I had divorced myself from the world of Sookie Stackhouse following the terrible twelfth book in the series, Deadlocked, back in 2012. It was, to me, a complete destruction of all the reasons I had been gamely reading along with this series since my friend Meika came across it in 2007 and we rapidly consumed all the available books. When I reviewed Deadlocked I thought I’d eventually read this book because I have series completion OCD, but in the intervening years I’ve avoided it.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Southern Vampire Series, the character of Sookie Stackhouse, or HBO’s True Blood series these books have always been a bit of paranormal mystery fluff with a romance angle put in. These books are the definition of frothy, cheesy, relaxing reads that you can mostly turn off the world around you and sink into. In the beginnings of the series, Harris put in some social commentary, and that was fine.
The mechanics were never very good. My biggest problem with Harris as a technician is that she cannot naturally move a character from one place to another without a paragraph of exposition. Also, Sookie tells you exactly what she is thinking all of the time. There is no subtlety or nuance. The reader is also quite often treated to her daily to do list while Harris is working towards the next plot point.
However, as mental palate cleansers? Who cares!
So why did I read this book? Because ingres77 recently read the first book in the series, Dead Until Dark, and it reminded me that I never did finish. There was a small amount of peer pressure from he and narfna, and here we are.
I drank a lot of beer while reading this. It was really the only way.
Listen, these aren’t good books. They aren’t all bad either, but other than bonkers werewolf, shifter, vampire, witch, and fairy shenanigans and a protagonist who cannot find the good in her ability to hear other people’s thoughts there isn’t much left. I’m sure there are better avenues to get your were/shifter/magic/vampire fix.
Or you could just watch the show, since for at least the first couple seasons it took and improved the core of the book series. Then it too went off the rails. However, it gave us Lafayette, so I cannot be mad.
You’ll notice that this is actually a review of two books. Harris, bless her, couldn’t fit all the characters in her 13 book series into the end, and because fans are rabid things, she wrote a compendium which lists off many of the characters in alphabetical order and gives you their epilogue style update. When I found out about it I also requested it from the library because maybe my favorite character in the entire series, the only one I truly wish well (besides Sam), is the vampire Bubba. You know, Elvis. He did not make it into the last book so I checked out the other one just to get this half page of closure:
Save yourselves the trouble, skip these.
With that, I have completed this year’s half cannonball and am one third of the way to my overall goal. Viva la Cannonball!