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==Synopsis of the book:==
Sookie Stackhouse, the telepathic Waitress from Bon Temps just attracts trouble or so it seems. But even she couldn't be blamed when her estranged brother Jason's Girlfriend is found crucified in the Bar's Car park. Times are changing in America and following the Vampires coming into mainstream life the Ware have now gone public with mixed reaction and the dead girl was one of these Wares.
Sookie is asked to use her skills by her brother and the Ware Pack leader to find out the truth. However, no sooner has this happened but the underground Fairy community are also at War with each other and this brings Sookie in as she not only has Fairy Blood (Plus Vampire blood) but her Great Grandfather is in the midst of this. Having recently surfaced into her life. If life could get any messier or confusing Sookie gets misled into marrying the Head of the local vampires Eric in an unusual ritual. Whatever next?
==My opinion of this book:==
This is book nine in the very popular series written by Charlaine Harris. There are now ten in this series and it has also successfully been transferred to television under the name 'True Blood'. I suspect there will be many more as Sookie Stackhouse fans demand more instalments of this unusual but very popular lead character within this unique series.
Dead and Gone was written in 2009, and I found it an enjoyable and entertaining piece of supernatural horror. I have read all the previous books in the series and this one brought in a number of different ideas. Charlaine Harris the author is very good bringing in new sometimes bizarre concepts into her stories and this book is no different for this from the others in the series. And while I am quite often critical of the author's writing style and the way some of her ideas are just left while new ones take over I cannot criticise all the excitement she creates in her stories.
I found my copy of this paperback on Amazon for just £3.49 new, which I think is a very attractive and competitive price. The only problem was I had to wait for it to be delivered!! I bought this just because I had to know what the latest instalment was in Sookie's life. What I find particularly appealing about this series is they focus on life in a small town in America where despite all the Supernatural beings around normal life continues and the majority of the people go about their daily lives. For example I really liked the way the author has used Hurricane Katrina a real life disaster and brought its effects onto her stories.
Before I started the book I checked out the summary of it on the inside cover. This I found to be excellent it was five paragraphs long and I felt it has something for everyone. For the new reader to this series it explained a little bit about the stories lead character and her life. For the more experienced reader it brought a few of the novels concepts in but did not give much away about them. Leaving for me many interpretations about what was going to happen, which I'm glad to say where mainly wildly inaccurate. The only thing that slightly annoys me is the compliments about the series of books by various magazines; I find this annoying because it is not directly about the book you are about to read.
The story begins quite slowly advising the reader exactly what is happening in Sookie's life. And I found initially it lacked a real focus as several different but good ideas where brought in but no real overriding concept. I found myself waiting for the action to start, but you never have to wait long before death strikes. For a big fan of mysteries it is an element I like as Jason's Girlfriend is murdered early on in the story so Sookie tries to use her unique talent to find out who did it and why. However, being a Supernatural adventure several other unusual and unexpected will happen before the truth can possibly be sort.
I always criticise the author for her array of Supernatural communities. I think this is possibly because I find there being several confusing and unlikely. But I can except there are Vampires and they are the first and still my favourite of the Supernatural beings. So the author needs to incorporate as many of these in each story as she has spent time explaining their characteristics and individual personalities. And obviously some you like more than others.
For me in this book she went a stage or community too far as the main thrust of the story focused on the problems with the Fairies. I did not think there were the personalities that the other communities had and I struggled to relate to them. Luckily a lot of my favourites characters in the shape of the vampires where also involved in the War and their involvement is always both fascinating and exciting because they are characters I have taken to my heart and I love their lack of understanding of Sookie's wit.
I enjoyed the story overall because it was all action and you can never predict what will happen next. I found the humour the author incorporates as subtle and even in serious situations a clever misunderstood meaning will make me chuckle. I found the concluding paragraphs well thought out and full of suspense. Leaving a little cliffhanger in one aspect of Sookie's confused life to be resolved next time.
The books length of 320 pages this was spot on as it was only in the final few pages the story was resolved and I felt the story had built well and explained everything well so there was no misunderstandings and I was totally involved in what was happening.
Sookie Stackhouse is the lead character in all of these stories and I find her an amazing heroine. Basically because she is so easy to relate to, yes she is in an amazing and unreal situation, but because she is such a down to earth character, she brings a sense of reality to every situation that involves her. I think without her fabulous character these stories would not work half as well as she adds the real magic to the stories.
