Bookin' It

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Dead In The Family by Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris' Dead In The Family Cover

My Rating 1 of 5 Stars For What I could Finish

NOTE: This is by no means the latest book in the Sookie Stackhouse series.  It is just the last one I was able to force myself to almost (!)  read.  Since I’m behind on reviews, I thought maybe I’d throw this old one out there, and see what others might think.

May 4, 2010:

Having followed Sookie Stackhouse’s adventures since the first book was published (way back in 2001, I believe), I have certain expectations from the series.  Sadly, Dead In The Family failed to meet them completely.  In fact, it was so poorly written (and plotted), I could not even finish it.  I felt that it skipped from here to there, as though it were a collection of disjointed short stories, and lacked any cohesiveness at all.  My personal opinion is that since True Blood debuted on HBO, Charlaine Harris has lost her Mojo.  She doesn’t even seem to know who her characters are any more.  (Sorry, Charlaine.  I really used to look forward to these funny, spooky, and very entertaining books. Those days seem to be over, now.)

Granted, True Blood is definitely the Alternate Sookieverse, and light years removed from these charming books.  You either like it or you don’t.  (I don’t, except for parts of Season 2, which were hilarious).  BUT…True Blood should have had little or no effect on the “Real” Bon Temps and its residents, as have been carefully detailed & developed by Harris over many years.

In Dead In The Family, Sookie behaves in ways that are totally foreign to the kindhearted & plucky girl we learned to love over time.  Her treatment of Bill is abominable, as though his dying of silver poisoning is nothing much to her, even though he acquired it saving her life.  Her relationship with Eric is domesticated to the point of being sickening.  (Who wants Eric Northman all tamed down and husbandly, anyway?) Even 2nd and 3rd tier characters sound & behave nothing like themselves at all.  

Maybe this was what Harris planned all along, but I can’t help but feel she has lost her way with the series, and really ought to bring it to an end.  It’s the humane thing to do.

Meanwhile, with a plethora of Urban Fantasy books available at every store, I have decided to bid Sookie farewell.  In my heart, I know how her story should conclude, so I’ve settled it up properly in my own mind and to my own satisfaction.  The End, Sookie. Live long and prosper. (Ooops.  Wrong genre slipped in there.)

Feel free to disagree with me, as always, if you still enjoy this series, but make sure you have read the first nine books before reading Dead In The Family.  Otherwise, you won’t see how drastically the characters shifted in personality and tone, and how much real fun was lost in the process.  Just my opinion, as always….

Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 10)

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2 thoughts on “Dead In The Family by Charlaine Harris

  1. I actually like her Sookie Stackhouse books. Her writing has helped me when I was really starting out…moving from a short story writer to a novelist. One of the reasons I picked up her books was the fact that she’s an Arkansan, like myself, then I kind of got into her books.

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  2. Don’t get me wrong, Jennifer. I devoured her first nine books, and loved Sookie Stackhouse like she was a personal friend of mine. Plus I adored Vampire Bill, Sam, Eric, and Bubba. It was my favorite series for years. Then it all went cockeyed in that 10th book, and I hated every word after that. I keep checking to see if she’s back in the groove I loved so much, but she’s gone a whole different direction, and it just doesn’t work for me. I have enjoyed other books of hers quite a bit, including the Grave Sight series, and even some of her lighter mysteries, like the Lily Bard books. I just can’t get over the changes in Sookie’s world.

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