I will start off by saying I love this series. I started it long before the TRUE BLOOD HBO series came out so I have been faithful from the beginning, and have always waited anxiously for the newest book in the series. I also reread the series each time a new book comes out to keep refreshing. Most were great book. A few of her more recent ones left me a little hungry for more as they didnt really hit the spot but they were OK. I was excited for this book hoping Miss Harris would really expand upon the work she had done in her previous books and tie up some of the loose plot lines. Sadly, I feel this book left me feeling both disspaointed and extremely hungry because it wasnt even an appetizer.
Without giving spoilers and ruining it for others, like some of the reviewers I felt there was simply too much going on all at once. I love exciting plotlines and twists and lots of action as much as the next reader. However, I felt in this novel it was overkill. There was not one OK BREATHE moment in the book. Miss Harris opened 20 different cans of worms at once; exciting yes, but also exhausting and confusing. My mind was still literally trying to process one "OH CRAP!" moment, when I was tossed into two more "Double Crap" and "Holy Hell!" moments. There wasn't just one climatic moment; there were about 25 so each time made you wonder if this was it-except you still have 100 pages left.
The end I felt was almost anticlimactic and a little disjointed. CRAZY ending, big show down, throw down and then it just sorta stops? Not quite a fade but you finished the book thinking huh? Should it really have ended there? The characters were just put through some horrific and really tragic events (yes you will need tissues) and a lot of moments of enlightenment and none of that was really touched upon.
Several characters appeared and disappeared like Houdini and some of the more permanent disappearances, one in particular, really left me with a bad taste in my mouth because it was really horrific and tragic and just was not addressed one way or the other. It was sort of thrown at us and then we were left to process it. Which would have been fine had you actually HAD time to process it. But soon after you are thrown into yet more action. All I will say not to give it away is it is in regards to Jason and the Werepanthers.
I also feel Harris didn't adequately give Sookie time to make emotional sense of everything going on around her. This novel like the others is written in first person narrative and when anything happens in our lives, our minds process things at a 100 miles an hour in our minds. Yet Sookie barely touches upon any of these events with much introspection.
(SPOILER) Sookie is captured by renegade fairies and tortured grotesquely-so much so that her mind and body even with the infusions of vamp blood should be in such a fragile state, we should have really FELT it through her thoughts, her words and we dont. Its sorta just blah. She mentions she would never see the world again but its literally one or two sentences and all tell no show about how she suffered. The book ended shortly after.
There was some expansion to the history of Eric which was interesting, but the blood tie between Sookie and Eric from the last book was never really discussed; can it be broken, is it permanent, etc. I am also a LEETLE BIT concerned with the introduction of the blood bond with Eric that makes Sookie feel always peaceful, almost complacent around him. Miss Harris added a new dynamic to that in this book that I wont ruin for you, and it just made me go..OYE...I am REALLY hoping she doesn't go the route that LKH went with the Anita Blake and the ardeur (compulsions to make" her do things)... LKH uses it a cope out and a crutch and Harris is simply too good a writer to go that route so I hope she steers back.
(SPOILER) I also felt the new relationship between Sookie and Eric was sorta baloneywe didnt feel the tension that had been there in previous books because now Sookieis unsure whether her feelings are real or a result of the blood bond. So when she sleeps with him again we get the lust factor but not much else. ANDalthough she was hoping Eric would come and save her when she is tortured, one of her few coherent thoughts is of Sam, wishing he were there so she could be in the presence of someone who loved her; very odd. But there wasnt much interaction with Sam in the rest of the book as per usual so it seemed disjointed.
I did find Erics quote of youre killing me! Youre killing me when he seemed obviously upset about not being able to rescue Sookie himself, interesting. Another layer of mystery but it was abruptly abandoned as well.
I am going to give this 3 stars because it has promise. If Harris can get it together for the next book and write something LENGTHIER than this (this was a short book) and really tie up some loose ends and give us better character development and relationship building and expansion, it will be amazing. I am just HOPING that the next books bring back the storytelling and plot structure we've come to expect from Charlaine Harris.
Harris pulled out all the stops for the 9th book in the series. And I'm glad to say that I enjoyed it. It was a sad book in some ways, but satisfying that it developed (and probably wrapped up) some story-lines in the series.
But I have a feeling that this novel marks a point of no return for Sookie. Her character transforms in this book that makes her almost foreign to the somewhat ditzy barmaid that we saw in "Dead Until Dark." But we see more of Eric (yum! Who doesn't want more of that Viking?) and one or two of Sookie's other men.
Basically, once you get into the novel just a bit, be prepared to finish the book in one sitting. Because it's quite a ride.
I feel like this was the first Sookie Stackhouse book in a while that started to go back to the series' roots. There was a murder to solve, a bunch of stuff that was unrelated happened in the middle (mostly involving vampires), and they got back to the mystery at the end. Albeit, there was a lot less solving, so much has happened in Sookie's life I don't know if we'll ever get back to it being a mystery series, but this book FELT more like the earlier ones. That's what I like so much about it, it felt like the Southern Vampire series I originally fell in love with.
Vampires have a much more prominent role in this book then they've had previously. It was nice to see them come into the foreground again. Honestly, with all the werewolves and shape shifters and everything else that had been going on, the series was starting to get a little tedious for me, I think because I didn't want to read about all that, I wanted to read about vampires. So I'm glad they've come back. All the other supernatural elements are still there as well.
This book was good, and very exciting. It was the first time I realized how much Sookie has changed and grown, which was really cool to see and realize.
I've read all the Sookie books and started reading long before True Blood became a hit. It's one of my favorite series in the paranormal genre but I felt this book was medicore at best. I felt that plots were introduced and finished with out much thought. Even though there was a lot going on in this book, none of the plot points had me on the edge of my seat and quite a few of them were introduced and tied up in 10 pgs or less. There were a lot of WTF moments for me. I was not thrilled and hope this is not a sign of things to come w/ this series. Huge disappointment from my favorite author!
The Sookie Stackhouse series is one of my all time favorites; but Charline Harris' newest addition to the Sookie Series is not my favorite. Usually Harris is good for some laughs even when battles are on the menu. This book is darker than any of her others and that darkness isn't really relieved in the end. Harris is also not nearly as good as Yasmine Galnorn at describing her torture scene... she says the character is not in a happy place but as a reader I felt removed from the situation rather than terrified for the character. It was not nearly as well written as when Bill was tortured several books ago. Also, Sookie appears to be having selective amnesia about things we have learned in previous books in the series. Like the limit of vampire blood one should consume before it endangers the person of contracting vampirism... something stressed back when she was dating Bill. Though I guess this is explained away by Sookie being at her wits end from all the ordeals she has been through in the past year and a half of her life. The part that is really annoying is all this "stuff" really detracts from the romantic interludes in the book. All and all I didn't feel like the book was AS well written as all the others in the series; it lacked the detail necessary to pull me in like she has before. I will be waiting for #10 issues of this one since as another reviewer said "Sookie will never be the same again", which is kinda sad... I hope she pulls out of her funk enough to get us back to some more "fun" stories. Unfortunately it looks like that may be a year or more since the next title and release date has not been posted. :(