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REVIEW: Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris

Dear Ms. Harris:

book review There is a point in your newest Sookie Stackhouse release, Dead and Gone, where Diantha, demon niece of supe lawyer Mr. Cataliades, warns Sookie of war brewing among the fairies.   This spells danger for Sookie because of her connection to the fairy prince Niall, and like the weres in the last book, fairies are not united under one leader.   When Sookie asks Diantha why Mr. Cataliades would potentially endanger himself to warn her, Diantha explains “Didyerbest,” which Sookie understands refers back to the horrific explosion at the Pyramid of Gizeh hotel a couple of books ago.   Sookie and Barry the bellhop had searched for survivors among the rubble, even though they knew they risked being discovered as telepaths by law enforcement looking for an edge in crime solving.   Together, they found many humans and vampires who otherwise would have perished.

This sentiment – doing one’s best – appears several times in the book, and it has become a hallmark theme for Sookie; she continues to do her best in increasingly difficult and dangerous situations.   And she continues to find herself more entwined in the supernatural world, and more vulnerable to its persistent cycles of violence, understanding more clearly that one’s best isn’t always good enough to prevent chaos and collateral damage.   Previously, Sookie has been the victim of conflicts among others, and this book is no different, except for the fact that the circle of danger is widening out from her, too.

Sookie has always managed to survive bad things by being straightforward and pragmatic, and in this book, those qualities are pushed to the limit, perhaps beyond the limit.   Indeed, really bad things happen to Sookie in Dead and Gone, things that take the series to a much darker place than ever before.   Darker, richer, more powerful than perhaps any of the other books in the series save the first, where Sookie discovered a whole new world practically in her back yard.   A devastating book, one in which Sookie faces a number of life changing crossroads, Dead and Gone is easily among my favorite books of the series, a work of bittersweet brilliance.

Dead and Gone begins with the public revelation of the weres, an event that has the potential to catalyze worldwide violence.   It was one thing to accept vampires, the but existence of more than one supernatural being raises many questions about how many more there might be, especially since weres are not ordinarily recognizable like vamps are.   The violence erupts close to home, though, hitting Sam’s mother and stepfather (Sam’s mother is a supe, but she has kept her identity from the rest of the family) and Jason, who already underwent a devastating personal loss in the last book.   A dead body in Bon Temps, a crucified were left in the parking lot of Merlotte’s, creates suspicion around Jason and a challenge for Sookie, who is in charge of the bar while Sam is away tending to his family problems.

In the meantime, the FBI has found Sookie, and they come calling with the hopes that she will serve their cause.   The new vampire king, Felipe de Castro, has taken a strong interest in Sookie’s unique talents, as well.   Eric, in his “high handed” way (there’s a great moment where Sookie has to explain to Eric what that means, and he reacts in typical Eric fashion), deals with the potential threat from Felipe by claiming that he and Sookie have been “pledged” through the blood exchange they performed at the Pyramid (to save Sookie from a worse fate), something that the increasingly independent Sookie has a wee bit of trouble with.   How can she trust anything she feels about Eric when the blood bond positively influences her emotions toward and around him? And Bill, who hurt Sookie so badly, continues to show himself a most ardent protector, intent, it seems on winning back Sookie’s trust and love.   Not to mention the fairies and weres, neither of which can keep their internecine trouble from touching Sookie (and vice versa).

On the surface, the plot of Dead and Gone is quite simple:   the impending fairy civil war threatens the safety of Sookie and those close to her.   The mystery of the crucified were may or may not be linked to the fairy war, but it definitely presents one more problem for Sookie, who seems to be the nexus for competing groups of supes, all of whom are more powerful than she, and none of whom are without self-interest in their attachment to her.   As Sookie dedicates herself to finding the crucifier and taking the suspicion away from Jason, she cannot help but embroil herself deeper in supernatural politics and in personal relationships that increase her visibility and desirability for those of benign and not so benign motivations.   Thus the complexity of the book emerges from both the expected and unforeseen consequences of these relationships.   If Sookie has been going through a certain adolescent-like self-discovery, I’d say that Dead and Gone marks her painful and profound arrival into adulthood.

There has already been a certain amount of buzz around this book and the advancement of the arc that has been developing for Sookie and Eric.   But anyone who has read Harris with regularity knows that what she gives with one stroke of her pen (or keyboard), she takes away with the next, and whatever excitement readers may anticipate around the Sookie-Eric-Bill-Quinn love quadrangle should be sobered by the violence that Sookie must now face pretty regularly because of her association with the supes.   As Sookie notes at one point, “I felt a flash of disappointment that fairy tales didn’t come true.”   Which, in part, is related to the fact that fairies are not necessarily so benign.   Like many things in Harris’s fictional world, beauty attracts but offers dangerous surprises.

But whether or not Sookie gets a romantic HEA, she is maturing into a woman who is finally starting to understand that no one else can guarantee her safety and happiness.   And that her desire for a “normal” life is unfulfillable in the way she had always thought.   “Though I knew I wasn’t a deep theological thinker,” Sookie opines, “I sometimes wondered if crisis moments in my life hadn’t come down to two choices: be a bad Christian, or die. I’d chosen life every time.” And in choosing life, she has changed, and not everyone believes it’s for the better:

“You forgiven me?” [Jason] asked after he’d taken a gulp of coffee. His voice sounded hoarse and thick. I thought he’d been crying.

“I expect that sooner or later I might,” I said. “But I’ll never feel the same about you again.”

“God, you’ve gotten hard. You’re all the family I’ve got left.” The dark glasses turned to face me. You have to forgive me, because you’re all I have who can forgive.

I looked at him, feeling a little exasperated, a little sad. If I was getting harder, it was in response to the world around me.

