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review 2019-04-01 19:06
Dead Ever After / Charlaine Harris
Dead Ever After - Charlaine Harris

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough...

 

2019 Re-Read

I have been heard to say (not seriously, but when having a hissy fit) that when a woman is done with a man, he should die. That would be how he knew that the relationship was over. Now, may I also say that I’ve never enforced this idea of mine, it was temporary insanity after the end of a particularly frustrating pseudo-relationship. But it would seem that Sookie agrees with me:

“In books, the hero was gone after the big blowup. He didn’t stick around in the vicinity doing mysterious shit, sending messages to the heroine by a third party. He hauled his ass into oblivion. And that was the way things should be, as far as I was concerned. Life should imitate romance literature far more often.”


I anticipated this ending practically from the first book. It’s not how I would have ended the series, but I was just the reader, not the writer. I’m proclaiming my undying love for Bill! But that’s just me. When I read this series the first time, I read the last three books in a frantic binge. As a result, I didn’t remember a lot of details, so it was pleasant to read a little slower this time around and soak in the final moments of a pleasurable series. I have absolutely no doubt that I will read this series again at some point, but now I hope to get on with other books, due at the library in a few days.

 

Bill forever, y'all.

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review 2019-04-01 19:05
Deadlocked / Charlaine Harris
Deadlocked - Charlaine Harris

Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on that there are things she'd rather not know. An now that she's an adult, she also realizes that some things she knows about, she'd rather not see--like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one.

There's a thing or two she'd like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet--Felipe de Castro, the vampire king of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town. It's the worst possible time for a human body to show up in Eric's front yard--especially the body of the woman whose blood he just drank.

Now it's up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl's fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who's set out to make Sookie's world come crashing down.

 

2019 Re-Read

Sookie is trying to wish away some aspects of her life and makes the mistake of asking Bill about his favourite fantasy:

“My favorite fantasy? You come down into my daytime resting place stark naked," he said, and I could see the gleam of his teeth as he smiled. "Oh, wait," Bill said. "That's already happened.”
“And that's your fantasy? That I come into your house naked and have sex with you?"
"After that, you tell me that you have sent Eric on his way, that you want to be mine forever, and that to share my life you will permit me to make you a vampire like me."
The silence now was thick, and the fun had drained out of the fantasy.
Then Bill added, "You know what I'd say when you told me this? I'd tell you I would never do such a thing. Because I love you.”


This is where Bill proves to me that he understands Sookie perfectly. He knows that she’s a creature of the sun and would never be happy in the darkness of the undead world. And that he still loves her.

It’s Sookie’s birthday, and she receives a delegation of the undead when darkness falls:

“We came to wish you a happy day,” Eric said. “And I suppose, as usual, Bill will want to express his undying love that surpasses my love, as he’ll tell you—and Pam will want to say something sarcastic and nearly painful, while reminding you that she loves you, too.”
Bill and Pam looked decidedly miffed at Eric’s preemptive strike, but I wasn’t going to let anything dim my mood.
“And what about you, Eric?” I asked on counterattack. “Are you going to tell me that you love me just as much as Bill, but in a practical way, while finding some way to subtly threaten me and simultaneously remind me that you may be leaving with Freyda?”


Once again, Pam is perfect: “Sookie, I brought you something too. I never thought I’d want to spend time with a human, but you’re more tolerable than most.”

There’s also a showdown with Freyda, the Queen who is courting Eric. She visits Sookie to size up her competition. Bubba is perfect as her guide—when she asks what people see in Ms. Stackhouse, the normally addled Bubba speaks right up, telling Freyda that Sookie is kind. And that’s it in a nutshell. She’s kind to everyone who allows it—even when they don’t really deserve it. Forget being a Christian, Sookie, you’re working on being a good Buddhist.

Almost there—I will be free of this re-reading trap with one more book!

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review 2019-04-01 19:03
Dead Reckoning / Charlaine Harris
Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris

With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his "child" Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows...

 

2019 Re-Read

You can get whiplash trying to keep up with Sookie Stackhouse’s life—one day you’re planning a vampire assassination, the next it’s a mundane baby shower. One evening you hand out sharpened stakes, the next cake and napkins.

