Review: Dead Reckoning – Charlaine Harris

dead reckoning

The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #11

Sookie Stackhouse, Bon Temps barmaid and telepath, has issues in her life when Sam Merlotte, her boss, is having financial issues with the bar. This could mean she will have to find a job. Things are not helped when someone firebombs the bar, though it is unclear whether Sam was the target, or anyone else. Sookie soon learns that Sandra Pelt is out of prison, and is still out for her blood for her sister’s murder – which, naturally, Sookie committed. Sam and his girlfriend, werewolf Jannalynn, enforcer of the Shreveport pack, seem to be having issues, but Sookie cannot get involved with that now.

Sookie is having some strange issues in her relationship with Eric Northman, vampire Sheriff of Area 5. He seems distracted and distant from her lately, and even though they have a blood bond between them, she knows something is up. Matters are exacerbated when Eric and his right hand, Pam, seem to be having endless arguments – of which Sookie seems to be the centre. Victor Madden, the regent of Louisiana, is intent on pushing all Eric’s buttons, in hopes that Eric will snap and that Victor can put him down. Something really needs to be done about him. Sookie is afraid for her life, and calls up her witch friend, Amelia Broadway, to reinforce the wards at her house. Amelia jumps at the opportunity to return to Bon Temps, and arrives with the surprising news that she can break the blood bond between Sookie and Eric. Sookie has been interested for a while, seeing as she wants to know if she loves Eric because she loves him, or if she loves him because of the blood bond.

Severing the blood bond only seems to broaden the gap between Sookie and Eric, and he is beyond furious about her actions. Meanwhile, Sandra Pelt is making a hard play to kill Sookie, who needs to do anything and everything in her willpower to survive. She recently discovered a letter from her grandmother, confessing to having slept with the fairy, Fintan, and having her children through him, and gifts Sookie a cluviel dor, which is a magical and very precious gift that grants her one wish, but only for love. She is struggling with the knowledge she has of her grandmother. Alcide Herveaux, the packmaster of the Shreveport pack, returns to attempt to win Sookie over as well as get her to become the pack shaman. Sookie turns him down, and in a furious fight, kicks Claude and Dermot out of the house, and has Bob and Amelia leave. Amelia is crushed to be thrown out like she is. Dermot and Sookie come to an agreement, and he stays even after everyone else leaves. Sookie also learns that her favour of calling up Bill’s “sister” to save him came with strings he was not willing for, seeing as Judith is in love with him, and he is in love with Sookie.

What will happen between Bill and Sookie? Will he be content just to remain friends? What are Pam and Eric fighting so terribly about? Does Sookie still love Eric, even without the blood bond? Will Sandra Pelt get to Sookie? Will Sam’s bar go under? What is going on between Sam and Jannalynn? What will Sookie do with the cluviel dor? Will Amelia and Sookie sort out their differences? Will a plan finally be hatched to get rid of Victor?

GRADE 5Well these books are definitely taking a bit of a nosedive, but Kim did say that they would. They are getting a bit stale, losing what made them a lot more entertaining and interesting. Not that they are the worst books that you could waste your time with or anything like that, and they still fit the bill for useless and light, but there are just some things that are getting annoying. I think the worst for me (besides always yapping about her faith and what not) is what has happened to Eric’s character. He used to be cocky, cheeky, hilarious, sexy, all those things, and now he is like some brooding lapdog for Sookie, and I am over it. He has practically become nonexistent over the last few books, and it always feels like Harris brings him back in as an afterthought. Surprise, surprise, the whole world still wants Sookie, but the suddenness of Harris bringing Bill back as well as his suddenly chasing Sookie so openly again just doesn’t sit right or feel normal, either. Also, what the hell is up with the immense amounts of incestuous hinting over the last two or three books (more in your face now than ever) about Claude and Dermot and sleeping in beds and picturing each other naked and I have no idea what else? It seems Harris realised it was not hot (no matter how sexy Claude and Dermot are supposedly) and that it just grosses readers out – and tries in a miserable way to address this. Hmmmm… not so great. Makes me feel sick. There was also the whole unnecessary thing with Alcide in Sookie’s bed and all. I don’t know, the logic was more flawed than usual in this book, and no shocker that there was an immense amount of bad stuff happening in a ridiculously small amount of time again. One of the positives, though, is that I absolutely love how Dermot is trying to fit into the human world, and is a lot nicer than Claude, though I love how blunt Claude can be. Then there was the issue of the immense amounts of sex talk in here. It was everywhere. Meh. I did like reading about Bubba again, he always makes me smile. I don’t know, this wasn’t the worst book to waste my time with (seeing as how they read super fast), but these books are starting to drag. Harris doesn’t seem sure of the direction she wants to take the stories in, and once again introduced plenty subplots, and didn’t tie most of them together. Sookie is also becoming exceptionally grating as the books progress. Pity, too.

