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 in the Family – Charlaine Harris

dead in the family

The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #10

Sookie Stackhouse, local Bon Temps waitress and telepath, is recovering from her torturous ordeal in the Fae War that she survived recently. Her roommate, witch Amelia Broadway, moves out of the house, and Sookie is alone and terrified. Her relationship with vampire Sheriff of Area 5, Eric Northman, is also suffering, and she needs to find a way to get out of it. Before she can think about it too much, her fairy cousin Claude Crane asks her if he can move in with her, which she allows. She gets a call from Alcide Herveaux, packmaster of the Shreveport werewolves, asking her if they can use her land on the night of the full moon, to which she agrees.

However, after the full moon, Alcide’s enforcer Basim tells her that there is a body on her land, as well as the scent of a fairy. Eric comes to see Sookie, and the two are interrupted when Eric’s maker, Appius Livius Ocella, appears at Sookie’s house with his latest protege, Alexie Romanov. It seems that Alexei is becoming hard to keep a handle on, and Ocella thought that Eric might be of assistance. Sookie’s blood bond with Eric weakens her even more when she is now aware of all three the vampires through her connection to him, seeing as they all share blood. She tells Eric of the fact that his “tracker”, Heidi, found a fresh body on her land after she told him of the unknown fairy wandering her land previously, and a party is formed to check out who is buried there. Alcide is requested to join, and the fresh corpse the group finds is Basim. It seems that Alcide’s new girlfriend Annabelle may be involved, and he calls a meeting, which Sookie and Jason must attend. However, it seems someone set Sookie up, because soon the cops arrive to investigate the possibility of a dead body on her property.

Sam Merlotte, Sookie’s boss and friend, is having issues at the bar when some of the locals start protesting against the fact that he is a shapeshifter, and are siding with a large majaroty of the population what want the two natured community to register themselves. Bill Compton, Sookie’s ex-boyfriend, is not healing very well from the wounds he sustained protecting Sookie in the Fae War, and seems to think that blood from his maker will heal him. Seeing as Sookie killed Lorena, she wonders if Bill’s “sister” would be of any help, and sets out to track her down to ask for her assistance. Sookie is getting edgy seeing as she has had a run in with Dermot, her great-uncle  that fought against her great-grandfather in the Fae War, who looks exactly like Jason but wants her dead. Scared of that, Sookie is also progressively getting more peeved with the fact that Eric has not been in contact with her, and that he is miserable with Ocella being around with Alexei.

Will Bill ever heal? What will happen to Sam in the Bon Temps community what with people now deciding that he is not like them, and that he will pay for it? Who killed Basim and tried to frame Sookie for it? Will Eric be able to help Ocella with Alexei? Will Ocella leave Eric alone when all is said and done? Was Annabelle involved with whatever happened to Basim?

GRADE 4.5So this one really didn’t thrill me so much. There were some serious issues that I had with it, things that have been irritating me a while since I have been reading these, but that just reached a crescendo. For me, a huge issue is the way Sookie continually refers back to her Christianity and faith and the type of Christian she is, and how her thoughts are not Christian enough or something like that. I absolutely cannot stand people that are like that. Don’t tell us all about how you are a good or a bad Christian because of your choices, just get the hell on with it already. People that talk like that, for me, are pretentious and not as devout as they may claim. Ten books on, every book has brought it up without fail. I am over it. Then, what was this ridiculous stuff of oneys and twoeys and deaders all of a sudden?!  As if weretiger, werepanther, wereanimal, wereanything and fairies weren’t embarrassing enough, it went on in this direction, too. Uhm… it looks even  more ridiculous. Dead in the Family also didn’t contain a particlar amount of humour, and Sookie is (again) whinging constantly and everything is still about her. It was interesting to read about Eric’s maker, but it was seriously underplayed, and silly. I wanted just a little more detail there. Harris also seems to have a thing of bringing famous dead people back. I love how Bubba is around in the other books, but seriously, how many famous dead people could you possibly rewrite? However, Alexei, shallow as his character was, most certainly had potential as the history surrounding the slain Russian royal family has always been interesting. Anyway, besides that, there is not really too much to report on further in here. It reads quickly (as do all the others), but squandered scenes that could have resonated more (Bill’s illness, Caroline Bellefleur learning about Bill, Ocella’s return, Eric’s fear, the protesters against the two natured, Sam’s bar, the fairy that is “stalking” Sookie, etc). Plus two… where was sexy, snappy, cheeky Eric the Viking?! Also, before this I had to read a short story called Two Blondes, and I have absolutely no idea why I had to. There was no mention of that little adventure or the politics of it, the whole thing with Victor taking over is taking quite the backseat, Sookie’s stilted psychology after her torture just righted itself way too quickly, Amelia disappeared quickly and Claude moved in fast. Nah, definitely not my favourite of the lot, to be honest, it feels really inconsistent with the other books.

