“`Maybe’ is such a bad word,” I said. “You can `maybe’ yourself back to Adam and Eve and the serpent.”
Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
Summary: Sookie Stackhouse used her wish to save Sam Merlotte’s life. Unhappy with Sookie’s decision, Eric stormed out, now at a loss for how to keep him and her together. When Sookie’s is accused of murder, things get more and more confusing for the telepath. Will she ever live happily ever after?
SPOILER WARNING: I GIVE AWAY SOOKIE’S HAPPY ENDING
Review: I will admit I have a different perspective from other readers. For one, I dislike the show. I struggled through season 1 and then stopped after the first two episodes of season 2. Also, I read more in this genre than just the Sookie Stackhouse books, such as the Hollows, Kate Daniels, and Dresden Files. Finally, I picked up these books recently, as in Friday, and read all 13 books and the short stories in a matter of 5 days.
I enjoyed the final installment of the series. The world Harris built is charming, albeit a bit predictable. I like it when vampires are not perfect creatures. Harris’ vamps are as pretty as they are selfish. I like the extra spin she put on shape shifters, with the whole “pure shape shifters”. Fairys were typical fae, and we had witches. But although similar to Urban Fantasy, the southern nature of the characters is lovely in its own way.
I enjoyed the fact that Ms. Harris kept her characters consistent. Everyone behaved according to his or her nature. The Vampires put themselves first, Shape shifters represented their animals. Sookie herself stayed true to her southern nature. Yet the characters grew. Bill went from first love to high betrayer to a good friend. He learned to be what Sookie needed him to be at the end. Tara realized money wasn’t everything and balanced her life. Sookie went from pushover to a woman who knows what she wants. In the end, the characters grew into themselves.
The plot of the book was better than the last 3 books, but it wasn’t as good as the first half of the books. I liked that this book had a clear beginning middle and end, and I was missing that in some of the later books. I enjoyed the clear and present mystery. I also appreciated the end of the overall plot of the whole series. From the beginning, it was clear to me that Sookie’s life was going to boil down to two choices: Supernatural life or Home. In many ways, it represented to me big city life vs. small town life. And for Sookie, she always wanted to “come home”, especially since All Together Dead. Harris neatly tied up the loose ends, and although it was predictable, I liked the presentation.
I do think Harris could have tightened up the story in many places. The third person POV didn’t work for me (to the point where I almost gave the book 3 stars instead of 4). I think she should have left out those POVs and covered Sookie’s self discovery more. I think she could have included more information regarding Sookie’s choices and hometown love, to make her point. I think this message got lost around the time Sookie and Eric got serious. It was left out (or glossed over) in the last few books, too. I think long term planning would have really helped out with the end of this series.
Of course, this review has to include the relationship aspect. I always knew it was going to be Sam. All those intimate talks and those kisses had to go somewhere. More importantly, Sookie’s journey is about coming home and facing the sun. She was never satisfied with vampires and their lifestyle, and they would never be able to compromise to her. At the end of “All together Dead”, I knew she was going to end up with no vampires. But as I said before, tighter writing would have given readers a clearer picture to this romance. I appreciated that we were left with room to speculate, with her and Sam taking it a slow. This bit of realism was refreshing.
With all the media surrounding this book, I was pleasantly surprised with the ending Ms. Harris supplied us. I am glad I gave this series a shot.
Sex: Nice steamy, but realistically romantic sex scene.
Violence: Shootings, death, kidnappings
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Series Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Next Book: This was the last of the series, but After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse, is a CODA of the characters and what happened to them after the series ended. It comes out 10/29/2013