Tag Archives: Sookie Stackhouse

Book Review: From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires 8 )

From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires 8 )
Rating: Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Excellent
You might like this if you like: Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series; vampires; paranormal/supernatural

Synopsis:
The supernatural community in Bon Temps, Louisiana is reeling from two hard blows: the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina, and the manmade horror of the explosion at the vampire summit in the up-north city of Rhodes. Sookie Stackhouse is safe but dazed, and she’s yearning for things to get back to normal. But that’s just not happening. Too many vampires – some friends, some not – were killed or injured, and her were-tiger boyfriend Quinn is among the missing. It’s clear that things are changing, whether the weres and vamps like it or not. And Sookie, Friend to the Pack, blood-bonded to the leader of the local vampire community, is caught up in those changes. She’s about to find herself facing danger and death and, not for the first time, betrayal by someone she loves. And when the fur has finished flying and the cold blood has stopped flowing, Sookie’s world will be forever altered . . .

Review:
Harris is firmly back on track with the eighth installment of the Southern Vampires series!

Again, there is a LOT happening and Sookie must feel like she’s living in the middle of a whirlwind, with all-out wars in both the Vampire and Were communities and her treading a fine line in between by trying to help her friends, much as she may hate being dragged into the fray once more!

For me, the Quin storyline was the lesser of the plot points – I was far more interested in what was happening elsewhere – so his being out of the action for most of the book was fine from my point of view. I enjoyed the addition of Amelia to Sookie’s life as she adds a much-needed understanding friend who never judges and always supports.

There were several elements that I predicted ahead of time, but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment at all, rather it gave me a little mental “high five” what was very gratifying when I discovered I was right.

And although I’m not going to give anything away from the end, I just wanted to say, “I knew it!” and wear a big grin, because I think that could lead to a spectacular story arc!

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Book Review: All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires 7)

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires 7)
Rating:
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Excellent
You might like this if you like: Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series; vampires; paranormal/supernatural

Synopsis:
Sookie’s beginning to get used to being surrounded by all varieties of undead, changeling, shapeshifting and other supernatural beings – but even she has her limits. She’d really like to take a while to get over being betrayed by Bill, her long-time vampire lover, and get used to her new relationship with the sexy shapeshifter Quinn – but instead, she finds herself attending the long-planned vampire summit, the destination of choice for every undead power player around, as a sort-of human ‘Geiger counter’ for Sophie-Anne Leclerq, vampire queen of Louisiana. But the job is fraught with difficulties. Sophie-Anne’s power base has been severely weakened by Hurricane Katrina, and she’s about to be put on trial during the event for murdering her king. Sookie knows the queen is innocent, but she’s hardly prepared for other shocking murders: it looks like there are some vamps who would like to finish what nature started. With secret alliances and backroom deals the order of the day – and night – Sookie must decide which side she’ll stand with, and quickly, for her choice may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe.

Review:
I wasn’t too sure this installment in the Southern Vampires series was going to live up to much, as it started out just a tiny bit slow (nothing too slow, just a longer build-up than usual), but there’s a surprising amount of action going on which escalates and then literally explodes during the final third of the novel.

More than ever, Eric is drawing me in – he becomes more alluring the further into the series I get, and even if he’s not sweet, amnesiac Eric, he’s not quite the same Eric he was before his brush with the Witches, but a strange hybrid of the two that is rather endearing at times. There’s also a little more of Quin and although I kind of like him, I’m not all together sure he’s the right one for Sookie. I now actively dislike Bill – right from the start of the series I was unsure of him and the feeling has developed from mild misgivings to an ever-increasing dislike that is now threatening to border on loathing.

I was pleased to see how tactfully the Katrina disaster was integrated into the story. It could so easily have been tasteless, but Harris managed to keep it all very respectful and turned a natural event that could not have been avoided into an essential part of the plot.

There seemed to be an awful lot of prospective wedding bells in All Together Dead and I can’t help wondering if it’s a set-up for the eighth book, From Dead to Worse

Book Review: Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires 6)

Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires 6)
Rating: Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Very good, well worth a read
You might like this if you like: Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series; vampires; paranormal/supernatural

Synopsis:
Sookie doesn’t have that many relations, so she hated to lose one – but of all the people to go, she didn’t expect it to be her cousin Hadley, a consort of New Orleans’ vampire queen – after all, Hadley was technically already dead. But she is gone, beyond recall, and she’s left Sookie an inheritance – one that comes with a bit of a risk – not least because someone doesn’t want Sookie digging too deep into Hadley’s past – or her possessions. Sookie’s life is once again on the line, and this time the suspects range from the rogue werewolves who have rejected Sookie as a friend of the pack to her first love, the vampire Bill. Sookie’s got a lot to do if she’s going to keep herself alive . . .

