Monday, August 05, 2013

Bookish Thoughts: Deadlocked & Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris



Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
Ace, 2012
Fantasy; 336 pgs

I began reading the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris in 2004.  Back then they were called The Southern Vampire series.  The name never really took. Due to the success of the television show, the books are often referred to as the True Blood series.  Really though, the books and television show couldn't be more different.  They have the same characters (in name only in many cases) and, while early on the plot lines were similar, I don't think anyone would say the two resemble each other much other than that. The television show is darker to say the least.  The books, while they do have their dark sides, are mostly light and funny.  I lovingly refer to them as fluff and comfort reads.

For those unfamiliar with the series, Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in Bon Temps.  She lives in a world where supernatural is the norm.  Vampires live among humans; they and  werewolves and other shapeshifters are fighting for equal rights; and faeries come and go through a magical gate in Sookie's backyard.  Sookie is human by most accounts.  Except she can read minds.  Not that she wants too.  She doesn't have much choice in the matter.

Some books in the series have been better than others.  Deadlocked falls into the better category for me.  I really enjoyed the ride as I read the book.  The vampire king of Louisiana is in town to find out what happened to one of his most trusted men (reference to previous book).  As if that isn't bad enough, a woman who had just been inside Eric Northman's house is found dead on his lawn.  The police are circling and it is up to Sookie and friends to find out who was behind her murder.

Deadlocked was a good stand alone novel in a series where some of the books read like middle books.  It had a solid plot and it was good to spend time with the familiar Bon Temps characters.  Tara is about to burst, pregnant with twins, Jason is getting serious with his girlfriend, and Bill still loves Sookie even though she's moved on.  And of course there's Alcide and Sam (one of my literary crushes--but not the TV version--I prefer the book version, thank you very much).  Reading Deadlocked was like a cool breeze on a hot summer day.  It was pure fun.

Rating:  * (Very Good)



Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
Ace, 2013
Fantasy; 352 pgs

Reading Dead Ever After was bittersweet.  It is the 13th and final book in a series I have grown to love.  I almost didn't want to read it.  Endings are hard.  And I hate saying goodbye.  Of course, I can always re-read the books . . .

In Dead Ever After,  an old friend/nemesis of Sookie's winds up dead, the body dumped in a dumpster behind Merlotte's.  Sookie is the prime suspect and not without good reason.  It looks like someone is out to get Sookie, and he (or they) are determined to see that she ends up dead herself.  

The not so bad: The final book in the series had a couple holes and left questions unanswered.  I didn't expect a complete wrap up with every loose end tied in a bow, but I felt there were a few loose threads in this particular book left hanging that kind of got lost in the shuffle as everything started coming to a head.  And I would have liked to have seen more resolution in terms of old relationships, but that's just my personal preference.

The good: It was such fun to see so many characters come together for Sookie's sake.  This really was a good send off.  Given all the help Sookie has given people throughout the course of the series, they really do owe her their loyalty and friendship.  I also liked the way many of the series threads were wrapped up--and ending that was satisfying in most respects.  As I got to the end of the book and got the answers to one big question I had, I gave out a woot.  All will be well in Sookie's world. Or so we can hope. 

And I still have the television show . . .

Rating: * (Good +)

You can learn more about the Charlaine Harris and her books on the author's website.

Source: I purchased e-copies of both these books.  I may have to go back and purchase print copies since I have the entire collection.  Except Dead Reckoning, which I loaned to a coworker and still have not gotten back after a year and a half.  


© 2013, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

14 comments:

  1. I don't read fantasy (very often) but this sounds like a fun one in some ways:)

    Have a nice week Wendy.

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    1. Diane - It's a fun series. Quirky and fun. :-)

      I hope you have a nice week too, Diane!

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  2. I tried one Sookie book and I didn't love it so I haven't read any more of the series.

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    1. Kathy - It's not a series for everyone, that's for sure. I do know that the first book wasn't the strongest. I liked it well enough thought to continue with the series. I think it was the third book in which the series really took off for me.

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  3. I've read two of the books and from that I've decided I should probably watch the show, though I didn't actually know much about it (besides the obvious) until reading your post. So thank you for those details as I would've been expecting them to be pretty similar. I'm surprised there are holes in the last book, especially as it's such a long series, otherwise these last two sound okay.

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    1. Charlie - Yes, the show and books are very different from one another. I do enjoy both, but fortunately am able to keep them separate in my head. Mostly.

      I do wish the final book had been better, but I did like it overall. I think some of it was my wanting more closure, but that could be just me.

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  4. Now that I'm all caught up (as of last week) I have just the last book to go. I know it will be bittersweet for me too.

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    1. Candace - So few series I read have come to an end. It's sad saying goodbye, especially after all the time we've spent with the characters, isn't it? I look forward to reading your thoughts on this one.

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  5. I need to finish this series one of these days. These books are a lot of fun. Great review!

    Steph

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  6. I love pure fun and I have book two sitting on my reading shelves. I think I will read this book and pass on the show version!

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    1. Staci - I hope you enjoy the series! I envy you being so early in it still. :-)

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  7. I really do need to give this series a chance one of these days!

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    1. Lisa - It is a fun series. Not great literature, but not every book needs to be, you know?

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