Tag Archives: charlaine harris

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

It’s been a long time coming for the supposedly “last” book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. With a huge fan base and a wildly popular HBO TV series (Alexander Skarsgard, anyone? Nomnomnomnom), Charlaine Harris is living the life that most poor starving authors can only dream of. Unfortunately, she may have been too deeply asleep when she wrote Dead Ever After… Someone needs to pinch the crap out of her! dead-ever-after-by-charlaine-harris-cover-3_4_r560

DEA seems to exist solely to tie up any plot threads that are still left–gasping for air–no matter how weak they may be. Eric, the fairies, Sam, the Weres, Amelia… You name it. Unfortunately, Harris seems to bring up a few new characters and then forget about them–leaving their stories unanswered. But not in a cliff-hanger/spinoff kinda way. More like a “Oh, I totally forgot about that, but oh well my manuscript is due tomorrow! *Send*” kinda way.

Also, as much as I’ve enjoyed the majority of the SS series… Can we please stop detailing Sookie’s mundane day-to-day life?? She literally wasted a whole sentence–awholesecondofmylife!–bemoaning how hard it is to stuff a Digiornio box in the trash. Seriously?? Way to yank me out of the moment. I know plenty about taking the garbage out, not so much about the TrueBlood vamps. That’s what I’m paying you to write about, not pizza boxes.

AND–I DON’T WANT TO SPOIL ANYTHING FOR YOU–BUT… The way she handled Sookie’s love life in this book was very strange. And I would NOT have made the same choice had I been in her shoes. Ew. I mean, woof.

All in all, since I have OCD about this sort of thing–I’m glad I read DEA. However, if this had been my first Charlaine Harris experience… I would’ve run screaming for the hills. I can appreciate a light pool-side read every now and again, but if Sookie’s story gets any lighter it just might float away.

3 bite marks of 5

 

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Death’s Excellent Vacation edt. by Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner

Seeing as I’ve been on Chelsea’s Excellent Vacation since July, reading about Death’s Excellent Vacation was no stretch. 

(As a side note, sorry for being AFK so long. I’ve moved back to the US and have been scrambling around seeing anxious friends and relatives).

Like many of the books I’ve read in recent months, DEV is an anthology of fantastical short stories by some pretty talented names. I had several favorite stories, including:

  • Two Blondes by Charlaine Harris- Sookie and Pam are at it again. Strippers, elves, murderers, and vampires, OH MY! (If I were them I would stop listening to Eric…)
  • The Boys Go Fishing by Sarah Smith- An elderly super hero is forced out of retirement when a bunch of mutant kids are dumped on his doorstep. I liked this one because I pictured Morgan Freeman as the main character–you’ll see what I mean.
  • The Innsmouth Nook by A. Lee Martinez- A goofy tale of two guys opening a bed and breakfast in a town straight from the Black Lagoon.
  • Safe and Sound by Jeff Abbott- Let’s put it this way: Nancy Grace covering the Natalie Holloway case meets supernatural disappearances.
  • Seeing is Believing by L.A. Banks- Old swamp voodoo brings a young couple together, but there’s more than meets the eye.
  • Thin Walls by Christopher Golden- SUCCUBUS, OMG! Just wait til you read the mouth/vagina description… *shudder*
  • The Heart is Always Right by Lilith Saintcrow- A story about gargoyles in the modern world that was so captivating, I’m hoping for a series to be spawned.

There were a handful of others, while cute and entertaining, were just not as gripping as those listed above. They were either too corny or just emitted the paranormal romance vibe too strongly.

I highly recommend this anthology and it’s going down as a new favorite. Read it to stave off post-Halloween withdrawals.

4 horny demon dogs of 5


Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Sookie, Sookie, Sookie… What kind of trouble have you gotten yourself into now? Well, turns out it because of all those damn vampires you associate with. Surprise, surprise… In Deadlocked by our beloved Charlaine Harris, Sookie once again finds herself in the center of a legal/paranormal shit storm. This time her (sexy) Area 5 Sheriff boyfriend Eric has been accused of killing a girl who ended up dead on his front lawn during a party. No big deal, people die, right? Surely it wasn’t Eric! But when Sookie walks in on Eric erotically feeding from the girl shortly before her death… Let’s just say even she has her suspicions about his innocence.

