Publication Date: May 7, 2013
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”193700788X” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2BebrLIAIL._SL160_.jpg” width=”106″]When Arlene returns to Merlotte’s to ask Sookie Stackhouse for her job back, Sookie can’t believe her nerve. It wasn’t so long before that Arlene conspired with friends to kill Sookie by hanging her on a cross. When Arlene is found the next morning in the dumpster behind the bar, Sookie is naturally the prime suspect. Can Sookie beat the rap that the police are so ardent to pin on her? As her life gets more complex, Sookie’s relationship with Eric is fizzling. Can they get their love back on track or are some things just not worth saving. [easyazon-link asin=”193700788X” locale=”us”]Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel[/easyazon-link] is the final book in the Sookie Stackhouse series.
I recently read an interview in EW Magazine with Charlaine Harris about the end of the Sookie Stackhouse series and came to the belief that the author’s series declined when she got caught up on the idea of celebrity. She says to the interviewer that women of a certain age look to her because she became famous as an older woman. She, in effect, is their icon. As much as people might like what they see on the screen in “True Blood”, the book series that Harris wrote revolving around Sookie Stackhouse was, at a time, better than the show could ever hope to be. Where the show was about the violent and sexual side of vampires and paranormal beings (always look toward the bigger and better), the book series was about a young woman struggling to fit in and trying to find someone with whom she could share her life and be happy. To have all of those things that she thought she should have. Harris lost sight of that young lady after the series started and gave us a jaded woman but one who is accepted in her community. In [easyazon-link asin=”193700788X” locale=”us”]Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel[/easyazon-link] I think Harris is trying to give us that sense of a character come full circle. What she thinks she wanted may not have ever been what she needed and she now has all she needs.
You know you’re not reading a great book when while reading on lunch break the boss brings you some things to go over and you’re grateful for the interruption. There was a time I traveled from Ontario and searched bookstores all over the metro-Detroit area to find Sookie books sold out. I once told a friend who was confused at the introduction of a “fairy godmother” to just wait, Harris has a plan and Claudine’s character would be expanded. These days I don’t have that sort of faith in that author and throughout the book there was an overwhelming sadness both in the actual text and in myself.
We start [easyazon-link asin=”193700788X” locale=”us”]Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel[/easyazon-link] exactly where the last book left off. Sookie has saved Sam and Eric is angry. Sookie is in denial about her feelings both for Sam and Eric. I know folks love Eric but to be true to the great character he was, it would never have worked out—but you’ll have to read to see if Harris makes it work. In her community she’s not the freak she once was. She’s planning to be an attendant in her brother’s wedding and she goes shopping with Tara. When she returns to Merlotte’s, people are happy to see her and share with her. The isolated and hated woman we saw in Book One that everyone thought was a freak? They have since learned that there are much stranger things in Bon Temps than a pretty girl who can read minds. Harris ends the novel with “I’m Sookie Stackhouse and I belong here.” This is what any reader who has been with the series from the first novel knows that this is what the character has always wanted. She has the confidence but has she truly found her place?
As with the last novel, the overwhelming feel of [easyazon-link asin=”193700788X” locale=”us”]Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel[/easyazon-link] is of an author tying up loose ends. We do have a story of revenge and some action but mostly it’s Sookie marking things off of her checklist. Fairies are gone, check. Relationships as sorted as they’re going to get, check. All of the characters are getting a bit of a wrap up. Tara is happy with JB and the twins. Terry Bellefluer, the Vietnam Vet and cook at Merlotte’s, is getting married and will be an instant grandfather. Perhaps its just that I haven’t paid attention in the past, but there also seemed to be quite a few more television references in [easyazon-link asin=”193700788X” locale=”us”]Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel[/easyazon-link]. C.S.I. is mentioned at one point and within a few paragraphs Dirty Jobs is also invoked. The whole cast of characters returns to the point where the characters serve no real purpose other than to do a walk-on and wave to the audience. Perhaps it’s unfair but my thought while reading was of a scene from a Police Academy movie where characters are calling each other and saying, “Commandant Lassard is in trouble!” and racing to his side. One character shows up for a hot second to talk about his coming baby…and to help Sookie. Another character talks about his new girlfriend…and stops in to help Sookie.
Much has been made of the pairing that ends this novel. Harris announced on her Facebook page that a fan in Germany had posted spoilers many weeks before the release (The majority of her fans on her Facebook page would not have known had she not said anything). If you were firmly in a prospective partners camp, you may be disappointed. If you’ve been around for a while, especially the last few books, you probably saw the end coming. As a fan, I didn’t mind the partner she chose just perhaps the Harlequin-like way that their story unfolded. You can’t be with one man unless you completely decimate the other always rings false with me as a reader and smacks of a certain lack of creativity.
Overall, I’m glad this series is over and there are worse ways Harris could have ended it. If you’ve read Sookie all along, pick this one up to round out the experience. If you haven’t read the series, start from the beginning because it is mostly a very good and tightly written series. Kudos to Harris for acknowledging that this horse was indeed dead and buying it, instead of trying to continue to ride.
If this sounds like a book for you, you can order it through Amazon.com by clicking on the image or book title anywhere in this review. Links for Amazon.ca and Amazon.co.uk appear below.[easyazon-cta align=”right” asin=”193700788X” height=”28″ key=”amazon-ca-small-light” locale=”ca” width=”90″] [easyazon-cta align=”right” asin=”193700788X” height=”28″ key=”amazon-uk-small-orange” locale=”uk” width=”137″]
For more information about Charlaine Harris and her work visit her website and community board. Find Charlaine Harris on GoodReads, Facebook and Twitter @RealCharlaine. Series readers can track her books on FictFact.
Well done and a fair take on this book. I finally finished after reading it, mostly in starts and spurts. The whole book felt
Ike something that had to be done, but had become a chore for writer and reader. I didn’t love it. And I didn’t hate it. My major issue was the short shrift she decided to give Eric so that we would like Sam more. What if we had already liked them both? Instead of feeling strongly about one or the other, I kind of didn’t care about either. Even worse, I was Indifferent about Sookie too. Sookie may have gotten her HEA but this reader did not.
I found that whole situation contrived. She could have done a book arc where she didn’t have to go the truly evil route to make way. She did what she did with Bill…just made it impossible.