Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

[This review does not include spoilers.]

"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.

Bits:

-- 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,

Billie

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.

3 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Okay, I'm going to post a spoilery comment about how the book ended! SPOILERS AHEAD! BAIL OUT NOW IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK!

*
*
*
*
*
*

Yes, I'm unhappy with how Sookie's relationship with Eric was resolved. It was intimated that Eric was planning to turn Sookie without her permission. Would he do that? And even though it has always been obvious that Sam is the man for Sookie because he's a supe and they can have babies together, like all of her friends are having, I was disappointed when it happened. But it's Harris's series, and she had every right to end it any way she liked. I've heard that she's actually been getting DEATH THREATS! Really, people? Really?

Oh, well. I doubt that this is how the series will end. But we shall see.

FreoFanatic said...

I for one was quite pleased with who Sookie ended up with. Ever since Eric failed to came to her rescue when she was taken by the fairies, I have always felt he was not the "man" for her. She rejected Quinn because he couldn't put her before his mother and sister, yet Eric could not put her before all his vampire business. Plus who wants a partner who is dead for all the hours of sunlight.
I always hoped Sookie and Bill would get back together but alas that was not to be.
As with any wrap up of a series there are lots of bits and pieces that need to be tidied up and sometimes these seem a little contrived. Have to agree with you Billie about being unhappy with the way Sookie's relationship with Eric was resolved however I think that was one of those things contrived to give everything a nice neat finish.
Was also surprised with the "person" behind the big plot against Sookie when it was revealed. It all made sense, but was a surprise none the less.
Overall I enjoyed the book and felt it was a good ending to the series. It felt comfortable and upbeat, leaving you feeling the future held the promise of some good things to come for Sookie.
Some people really need to get a life if they would even think about sending death threats to an author over how she chooses to write her books. I remember the heated discussion on a True Blood group Billie used to moderate over whether Sookie should be with Eric or Bill, and who was the better person. It was crazy!
Will also reread the series down the track, though a couple of the books are a bit shaky. Still love Sookie, and wish True Blood had not gone quite so far off the track.

The Fearless Freak said...

School is finally out, so I got some time to sit down and read. I was comfortable with where it ended and who she was with. This is one of the better books in recent memory and ended in a place that kind of made me interested in more, which I guess is the best way to end something. In fact, I don't remember which book it was but it was the one that had the fairy war that I threw down and yelled "F-ing fairies" at the end of the book. I was basically done with the series at that point but I soldiered on and I'm pleased that I did.

@Billie, perhaps Eric turning Sookie could be explored in the show? Although I've quit watching it as well, because it has gone so far off the rails. So what's once more crazy scenario? :)