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Club Dead - Charlaine Harris
Sookie Stackhouse is an average young woman from a small town named Bon Temps in America. "Average" may not be so accurate in this case though as Sookie Stackhouse was born with an unusual gift, she is a telepath and can read minds. Sadly Sookie's' "gift" has so far given her a lifetime of being treated like an outsider and a bit of a weirdo. Sookie has been unable to have relationships as she cannot get past the dating stage due to her gift giving her an insight into her dates real thoughts. Following the recent "coming out" of Vampires Sookie has since met many real vampires and upon feeling a strong attraction to one vampire in particular, Bill, she realised she cannot read the thoughts of vampires which makes dating Bill possible and a very enjoyable experience for Sookie.
Up until now things have been going very well for Sookie and her vampire Bill, however recently Bill has been acting very distant and seems to be spending every waking minute in front of his computer screen. When Bill is called away on business Sookie begins to think something is wrong, not only has Bill been acting strange but this business trip seems very suspicious to Sookie as Bill seems hesitant with the details. With the help of Eric, who is Bills boss and the head vampire of the state, Sookie sets off to Jackson in search of Bill. While in Jackson Sookie is "looked after" and guarded by Alcide, a sexy and warm-blooded Werewolf who owes Eric a favour and is now repaying the favour by protecting Sookie and assisting her in finding Bill.
When Sookie eventually finds Bill she is faced with betrayal and the biggest dilemma of their relationship so far... Save him? or Stake him?
I have never watched the True Blood series, there is no particular reason for this, I just don't think it ever caught my attention which is surprising as I usually love anything to do with vampires! This is the third book in the True Blood series and this series of books has been kind of an addiction for me since I began reading them just before Christmas.
I began reading Club Dead almost as soon as I had finished the previous book in the series "Living Dead in Dallas". Because of this I was already really into the story line and had a good understanding of the main characters within the book, this was a big bonus as there are quite a lot of characters in each book and each one seems to add more and more new ones. This installation was no exception and admittedly I found it hard to keep up with all of the new characters for the first few chapters but the way Charlaine Harris describes each character actually makes it quite easy to remember who is who again after a couple of sentences and everything fits back into place again.
As with the previous two books I found that this was very hard to put down and was very addictive. I finished the book within a few days, which is quite fast for me as I usually have a habit of falling asleep when I read!
As with the first two books I found Charlaine Harris's writing style a little different to other books I read before this series, I put this down to the fact that she uses American English and quite often some terminology which I don't think is so common in the English language, well, at least not when I'm speaking! It can be a little annoying at times as it does slightly distract me from what I am reading, but in my opinion her writing style is still great and she really does a fantastic way of describing situations and characters which enables you to picture it perfectly in your head and really get into the story.
I will definitely be recommending Club Dead, I am currently coming towards the end of the 7th book in the series and in my opinion Club Dead has been one of the best so far as it had a really good mix of action and humour as well as a couple of storylines mixed together which are all really detailed and well told.
The books don't have any kind of age rating as far as I am aware and I think with the recent Twilight craze the idea of more vampire books may appeal to the younger generation, however I would say to be aware as there are quite a lot of sex scenes within the book which are described in a lot of detail so I wouldn't go buying these for the younger end of the teens!
Price & Availability
I was lucky when I bought my copy of Club Dead because I found the whole set of the True Blood books in my local charity shop on a trip home in August last year priced at 50p each! A bargain, as each book has an RRP of £6.99! Club Dead is widely available on eBay from 99p plus postage and packaging. My copy of Club Dead contains 274 pages.
Thanks for reading :)
==Synopsis of the book:==
Sookie Stackhouse the telepathic waitress is feeling frustrated. Her boyfriend vampire Bill Compton has not been paying her much attention in the past few weeks. He claims to be working on a secret project for the vampire Queen of Louisiana compiling a directory of all the known vampires in America. Apparently this piece of work he is doing is financially very valuable and he gives Sookie advice to store it safely for him while he goes out of town for a few days as some would want this unique document very badly.
