The 13th (and final) Sookie Stackhouse novel from the Anthony Award-winning Southern Vampire series – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.
There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart….
Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.
Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.
But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough…
Sigh, I was really hoping that Dead Ever After – the latest and final Sookie Stackhouse book – would be one of the good ones. While there’s been several clunkers in Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, there have also been books that I really loved and consider favorites. I have really enjoyed the world that Charlaine Harris’ conjured up, and ended up loving many of her characters, so it really sucks for me to report that this last book – SUCKS. Badly. Way to go out with a whimper.
The writing was terrible (!) – the main mystery plot made no sense to me (and the subplots were all a mess too), the dialogue was clunky and unnatural, there were really egregious continuity errors (i.e. Sookie suddenly can’t read shifters’ minds – so what has she been doing all these previous 12 books? guessing what the shifters were thinking?), and none of the characters were acting like themselves (starting with Sookie herself). Based on this book, looks like Charlaine Harris is super-burned out, was dying to end the series, and just couldn’t care less. This reads like a really early draft that should never have been published as is. Shame on everyone involved.
I’m not even going to complain about the guy Sookie ended up with – I wasn’t really surprised since there wasn’t anyone left for her to jump in the sack with (although I was surprised with the speed at which she switched guys). To be honest, I didn’t really give a damn anymore in the end. Sorry.
Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris is available on Amazon.
The 12th Sookie Stackhouse novel from the Anthony Award-winning Southern Vampire series – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.
It’s vampire politics as usual around the town of Bon Temps, but never before have they hit so close to Sookie’s heart…
Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she’d rather not know. And now that she’s an adult, she also realizes that some things she knows about, she’d rather not see—like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one.
There’s a thing or two she’d like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet—Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town. It’s the worst possible time for a human body to show up in Eric’s front yard—especially the body of the woman whose blood he just drank.
Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s set out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.
Deadlocked, the 12th and latest book from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, is thankfully the second-to-the-last book we can expect from Ms Harris (she recently announced the happy news). One last more, and we shall all be FREE (both author and masochist reader!) Yip Yip Hooray!
So why do I continue to read the Sookie Stackhouse series, you may ask, if the recent ones have been such stinkers? I don’t know anymore – maybe I want some closure, maybe I’m hoping (against hope) that Ms Harris would redeem herself – but the thing is, I’m stuck. I did love the series and I wanted to find out where the characters end up. Well, with book 12 Deadlocked, apparently, nowhere I wanted them to be :(
Charlaine Harris has shown before that she has a good imagination (able to think up a fully fleshed vampire society that readers loved), and can write funny interesting characters readers loved to hate (or hated to love). I didn’t see any of that in this installment. There isn’t much story at all in Deadlocked, with all the characters seemingly to be in some kind of stasis. Where did proactive Sookie go? All we get is Sookie playing passive-aggressive with her vampire-husband Eric. Where did Viking god Eric go? Honestly, I could not see any trace of previous books-Eric in present book-Eric. He’s indecisive, passive, dependent, and apparently, has dropped more than a couple of IQ points. The big mystery plot here was who could have been behind the death of the young woman found on Eric’s front yard. And yet it never occurs to Eric to have it investigated (by Bill), until Sookie suggests it. When did Eric turn into a clueless idiot??? I now get what the Bill fans got so mad about in earlier books… when Ms Harris wants a book-relationship to end, apparently she finds it easiest to do it by killing everything fans might love about the characters.
And everything else in the book was just as boring or rather – it felt like Ms Harris couldn’t be bothered to make it more interesting . For example, the whole ‘faerie-brethren of Sookie’ storyline was just dispatched suddenly, without so much as a by your leave. I wasn’t a big fan of the fairies, but great-uncle Dermot has grown on me, so I went – huh? That’s it? Jeez.
At least there’s Season 5 of True Blood on HBO to look forward to!
The eleventh Sookie Stackhouse novel from the Anthony Award-winning Southern Vampire series – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.
With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his child Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows…
Dead Reckoning, the 11th and latest book from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, starts out with a bang with the firebombing of Merlotte’s (where Sookie works as a barmaid). Then, for some strange reason, Ms Harris completely derails the exciting action by following that up with an in-depth account of Sookie getting a haircut to fix her singed hair. Yeah. I know, right, like Seriously?! At that point, I was very relieved that I didn’t shell out a cent for this book (thank you, library!). At least, I won’t be bitching about it as much…
To be fair though, Dead Reckoning is much better written than the last couple of books in the series. Taken as a stand-alone book (overlooking the continuity problems), it’s actually pretty entertaining and a good way to pass the time for those who enjoy paranormal books (minus an atrocious sex scene though – oh Ms Harris, where have you misplaced the missing chemistry between Sookie and Eric?).
