by Billie Doux
"How many powerful friends could a waitress have?"
The title of the final Sookie Stackhouse novel suggests that after thirteen volumes and many ups and downs, it's time for Sookie to live happily ever after. In the preface, Harris says that she knows she can't make every fan of the books happy, so she decided to go with how she originally planned to conclude the series. I can certainly understand why she went that way.
The central plot, like many in the Sookie Stackhouse series, is a murder mystery. A continuing character is found dead (I won't reveal who, but it's not a character that I was sad to lose), and Sookie is framed for it. At the beginning of the series, the emphasis was on Sookie's alienation and isolation. The core theme of this final novel is that things have changed -- Sookie has many friends now who believe in her and love her, and who rush to her side to help her when she's in serious trouble. Practically every continuing character from the series shows up and helps out; in fact, several of them even move into the house in Bon Temps temporarily in order to figure out how to free Sookie from her current dilemma, making for an odd and enjoyable impromptu house party.
It's difficult to talk about the resolution of Sookie's romantic issues without giving away whom she ends up with, but she does finally end up with someone. All of her past amours and possible amours -- Bill, Eric, Sam, Alcide and Quinn -- are in this book. (Well, not Calvin, but he's married now.) The fairy situation is resolved, and so is the vampire political situation. And there's a resolution I very much enjoyed for Pam, who has always been one of my favorite characters.
Will everyone be happy with how the series ended? God, no. Am I? Maybe not. But I enjoyed reading Dead Ever After, and I think Harris did successfully wind up the series. She went in the direction that I thought she would go, and she stayed true to her characters. I'm not stomping off in disgust, and I can easily see myself re-reading the entire series again a few years down the road.
-- The action took place in July, directly after the end of the previous book.
-- One new character was introduced: Eric's second vampire child, Karin 'the slaughterer'. She was actually much like Pam.
-- One new idea that was introduced was a crossroads deal for someone's soul (shades of Supernatural), and the implication that vampires may lack souls (shades of Buffy). Sookie cannot read the minds of a human who has sold his or her soul, much like vampires.
-- Niall's final gift to Sookie was a super active, super blooming garden. That was rather fun.
-- I don't know if it was deliberate, but the series began with Jason unfairly accused, and ended with Sookie unfairly accused.
-- The narrative included sections that weren't first person Sookie. I don't think that's ever happened in this series before.
So that's it. The Sookie Stackhouse series is finally over. I've reviewed all of the novels, and now I'm done. I'd say three out of four magic gardens,
Important! I have been careful to write a non-spoilery review, but the comments section is a free for all! Anything about this book or about True Blood is fair game. If you're new to the books and haven't seen all of the television series True Blood, reading the comments may, and probably will, spoil you. Read on at your own risk!
Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.