However a few days later his vampire boss Eric advises Sookie he has disappeared, having had an affair with another vamp Lorena. Sookie is devastated by this betrayal, but agrees to try and find him as Eric believes he has been kidnapped and is being tortured for this secret only he and Sookie know about. Having taken advice from Eric she sets out for Jackson in Mississippi with a friend of Eric's Alicide a Werewolf. To achieve their mission they must visit the popular Vampire haunt of Club Dead and see if Sookie can use her telepathic ability to find where Bill is being held.
==My thoughts on the novel:==
This is the third book in the International Best selling series of supernatural stories written by American novelist Charlaine Harris. For a big fan of these stories this was probably the poorest one I have read so far. My main reason for saying this was because I felt nothing happened for the first third of the book. As a result of this I felt it was slow going and I was just waiting for the action to start. Although for me it was good to get more background on the characters and their feelings, I did find it went on like this for too long and I was bored waiting for something exciting to happen.
For me this story really stretched my belief in what I was reading. I just found several of the events in the story very hard to believe and so as a consequence it lost creditability for me. I will not specifically go into details as most of these are in the second half of the story and I don't want to ruin the story for people, it just didn't seem possible or even believable and in a book full of Vampires I do need some realism!!
In contrast when I picked up the novel I was confident I would love it. I based this on the fact I have already read six of the ten novels in the series and I expected book three written in 2003 to be just the same. I liked the title and the very short summary on the back cover was also excellent. It goes to show as long as the detail is there it is all about the quality not the quantity that draws you into a story. And this one was rich and really got me interested in what was happening to characters I have grown to know and love.
Usually these stories draw you in immediately, with action from page one. It is quite often a discovery of a dead body; this for me will get me hooked, as I love a mystery. However in this book it dealt with Sookie and her concerns about her faltering relationship with her Vampire boyfriend Bill. It seemed very odd to start with as at the end of book 2 these two had been in love, I wondered what had happened in a few weeks to change all this and could account for Bill's lack of interest in her. Having said this if you enjoy a book with plenty of relationship emotions and concerns you may like it, I wanted the adventure and action I associate with vampires.
While I was interested in the way the story developed, it was all to slow for my liking and not at all in keeping with this author's general style. I did however like the idea of Sookie mixed emotions finding out her boyfriend had been unfaithful to her and also he was missing believed being held and tortured by Vampires from another district. I liked her range of emotions and I thought it demonstrated very likeable and understandable feelings.
When the action did happen, the author knows how to get the reader interested and involved in what is happening. The action was fast and furious; my only criticism was everything seems to happen to Sookie!! Everyone else seemed to blend into the background for me. I did enjoy this part as it as always contained the unexpected and you never knew what was around the next corner, in a very odd world of the Supernatural.
My favourite Sookie books involve the Vampires, I can except and find them interesting and with amazing characters. However as the series develops other beings come into play and in this one you had the Shape Shifters and the Wares. I find these a bit confusing and would prefer the author just stuck with the Vampires. For me the Wares in particular are not interesting and a lot of this story involved a Pack of them and this did not appeal, despite the Vampires being in the background all the time.
The story was easy to follow throughout and when it was all explained at the end it all made perfect sense. With a conclusion that was logical and enjoyable and one that for me opened up interesting possibilities for the novels to come. What always appeals to me about this author's work is the humour within it; even given desperate and scary situations the author is able to conjure some fantastic lines. She cleverly uses Sookie's wit against the Vampires who do not understand sarcasm and it comes through as very funny situations.
Miss Stackhouse is always the lead character in these stories. I really enjoy reading all about her exploits, because she is a decent, kind and consideration lady and one it is easy to admire because of these qualities. Yes she is slightly different because of her telepathic abilities but even this makes her appear more vulnerable as the Vampires like to exploit these skills to their own advantage. By doing this it puts her in dangerous situations and at greater risk and this also appeals to me. I like her humour, but mainly I like her strong values and the way she always looks at people's positive attributes.
In this story Sookie was supported by the Vampires Bill and Eric who are in all of the series of stories, so you get to know and understand them. Although in this one I thought Bill acted really out of character having an affair. In this story the author introduced a Ware called Alcide who was to act as her boyfriend. In contrast to the Vampires I found him difficult to like or understand and as he was her companion for most of the story I was disappointed I never took to him. I found I did not know him and how he felt about what was happening all around him.