Review: Dead and Gone – Charlaine Harris

dead and gone

The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #9

Sookie Stackhoues lives and waitresses in Bon Temps, Louisiana, and is telepathic. A big change occurs in the world when the the wereanimals make their presence known to the world. Things are never going to be the same again, and Eric Northman, vampire Sheriff of Area 5, has done his best to ensure that the public announcement goes smoothly. Sam Merlotte, Sookie’s boss, is a shapeshifter, and the community seems to take this relatively well. Arlene Fowler, Sookie’s ex-friend and Merlotte’s waitress, has become heavily entwined with the cult called the Fellowship of the Sun, and resigns when she knows what Sam is. Sam’s stepfather doesn’t take the coming out well, and Sam rushes off to Texas to his mother who was shot when the announcement came out. Sookie is left in charge of the bar, and has her work cut out for her running the bar while Sam is gone. Sookie is also getting irritated with the fact that Octavia Fant, her witchy roomate Amelia’s mentor, is still staying with them, and it was not really Sookie’s choice. At least Bob, Amelia’s former lover who she turned into a cat, is back to his normal ways.

Sookie learns from her great-grandfather and fairy prince, Niall Brigant, that she should be careful. He has powerful enemies, and Braendan, another fairy prince, is intent on hunting all part fairies down and killing them as he sees them as abominations, and then sealing the two worlds off. Sookie has not seen Eric in a few months, but finally one night she is called out to see him at his bar, Fangtasia, and she is given a package to deliver to Eric. In front of the new King of Louisiana, Felipe De Castro, who owes Sookie for saving his life, Sookie gives Eric a package which contains a ceremonial knife. Afterwards, she learns that she is somehow tricked into a vampire marriage to Eric, meaning that nobody can take her. The marriage is only recognised by vampires.  The FBI shows up to question Sookie about her telepathic abilities and the identity of Barry Bellhop after they found out about the help she provided at the bombing of the Pyramid of Gizeh, but that will have to wait when her brother Jason’s pregnant wife, werepanther Crystal Norris, is found crucified in front of Sam’s bar. Suddenly the whole town suspects the worst of Jason again, and there needs to be some way to clear him. Sookie is terrified of having the FBI take her life away.

Eric and Sookie, meanwhile, are getting closer, and the more Sookie learns about Niall’s fairy war, the more danger she is in. Eventually she has to call in favours from there Weres and the vampires to keep her protected, and she is suddenly glad she had those chips to call in. Arlene seems to want to make things right between her and Sookie, though upon arrival it looks like Arlene and her Fellowship friends have something dark and evil in store for Sookie, and she calls in detective Andy Bellefleur to help her out. Things are getting more dangerous as Sookie is hunted down by Braendan’s people, and her fresh and new relationship with Eric causes some strife between her and Sam, which is unfortunate.

Will Braendan’s people get hold of Sookie? Will her favours that she has called in be enough? Will her and Sam get over her seeing a vampire again? What does Sookie’s vampire marriage entail? Will the FBI leave Sookie in peace? How will Eric and Sookie work out now? Who murdered Crystal Norris? How long will Octavia still be with Sookie and Amelia?

GRADE 6.5This was more of a return to form for me, and I enjoyed Dead and Gone. The wereanimals finally came out of their shell, and it went semi-smoothly… in Bon Temps, at least. Things moved along relatively quickly, and even the fairy stuff in here didn’t irritate me. In fact, I would like to applaud Harris for doing real fairies – creepy, scary, brutal warriors, and not this Tinkerbell crap. I know that sounds mad, but when it gets down to traditionalist fae stuff, that can be really interesting. While this was not too much of the lore and all that, it was just nice to have something a bit more hardcore you know? The war that was waged (unlike the two wars in the last book) was also pretty heavy. I liked Tray and Amelia seeing each other, too, and that Sookie and Bill have found a way to sort of be friends, which I like. Jason is still a twat, though what happened to Crystal was heavy, even if they were separated at the time. I was so happy when Sookie and Eric started kicking it together again. Yep, that was me, happy as can be. The fact that he has his memories back is great. Quinn’s quick visit to Sookie initially felt like a total waste of time, but then it all made sense. Arlene is also a shallow and foul person, so that was also something. Not a shock, not by a long shot, but still. This was a book that contained a hell of a lot of deaths, but again, you aren’t particularly attached to any of these characters, so it isn’t like Rowling-Ripped-Out-My-Soul bad, just a loss of a character you got used to popping up from time to time. I enjoyed Bubba making an appearance again, he is always welcome.

True Blood: Season 2 (2009)

true blood season 2 poster


What I liked:

  • Bill and Sookie finally have a little more physical chemistry developing between them, it isn’t such an awkward thing to watch them together anymore.
  • The humour in this one was pretty sharp.
  • Pam and Eric when they are together. They are exceptionally entertaining – always sniping at each other, always loving each other, though goodness knows neither will admit it.
  • Seeing more Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman in this one. He is the one character that is really interesting, and I feel he was underused in the last season. He is the one that most people seem to love to see more of – his ruthlessness, his history, his attitude, all of it.
  • Eric and Sookie’s exchange about using words the other doesn’t understand.
  • The relationship between Hoyt and Jessica – it was really sweet.
  • Allan Hyde as Godric. He was truly amazing and very well done. His character had quite a bit of depth, even though he was only a brief part of what happened. Hyde was perfect to play him, he had that looks of having seen the world, yet he was still so beautiful. Big fan, me.
  • The relationship that Godric and Eric share, as well as the past. Both are very deep, both very sad. Eric is very loyal to Godric, which is something I like, and Godric is definitely very changed after two thousand years of living.

godric and eric

What I didn’t like:

  • The maenad having such a huge role.
  • The town’s craziness. It was fine, then it just got freaking stupid. It went from funny to annoying, and really, really quickly.
  • The whole way that Bill and Sookie “have a child” so to speak with Jessica. They make it so much like that and it just really shouldn’t be.
  • Eric’s fascination with Sookie is finally here – but it is out of nowhere and not properly explained.
  • I am still not enamoured with the wrong teeth being the fangs… small thing to grate on a person, but it does.

true blood season 2 maryanne and jason

Again, another pretty decent season. I loved getting to see more of Eric and Pam in this one, they are worth the watch all the time. I felt extremely bad for Lafayette and all the things that he went through, he was so broken when all was said and done. Maryann annoyed me, seeing as she was supposed to have an important role, but not that important that it became a whole season’s worth of stuff. Watching how it was implemented was funny initially, all these people going cooked and not remembering, then it rapidly progressed to being a drag. Drifting back into Eric’s past of being the honourable Viking who turned was something I thoroughly enjoyed, and Godric as his maker was simply perfect. Eric really did actually feel something for his Maker, though it is something that confused Sookie endlessly. I think the thing with Godric and Eric was far better in the show than the books – Ocella was just annoying, and the history didn’t quite resonate the same. Jason’s retarded decision to join the Fellowship of the Sun proved to be incredibly funny, as Jason most certainly either didn’t attend Bible studies or Church, or just really didn’t absorb what was said. Thinking that Moses walked on water and wondering who Judas was really had me cracking up. Hoyt and Jessica meeting was just the most adorable thing, and he really seems to have pulled the ridiculously annoying side out of her, which was pretty cool. Steve and Sarah Newlin really made my stomach turn. He was just not… a man (I cannot explain this enough – any tying a pastel sweater around your shoulders does not help matter whatsoever), and Sarah was such a loose woman. Anyway, as far as it goes, some things were straightened out in this season and were most certainly enjoyable. You have to laugh at the cheese True Blood provides.

true blood season 2 sookie and bill

Review: All Together Dead – Charlaine Harris

all together dead

The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #7

Bon Temps barmaid and telepath Sookie Stackhouse attends the vampire summit with Sophie-Anne Leclerq, Queen of Louisiana. The summit has been shifted due to the catastrophic events of Hurricane Katrina, and Eric Northman, vampire sheriff of Area 5, is unhappy that Sookie is going as a part of the queen’s party. Pam, Eric’s “child”, shares with Sookie that she has messed with his head in some way, and that he does not think properly anymore. At the summit, vampire trials will be held, and Sophie-Anne stands accused of killing her husband, Peter Threadgill, king of Arkansas. Sookie is now not only part of the entourage, but also as a witness, and will have to testify at the trial. Sookie has multiple jobs to do, and at the same time she is desperately attempting to purge her life of Bill Compton, her vampire ex that broke her heart. Sophie-Anne, however, is looking to use Sookie’s telepathic abilities to make sure that the people that are investing in her campaign after her displacement from New Orleans are genuine, and does not really want her distracted.

Arriving at the convention, Sookie meets with Barry “Bellboy” Horowitz, the only other telepath she has ever met in her life, who used to be bellhop at the Silent Shore Hotel in Dallas. It appears that Barry is now a part of Stan’s entourage. Stan is the king of Texas. Sookie is relieved that she has a sort of friend with her. Sookie’s weretiger boyfriend, Quinn, runs the events company that is hosting the convention, and Sookie sees him on and off while he is there. It seems that Quinn is as popular as ever in the vampire community, and she would love to know why. Sadly for her, she soon learns his deep and dark secret, and it changes things a little for them. Sophie-Anne wishes to broker a deal with Jennifer Cater, who has made the allegations against the queen. When going to meet with her, Sophie-Anne’s party discovers that the Arkansas party has been butchered. Upon leaving the scene, Sookie suggests that Sophie-Anne appoint her progeny Andre to step up as a the new king of Arkansas, a suggestion they all take seriously.

