Book Review: Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

In the last installment of the Sookie Stackhouse Series, Charlaine Harris wraps up her story of the sexy telepath from Bon Temps. Readers get a lot of their questions from Deadlocked answered while still creating new ones that will hopefully be explored in a later supplement to the series.

Out of all the Sookie books, this one was probably the calmest. There is very little action and when compared to the other books, not as much murder and bloodshed, though this book does have its fair share of that too. Most importantly, readers finally get an answer to the question that began all the back to the first book– who does Sookie choose, Eric or Bill?

That answer is somewhat surprising, but at the same time not completely alarming because true fans of the series and even of the show, could see that answer coming for a long time. Overall, Harris leaves Sookie in probably the best place she could find herself in considering everything that happened to her since the Vamps came out of the coffin. Loose ends are tied up and enemies finally banished (for now), leaving our heroine at peace for the time being.

We also get to see most of Sookie’s ex-loves and flirtations, including were-tiger Quinn and the oh so dreamy, Alcide Herveaux which is never a difficult thing to have to read about.

Not to disappoint, Harris will be releasing a novel-length epilogue of sorts in October explaining what happened to her much beloved characters following the conclusion of the series.

For my reviews on all other Sookie Stackhouse books, click on the sookie stackhouse novels tag at the bottom of this post.

Score: 4.5/5

Book Information: Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris was released in May 2013 by Ace Books with ISBN 978-1937007881.

Club Dead: A Review of Charlaine Harris’ Third Book in Her True Blood Series

The following originally appeared in my book review column in February 2010:

clubdeadIt is speculated that HBO’s True Blood creator, Alan Ball will follow some of what Harris created with Club Dead in the third season of True Blood that is set to begin airing this summer. This will be a great treat for many of the shows followers, especially those who are big fans of the Sookie Stackhouse/Eric Northman relationship.

Club Dead

In Club Dead, Harris sets up the tensions in Bill’s and Sookie’s relationship that will inevitably lead to what occurs in the following book, Dead to the World. Vampire Bill is acting strange when Harris begins Club Dead. He is transfixed with something that he is working on with his computer and he subsequently disappears on business in another state. Sookie is left with a mix of emotions, but turns to Eric Northman for help in the end.

The nordic vampire knows exactly where to find him and soon Sookie finds herself in Jackson, Mississipi deep in the realm of the underworld of vampires who lounge around a mansion compound doing whatever they please. When Sookie finally finds Bill, he is in the midst of a most precarious situation and Sookie isn’t sure if she should stake him or save him. It is here, that readers are introduced to Bill’s maker, Lorena, who HBO viewers have only had glimpses of up until this point of the series.

True Blood Season Two Finale

Alan Ball sets up for Harris’ plot-line of the season two finale last summer when viewers were left with a cliff hanger after Bill asks Sookie a very important question. When Sookie leaves the bathroom to answer him, she finds the room a mess and viewers are led to believe that Bill was in fact kidnapped and probably by Lorena as an altercation between her and Sookie occurred when they all were in Dallas in the beginning of the season.

Whichever version that fans are following, both Club Dead and the upcoming season of True Blood are setting fans up for Dead to the World, where Eric Northman and Sookie Stackhouse will finally have an outlet for the sexual tension that has been built between them ever since Vampire Bill introduced them.

Overall, Harris gives readers a lot to digest in the goings on of Club Dead. Most of the relationships that she had built up in the first two installments of the Sookie Stackhouse series, meet with drastic changes at this point of the series. These changes have a lot of ground work laid in the previous book, Living Dead in Dallas, but do not come to light until the conclusion of Club Dead.

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris is available for purchase through Penguin Books with ISBN 9780441010516.

Living Dead in Dallas: A Review of Charlaine Harris’ Second Book in Her True Blood Series

dallasIn Living Dead in DallasCharlaine Harris continues the bad luck streak that cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse seems to have been stuck in ever since Bon Temps received its very first vampire. Harris opens her novel much like HBO left off the first season, with the death of somebody in the back of a car in Merlotte’s parking lot. However, unlike HBO’s True Blood, the body in the car will turn out to be the body of one of Sookie Stackhouse’s coworkers, only no one really seems to care which bothers Sookie tremendously.

