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Customer Review

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The fifth in the series and possibly the best yet, 30 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Dead as a Doornail (Southern Vampire Mysteries): 5 (Sookie Stackhouse Novels) (Mass Market Paperback)
Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series is just getting better and better. I loved the first book, Dead Until Dark, where Sookie got together with Bill Compton, her next-door neighbour who happens to be a vampire. Charlaine Harris introduced us to some of the not-quite-normal people in Sookie's town of Bon Temps in this book - Sam the Werewolf bar owner being one of them. Once Sookie got together with Bill, Sam showed his interest.

In the third story in the series, Club Dead, Sookie and Bill split up after he was unfaithful. This rather spoilt the book for me (I like happy endings and it rather negated the happy endings of books 1 and 2) but more characters were introduced, such as Alcide Herveaux, a Werewolf, who were possible love interests.

In the fourth book of the series, Dead To The World, Eric Northman the Viking vampire finally got into Sookie's underwear, not that he could remember anything about it after the event (amnesia is so inconvenient).

Dead As A Doornail is the fifth book and it starts where the fourth left off. Eric and Sookie's fling is over (and Eric has his memory back, but amnesia now about what took place when his memory had been wiped by the witch) and Jason has been bitten by a Werepanther and is awaiting his first full moon.

This story has lots of complex plot threads and different strands within it which make it interesting. There's Jason's new situation which is immediately made worse by the discovery that someone is shooting shape-shifters and he is a suspect. Calvin Norris, head of the Shifters in the village of Hotshot, is in hospital having been shot himself but tries to protect Jason - mainly because he's after Sookie. And this is the first hint at one of the significant themes of the book - Sookie is becoming mighty attractive to all the men around her. Alcide Herveaux, the werewolf whose former girlfriend Debbie tried to kill Sookie at the end of the last book (and was in turn shot dead by Sookie and buried by Eric) is trying to persuade Sookie to have a more permanent relationship with him. Eric is hassling Sookie to try and find out what took place when he had amnesia and still trying to get into her underwear (not knowing that he already has); Bill Compton, although not featuring much in this book, still wants to get back together with Sookie; and Sam the shifter is being a support to her because he loves her.

Wow! This woman has SIX dishy men after her. Well, none of them are just men - they're all shapeshifters or vampires or whatever. This made me wonder somewhat - granted, Sookie's sweet and nice and caring (although also a disaster area) but is she REALLY that appealing? And can't she choose, rather than stringing them all along (even Calvin Norris who seems rather old for her)?

Anyway, on with the story. Or several stories. Sookie's house is burnt down and she's rescued by Claudine the fairy. She had a bodyguard in Charles Twining the Vampire English bartender, but also has every other male in the vicinity trying to rescue her. She's trying to keep Jason safe, work out who's killing the shifters, keep herself financially stable, avoid becoming beholden to Eric, work out her feelings for Bill (who she seems to find the most comfortable of her beaux) and avoid becoming part of Alcide Herveaux's wolf pack. Phew!

Despite all this going on, the book works well as a leisurely read. Sookie comes across as a nice, simple girl - with an incredibly complex life. She's definitely becoming wiser about the world although her ability to choose and stick with one man is rather suspect.

And at the end we meet a seventh applicant for Sookie's attention, the enigmatic Weretiger Quinn, who I suspect is going to feature in future. This section of the book seemed slightly strange to me, tacked on after the resolution of the main plotline (who's killing the shapeshifters) but is probably a set up for a future book.

If you liked any of the previous Sookie Stackhouse books you'll certainly appreciate this one. If you're fed up (as I am) with the direction that Laurell K Hamilton took in her Anita Blake books this is a refreshing return to the fun side of the vampire world with sex but not sex mania.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Feb 2010 22:14:45 GMT
Jo says:
wow, thanks for the spoilers

Posted on 26 Apr 2010 13:21:28 BDT
scotty says:
This is a series of books that really does need to be read in order, as if each book is a chapter in its own right. Only by doing this does the reader learn about 'Sookie world' and the 'Supes' at Sookie's pace and this is part of the charm of the series.
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