Things are not going well when more corpses turn up, and Sookie discovers a bomb near the queen’s room. Just when it looks like Sophie-Anne’s trial is off, an Arkansas survivor steps forward and keeps the trial going, which Sookie promptly has thrown out, and a would-be assassin is staked at the trial. She is very unhappy, too, when Andre approaches her to make her drink his blood, to bind them, and she is terrified and refuses. When things start looking really bad for her there, Eric steps in to save the day, much to Sookie’s chagrin, and she is forced to drink his blood instead. Quinn discovers this, and is furious with her and the vampires. No matter that, Sookie is now irrevocably tied to Eric, and will never be free of him. The king of Kentucky seems overly paranoid of something and has two Britlingers protecting him. The Fellowship of the Sun members are vehemently protesting outside the hotel that vampires are evil. Sookie and Barry band together to look into the deceased assassin to find some answers during the day, as answers need to be provided about whose life is in danger, who knows what, and what is coming.

Does someone want Sophie-Anne dead in particular? Does someone just want to kill all vampires? What is the conspiracy? Who murdered the Arkansas party? Who planted the bomb near the queen’s room? Will Sookie ever accept how closely linked she and Eric are? When will Sookie successfully move on from the hurt that Bill caused her? Will Sookie and Quinn work through their issues? Can they make their relationship work? What is it about Quinn’s past that Sookie does not know, but that has the powers to change everything? Will Eric ever work out his feelings for Sookie?

GRADE 7I had a great time with this one again. Things were definitely picking up. Still little Bill, which is fine by me, he is a bit bland and boring. Quinn made his appearance in here, but it was not overbearing, and the whole thing between Eric and Sookie was discussed a little bit more, something I did appreciate. No matter what happens there, they are tied together, and though Sookie “loathes” him, she also adores him, and he is awfully frustrated the he cannot remember the time he spent with her and what he owes her. The pace was nice, and there were so many plots going on at the same time here but it worked, it never got too much or overbearing. Andre, a character that I liked, has become rather not cool, sadly. Pam, naturally, is still endlessly entertaining. Also, the return of Barry Bellboy was fun, I like him and Sookie, and how they work together. It was interesting for me to read more about the vampire politics as well as how they do things, truly fascinating. The conversations between Barry and Sookie were cool, too, all in italics. This books kept me reading, kept me interested, all the way through. There was more stuff going on, but nothing overwhelming. Also, Harris worked in the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and this is the first piece of literature that I have read that has talked about Katrina so much. The vampires are irrevocably tied to the South, so it was nice that it was included, though Katrina was one terrible natural disaster. Finally some of Quinn’s past is revealed, and I must say that it was not even remotely what I expected at all, it was pretty sad.

Review: Definitely Dead – Charlaine Harris

definitely dead

The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #6

Local Bon Temps barmaid and telepath Sookie Stackhouse is shocked when weretiger Quinn comes to see her in Bon Temps, stating that  his visit was both business and personal. The business side of it is that the vampire queen of Louisiana, Sophie-Anne Leclerq, has requested Sookie’s services, the same services that Eric had requested before for a summit. The personal side is that Quinn would like to start seeing her romantically, and Sookie agrees. She also needs to go to New Orleans to clear out her dead (vampire) cousin Hadley’s apartment, who was one of the queen’s favourites. Bill Compton, Sookie’s vampire ex-boyfriend, offers to come with her to help her out. She is not overly keen, and Bill is seeing a new woman, Selah Pumphrey. Sookie starts to wonder why Quinn is so extremely well known in the supernatural community. The family of Debbie Pelt, a shifter that Sookie killed in self defence in the new year, is still looking for her, and are intent on seeing her to hear what she has to know. Sookie truly just wants to move on.

Sookie also has problems when she goes out with Quinn, leaving a furious Eric Northman behind, sheriff of Area 5. She is not talking to him much anymore, and he is not dealing with that very well. While on her special date with Quinn, they are attacked by a pair of freshly bitten weres, both hopped up on drugs. Neither has any idea why, and Quinn takes them to the local were bar to threaten the patrons, demanding that the event be investigated and insisting that Sookie be let be. It would seem that werewolf Alcide Herveaux is now seeing Maria-Star Cooper, which is alright considering how they left it. Leaving for New Orleans when the queen’s emissary, Mr Catialades, collects her, they learn that his niece Gladiola,a half demon, was killed to prevent her from delivering the message to Sookie about the queen sending to have her collected. Bill accompanies Sookie. Arriving in New Orleans, Sookie  finds that a talented young witch named Amelia Broadway cast a stasis spell on the apartment to keep it from smelling bad. Things go wrong when Sookie opens the apartment, considering the next night an unknown vampire rises, who was trapped by the stasis spell, attacking Amelia and Sookie. It seems that Hadley had changed the man, who was a were named Jake Purifoy. Eric visits Sookie in the hospital, and has an argument with Bill, who has turned up too. Eric forces Bill to reveal his true agenda with Sookie, that he had been sent to Bon Temps to get to know her, seduce her if needs be, to find out more about her. Naturally, Sookie is crushed.

