Okay, now the last time I read a series final of a much loved book series I was so bitterly disappointed that that book (The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel) remained sitting in the spot I threw it until we decided to sell our house and it HAD to be moved.
Jean M. Auel GUTTED me with that final piece of Ayla and Jondalar drivel. For my entire adult life I had been waiting for the moment when Ayla’s past (ie. her children) would rear their ugly heads and fight to the death – AS THE AUTHOR HAD INDICATED several times during the series. Instead all I got was a bad retelling of book 3 (The Mammoth Hunters) and the assumption that the author believed all women who work should be punished. To get a full insight into how bad this series final book is, you can read some of the reviews here.
So it was with trembling hands that I picked up Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris early on Mother’s Day. I had only one expectation – that Charlaine Harris stay true to Sookie Stackhouse and not cave to the mass hysteria that was threatening the Sookieverse. That is all I asked – did Charlaine deliver?
I WILL BE DISCUSSING THE END OF THIS NOVEL, IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THE ENDING, PLEASE RETURN TO READING THE BAD REVIEWS ON JEAN M. AUEL’S BOOK.
WALK AWAY NOW…
*My Book Review*
DISCLAIMER: This book/eBook being reviewed was purchased by reviewer.
Yes, I think she did! I will be addressing my reasoning behind that later. Right now I just want to reach out through cyberspace and bitch slap all the readers out there threatening to kill themselves and egg Charlaine Harris’ house just because she didn’t provide Sookie Stackhouse with a man who was not suited to her.
No author should be threatened like that.
The White Elephant in the Room: Team Eric
Did none of you fans read ANYTHING Harris wrote in the 12 other Southern Vampire Mystery books?! Sookie DID NOT want to be turned! Sookie wanted babies more than anything else. She also wanted to be NORMAL. How on earth is Eric Northman supposed to provide any of that?
Eric Northman’s butt (played by Alexander Skarsgard’s butt in HBO’s True Blood) – Yes, this is a gratuitious attempt at calming the angry masses
I might just add here that I am a BIG fan of the Eric Northman character. I subscribe to many of the various Alexander Skarsgard-loving websites and think that Dead to the World is the best book in the Sookie Stackhouse series – so much so that I own TWO copies of it! HOWEVER (and this is not just because I want that Viking all to myself), if Charlaine Harris were to give Sookie Eric, she would have sold herself short as an author.
See, this is the horrible truth about writing. Sometimes you have to kill your darlings. Sometimes you just need to write the outcome that is plausible and honest – regardless of what the fanbase think. Jean M. Auel could not do this, yet Harris had the guts to and I applaud her for it.
All you Team Eric fans out there need to stop for a minute and go back and read the ENTIRE series. Yep, pull those books off the shelf (if you haven’t already burned them along with your effigy of Charlaine Harris) and start from the beginning. Now, instead of cooing over the fact that Sookie says more than once that she hates Eric (‘but really, we all KNOW she doesn’t mean it’), why not look at the references made by the author about Sam. Instead of pointing at sections and saying ‘See, Sookie says she only like Sam as a friend,’ why not apply the same logic you use when Sookie says something about Eric you ‘know’ isn’t true – maybe she’s lying? It’s not the first time in the history of the world that people have denied feeling for another person. And it sure as shit ain’t the first time someone has stayed platonic with their boss to avoid complications should they break up further on down the track.
If you want to see Sookie and Eric together, then go and read some fanfic – or write your own! There’s PLENTY of awesome stuff out there. Besides FanFiction.net, I also follow a whole heap of Team Eric role players on Facebook and Twitter. Their versions of the Sookieverse are just fantastic. Not only do these authors in their own rights keep Eric and Sookie together, they manage to steam up my glasses every time I’m reading their fanfic.
Quit with the hate already:
I just can’t understand the HATE involved with this book. Now if Charlaine Harris had promised Sookie would decide who she loved in the last book and then presented a novel that went off on some long meandering tangent about the history of Sookie’s house and didn’t resolve the main plot line – then I could understand your fury.
