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..
Sadly, Dead Ever After was a disappointing read, even more so than Deadlocked. I can’t say I was surprised by the let down, because since reading Deadlocked I had this really unpleasant feeling that the author had had enough of these characters and simply didn’t ‘feel’ them anymore, resulting in stories that weren’t without merit but sadly felt without heart. It’s very sad to feel that the storyteller has lost interest in telling the story, but having the story itself go on for at least 2 more novels.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Dead Ever After is not an okay book, it is. In fact, the mystery aspect of it felt a lot more interesting than in Deadlocked (which to me was half-way boring with following Sookie around aimlessly for the better part of the novel. Sigh.). This time, the vein of mystery was stronger, if not too strong for a rather short plot span. I felt the story kicked in about half-way into the book, and then it was complex and felt somehow stuffed into the remaining number of pages. It almost felt like the two halves of the novel had been written at different times, when the author had quite different dispositions for writing it. The first person narrative was mostly from Sookie’s POV but also from a few others, giving us insight into the villains of the story and their intentions. I can’t say I disliked that, but it didn’t hook me either. The romance arc was floppy to say the least, meaning there was no romance, not even at the end there when we do see Sookie hooking up, uhm, I mean, getting together with one of the contenders.
I don’t know, it just felt all wrong reading this novel.
Now, if you haven’t read previous novels and intend to (and well you should, up to about say #9 or something maybe?), be aware spoilers start here.
Personally, I didn’t feel anything about the characters. This should have been a big bang ending, right? The conclusion to something like 13 years of life for these characters, right? It ended more with a wince than anything else, for me.
The one character I did love from this series, Eric Northman, made occasional appearances and those felt out of character to me. The rest of my likes, like Pam, showed up even less and again felt out of character. Usual blehs were in, like Bill and of course the faithful dog Sam, Tara, and some characters we hadn’t seen in a while showed up for the grand finale. Actually, even Sookie felt kind of out of character to me, because she tented to be more sure of herself and in charge of things up until now, but in this novel she felt kind of dizzy and floating about the story as opposed to making things happen.
Now, I know what my issue with this series has been since the very beginning: I never liked Sookie. Seriously, not like I hated her guts, but she just rubbed me the wrong way. And those things I didn’t like about her, those hunches I had about her ended up proving to be true by the end of this whole shebang. Despite banging vamps she felt they were somehow unclean deep down inside, which is why I feel the romantic arcs ended tragically with this book. In fact, her flaky spur of the moment kind of loving made a big stage exit with her latest conquest, because hooking up with Sam after she fluttered around all the freaking flowers in the garden knowing he was into her but not wanting him was just, I mean… wow. I just felt so uncomfortable when I reached the very end, I don’t know, like I was glad this thing was over and I wouldn’t have to be there anymore.
I loved many of the novels in the series, despite not liking Sookie. This series had a good collection of complex characters, interesting mysteries in a good few of the novels, some very exciting romance, but ended up as a big disappointment to me. If you’ve read this series and are looking for closure, you’ll end up reading this book, it’s the last. You’ll want to know, like me, where Charlaine Harris took the very end of the stories of characters you’ve been loving or liking for years. Chances are you’ll be disappointed, like I was.
I’ll choose to remember Eric and Pam as they were back when they were loved by their author, and by me too. I’ll remember them as they were up to a point in the series, and ignore the last two novels at least, because they seem to ignore the characters as well if you ask me.
My only hope remains True Blood, where a vine of the Eric I love still lives, if those guys don’t decide to kill off the one glorious character the novels and the show really had. I haven’t watched season 6 yet, but I think I will after reading this novel because I’m in serious need of some Eric-dom. Meh.