Thursday, May 13, 2010

Paranormal Pieces: Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris

It's been a long time since I've posted, but I've been reading. I haven't forgotten my goal of reading at least one book a month, and I've kept myself reading much more than my goal.

My most recent read was the ninth installation of the Southern Vampires series by Charlain Harris,
Dead and Gone. I had originally picked up the first book, intrigued by the setting, the voice of the character, and the fast pace. Hooked by the first book, I've continued to read all the way to number nine.

Dead and Gone, Sookie is faced with yet another murder, but one that's a little more gruesome and hateful than others. To top it off, she gets married unintentionally (and there was no booze involved), and is the target of a vicious enemy (by way of her great-grandfather).

You can expect the usual package of action (there's lots of it), and typical Sookie reactions. But there just seems to be a lot more crammed into this one book than one would expect. It seems almost as if there's enough material in this one volume for three volumes worth of writing.

I have to say, I was a little disappointed. I've come to enjoy Sookie's upbeat attitude, and I really enjoyed her creative solutions to problems in the past. These days, Sookie's just trying to get through each day without dying, it seems, and that doesn't make for a truly enjoyable story. Sure, she has to worry about her safety, but if the whole plot revolves around her safety and nothing else, it doesn't make for entertaining reading.

One of the reasons I had come to enjoy the series was the authentic feel Harris was able to give the characters, the setting, and the plot. You could get a real sense of Bon Temps, Louisiana in the first couple of books. You could form the characters in your mind fairly easily.

In the past couple of books in the series, however, the quality of the ambiance has begun to dull down. Things are happening so fast it's hard to keep the days straight. There's nothing normal about Sookie, and nothing will ever be normal again. That's fine, but does everything always have to involve Sookie being beaten to a pulp? Whatever happened to the human side of Sookie? What happened to her relationships?

All in all, I'm not looking forward to the next book in this series with as much hope and excitement as I used to. Now all I'm hoping for is some sort of stabilization. Let us catch a breath, Charlaine. Let us catch up to where Sookie is. Give us some type of explanation for why things have happened so quickly.

I get my copy of
Dead in the Family (Southern Vampires, 10) in June. Let's hope that questions are answered, and things ease up a little. I really don't want to have to give up on this series yet.

This book is not for anyone who:

  • has no read any of the previous Sookie Stackhouse books
  • dislikes contemporary paranormal stories
  • hates vampires, werewolves and fairies (same thing as the prior point, I know - I'm just clarifying)
  • is looking to feel a little better about life or looking for a light and happy read
This book is for anyone who:
  • has read and is obsessed with finding out who dies next in the Sookie Stackhouse series