After the narrow escape there, Sookie learns from Amelia that she can get some witches together to magically recreate the evening of Jake’s turning. Naturally, Sophie-Anne is interested, and attends the ritual. Quinn has come to visit Sookie, too, and she is glad to see him. Sophie-Anne also confides in Sookie that Hadley stole a bracelet from Sophie-Anne that was given to her by her new husband, the king of Arkansas, Peter Threadgill, and that she has to produce it on the wedding night, and that Sookie must please help her find it. Sookie obliges, as there will be major issues if Sophie-Anne cannot show it. Sookie looks, but she cannot find the stunning bracelet. Quinn arrives at Hadley’s apartment the next day to assist Sookie with the sorting and packing of the apartment, and here they are savagely attacked by a group of weres who kidnap them and take them away. They need to escape, and have no idea why they are being hounded the way they are.

Who is behind the kidnappings? Will Sookie and Quinn survive it? Will the Pelts ever stop trying to find answers about Debbie? Did Bill ever love Sookie? Will she recover from the awful truth that Eric forced Bill to share? Will Sophie-Anne recover the bracelet before it needs to be revealed? Who killed Gladiola?

GRADE 6The first thing to state here is that there is a short story called One Word Answer that needs to be read before this, otherwise it will be such a mess. When I started I was extremely confused, which made me really edgy, I don’t like to not know what is going on, and I did some Googling and found out what was happening. When I was all caught up I started back up again, and after that things flowed pretty well. I must say that I thought it a real pity that Eric got so little book time, and I missed his sass. The back and forth between Pam and Sookie about Sookie’s dating life and Eric was very funny for me. At any rate, reading more about Quinn was interesting, too, though he is shrouded in a lot of mystery, which makes me worried about where he is from/what he is about. Alcide also got virtually no time in here, which was alright. Quinn’s excessive use of “babe” irritated the hell out of me, and I am glad to see I was not the only person in the world that disliked it. I must say that these books are pretty addictive, which I cannot explain because they are actually really stupid and all that, but they work (provided, as I have said before, you don’t take them too seriously). Sookie’s knowledge of Bill’s assignment when he met her was really sad news for her, it really was a game changer, making her question everything she felt and thought she knew, as well as all the things that she did for him. Eric seemed intent of enlightening her of his betrayal, but to what end is still not obvious. I liked Amelia well enough, and the whole story with the queen was relatively interesting. I liked her most loyal right hand, Andre. This book felt very much like an extra filler book, and there were so many things that were brought in and then skipped over that let a lot feel unimportant (here I am specifically referring to Crystal’s miscarriage, the new waitress Tanya, etc). There was a lot of things that happened in here, and that was nice, but it still managed to feel like a filler novel. Overall, still a fast read, but not on par with the other books, either. Maybe it is because I missed reading more about Eric, and missed more Pam.

Review: Dead as a Doornail – Charlaine Harris

dead as a doornail

The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #5

Sookie Stackhouse, Bon Temps waitress and telepath, is trying to be supportive of her brother Jason’s ordeal. After having been abducted by Felton Norris of the Hotshot werepanter community and changed, Jason Stackhouse has a whole new life to live – he will change at the full moon now, a normal life if over. Initially he seems despondent about it, but soon Sookie learns that Jason is loving his new life, and is slightly envious that he is not a  full-fledged werepanther. Calvin Norris, leader of the Hotshot community, is severely shot and ends up in hospital, hanging on by a thread. Soon Sam Merlotte, Sookie’s friend and boss, gets shot, too. It becomes evident to her that someone is hunting the shape shifters in the community. Sookie, meanwhile, is still trying to deal with having murdered Debbie Pelt, psychotic ex-girlfriend of Alcide Herveaux, a werewolf and friend of hers. This is proving to be difficult when the Pelt family sends out two private detectives to look into matters a little more closely.

Eric Northman, Sheriff of Area 5, has still not remembered what happened in the time that he spent living at Sookie when the witches blanked out his memory, and does not like the fact that Sookie will not fill him in on the details. When Sam sends Sookie to Eric’s bar Fangtasia to ask for a favour, Sookie is miserable. There Eric loans Sam the English pirate vampire, Charles, to help out at Merlotte’s. Sookie’s ex-boyfriend, Bill Compton, also a vampire, still seems to be out of the picture, and Sookie is torn between him and Eric, though she is also tired of the danger being around them places her in. Sookie is also terrified to learn that the Hotshot community suspects Jason of the shootings, and that he may very well be in danger when the new moon comes.

