Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Review of "Dead In The Family"

Written by Charlaine Harris
Released in 2010

Eric: “You were right. This is just like the end of one of Shakespeare’s plays.”
Sookie: “We’re the people left standing, yay for us.”
Eric: “I’m free.”

I bought this book an hour after I watched the first episode for Season 3 and I decided that when I had seen and reviewed all of that season, I would then put up a review for the latest Sookie Stackhouse instalment in print. Was this book worth the wait? Um, yeah, I guess it was.

Keeping with the established fact that TV and book Sookie are two entirely different entities for the most part, this is a tale that will certainly please the Sookie/Eric shippers in their droves. No more skirting around the issues anymore as they are finally a proper couple in this book and it wouldn’t be without its hiccups, would it?

The arrival of Eric’s book maker Ocella and Alexei (who has something of an interesting family history) certainly throw the usual set of spanners into the works. It’s an interesting dynamic as Sookie (and Jason as well) finds sympathy for Alexei and just about manages to hold her hostility for the maker in question but sadly, something just doesn’t engage me.

I blame this on the second season’s depiction of Eric and Godric’s progeny and maker relationship which were so beautifully depicted and while it was wise for Charlaine Harris to take something of an opposite stance with Ocella; it still doesn’t make for an interesting read. Even the maker’s death towards the end as a crazed Alexei wrecks havoc disappointed in a way.

But Sookie and Eric’s relationship however is interesting enough. The writing still comes across as a little too fanfiction like at times but I’m beginning to warm more and more to them as a couple and it’s a credit that Sookie has enough going on in her life aside from Eric to keep this book interesting.

Her matey rapport with Pam after they’re attacked almost makes up for the departure of Amelia and the brief moments with a hugely pregnant Tara in the story but the odd couple house sharing of Sookie and Claude might take some getting used along with Dermot’s turnaround from dangerous fairy to misunderstood fairy.

Still, it’s these plots along with Sookie and Sam’s strengthened friendship and her realisation that trying to teach Hunter to handle his abilities are hard work also help make up for a weaker plot with Alcide. I get that he wanted to figure out who killed one of his wolves but I wished that hadn’t resorted in him getting Sookie drugged up as a result. Here’s hoping he gets a more engaging plot in the next book if he shows up in it.

- The cover I got for this issue was of the Season 3 cast shot for the series. Odd considering that Lafayette and Jessica aren’t part of the book world.
- Claudine made sure that Sookie was financially set up. The last scene with Claude and Dermot getting into Sookie’s bed was odd.
- Sam, Jason and Alcide were given other love interests in this book. Bill was also reunited with Lorena’s other progeny; Judith after Sookie tracked her down to cure Bill’s silver poisoning. Oh and Debbie Pelt’s body was uncovered as well.
- There were some mentioning in this book about weres and shifters aiming for the same kind of rights that vampires have been struggling to get.

Not a bad book as such but definitely one of the weaker ones of the bunch. I could easily re-read “Dead In The Family” again but after the fairy antics of the previous one, I don’t think the danger quotient was as satisfying in this one. Does that make me a sadist?

Rating: 8 out of 10.

No comments: