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A sorely disappointing farewell to Bon Temps.
on 8 September 2014
I made the mistake of neglecting to read any reviews of this book before purchasing. I am a huge fan of the universe that Charlaine Harris has constructed in the Sookie Stackhouse series and jumped at the chance to find out what my favourite humans and supes have been up to since Dead Ever After. Disappointed does not even begin to cover how I feel now.
Within 20-25 minutes of unpacking the book and opening it for the first time, I had finished it. I am glad I purchased it at a reduced price from a third party seller as I would feel incredibly cheated if I paid anywhere near the £8.99 RRP (I still feel cheated, the lower price just softens the blow somewhat).
After Dead is made up of short paragraphs describing the futures of the denizens of Bon Temps and Shreveport, along with those of the many characters they encounter along the way. Sookie, Bill and Eric have the longest sections, which comes as no surprise. What is surprising is how many minor, and frankly forgettable characters are included, such as Alfred Cumberland the werewolf photographer. Dedicating an entire page to a few sentences regarding a character so minor that all but the most die-hard fans would have to look up online, just to be reminded of their role in the series, feels like a complete waste of paper.
Even worse is the lack of information given on the pages of some of the less major characters who were also firm fan favourites. Sookies weretiger ex-boyfriend is the best example of this with his section simply reading "John Quinn had many more adventures". Not only is this disappointing, it screams 'spin-off series'.
As it is, the content of After Dead feels like it would have been more suited to a few pages on Charlaine Harris' website, and gives the impression of a publisher mandated cash grab to capitalise on the disappointment many fans felt with the way the series ended, along with their desire to read more about the Southern Vampire Mysteries universe.
I would have much preferred some short stories about the major characters, pre-faced with the information given in this book to get us up to speed on how their lives have progressed since Dead Ever After, with the minor characters biographies included as a few extra pages at the end of the book.
This was, for me, a flat out waste of money and time, and I would recommend it be avoided. Should you feel that you must purchase it to complete your collection, pick it up cheap from a seller here, or buy second hand.