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Book Review: Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris (Series, #5)

November 30, 2009 9 comments

Summary:
Someone is shooting shifters in the parish, and the Werepanthers are suspicious of Jason.  Sookie sets out to clear his name, but things get a bit more complicated when it becomes clear someone has their eye not only on the shifters, but also on her.

Review:
Although the back cover claims this entry into the Sookie-verse is full of entertaining plot-twists, it actually reads as a been there, done that, plot.

Jason is in trouble, again.  Sookie’s fairy godmother has to save her, again.  Someone isn’t what they seem. Again.  Sam still has the major hots for Sookie (though I’ll never understand why.  She seems to just use him repeatedly when she needs help).  Bill still wants Sookie even though he’s sleeping with someone else, and Alcide is still kind of a jerk.

I think the problem with this book is that it doesn’t move the overarching plot forward much at all.  There is a tiny development in the Sookie/Eric plotline, but that’s all.  I guess I could forgive this if the individual storyline was new and exciting, but it’s not.  Ooo, someone’s targeting the supes.  Big deal.

In spite of all these complaints, I still want to keep reading the series.  This book read more like a clunker episode of a tv series you really love than a death toll.  I expect things will improve in the next book, and this was just a mystery idea that went bad for Harris.

2 out of 5 stars

Source: Bought on Amazon

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Previous Books in Series:
Dead Until Dark, review
Living Dead in Dallas, review
Club Dead, review
Dead To The World, review

Book Review: Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris (Series, #4)

November 25, 2009 10 comments

Summary:
Just because Sookie has broken up with Bill doesn’t mean her relationship with the supernatural world is over–especially when she finds Eric naked and suffering from amnesia on the side of the road.  When she discovers from Pam that a league of evil witches have their sights set on ruling Shreveport, she agrees to hide Eric while the vampires, werewolves, and Wiccans attempt to fend off the witches.  To top it off, Sookie’s brother has gone missing, which may or may not be related to the near-war going on.

Review:
While the books in the series so far have been improving, Dead to the World is definitely a step back.

The individual plot lines aren’t so bad, but Harris doesn’t do a good job of keeping them integrated and flowing.  The book reads as if it has too many sticks in the fire.  Just too much happens in such a short book.  The reader is left feeling a bit of whiplash from the rapidly changing storylines and situations.

I knew Sookie would have a rebound after Bill, but I’d hoped Harris would be more creative than having that rebound be Eric.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like Eric better than Bill, but I also enjoyed the tension between him and Sookie.  I wish that had lasted longer.  Similarly, I don’t think giving Eric amnesia was a wise character development choice.  I’m pretty sure anyone with amnesia plopped into the supernatural world would be a cowering mess.  That doesn’t tell us anything about who Eric is underneath his persona.  Sookie’s interactions with him therefore felt so fake that I not only couldn’t take real interest in them, I was also a bit grossed out by the falseness of them.  I didn’t expect Sookie’s rebound to be emotional, but I did expect it to be more real.

On the other hand, Sookie’s character development takes a nice turn.  Without Bill in the picture, she may have expected the supernatural world to pretty much leave her alone.  Instead she finds out they still depend on her.  Through the various situations, she starts to become a more empowered version of herself, and I enjoyed seeing that.

The best part of the book by far is Jason’s plot-line.  I can’t say much more or I’ll give away the secret, but suffice to say that I hope True Blood gets to this part of the story sooner rather than later.

While I’m irritated by some of the character development choices Harris has made, I am still enjoying the world she has created.  I am hoping though that the series returns to the tight, witty writing found in Club Dead.

3 out of 5 stars

Source: Bought on Amazon

Buy It

Previous Books in Series:
Dead Until Dark, review
Living Dead in Dallas, review
Club Dead, review