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Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris

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Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Author: Charlaine Harris / Edition: Reprint (2005) / Mass Market Paperback / 320 Pages / Book is published 2005-05-01 by The Berkley Pub.Group:Penguin (New York)

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    7 Reviews
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      17.02.2013 13:31
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      Is Eric Dead to the World?

      Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris

      Sookie Stackhouse works as a waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana. Aside from her regular job as a waitress she also has the more unusual talent of mind reading. Due to this unusual gift the regular humans don't really like to get too close to Sookie, however as her telepathy doesn't extend to the Vampires minds she often finds herself spending time with the vampires, she previously dated the vampire Bill and sometimes she ends up working for them too. In particular she has been doing a lot of work for Eric, the head vampire of Louisiana, who also happens to be one of the oldest and most handsome vampires Sookie has ever met and regardless of his brutal Viking ways and strange sense of humour he is still a very likeable vampire in a way that he really shouldn't be, but Eric has a kind of charm about him, a charm which makes everyone he meets take a certain liking to him.

      So, when Sookie is driving home from work one evening and finds Eric running along the road towards her house, totally naked, what on earth should she do? Well, take him home of course! The only problem is, Eric appears to have completely lost his memory, he doesn't even know his own name! Once Sookie has convinced the naked Eric to get in her car and go home with her she sets about finding him some clothes and a safe place for him to hide during the daylight hours. She then contacts Eric's co-worker Pam to find out what has happened for Eric to end up naked and running down the road in the dead of the night.

      Relived to find that Eric is kind of safe Pam makes her way over to Sookie's house the following night to explain about the witches who have recently come to the area and have been wanting to do a business deal with Eric. When Eric refused their offer one of the witches appeared to cast a spell and Eric was gone. So now the hunt is on to find the witches involved and get the spell reversed and Eric back to his normal self.

      Sounds easy? Well, no. The witches involved in Eric's memory loss are some of the strongest witches around and they wont be backing down easily. They don't know where Eric is being hidden but they want to find him and drain his vampire blood. This puts Sookie in a very important position, she needs to be Eric's protector and hide him safely in her home, a place where the witches are pretty unlikely to look. This of course no only puts Sookie in yet another dangerous position but also makes Sookie highly involved in the whole situation, so as her bother Jason points out, she should be paid for her services.

      So, a few days later when Jason goes missing Sookie has a feeling that maybe the vamps are behind his disappearance due to his cheek of requesting payment, however when a witness comes forward and says she was with Jason when he disappeared and she thought she heard an animal outside the mystery of Jason's disappearance deepens.

      In the meantime, Sookie is finding the new Eric to be even more appealing with his memory loss. He cannot remember a thing about who he really is, he is scared and relying on Sookie to be there for him. With his memory loss Eric has rediscovered his manners and gentlemanly ways which Sookie finds irresistible, but she knows that it would be morally wrong to take advantage of Eric's state of mind. But with everything which is going on at the moment, the worry of her brothers disappearance, the witches search for Eric and keeping up with her regular day to day duties, will she be able to keep up her resistance?


      My Thoughts
      This is the fourth book in the True Blood series and I am still steadily working my way through them. After enjoying Club Dead so much I wasn't sure if the fourth instalment would continue so addictively as I wasn't convinced it was possible to write so many good books in a series without having at least one which was a let down. Dead to the World is certainly not the let down title, in fact it is even better than Club Dead!

      My favouritism for this particular book may be because Eric is my favourite character in the True Blood series, he is funny, charming and at very to the point about things. He makes many mistakes in the modern world which are amusing in themselves but combined with his sense of humour and the general way he is portrayed it all makes him seem like a very likeable character even though he is one of the oldest and most violent vampires around! In Dead to the World Eric seems to take the place of Bill as more of the main character alongside Sookie, so as you can imagine this is a bonus point for me right from the start and the book is filled with typical 'Eric' humour.

