Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review - Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

At the risk of incurring the wrath of True Blood fans—and they are legion—I confess I did not love this book. Dead in the Family is the tenth book featuring Sookie Stackhouse, the Louisiana barmaid who has the ability to read people’s thoughts. She considers this an affliction since it’s hard to maintain a relationship when you know what someone really thinks of you. In book ten, her first lover, vampire Bill Compton, has turned a sickly gray color, the victim of silver poisoning. Sookie is now getting it on with vampire Eric.

The qualities I loved about Sookie, her sweetness and her humorous take on life, are conspicuously absent. Granted, she suffered some serious injuries at the end of book nine, but it appears the bad fairies removed her sense of humor along with a chunk of her thigh. She plods grimly through her daily routine and we plod along with her, sometimes for pages and pages. She wants revenge and obsesses about killing those responsible for her injuries. Very un-Sookie-like.

Plot-wise, the book never really gets going. It meanders back and forth between vampires, fairies and shape shifters, as if Ms. Harris couldn’t really decide which supernatural creature to focus on.Fangs? Fur? Fairy? There was one laugh out loud moment. Eric’s maker shows up with Alexei Romanov in tow. Alexei, the hemophiliac son of Russian aristocracy, was supposedly murdered in the Bolshevik rebellion. Alexei is now a vampire. Sookie’s clueless brother, Jason, is totally mystified by the whole scenario. In Sookie’s words, Jason’s idea of history was remembering Jimmy Carter’s embarrassing brother.

I tried to become a fan of HBO’s True Blood, based on Harris’s novels. I really did. Anna Paquin is the perfect Sookie. The other cast members are equally as good. I watched a number of episodes before my stomach rebelled. Licking someone’s bloody face just doesn’t do it for me. The best part of the series? The theme song. If you haven’t heard Jace Everett’s growling, “I wanna do real bad things to you,” you’re in for a treat. Hot!

Although I’m sure Ms. Harris’ agent and publishers do not agree, I think it’s time for Sookie to get herself a warm-blooded male and fade into the blood-red sunset. All good things must come to an end.

My rating: So-so

Have you read it? Share your comments below...

1 comment:

  1. I'm probably going to incur the wrath of the reading community, but here goes: I have most of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series on my bookshelf, but I've not read a single book. (At least I bought them!)

    On the other hand, I LOVE the HBO series True Blood. The writing is phenomenal, the actors have amazing chemistry, and the show is, well, HOT!

    I'll read the Sookie Stackhouse books eventually (I usually read a book before I see the movie or tv special), but for now the television series has my attention.