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on 14 May 2013
Such an epic disappointment. Not that I expected much after the last couple of books, but I thought CH might bring out the big guns for the final book. Looks like she dragged out a water pistol.

*****SPOILER ALERT******

Yes, I'm an Eric fan and I would have liked to see them somehow have their HEA...But...I am reasonable enough to realise that that probably wasn't going to happen. First, let me say that I've read hundreds of these reviews. I truly wanted to see if the way I was feeling was just me or the general feeling amongst the fan base. What I've found and what really annoys me is the presumption by some of the 5 star fans (and they've actually mentioned it) that we're all bitching about Eric. NO, we're not. Again and again (ex)fans are saying the same thing...the gist of which is that while it's disappointing that Sookie didn't end up with Eric, we could have accepted it if there had been ANY logical build up to Sam. We're saying that the book was sloppily thrown together; that CH had an ending in mind at around book 2 and so-help-her she was ending it that way even if the story and characters had really found a voice of their own and diverged from that ending...she was going to finagle, forget continuity, change lore, anything to get her ending; that the premise/mystery was poorly thought out and that CH threw anyone that had ever been in the books into the mix to act as filler with no real need for them to be there (especially as she's supposedly letting us know all that in the coda out in October).

I'm incredibly disappointed that there was no real, mature and emotional "ending" for Eric and Sookie. OK, so they couldn't be together...so let them have a mature discussion and have them realise that, say their goodbyes, voice their regrets...goddamn it...just a bloody hug would have been nice....but noooo, we have an emotionally immature reaction from Sookie (and a totally out of character threatening, sulky attitude from Eric) and a slamming door. Real mature *snort*. Oh yes, I can certainly see how Sookie has matured through the series, NOT! And no, I'm not saying Eric doesn't have his faults, and realistically Sookie probably needed a "man" who could live with her in the sun, father children etc, but I'd rather have seen her alone than settling for Sam. Because settle she did. Nice safe, boring Sam.

CH has made no bones about the fact that she's never understood the fans love of Eric. What I can't understand is that she created and wrote him as a heroic, but flawed, bad-boy character, with dazzling good looks, a ready smirk and grin, a sense of humour, a real presence, and a habit of taking bullets for Sookie. Yes, he hid things from Sookie but at least he always told her the truth. And lets not forget the "gracious plenty" and what he could do with it. What did she expect us to do? What's not to like? Sookie fell in love with him, why wouldn't we?

After the promise of the first 8/9 books, the progress Sookie made in accepting herself and making an effort to grow and learn, it was sad to see such a promising heroine close herself off to possibilities. To slide back into her mundane little existence and her mundane little job; to a relationship with someone who never gave her the credit due her intelligence, treated her like a child and generally took her a bit for granted. But in saying that, I never really liked Sookie all that much anyway. I never saw what ever Eric, Alcide, Quinn and Bill did. I found her childish, self-centred, whiney, ungrateful, self-righteous, hypocritical and sanctimonious. I could go on...and on. And I have to wonder about CH's ideas on rape. How could she have Sookie forgive, be friendly with and even kiss her rapist????? Bit of a slap in the face for victims everywhere. Just saying!

I only continued reading the series because of the developing relationship with Eric. He's the one who enticed me to keep reading the series. He's probably the greatest character she'll ever create and she destroyed him (and in my mind Sookie as well). So a big boo to Ms Harris for her treatment of him in the last book and for the piss-poor writing effort that she obviously didn't care about after book 8 or so. Never picking up another book of hers again. Wouldn't risk having another series of hers end in the same disappointment. Find your HEA in fanfic. There's some fantastic, well written stories out there.
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on 9 May 2013
I have been a fan of the books long before the TV series, and along with other readers have also felt the last couple of books weren't living up to expectation. I was hopeful though, that as the last book, it would end with a bang - a gritty, gripping page turner but sadly have been let down.