Woken in the middle of the night by her fairy protector, Claudine, Sookie narrowly escapes her burning house. Much of it is saved, but Sookie will still need somewhere to stay in the meanwhile. Sookie and Alcide are on bad terms after he uses her to assist his father, Jackson, in his bid for packleader of the Shreveport werewolves, figuring she owes him one for killing Debbie. Sookie is beyond furious, saying she would have helped him without being obligated. Alcide tries to help her with her home, and Alcide proposes a more romantic relationship, though Sookie has no interest in that. Sookie, too, gets shot, and the detectives have no idea that what links the victims is that they are shape shifters, though it is uncertain who shot Sookie and why. Tara Thornton, a friend of Sookie’s, seems to be in over her head with her new vampire lover, and even Eric warns Sookie to stay away.

Will Eric ever figure out what happened during his stay at Sookie? Will the Hotshot werepanthers attack Jason, or is there some way that he can be cleared? Who is out to get Sookie, and why? Who is shooting the shape shifters in town, as well as the outlying areas? Will Jackson, Alcide’s father, win his bid for the pack? Will Tara ever get out of the trouble she is in with Mickey?

GRADE 6.5This book was alright. It was not as funny as the last one, but it was a pretty good outing. It was more focused on Sam and the shifters, which was cool, and a lot about the werewolves and their politics, which I also liked. I missed reading more about Eric, though I still prefer having less of Bill in here. Sookie really, really needs to start making up her mind about who she wants to be with. I find it a little frustrating that she is permanently getting a little too close and personal with far too many different men, all at once. Granted, I know she is not tied to a single one of them at the moment, but currently she is just playing with all of them. Calvin Norris is still an interesting character, though he is starting to get a little ominous now, which should be setting off alarm bells in Sookie’s head. Also, Patrick Furnam’s warning should have been the final nail in the coffin lid for her, so to speak, but she does not seem to be taking it too seriously. Nothing really happened in this book, to be honest. I mean, things happened, but not too much. It felt like a filler book, although it was entertaining for me nonetheless. It’s a quick read, interesting, though not as good as the ones I have been reading before this. I think after the last one had so much Eric and the other vampires in it, I kind of missed them in here.

True Blood: Season 1 (2008)

true blood season 1poster


What I liked:

  • The sets that were used. Looked all great and Southern to me.
  • The courting between Sookie and Bill. It was pretty sweet, lots of tension.
  • The theme song. Jace Everett’s Bad Things was just the perfect theme song for this.
  • Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman. Just enough of an accent underneath it to let you know he is a little foreign. He is the pure embodiment of a Viking, and it shows. His attitude gets me, and his presentation is perfect.
  • Kristen Bauer van Straten as Pam. I absolutely love this casting. She was absolutely perfect, capturing Pam as she is supposed to be: beautiful, loyal to Eric, bitchy, slightly enigmatic. I liked it.
  • Jason Stackhouse having a bigger role than in the books. Let’s face it, he is such an absolute idiot, that cannot be denied, but he is lovable and entertaining.
  • Todd Lowe as Terry Bellefleur. His portrayal was great, and he captured that war vet thing quite well, though he was not nearly as antsy as I would have expected. Nevertheless, he is adorable.

What I didn’t like:

  • Too little Eric Northman. Yes, you read that correctly.
  • Anna Paquin. I am not her biggest fan at all, she actually irritates me, so sometimes she just grated on me.
  • The lack of physical chemistry between Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer. Everything was fine when it was all just lusty looks and chatting, but the minute it came to physical interactions, it all just seemed so wooden, making the whole build up end in a serious anti-climax.
  • The wrong teeth are the fangs. Last I checked they were supposed to be the canines, not the lateral incisors.
  • Not really getting around to Eric’s fascination with Sookie – he is portrayed as very indifferent to her, when actually he is drawn in by her, wishing to know more, even though she doesn’t like him.