The novel was rich in horror, blood and sex. And while I think the author is good at describing the first two the sex I found to be unnecessary and something the story just did not require. One scene in particular I thought the author handled badly and did not deal with the Sookie's feeling in enough depth.
The stories length was about right to tell a complete and interesting story. It was 292 pages long, but didn't seem that long because the author writing style is quite light so that you could easily read a good chunk of the story in one sitting. It took me only three evenings to complete the book and while it was not as good as many of the others I still found I was getting a complete picture of Sookie Stackhouse's life and loves.
I am looking forward to see how some of this novels ideas are transferred onto the television series 'True Blood' and how it compares to the book.
For me while I would recommend this fictional story it was not as good as some of the others, yes the concept was good it just seem to take a long time for anything meaningful to happen that had a relation to the story. And while I always enjoy the Vampires and the latest developments involving them I do struggle to relate to the Wares.
Price: £3.50 (New at Amazon)
About the author: www.charlaineharris.com
Thank you for reading my review.
This review is published in both Ciao and Dooyoo under my user name.
© CPTDANIELS May 2011.
Club Dead by Charlaine Harris
This is the third book in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, but what is probably better known as the True Blood series that the popular TV series is based loosely upon.
Sookie is a Telepathic bar maid working and living in a small town (Bon Temps in southern Louisiana in America) where supernatural events are running rampant. In the world that Sookie lives and breathes in the vampires have come out of hiding and as they phrase it are attempting to 'mainstream', live out in the open right alongside the humans. All thanks to a new artificial blood supply that allows them to live without feeding off of use mere mortals, not that they still don't take the occasional bite.
In the first book Sookie made a deal to aid the vampires in her area with her special 'gift' or 'curse' depending upon how you think of it - mind reading. She has now become much more comfortable and in control of her gift since then and is using it to help track down her wayward boyfriend, Bill the vampire, who has went missing under unfortunate circumstances. This is the first book that really starts to explain how the vampire society operates and how it really is a different world from what the humans live in.
This is the second book in the series to be set mostly away from Sookie's hometown of Bon Temps, which is a real shame in some ways. In the first book Charlaine Harris introduced some key characters in Sookie's life that I was looking forward to getting to know more about and I hope the series will take her home more often. However, having said that I loved the new main character that was introduced in this book the hunky werewolf, Alcide Herveaux. He definitely has a strong interest in Sookie, but he is still on the rebound and mending a broken heart from his ex-girlfriend a rather vindictive shape shifter named Debbie.
This book also focuses more on Eric, Bill's main vampire rival for Sookie's attentions. Eric is older and Bill's superior, and is really the enjoying the pursuit of a somewhat interested Sookie, which makes for thoroughly entertaining reading. There isn't as much sex in this book as there has been in others, but there is definitely a lot of sexual tension surrounding Sookie's and Eric's growing relationship, whatever that might exactly be.
I would definitely recommend this book to others, but I would strongly recommend that you read the first one 'Dead until dark', then the second instalment 'Dead in Dallas' and then finally this one. In my opinion I think as a standalone book this just wouldn't be as good and personally I believe that it really does need to be read as part of a series to get the most from it. If for some reason you did just wanted to read this one then I believe that you would get on fine with most of the story. It would just be the back history of the characters that you would lose out on and of all the books so far this one really does heavily rely on prior character knowledge to get you gripped and drawn in to the story.
Surprisingly for me I have been reading this series one directly after the other and I am already happily most of the way through the fourth instalment. With the exception of the Percy Jackson series (by Rick Riordan) I have never read a series one after the other preferring to break them up with other books in between. It is just that personally I think that these books or at least the first few have a really good flow to them when being read together. However, after reading the fourth one I will be taking a break as they are now beginning to feel a tad samey.
All of the books so far have been relatively short books with this one coming in at 274 pages so I have been reading them in over just a few days. So far I have found this series and this book included an entertaining read and when I start reading I find them easy to sit down and finish. This is the perfect book for sunny beaches or rainy days.