Not only are people complaining that the Eric vs. Bill vs. Sam vs. Alcide vs. Quinn resolution issue ending is shit, but so too is the writing. Hello? I dare anyone to include EXAMPLES of how Harris’ writing has changed from book 1. Go on, tell me in in the comments below – cut and paste all those sections you loved along with the ones you hated and tell me how her writing has nose-dived. Oh, and the continuity issues? Why don’t you try writing 13 books and not have ONE SINGLE CONTINUITY ISSUE – I’ll even let you assign an actual continuity editor to the task. Really, that’s what is pissing you off? The fact that Sookie can no longer read Sam’s mind? Go blow it out your arse!
Yeah, there were a few books (especially towards the end of the series) that had a whole heap of ‘Sookie had lunch, and then she watched a movie…’ etc and then there were entire books that seemed to be nothing more that bridges joining one great plot line to the next. But, overall, I don’t think the quality of writing decreased that much.
Sometimes I think people just confuse ‘I’m not happy with how this book ended’ with ‘this author is a bad writer’.
Okay, now I am going to address WHY I thought Dead Ever After was a good book:
- Regardless of what the blinkered fans thought, Charlaine Harris addressed the burgeoning attraction between Sam and Sookie very early on in the series. The pair ending up together was pretty obvious and, to be honest, a welcome reward. Sookie FINALLY gets her normal happy ever after!
- Eric stays true to character. Yes, he does. Please stop throwing rotten tomatoes at me. We ALL know why we love Eric – he’s the classic bad boy. Right from the start he admits that he is bad to the bone and that he’s done things for the sake of doing them. The man really has no conscious. Yes, I do believe he loved Sookie. Yes, their relationship was smoulderingly HOT. Yes, he would pick power over a human.
- All the characters get a look in. While some fans are complaining a lot of the characters seem watered down, at least they get a mention. At least their individual stories are touched upon and tied up neatly where needed.
- Sookie stays true to herself. Right from the very start we all knew how much Sookie wanted babies. And how much she believed in the afterlife. If Charlaine Harris let Sookie have Eric, there would have been a book 14 and it would have been called ‘Dead by Suicide’. Sookie would have ultimately suffered had she lost the two things that meant so much to her.
- Sookie got to be normal. Finally. It’s the only thing she’s ever wanted. Remember how much she hated being picked on and singled out as the weird one? Imagine how this would have continued if she’d stuck with the vampire?
- Charlaine Harris still writes those laugh out loud moments. I know many fans hate the line “…my breasts… quivering like puppies who wanted to be petted.” But to me, that is what makes Charlaine’s books so enjoyable. She tells it like it is. And sometimes those things are just plain weird!
- The end….followed by the end! Yeah, so we think everything is all tied up and then Sookie goes dancing and gets abducted and then the whole bar comes to her rescue. A whole lot of redneck banjo playing seemed to be going on and I LOVED EVERY SECOND of it!
What I didn’t like about the book:
- Eric got just a little too heartless. Yes, I know I thought Harris stayed true to character, but it was just a bit hard to read. My heart broke a little bit then as Harris reminded us what a bad boy truly is like.
- Bill dobbing on Eric. Okay, it’s nice he got his payback for Eric dobbing on him to Sookie about how he was ordered to hit on Sookie in Dead Until Dark, but for some reason it came off all cry-baby the second time round.
- New characters were introduced. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED Karin, but her story drew the short straw. She very much appeared as a band aid to keep Sookie looked after. Ditto Thalia – another awesome character that never truly got to see their full potential realised.
- The sucky new cover design. Why do publishers do this? Why can’t they just release the WHOLE series in the original covers and then re-release the series in the new covers? I would have bought copies of both if this were the case. Now I’m just pissy that the last few books on my bookshelf are baby poo yellow, eye-blistering tropical lime and prison-garb orange! Sure, as a collective, the whole series of books look like a rainbow when lined up, but all I have is a few books that don’t match the rest of the series.
All in all, I am giving Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris 4.5 stars out of 5.
“I am Sookie Stackhouse. I belong here.”
Thank you Charlaine for keeping Sookie real!