Book Review : Dead Ever After

Book Review : Dead Ever AfterDead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse, #13) by Charlaine Harris
Published by Ace on May 7th 2013
Pages: 338
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one-half-stars

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

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...

I honestly do not know how to even rate this series. After finishing Dead Ever After, and the series, which I had really come to love, I honestly felt a mixture of disgust and betrayal. I wrote this a week or two later after my initial reading and I was still filled with anger. My feelings were not a result of Sookie ending up with Sam, but the complete disregard for characters’ development and the feelings of the readers.

 

Author Charlaine Harris spent the entire series making me like Eric Northman. He was the more ruthless, protective version of Bill, but he was also the sweeter, funnier guy that was always there for Sookie when Bill was off being a total asshole. I patiently waited through countless pages of Sookie’s misplaced interest in and failed relationships with Alcide, and worse, stupid Quinn, only to see literal books worth of Eric’s development from a selfish power-hungry vampire sheriff into the best boyfriend Sookie had ever had go inexplicably and disastrously down the drain in the course of a single novel. It was just plain gut-wrenching. And this is coming from a person who always liked Sookie with Sam from the very beginning and felt all along that he was probably the best guy for her. For Harris to make Eric into something so despicable that I even rooted for Bill—who ripped Sookie’s heart out and trampled on it time and time again—made me feel like complete and utter garbage.

 

And furthermore, it was just insulting to hear that Eric always planned to turn Sookie into a vampire. Um, what? I never once saw any insinuation that that was Eric’s ultimate desire for his relationship with Sookie. In fact, it was just the opposite. Why would Eric want to give up a free meal ticket to fairy blood and possibly Sookie’s telepathic powers?  Additionally, I do not think Niall, her fairy grandfather, would have used Eric as his chosen go-between man, if Eric’s desire to turn Sookie into a vampire were even a thought in the atmosphere. And what of Claudine, her fairy godmother? Surely she would have kept Sookie away from Eric as well if this were the case. To me, this whole supposed revelation felt like it came out of nowhere and was a dirty, cheap way out of Sookie’s relationship with Eric.

 

Why didn’t Sookie just finally make the grownup decision once and for all that she didn’t want to live the dangerous lifestyle of dating a vampire anymore? She certainly considered it time and time again throughout the series, so it would have been much more fitting and in character than simply removing her best boyfriend from the fold. Instead, Sookie could have slowly realized that she enjoyed being a partner at Merlotte’s and the quiet life with Sam to the late nights, shoot-outs, constant politics, and iron deficiency. Sookie could have then had an HONEST and heartbreaking parting with Eric, who decided he could not bear to continue his duties in District 5 after the divorce from his WIFE, Sookie. Consequently, he could have decided to sign a contract to get out of town, marrying in the process and becoming a Queen Consort in another vampire kingdom, elevating his power and status to get his mind off of his former blonde telepath in Bon Temps.

 

If the way Harris handled Sookie’s breakup with Eric weren’t offensive enough, I was then faced with how she dealt with Sookie’s romance—if you could even call it that—with Sam. It was completely devoid of tenderness and I was absolutely shocked that when the two finally had sex after twelve previous novels of will they, won’t they—she INSULTED HIS SKILL IN BED. Was this necessary, I ask you? And apparently the intimacy was so lacking—though Sam supposedly tried his best—that Sookie then decides they need to take it slow AFTER already having sex with the guy once. I really couldn’t believe that the author treated a romance I had waited for throughout the entire novel, that was built on a strong, caring, and extensive friendship, and just defiled it in such a way. Couldn’t she throw me a bone after callously eviscerating my other favorite relationship in the series, you know, the one that arguably defined it?

 

I also did not like that Sookie just ended up impulsively kissing Sam after randomly pulling branches out of his hair. The girl spends twelve books leading the poor man on and keeping him waiting in the wings, only to spontaneously decide to up and kiss him and have sex with him after a devastating breakup. It just felt cheap and not at all authentic to me. Poor Sam. As much as I wanted Sookie to end up with Sam endgame, the book made me wish she had not. It would have been better if Sookie could have finally learned to be single again and spent some time on herself. The author then could have hinted with a developing relationship with Sam then.

 

Regardless, after all of the time and interest I devoted to these characters, I felt so dead inside upon finishing Dead Ever After that I did not bother getting the next book—even from the library— which explains what happened to characters after the series ended. Apparently, it just reads like a nightmare list, with even more breakups and disappointments. If I had known how this series ended, I never would have started reading it. It is clear to me that the author lost interest in her characters and their stories and simply wanted to end the series that made her a household name as quickly as possible. Take my advice and stay away.

 

one-half-stars
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Book Review - Dead Ever After - Blogging with Dragons

Posted May 9, 2018 in Book Reviews, Fantasy

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