This book gets a four out of five stars from me, I really enjoyed reading this and I did so over a period of only a couple of days.
Due to the popularity of the TV series these books are widely available online and in most Waterstone book shops and you can buy this one individually priced for £4.64 from Amazon. However, if you are interested in the series I recommend starting at the beginning and if you want you can purchase the box set of all the books excluding the latest edition for £20 (reduced from £50) via Amazon.
At the beginning of this novel it is apparent that Sookie and Bill are having some troubles in their relationship. These are made even worse when Sookie finds out that he has left town for a while and that he has seriously betrayed her. It is revealed to her by Eric, another vampire who happens to be Bill's boss, that Bill has been kidnapped by vampires in another area due to a project that he was working on for the Queen vampire of his own area. Sookie has to go into the other vampire's territory in order to help Eric, and a werewolf named Alcide, to find Bill. This is a dangerous task and Sookie doesn't even know how to feel about Bill given his recent betrayal. However, Sookie risks everything in an attempt to get Bill back from the other vampires and gets herself beaten up pretty badly several times along the way.
I have to say that I do feel really sorry for Sookie in Club Dead. She has been betrayed by the man she loves but she is still risking life and limb to save him, and bad things keep on happening to her - I swear, in this book she just recovers from one beating, just for it to happen all over again! There never seems to be a quiet moment in poor Sookie's life. But she just carries on regardless, without complaining (much!) and I love this about her character. She is strong and resilient and it is going to take a lot for this girl to give up.
The supporting characters in this book are still as brilliant as in the first two books in the series. Eric is funny and sexy, while Bubba (a vampire who was Elvis in his human life and was 'brought over' by a vampire who was a fan) is as amusing as ever. We meet a new character called Alcide, who is a werewolf, and the chemistry between him and Sookie is absolutely sizzling. However, Sookie is still trying to get to grips with what happened with Bill, and Alcide is on the rebound from his ex, so things are very complicated between them. The only supernatural character that I am not keen on is Bill himself. I just can't see what Sookie sees in him, apart from the fact that she isn't able to read his mind so she is able to relax around him. I'm kind of hoping Sookie sees the light in one of the later books in the series and decides to get rid of him for good as all he seems to do is hurt her.
The mystery part of the story is well thought out and had some twists that I didn't see coming. The pace was fast and I really enjoyed the book. The only thing I wasn't too keen on was the fact that every male in the book seems to fall for Sookie. Surely nobody is that irresistable (oops, was that a hint of jelousy there?). But overall a great book.
After completely falling in love with the TV series True Blood, I was desperate to buy the Sookie Stackhouse mystery books by Charlaine Harris. The TV shows are loosely based on these books, all the main characters are similar, but there are distinct plot differences. Each TV series is based on one of the books.
So a background to the entire Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood theme is that basically vampires and supernatural beings such as Were wolves live amongst normal people and vampires are accepted in society (as best as they can be!). It isn't as weird as it sounds and feels quite a natural thing in the TV shows and the books, it doesn't feel like a supernatural book at all, more like a mystery book. In a nutshell, Sookie has fallen for a vampire called Bill and they attempt to make a go of their relationship (not a spoiler as it all happens quickly in the first book). The other big thing is Sookie is telepathic and is therefore very valuable to vampires who use her to listen to people's thoughts.
I started to read the first two books, but soon realised that I just wanted to find out what happened next, so I stopped reading them and jumped straight to the third. It doesn't quite finish off where season 2 of the TV programme ends, but within the first couple of chapters, something similar has happened, and it is quite easy to pick up the thread of the books after having watched the TV series.
One notable difference (there are many more), is the absence of Tara, a prominent character in the TV shows, but more of a side character in the books.
*PLOT SUMMARY OF CLUB DEAD* Look away now if you don't want any spoilers at all and jump to the next section where I give my opinion.
Basically, within the first couple of chapters, we see vampire Bill has been kidnapped and Eric (a very gorgeous former Viking vampire - also the sheriff of the area which they live in) enlists the help of Sookie to try and get him back safely. Along this journey, there are plenty of new characters, and sometimes it is hard to keep up with who is who. Alcite is a Werewolf who takes a keen interest in Sookie whilst trying to help her find Bill. The story revolves around finding Bill, but will he be properly dead or just vampire dead?
