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'I had a fleeting second of incredulity that there'd ever been a time I hadn't known the extent of the supernatural world. And here I sat in Lucky Bar-B-Q with two witches, two part-demons, a telepath, and a weretiger.'
Sookie Stackhouse started out as an ordinary waitress with an extraordinary talent. Now she's part-owner in Merlotte's bar, wife to the Vampire Sheriff Eric Northman, and has survived several attempts on her life.
After using her cluviel dor to bring Sam Merlotte back from the dead, Sookie starts to feel isolated and cut off from the world. Eric is keeping his distance and Sookie has no idea where things stand with him. As she's getting on with her life, Sookie has no idea that there are people out there intent on taking it away from her. But there are also people ready and willing to help her in her time of need.
Since I bought the first Sookie Stackhouse book on a whim, I've been hooked on the series. I read the first few within a few months, and got really impatient waiting for the next ones to be delivered. I've always loved Sookie's character and was always worried for her when more and more danger was thrown her way throughout the series. I've followed Sookie through several relationships and attempts on her life and have always found myself wanting more.
It's my understanding that thirteen books were always planned for this series. I have to say, as much as I love the series as a whole, the last few books started to lose the magic for me. There's only so much that can happen during a series, so at times the last few books felt more like a story was being dragged out and I didn't enjoy them as much.
The way this book is written is different to the other books in the series. The story is told from different points of view; mostly from Sookie's point of view, but also from that of the people out to get Sookie. At the start, you have no idea who the people are, since all that you're given is a vague description. As the story progresses a few familiar names emerge, and this was a nice twist since I thought Sookie had seen the last of them. Some of the names are kept a secret until the end, and I really enjoyed the twist of who was behind it all. I liked how this was done, it kept me guessing who the people were, as they were people that I'd met in previous books. All is revealed towards the end, and the different narratives tie together nicely.
A big part of the Sookie Stackhouse series is the Romance. Sookie has had a few different boyfriends during the series, and I'm sure everybody enjoyed this aspect of the story, especially Sookie's relationship with Eric. I'm sad to say that there wasn't really a lot of Romance going on in this book. There is a lot going on in Sookie's life, so I suppose she's too busy for a relationship, but this could be what was missing from this book for me.
I did enjoy the story, but compared to the previous books in the series, particularly the first few, this book was disappointing. It's never taken me more than a few days to read a Sookie Stackhouse book, and this one was no different. The only difference is that I read this quickly because it was an easy read and uncomplicated page turner, and the previous books really gripped me and left me wanting more. I've seen a lot of reviews for this, and most of them are similar to my rating. I've also seen a lot of people that weren't happy with the way the series ended, and I have to agree to some extent. The ending seemed quite abrupt to me, stopping in a strange place. I was happy with Sookie's choice of men at the end of the book though, since she ended up with who I always wanted her to be with, but I'll leave it at that.
Charlaine Harris has been writing Mystery novels for thirty years, and is best known for her Sookie Stackhouse series, also known as The Southern Vampire Mysteries. She has written other series' too, including the 'Harper Connelly' series, and the 'Lily Bard Mysteries.' The Sookie Stackhouse series has also been adapted for HBO as 'True Blood.'
Kindle Edition ASIN - B00A7YZ1KI
Kindle Edition price from Amazon - £4.35*
Paperback Edition ISBN13 - 978-0575096639
Paperback Edition price from Amazon - £5.75 New*
Hardback Edition ISBN13 - 978-0575096615
Hardback Edition price from Amazon - New and Used from £5.95 - £9.50*
---Sookie Stackhouse Series Info---
Book 1 - Dead Until Dark
Book 2 - Living Dead in Dallas
Book 3 - Club Dead
Book 4 - Dead to the World
Book 5 - Dead as a Doornail
Book 6 - Definitely Dead
Book 7 - All Together Dead
Book 8 - From Dead to Worse
Book 9 - Dead and Gone
Book 10 - Dead in the Family
Book 11 - Dead Reckoning
Book 12 - Deadlocked
Book 13 - Dead Ever After
*prices correct at time of posting
If you have been reading the Sookie Stackhouse books, Dead Ever After was a highly anticipated book, bringing an end to Sookie's adventures with vampires, fairies and all the other amazing characters along the way. So when I grabbed hold of a copy, it wasn't put down until I had read every page.
