Saturday, 13 July 2013

Dead Ever After

Level: Explicit Lite
Genre: Fantasy > Urban Fantasy >Vampire
Obtained: Borrowed from library
Reviewed by: Nic Echo

I think I finally have seen a Sookie Stackhouse cover that I like. As usual, it still has the illustration, but this one is much better drawn and coloured. Sookie looks older so yay! no icky she looks like a teen on the cover. She's not floating, and her body doesn't seem to be an any extreme angles or missing appendages.  The glitter is also pretty subtle (you can't see it in the photo, but there is some in the skirt and in her hair) unlike Deadlocked which had too much. I also really like the bright colours on the cover. It draws me (and I would assume other readers) every time. It's also very well balanced and it's a lot of fun seeing all the supernatural factors.

About the Book:
It's the final installment of the Sookie Stackhouse series, and as per usual, Sookie has potential murder and danger to face, along with the always constant relationship drama. This time, several people are wanting revenge on Sookie, and it looks like she will need several friends to try to keep her from getting framed for murder. Meanwhile, she is still having major issues with Eric, and now ones have arisen with Sam, Is it because of the wish that was granted, or is it something else entirely?

Rating: 7/10
I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this book going in as so many people were in a rage about how it ended (well, the romance aspect at least). On the one hand, I was never invested in Sookie's relationships, but on the other hand, I hadn't found the books overly enjoyable either. If the fans felt let down, how would I feel? Actually, I enjoyed it. Was it a favourite? No. Could I see me recommending it over and over? Not really. However, I certainly wouldn't say it is as bad as many would have you believe.

So what did I find enjoyable about this novel? To start off, it was a fast paced read. Harris managed to keep me turning the pages and wondering how the plot  was going to play out. It was also a lot of fun to see tons of characters coming back for the final show. I would also say that Dead Ever After wrapped up the series fairly well.

Of course, there had to be something I disliked about the book since I clearly did not give it a perfect score. Honestly, I cannot say there was a lot I disliked. Part of it was Eric's jealousy of Sam. Although it makes sense for his character, I couldn't help thinking, "Of course," when you find out about it. Plus, you can see it coming from a mile away. The other issue I had is when you find out who the villains are. A couple were more memorable from past books, but others ... well, I certainly hadn't remembered them. Of course, these books didn't exactly have a strong hold in my memory bank. If I am recalling correctly though, each of the villains, with the exception of one, only showed up in one other book. Luckily, Harris did let you know who they were later on so it  wasn't as if I was going through the entire book going, "Who is this again?" Other than that and the relationship subplots (more on the later), there was really only one other thing I took issue with, but that does cause us to delve into the land of

 At the climax of the novel, Sookie ends up getting captured by Steve Newlin and Johan Glassport. It turns out that Claude was the one behind it. Now, I had no issue with Claude coming back though it did feel like a trope that has been trod on too often. No, the issue that I had was that Claude had convinced both Steve and Johan to murder someone and try to frame Sookie for it. That's some pretty heavy stuff.  However, both Steve and Johan end up turning on Claude when they find out he is gay. Yes, Claude does use his powers to make them feel lust for each other, which I found both insulting and a bit stupid on Claude's part. Even so, Steve and Johan get so pissed and freaked with Claude that they actually attack him while he is driving, causing an accident and allowing Sookie to escape. Now, I realise there are plenty of close-minded people out in the world, but it seemed a bit of a stretch that they would completely turn on Claude when they found out he was gay (before Claude pulls his magic lusty trick). I mean, murder was involved! That seems like an awful lot of hate toward Sookie, but it is forgotten when ohmygawdthegay! appears. It just felt like a stab and an easy way out.

This leaves me with one more section to talk about before I wrap up: the romance. As you probably know, there had been a leak involving Dead Ever After, and there was an uproar in the community, especially concerning who Sookie had ended up with. If you don't know who and still don't want to know, stop reading now.
Let's cut to the chase, first. Eric and Sookie are officially over, and Sookie starts dating Sam. Now, a lot of people thought this came out of nowhere (both the Sam thing and even the Eric thing) and was out of character. First, I am going to focus on Eric, and I would like to start off by saying, "What?" I am completely dumbfounded on how the breakup came out of nowhere.  I mean, Sookie and Eric have been fighting for several books now. Okay, they love each other. Surely they can work it out. Sorry but even if they fixed the smaller issues, Eric and Sookie still had one giant issue that could not be solved if Sookie was to remain in character. After all, from book one, Sookie was saying that she would never become a vampire; that hasn't changed so you have an ever youthful Eric and a constantly aging Sookie. You think they have issues now? However, if you can show me examples that Sookie and Eric were meant to be, I would love to hear them.

That leaves us with Sam. Now, the biggest complaint I have heard was that he had come out of nowhere. I would have to agree and disagree here. Honestly, I had seen Sookie getting together with Sam very early on. There were plenty of hints; however, they were also pretty subtle. In this case, I can't say it comes out of nowhere. Sam always treated Sookie a little special. Both Sookie and Sam will get dirty and bloody when needed but rather have a simple and quiet life. Plus, Sookie can't read Sam's thoughts so extra point. However, the romance between the two went from so subtle that it was nearly nonexistant to full on heart pounding and sweaty bodies with no transition. It was startling to say the least, and there really should have been more time given to it. Bigger hints, at least. Now, I figure that Sam decided to carpe diem a bit more after he died and what not, but Harris really should have built up to to it through the books, even if it was only one book beforehand. It was just too jarring this way.

So, all in all, I would say that Dead Ever After was an enjoyable read. The plot was fun, and although the basic outline was similar to the other Sookie books, it didn't feel like we had tread the same path too many times before. In fact, it was fairly fresh. The romance angle had its issues, but overall, it made sense for both the story and the characters. Dead Ever After certainly wasn't a book that went out with a bang, but for Sookie, I think a smaller, quieter closing works.

What I'm Reading Next:

No comments:

Post a Comment