The plot felt rushed & erratic. It seemed watery at best & took second stage to the characters - allowing some that have been long gone (with story lines at the time that wrapped up their own parts in the series) to return with cameo appearences. It was clear that the book was heading in a certain direction from the start. While many would be happy at the return of many of the faces, it felt like a poor ending to a mediocre TV series with cameo's of famous characters rather than a compelling emotion ridden book.

Characters that we have been led to love have been left out almost entirely for reasons that do seem to not fit in with their previous nature.

Harris has stated that she has known the ending since almost the beginning, but if true then the series has been planned poorly. We readers have been swept up in the romance of Sookie/Eric & even her pasts relationships (Quinn/Bill/Alcide) would have held more credibility than the one that have been given. It does unfortunately seem that Harris has become very bored of the Sookie series & rather than be inventive with her plot & ending. She has not stood true to the characters that she has written & created, nor has she moved with the direction her series had taken, and when the ending which she anticipated so long ago no longer fit - she forced it upon us anyway.
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on 12 May 2013
**Review contains spoilers**

Not sure where to start, except to say in over 30 years of reading I have never felt the need to warn other potential buyers just how completely horrible a book is. After 12 books of adventures with vampires, they are most notable by their limited page time in this terrible tale. Sookie is unlikable and most of the time, acts like she doesn't care about anything any more (maybe that is a mirror to how Charlaine Harris feels about this world she once lovingly created - let's face it she only wrote the last 3 books to make money and capitalize on the success of the TV show).

My biggest gripe is how the writer chose to end the character arc of Eric Northman. A character that for some inexplicable reason Ms Harris has decided she hates (but could have, if given the correct ending, become one of the greatest vampires of modern literature). She used him to sell 12 books and then shafted him and his fans, fans who have invested a lot of time and money in these books, and have become emotionally invested in his relationship with our heroine.Now Ms Harris is moaning about the back-lash from Eric fans. Really? Did she not see it coming? (I've seen interviews where she talked about the number of fans who want their books signing to Mrs Eric Northman) and now Ms Harris is surprised by the back-lash? I get it that he may not have been Ms Harris' original HEA, and she knew who that was going to be all along, so why did she use Eric so unscrupulously to sell truck loads of books? Why not the Southern Shifter Mysteries? Why did she even bother to write "Dead to the world" if apparently she already knew who the HEA was 2 books before that?

I absolutely believe that all the disgruntled fans have every reason to be angry and upset as we have all been completely used and played by a writer who has no empathy for her readers at all. She did not have to turn Eric's character as badly as she did or give him such an undignified ending (Just look at Bill - the ex-rapist who gets to stay and live next door).

I urge anyone who becomes emotionally involved with characters and relationships (and let's face it that is what good books are all about) not to buy anything Charlaine Harris writes in the future as there is a strong likelihood she will stomp all over everything you hold dear with character assassinations and inconsistent and lazy plotting. (Claude again? Really?) (Sookie's problem with reading Sam's thoughts suddenly not a problem after all? Really?).

"Dead Ever After"is a truly awful book.
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on 8 April 2014
I am very on the fence about this.
I'm a long-time fan of the series, and was very eager to see how it ended. But it didn't end terribly well.
Whereas I think Eric's actions are totally in keeping with his character, as much of his goodness was down to the blood bond, I wanted more Bill, more Pam, more Mr Catalides, more EVERYONE. The barn dance finale is bizarrely out of character for Sookie, as we get to know her across the books. I feel like Jason got a better ending than she did.