And what a world it is.   A world where Sookie finally has to face that her life has been full of loss, before and after she discovered the supes.   Where she has always been somewhere between blending in and sticking out, and where before the supes, as dangerous as they are, Sookie was sometimes too anxious to please.   Thinking now about her relationship with former-friend and current Fellowship of the Sun acolyte Arlene, Sookie is ready to face that

I don’t think I’d let myself dwell on these incidents before, because they revealed such a colossal pitifulness on my part. I’d needed a friend so badly I’d clung to the meager scraps from Arlene’s table, though she’d taken advantage of me time after time.

Sookie had indeed been lonely, and with the vampires, especially, she is able to enjoy companionship without the burden of knowing their thoughts.   In many ways, she is more akin to the supes, or at least to those like Amelia the witch, who are human but hardly “normal” in the way Bon Temps seems to define the term.   But are Sookie’s burdens worse now?   How often have her connections to the supes, which in some way are deeper and more authentic than her relationships to most full-humans, placed her in danger?   And at what point will she face a danger she cannot survive?   This reality finally seems to be hitting Sookie, and it presents a whole new series of dilemmas for her:

“You’re not dead,” Dr. Ludwig pointed out.

But I’d come pretty damn close; I’d sort of stepped over the line. There’d been an optimum rescue time. If I’d been liberated before that time, I would have laughed all the way to the secret supernatural clinic, or wherever I was. But I’d looked at death too closely- close enough to see all the pores in Death’s face- and I’d suffered too much. I wouldn’t bounce back this time.

. . . I would never be the same person again, physically or mentally.

These realizations reflect Sookie’s maturity and independence.   She has a real appreciation for maintaining her autonomy, imagining her ideal marriage, for example, as “a democratic partnership.”   But which supes in her life will offer her that, and are those the supes that appeal to Sookie?   For while we are seeing a more circumspect Sookie, a woman who is coming into her own and thinking more deliberately about how she fits into the human and non-human worlds, we are also seeing a woman whose choices are increasingly narrowed with every step – intentional and unintentional — she takes into supe politics.   And these men, these men who seem so sexy but who have their own agendas to protect and advance — who among them can really love and value Sookie as a whole person?   For every gain there is a compromise, for every sweet, a shot of sour.   Sookie is becoming scarred now, and at what point will her refusal to be a victim no longer be enough to save her and keep her whole?   Has she actually moved past the point where she can deliberately choose safety and what does that do for her prospects of lasting happiness and security?

These questions have always lurked under Sookie’s perky, practical exterior, but now they are fully present in the series, if not yet in Sookie’s direct sight, and they are as compelling as they are frightening.   I know there is concern about Sookie’s fickle romantic feelings, but since she has only slept with three men since ending her virginity with Bill, I have no worries that Sookie is going hoochie rogue.   I want Sookie to explore her options, to make the most informed choice she can among potential mates, because Sookie’s naiveté has not historically brought her lasting contentment.

With Dead and Gone, I don’t know how close Sookie is to real happiness, but I do think she and the series have taken a major step forward.   While some of the books in this series have seemed to me like a confusion of action and reaction with a little bit of   ‘hurry up and wait’ pacing, Dead and Gone felt deliberately packed and paced, and there was no point in the book where I was not fully absorbed in Sookie’s consciousness and her world.   And despite the heaviness of the book, there were still those wonderful moments of dry humor, like when Sookie prepares herself for another day of problems:

I walked down the hall to go into my room and pull on some clothes. Today was going to be a hard day, and I always felt better when I was dressed while handling a crisis. Something about putting on my underwear makes me feel more capable.

It’s moments like these where I wonder whether I would worry about Sookie so much if she were male, and that’s certainly a question I need to examine further – am I prejudiced toward Sookie, too?   I don’t know if I should be seeing male characters as more vulnerable or female characters as less so.   But at the same time, it is partly Sookie’s vulnerability, her earnest desire to do her best in the face of incredible difficulty and pain, her kindness and tendency to blame herself for the faults and weaknesses of others, which make her so authentic to me.   I don’t want any of that to change, even as I worry about Sookie and fear for her ultimate happiness.

At this point, I am fully invested in this series, cannot believe I have to wait another full year for the next book, and look forward to re-reading Dead and Gone to appreciate its powerful writing and storytelling all over again.   A.

~ Janet

This book can be purchased in hardcover from an independent bookstore or ebook format from the Sony Store and other etailers on May 5, 2009.

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!

88 Comments

  1. Helen Burgess
    May 04, 2009 @ 05:26:19

    I gave up reading about Sookie by book 6. I have read other books by Charlaine Harris and while she can do cheerful, it seems that she more naturally moves to the world being difficult and painful – something along the line of “life’s shit and then you die”. Count me as shallow but I get tired reading that. Sookie’s journey may be more interesting now but I still think I’ll pass.

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  2. Jessica
    May 04, 2009 @ 07:05:45

    Being a purist about my Sookie reading, I did not read your review (I will parse it in my customary anal detail once I read the book) but I am thrilled with the grade!! Makes me even more excited to get my hands on the book.

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  3. Alaine
    May 04, 2009 @ 07:48:20

    This is a fantastic review. I loved this series and have been waiting to read a review on this book as I thought that number 8 wasn’t quite as good as the others. Now I’ve read your review I’ll be rushing off to buy it! Thanks

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  4. Donna
    May 04, 2009 @ 08:33:51

    I’m so excited to get my hands on this book tomorrow. I have read all the other books in the series. Sookie has been through so many hardships it can get depressing at times but I enjoy watching her try to keep moving forward. The cast of characters also keep me coming back.