With the murder of her co-worker, Sookie is floored and hurt, but she soon will find herself in a whole new world of supernatural trouble. In Living Dead in Dallas, Sookie does take on the Maenad in the woods and nearly looses her life to her, but the vampires save her, sucking the poison from her veins. Since they save her, Sookie is now indebted to Eric, so when he requests that she go to Dallas to aid in the search of the missing vampire, Godric, she must comply.

Variations From True Blood

In HBO’s True Blood, Vampire Bill stacked Longshadow when he went to attack Sookie and thus, was forced to make a vampire out of a young girl named Jessica as his punishment. However, In Harris’ Dead Until Dark, it was not Vampire Bill who does the staking and therefore, there is no Vampire Jessica to interfere and complicate Sookie and Bill’s relationship at this point.

Moreover, Godric though meeting the same end in both the book and the series, is portrayed much more as a tortured man in Living Dead in Dallas as opposed to the series which paints him as a man with many regrets and a strong desire for redemption. He is also not Eric’s maker in the book, but is written as such in the True Blood series. The Fellowship of the Sun subplot with Jason Stackhouse is also an invention of the HBO series and not the book.

Main Points of Living Dead in Dallas

Moreover, what is key to this installment of the Sookie Stackhouse books is that Sookie gets attacked by the Maenad in the woods, inevitably goes to Dallas with Bill, uncovers Godric and gets stuck in the attack on the vampire nest where Eric Northman manipulates Sookie in such a way that she will be forever changed.

Overall, Harris delivers with Living Dead in Dallas. She expands greatly on many of the relationships that she introduced in Dead Until Darkand again, sets up the drama and events for what is to come in her following installment.

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris is available for purchase through Penguin Books with ISBN 9780441009237.

Dead Until Dark: A Review of Charlaine Harris’ First Book in Her True Blood Series

until darkCharlaine Harris introduces any of True Blood’s most admired characters in her first installment. Dead Until Dark, introduces Sookie Stackhouse, her sex-on-a-stick brother Jason, Vampire Bill, Eric Northman, Sam Merlotte, Detective Andy Bellefleur and many others.

Harris begins Dead Until Dark, her story of the fictional town of Bon Temps much like HBO begins the series with vampires finally “coming out of the coffin.” The vampires have officially announced their existence thanks to the Japanese who were able to create a synthetic blood substitute eliminating to the need for vampires to feed on humans, though it does not take away the vampire’s strong desire for human blood.

Vampire Bill

Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress at Sam Merlotte’s bar and supernatural in her own right, is excited that Merlotte’s has had its very own first vampire visitor, Vampire Bill. Sookie immediately befriends Bill, winning him over later in the story when she saves him from hated vampire drainers. Harris lays the foundation for the relationship that will later develop between the two.

Dead Until Dark and True Blood

The first season of HBO’s True Blood is based off of this book. As seen in the show, Vampire Bill and Sookie meet, Renee turns out to be more than what everyone thought he was, the Rattrays turn out to be a lot more than just drug dealers and what is most strikingly different from the series is that when Sookie runs into trouble with the Vampire Longshadow in Fangtasia, it is not Vampire Bill who does the staking.

Outside of plot-line with Renee that mostly ends in this book, much of what occurs in Dead Until Dark is setting up the story-line for the next installment in the series. Much of what has happened to Sookie will effect her choices and decisions in what Charlaine Harris delivers next and in what HBO delivers in season two of the True Blood series.

Commentary of Harris’ Creation

Overall, Harris does a great job of getting the reader to feel as though they are truly in Bon Temps, watching the beginning of all of this supernatural activity swirl around them. Her descriptions and plot twists make for a true page turner. Dead Until Dark, as action packed as Harris has written it, is still kept on the short side of a novel, but that does not mean the reader is left feeling jilted. Instead, readers are made ready and looking forward to what Harris creates next in Living Dead in Dallas.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris is available for purchase through Penguin Books with ISBN 9780441016990.