      Another part I enjoyed about Dead to the World was the test which was put on the strength of Sookie's morals. This was because throughout the series we are quite often reminded of Sookie's good upbringing and Christian background, sometimes to the point of it being rather annoying! So, to see Sookie placed in a position where she could potentially take advantage to an extremely vulnerable and in her eyes, rather hot, vampire who is staying in her house with no memory and a transformed sweet personality makes for rather interesting reading. There are many scenarios where Sookie tries to justify her actions to herself by comparing her actions to both what a good Christian would do and what her late grandmother would say if she was still here and this is interesting as it gives even more of an insight to the character Charlaine Harris is trying to portray.

      As with the previous books I found that this was a very addictive read, possibly even more so than the previous ones and as a result of it being so hard to put down I managed to finish it within a record of only 2 nights! Which is very fast for me as I usually have a habit of falling asleep when I read, but with this I somehow stayed wide awake as I was gripped from start to finish!

      In the first three books I found Charlaine Harris's writing style a little different as she uses American English, nothing wrong with this, it just isn't the style I usually read. However, in this book the difference between American English and English-English didn't stand out so much for me. I honestly cannot say whether it was because I was so into the story that I didn't notice or because I'm simply becoming used to the American English writing style, but either way it seemed much more of a smooth read than the previous titles.

      I can definitely recommend Dead to the World, so far, in my opinion the True Blood series just keeps getting better and more exciting and Dead to the World is the best so far. I do recommend that you read the books in the correct order as you will almost definitely become lost with what is happening and struggle to keep up if you jump straight in halfway through.

      As I have mentioned in all of my True Blood reviews so far, 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 and sexual scenarios 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 Dead to the World because I found an almost complete set of the True Blood books, I say almost complete because it was all the titles which had been released up to that point, 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! Dead to the World and all of the other True Blood titles are widely available on eBay from 99p plus postage and packaging. My copy of Dead to the World contains 321 pages.


      Thanks for reading :)

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    • More +
      08.06.2011 18:21
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      The Vampires meet the Witches

      ==Synopsis of the book:==


      Sookie Stackhouse is on her way home from a shift at the local bar where she waits tables, when she sees a naked man in the road. To her surprise it is Eric the most powerful Vampire in the region. He seems different almost shy and retiring, apart from being naked and she quickly realises he has somehow lost his memory. Sookie takes him to her home and advises his employees that she has him with her.


      After meeting with Pam his second in command she agrees to look after him and keep him safe as there are Witches who are trying to take over his businesses and it is them who have taken his memory away. Added to Sookie's worries her brother Jason has disappeared having not shown up for work. Do the Witches have him as well? She is struggling to find anyone she can share her thoughts and feelings with, as her new lodger usually a womaniser and fantastic businessman seems as vulnerable as a newborn kitten. What will happen to Sookie as a war between the Vampires and the Witches becomes more likely?


      ==My thoughts on the novel:==


      This is book four of the highly successful international bestseller series written by Charlaine Harris. The series now has ten books within it and it tells the story of Sookie Stackhouse a cocktail waitress with an unusual gift, she is telepathic. These books tell how she deals with a new world in which non-human kinds play an important factor. As in this novel she comes into contact with, Witches, Vampires, Fairies, Ware's and Shape Shifters.


      To be honest this is one of my criticisms of these novels the fact who do have so many different super human beings. So that is can get confusing about what exactly a character is whether they are for example a Ware or a Shape Shifter. I prefer the more straight forward stories that just involve one set of beings plus of course the humans. The success of these books have led to a successful television series called 'True Blood', but I expect like me people will struggle with the later series because of all these very different other beings.


      Having read already most of this series of novel, it is fair to say I am a fan of them. However I would say for me this was the weakest one I have read. My reasoning for this was because I felt the main part of the story should have been the war between the Vampires and the Witches. But instead that was dealt with relatively quickly I would have like a greater, more detailed and fully battle between them. Instead what we got was more of the relationship between Sookie and Eric and while this would appeal to the more sensitive readers because of the emotions involved I found it hard to get my head round this unusual bond within an amazing setting.



      I have long since believed Charlaine Harris isn't the best writer around, she other less successful series of books have proved this to me. But what she has created in these stories is an amazing lead character, well supported by some fascinating Vampires in a believable world. I like the concept behind these books and feel the author has cleverly tapped into our fascination in Vampires.