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  5. Lusty Reader
    May 04, 2009 @ 11:36:24

    I have it on hold at my Border’s! Can’t wait to get it tomorrow, I’ve been rereading the first 8 in preparation and am full of lustful anticipation!

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  6. Mfred
    May 04, 2009 @ 11:48:55

    I’ve got mixed feelings on this book– one, I’m pro-Eric all the way, and I’m way invested in Sookie’s HEA (I mean, I’ve read 8 books!!). But on the two, I’m really tired of all of the info-dumping Harris uses.

    With the last book, I felt like Sookie just kept repeating the same things over and over every time she met a character or spoke to a character or thought about a character:

    “‘blah blah,’ I said to Bill, thinking how mad I still was about etc etc.”

    “Eric looked at me in stony silence and I couldn’t help but think about the time we spent in that HAWT SHOWER SCENE etc etc”

    “Arlene walked into the room and I thought about how the Fellowship did all that crappy stuff etc etc allude to racism/homophobia etc etc”

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  7. LauraJane
    May 04, 2009 @ 12:18:46

    Loved your review. I enjoyed this one, but finished it way too quickly. Like you, I can’t believe we have to wait another year for the next one. I’m pro-Eric and believe that he genuinely loves Sookie, but what exactly does that mean? I’m not so sure Eric’s genuine love is a good or safe thing. I was surprised by the suffering Sookie endured and wonder how that will be handled next time.

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  8. Kwana
    May 04, 2009 @ 12:43:55

    A! Wow wee. I have only read book I but I have 2 and 3 all ready. I’m going to do a marathon real soon. This is good news. Thanks.

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  9. DS
    May 04, 2009 @ 13:47:10

    I’ve been a Sookie fan since book one and a Charlaine Harris fan since the 80′s. I like the way Charlaine Harris’ characters keep going through thick and thin. Looking forward to listening to this one in the near future.

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  10. Jennie
    May 04, 2009 @ 22:45:22

    Thanks so much for the review, Janet. I always eagerly anticipate each Sookie book, but seeing the grade you gave this one makes me all the more excited to read it. I have it on pre-order and will be downloading it tomorrow. Now I just need to find some free time to read it! Special books like this series deserve to be read under optimum circumstances – not in 5-minute chunks when I’m tired and stressed. I’m perverse enough to be a little excited about the darkness, and any time Eric is at the forefront I am happy. I don’t know that he’s the right man for Sookie, but he is a wonderful character.

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  11. Alice
    May 05, 2009 @ 00:25:19

    Thank you for this review. It was a good one and I am so looking forward to getting my hands on it when it comes out. :) Team Eric! Te-he!

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  12. Robin
    May 05, 2009 @ 00:56:47

    @Helen Burgess: I know others who have quit Harris, but for me, she remains one of the few authors I’ll pay hardcover prices for without complaint. I know she’s not for everyone, though.

    @Jessica: No significant spoilers in the review, though! That was my challenge: write a substantive review about a book that has SO MUCH happen. Don’t know if I succeeded, but I sure tried to do this book justice without spoiling anything major.

    @Alaine: I hope you enjoy it. Please post with your reactions after you’re done!

    @Donna: Yes, it’s tough to see Sookie suffer, but I love her triumphs enough to carry on. Plus I just think the series is so well-written.

    @Lusty Reader: I’d be interested in knowing whether you think this new book is a good culmination of the first 8, because I felt that way but did not go back and re-read the earlier ones.

    @Mfred: I have that same reaction with the JD Robb series, and I think it has to do with how a writer works to bring in new readers while respecting the long-term ones. For me it works the way Harris does it, but you’re reaction is the same as what I sometimes feel with the In Death books (even though I’m a fan of the series).

    @LauraJane: I don’t know whether Eric can separate his feelings for Sookie from his own self-interest and that bothers me. But then I’m kind of a Bill fan. Sam would probably be the most stable pick, but at this point I think he’s too tame for Sookie.

    @Kwana: Oh, I love the first three books; have fun!

    @DS: I haven’t gotten hooked on other Harris series, but I’m sure when she finishes this one (which she said on AAR will be when Sookie makes her final pick of mate) I’ll be picking up the others.

    @Jennie: I’m very much looking forward to your thoughts, Jennie!

    @Alice: The book was 100% micropay rebate at Fictionwise a while ago, and I don’t know if it’s going to be discounted like that again, but I know I’m going to be downloading my pre-ordered copy ASAP — and I already read the book! So I hope you enjoy it, too.

    Everyone, please come back and post your thoughts once you’re done! There is so much to talk about with this one that I’d love to be able to do that with all of you.

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  13. Dead and Gone, by Charlaine Harris « Thoughts of a Lusty Reader from DC
    May 05, 2009 @ 10:26:02

    [...] delightful Janet over at Dear Author also wrote an excellent review with many of the quotes that stood out to me while I was reading it as [...]

  14. Catherine
    May 06, 2009 @ 09:07:58

    I just finished this book late last night. The whole time I was reading it I kept thinking “wow”. I have to say that this is my favorite Sookie book so far. I really like the darker tone of the book. I was irritated during parts of the book but that was because of Sookie, not the plot or the writing.

    So much happened to Sookie in this book that I’m curious to see how changed she’ll be in the next one. It seemed like the minute one situation would resolve in a horrifying way the next situation would hit her. I hope that this causes her to change her world view a little and mature. I would love that.

    I enjoyed the peek into Eric’s background. When he was telling Sookie about his time with his maker and spoke about acceptance/enjoyment eventually I cringed for him. I hope that Sookie absorbs what this info means and takes a hard look at how she views the men around her.

    Some of the deaths hit me hard. I was excited when I learned about the news one of the victims shared with Sookie. It made the death that much more horrible. I don’t know if the resolution that Niall came to will be a good thing or a bad thing for Sookie. Right now it’s a good thing for her, but what about when she wants to know more?

