Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Dead Ever After: The Final Sookie Stackhouse Novel
By: Charlaine Harris   Reviewed by OFW editor: RenĂ©e Miller
Published: November 08, 2014

 

From Goodreads:

There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart...

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough…

Through good and bad I’ve stuck with the Sookie Stackhouse series, and remained a loyal fan to the bitter end. The characters Harris created and the world of Bon Temps deserves serious kudos because it’s hard to reel readers in so completely. Harris enthralls readers despite some sketchy writing and plotting in a few of the thirteen books in this series (and a couple of short stories and such).

When I picked up the final installment, “Dead Ever After,” it was with a bit of trepidation. The last couple of books seemed to be just a lot of words about nothing. No point to anything Sookie and pals did or said. I hoped that there would be a big payoff later on and that in the final book all of these seemingly random things would make sense. Nope. But that’s okay. I still enjoyed reading about them.

I wish I could say I have positive thoughts about "Dead Ever After," but the truth is that it irritated me in a couple of major ways. First, the switch of writing style (she went from twelve books written in first person POV--Sookie’s--to a final novel that switches from Sookie’s first person POV to third person “Somewhere and someone else” in the story). The other irritation is the tossing out of the payoff a paranormal romance is supposed to bring. In the end I felt kind of cheated and more than a little confused with the POV swaps. This can work, of course, but it felt like someone else wrote the book, not the author I’d come to admire.

I’m all for going against formulaic shit, but in this case, it’s hard to swallow when that’s all you got for twleve books.

I won’t ruin the ending for fans who have yet to read this final installment, but I will say the final “pairing” is not intense or dramatic, and it is definitely not what the series worked its way up to. Sadly, it’s exactly the ending I feared, but hoped a writer of Harris’s caliber wouldn’t go for.
The actual story in the final book is also thin. I felt we could have ended things with the twelfth book easily, maybe even the tenth or eleventh, but what with contracts and such, I understand that maybe it had to stretch to thirteen. The biggest issue for me was that she left many questions unanswered. For example, remember the villain that wasn’t Claude? Right?! We never find out how the hell that is. A few people just drift away into nothingness and you’re all “Whatever happened to…?” Not cool.

Do I recommend it? If you’ve put in the time to read the rest of this series, definitely read it. It does provide a bit of closure, but don’t expect fireworks. I will admit that I’m satisfied that it’s the last book and I appreciate the ride I had the pleasure of taking with these characters. I look forward to something new by this author, despite my irritation with this very disappointing ending.

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