bill and sookie true blood

Not a GRADE 7.5bad way to start a new series at all. I liked how it started, how the characters were introduced, how it began coming together. Bill Compton’s arrival was also presented pretty well. The courting between him and Sookie was quite sweet to watch, though it completely lost the plot when it came to the physical side of it all, which is a disappointment (I know how that sounds) seeing how big a part of the story it is. I thought the score was pretty monotonous. It starts out just fine, but then the same people get the same tracks, and it gets old quickly. The acting was fine for the most part, though there were places it was a little stiff. Rutina Wesley was well cast to play Tara Thornton, though I am not a fan of her character at all. I don’t mind a loud and angry character, she was just pretty annoying. Bill’s punishment for saving Sookie was also pretty cool, sad for him yet it all comes together well. Jessica is an absolute pain. Pam is worth the watch, time and time again, she is sassy, smart, sexy, and an extremely bitchy (undead) person, but it just works for her. Alexander Skarsgård  impressed me endlessly as Eric Northman, and also provided much of the delectable eye candy of the show (I mean that tall, blonde hair, blue eyed Viking? SOLD). Lizzy Caplan’s character Amy was the worst thing ever. Not just the hippy stuff, but everything about her as a person sucked. Eddie was right, she really was psychopathic. It was amusing for me to see how much trouble Jason was in, though on the other hand it was not supposed to be funny. His character really is an idiot, but he is always trying his best. I have much love for Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette, he rocked that role Bill’s gradual semi-acceptance into Bon Temps is done well, never too sudden, never not happening at all either. Overall, while True Blood is no Hannibal or True Detective, it is a fast and easy way to pass the time, provided you don’t take it too seriously.

eric and pam

Review: Living Dead In Dallas – Charlaine Harris

living dead in dallas

The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #2

Sookie Stackhouse, Bon Temps, Louisiana barmaid, is called from her regular job at Merlotte’s to do some work for the newly recognised vampires. A deal she had made with vampire bar owner and head of Area 5, Eric Northman, allows him to use her telepathic abilities to garner information from humans in exchange for turning them over to the proper authorities, and letting the humans deal with their indiscretions. On just such a meet on night, while fighting will Bill Compton, her undead boyfriend, Sookie is attached by a mythical maenad to send a message to Eric. Arriving in tatters, Sookie is doctored by Pam and Chow (other vampires that own Fangtasia), Eric, and Bill, and delivers the message. Eric needs to pay tribute, or Callisto, the maenad, will bring her madness.

Sookie is furious to have been the message as she was gravely wounded, and soon hears that the job Eric has for her is to go to Dallas with Bill to meet with Stan Davis, head of Area 6, to assist him with her abilities. Meanwhile, there is trouble in Bon Temps when Lafayette Reynolds, a gay cook of Merlotte’s, turns up dead in detective Andy Bellefleur’s car one morning. Sookie makes the trip to Dallas regardless, meets with Stan, and learns that he is looking for his “brother” Farrell, who went missing and has not been sighted in five days. She does what she can, and traces return that she will have to visit The Fellowship of the Sun, a cultist group of people who are dead set against vampires living among people, viewing them as abominations and as the damned. Sookie proves to be an asset to Stan and his people. She is tasked to visit The Fellowship of the Sun the following day with Isabel’s human, Hugo, and do some investigating. Sookie and Bill are extremely unhappy that Eric has turned up in Dallas under the pretext of being Leif, from California, to oversee their business, though it seems it is his prerogative.

Sookie meets with Hugo the next day, and the two set out to meet The Fellowship of the Sun. Upon arrival, the meet Sarah Newlin, wife of Steve, the man who established and runs the “church”. Sookie is getting bad vibes from Hugo as well as the other Fellowship members, and soon realises that Hugo is not on the side of the vampires, but the side of the Fellowship, and when she attempts to leave she is taken prisoner. Sookie is desperate to escape, and tries frantically to communicate with Barry, a bellhop at the Silent Shore Hotel they are staying at that happens to be a telepath. She needs to warn Bill and the rest about the Fellowship’s plans, and about how Godfrey, an extremely old vampire, is prepared to meet the dawn to atone for his sins of the past few centuries. It seems that the vampires are not the only ones interested in the Fellowship, as Sookie meets another shape-shifter there, one who will be extremely valuable to her. It seems that Sookie will not make it out. Back in Bon Temps, Portia Bellefleur, Andy’s sister, is doing her best to help him figure out who is responsible for Lafayette’s murder so she can clear his name.

Will Barry receive and relay Sookie’s message of danger? Will the Fellowship burn more vampires? Will Farrell die with Godfrey, who wishes to do so by choice? Will the maenad unleash her madness on the small town of Bon Temps? Who killed Lafayette, and was Andy somehow involved? Will he be able to solve the crime?