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  15. Robin
    May 06, 2009 @ 10:46:33

    @Catherine: I’m interested in knowing how you think Sookie needs to mature and change her views of the men around her. Can you expand on that a bit?

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  16. Catherine
    May 06, 2009 @ 11:55:04

    I’ll preface this by saying this is all just my opinion and my views may influence how I interpret Sookie as a character. I may ramble a bit so stick with me.

    I think that Sookie has a very confusing (for me) view/expectation of the men around her. When Sookie was listening to Eric explain his life she had a hard time seeing him as someone who could be victimized. Even after he flat out told her I don’t think she really absorbed it. She seems to put all the men around her on a pedestal of expectation.

    She sees them as strong so they must be strong. She thinks they’re powerful so they could never be victims. They’re supes so they must not have the same weaknesses that humans often have. When they’re not as clever as she expects them to be or strong enough to defeat the enemy without heavy personal losses she seems to be more critical of them than she would of a regular human.

    I felt bad for Quinn when he was trying to explain that he felt shafted by her. I didn’t agree with all his views but I do feel that Sookie is asking a lot of her perfect guy. She seems to expect whatever man she chooses to fit into her life. She never seems to reflect on the compromises she’ll need to do and how she’ll need to adapt to fit into his life. Whenever she thinks about being with someone in the end she imagines them in Bon Temps and hanging out at her house. What if she had decided Quinn was the one? (I don’t like Quinn so I’m not bringing him up just to moan about the lack of love interest there) What if he wanted to live wherever his home town was? Would she adapt for him? Unfortunately I don’t think she would.

    I’d love your opinion on my convoluted opinions.

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  17. muñeca
    May 06, 2009 @ 14:16:40

    I agree with Catherine but one thing I don’t understand about Sookie is she leaves Quinn because she wants to be number 1 to the man of her life. Yet her choice for this book is another man that for very different reasons can’t put her as number 1 either but she’s willing to see where the relationship will take them. So why him and not Quinn.

    I for one don’t care one way or the other for Quinn but this bugged me a lot when I was done reading the book. To me the man she picked didn’t make sense after what she told Quinn and repeated to him in this book. I’m not invested in who Sookie will pick, I’m here for the journey and as long as Eric still lives in the last Sookie book I’m happy. But I want it to make sence to.

    Faith

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  18. Evangeline
    May 06, 2009 @ 15:27:49

    I’m not a Sookie/Eric shipper by any means (Alcide is my man, and I’m pretty close to wanting Bill and Sookie back together), so I’m guessing my ho hum reaction is because it seemed so much of this book was invested in Sookie getting with Eric. Which leads me to why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the ones in the past: Sookie was very passive to me–and passive-aggressive (the Olivia situation). Whether it’s because she’s been dragged into so many supernatural conflicts or something else, but the whole fairy war, the shifter revelation, and her relationship with Eric came across as a woman who has just learned to accept that bad things, or even difficult things, are her lot in life. In the first few books, Sookie’s interaction with the supernatural community was of a woman who finally found somewhere to fit in, and she viewed the shenanigans with wariness and curiosity, but always wanting to take a hold of life and all the supernatural community could offer.

    While I agree with Helen’s summation of a lot Harris’s style (this book actually came thisclose to seeming like a vampire version of her Harper Connolly series), I don’t think it’s a bad thing–but in moderation. Sookie just doesn’t seem like she wants to get up a duke it out anymore, nor is she as flexible as she was in the past. Though I can see her side of the picture in many of the situations that have plagued her (Jason, Olivia, Quinn, etc), she doesn’t make her decisions on a free mind. She’s extremely burdened with her role in the supernatural community, which is ironic as most of the supes have come out into the public eye. Perhaps with their emergence into the human community, Sookie doesn’t feel so special anymore? That with vampires and wereanimals out in the open, she doesn’t have that “insider” feel anymore, and possibly, her somewhat superstar status with the supes will disappear?

    I don’t know, but this isn’t the Sookie I’ve been reading for the past five years.

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  19. Ashly
    May 06, 2009 @ 21:45:57

    I just finished the book today and I am very disapointed…. that I have to wait another year to read more!!!! There were way too many questions left unanswered and added more!!! I love the series and will enjoy reading all of the books over and over again until the next book comes out!!! Team Eric all the way!

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  20. Jennifer
    May 07, 2009 @ 09:51:56

    This is a beautiful review. I think I’ll skip reviewing it much myself and just link to this one!

    I think it’s pretty reasonable at this point to have Sookie suffer consequences for being in the midst of the supernaturals all the time (or in this case, being related to them).

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  21. Catherine
    May 07, 2009 @ 13:57:15

    I agree Evangeline, Sookie did seem very passive in this book. I did think that the onslaught of dangerous situation after situation added to that though. She seemed very wrung out to me. I thought it was sad when she went to see Eric just to sit by someone.

    I can’t comment on the similarity to another series. I haven’t read those books. What aspects made you think they were similar? I may be dense, but I don’t understand what you mean by her past with the supes affecting her dealings with Jason. Can you explain? I do agree that Sookie doesn’t feel as special anymore.

    Can you remind me who Olivia is? I feel dumb but I really can’t remember that character and I don’t have my book handy.

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  22. Evangeline
    May 07, 2009 @ 14:25:53

    @Catherine: Sookie was very wrung out. But I also grew irritated when she refused to confide in the very people she used to confide in, and she would constantly stomp off in a snit whenever Sam didn’t react the way she wanted him to (for that matter, Sam has always been touchy when it came to Sookie/vampire relations, so her reaction was very over the top). In a way, I fear her relationship with Eric because she’s closing herself off from her friends in a way she never did when she was with Bill (she always fought over his absorption with her).