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.

Review: From Dead to Worse – Charlaine Harris

from dead to worse

The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #8

Sookie Stackhouse is a local Bon Temps barmaid and telepath, who is again involved with all sorts of things. After saving many vampires from a bombing by the Fellowship of the Sun, an anti-vampire cult “church” group, Sookie is back home, wondering where in the world her missing weretiger boyfriend Quinn is. He killed the Queen of Louisiana’s right hand man, Andre, to free Sookie of any future connections between them, but this has created a strong blood bond between Eric, Sheriff of Area 5, and Sookie. Eric comes for Sookie one night, and takes her to meet her great-grandfather, Niall Brigant, a fairy prince who tells her that her grandmother, Adele, conceived children with his son, Fintan. Sookie is lost and confused by this news, but it seems that Niall genuinely wants a relationship with her.

Amelia Broadway, a witch who had lived in New Orleans but stays with Sookie since she changed her lover, Bob, into a cat, is still with her. Sookie gets involved with the Shreveport werepack when some Weres she knows are killed and an attempt is made on her life. Initially the thoughts run rampant that Patrick Furnan, the new packmaster, is behind the drama, but Sookie soon learns that he has nothing to do with it, and that someone else is behind it. Furnan has his followers, and Alcide Herveaux, son of the Were Furnan killed to take his packmaster place, has his own, and neither side trusts the other. Uncovering the guilty party to bring the Weres together again is a rough job, meaning Sookie’s boss and best friend Sam Merlotte joins in to protect her and help out. Ultimately they are successful though. Quinn is still missing, and Sookie is fluctuating between being worried and being hurt at his intent of ignoring her.

As if there is not enough warring, Filipe de Castro kills Sophie-Anne Leclerq, the Queen of Louisiana. He intends to take over, and naturally Sookie is dragged in because of her connection to Eric. It seems that Quinn has  not only been laying low, but dealing with some serious family issues, among them the escape of his mother from the sanatorium. He has once again become embroiled and indebted to the vampires, something that makes Sookie deeply unhappy. To cap matters, Tanya Grissom, a woman who had been hired by the Pelt family to look into Debbie’s disappearance, reappears on the scene, and she has found a way to get involved all around Sookie and making people’s lives miserable. Octavia Fant, Amelia’s mentor, comes to see her from New Orleans and decides to be of some assistance in the matter with Tanya. Sookie’s brother Jason seems to be having some serious issues with his new werepanther wife, Crystal, who is pregnant. Jason manages to stage it that Calvin Norris, the leader of the Hotshot werepanther community and Crystal’s uncle, and Sookie both arrive to check on Crystal at the same time to find that she has been unfaithful to him. Seeing as Calvin stood up for Crystal at their wedding, he will have to pay the price. Through all of this, it seems that Eric has recovered the memories he lost when he was cursed a few months ago.

What will the price be that Calvin will pay for Crystal’s cheating? Why would Jason be so terrible as to bring Calvin and Sookie to the scene? Will Octavia and Amelia be able to help Sookie with her problem with Tanya? Will Quinn be able to make things right with Sookie? What will come of Sookie’s new relationship with Niall? What does it mean for Sookie now that she knows she is descended from fairy royalty? What will Sookie do now that Eric has recovered his memories?

GRADE 6This one was a little bland, to be honest. Maybe I just fell a little out of touch with it because I haven’t read one in a while or what, but I was just not as enamoured with this one. For one, the plot was a little all over the show. Sookie meeting Niall was a lot better than the series portrayed, and reading more about her family history was alright. There was a lot of lull in the plot though. The warring Were packs was something, too, that had the potential to be more but fell flat instead. The little vampire war just seemed another war stuck into the book to fill up some more pages, though I was thrilled to have Eric around again. The uncertainty of Quinn’s whereabouts got old soon, as I was sick of hearing about him all the time when it was remembered to add him, though he doesn’t feel like he belongs in the book, either. Quinn started as an interesting character, but then his constant use of “babe” and all that just got overbearing, and he became an irritating character. Not terribly so, but enough that I just wanted to move on and beyond him. I was pretty happy when they broke up. This relationship almost felt as though it was an avenue Harris was exploring and soon fell out of love with. Sam and Sookie are growing closer, too, and she is back to uhming and ahing about Eric. As you can see, I actually don’t have much to say about this book, it was just another one to add to the series. However, I am still having fun reading these.

