Nytt om Dead in the family! SPOILERS
Over at Paperbackdolls.com, their friend Hope has managed to get her hands on the upcoming and much anticipated tenth installment of the Sookie Stackhouse series and has written a review. It’s good to see some of those loose ends tied up in this edition, but as she mentions, it left her craving even more.
Here’s the review:
When the opportunity to get an advance copy of the latest Sookie Stackhouse novel presented itself, I did what any fan of Charlaine Harris’s wonderfully quirky “rural fantasy” series would do: I pounced on it and then proceeded to abjure all my responsibilities in order to devour it immediately. Happily, it was a satisfying read, but—as usual—it left me craving more.
Dead in the Family—the 10th and latest installment in the New York Times bestselling series about a telepathic barmaid from Louisiana—begins with Sookie’s physical and mental recovery from her torture at the hands of the vicious fae at the end of the previous book, Dead and Gone. Sookie will never again be the same person we knew and loved from the earlier books, but this new, edgier Sookie is not without appeal, not least of which is because of her new found practicality and proactive approach to her problems. She is also less inclined to angst over what she has seen as her moral failings and gradual evolution into a survivalist. Now if she could just get over her self-esteem issues . . . .
Sookie is understandably more cautious and less trusting now, but she is still willing to take some risks to help those she cares about—and fortunately this time she doesn’t suffer greatly as a result. Her willingness to help people is one of her best qualities, and I enjoyed seeing her regain some of her old moxie and be the “rescuer” instead of the victim. I especially liked seeing her bully Eric when he most needed it . . . and speaking of Eric, this book reveals even more facets of his fascinating and complex character; Eric is, as Ms. Harris herself said, “large and in charge”, here.
As always, trouble surrounds Sookie, but for once her brother Jason is not one of her problems; he’s finally decided to “man up” and give his sister some support, something she can always use. She even manages to spend some quality time with her family: Jason, her telepathic five-year-old cousin, Hunter, and—most surprisingly—her cousin Claude, who seems hungry for fairy companionship, if only with his slightly-fae cousin. That’s enough to make even the chronically self-absorbed Claude work a bit on his social skills… And maybe there’s a little more to his request to bunk with Sookie than first meets the eye.
But troubles abound, and Sookie is drawn into Eric’s family crisis and more of Alcide’s pack issues, while danger looms in the form of a vengeful fairy and the discovery of a body in Sookie’s woods. As if these problems weren’t enough, Sookie must also deal with the ongoing danger she faces — now that Sookie has settled into a relationship with her Viking vampire, she is a target for anyone who wants something from Eric. As a result, Eric decides that forewarned is forearmed, and Sookie gains some insight into the vampires’ inner workings. But her usual vampire issues are soon superceded by a new one in the form of Eric’s maker, Appius Livius Ocella, and his newest child, Alexei Romanov, who arrive at Sookie’s house most unexpectedly. As Eric struggles with his family conflicts, Sookie sees a new side to her Viking—one that will forever change how she perceives him.
Meanwhile, Sookie hasn’t forgotten about her ex-boyfriend Bill and lends a hand in his recovery from the silver poisoning he contracted while rescuing her in Dead and Gone. Bill seems unconcerned about his failing health, so Sookie uses stealth to find a remedy . . . with some unexpected, and satisfying, results. For the most part, Sam is back to his supportive self—despite the issues the Were’s Great Reveal is causing him. Meanwhile, Alcide is finding out that being pack leader is no picnic.
Ms. Harris recently commented that she feared the “Shakespearean ending” to this book was perhaps “too over the top,” but I found the conclusion entertaining and satisfying, though of course it left me wanting more.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read, and I liked seeing Sookie’s growth and determination as she adjusts to the demands of her life in the supernatural community. While sometimes it seems she is still less than understanding of her loved ones, she has come a long way in a short amount of time. It was also just fun to read about good things happening for Sookie, considering how much hardship she’s had to endure. I love that—no matter how many times I read the books and how much I follow Ms. Harris’s comments—I am still surprised by some of her plot and character twists. I always enjoy her talent for creating realistic, believable characters. And this book saw a return of the humor that originally made me such a fan of the series. I thought Pam got the best lines this time, but Eric, Claude, Sookie, and even Terry had their moments.
Dead in the Family is an excellent addition to the Sookie series. It answers several lingering questions readers have had, and it resolves more plot points than it introduces, so it stands on its own better than the previous installment did. I am really looking forward to the next book to see how Sookie deals with the ongoing threats to her, and, well, to see if she is ever going to find anything interesting in that attic. ;-)