    I found this book quite similar in tone to Harris’ Harper Connolly series in that everything is growing bleak for Sookie’s world. I no longer feel the buoyancy that formerly characterized the series, nor the playfulness. Just about every person who has been a longtime secondary character in the series had something negative to deal with, rather than coming into Sookie’s life to present a slice of smalltown Louisiana life.

    RE: Jason–I personally felt sick when Sookie walked in on Crystal and Dove, but Sookie won’t forgive Jason. In this book, she did mention how mature he’s grown and is growing because of life, but Sookie still thinks he’s a selfish jerk. I sort of think that Sookie refuses to forgive Jason because he is growing and she’s used to being the “mature” one in their sibling relationship. If he grows up, she won’t have cause to feel “superior” to Jason.

    And Olivia is the witch Amelia invited to live in Sookie’s house after both escaped New Orleans. She was Amelia’s…”boss” in her coven I believe.

    Another thing that really bugged me was the whole Mel thing. My gaydar did go off whenever he was mentioned, but geez…he did what he did because he was soo in love with Jason? How cliched was that!? Harris dropped the ball on that plot point IMO.

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  23. Catherine
    May 07, 2009 @ 15:11:07

    @Evangeline:

    I agree that Sookie seemed to overreact with Sam compared to how she was in the past. I didn’t really mind it (even though it did seem ooc for Sookie) because her behavior with Sam when she’s sharing information has always bugged me in the past. It always seemed to me that she was way too quick to try to please Sam after he became upset with something she shared with him. She wanted someone to share her problems/exciting news with but she also didn’t want to alleniate the few friends that she did have while doing so. I’ve always felt uncomfortable with the dynamic Sookie has with her established (known for years) friends. It always seemed like there was a wisp of desperation running through all of her dealings with them.

    I don’t know if I agree that Sookie won’t forgive Jason because then she can’t feel superior to him. I do agree that Sookie feels superior to him and has for a long time. Jason was actually one of the things that bothered me about Sookie in this book. I didn’t think she should forgive him just because he’s family. I think that’s a pathetic reason to keep someone around.

    The situation with him reminded me of the one with Octavia. (the house guest Amelia invited to stay is Octavia, not Olivia) I know Sookie’s supposed to be all super sweet southern woman, but there’s only so much of that I can take before I want to gag. I have a really hard time believing that every woman in the south would let herself be taken advantage of time and time again just because it would be impolite not to. I have no sympathy for Sookie when she complains about things to herself but won’t do anything to fix it because it would be rude. I had sympathy the first time but after so many times of the same thing happening I’ve lost it.

    I snorted when I found out the reason Mel had done that. I didn’t believe it either.

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  24. April
    May 08, 2009 @ 06:30:50

    Catherine, I agree with your assessment of Sookie’s expectations of men and Quinn in particular. That bothers me as well. I think Sookie DOES expect men to be able to fit into her life without her having to adjust any. However, she never did see Quinn. There were weeks, if not months in between their brief associations. Whether or not he was willing to put her first, they were just not clicking. Also, there was the complication with her relationship with Eric to keep Sookie from bonding with Quinn AND Bill. She should just be honest with herself about that. She needed to explore those feelings.

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  25. Catherine
    May 08, 2009 @ 09:13:35

    April, I agree that Quinn and Sookie didn’t spend enough time together to really require making any adjustments. I only used him as an example because he didn’t live close to her. Personally I’m glad to see him gone. I don’t know why but he really grated on me. I figured he would be an easier example to illistrate the adjustments both of them would have had to make if they tried to make a go of it. Every other potential guy lives relatively close to her and I didn’t think it would serve my point as well.

    I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who gets that impression of Sookie’s man requirements. I was starting to think I was the only one and began to question why I was being so cynical toward her when no one else saw it.

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  26. Robin
    May 08, 2009 @ 11:32:43

    I am loving this discussion of Sookie, in part because it is so different from my take on her character.

    I agree that Sookie is struggling with these men and with the way they do and don’t fit into her life (and vice versa). It’s like she’s gone from zero to 60 in a short time — how long ago was it that she was a virgin who could not have relationships with human men because she could read their minds? I see Sookie as going through a certain adolescent period with her relationships, which includes some serious wrangling over expectations. Maybe I just cut her more slack because of some of the exceptional circumstances in these relationships and in Sookie. ;)

    @muñeca: The way I read that was Sookie wanting to be at the top of the list of *relationships* with Quinn, and in her view, Quinn’s loyalty would be to his mother and sister first, in large part because they were always going to be problem-based relationships. That is, Quinn would always having to be solving issues and tending to their needs before he was able to attend to Sookie, because both women couldn’t really survive well on their own, and neither seemed as if she would be in a relationship soon with someone who could take care of them.

    In terms of pure loyalty, I think Sam is the clear front runner, but I don’t think he draws Sookie’s attraction like Eric or even Bill does. I really want Bill and Sookie back together, but think Sam is probably the best long term choice, if she could ever really see him as a viable mate and not just a good friend. But I understand her unwillingness to trust Bill after what he did with Lorena and the Queen (whether or not he had freedom of choice, what is to say he won’t choose someone else over her again?). As for Eric, yes, he has many competing priorities, but unlike Quinn, he has made sure she is protected, even if he cannot do the protecting himself. On a basic level, he is much more powerful than Quinn, and he does not have a mother and sister who he must tend to at the sometimes expense of Sookie. So while I definitely see the conflict you guys are talking about, I think the nature of Quinn’s obligations to his sister and mom are quite different from Eric’s obligations.