Although I don't think it could have ended romantically any other way, the book isn't written with much spark. Everything is rushed. We never find out enough about the supernatural world Ms Harris has written to accept a devil popping up from nowhere. The ultimate villain is at odds with his characterisation across the series.
I would like more Sookieverse short stories, but perhaps it's better the series has ended. A shame it was with this story.
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on 4 June 2015
I hate to leave a bad review as I loved so many of the other books, but I'm just so sad and actually upset with how this book went. The characters were so different, Sookie seemed to lose everything about her that made her great and the overwhelming love between her and Eric just went, like that. Eric was written as someone annoying as opposed to the Eric we know from all the previous books...and where did Sam come from! I have actually chosen to ignore the events of this book and read a fan fiction alternative ending which finishes the journey so much better. I really don't know how CH thought this would satisfy her fan base. It's actually put me off reading anymore of her books, I'm that disappointed! I really hope CH considers re-writing this book as an alternative ending to satisfy her Eric fan base (which is huge!) I would be first in line to buy..
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I have actually had this book since it's release date last year (7 May 2013) however it has been sitting on my bookshelf all of this time waiting to be read and I have been an avid Sookie Stackhouse fan for a few years now. Two reasons it has been unread and the first being that I have also been watching the True Blood series alongside reading the books and with them being so totally different from each other I have actually found myself getting mixed up on what has happened where which has left me not being as enthusiastic to read the books as to pre True Blood.
The second and most important reason is that the last few books just haven't been all that great if I'm honest and especially not in comparison to the first few in the series and so other series' I have been reading have always jumped the queue to be read ahead of this book as I have been eager to find out what happened next with them. I am truly disappointed that I actually picked up this book to read it and actually wish I had left it on my bookshelf to wonder about what happened next. Yes Sookie didn't end up with who I felt she should have but that wasn't the reason I feel so let down by the book. I feel so let down as it felt too rushed and everything has been too tidied up. I echo the sentiments of other reviewers in that I think the author has lost interest in the series a few books ago but has carried on writing in order to fulfill her publishing contract. As a Sookie Stackhouse fan I feel very let down by the author who I have loyally stuck with through the last few books in the hopes that they would improve despite them not having the same magic as the first several in the series. I won't go into what happens in the book in detail as this has already been covered in great detail by others and much longer ago than me reading the book now but I was disappointed in an old faerie turning back up to explain the attempts on her life along with the obvious non solved Eric situation. I was also disappointed that despite Eric and Sookie having this fiery relationship and the feelings for each other that this was so easily let go of by them both as I just didn't think that this felt real. Anyway I'll stop moaning now and put the book away on the bookshelf with the rest of the series and maybe just maybe I might be able to bring myself to read it again in the distant future.
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on 25 June 2013
A nice way for existing fans to spend a few hours and get closure.

The end of Sookie and Eric was long overdue. CH made it obvious Eric wasn't perfect and Sookie had so many past lovers that were better suited for her but still left. Eric was cold and calculating. It's true that he changed for her-and that was sweet-but not enough. It was always reaffirmed that he was just too practical, too vampire. He cared for her, but more for himself. Eric never understood her morals, or respected her right to stand by them and her decisions e.g. staying human. Sookie was always having adventures and facing dangers, but Eric was rarely there. It was day, or he was busy with Fangtasia or vamp politics. I became so tired of him sending others in his place! Mindblowing sex is good, but where was the substance?
She ended up with someone I wanted her to give a chance from the get-go. My complaint is that it's kept for the end of the book. Far too late, considering it's the last. You wait and wait for it, then don't get to see them date/develop properly, nor to enjoy any butterflies. Maybe that would've won readers around and made it feel less awkward. He was the sensible candidate, and likeable in his own right...but there was too much sense and not enough effort. After all these years of 'will they won't they?' and occasional hints, the idea was somewhat limp. I still adore him though.

The mystery side of things was enjoyable. I loved the twist when a hideously burnt Claude was the one to betray her, having been orchestrating Sookie's various enemies. The climax is entertaining too. There's a wild ride in a stolen van and he makes his homophobic accomplices experience gay lust.
However, until then there's too much focus on his lesser minions plotting to 'get' Sookie. They're quite incompetent. Their motive is hating Sookie; by now this is a tad predictable. I resented them getting their own chapters. Claude should have done more himself, less clumsily, and been a more formidable adversary.