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: 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.

Review: Dead to the World – Charlaine Harris

dead to the world

The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #4

Sookie Stackhouse, local barmaid of Bon Temps and telepath,  gets a shock one night when returning home after her ex-boyfriend, Bill Compton, informs her that he will be doing some more research in Peru for the queen of Louisiana to construct the vampire database. She has made her New Year’s resolution not to beaten up again. On her way home, mopey and depressed, she comes across a half naked Eric Northman, Sheriff of Area 5, and Bill’s boss. Not that Sookie has any love for the man, nevertheless she stops to find out the problem. It rapidly becomes evident that Eric has no memory, and that he is in danger. She takes him home to care for him. The following night, she meets with Eric’s protege and business partner, Pam, as well as Chow, the bartender at Fangtasia, the bar they own. Jason Stackhouse, Sookie’s brother, soon figures that Eric is a vampire, and that Sookie is going to need to harbour him. Seeing as poster have been put up around town, offering a $50 000-00 reward for the Viking vampire, Jason arranges that Sookie be paid $35 000-00 for the duty.

Eric has been cursed by powerful witches, who are also werewolves, and this causes a problem. Hallow, the woman that cursed him, is intent on finding him. Sookie is dealing with other issues when she is contacted by Jason’s boss and learns that he has gone missing. Detective Andy Bellefleur and company are not particularly willing to take things seriously, and blow it off. Sookie is worried, and knows that Crystal Norris, the girl Jason was with on New Year’s Eve, is a werewolf. Making enquiries in Hotshot, where the girl lives, proves fruitless, though she is courted by Calvin Norris, the leader in the area. Sookie travels to Shreveport to meet with Alcide Herveaux, a Were who helped her recently when she was looking for Bill. It seems that he is back with his good for nothing ex, Debbie Pelt, who hates Sookie with a passion. Alcide takes Sookie with him to tell the packmaster of the powerful Were witches, as well as their power that is garnered from drinking vampire blood. The pack gets involved when one of their own is found slain.

Sookie needs to find her brother, Jason, and the police are starting to get involved. Eric, on the other hand, is showing no signs of recovering his memory, though he and Sookie are getting closer. Sookie has always been an unattainable conquest for Eric, and those walls fall away when Eric, helpless, falls in love with Sookie. She is lonely, and depressed, and yields to this unknown man, who is nothing like his former self. She needs to get over Bill, and she needs to find her brother. The witch coven needs to be stopped, so that the world can be put to rights again. Eric needs protecting, but it seems that a war is cooking up between the witches, who want to take over Shreveport, and the Weres and vampires.

Will Eric recover his memory? Will Sookie be able to protect Eric? What will happen with their relationship if Eric’s memory comes back? Will Debbie ever leave Sookie alone? Will Alcide ever get Debbie’s claws out of himself and go on with a normal life? Where is Jason? Is he dead or alive? Is he hurt? Will Sookie be able to stick to her New Year’s resolution of not being beaten up? Will the Weres and vampires band together to defeat the witches?

GRADE 7.5I must admit that this book entertained me far more than I expected. I can probably call it my favourite of the series so far. I had so many laugh out loud moments, and I was endlessly entertained by the events of the book. Eric Northman is by far my favourite character in the series, and I love getting to read more about him than anyone else. He is cocky, arrogant, extremely self-serving, and he happens to be funny as hell and extremely sexy. However, reading of an Eric that was definitely not himself in the slightest was jarring yet highly amusing, seeing as Eric reverted to a much more old school and conservative kind of man, believing Sookie needed to be protected and provided for, as well as taking Jason on about it. What I also liked (yes, I am likely to be shot for this) was that there was virtually no Bill. Not because I don’t like him, but because he is very bland and boring at the best of times. Sookie finally jumped Eric’s bones, something I have been waiting for for ages, though I was very sad at the conclusion about how things went there. Yes, I have been dreaming about Eric getting his way and seeing how things would turn out for them after that. The books speeds along, and introduces us to new characters, and I must say that Calvin Norris was interesting and well put together, though not Sookie’s type at all. He has manners, and no matter where he is from, he has pride and power. Jason going missing was something that was important, but at times did not feel important at all. I like Jason, and even though he did not feature heavily in this book, he did provide for much of the humour in it. Hallow was a total disappointment in the end though, I was expecting more bang, and there were certainly flaws, but oh well, you can’t have it all. It is a light, fluffy read, so don’t go in expecting a work of art, but it worked for me, and it was a quick read, and it hit the spot for me.

