Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris (Trueblood No.9)

Had a vampire weekend.  Read Book No.9 and 10 of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse and now reading No.9 of the Morganville Vampires.  So, shouldn’t be surprised if I mix up my reviews some!

Anyway, first things first.  No.9 – usual warning – if you haven’t read the previous novels this will undoubtedly contain spoilers!!

Dead and Gone gives us the unveiling of the werewolves and shape shifters who having witnessed the unveiling of the vampires have decided to take the same step.  This is, however, a big step and will have a huge impact for everyone as it is totally different from the vampire revelation.  People didn’t know vampires were living amongst them because of their lifestyle and need for secrecy.  Weres and shape shifters are different.  They live amongst regular humans, they have everyday working jobs, they’re part of families who have no idea of their supernatural nature.  So, even though, to one extent this should reassure people that these supes can blend in and live regular lives without being a threat it also gives a lot of people pause (paws) for thought – to find out that your brother is a werewolf or panther or your best friend is a shape shifter is a big shock and throws up the question of trust and living with people who you don’t truly know.  I really liked when Arlene, following the ‘coming out’ had a major strop and shouted ‘I quit’ to Sam, who was at the time a collie.  Very funny.

Running alongside this, and in actual fact much more dangerous, particularly to Sookie, is a war that is brewing between a much more secretive race of people.  The fey element, which was revealed in the last book in the shape of Niall (Sookie’s fey relative – great great grandfather) are split in their feelings towards humans.  Bearing in mind how ruthless and brutal a race of supes this can be and given Sookies relatives she unwittingly becomes an unsuspecting pawn in the fairy disputes.

I do love this particular series of books.  I’m not saying that they’re all perfect, but I enjoy reading about Bon Temps, there’s a great mix of people and supernaturals, each book gives you a different element or particular piece of history and this is usually combined with Sookie’s naturally fun and sunny disposition and a liberal sprinkling of romance of one sort or the other.  That being said I don’t think that the last few books have been as substantial in terms of overall story as the earlier editions.  I don’t particularly dislike the way the stories have changed in this respect, in fact, you almost expect it to a certain degree.

This book, however, is definitely darker than the previous editions and the last few chapters are quite brutal to say the least.  Sookie is put through a very traumatic ordeal and a number of favourite characters unfortunately meet their end!  On that note I was a bit disappointed about the particular demise of one particular favourite – and not so much the passing away as the way in which it was written – almost fleetingly in a sort of  ‘oh, by the way,…’ type of mention.

In terms of romance Sookie and Eric’s relationship does move foward, although, again, this doesn’t play a particularly huge part in the overall story.  I have to admit that Eric makes for very pleasant reading and I don’t think I would ever get bored of him!

In spite of a few niggles where things don’t quite add up I do still enjoy reading this series, it might not be prize winning writing but it’s very readable.

Criticisms.  Well, as mentioned above, a few niggles but too small to really draw attention to.

Anyway, I’m hooked on this series and will continue until the very end! (I just wonder when that will be)  Maybe there’s never going to be a resolution!

Rating -A

Dead and Gone

Dead and Gone

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