In Dead Reckoning, an old enemy of Sookie resurfaces with murder in mind, and Eric FINALLY makes his move against his evil boss Victor Madden. That bad-ass bloody scene pretty much made up for the entire book for me (okay, not entirely, but still). I appreciated that some never-ending plot points finally got resolved here, and there’s even some progression in the Sookie-Eric relationship. Now, the progression isn’t necessarily in the direction I wanted it to go (given how much I love(d) Eric-Sookie), but like the bittersweet ending in Book 4 Dead to the World, I understood why Ms Harris would choose to place the characters at that fork in the road. That ‘twist’ actually made me curious about what’s coming up in Book 12 (hopefully, the last book, please? I really need some closure and some payoff for sticking with this damn series)
What really spoiled Dead Reckoning for me though is that there were just too many major continuity errors here, with Ms Harris seeming to rewrite history as she saw fit (especially with the new revelations about Eric-Niall-Claudine that I won’t go into anymore, otherwise this review would be a bunch of ‘spoiler’ warnings). It’s confusing to me as a reader to have details changed like that. Do Ms Harris and her editors think that her readers have no memory of the previous books? Don’t they employ someone to keep track of the plot points in the series? Doesn’t she care to keep her characters behaving like themselves anymore? (For example, while I’ve never been a huge fan of Bill, he’s always been a complete gentleman – which made that crude dialogue that Ms Harris saddled him with so incomprehensible to me. Exhibit #1: “…you have a pair of breasts that should win the Miss America Tit Competition..” Get what I mean? And Eric/Alcide/Pam also behave very oddly & out of character in this book). Honestly, I feel terribly insulted and feel that Ms Harris’ is just disrespecting her loyal fans. Please let this series end!!!
The tenth Sookie Stackhouse novel from the Anthony Award-winning Southern Vampire series – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.
After enduring torture and the loss of loved ones during the brief but deadly Fae War, Sookie Stackhouse is hurt and she’s mad. Just about the only bright spot in her life is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman. But he’s under scrutiny by the new vampire king. And as the political implications of the shifters’ coming-out are beginning to be felt, Sookie’s connection to one particular Were draws her into the dangerous debate. Also, though the doors to Faery have been closed, there are still some fae on the human side – and one of them is angry at Sookie…very, very angry…
Three words – nothing important happens. Seriously, you can skip this and not miss much in the series.
Okay, the best thing I can say about Dead in the Family: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris is that at least I liked it marginally better than the forgettable book #9 Dead and Gone. Thank goodness for the two child characters in book #10 who saved me from just chucking it out altogether – there’s the innocent little Hunter (who faces being seen as a monster by the world if he can’t hide his gift as early as now), and there’s the tormented Tsesarevich Alexei (who was literally turned into a monster-in-perpetuity against his will while burdened by memories no child should have to deal with ).
Dead in the Family actually starts out pretty good – we see a traumatized Sookie slowly recovering from the grief and aftereffects of the torture she bore at the hands of her sadistic fairy kidnappers. I didn’t even mind when Sookie then went on to play babysitter for her telepathic second cousin Hunter since I really liked the little kid, and I’d always been interested in learning more about their gift/curse of telepathy. But then, the rest of the book just continued to meander along pointlessly until the end! I mostly found myself just twiddling my thumbs wondering where the main plotline was as I continued reading. Sookie just seemed to be passively dealing with a multitude of little crises here and there throughout the rest of the book without any real overall plot development?! It was like Ms Harris really didn’t have any new good ideas left, and she wrote this one just to meet the minimum requirements of her contract. Bah, humbug!
And seriously, the lack of development in the Eric-Sookie relationship is such a letdown, after all that build-up starting from the fab fourth book Dead to the World. It was great learning more about Eric’s background though, with the visit of his ancient maker and new little brother Alexei in tow. I kind of wished that this subplot was delved into more, but as wont with Ms Harris lately, much of the exciting action happens with Sookie in the dark (and apparently just waiting for Eric to call and report in!) Bah, humbug!
I hope that Ms Harris stops resting on her laurels and actually produced a better 11th book (Dead Reckoning) in her series! From this 10th book, my impression is that she’s all tapped out of all things Sookie. Hope you got your mojo back, Ms Harris!