*cue Weezer’s “Say it Ain’t So…”*

Now not only is Sookie questioning her lover’s involvement in the girl’s death, but now she has her fae cousin Claude’s fishy behavior to contend with. Oh yeah, and that hateful bitch Jannalyn (that Sam is STILL dating) definitely seems like she’s up to no good. *sigh*

If I were Sookie I’d be booking the first flight out of Louisiana I could get–grandma’s house or not. Forget that mess!

As always, Harris has churned out another page-turning novel. But, I will admit that the quality of her work has gone down with her last few projects. They girl-next-door aspect of Sookie’s personality that we all know and love is getting a little tired, especially when Harris wastes page space with detailed descriptions of mundane activities like folding clothes and cooking. We get that Sookie is just like the rest of us, but I have never in my life started a story with “One time, when I was folding laundry….” Get to the goods, woman!

I sensed a definite air of closure during this book, and Harris went through the motions of tying up most of the supporting characters’ loose ends. The only real question mark left is what’s going on between Eric and Sookie and at this point I don’t really know what I’m hoping for…

Definitely read Deadlocked if you’re a die-hard fan but you can skip it because (and I know it’s a bookworm sacrilege to say this but… the show’s better!)

3 fangbangers of 5


The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris

So, The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris was just released recently and I just finished it today. It includes a short story about Sookie and Sam attending a wedding, a series timeline, recipes from Bon Temps, a FAQ section with Harris, an interview with Alan Ball, and a character dictionary. I thought it would be a great read since I love the series and the show, and I’ve read all the Sookie Stackhouse books to date.

I was wrong.

Charlaine Harris’s companion guide to her series was a total nose-dive in my opinion. I really enjoyed the first 80 pages, which were the short story about Sam’s brother’s shifter wedding. The recipe book was also pretty cool. The rest of it? Absolutely useless.

The FAQ section didn’t jump out at me, as many of the questions seemed like they should have been common sense for a true fan who has read all the books (or even followed the HBO series). Also, Alan Ball’s interview was a total waste of time because he gave indirect, noncommittal answers to almost ever question he was asked and I finished reading the interview with more of a WTF? feeling than an Aha! feeling. I get that you’re the producer/director of a television phenomenon and you don’t want to disclose too much, but come on! This interview is going in an actual book–one that will probably sell hundreds of thousands of copies, if not millions–not some trashy newsstand gossip rag. 

The time line was horrible because it was basically a summary of everything that’d happened in all the books, a plot synopsis for everything. I don’t need to know the exact year, month (down to the day) time line of every thing that’s happened. I know Hurricane Katrina is mentioned in some of the books, and I can fill in the rest for myself from there. *sigh*

The recipe section was cute, because it consisted of reader-submitted recipes that mimicked those mentioned in the series, like Caroline Bellefluer’s famous chocolate cake. And since I LOVE southern cooking, I was all about this.

But, above all… The absolute bane to my existence was the character dictionary. THE BANE TO MY EXISTENCE. I went into it thinking Oh, cool we’ll learn more about the backgrounds of all the stand-out characters.

Then I noticed it was like, 250 pages long.

Whaaa…?

Turns out it’s about every Tom, Dick, and Harry ever mentioned in any one of the books, short stories, or novellas. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. I’m not just talking Jane Bodehouse, the town drunk specific, I’m talking Unidentified Vampire #2 and Unnamed German Shepard Shifter specific. Seriously. Every single person, every single relative of that person, every single brother’s sister’s aunt’s uncle’s cousin’s in-law’s mother. Seriously. If it wasn’t for my book-reading compulsive disorder I would’ve completely ditched the guide at this point. I remember all the main characters and some of the more interesting side ones, and that’s it. That’s all I need to know. I sincerely doubt Harris even remembered all of these herself. That’s how many there were.

If you’re a hard core Sookie fan, then my suggestion is to check this out from the library. Read the short story and write down some of the recipes, but just stop there and turn it back in for the next person to use. For real. I know this sounds harsh, because I love True Blood, but this book was an epic fail in Charlaine Harris’ otherwise long and successful series.

2 of 5 stars


Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

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.Dead Reckoning

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