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Dead Ever After: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse) Hardcover – 7 May 2013
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This is the final Sookie Stackhouse novel. Who will love, who will live, and who will be dead ever after?
From the Inside Flap
Sookie Stackhouse has one last adventure in store.
Life has taken her from a waitress in Merlotte's Bar, Bon Temps, to part owner; from social outcast to the heart of her community; from a vampire's girlfriend to the wife of one of the most powerful vampires in the state.
She has survived explosions, revolutions and attempts on her life. Sookie has endured betrayal, heartbreak and grief . . . and she has emerged a little stronger, and little wiser, every time.
But with life comes new trials . . .
The question is, in the end: who will love, who will live, and who will be dead ever after?See all Product description
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Throughout the story Sookie has many worries. To begin with, after raising Sam from the dead, using her magic from the cluviel dor (which could only be used once), she noticed a clear coldness from Eric. Is he annoyed with her for using her magic on Sam and not saving it for him? Well, that’s just tough luck for Eric as there was no way she’d let Sam die! Not only has she to worry about Eric, but Sam seems to have changed after his experience too.
Sam seems really quiet and a little off with her, or maybe he is shaken up from the whole coming-back-to-life episode. Sam has been through a lot and, when Sookie sees Sam next, he has forgotten a great deal. Sookie then reminds him of everything, even the events he probably doesn’t want to remember, as she knows it’s in his best interests for him to face up to them. This is also a great way for Charlaine Harris to recap the last story, and provides the reader with enough detail to understand what has happened, but doesn’t bore the regular reader of the series either.
As the story moves forward Sookie is in for some more surprises. First, Arlene, an ex-friend and colleague, has been released from prison and approaches Sookie at Merlotte’s bar asking for her old job back. Now a part-owner of Merlotte’s, Sookie clearly stands her ground and refuses. She can’t believe the nerve of her after Arlene had tried to have her killed. Shortly after, Arlene’s body is found in the dumpster behind Merlotte’s, and you can just imagine who will be accused. Yes, poor Sookie!
And then, there’s Eric. After everything that has happened, Eric has almost abandoned Sookie for reasons that Sookie and the readers are not sure of. It appears to us that he may be a little irked after the incident with Sam. And yet, there is more going on in the vamp world that he needs to attend to and this will have a definite impact on Sookie. The ever-practical Eric has to do not just what is in his best interests, but also what is expected of him.
Will Sookie be cleared of a murder she didn’t commit? Will her and Sam be able to return to a their comfortable friendship? And, will Eric deal with his vamp problem and return to Sookie? Or, will Sookie rekindle her love with her first love, Bill? This final instalment certainly has many questions to answer. And the reader will find out the answers to all as it all wraps up.
Although fairly well written, with plenty more going on, I found it didn’t grip me with intensity. However, the storyline itself was good. Sookie’s love interests were not present too much in the book and I know many won’t be too happy with the ending. But, I was fairly happy. As long as Sookie ended up with either Bill, Eric or Sam I was going to be happy as I have come to appreciate all three characters over the course of the book series, as well as tv series.
It is very difficult to read this after seeing the tv series, though, as it is hard to differentiate between the, sometimes very different, storylines but with the same characters. In hindsight, I do wish I had read all of the books first, before watching the tv series. That said, I do like how the book series has gone in terms of keeping more with the telepaths and witches. This certainly adds to the magic of the story, as well as remind us that our focus is Sookie, even though we can all get carried away with the strong male characters.
All-in-all, the book series is a great read, and I would encourage anyone, whether read the series before or not, to start at the beginning and read each book in order to remind ourselves of Sookie’s journey, and what Charlaine Harris wanted us to get from the series.
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...
That said... It did tie up all of the loose ends. I was surprised by who the ultimate antagonist was. I had felt that each book was its own story with continuing relationships/friendships evolving in each novel, so I didn't expect who was causing all the bad.
While all of the books are relatively short, I had thought this one might be longer or that there would be more depth to each situation. I used to feel more in touch with all of the characters but in this book every time I started to feel some emotion the scene would be over and I'd be left wanting more interaction.
I was also disappointed that Bubba didn't make an appearance. :(
I'm not sorry I read it... but I won't ever re-read the series.