Review: Club Dead – Charlaine Harris

club dead cover

The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #3

Bon Temps, Louisiana, is a small town. It is home to telepath Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress at the local bar. Her boyfriend, the vampire Bill Compton, has been working long and hard at some project he is not sharing with her, and has been a little distant. He says that he is going to Seattle to do work for the queen of Louisiana, and the two part on rough terms. His work is a secret, and apparently Bill’s superior, head of Area 5, Eric Northman, does not know about it.  Within a few days Eric sends the undead Elvis “Bubba” Presley to protect Sookie until he arrives. This turns out to be a fortunate thing when Bubba kills a werewolf biker who makes an attempt on her life.

Eric’s arrival brings news that Bill is missing. Sookie was under the impression his work would take longer, yet Eric says that Bill was supposed to return home the night before and did not, and that he had been heard from again. Sookie knows nothing of the secret work that Bill had been conducting, but is aware that his computer and all the relevant material has been stored in her house. She does not share this information. Pam pushes and eventually Eric is forced to relent and share with Sookie that Bill had been in contact with his ex-lover Lorena, and it seems he has left Sookie for Lorena. Sookie is crushed, but feels that she is obligated to help Bill out at the very least, especially when it becomes evident that Lorena may very well have been the vampire to sink Bill into a world of trouble. She also brokers a deal with Eric to take Lorena out if she is responsible. Eric arranges with Alcide Herveaux, a werewolf, who owes him a favour, to take Sookie to Jackson to listen in and find out who has Bill. He does not approach Russell Edgington, the king of Mississippi, fearing that he may be involved with Bill’s disappearance.

Sookie fronts as Alcide’s new girlfriend, and gets along famously with his sister Janice. Struggling to deal with losing Bill, still needing to help him, and having been left without knowing it, Sookie is very drawn to Alcide. He is having his own serious issues what with a nasty breakup with his ex-girlfriend Debbie, a shape-shifter, the two get too cosy. The two establish that maybe one day, when they are free and their current ex-partners are no longer an issue, they could try to have something. Eric makes an appearance in Jackson as Leif, his fictitious persona that he brings out when he is undercover, and is keeping an eye on Sookie, too. A dead werewolf who threatened Sookie at the exclusive Club Dead, where she was conduction her telepathic investigation, turns up in Alcide’s closet, and the two panic, hiding his corpse. Bill is in Jackson, and Russell Edgington has him. Sookie is going to need all the help she can get from Eric and Alcide to rescue him.

Will Alcide help Sookie out when he is evidently very interested in her? Will Sookie be able to save Bill? Did Eric truly wish to spare Sookie pain when he didn’t tell her about Bill leaving her, or was it simply because it would be easier to manipulate her if she thought that all was still well? What exactly is it that Bill was working on, and how did the project get him into such a position? Did Lorena betray Bill? Do Alcide and Sookie have a future together?

GRADE 7Another decent entry, one that I had fun with, no matter what. Finally the huge and obligatory crack between Bill and Sookie has emerged, and we all know that usually in a romance these things are patched up. Sookie’s mind is seriously confused and all that. Bill’s kidnapping left a lot of space for Eric in this book, which I appreciated because he is a character that I thoroughly enjoy and who entertains me endlessly. He is such a cruel dude, but he is also incredibly thoughtful (in his own demented way), funny, and loyal insomuch as he is able to be. Alcide was also a new character who I liked significantly. He was hardy, down to earth, albeit a little grumpy. He is hardworking, loyal, extremely kind, and appreciative. Russell Edgington was such a brief character, flying in and out. I still find it exceptionally amusing that Elvis is among the undead community, though daft, he is royalty. He is pretty sweet. Pam still doesn’t really have a large part of this book, either, but I like her. Bill’s unfaithfulness with Lorena was swept up under the rug rather quickly, and I was hoping for more explanation and closure there, like where she had come up again, how they got in touch, blah blah blah. Now it’s just rushed off and done with. It seems that anything and everything with a supernatural power is drawn to Sookie, and that can become a little grating at times. Also, it seems that she is permanently on her death  bed or being beat on, which I really don’t think is cool. She must make up her damn mind already about how and where she wants to fit in.

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