(Sookie Stackhouse Series #13)
by Charlaine Harris
Plot Summary: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...
Review:The final Sookie Stackhouse book! I felt a whole lot of trepidation going into this book - how would Charlaine Harris wrap up Sookie's long, involved, and complex story? Who will Sookie end up with? Can she ever not be in danger? What about Hunter? WHO WILL SOOKIE END UP WITH? (Not who I wanted actually but anyways...) What I found intriguing about this last book was the major set-up in the prologue. Bad people, Sookie's enemies, were gathering forces it seemed, and it brought a whole lot of foreboding tension already to this story. And made me even more nervous. (Is someone major going to die in the end? Wait, what does "Dead Ever After" mean?) But this tension was perfect for what I felt like Charlaine Harris was crafting for Sookie's final book. It felt like a reckoning of sorts, and I was glad that so many characters from past books made an appearance here, either to show their support or to try and "get Sookie". It's a wonderful way to show, that even though Sookie has had a lot of bad things happen to her in her life, the love and friendship of the good people of Bon Temps balanced that, and Sookie has a lot to be grateful for. It's an approach that was very touching to read, and also raises the stakes because there are two separate plans to harm Sookie, and more than one bad guy to fear.
As with most of the books in this series, the soap opera-esque life of Sookie dominates the mystery portion, but with the little bit of information dropped in the beginning and the rare flash of insight into what the bad guys are up to, there is a lot of suspense in this story because you know many bad things are going to happen, but you don't know when, or who or why sometimes. There's a delicious anticipation for the resolution and for more answers and because of that I found this a riveting read. Of course, I found the way Sookie works through her dilemmas just as inspiring as I find her strong, astute, and generally positive character. After reading this book I am again reminded of how much I love her narrative voice and her witty asides.
Because I really didn't have too many expectations or hopes for how Sookie's story will end, I felt like Charlaine's ending was perfect and captured everything I have come to love about reading a Sookie Stackhouse novel. And even though I wanted Sookie to end up with someone else, I think the guy she got is perfect too. This story moves quickly and gets quite complex with the large cast of characters but I feel it is a wonderful end to a wonderfully entertaining series!
After writing this review, I've seen SO MUCH bashing of this book elsewhere and I really don't understand it. Some people complain about the writing (that doesn't mean grammar or technical aspect I guess, cause that's good) but the plot and the character development. I think people expected more from this book, but what we got wasn't a typical Stackhouse novel, but more of a trip down memory lane. Other than that, most dissatisfied people seem to fall into two categories:
- MILD SPOILERS-1) Eric lovers.
I've always loved Eric. But he's ambitious and ruthless and not a nice person. With his ending I think it's clear he wanted two things, and in the end he got one. He got power, and he would never put Sookie first, so I think Sookie was better off without him. As for his ending, I can't see the big deal - it's true to character and to vampire politics, and for just 200 years - time means nothing to a vampire. I really think people are exaggerating how bad this situation is for him.
2) Characters are inconsistent or People who are unhappy that Sookie is settling/ Not living up to what she wanted in the first books.
Sookie has always wanted to be normal and just human. She embraced the widening of her life's experiences, but what has it gotten her? Not normality that's for sure. I think it's completely reasonable for her to want to live a regular life now. And she's not intolerant, she always embraces her friends. With Sookie and other characters, there are aspects of their personalities that have changed and matured, and rightly so with all they have gone through.
Anyways, that's my 2 cents. And I'm not saying that everyone should like this book, I understand it can't please everyone. But death threats to the author? That makes me sad. And with perspective, I really don't think this book is that bad.