Jul 12, 2013

Review--Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie--and could destroy her heart.

After the terrible events of the past weeks, both Sookie and Sam are finding it hard to concentrate on Merlotte's--and the bar is suffering for it. But Sookie finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed.

Sookie's relationship with Eric Northman is in limbo. He and his vampires are keeping their distance...and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then Arlene is found murdered, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against her is weak, and Sookie makes bail. Helped by her assortment of friends, living and undead, she must discover the truth about Arlene's death to clear herself of suspicion. All she knows is that two mysterious men were somehow involved. As to whom they might be--Sookie will soon learn that she has more than one enemy waiting to get vengeance for the past.

Nothing is ever clear-cut in Bon Temps. What passes for truth is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough...

What to say about Charlaine Harris' Dead Ever After that hasn't already been said? I really don't think it was as bad as everyone was saying. I avoided spoilers at all costs, so I really don't know what all the fuss was about. Was I satisfied with the ending? Kind of. It was a good ending, although there is still that companion novel I suppose you could call it, After Dead, that is supposed to go into all the favorite characters' lives and see where they were at in life. I might have to look into one honestly, because I feel like I don't really know what happened with some of the past characters.

Moving on...the book did have a rather slow start as I was aware of. The prologue consisted of us seeing Sookie's enemies, ones we've met before and how they are plotting something sinister. Then chapter one gets us back to the world of Sookie where we basically get to see the aftermath of the previous book, Deadlocked. Sookie tryies to talk to Sam after she brought him back to life using the cluviel dor, Eric being all pissy because she brought Sam back to life with the cluviel dor instead of finding a way for them to be together. Since he is being forced into a marriage with the queen of Oklahoma. Things are just messy in Sookie's life and that's when Arlene walks in.

It's not until we're just getting 100 pages in that Arlene is murdered. So yeah, the book had a rocky start. Some things that were said about Sookie I can agree with. One being how she was overly concerned with how she will look being arrested and in jail. Orange not being her color. And then being totally shocked when she sees all her friends at her bail hearing and then having her bail posted. I mean really, did she think she was friendless? I just thought Sookie was a little too clueless about herself. Even after being released on bail, she feels relieved, and I have to ask myself why? You're still being charged for murder, you just got let out on bail because the evidence is a little dicey. I just thought she was a little too happy to be leaving jail and practically celebrating when there were still murder charges against her. Those don't automatically disappear just because you made bail.

Needless to say, that just about everyone we've met from the series makes an appearance in this book; Amelia, Bob, Barry, Quinn, Alcide, Diantha, Mr. Cataliades, her regular group of friends; Sam, Tara, JB, her brother, Jason, the usual gang of vampires; Eric, Bill, Pam...although I was sad to see Bubba missing. I can't remember where he went off to when we last saw him, but I was hoping for one more appearance with him, but oh well.

Sookie's friends all decide to help her clear her name. They all believe in Sookie's innocence. Yet, I felt like Mr. Cataliades and Diantha do a lot of the investigating. Where was the Sookie from Dead Until Dark who went poking around into things? Sure, she's learned quite a lot, but still I felt like she should've been doing more to clear her name.

The mystery theme did seem to be coming back into swing into this one. There was so much to solve, so many players that were out to get Sookie. I did enjoy that aspect, although a good deal of the time it was Sookie's friends filling her in on what they found instead of Sookie doing the sleuthing herself.

The romance...ah, what to say? Sookie's had so many lovers and boyfriends or whatever you want to call them. And while the one she "chose" wasn't necessarily the one I was rooting for, I can truthfully say, I don't know who I would want her to be with. I still have a soft spot for Bill, but only because he was the first romantic love interest and I still wasn't too pleased with his betraying act. But I felt very prepared for who her choice was. There was quite the bit of hinting and plus Sookie makes a few comments regarding why she wouldn't want to be with a particular person. Don't want to say much because I don't want to dish out spoilers!

Overall, I felt like this was a decent ending to the series. Granted I probably will be buying After Dead, only because I'd like to know what's going to happen with some of the other characters. Mostly the supernatural gang, as their fates weren't really hinted at, but for a few. The once Southern Vampire Novels turned Sookie Stackhouse Novels has been a very entertaining series with a few ups and downs. The early books are probably still my favorites, not sure where I felt things started getting a little less entertaining, but oh well.

Would I recommend this series to anyone? Yes. This was one of the first "adult" series I read when I decided at 17-18? that I wanted to read less YA--since there wasn't any paranormal YA then aka the Dark Days--and it was one that I truly did enjoy! It's possible I felt the downward slope around book 8, but that was just the start of it, so it wasn't terribly dreadful. I think that's when the mystery element started to slip a bit and didn't come back until recently, like within the last 3 books or so. And this was originally a mystery series, remember?

So Dead Ever After ended nicely, I think that's the best choice of words. I am hoping that After Dead gives me more of the closure that I am hoping for with some of the other characters.

Overall Rating 3.75/5 stars

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