But she does not do this alone. She is supported by a strong cast of Supernatural characters. My favourite being the Vampires Eric and Bill, I really enjoy their very different viewpoint, characteristics and the real thought the author has put in developing them and their mannerisms. There appear in all the stories and I really enjoy every scene they are in as I always feel they add something unique to it. This I cannot say about all the Superhuman creatures but to give the author credit she does seem to keep the best and most interesting ones and kills the others off somehow.
I think this story had practically everything and I always enjoy the interplay between Eric and Sookie, there love/hate relationship is always intriguing. As you always want Sookie to be happy but is Eric the man for her? I think only time will tell but I'm sure this story is going to go on and on and while it does people will be wanting to read about their latest exploits, as at the route of the story is this unusual and complex love story.
For me this was a very interesting and absorbing story. I always enjoy the clever and well thought out developments in Sookie's life. And while some of the concept and ideas don't always appeal to me the lead characters within them always do and make it enjoyable.
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
© CPTDANIELS August 2011.
'Dead and Gone' by Charlaine Harris is the ninth book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. It is now available in paper back and selling on Amazon at the price of £3.95 and currently £4.59 in Waterstones.
Some of the books in the series can be read as an individual book, which is what Charlaine Harris intended to create. However as the books develop it isn't advisable to read unless you have read previous books in the series. For 'Dead and Gone' I would advise to definitely read the previous book 'from dead to worse' and maybe even the book 'all together dead' which is the book before 'from dead to worse'.
The book begins with the Weres. Although the Vampires had 'come out' to the world a few years ago the Weres were still under the radar but now was their time to let the world know they were among humans and to hopefully become accepted. Sam, friend of Sookie and owner of the local Bar, Merlottes shifts into his usual form of a collie dog and Tray, Sookies witch room mate's current boyfriend and member of a local Were pack turns into his wolf form. The bar generally accept the news and show sheer astonishment however, Arlene's new 'fellowship of the sun' follower boyfriend by now has manipulated his beliefs to Arlene and Arlene walks out.
This is the beginning of all the problems involving Sookie, Sams mother ends up in hospital and is forced to leave Bon Temps to look after her, leaving Sookie in charge of the bar. As well as this, Tanya starts snooping around again bringing the issue of Debbie Pelt's family back into the equation, Sookie's blood bond with Eric deepens and a shocking revelation of a crucified Were Panther is found in Merlottes car park.
However, these are all sub story lines, the main one being the war of the fairies. This unexpected and dramatic event leaves Sookie being kidnapped and tortured, Claudine, Sookie's pregnant fairy god mother dead along with Tray and Clancy.
This book is action packed and will leave you on the edge of your seat. Charlaine Harris has once again pulled out all the stops and has created another truly brilliant, nail biting Sookie Stackhouse novel.
This is the ninth of the Sookie Stackhouse novels
if you are a new reader do not start with this book, start from the beggining.
Sookie the telepathic Barmaid by this time is incredibly involved in the events of the supernatural world after her time as Bill's Girlfriend, her brief stint with Eric when he had amnesia (and he now remembers what happened), her time with Alcide searching for Bill and witnessing the wilf pack leadership fights, as her boss is a Shapeshifter she also has connections there. Her brother is now married into the werepanther comunity and she has a witch as a roommate ever since her soujorn to New Orleans to sort out her cousin Hadleys last posessions.
In this book Sookie comes to terms with how she feels about her current boyfriend Quinn the weretiger and his family commitments, the were's and shifters decide to come out to the world and the vampire king of nevada start to get involved in the affairs of the weakened state of Lousisiana. Sookie also learns more about the fairy side of her family.
This books to me felt like a filler, the author wraps up alot of events that we know of from previous books and starts off what i suspect will be her new angle for the series. Personally i felt very let down though enjoyed seeing the shifter community come out to the world.
Sookies decision over Quinn felt petty and rather selfish and i really felt disheartened by her characters' behaviour in this instance (i feel the author suffered from reader pressure to get sookie back to the vampires maybe cause quinn sure was my favourite of sookies men so far and there were better reasons for her to choose as she did)
As usual the patois is written so you can really feel the characters' accents and it's still an interesting read if you like the series just to keep up with current events.
overall its got to be the weakest of the series
** I don't think anything here counts as a spoiler, but you may want to think twice about reading this, if you haven't read the book yet **
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In a nutshell
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There are three main threads to the story; The weres and shapeshifters of the world come out of the closet so to speak, but shortly after this one of them is brutally murdered.