    @Catherine: I understood Sookie’s reaction to Eric’s past, because he is SO old and so powerful and so in control that it is difficult for me sometimes to see his humanness. I felt that was what Sookie was experiencing, too, and it made sense to me. Also, I felt that actually deepened her attachment to him because she is starting to see the “real” Eric, the part of him that is still somewhat connected to his human emotions and vulnerabilities, the part of him he doesn’t, as far as I can tell, reveal to anyone. Remember when he told Sookie she was the only person since Pam who has received his blood? That’s quite a statement about who he shows any vulnerabilities to, IMO, so I guess I see that whole scene in the opposite way from you.

    @Evangeline: I don’t ever remember Sookie flouncing off from Sam, Evangeline. Can you give an example of what you’re referring to? It strikes me that Sam is getting more overt in his disapproval of Sookie’s relationships with the vamps, and I felt that Sam was ready to step up his relationship with Sookie in this book, only to be pre-empted by Eric. But I don’t remember anything like you’re talking about. Obviously it’s something we’re reading differently, but I don’t want to attempt to second guess the scenes to which you’re referring.

    @April: Hmm, to me, Sookie’s whole life has been an adjustment. She does favors for the supes now, whether she wants to or not; she has taken in Amelia and Octavia into her house, one without her permission, even; she has had to change her entire schedule to date the vamps; and her life has been in danger countless times because of her relationships to the supes. By contrast, what changes have any of the men had to make, outside of Quinn, and Sookie basically told him that she didn’t expect him to give up his mom and sister for her (because she knows he cannot do that).

    Also, to you Alcide lovers: WHAT do you see in him?

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  27. Mel
    May 08, 2009 @ 13:52:30

    This is my favorite book in the series and I love your review. I understand that those that are not in the Eric camp may not have enjoyed it as much as I did, but I have been routing for Eric since book 2. (Even more so after this book.)

    I agree with your take on Sookies' expectations of men. Because she could never really date human men she is just now going through that adolescent stage of relationship development. I also think this is why Eric and Sookie are such a good match. Eric seems to be feeling things for Sookie that he hasn’t felt in his vampire state of being. (Pam was probably close, but he turned her so he would have a companion so I think the dynamic is different there) Also when he was telling Sookie about his wife and children I felt he was revealing his “softer” side, trying to show her he was capable of deeper emotion. (not only while he was under a witches spell) The interesting part in their relationship will be seeing how they feel without the blood bond.

    Saying all this, I would not be disappointed if Bill or Quinn ended up being her choice. Alcide would not make me happy unless he shows a softer side. But I would be disappointed if she ended up in a relationship with Sam. Sam to me is a best friend figure. There is a sexual tension there yes, but I’m hoping they resolve that and settle into a strong friendship.

    I think she has already started to forgive Jason but I think he will hold a lot of resentment toward her because of Niall.

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  28. Robin
    May 08, 2009 @ 14:14:23

    @Mel: ooh, great point about why Sookie and Eric are drawn to each other at this point.

    Thanks for reminding me about the Jason thing!

    IIRC — and someone can correct me if I’m wrong — Sookie told Jason she would forgive him eventually.

    I know Jason is limited, and Sookie knows that, too, but for me it wasn’t just that he let Sookie and Calvin discover Crystal’s infidelity — it was that he knew what they would have to endure by doing so. I think it’s a mark of Sookie not being such a doormat that she IS finally angry at Jason for that. I mean, when has he ever put Sookie’s feelings first?

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  29. April
    May 08, 2009 @ 15:47:33

    Robin wrote:

    I agree that Sookie is struggling with these men and with the way they do and don't fit into her life (and vice versa). It's like she's gone from zero to 60 in a short time -’ how long ago was it that she was a virgin who could not have relationships with human men because she could read their minds? I see Sookie as going through a certain adolescent period with her relationships, which includes some serious wrangling over expectations

    Well, that’s true, she does seem to be learning her way around her complicated relationships.

    From Book One she has danced around her feelings for Eric, I believe because she’s not sure she likes him as a person but is definitely physically attracted to him. I believe not knowing how to handle her mixed up feelings for him led her into an inappropriate relationship with Quinn. Not that Quinn wasn’t perfectly nice, or that she wasn’t attracted to him. Simply inappropriate because of her obviously unresolved Eric issues.

    April: Hmm, to me, Sookie's whole life has been an adjustment. She does favors for the supes now, whether she wants to or not; she has taken in Amelia and Octavia into her house, one without her permission, even; she has had to change her entire schedule to date the vamps; and her life has been in danger countless times because of her relationships to the supes. By contrast, what changes have any of the men had to make, outside of Quinn, and Sookie basically told him that she didn't expect him to give up his mom and sister for her (because she knows he cannot do that).

    Yes, even as I was commenting on Sookie’s lack of flexibility in her expectations of the men in her life, I did think of the MANY sacrifices her life has taken on. The problem is, Sookie deals with one situation at a time. Everybody’s (from the newest Bon Temps murder mystery, to the political machinations of the Fairies, Vampires and Werewolves) immediate problems are a priority to her, and she acts from moment to moment. It seems all of the men in her life have been reacting in much the same way to their own immediate problems. Yet she seemed to have the expectation that Quinn should’ve acted differently, which doesn’t jive for me when she doesn’t seem to ever think long-term herself, or expect anyone else in her life to.

    Not that I’m invested at all in Quinn, I agree with Catherine, I don’t mind his departure…I’m just sayin’…Sookie craves a simple romance, yet she looks in all the wrong places and doesn’t ever do anything to make a simple romance happen for herself. For example, at one point she expressed irriation with Sam for not making his romantic intentions known to her when she was available. Yet, during the times she HAS been available she hasn’t acted on any of her feelings for Sam herself.