      This story deals with very contracting themes; first you have the powerful feeling and lust between Sookie and Eric. Then you move on to Sookie's increased concern for her missing brother, before the war between the Witches and the Vampires. Which I think is one of the features I like about this series is it is never one straight story; you always have other factors sometimes from previous stories coming into it.


      For me this story was slow to start with Sookie finding Eric and then having to agree she would shelter him from the Witches. Usually in one of these stories you have had a few deaths by half way through, but this was gentler with more emphasis put on Sookie's emotions and desires for Eric. However, if like me you enjoy the faster pace of battle there was more than enough later to satisfy the most blood thirty readers.


      One of the main features I enjoy in these suspense stories is the excellent use of humour the author employs. There are many times she has me chuckling away as a scene develops and either Sookie says for thinks something funny. This comes out really well as most of the non-humans in the story do not understand or use sarcasm or any form of humour. Given a grave situation I just find this lightens the mood and helps sometimes unbelievable situations seem somehow believable, with this human aspect.


      The pace of the story I felt was very contrasting with a slow start and I felt it meandered along. But when the action did happen to was fast, exciting and quite tense. This made for me the second half of the novel far better than the first. Leading to an exciting conclusion and some unexpected developments, in an ending that for me made perfect sense.


      Sookie Stackhouse is without doubt the star of this series. What I like about her is she is basically your average American woman, not especially bright, but with a great personality and a heart of gold. Admittedly she does have her special talent but I find her to be a character I can like and relate too. I like the way the stories are always written from her viewpoint so you get a clear understanding who exactly this lady is and what are her values.


      For me this series would not work if the author had not created an interesting group of supporting characters the majority of which are non-human. Even these have very different personalities and attributes so that you can see the way they react to different situations is in keeping with their characters. Although I should point out especially in this story you had a wider variety of non-humans which as above made remembering what group they belonged to confusing and also I felt the author could have put more depth into explaining more about them.


      The length of this story for me was too long because the first half of the story was dealing with Sookie and Eric's relationship. I thought this could have been kept shorter and expanded the war and the build up to war scenes. This for me would have added to the suspense and a greater sense of mystery about why the Witches had come to claim Eric's business.


      ==Conclusion:==


      For me this was the weakest supernatural thriller within the Sookie Stackhouse series. And as such I would not recommend it, as it lacked bite and certainly the first half of the story was slow and hard going for me. Although if you like a love interest this would be something you may enjoy. I would have liked the whole book to be based around the events leading up to the war between the two parties as I thought the author did not exploit this excellent concept to its potential. Despite being a big fan of this series of books I do think only really die-hard fans will really appreciate and enjoy this different offering from this author.


      ==Other information:==


      Pages: 336
      Price: £3.50
      Publisher: Gollancz
      ISBN-10: 075089423
      ISBN-13: 978-0575089426
      Year: 2004
      About the author: www.charlaineharris.com


      Thanks for reading my review.


      This review is published under my user name of both Ciao and Dooyoo

      © CPTDANIELS June 2011

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      • More +
        16.08.2010 22:29

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        Fast-paced plot that is full of action

        Sookie has recently broken up with her Vampire boyfriend Bill so she jumps at the chance to work New Year's Eve as she has no other plans. When she is driving home, she comes across Eric running along the side of the road half-naked. Sookie comes to his aid and finds out from his colleagues that he has been cursed by a witch and has lost his memory. It is up to Sookie to keep him safe in her house until the vampires can find the witches as nobody knows that she is aquainted with Eric. Then, the next day Sookie's brother, Jason, goes missing. Nobody in the area thinks anything of it owing to Jason's reputation with the ladies - everybody thinks he has just gone off with some woman for a few days. However, Sookie knows that Jason would not disappear without letting anybody know and so she is very concerned. Meanwhile, the coven of witches responsible for cursing Eric are trying to take over the entire town of Shreveport (Eric's home turf), so the vampires and werewolves of the area need to work together to stop them. Once again Sookie takes the weight of the world on her shoulders and tries to find her brother, whilst helping the vampires and werewolves of Shreveport.
        Once again, Sookie comes across as incredibly strong and determined to do the right thing. You just can't help but love Sookie. However, in this installment of the series, Bill is out of the picture and Eric is the other main character. I can't say that I am disappointed with this - I am not one of Bill's biggest fans and I'm actually pretty sure Eric is one of my favourite characters from this series. But I will say that I prefer Eric as I've seen him in previous novels, rather than the sweet, naive Eric of Dead to the World.
        This book is fast-paced and full of action and once I started it I just couldn't put it down. Dead to the World is definitely my favourite book from the series so far.

