilton
"A Caress of Twilight" is the sequel to Hamilton's outstanding "A Kiss of Shadows." Though it doesn't quite live up to the first book, it's still a top-notch novel, with a perfect blend of fantasy, horror and mystery.
Overall, this book feels like a bridge from "A Kiss of Shadows" to whatever comes next. The reader receives a lot of information and a lot of plot elements are set up, but there's clearly more and better yet to come.
"A Caress of Twilight" starts slow, perhaps focusing a bit too much on Merry's sexual exploits. These scenes are not for the easily offended. But Hamilton deftly uses them to increase the tension within the ranks of Merry's defenders as the threats around them build.
When the Grey Agency gets a call from Hollywood's "Golden Goddess" Maeve Reed - exiled by the Seelie court for an insult to King Taranis - business begins to pick up.
When she receives an unlikely invitation from the Seelie king, Merry finds herself once again enmeshed in the Machiavellian world of sidhe politics. This is where Hamilton really shines, twisting the plot in knots that the reader fears will surely ensnare the heroine.
Hamilton also has the uncanny ability to take creatures of fantasy and make them seem like a living, breathing reality in our own world. Not once does the reader question the appearance of faeries, goblins or other creatures on the streets of Los Angeles.