Sookie Stackhouse is at it again in Charlaine Harris’ eleventh installment in the TrueBlood series, Dead Reckoning. In her characteristic style, Harris once more intertwines life in the dirty south with life as the dirty dead. The brand new book picks up where Dead and Gone left off. Sookie is still dealing with the knowledge of her fae ancestry, and her new found faery relatives Claude and Dermot. She’s still struggling to figure out her relationship with her undead boyfriend–the ancient, sexy, (and a bit scary) Eric Northman and she has as many enemies now as ever before.
After Merlotte’s is bombed, moltov cocktail-style, Sookie’s rare moment of peace is over. Not only does she have to figure out “who dunnit” but now Eric and Pam are being threatened by Victor, the regent of Louisiana. Victor has denied Pam’s wish to save her lesbian lover from an untimely leukemia-fueled death by converting her to vampirism. Now the legality of making a “child” without their ruler’s persmission has come into question. And of course Ms. Stackhouse somehow ends up in the middle of it all. A vampire battle royale is sure to ensue.
Not to mention the fact that the crazy she-bitch Sandra Pelt is after her again.
Or that Sookie is finding out that her deceased grandmother may have kept some MAJOR secrets from the family all these years.
And Eric seems to have been hiding something from her lately…
Plus there’s that damn baby shower she promised she’d throw for Tara.
If she can survive that long, that is.
It was refreshing for me to read this book after what heavy fodder The Memory Keeper’s Daughter turned out to be. This was light-hearted, fun, and entertaining. It certainly isn’t a brain teaser by any means, but that’s ok. I enjoyed revisiting the old characters– it was like catching up with a long distance friend after not talking for a while. While some readers may be up in arms over some of the more obvious plot holes (like Eric and Sookie’s faery grandfather Niall, supposedly being in touch much longer than previously mentioned…) I took it all in stride. This book is a beach read, not the next great American novel, and one should enjoy it for what it is.
However, I will say that anyone interested in the Trueblood Series could easily stop reading after the 5th or 6th book and be just as happy. I feel like the more recent in the series have gotten a bit tedious with Sookie’s day to day life (running errands and working at Merlotte’s, etc…) Harris also has the irritating tendency of mentioning well known stores/brand names like Walmart and Hardee’s in her novels, which I find very distracting. Any amateur writing workshop will tell you to avoid this, as it dates your work.
All in all, I would encourage die-hard Trueblood fans to read Dead Reckoning, but it isn’t a must. It entertained me for a couple of days, but I wasn’t sad when it was over. As much as it kills me to say it–I actually find the show more engrossing than the last few novels, even if it does dramatically deviate from the plot line.
Bottom line: I wasn’t dead set on Dead Reckoning.
3 stars of 5