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A Stroke of Midnight
Laurell K. Hamilton
Ballantine Books, 369 pages

Laurell K. Hamilton
Laurell K. Hamilton is the author of two New York Times Best Seller series that mix mystery, fantasy, magic, horror and romance. Her Vampire Hunter novels from Ace books, featuring necromancer and crime investigator Anita Blake, began with Guilty Pleasures and continues with Incubus Dreams. Her other is about Fey princess, Merry Gentry, who is also a private investigator and began with Kiss of Shadows. She lives in St. Louis County Missouri with her husband, daughter, two pug and two part pug dogs and an ever-fluctuating number of fish.

Laurell K. Hamilton Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Incubus Dreams
SF Site Interview: Laurell K. Hamilton
SF Site Review: Seduced by Moonlight
SF Site Review: A Caress of Twilight
SF Site Review: Narcissus In Chains
SF Site Review: Blue Moon
SF Site Review: Burnt Offerings
SF Site Review: Nightseer
Laurell K. Hamilton Tribute Site
Laurell K. Hamilton Tribute Site
Laurell K. Hamilton Tribute Site
Laurell K. Hamilton Tribute Site

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Alisa McCune

A Stroke of Midnight A Stroke of Midnight is Laurell K. Hamilton's fifth installment in the Merry Gentry series. While the plot-line moves forward in the series, A Stroke of Midnight is not a strong piece on its own.

At the conclusion of Seduced by Moonlight, Merry and her guards have survived numerous assassinations, violent encounters with other Fae, and lots of sex. Merry should be ready for sleep, but instead she is the focus of a press conference. It would appear the media is very interested in her life -- each and every titillating tidbit they can glean from Merry herself and those around her. During the press conference, a double homicide occurs -- a lesser Fae and a human reporter. Merry insists that a human investigation be done, and manipulates Queen Andais to this end. The importance of this investigation is never completely clear, other then as a way for Merry to avenge her father's murder.

A Stroke of Midnight has a great deal going on when the characters are not engaged in sexual encounters. We learn much about Merry's father and how his death affected her. With each Fae that Merry brings into godhead, the Sithern Faerie Mound begins to regain its power and renew life. The story takes place during one night, but the Sithern has altered time so one night lasts a very long time.

In the scope of the book, A Stroke of Midnight is much stronger then Seduced by Moonlight. The plot is continued, but much is left out. Too many characters are introduced with not enough time for the reader to become attached to them. The sex scenes are less numerous than previous books, but they are not erotic. Merry is a woman who can do things a Tijuana whore would be unable to do. While I recognize this is fantasy and hence anything can happen, I wish for a little more realism. The sex acts themselves dominate so much storyline, it is impossible not to wish for more character development. A Stroke of Midnight will satisfy those Hamilton fans that have embraced the sexual tone of her recent works.

Copyright © 2005 Alisa McCune

Alisa discovered science fiction at the tender age of eight. She devoured The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and never looked back. She lives in Chicago with her husband, cat, and 5000 books. For more information please visit her website at

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