    BTW–I loved that this most recent book had Sookie more thoroughly addressing her relationship with Eric. I’m as invested as ever in Sookie’s development. I love what Janet had to say:

    But anyone who has read Harris with regularity knows that what she gives with one stroke of her pen (or keyboard), she takes away with the next

    That sums up my thoughts exactly! As action progresses and characters develop, more problems are presented leaving me with another year to anticipate the next installment. Argh. Sort of like the TV show “LOST.” I love it and dread it at the same time.

    Also, to you Alcide lovers: WHAT do you see in him?

    Seriously!

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  30. muñeca
    May 08, 2009 @ 16:15:53

    @Robin that may be true but when Sookie is talking to Eric at the end how she fully expected because of their bond that he would find her and save her and he responds by saying she is killing him and he will explain later. My radar started screaming “Oh no, was he working on something for his new King or some other vamp issues that he couldn’t get away from hence why he couldn’t save her, what is there to explain.” Maybe not maybe he was trying and just couldn’t reach her in time like Bill could.

    But I’m not 100% sure that when it comes to Vamp politics, Sookie will ever be #1 to him which she says she wants. I think at the end when it is all said and done she will go with Sam because he is the only one of the sups who can give her that and I some point Sam is going to put his foot down and really go after her. As much as I love Eric I can’t see that relationship lasting and I do believe he loves her.

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  31. Evangeline
    May 08, 2009 @ 16:46:29

    @Robin:

    Oh page 102, after she blurts out that she and Eric are “married”. Which incidentally, I found strange, because her blabbing the news in such a manner seemed as though she’d accepted it–or wanted to rub it in Sam’s face to get a negative reaction? Because she didn’t describe the new relationship with Eric in that manner with Tara. I don’t feel Sam’s disapproval was any different from his reactions in the past, except this time, Sookie didn’t want to hear anything he had to say. Pretty interesting when she mentioned multiple times prior to the “marriage” how accustomed she was to confiding in Sam, and how when he was in Texas, she really missed that and the safe feeling it gave her.

    But thinking about this book makes me realize how much I disliked it, which is suprising to me because though I wasn’t fond of the last installment, I didn’t feel this gnawing frustration and exasperation I feel with Dead and Gone. Like I said before, Sookie was brought completely low in this book, and none of the small scenes of levity which balanced the previous books were present. I also don’t like how passive she’s become after all she’s been through and overcome. It’s as though she’s given up a bit, and is in permanent react-mode. Despite my preference for Alcide and Bill, I’m not a die-hard shipper for Sookie/anyone, so my dislike of this book had nothing to do with her burgeoning relationship with Eric, and everything to do with this not being the game, plucky Sookie Stackhouse of yore. She’s growing cynical and hard-assed and dare I say it, a trifle closed-minded.

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  32. Evangeline
    May 08, 2009 @ 16:49:29

    @April: LOL! I don’t know. Even though he can be a crybaby, I just find his whole werewolfness attractive–and his vulnerability. He’s like an emo werewolf. *g* And he seems like the other side of the coin of Bill Compton. Where Alcide is hot, Bill is cold, but both are rather similar in their outlook.

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  33. Elle
    May 09, 2009 @ 07:38:47

    Nice review, Robin, and a very interesting discussion.

    Interesting that several people have complained about Sookie being too “passive” in this story, since I didn’t find her to be so. She had to do a lot of *reacting* to the things that were happening to her (since things were coming at her so fast,) but she actually seemed more decisive and self-aware (to me) than she has in some of the previous books. Characters like Arlene and Jason have been taking advantage of Sookie’s good nature since Book 1, and it seems to me a sign of her developing emotional maturity that she is finally able to see them for what they are and decide to either forgive them or not.

    In reference to Sookie’s romantic life, I love the character of Eric, and was happy to have more Eric “page-time” in this story, particularly since he seemed to be a lovely blend of “real/high-handed” Eric (loved that exchange too, Robin!) and “amnesia/kinder, gentler” Eric–all while still remaining very true to his character. But I am not too invested who will be Sookie’s eventual love interest, since I care more about Sookie than her romances. That said, Bill made some major strides forward in my estimation in this book. Sam has never been a big favorite of mine as a romantic match for Sookie (I don’t feel much of a spark between the two of them,) although he could probably give her the most “normal”, Bon Temps-based life.

    Re: Quinn: Harris herself is pointing out that Sookie is holding him to slightly different standards than she holds Eric or even Bill, but I think that Sookie is just getting wise enough now to realize that the relationship with Quinn is a dead end before she gets anymore involved with him (due to Quinn’s responsibilities to his mother and sister.) She is *already* involved to Eric, Bill and Sam, and is still working through what roles she wants these men to play in her life.

    As for Alcide, I liked him in Book 2, but since then he has been pretty much of a selfish jerk who really doesn’t have Sookie’s best interests at heart. Eric, Bill, Sam and even Quinn are all better choices, IMHO.

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  34. Dallas
    May 09, 2009 @ 08:09:29

    Thank you Janet for such a wondeful review and to all of you that have contributed your opinions !

    Wonderful read …

    ‘Dallas”
    http://lovingtruebloodindallas.blogspot.com/

  35. Stace34
    May 09, 2009 @ 10:19:07

    I liked your review. I had a similar feeling when I finished the book that this was the end of one chapter of her life and the beginning of the next. Some of your observations made me stop and think about what I had read. Thank you.