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        28.02.2010 00:09
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        Fangtastic

        This is the 4th book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries series about Sookie Stackhouse and the supernatural goings on in Bon Temps. I bought this book from thebookpeople.co.uk for £8.99 for the first 8 of the books in the series.

        The plot is:
        Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She's pretty. She does her job well. But she has only a few close friends, because not everyone appreciates Sookie's gift; she can read minds. That's not every man's idea of date bait - unless they're undead; vampires and the like can be tough to read. And that's just the kind of guy Sookie's been looking for. Maybe that's why, when she comes across a naked vampire on the way home from work, she doesn't drive on by. He hasn't got a clue who he is, but Sookie has: Eric looks just as scary and sexy - and dead - as the day she met him. But now he has amnesia, he's sweet, vulnerable, and in need of Sookie's help - because whoever took his memory now wants his life. Sookie's investigation into what's going on leads her into a battle between witches, vampires and werewolves. But there could be ever greater danger - to Sookie's heart - because the kinder, gentler Eric is very hard to resist.

        Yet again I couldn't put this book down. I loved the new softer side to Eric even if it wasn't to last. Bill is hardly in this book again but he does get chance to explain the Lorena situation that happened in Club Dead (book 3). Alcide is back from the 3rd book too and it is nice to find out more about him and the Were pack along with a lot of new characters. The book is very well written and enthraled me right to the end. It is not really suitable for younger teenagers due to the sex involved but at 27 I think I am ok to read such things. I really couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next and there are lots of twists and turns in the plot. I had to fight the urge to flick through to find out what was going to happen in my impatience but I am glad I didn't.

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        10.01.2010 22:18
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        Recommended if You're a Fan

        Dead to the World is the fourth book from Charlaine Harris in the Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries / True Blood Series. It retails at £6.99 for the paperback version, though you can get this a lot cheaper if you buy it from the right place. Amazon presently have it available for £3.97, or you can get it from the Book People for £8.99 as part of their 8 book True Blood special offer pack. Amazon also sell it as part of a set, though they are selling it for £20 at present.

        To really enjoy this book, you need to have read the first three books in the series beforehand. You can pick it up without having done so first, but I doubt you'll particularly enjoy it, as it's a little difficult to understand the various characters, supernatural beings, and references to previous storylines if you're not already familiar with the series as a whole.

        In this book, Sookie, the telephathic waitress from the small American town of Bon Temps, finds the arrogant and irritating vampire sherrif of the area she lives in, wandering down the road almost naked and suffering from amnesia. Eric has had a spell cast on him by a group of powerful witches, and it falls to Sookie to take him in and hide him while the supernatural world battles on around them.

        The eventual outcome of this book is really quite predictable, but it's also extremely inventive in taking us on an eventful journey towards that ending. There are lots of little twists and turns in this book, as well as some rather surprising character turn-arounds. I think the idea is partly that Sookie has toughened up in light of her past adventures, and some of the vampire gang have softened a little, having spent a fair bit more time than usual with humans than they had done years before. That's just my own personal theory though, it could simply be that the author has become carried away with bashing out books for the series and has just forgotten to stay true to her original cast.

        The thing that really surprised me in this book was how graphic some of the love scenes got. Erotic isn't even the word. I know that these books are popular with some teenagers, but you honestly would not want anyone under the age of 16 getting their hands on a copy of this little piece of spice. The language the author uses is downright shocking in places, and some of the things the characters who have relations get up to are a little more adventurous than your average teen will have learned about in sex education at school!