Review:
There were moments while reading the sixth installment of the Southern Vampires series when I wondered if I had inadvertently skipped a book, as the previous sequels all followed directly on from their prequels, whereas here, a lot has happened “off-screen” and the reader is kept in the dark for some time.

I was surprised to find many similarities to The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas evident in the plot:

HIGHLIGHT TO REVEAL SPOILER:
A French Queen who has had an affair and lost a piece of jewellery which was given to her by her husband, the loss of which could spark a war; the repetitious mention of three guards surrounding the Queen, with Sookie playing the D’Artagnion role; there’s even some sword play!)

It was a very nice nod to a classic novel which is a favourite of mine and I found the similarities very enjoyable.

For a sexy series, Sookie is surprisingly chaste. Over the course of six novels, she has had sex with only two men (both vampires), and although she’s had brief dalliances with other men (Weres and Shifters); she hasn’t been quick to jump into bed with them. Surprising as this may seem, I’m rather pleased, as I don’t really want the Southern Vampires series to become a “Supe of the Day”.

It was also great to find out a little more about Sookie and why she’s so alluring to vampires…

Book Review: Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires 5)

Dead as a Doornail (Southern Vampires 5)
Rating: 3/5 – Very good, well worth a read
You might like this if you like: Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series; vampires; paranormal/supernatural

Synopsis:
Sookie’s got just a month, before the next full moon, to find out who wants her brother dead – and to stop the fiend! Sookie Stackhouse enjoys her life, mostly. She’s a great cocktail waitress in a fun bar; she has a love life, albeit a bit complicated, and most people have come to terms with her telepathy. The problem is, Sookie wants a quiet life – but things just seem to happen to her and her friends. Now her brother Jason’s eyes are starting to change: he’s about to turn into a were-panther for the first time. She can deal with that, but her normal sisterly concern turns to cold fear when a sniper sets his deadly sights on the local changeling population. She afraid not just because Jason’s at risk, but because his new were-brethren suspect Jason may be the shooter. Sookie has until the next full moon to find out who’s behind the attacks – unless the killer decides to find her first.

Review:

The fifth installment of the Southern Vampire series actually deals more with the Shifter community than the vampires, although the vamps are still involved.

It was always going to be difficult to follow the previous book as it was so good (well, how could it now be when it focussed on Eric so much?), but Dead as a Doornail does a pretty good job of living up to its predecessors. There’s plenty of action, with Shifters getting shot left, right and centre. I worked out who the culprit was pretty early on (I just didn’t know why they were doing it). Fortunately, there was more than enough there to keep me interested long after I’d figured out who the “bad guys” were.

I wished there had been a little more of how Jason fared with his first “change” and the differences this was going to make in his life. Comparatively little was made of that aspect and I felt Harris kind of missed a trick there.

And you have to feel for Sookie – the poor woman never seems to get a break. Even her New Year Resolution is to “not get beaten up this year” and with the company she tends to keep, that’s something of a tall order!

Book Review: Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires 4)

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires 4)
Rating:
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Excellent
You might like this is you like: Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series; vampires, paranormal/supernatural

Synopsis:
Sookie comes to the rescue of a naked, amnesiac vampire – and ends up in the middle of a war between witches, werewolves and vampires! Sookie Stackhouse is a small-town cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She’s pretty. She does her job well. She keeps to herself – she has only a few close friends, because not everyone appreciates Sookie’s gift: she can read minds. That’s not exactly every man’s idea of date bait – unless they’re undead – vampires and the like can be tough to read. And that’s just the kind of guy Sookie’s been looking for. Maybe that’s why, when she comes across a naked vampire on the way home from work, she doesn’t just drive on by. He hasn’t got a clue who he is, but Sookie has: Eric looks just as scary and sexy – and dead – as the day she met him. But now he has amnesia, he’s sweet, vulnerable, and in need of Sookie’s help – because whoever took his memory now wants his life. Sookie’s investigation into what’s going on leads her straight into a dangerous battle between witches, vampires and werewolves. But there could be even greater danger – to Sookie’s heart, because the kinder, gentler Eric is very hard to resist.

Review:
This is actually my favourite of the first four books in the series. Seeing a vulnerable, sweet Eric is wonderful – it’s a whole new side of him that we haven’t seen before (of course, is it really him when he has no memory of who he is? Or is this actually the real Eric?), and who could blame any hot-blooded female for softening towards him? I know I certainly would!