The ninth Sookie Stackhouse novel from the Anthony Award-winning Southern Vampire series – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.
Except for Sookie Stackhouse, folks in Bon Temps, Louisiana, know little about vamps – and nothing about weres.
Until now. The weres and shifters have finally decided to reveal their existence to the ordinary world. At first all goes well. Then the mutilated body of a were-panther is found near the bar where Sookie works – and she feels compelled to discover who, human or otherwise, did it.
But there’s a far greater danger threatening Bon Temps. A race of unhuman beings – older, more powerful, and more secretive than vampires or werewolves – is preparing for war. And Sookie finds herself an all-too human pawn in their battle.
Dead and Gone: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris starts off with the formal ‘coming out’ of the were/shifter community, so naturally, I thought the big news (and its aftermath) would be the focus of the book. Would there be a big brouhaha or would people just accept them quietly? I was most interested in how the revelation would affect the characters I already knew of, like Sam, Alcide, Jason etc. Unfortunately, the body of a crucified were-panther showing up at Sookie’s place of work (the parking lot at Merlotte’s) indicates that maybe acceptance won’t be so easy.
But to my disappointment, it soon became evident that the main plot for this ninth Sookie Stackhouse novel is not the weres at all (to add insult to injury, the mystery of the murdered were-panther is quickly resolved in a way that I did not like or agree with!). Dead and Gone is really about the brewing Fairy War between Sookie’s newly discovered great-grandfather Prince Niall and his enemy (and nephew), the Fairy Prince Breandan. The problem with this plot is that since the books are written solely from Sookie’s point of view (notably, a Sookie who hardly knows anything about her new relatives), we readers won’t know anything about the main villains or their cause either, and more importantly, hardly get to see any of the actual great fairy battles (since Sookie isn’t out fighting the great war). Even though Sookie is one of the main targets of the enemy fairies, she’s still essentially a tangential character in the war (just a hostage or a pawn).
There’s a definite disconnect here, so all we, the readers, end up with is a lot of exposition or talking about things after the fact or while waiting for something to happen (It’s not enough to have a disheveled looking Niall or Eric come and give reports to Sookie!) Too much essential stuff happens off-screen (like important characters dying or almost dying!), and Sookie herself blanks out or is hurt much of the time so she becomes an unreliable narrator in the latter half of the book. This is a terrible way to write a story, so I am absolutely perplexed that Ms Harris thought this plot would be a good idea. Add in some glaring continuity errors (why did the editors miss elementary errors like getting characters’ names wrong?) and hanging plot points (FBI investigation into Sookie, Sookie’s ex Quinn) … and this isn’t really a recommendable book at all.
The only thing I liked about Dead and Gone is that there is some progression in Sookie’s relationship with the vampire sheriff Eric Northman. I’ve always liked Eric’s character best, so I liked having some more insight into his past and how he’s dealing with regaining his memories of Sookie (admittedly, Eric doesn’t quite act like himself here, but I chalked that up to his adjusting to the new memories). I even liked the bit of suspense about vampire Bill’s fate, but IMO Harris chickened out of doing a GRR Martin (if you watched the Game of Thrones on HBO, then you’d know what I meant).
For a second opinion – here’s some reviews of Dead and Gone by other bloggers:
- soniareviews – “absolutely readable material!”
- Opinions of a Wolf – “without a doubt my favorite Sookie Stackhouse book so far”
- Confessions of a Bibliophile – “still candy for my supe-loving brain”
The eighth Sookie Stackhouse novel from the Anthony Award-winning Southern Vampire series – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.
After the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina, and the manmade horror of the explosion at the vampire summit, Sookie Stackhouse is safe but dazed, yearning for things to get back to normal. But her boyfriend Quinn is among the missing. And things are changing, whether the weres and vamps in her corner of Louisiana like it or not. In the ensuing battles, Sookie faces danger, death…and once more, betrayal by someone she loves. And when the fur has finished flying and the cold blood ceases flowing, her world will be forever altered.
Finally finished the Sookie Stackhouse 8-copy Boxed Set (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) by Charlaine Harris, and have to say the set ended on a pretty strong note for me (which makes me look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series!)