        The way this book is written isn't as inspired and original as a lot of the other books in the series. There are parts which actually feel like they're dragging a little in here, and I didn't expect that from a True Blood book given my previous experiences with them. You still couldn't call this a slow book though, it's just a tiny bit slow in comparison to the others in the same series.

        At the end of the day, you either love this series and want to follow the whole story, or you don't. If you want to follow the series through, this is a necessary read and one that I think most fans will feel satisfied enough with having read. It certainly isn't the pick of the series though.

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        08.01.2010 19:13
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        Another enjoyable installment - once again, watch out for those sexually explicit scenes

        *** NB may contain spoilers if you haven't read the first three books in this series, listed at the end of this review***

        This is the fourth in the True Blood series, and possibly my favourite, as it shows such a different side to Eric's character. So at the end of book three, Sookie had had it with Eric and Bill and all their supernatural goings on - she even went so far as to renounce their invitations into her home, which is a pretty serious snub in vampire world. However, when Eric appears naked (not as saucy as it sounds...) and desolate on a deserted road, and showing definite signs of amnesia, Sookie can't ignore his cry for help, and takes him into her home. The domesticated (but still sexy) Eric which we see is a far cry from the power-driven creature we've got used to in previous books and it's really interesting to see how Sookie responds to him in comparison to her relationship with Bill.

        Again, we learn more about the vampire world and in particularly their enemies - another group is introduced to the equation! Once again, a well-paced, fun read, and Sookie as narrator is back on form after a brief lapse in the third novel!

        Worth another note about the sexual content - it isn't gratuitous, but it is relatively explicit and worth checking out if you have younger readers in the house!

        [Edit: Ooooops, sorry, here is the promised list!]

        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!

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        07.12.2009 07:33
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        See review.

        Another book review, with another vampire book as it's subject!

        The book I will now review is - "Dead to the world by Charlaine Harris"

        After finally getting back to normality, well as normal as the ex-girlfriend of a local vampire can be, Sookie Stackhouse (Merlotte's barmaid, local freak and telepath, making her ruined for "normal" men, but perfect for any supernatural being around to date.....and there are a few!), she finds herself a little on the "poor" side.
        To remedy this fact she throws herself into work, this includes working a full 15 hour shift on New Years eve/day, pretty boring so far.....not for long.

        After finishing the shift, Sookie starts to drive home, dog tired, when all of a sudden a naked vampire that appears to look like area 5's sheriff Eric, falls from the sky and lands in front of her car, terrified and apparently completely without his memory.

        After being made an offer she can't refuse, Sookie keeps hold of the now meek and reasonably mild (as much as a vampire can be), Eric, what ensues is a fight to the death between all the supernatural beings, the werewolves and other incarnations, the shifters (people who can transform into other animas) and of course the vampires, and their collective enemy.......the witches!

        This is another fantastic book! I did slag off the first book when the bar owner Sam suddenly was revealed as a shifter, with his choice of animal being a collie dog, feeling this just tainted the whole vampire genre of books, but as the series has continued and the many, many more characters of different origins have been added, these do tend to make the story much more realistic, if there were vampires why not other mythical creatures, though most of the "supes" (the supernatural's), have an incredible amount of sex, I was led to believe that this was solely the vampires bag due the blood lust mirroring the sex lust that they feel.
        The sex does not ever get gratuitous and is used in context to the story.

        This book seems to revolve around a few different threads of storyline at a time, this is the same with most of these books, one of the other storylines included is Sookies brother Jason going missing, though I am sure that even if you second guessed the outcome you would never discover before reading it!

        The book flows beautifully and at no time do you feel overwhelmed with too many characters or too much storyline, they all seem to thread together perfectly culminating together at the end!

        Another point that I found made the book highly amusing was Sookies love life. In the first book she was treated in the book with indifference and at times cruelty due to her "disability" (telepathy), but the supe's can't get enough of her, with her getting "offers" left, right and centre.
        This adds a lovely light element to the story, but the underlying will she/won't she concerning her first vampire love Bill and her employer Eric is a real draw, making this the perfect (dark) chick lit book!

        For more information visit - www.charlaineharries.com

        Pricewise these books are available for around the £6.99 mark, though can be brought cheaper from
        www.amazon.co.uk

        Thanks for reading x

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