24 Jun 2014

DEAD EVER AFTER.

DEAD EVER AFTER by CHARLAINE HARRIS.

SOURCE: Purchased from amazon.co.uk

THE BOOK {According to the inner front cover}: Sookie Stackhouse has one last adventure in store.

Life has taken her from a waitress in Merlotte's Bar, Bon Temps, to part owner; from social outcast to the heart of her community; from a vampire's girlfriend to the wife of one of the most powerful vampires in the state. She has survived explosions, revolutions and attempts on her life. Sookie has endured betrayal, heartbreak and grief...and she has emerged a little stronger, and little wiser, every time.

But with life comes new trials...

The question is, in the end: who will love, who will live, and who will be dead ever after?

FIRST SENTENCE {Prologue}: January.
The New Orleans businessman, whose gray hair put him in his fifties, was accompanied by his much younger and taller bodyguard/chauffeur on the night he met the devil in the French Quarter.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 249}: She wondered if she could cast a stunning spell without any herbs or preparation. It wasn't like in the Harry Potter books, though she and every other witch of her acquaintance had often wished it were.

MY THOUGHTS: Part thirteen, the final novel in the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood series. It is my opinion that in order to get the best out of the books they really need to be read in order. 

Not a fan of the star rating system to begin with and given that at its best I thought Dead Ever After deserved four stars (at its worst one star) I can't remember a time when I've felt so conflicted as to how to rate a book.

So, why the one star?

There were several reasons, not least of which was the romance. Sure feelings can change and I accept that but to be reminded over twelve books that there was no sexual chemistry whatsoever between certain characters only for this to completely change (and my how it changed) by the end of the book just didn't ring at all true.

Feeling altogether a bit rushed. I had heard it suggested that the last few novels were only written to cash in on the success of the TV series and whilst hopefully not that cynical myself I did get the feeling that the authors heart and soul was no longer fully in it.

Then there was the ending itself. Whilst I thought the rest of the book an enjoyable enough read (certainly better than the last few) I felt the lame ending an insult to the reader, a slap in the face to those loyal enough to have followed the series from its beginnings way back in 2001.

But what about those four stars?

Though sad that some long standing characters seemed to merely fizzle out, their own stories somehow unresolved, I adored that some other well loved characters were brought back ..... even if my favourite wasn't amongst them.

Refreshing in that there weren't too many of the scrapes that seemed to typify many of the previous books, that there was next to nothing in the way of sex scenes (its just a shame that what there was was so cringe worthy). I really think that this, the final instalment, saw Sookie finally come into her own as a strong, capable (though slightly bitter) woman instead of the somewhat 'prissy' individual largely dependent on men (both living and otherwise) that she seemed to have morphed into.

Whilst I firmly believe that as a series 'Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood had run its course I suspect that Dead Ever After would not have been so widely condemned if it wasn't for the fact so many (myself included) were disappointed with the ending, that they felt let down by an author they had come to expect so much of.


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9 comments:

Kelly said...

I had very mixed emotions about this book for many of the same reasons you did. As the series progressed, I sometimes felt Harris didn't check her own storyboards in order to stay consistent.

Don't bother with that other "final" book which claims to tell you what happens to all the characters unless you can just check it out of the library. It's definitely not worth paying for.

Brian Joseph said...

I had never heard of Sookie Stackhouse but the series itself sounds great.

Thirteen books is a lot. I completely agree that an author contriving a romantic relationship between long standing characters in an unnatural way can easily ruin a story.

Tracy Terry said...

I didn't know there was another 'final' book Kelly but don't worry I'm not in any hurry to read it any time soon ...... if at all.

Indeed Brian. Though if I'm being honest I've always had issues with the 'love interests' of this particular character.

Lindsay said...

I've not read any of these but have heard about them, shame to read that this one was disappointing.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Sorry you didn't love this one, but hopefully the positive points made it worth it!

Melliane said...

Ah this book... I have read it the previous one awhile ago and I still have my review to post. YOu know I totally understand you. My friend told me about it and well that's why I won't read it. I'm sorry it wasn't for you.

Gina R said...

See I've yet to read this series despite the phenomenon surrounding it's popularity. I've heard most are either book fans or the tv series fan but not both as they deviate from each other. In any case, the points you raise are valid concerns to take into account but I'm still curious especially since your decision on 1 or 4 stars was so difficult. Thanks for the inside scoop. .. spoiler free as usual. ^-^

Naida said...

That's too bad it seemed like the authors heart was no longer in it.
I read the first in the Sookie Stackhouse books and chose not to read any others. I just did not like Bill.

Literary Feline said...

I just watched the first episode of the final season of True Blood yesterday and am curious to see how the show will end. I began reading the books long before the show--back when the books were called the Southern Vampire series. I've enjoyed the series over all, some books more than others. I had mixed feelings about this final book, but probably not for the same reason that most others had. At least not part of it.