In From Dead to Worse – the eighth book in the series starring telepathic waitress (and supernatural creature magnet) Sookie Stackhouse – Sookie’s in the middle of things as usual as she happens to be front and center when both the Shreveport were-pack and the Louisiana vampires become involved in intra-species power struggles and hostile takeovers. Sookie also learns some more about her fairy heritage, including meeting some unexpected new members of her family – and I won’t spoil much, but I have to say that I loved how the book ended on that poignant-wistful note. Made me want to rush out and check out the future books just to find out if this new character (Spoiler!) is featured again :)
From Dead to Worse starts out a bit slowly, but was soon chock-full of various exciting plots and subplots. My head was fairly exploding from all the twists and turns, plus the startling revelations that kept on coming Sookie’s way. All the supernatural creatures (were-wolves, vampires, witches, fairies, shifter, were-panthers, were-tiger etc.) seemed to be out in full force and creating some trouble for Sookie in this installment. There’s a lot of moving parts with this one, and while it did at times feel all over the map, and made me wonder if I was really reading a collection of two novellas and three/four short stories crammed into one book, but whatever – I really enjoyed all the moving parts :) Plus a lot of the hanging plot points and loose ends finally got some resolution here, so I was happy with that.
And another reason I liked this installment – the vampire Eric Northman – love his character! Out of all the characters, Ms Harris continues to write Eric really well, and once again, she provides some growth for his character. I’d really love to find out where the new revelations about Eric leads to. (Just wanted to say as a disappointed viewer of True Blood season four that I wished that the TV show handled Eric’s amnesia as well as Charlaine Harris did in the books, oh well)
For a second opinion – here’s some reviews of From Dead to Worse by other bloggers:
- Love Vampires – “Highly recommended reading.”
- Rhapsody in Books – “has a bit less charm that the previous books”
- Diary of a Domestic Goddess – “firmly back on track”
The seventh Sookie Stackhouse novel from the Anthony Award-winning Southern Vampire series – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.
Betrayed by her longtime vampire love, Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse must now not only deal with a possible new man in her life -the oh-so-handsome shapeshifter Quinn- but also contend with a long-planned vampire summit. With her power base weakened by hurricane damage to New Orleans, the local vampire queen is vulnerable to those hungry for a takeover. Soon, Sookie must decide what side she’ll stand with. And her choice may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe.
Well, I’m finally almost finished with the Sookie Stackhouse 8-copy Boxed Set (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) by Charlaine Harris! I’m now done with book seven All Together Dead, and I’ve reached the point of having to decide whether I’ll buy or just borrow the rest of the books in the series… what would you suggest?
I’ve complained about feeling like Ms Harris’ previous two books were just all sorts of ‘filler’ in my reviews, so I’m happy to report that I didn’t get that disappointed feeling when I was reading All Together Dead. The fourth book (Dead to the World) is still my favorite in the series, but I have to say that I really enjoyed reading this one :) There’s a lot of unexpected twists and turns, and I thought the storytelling here was much more exciting and entertaining than usual.
In All Together Dead, Sookie Stackhouse finally heads off to the long-awaited Rhodes vampire summit as the official ‘telepath’ of the Louisiana vampire queen Sophie-Anne. There, Sookie has a happy reunion with the only other telepath she has ever met (Barry the bellhop from Living Dead in Dallas), then more uncomfortable reunions with her ex’es Bill and Eric, and finally, a *sexually-charged reunion with the new man in her life, the were-tiger Quinn (*Harris actually veers off into soft-porn territory in one scene). As usual, Sookie is in the thick of things – from assisting at Sophie-Anne’s trial for the death of the King of Arkansas, to discovering a possible plot by the anti-vampire church group Fellowship of the Sun. There’s also a very intriguing subplot involving Eric — I really like how Eric’s character continues to grow in the series so I’m very interested to find out how this Eric subplot develops in later books (if it is developed, that is).
Another reason I liked All Together Dead is that we finally get some more info on vampire politics and government (about time!) , and how they handle disputes or hold trials. Maybe that won’t be your cup of tea, but I really liked getting the background on vampire society. I did wish that the subplot involving the Fellowship of the Sun was developed more instead of just dumping it all in one go on the reader… the ending felt very rushed to me as a result. Still, like I’ve said, I really enjoyed this book seven and I’m now looking forward to what’s ahead for Sookie!
P.S. If you’ve read the anthology Night’s Edge where Ms Harris contributed the short story “Dancers in the Dark”, you’ll enjoy the cameos of the Blue Moon dancers Sean and Layla as entertainment in the vampire summit :)
For a second opinion – here’s some reviews of All Together Dead by other bloggers:
- Books For The Insomniac – “I’m quite disappointed with this book”
- Opinions of a Wolf – ” it isn’t quite there”
- Book Polygamist – “This isn’t my favourite of the series so far, but as always it’s a great fun read”