Was it a hate crime against weres? Did someone bump them off for another reason, and if so, what reason? Naturally Sookie decides to involve herself with the case and try to use her mind-reading abilities to identify the murderer [because all of the events in the previous books didn't teach her not to stick her nose in where it doesn't belong].
Oh yeah; And the 'hidden from the human world' fey are at war in their own world and it spills over into our world, as they fight over if they should close the portal to the human world, or leave it open.
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On one level I did enjoy DEAD AND GONE as it was just as totally addictive, sit-up-all-night-to-finish-it as the earlier books in the series, but afterwards I had misgivings that niggled away at me, so I'm airing them here. Maybe it's only because I know what standards Charlaine is capable of that stops me from totally enjoying DEAD AND GONE, and I would love it is a less experianced author wrote it...
First of all; The weres coming out should be as major as when the vamps did, but we hardly get a glimpse at the ruptions it would undoubtedly have caused around the world; We just get to skim though newspapers with Sookie and only see how it affects her and have a small side-story via Sam to learn about some of the fall-out. This should have had it's own book; s it is, it's just a waste.
Was anyone surprised at the who-did-it aspect? It was obvious and I became irritated at the characters for not figuring it out sooner.
The fey war is a story thread that we didn't really need. It mostly take's place behind the scenes and just serves to trim the character list down and add non-gripping 'will Sookie make it out of this one?' moments, when we all know full well she will as there's more books on the way.
Which nicely brings me to my main problem with the book: The number of characters cheerfully killed off in it and the way that another couple of characters decide to suddenly up and leave. It is fairly obvious Ms Harris has only done it to tidy up the character list to try to keep it similar to True Blood. However I've been a huge fan of 'The Southern Vampire Mysteries' [I don't care if they've re-packaged it as the 'True Blood' series] and the short stories for the seven years before True Blood started on TV, so the way the author is suddenly trying to reverse the years to bring the books and the programme into evenish balance is obvious to me. It totally ruins all of the character progressions they've made over the years.
Also; Nine books into the series and Sookie is still unsure of which love interest she wants?! In the books she's clearly always been favouring Eric, but all of a sudden she's back to going misty eyed over Bill, when his past actions in the books have been awful and completely unforgivable. If Sookie were a real person I'd lecture her on self respect. And then throttle her. Oh, and Quinn turns up for a grand total of one pointless scene, which adds nothing to the story.
While I'm ranting about pointless scenes; The author now feels the need to write Tara into a scene too, so she and Sookie can have a heart to heart. In the good ole 'The Southern Vampire Mysteries' days Tara was a rarely mentioned old school friend of Sookie's and was a very minor character, with no mention of an alcoholic mother. Now they're suddenly BFFs...
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This is the 9th book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries/Sookie Stackhouse series. It is also the last one until the 10th book is released on the 4th May. I bought this book for £6.99 from eBay and it is currently only available in hardback.
Where on earth do I start with the plot? At the beginning I guess. The weres and shapeshifters decide to go public and the result seems ok for a while. Sam has a family tragedy and has to return home leaving Sookie to run Merlottes bar. Amelia the witch is still living with Sookie along with Amelia's mentor Octavia. Amelia's relationship with were Tray Dawson is blossoming nicely. A were is found crucified in Merlottes and Sookie again has to use her telepathic powers to work out who the murder is. Eric tricks Sookie into something life changing (Oh I so want to say what it is but it will ruin the book for those of you who haven't read it). The FBI turn up to speak to Sookie about the events after the explosion at the Pyramid of Gizeh. Even bigger trouble is brewing in the world without anyone knowing but is it too late for Sookie when the trouble eventually erupts.
Wow, I totally loved this book and could not put it down. The plot is brilliant even though it is a bit gruesome in parts. You do get to see the softer side to a lot of characters in this book with out it going over the top. The characters really seem to have become like friends throughout the series and this book is no different. Sookie has a lot of hard decisions to make in this one and you really feel for her. I nearly had tears in my eyes at points when Eric surprised me with his sensitivity towards Sookie. There is sex in this book so it is not suitable for younger readers and I think some bits might be a bit gruesome for them too. I was so frustrated at the end and I need the next book NOW to find out how Sookie moves on from the events of this book. What am I going to do until May? The 10th book that is yet to come out is the last one that Charlaine Harris is contracted to write but I really hope she decides to continue the series after that. I am hooked!!
Dead and Gone is the last book (so far) in the True Blood series, which is otherwise known as the Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries. It's presently only available in hardcover, with a price tag of £5.20 from Amazon. If you want to save a little bit on the price, you can pre-order your paperback copy from Amazon for £3.49, though this won't be released until April 2010 which is a bit of a wait. I like this book well enough to have justified paying the hardcover price for it and would recommend doing so if you can afford it.