If you are expecting a real literary winner with the writing from Harris, you will be disappointed. The writing is less deep than Twilight, and therefore, despite having quite an adult cover to the book, I actually felt the writing style was more suited to an older teenager. Having said that there are some fairly graphic sexual references in this book, which may not be to everyone's taste and probably not suitable for under 14's. However, due to the nature of my work, I'm all up for really easy to read books which is why I can usually be found nursing a copy of Harry Potter.
The descriptions are very good and you can generally imagine the place that you are in. I thought that sometimes it was hard to keep up with all the new characters. I didn't like Sookie at first in the TV shows, she said some odd things and was a little irritating, but after reading one of these books, I can see that the actress plays the character exactly how she is supposed to after the books.
I feel that the plot was a bit unrealistic in some places and I was not a fan of the character Bubba (who isn't in the TV shows...yet).
Eric was a much more developed character in this book and it was nice to see him interacting with Sookie in the abscence of Bill.
As it is the first book I have read in the series, I can't comment on how it compares, but I can't wait to read the next one!
Club Dead is book number three in the Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries / True Blood Series. It's written by Charlaine Harris and is available individually for between £3 and £6, or as part of a set of the first 8 books for £8.99 from the book people, or around £20 from Amazon.
In this book, we meet up with the characters we've come to know in books one and two. You don't absolutely have to have read the first two books to understand this third book, but really it is the only way you're going to really appreciate the characters and the roles they play. I would definitely suggest that this is the kind of series which you need to read in order.
Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress from the small American town of Bon Temps, is on the trail of her lover Vampire Bill as it appears that he's been kidnapped. The circumstances under which he's disappeared aren't quite clear at the outset, as it seems that Bill may have actually been cheating on Sookie when he landed himself in hot water. To find out exactly what I mean by that, obviously you'll have to read the book for yourself.
This book heavily features the appearance of werewolves, which have been mentioned in previous books but not really fully explained and explored. Personally, I wasn't a huge fan of the heavy werewolf involvement in this story, as I felt it detracted from the more interesting vampire storylines. It certainly added a whole new depth to the book though, and it gave room for a series of intricate sub-plots to be woven throughout as well.
I really liked the way that this book was written, and felt it had the same action-packed fast pace that the other two books had for the most part. There are definitely occasions in here where the storyline drags a little for me, especially when focusing on Sookie's romantic life. But to make up for that in part, there's a fair bit of fighting and bloodlust in this book too.
This isn't the best book that I've read in the series, but it's still a fun read that's worthy of a four star rating. I think the author came up with an amazing central storyline, and included plenty of action as well. I just feel it got a bit scatty and off-course in places, and focused a little too much on the less interesting werewolves.
*** NB possible spoilers if you haven't read the first two in this series, Dead Until Dark and Living Dead in Dallas***
This is the third in what most people probably know as the True Blood series - made into a hit tv programme last year.
So Sookie Stackhouse, the mindreading cocktail waitress from a small town in Louisiana, has fallen in love with a vampire, nearly died (twice), and discovered that vamps aren't the only supernatural creatures out there...surely that's enough action for any girl's lifetime?!
Apparently not...Sookie's true love Bill is acting strangely and, worse, it's linked to his previous lover. Just when Sookie starts to have some doubts about his commitment to her, he disappears and Sookie must track him down - all the while being pursued herself, in the romantic sense! Can Sookie save the day for Bill and fend off the charms of the bewitching Eric and a newcomer into her life, Alcide...?
I do enjoy this series - the books are fast-paced and fun, and never fail to introduce new elements of the alternative vampire world explored here. My only minor criticism is that Sookie as a narrator does start to grate in this third book - she comes over as somewhat naive and it becomes a little wearing. Still a fun read, however.
