It’s finally here: the last novel in Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series, also known as True Blood. Dead Ever After is book number thirteen, and we finally learn whether Sookie gets her own happily ever after – and who with.
The story so far is almost impossible to summarise. so I’ll just mention recent events. In book number twelve, Deadlocked, Sookie and her vampire love Eric were having some problems due to a situation created by Eric’s maker, the now permanently deceased Appius Livius Ocella. Someone had tried to frame Eric, Sookie and friends for a murder. Deadlocked ended with a showdown which revealed who was behind everything, and led to Sookie using her cluviel dor, the fairy love token which gave her one wish.
In Dead Ever After, Sookie and Eric are still stuck in the same situation from Deadlocked, with some added complications. Sookie’s friends then have to rally round her after it seems someone is out to get her – again.
The Sookie Stackhouse novels have legions of fans, who discovered the book series both before and after the TV series True Blood began. The world Harris created is captivating, with vampires, shapeshifters and weres, witches, demons, the fae and other mythological creatures. I had actually begun to feel there was maybe a bit too much going on, so I was glad there was less of the fae in Dead Ever After, as they were my least favourite of all the creatures. However I was disappointed that there was considerably less vampire and shifter activity, as these were really the core creatures of the series so far. The main supernatural characters were witches, demons and telepaths. Vampires in particular really seemed pushed to the sidelines, which didn’t seem right given how prominent they’ve been in the series as a whole.
Throughout Dead Ever After, you can tell it is a final novel – old characters, friend and foe, keep popping up to have their stories brought to a close. There is definitely a sense throughout of saying goodbye, and trying to tie up loose ends. I felt that some appearances, for example Sookie’s former lover the weretiger Quinn, were rather unnecessary – as far as I was concerned, his story was over and he was out of the main action.
I’d had a suspicion of how the series would end for Sookie based on certain events, and it turns out that I was right – but don’t worry, I won’t reveal the ending! I’m not sure how I feel about the ending. Part of me agrees with it, and thinks it is probably the best way to end, but then on the other hand I feel like the series has been dragged out for too long if this is the ending Harris had planned all along. I feel rather like readers have been toyed with, and I imagine many will be angry about the ending – certainly other reviews online indicate there is a lot of anger among Harris’s loyal fanbase. Yet more than this, I don’t feel satisfied with the way Harris reached the ending. It didn’t feel right or natural, it didn’t fit in, something was just off about the whole thing. It was like she had decided how Sookie’s story would end, and she just squashed it into a mould whether it fit in properly or not. There is also a feeling that Sookie is back where she
Yet despite this, I continued reading, turning pages, desperate to find out how we would say goodbye to Sookie – but also not wanting it to end. I feel sad that it is over, and disappointed that the ending was unsatisfactory. There is another book due out in October, called After Dead: What Came Next In The World of Sookie Stackhouse, which promises an A-Z of all characters, including Sookie herself, and an update on their future. I am thoroughly looking forward to this, as hopefully it will provide the closure that Dead Ever After has failed to deliver.
|Buy book online