But amnesiac Eric isn’t the only draw – there’s such a lot going on in this installment that it’s real seat-of-the-pants stuff: We have Witches, Weres and Vamps all battling it out and poor Sookie is caught right in the middle of it; Jason going missing is another major event that will change the course of his and Sookie’s lives (as well as the course of the series) completely; and Sookie has to really step up and do things she never thought she’d have to do – she really shows she’s made of steely stuff!

It really is jam-packed full of a plot so good I didn’t want it to end and it’s left me gasping for more, so I’ll be going right ahead and continuing with the rest of the series instead of taking a little break as I had planned!

Book Review: Club Dead by Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires 3)

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires 3)
Rating:
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Excellent
You might like this if you like:
Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series; vampires; paranormal/supernatural

Synopsis:
There’s only one vampire Sookie Stackhouse is involved with – at least voluntarily – and that’s Bill. But recently he’s been a little distant – in another state distant. His sinister and sexy boss Eric has an idea where to find him, and next thing Sookie knows she’s off to Jackson, Mississippi, to mingle with the underworld at Club Dead. It’s a dangerous little haunt where the elusive vampire society can go to chill out and suck down some Type O – but when Sookie finally finds Bill caught in an act of serious betrayal she’s not sure whether to save him, or to sharpen some stakes.

Review:
For me, this is where the series really starts picking up the pace! More happens in this installment than in either of the previous two and its damned exciting to boot!

For a start, we get a little more of Eric (sexy, brooding, mysterious vampire), less of Bill (Sookie’s slightly dull vampire boyfriend), and the introduction of Alcide (sexy werewolf who’s just a tad more “normal” than the vampire crowd Sookie has been hanging around with!). All this adds up to some great sexual tension – who will win Sookie’s attentions, if any of them? There’s also another appearance made by Bubba (who, although not a main character is one of my personal favourites!), which always adds a little sparkle to the storyline, even in the instances where he’s only there for a few pages.

There’s also a glimpse at how being part of the supernatural world is affecting Sookie’s abilities to function in the more human one. She’s being taken away from her job at Merlotte’s more often to do work for the vampires; as a result, her finances are suffering a little, so following on from that, Sookie is more than a little tense when it comes to the daily grind (aren’t we all when we have money troubles?). It all goes towards establishing her as being very realistic, and her temper flares reinforce that too – she’s no shrinking violet, nor is she the classical heroine – she’s a gal that has to live in the real world and knows how tough that can be sometimes. These little flashes of “normality” make the thick of the action all the better.

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires 2)

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires 2)
Rating:
3/5 – Very good, well worth a read
You might like this if you like:
Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series; vampires; paranormal/supernatural

Synopsis:
Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is having a streak of bad luck. First her co-worker is killed, and no one seems to care. Then she comes face-to-face with a beastly creature which gives her a painful and poisonous lashing. Enter the vampires, who graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn’t enjoy it). The point is: they saved her life. So when one of the bloodsuckers asks for a favour, she obliges – and soon Sookie’s in Dallas, using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire. She’s supposed to interview certain humans involved, but she makes one condition: the vampires must promise to behave, and let the humans go unharmed. But that’s easier said than done, and all it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly . . .

Review:
It’s been such a long time since I read the first few books in this series that it really is like coming to them fresh, and it makes not one jot of difference that I’ve been watching the HBO show based on them (True Blood) as the second series deviated rather wildly from the events of the second book, retaining only the basic elements of the plot – removing some parts and developing some areas that were barely mentioned in the source material as well as adding in some other things that didn’t happen in the book at all.

Charlaine Harris has a very easy-to-read style of writing – it almost sounds like an old friend speaking to you in your head and as the plot unfolds, the action rolls over you in waves and before you know it, you’ve read half the book when you only planned to read for 20 minutes or so.

As a lead character, Sookie is instantly likeable and she’s flawed enough that she comes across as being entirely plausible, even with her mind-reading skills. It’s during this book that I begin to find Bill just a touch less likeable. Not that I actively disliked him – it was more a gentle growing of “I’m not so sure about this guy” with nothing really specific on which to put my finger. Eric, on the other hand, becomes more intriguing… Neither of them actually plays a huge role in the plot though, as it focuses more on the humans and the hatred that causes some “religious fanatics” to act in extreme ways. The progress of the story lies squarely on Sookie’s shoulders and she’s a strong enough character to carry it along to its conclusion.

There was one tiny element I felt Harris could have explored further – the Maenad. Her part in the book was almost entirely inconsequential and, in fact, it could have been almost entirely omitted from this second installment. Still, it didn’t detract from what is an enjoyable read that definitely makes me want to continue with the rest of the series.