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Book Review: “Dead Reckoning” (A Sookie Stackhouse novel) by Charlaine Harris

Posted: June 6, 2011 at 9:04 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

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Dead Reckoning is Charlaine Harris’ 11th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. The series revolves around a telepathic Louisianan, Sookie, and the many varieties of supernatural beings that come into her life. Sookie is a small town girl from Bon Temps and works at a bar called Merlotte’s. She doesn’t like to be involved with drama and violence, but finds herself constantly in a fight for her life. Even when her heart is in the right place, she ends up doing something to piss off a supernatural, which in turn, leads to death threats.

In this novel, Sookie starts off fairly content. She is living with two relatives, Claude and Dermott (both fairies), and is happy in her relationship with a vampire named Eric Northman. However, that all changes when a firebomb is thrown into Merlotte’s that seems to be aimed at Sookie. At first, it is believed this happens because the bar belongs to Sam, who is a shape shifter that recently revealed his uniqueness to the world. However, after a few more attempts on Sookie’s life, she learns that an old enemy is back and out for revenge.

Sookie finds out Eric and the vampire he sired, Pam, are having a fight. And the only way to help them through it is to plot to kill their current master, a pain in the butt vampire named Victor. Victor is an evil, vindictive man who loves to watch others suffer. He tries everything in his power to make Eric mad enough to do something stupid, so Victor has a reason to kill him.

As if that was not enough drama for one girl, Sookie comes across an old letter from her grandmother and a fairy amulet. She learns a lot more about the fairy side of her family and the deceptions made by her grandfather, Fintan. With all of this going on, Sookie tries to think clearly and keep calm. This is hard to do when you are as popular as she seems to be.

I am a big fan of Harris’ work. She gives great detail to her characters and the situations they are put in. I enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse books much more than the television show, True Blood. But this may be because I read the books first, so I am more familiar with the lifestyles of the characters (which are extremely different in the television series.)

However, I found this book to drag on too much. Maybe it is because it is the 11th book and the story just seems to stretch on and on. Can Sookie really never get a break? I guess it wouldn’t make for good reading if her life all of a sudden became boring, but I am getting tired of the girl constantly being in danger. Oh, and can’t she have just a few days without some sort of drama from the man in her life. I like Eric. I think he has a strong personality that is good for Sookie, but he has too many secrets. And right when you think things are going to work out (at least for a little while), Harris throws another curve ball that knocks their relationship off track.

Another problem I have with the book is at the beginning of the series Sookie is a character with morals and I enjoyed her sticking to them. But over the past few books we have seen her go from good girl to plotting to kill people. I can understand changing a little bit since she constantly in danger, but in this book some of her higher morals get thrown out the window. And it seems as though she complains about the bad things in her life, but keeps running towards them. I would like to have back the Sookie who I felt for and cheered for, instead of this version who I just want to hit in the head.

Dead Reckoning gets a B.