NB it's worth noting that the action in this series leads straight on from one book to the next so they are worth reading in order - listed below:
1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead in Dallas
3. Club Dead
4. Dead to the World
5. Dead as a Doornail
6. Definitely Dead
7. All Together Dead
8. From Dead to Worse
9. Dead and Gone
UPDATE: I have just discovered that you can buy the first eight True Blood titles on www.thebookpeople.co.uk for £8.99 - what a bargain!! I am feeling slightly put out, having bought them all separately, but hopefully someone on here can benefit!
Club Dead is the third book in the True Blood series and sees us catching up on Sooky Stackhouse and her increasingly distant vampire boyfriend Bill. This book finds Sooky heading off to find a Bill who has gone missing under less than ideal circumstances. With the help of the ever present Eric. Sooky once again finds herself surrounded by vampires, intrigue and a rather lovely Were unfortunately this time there is no Bill around to keep her out of trouble. In classic True Blood style Sooky ends up beaten, bruised and bloodied with plenty of vampires around who are happy to take advantage of the situation not least of which is the lovely Eric who consistently determined to steal Sooky away from Bill.
Without a doubt the best thing about this book is the increased presence of Eric and the other vampires. Erics character is really developing into one of those characters you just can't help but love despite all his bad points and even the tongue in cheek "Bubba" character is becoming a favourite.
If you've enjoyed the first two True Blood books then there's no reason for you to stop reading now. I know that I am once again itching to get my hands on the next book.
The book I will now review is the next book in the series of "Sookie Stackhouse mysteries", one of the many books that my sister has been kind enough to lend me (thanks Sweetiepoppet!).
The book I will now review is - "Club dead by Charlaine Harris".
Sookie has (since the first book in the series anyway!) been dating, by choice, a vampire called Bill. But she is not one of those "fang bangers" that many look down on, she really feels that this is an honest to god relationship.....albeit with a dead person who is over 200 years old!
Not just this but due to her "special powers" (she is a telepathic human), she has also attracted the unwanted, ok sometimes wanted, special attentions from Bills boss and chief of Area 5 Eric, a vampire elder who was formerly a Viking and very attractive to boot!
After practically living together, well as together as you can be with someone who can only rise at night, Sookie is worried to find that Bill has started to become a little distant with her.
After confiding in her that he has been given a special mission by the Queen of Louisiana, and given her special instructions about what to do if he doesn't return when he should (ie move things from his computer in his house into hers and hide them from Eric), he leaves.
Problem is, even though Sookie is unable to read Bill's mind (she can't read the minds of the dead), she knows he is lying to her, so when Eric turns up at her house a week later with the news that Bill is missing and he needs her help to read peoples minds in Louisiana, she is far from surprised.
Will Sookie be able find Bill alive...well not alive but in one piece, or will there be darker forces preventing her........
This is another fantastic book! As with the previous books there is plenty of action from the first page, this being violence and sexual content, both being used in perfect context to the story.
There are plenty more character introduced to the story, and some of the lesser mentioned characters from previous books get more airtime too, this adds a further depth to the book and actually makes Sookie less of the main character too.
There are many more storylines involving other "supes" (supernatural beings), and this book revolves around the ongoing war between the vampires and werewolves, though there are a plethora of other characters starting to edge their way into the book, so the next book is one to look forwards to.
My previous reviews on these books stated that I thought there was no need for all the extra supernatural beings included in the books, I have changed my mind completely with this book, making this less of a vampire book, but more a supernatural thriller.
There are many diverse characters included, but I have to say the silliest and in my opinion the funniest is a certain mega star, that has been sighted by thousands of people since dying on the toilet, but due to a hungry vampire "fan" being on shift when he was brought into the hospital, he decided to bring him back.
Unfortunately due to his drug addled brain it was not a successful transformation, so he now goes by the name of Bubba....absolutely ridiculous but the author was obviously a fan as he gets a good portion of the book and is actually really funny, especially his penchant for cats......to eat, not as a pet!
This is another really good book, the story is easy to follow, yes there is plenty of sex and violence but is also a really funny read at the same time, so if you enjoy these types of books I would highly recommend it.
Pricewise these are available fro around the £5.00 mark.
For more information visit - www.orionbooks.co.uk
Thanks for reading x