Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris (No.13 in the Sookie Stackhouse series)

Just finished reading Dead Ever After, the 13th and final instalment of the Sookie Stackhouse novels brought to us by Charlaine Harris.  Over the years this has been a sort of guilty indulgence type of read to be honest and whilst there’s always a tiny bit of me that feels sad at the end of the series in this case I’m actually ready for this series to conclude.  Personally I was beginning to feel like it’d gone as far as it was ever going to and was starting to feel a little bit jaded and I wanted an ending of some description or other.  That being said this has been inventive, fun and enjoyable to read.  Obviously with 13 novels you’ll like some of the stories more than others and this final instalment was no exception.  From this point onwards this review will undoubtedly contain spoilers so be aware of that before reading further.  You have been warned.

As the jacket states, Sookie has put up with many trials over the years.  She’s certainly made no shortage of enemies along the way and this story is about to see a convergence of would-be-Sookie-murderers with vengeance on their mind.  Of course this gives the author the perfect opportunity to tie up many loose ends, bring a number of friends and enemies from previous novels back together and of course gives Sookie a perfect ending with a white picket fence!  End of review.  Okay, not really.

To be honest, I wasn’t in love with this particular book but it hasn’t made me dislike the series as a whole.  It’s just a blimp – a bit unfortunate that it came at the end when what you’re really looking for is a grand finale with impressive fireworks but nonetheless it is what it is! Plus, I can’t deny that all the books are very readable and Sookie is easy to hang out with – she’s not going to split the atom or reinvent the wheel any time soon but but she’s low maintenance in terms of brain drain!

In this particular episode Sookie will see a number of assassination attempts, be suspected of murder and see her friends and members of the community rally to her side.  She has a lot of personal issues going on.  Not least the fact that Eric has not forgiven her for events in the previous novel and not only is he not seeing her but he’s all set to leave town and become consort to a vampire queen.  Now, as far as I was concerned I wasn’t particularly under any illusions about which way Harris was going to take this story – otherwise Sookie would have used her ‘one wish’ in a completely different way at the end of the last novel.  Having chosen not to do so of course it set us on the path of what to actually expect.

I think my main issue with this instalment was that it felt like Harris had come to the end of her own patience with the series.  I will explain myself with that remark.  A good author has the ability to make you fall for a character completely, to make you think he/she’s the bees knees and the camels hips – but then, in the next moment can make you turn about face and start to dislike that person and in that respect this series is no exception.   For example.  As Sookie’s first significant other we originally loved Bill – he was great, and, then, suddenly, he wasn’t.  He no longer seemed strong and chivalrous but weak, a bit sad and totally two faced.  We met other guys and as they arrived newly on the scene they all seemed great, and then slowly they also weren’t so great any more.  And then we had Eric, who, although he’d seemed not so nice in earlier instalments, suddenly became the next hot date who we all loved.   Then, in the last two novels Eric seemed to fall under the ‘no longer in favour’ banner.  His likability started to falter.  Mmm, did I detect the tell tale signs that we were soon going to start disliking Eric?  Then we have Sam, the one constant in terms of characterisation throughout the book, but who for me, never felt anything more than platonic and more like a best friend to Sookie.  So, yes, even though I thought this was the route we were going to go down and even though I didn’t really want to go down that route part of me thought Harris would pull it off and make us all suddenly see Sam in a new way.  Like, ‘wow, Sam, where have you been hiding for the past 12 novels?’  However, as it was there was no spark or chemistry.  It felt more like an acceptance of the ‘norm’ and a sigh of relief that it’s over.   (For that matter Sookie could have ended up single – what’s wrong with that after all?  She didn’t have to become involved with one of the characters we already knew about did she?)

Now that might all seem terribly critical so I’ll set the record straight.  I’ve enjoyed this series.  It’s had highs and lows.  It’s been very creative, dark in parts and we’ve had some rather ‘hot’ mind candy flitting across the pages (a six and a half foot, blond, badass Viking – need I say more?) And, because I started reading this series from it’s release I always looked forward to the next story that would come out – of course I had no idea that there would be 13 books in total and maybe I wouldn’t pick it up now with that knowledge but that’s the beauty of starting a thing from the beginning. You grow with the characters and it doesn’t feel like a duty but a pleasure and one that you come to look forward to.

So, in conclusion.  I guess I will miss Sookie but overall I’m not disappointed that the series has reached it’s end and I think the author has chosen a good point to conclude.  Yes,  I have mixed feelings about the conclusion but only in that I wanted to feel more strongly about it rather than an overall feeling of ‘meh’.   All in all though it’s been great entertainment value for which I thank Charlaine Harris.

Sookie has left the building…

4 Responses to “Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris (No.13 in the Sookie Stackhouse series)”

  1. Marie

    This series is usually something my inner book snob would avoid like the plague, but recently I’ve read soooooo many people whose opinions I trust, such as your good self, saying that they are totally addicting to Charlaine Harris. I think I’m going to pick up the first one and see how I like it.

    • lynnsbooks

      With this particular series – I picked up the first novel as a holiday read. I had no idea it would end up lasting so long! It certainly isn’t literary genius but it is quite good fun. However, if you’re going to pick it up – think, 13 books. 13.
      Lynn 😀

  2. TBM

    13! 13! And I misread the title and thought Snookie (from Jersey Shore) wrote it and i was impressed that she could write. But I have to say again, 13!

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