As readers of the series will know by now, the books all follow on from each other. This wasn't as strongly the case in the first half of the series, but it most certainly is from around book number five and onwards. You really do need to have read a few of the books from the start of the series, and the book which precedes this one (From Dead to Worse) to appreciate this one.
In Dead and Gone, the books kicks off with the Were people coming out of the shadows, and revealing their true selves to the world. As the world has already learned to live alongside Vampires (well, save for those who are members of the church of the Fellowship of the Sun and believe vampires are sent by the devil), the world doesn't have too much trouble accepting the Weres. I really like how the author deals with this situation, and think she wrote a firmly fictitious storylin in an amazingly realistic way.
And of course, Sookie's life is once again on the line - only this time it's more serious than ever before. In fact I felt really quite repelled by the experiences that were described in this book. It was like car-crash reading, I wanted to look away from the pain and misery, but I just couldn't help but feel compelled to keep going. Obviously I can't say anymore on how or why Sookie ends up in such danger without spoiling the plot.
There are loads of little sub-plots in this book, as there have been in most of the books in this series so far. Most of them are really interesting and original, and I loved that this book kept the pace up and flowed all the way through. I thought that a few of the relationship developments between Sookie and her (many) prospective suitors were a bit far-fetched, but other than that, I was really absorbed by this latest installment and was left wanting more when I got to the end.
I can't wait to read book number 10 when it's finally released in May this year. In the meantime, if you're an existing True Blood fan and you haven't read this yet, you really should try and get your hands on a copy. It's a thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining, chilling and original book that I will very likely read again in the future.
After spending so much time reading my newest and favourite series of books from author Charlaine Harris, I was distraught to find that I was actually on the very last book available for purchase at present ( I am hoping that there are more to come, surely they can't leave me hanging on like this!).
The book I will now review is - "Dead and Gone".
Warning, this review will contain spoilers for the previous book!
After the relatively short time that the vampires had been "out", the rest of the world was about to get another shock.......the were revelation!
Werewolves decided that this was their time to reveal their true identities to others, this was always going to be difficult, at least vampires look dead, were creatures had been living as humans for many years!
After the were creatures started their reveal, Sam (owner of Merlottes bar and Sookies boss) and Tray Dawson (local werewolf and Sookies housemate Amelia's boyfriend), did the unthinkable and changed into there were selves in front of a crowded bar.
After the initial kerfuffle, people seemed to be accepting the newest additions to the "supe" world, that was until the newly crucified corpse of local "bike" Crystal, appeared nailed to a cross and mounted onto the roof or Merlotte's, another day in the life of Sookie Stackhouse?
The fact that Crystal was Sookies brothers wife could mean something, and maybe the fact that Sookies brother Jason had recently discovered his wife being unfaithful to him meant he was once again in the spotlight for someones murder, or finally the fact that she was a were panther was the final straw.
Would Crystals killer be brought to justice, would Jason get his name cleared, or would all this be overshadowed y an age old war that seemed to have Sookie right at the centre of it, finally kill off the lead character.........
This book, out of all of the previous books, seems to have the most storyline crammed into it. Not only is there the murder of one of the most disliked characters in the books so far, but the newest edition to Sookies family, her fairy prince great-grandfather Niall seems to have a lot to answer for, as due to his insistence that he meet Sookie and become acquainted with his half human great granddaughter, he has knowingly put her life at risk for his own purposes, and trust me, after reading this you won't be so glad to see Tinkerbell on the telly, as within this book fairies are portrayed as the worst natured of all supernatural beings, there blood lust and cruelty outshining even vampires natures.
The book once again flows nicely, and as expected some of the loose ends from previous books are tied up, though thankfully a few more are left to flap about meaning future books in this series.
The death of more than one main character in this book will of course be a shock to the reader, but just adds to the suspense of the story and adds to the element of "will she/won't she....survive this adventure".
This is another great read and contained much more of the vampire elements that initially attracted me to the books, thus meaning my undivided attention!
For more information visit - www.charlaineharris.com
Pricewise this was purchased for £12.99 (hardback), but will more than likely be available for much less from www.amazon.co.uk.
Thanks for reading x
As an afternote, I have visited the aforementioned website and am very pleased to say that the newest book from this series "Dead in the family" is available for purchase from May 2010, with there being a chapter available to read to whet the appetite!