October Releases

Monday, October 18, 2010

Book Review: Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse #10) by Charlaine Harris

If you think your family relationships are complicated, think again: you haven't seen anything like the ones in Bon Temps, Louisiana. Sookie Stackhouse is dealing with a whole host of family problems, ranging from her own kin (a non-human fairy and a telepathic second cousin) demanding a place in her life, to her lover Eric's vampire sire, an ancient being who arrives with Eric's 'brother' in tow at a most inopportune moment. And Sookie's tracking down a distant relation of her ailing neighbor (and ex), Vampire Bill Compton. In addition to the multitude of family issues complicating her life, the werewolf pack of Shreveport has asked Sookie for a special favour,and since Sookie is an obliging young woman, she agrees. But this favour for the wolves has dire results for Sookie, who is still recovering from the trauma of her abduction during the Fairy War.

     Ok it has taken me a while to get to this because quite frankly, I did not know what to write about it. I am a huge fan of the series (both the books and the show, definitely the show). Yet this book didn't have the same flavor as the rest. As much as it pains to say anything bad about Sookie Stackhouse and her unbelievably sexy men, I must be honest here, I was disappointed.

    The book starts off with Sookie quite depressed. Very understandable, she has lost two family members (well three including Claudine's baby) and found out another one was crazy. Amelia is leaving her to go back to New Orleans. Even though Eric is her boyfriend, it is clear she is not 100% sure she loves him. Bill is suffering from being poisoned by silver, so he can't do much of anything either. So things are pretty down for Sookie until she gets a visit from her jerk of a cousin, Claude. Then things start looking up, in a way.

    Eric moves back and forth in the book. One night when Sookie and Eric are together, they get a visit from Eric's maker (who I thought was Godric, but apparently is a completely different guy named Appius). This was a big, confusing issue for me. Didn't make sense to me. His "child" was Alexei Romanov. This was apparently the son of the Romanovs. Yes, the Royal family of Russia. Alexei was a psychopath, as you can well imagine. But they came to visit Eric because Appius needed help because of Alexei. Because like I said, he is crazy. Before this as well, Sookie gets a visit from Alcide and his pack to hunt on her lands. They find that there is a body there and a fairy or two. So she is paranoid about it being her psycho cousin, Dermot.

    So all of this is happening just in the first few chapters. To add more, Sookie sneaks into Bill's house to find the other "child" his maker made. Sookie finds her and ask her to come save Bill. This vampire is named Judith and she looks exactly like the wife Bill had  when he was human. Worse, Judith seems a little obsessed with Bill, but she couldn't have him because of their maker. But Harris didn't go further into this, which is also very weird.

    All this is going on in the book, but it was just strange. The plot was all over the place and there was so many things going on. I like books that have various storylines in one book. For example, Adrian Phoenix is famous for this. Phoenix has three/four things going on and they tie in perfectly at the end. I can't say that for this book. It was a little chaotic and felt rushed, which is probably why this book was kind of short. 

    I would have preferred if Harris scrapped the Appius/Alexei story (save it/tuck it away/anything other 
than this) and went a little further with the dead pack member and the Judith/Bill story. But there was too much going on and not enough cohesion. The Appius/Alexei story needed more explanation and we didn't get it.The ending wasn't bad, I liked it, but again, a little more explanation would have been nice. 

   Overall, I wanted more from this book. I definitely expected more. This is first book in the series that has been a let down for me. I pray it is the only one that does. So if you haven't read this, read it at your own risk. (CAUTION!). If you have read this, let me know what you thought. Did you think it was fine as is or could something else have been done?


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