What an absolutely underwhelming, disappointing end to a brilliant series. I can't believe that is the way Charlaine Harris really wanted this to end.
The story line was slow, sluggish, and somewhat tedious in places. There was none of the fight, and certainly none of the sex, that has been in the rest of the books. And, most importantly, where were the friggin' vampires??!!! Put everything of Bill and Eric together and I think it would have been a struggle to fill 2 pages - serious let down.
I liked the fact lots of characters from across the series came back for the last book, it was like making sure those loose ends were tied up, minus the vamps. And there wasn't enough Alcide either. And the final showdown was anti climatic, too.
Oh, and who she ends up with. Really? Did Charlaine Harris really think that was the one we all wanted Sookie to end up with? Because it really wasn't!
I have read many series that have a lot of books included in them, and it is fairly often that so much has been done across the books that it is had to write a final instalment that wows at every page, but this book was the biggest disappointment to a series I have ever read. My only hope is that When True Blood finishes, they manage to wrap up the tv show based on these books in a better way!
I am beginning to think my 2 star rating is a little generous...
*this review also appears on Goodreads.
It's finally here: the last novel in Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series, also known as True Blood. Dead Ever After is book number thirteen, and we finally learn whether Sookie gets her own happily ever after - and who with.
The story so far is almost impossible to summarise, so I'll just mention recent events. In book number twelve, Deadlocked, Sookie and her vampire love Eric were having some problems due to a situation created by Eric's maker, the now permanently deceased Appius Livius Ocella. Additionally, someone had tried to frame Eric, Sookie and friends for a murder. Deadlocked ended with a showdown which revealed who was behind everything, and led to Sookie using her cluviel dor, the fairy love token which gave her one wish.
In Dead Ever After, Sookie and Eric are still stuck in the same situation from Deadlocked, with some added complications. Sookie's friends then have to rally round her after it seems someone is out to get her - again.
The Sookie Stackhouse novels have legions of fans, who discovered the book series both before and after the TV series True Blood began. The world Harris created is captivating, with vampires, shapeshifters and weres, witches, demons, the fae and other mythological creatures. I had actually begun to feel there was maybe a bit too much going on, so I was glad there was less of the fae in Dead Ever After, as they were my least favourite of all the creatures. However I was disappointed that there was considerably less vampire and shifter activity, as these were really the core creatures of the series so far. The main supernatural characters were witches, demons and telepaths. Vampires in particular really seemed pushed to the sidelines, which didn't seem right given how prominent they've been in the series as a whole.
Throughout Dead Ever After, you can tell it is a final novel - old characters, friend and foe, keep popping up to have their stories brought to a close. There is definitely a sense throughout of saying goodbye, and trying to tie up loose ends. I felt that some appearances, for example Sookie's former lover the weretiger Quinn, were rather unnecessary - as far as I was concerned, his story was over and he was out of the main action.
I'd had a suspicion of how the series would end for Sookie based on certain events, and it turns out that I was right - but don't worry, I won't reveal the ending! I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. Part of me agrees with it, and thinks it is probably the best way to end, but then on the other hand I feel like the series has been dragged out for too long if this is the ending Harris had planned all along. I feel rather like readers have been toyed with, and I imagine many will be angry about the ending - certainly other reviews online indicate there is a lot of anger among Harris's loyal fanbase. Yet more than this, I don't feel satisfied with the way Harris reached the ending. It didn't feel right or natural, it didn't fit in, something was just off about the whole thing. It was like she had decided how Sookie's story would end, and she just squashed it into a mould whether it fit in properly or not.
Yet despite this, I continued reading, turning pages, desperate to find out how we would say goodbye to Sookie - but also not wanting it to end. I feel sad that it is over, and disappointed that the ending was unsatisfactory. There is another book due out in October, called After Dead: What Came Next In The World of Sookie Stackhouse, which promises an A-Z of all characters, including Sookie herself, and an update on their future. I am thoroughly looking forward to this, as hopefully it will provide the closure that Dead Ever After has failed to deliver.
Three stars might be over-generous, but two would seem a little harsh...