GRADE 7This was certainly not as tightly written as its predecessor, but it was a light and fast read nonetheless. The one thing I did not like so much is how the maenad was brought in, presented as a big deal, and then forgotten about toward the end. Like what was the point, really? Sookie is also a little more grating than one would like in this one, permanently whining about her relationship with Bill, and fighting with him constantly. Not everything he does is a personal slight. I don’t know, maybe my mind just doesn’t work the same way as most girls, but in any event. Eric provided the bulk of the humour in this one, once more. He is so cheeky, so dark, and really just entertaining. I enjoyed the concept of a cult church banding together against the vampires, and I suppose it wasn’t too bad to hear about more shape-shifters and that. Sookie did spend an awful lot of time kissing other guys though, which frustrates me because by goodness, pick one and get over it. If you aren’t happy with the dead dude, get yourself someone else, stop putting them all in danger because Bill is terribly jealous, or because you want a kiss in sunlight. I really am not a fan of reading about things like that. Or watching them, for that matter. What does that make this, a love square? Sookie in one corner, Sam, Bill, and Eric laid out in the rest? Not cool. Not an awful lot happens in here, or more like it does but in a hurry. The maenad, Callisto, is brought back at the end and feels like a real footnote in it all. Lafayette, too, is a story arc that was introduced, forgotten, then brought out again later to be worked with, but that was alright.

Review: Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris


The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #1

Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress at the local bar in Bon Temps, Louisiana, called Merlotte’s. Everything is unassuming and normal, though Sookie struggles daily with what she perceives to be her affliction: she is telepathic. She uses inordinate amounts of energy to block people out, and lives with her grandmother, Adele. Sookie’s life is changed forever one night when vampire Bill Compton walks into the bar. She cannot hear any of his thoughts, and is somewhat relieved that she can let her guard down a little. He is also mysterious, and she likes that. However, at the end of the evening he leaves with a trailer trash couple, and Sookie caught a bad vibe from them. Following the couple out, she finds that they are draining the vampire, and she saves him. After that, Bill is sort of indebted to Sookie for saving him.

Though vampires have now stepped out in public, it does not mean that they are necessarily accepted in society, and Sam Merlotte, Sookie’s boss, worries about her spending time with a vampire. Sookie is extremely drawn to Bill, but the two are from two completely different times. Some vicious and violent murders have been happening around town, and it does not help that the victims were renowned for having spent time with vampires and being promiscuous. Things are looking bad when vampire punctures are discovered on the corpses, but even worse when the town relatiates. In the meantime, Sookie is irritated as hell that Sam waited all these years for Bill to step in before showing her that he has feelings for her, and she is irritated with Bill for being so distant and cold, though she is attracted to him. She is terrified and broken when whoever murdered the girls makes a play for her, and instead kills her grandmother.

After Adele’s passing, Bill spends more time with Sookie, who is falling completely in love with him, letting her guard down. When the murder investigations take detective Andy Bellefleur to Jacon Stackhouse, Sookie’s brother, she decides to investigate on her own, to show that neither Bill nor Jason could have been involved with the murders of the young women and her grandmother. Going to a vampire bar called Fangtasia, she meets with the owner, Eric Northman, to make some queries, and learns the scary lesson here that not all vampires are like Bill at all, and it frightens  her. Nevertheless, she wishes to clear the men in her life, and even starts to listen in on people more when Jason asks her to listen out for the real murderer. The town is seething over the murders, and are becoming increasingly hostile towards the vampires. It seems that soon they just might make a stupid play at them.

Will the townsfolk rebel and fight with the vampires? Will the tentative human/vampire peace fall away? Is the small town of Bon Temps cut out for a vampire? Who is killing the women in Bon Temps? Are they being killed because of vampire affiliation, or is there something else that connects these girls? Will Sookie and Bill ever have a decent relationship, or will something outside of them always get in the way? Will Jason beat the murder charges that the town is ready to pin on him?

GRADE 7I don’t even know how to explain this. I absolutely hate romance novels. They are so predictable and soppy and crap. But then I got a bee in my bonnet that all I wanted was something fluffy, useless, and light. A romance ticks all those boxes, but I was not up for something super mushy or anything. Then I remembered the Southern Vampire Mysteries that I had read a few years ago, and then just stopped, though I am  not sure why. Who knows, maybe I will get reacquainted with my reasons soon, or it is just one of those series that I lost track of. Well, it was what I needed. Not too steeped in the romance, and not with a story line that takes itself too seriously or anything, it was light and had more than just kisses, sex, and fights in it. Granted, Sookie is pretty average, getting huffy with Bill all the time and all that, but is less annoying than most characters in a romance novel. Plus there is the whole supernatural aspect to this that is pretty fun. I don’t know, don’t read these expecting something heavy or hardcore, but for light entertainment, they are worth the read. They flow and are very fast reads, so really not bad for what they are. Some of the characters are very entertaining, and the events keep you engaged. The progression is cool, and as an introductory novel, this was a rather decent first outing. I like the way Sookie finally finds someone she can be with, even though he is dead. It took me a while to get used to the concept of the vampires being known as well as the fact that they are marketing as an “affliction”. I can highly recommend you check these books out if you have not already, but not for mind-blowing reading or anything. I don’t think these books will really appeal to the male demographic, but who knows?