Some old characters return- Mr Cataliades, Diantha, Bob, Amelia, Barry, Tara. They're mostly filler, with their best moments in the other books- but it's nice to see them again, and they make the scenes at her house more interesting. Alcide isn't in DEA and Bill is hardly mentioned either. I don't know why CH invented another child of Eric's. Karin is blonde and as bland as cardboard. Her entire purpose is to do Bubba's old job i.e. watch Sookie's property.
We get closure with Arlene, and to a lesser extent Quinn.
I applaud CH for keeping Sookie human and not taking the 'easy' way out, or simply doing what she thought would be popular.
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on 19 May 2013
Having been off the web for a couple of weeks I was unaware of the furore surrounding this final, but apparently not final, book in the Sookie series; I took advantage of the free Wifi at Athens Airport to download my Kindle for iPad copy, and sat back anticipating one last view of the world through Sookie's eyes.

And that was the first problem; the use of third person reporting undoubtedly made telling the story easier for the author, but it did not make telling the story better; all of the information in the prologue could have emerged in the course of the novel, starting with Sookie investigating just how Arlene turned up in Bontemps alive, and then dead, but it would have taken a lot more work for both author and editor. It seems that they did not want to put in the work.

This disconnection with the rest of the series continues throughout the book; like many other reviewers I often felt that I simply did not recognise the characters as the people I had come to know in the previous 12 books. People, whether they be human, fae, vampires or shifters do change, but they change for reasons; the author needs to show those reasons if we are to find them credible.

Equally, producing a vitally significant character like Karin the Slaughterer from nowhere destroys the willing suspension of disbelief on the part of the reader. We have been told over the course of the series that a vampire sire can force his children to do anything, and yet we are expected to believe that Eric simply did not bother calling his child to his defence against Victor, even though he knew that Victor intended to kill him and had hired the scariest vamp around to help do the job.

That one won't fly, even if Eric can; it's equally implausible that the intelligent Sookie, who has built her self-esteem over the course of the books, would fail to understand the consequences of Sam telling her that he just couldn't help himself with the Maenad. After all, Callisto might decide to make a return visit, and Sookie could end up dying in agony, whilst Sam was romping in the woods with her killer.

I have never seen these books as romance novels; I am not looking for a HEA. On the other hand, I am baffled by the inconsistencies, and regret the fact that there is apparently another book due to tie up loose ends; it looks like author and publisher seeking to extract yet more money from a series where the creative fire has died. I will try rereading DEA to see if it improves with familiarity, but I can't see myself buying the final final volume...
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on 13 May 2013
Well, I have been hooked to Sookie Stackhouse and her adventurous life in Bon Temps for years, I have spent well over £100 gathering up the collection, I personally have not been able to find fault in any of the books...until now. This book was ( I feel) rushed and kind of thrown together, when I finished reading it I was like (???!!!) what, is that it??? I wanted a huge dramatic ending to match the hugeness of her character, all of the other books have been full of death, trauma, romance, lust and this book barely tied all the strings together for the other characters. Eric was barely featured in the book at all(not like in the others), Bill neither. I don't feel after reading all the previous books that Eric would of behaved in this one quite like he did ( I won't go into detail, I don't want to spoil it).

I have to say I'm glad i read it as it is still part of the collection, I'm just so disappointed that my last 'trip' to Bon Temps was ended with this - Charlaine Harris is a fab writer, we know this from previous experience, I just don't know how she could give her characters such a naff send off ? I'm going to re-read this book at some point just to make sure I haven't missed anything but I'm pretty sure I haven't as Dead ever after wasn't as nitty gritty as the others. I only hope in a few years' time she decides to write another one ( although I've a feeling this won't happen) that will give Sookie and her life the ending she deserves and that we all wanted!!!
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on 8 May 2013
Quite disappointed, the book could have been so much better.I know people were upset about the ending, but I was more upset about the actual storyline.it was very weak and felt "jerky". I'm not jumping on the bandwagon about the ending,I'm just disappointed with the whole thing.
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