This is the volume of the series where Sookie realizes how much her life has changed—how much she has changed. For several books now, Sookie has noted that she’s a “bad Christian.” Now she knows where her telepathic talent comes from (an indiscretion of her grandmother’s) and her world has expanded to include all sorts of supernatural creatures. She has left behind her “nice girl next door” persona and is becoming a woman to be conjured with.

It’s inevitable that this will change her relationship with Eric, who is used to being the vampire in charge. He’s getting surly and pouty, not liking this change in his ‘wife.’ She’s standing up for herself and for others, something that controlling spouses find disconcerting.

I amazed, actually, at how many human relationship issues that Harris manages to tackle through this urban fantasy soap-opera. As Sookie learns more about herself and managing her feelings & expectations, we all get to review these life lessons through her interior monologue. How often women are expected to ‘be nice’ and acquiesce to the demands of men, plus how they get labelled as bitches when they don’t follow this script.

Still loving Pam, still carrying a torch for Bill, really appreciating Bubba.

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review 2019-04-01 15:58
Dead in the Family / Charlaine Harris
Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris

Sookie Stackhouse is dealing with a whole host of family problems, ranging from her own kin (a non-human fairy and a telepathic second cousin) demanding a place in her life, to her lover Eric's vampire sire, an ancient being who arrives with Eric's 'brother' in tow at a most inopportune moment. And Sookie's tracking down a distant relation of her ailing neighbour (and ex), Vampire Bill Compton.

In addition to the multitude of family issues complicating her life, the werewolf pack of Shreveport has asked Sookie for a special favour, and since Sookie is an obliging young woman, she agrees. But this favour for the wolves has dire results for Sookie, who is still recovering from the trauma of her abduction during the Fairy War.

 

2019 Re-Read

The “Pam is Awesome” volume.


'Pam. Listen.'
'The phone is pressed to my ear. Speak.'
'Appius Livius Ocella just dropped in.'
'Fuck a zombie!”

This is the book where Pam becomes my favourite vampire (though Bill is still in the running). I love the deadpan lines that Harris writes for this cold blonde.

As in this conversation between Sookie and Pam:

 

Pam: “How is Eric?'

Sookie: 'Very tightly wound. Plus, a lot of stuff happened that he'll tell you about.'
Pam: 'Thanks for the warning. I'll go to the house now. You're my favorite breather.'
Sookie: 'Oh. Well ... great.'
She hung up.”

 

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review 2019-04-01 15:44
Dead and Gone / Charlaine Harris
Dead And Gone - Charlaine Harris

The vamps have been out for years, and now the weres and shifters have decided to follow the lead of the undead and reveal their existence to the ordinary world. Sookie Stackhouse already knows about them, of course - her brother turns into a panther at the full moon, she's friend to the local were pack, and Sam, her boss at Merlotte's bar, is a shapeshifter.

The great revelation goes well at first - then the horribly mutilated body of a were-panther is found in the parking lot of Merlotte's, and Sookie agrees to use her telepathic talent to track down the murderer. But there is a far greater danger than this killer threatening Bon Temps: a race of unhuman beings, older, more powerful, and far more secretive than the vampires or the werewolves, is preparing for war. And Sookie is an all-too-human pawn in their ages-old battle...

 

2019 Re-Read

“I added to my mental list of the odd things I'd done that day. I'd entertained the police, sunbathed, visited at a mall with some fairies, weeded and killed someone. Now it was powdered-corpse removal time. And the day wasn't over yet.”


I’m enjoying the inherent humour in this series. Harris knows that she’s writing soap opera story lines and she’s enjoying it. Especially when Sookie arms herself to deal with malevolent fairies—with a garden trowel and a squirt gun of lemon juice! And Sookie saying to herself, “What had set the fae world off? I’d never seen one. Now you couldn’t throw a trowel without hitting a fairy.”

And once again, I’m carrying a torch for Bill:

“As I watched Bill, waiting with apparent calm for death to come to him, I had a flash of him as I'd known him: the first vampire I'd ever met, the first man I'd ever gone to bed with, the first suitor I'd ever loved. Everything that followed had tainted those memories, but for one moment I saw him clearly, and I loved him again.”

 

 

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