Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book Review: Dead Reckoning

Dead Reckoning
Book of #11 of the Sookie Stackhouse series
By: Charlaine Harris
Published By: Ace Hardcover
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Buy it at Amazon
Source: Owned by Reviewer
Audience: Adult


My Thoughts:

First off, I would like to say that after the disappointing premiere of True Blood a few weeks ago, which I previously enjoyed for it's veer from Miz Harris's written work, I was glad to get back to Sookie's world where it's not all bastardized and freaky. (Andrea, remember the Sweet Valley High Confidential debacle? Like that.) Additionally, since this is the first time I'm reviewing this series, I want to say how much I like these books. Not love, just like. Its a fun world, and Charlaine Harris has a hilarious turn of phrase. I call these my ultimate beach reads. (Not that I am usually anywhere near a beach unless I have SPF 150.) They're easy to read, and occasionally sexy, but I'm not up at midnight, frantically begging my Nook to act right and download the blessed ebook. (That will be me on July 12th, for the release of A Dance with Dragons, so stay tuned!)

Moving on. It took me a while to get to this one, but when I did, it was more of Sookie, and less of the three ring circus of everyone else. (Were pun intended.) I like that, however, major problem - The latter part of the series has continuity problems. Things that have been discovered or told in book 3 or 4 or 7, are mentioned in Dead Reckoning with a completely different scenario. Example: Eric found out about Sookie being part fae in All Together Dead (book 7) and was genuinely (?) surprised, however, in Dead Reckoning, its stated that Eric and Sookie's fae grandfather Niall have had dealings for years, including Eric keeping Niall informed on Sookie's life. I don't know if this is an editing thing or what, but it is really annoying when I'm trying to get into a book, and an inconsistency tugs at my brain and won't rest until I run to the bookshelf or Google to sort it all out. I'm not going to even get into the dangling, random storylines just thrown out there and never resolved. It reminds me of a slip showing and its a personal annoyance.

So when we open up, Sookie, post hostile takeover, is cleaning out the attic with her two fae family members/roommates, cousin Claude and great uncle Dermot. There's plenty of filler talk and ominous scene setting, and then Sookie goes to work at Merlotte's and gets firebombed. Someone's always trying to kill/maim/kidnap Sook, so that's really nothing new, is it? Keeping on the predictability train, we roll on through more plots, subplots (some make sense and some don't) and random asides.

All the usual suspects are there: As much as I love Terry Bellefluer, that bit with him being hired to watch Sookie was lame and didn't fit with the way the character was written previously. Bill is there as always, simpering and looking at Sookie with a mix of sorrow and "tasty" in his eyes. Sam is dating some scary Were chick. Jason is conspicuously absent. Pam is even a Debbie Downer, and I miss her quip but Eric won't let her speak most of the book. Speaking of which, we get into this whole "My Maker Made Me Do It", the grave edition, from Eric. Nuh huh. I'll get to you later, buster. The only shining moment was the return of Bubba (aka vampired Elvis) which was far too short.

So the new regent isn't sitting too well with Sookie or the Louisiana vamp camp, so they decide to plot his assassination! Because really, where's the flaw in that plan? Other than the fact they'll be killing the King Felipe's right hand....Nah! S'all good.

Sookie gets kinda bored one day and decides to email her witch buddy Amelia to see if she ever found a way to break Eric and Sookie's blood tie and BAM! Bond broken! Eric has a minor hissy and we carry on. Not that he has any reason to though. It seem his vamp daddy made him a suitable arranged match with the vampire queen of Oklahoma. (Keep in mind the HBO series and the books are vastly different, so this isn't Godric.)

It just felt off to me. So why did I give it two birdies? I did feel it was decent. It is possible that I'm carrying over some of my disappointment in the current season of the tv series into the book but I think it's more likely that the tv series highlighted the missteps in the plot. If you read Dead Reckoning and felt differently, I want to hear your thoughts in the comments!


"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. But Sookie suspects otherwise and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit - and the twisted motive for the attack. But her attention is divided. Though she can't 'read' vampires, Sookie knows her lover Eric Northman and his 'child' Pam well - and she realises that they are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, she is drawn into the plot -which is much more complicated than she knows. Caught up in the politics of the vampire world, Sookie will learn that she is as much of a pawn as any ordinary human - and that there is a new Queen on the board . . . "

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