Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Review: Dead in the Family

TITLE: Dead in the Family
Book 10 in the Sookie Stackhouse series
AUTHOR: Charlaine Harris
GENRE: urban fantasy, vampires, werewolves, faeries
PREMISE: Sookie's life is still crazy but on the brightside she has a somewhate steady relationship with Eric now. Though that may change when Eric's maker arrives...
MY REVIEW: A lot of people have complained that this book is boring. I do concede that it's not the most exciting of the Sookie books but I've been noticing something that I think has escaped readers notice: these books happen in threes. Having breezed through all the books this year I've noticed that Harris likes to have a slightly calmer book, then a more exciting book, and then a super exciting book with things happening right and left, and then we'll get back to the calmer book. Book 10 is one of those calmer books and I personally appreciate it I mean a lot stuff went down in the last book. To have even MORE stuff go down in this one would be exhausting.
The thing about Book 10 is that it's mostly character focused. This book gives us more details on backgrounds of vampire governing (it's...odd...), some slightly more character reveal about Eric when his maker arrives, and even some focus on how Sookie herself has changed which I found interesting. Because when you look back to Sookie from book 1, she's changed quite a bit from that naive girl who first started to date Bill and I appreciate that Harris doesn't try and say all the changes are good and try to put Sookie on a pedestal. She doesn't. Sookie is quite aware that the person she's changed into isn't maybe all that great and does wrestle with that part of herself. It's nice to see character growth for a change.
Things I loved in this book: more Claude! I can't help it, I find Claude hilarious. Weaving of history into vampire history. I love how Harris does this in these books, it's fun for a history buff such as myself. Sookie becoming more fierce. How awesome was it when she told Eric to basically put on his big boy panties and deal with it? I think Pam is rubbing off on her and I so approve. More Pam. These books need more Pam. In fact, I'd love if Harris did a spin off series focused on just Pam. That would be awesome.
Some things I was not so crazy about: No Bubba? Eric's Maker was...icky. No other way to describe it. While I loved the weaving of the history with Alexei it was also just slightly icky. Yet again the cook at Merlotte's was up to something. I swear the cook at Merlotte's position is becoming this book's Defense Against the Dark Arts position a la Harry Potter. Perhaps one of Holly's Coven cursed the position? I'm just saying it's suspicious. Poor Jason gets another crazy person going after him. I swear that poor guy gives off crazy person pheromones or something...I'd feel sorry for him if he wasn't such a jerk.
So again, it's not the most exciting book of the series, but if my three book theory is correct, the next one will be more exciting and then the one after that will be absolutely crazy. Brace yourselves guys.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that read and liked the first nine books, True Blood fans, vampire fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five Merlotte Cooks

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