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  36. Victoria
    May 09, 2009 @ 11:18:52

    Good discussions! I’m a little surprised how much attraction weighs into people’s thoughts on who Sookie should end up with. I think it’s pretty clear that the healthiest choice for her is Sam. She does find him attractive, but MUCH more importantly, he is a friend, he loves her, he doesn’t try to control her, and he wants what’s truly best for her. Plus he would still offer her a taste of the supernatural. True, he has failed to rise to the challenge, and his lack of initiative is straining credibilty, but I think he is the only one that can fulfill her dream of eating breakfast in the morning with a man, raising children, having a normal life, etc. which is what she says she wants. Maybe her experiences have changed her so much that she no longer wants that life, but it’s probably what’s best for her. I think Harris will eventually have them end up together. (From my POV, I want to shake both Sookie and Sam by the hair, because both of them are so naive about how to get that relationship moving, and Sookie acts so clueless/disrespectful of his feelings, even though she knows he really likes her.)

    I like the comments about how Sookie is in an adolescent phase of relationship development, since she never had relationships when she was younger. I think at first you want the bad boy, but as you grow up, you learn what’s really important. Bill was much more than the “bad boy”, and I do believe he loves her, but he himself has said many times that he can never be truly human in his feelings, (and I don’t think Eric can either). Even though I loved Bill and Sookie’s early relationship because it was interesting, I think it set Sookie on a bad path and got her too involved with a way of life that imperils her and just doesn’t ultimately lead her to a healthy place. I think for these reasons and more, Harris will have her end up with Sam. Unless she decides to keep the series moving in a darker direction permanently, which I can’t see happening.

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  37. Lucy
    May 09, 2009 @ 22:15:03

    I have read the book – and I wondered what was up with the 4 various females being pregnant in this story?

    I don’t want to spoil anything…but in each case, it seemed to not turn out to be a happy situation overall.

    Were these pregnancies mentioned as a foreshadow to a future pregnancy by Sookie? And if so, the vibes seem to be that pregnancy is not going to be a delightful happy experience.

    ..and…this book is too dark for me. At the end, when Niall makes his decision, I felt that all the prior suffering and deaths and sacrifices were made ‘for nothing!’ – those who died, did not gain some benefit for the survivors. I was very dissatisfied by this ending.

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  38. Alice
    May 10, 2009 @ 00:12:47

    I just finished the book and I love the fact that Harris took some risks in this book. I love it when author’s do this. When it’s written well I think it really shows they are really brave people. I know when Kim Harrison pulled some moves similar to this there was some back lash and I really dislike it when readers do that. I understand it, but I think it’s silly. I felt Sookie getting a little darker and a little edgier in Difinitely Dead and in this book Sookie is just catching on that her attitude has changed. I’m still with Team Eric, BUT I think Sookie in the end will end up with Sam.

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  39. Gaia
    May 10, 2009 @ 02:09:25

    This book was all about Questions and very few answers. I felt that the only answers we got were to questions about why Eric was running to Sookie in Book 4. This should have been explored more, but was just dropped and walked over to the next device.Eric answered why he’d been away from her, and told us how he thought Sookie felt. The questions were many. Why didn’t Sookie ask him how he felt? If it was just sex she was after, then if he said he didn’t love her, what would it matter? (I think she was afraid to hear that he loved her and equally afraid if he said he didn’t.) Other questions: what was up with the lack of continuity?(Oops, that’s mine-Bill had a girlfirend in the last book, but in this one, it said that he’d never have a girlfirend because he loved Sookie-Huh?) Anyway, what was keeping Eric and who were the folk(s) he fed on? Did her pain cause him to go beserk? Have at a few passerby? Was he whisked to Vegas for a meeting with De Castro because he defied him? If they were all sworn to die for Sookie if need be, why was there only one vamp-not Pam-with Eric? (The one vamp makes me think that Eric was on his own and trying not to draw attention to the fight.) What took him so long to get to the Supe Hospital? He flew. There were no Fairy portals for him. What was up with Sookie being so careless before her capture? Yet she was all caution with Arlene?By rights, the fairies were more dangerous. Quinn couldn’t use a phone and call? It’s the story of his life! Pam’s the warrior-vamp from hell, yet she’s driving the van? Sookie says she love Bill again in the moment that she can see him clearly-she doesn’t say that she’s in love with him. If she’s in love with Bill, she wouldn’t end the book making love with Eric and “nipping” during those times.
    There were tons more questions!
    Especially the Renfield crap? Are we to believe that Sookie could lose her will in this, although the bond works both ways? Why didn’t Amelia use a spell to protect her boyfriend? She can do ectoplasmic reconstructions, and ward a building but not make it at least difficult to harm the man she’s in mad lust with? And the “You’re killing me” statements. That should have been explained even if it took 10 more pages!
    Did I like the book? Yes and No. :) I like that we add some realism to Eric. He’s been alive over a thousand years, and he had to be a victim at one point in his life. Even his admitting that he enjoyed the awfulness after a while was cogent. Yet he overcame that. I like that he “claimed what was his.” LOL. At the end of the book, he tells her that she is still in one piece, her soul and personality are intact; she could have survived even more than she did. Why did she? Was it the bond with Eric that kept her alive? Why did he have to heal at the end of the book? They only mention the slash in his forearm that seals over before they leave the hospital. Did he have wounds from an earlier skirmish?
    For these and other answers, I have to wait a year? NFW! I like cliffhangers, but I felt like the tale for this book was unfinished.
    JMHO
    Gaia’s-daughter

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  40. Kathy
    May 10, 2009 @ 11:35:58

    I received this book on Friday and had it finished Saturday. It totally met my expectations – although not to the point that I cannot wait until the next installment.

    There are some aspects of this book I totally appreciate. First is the maturation that Sookie is going through – and the linkage of that maturation to the dark-side of life. In my experience, it is the tough choices that drive you to truely define yourself. And Sookie is moving through this series, experiencing the good and bad of a real-life, and defining herself along the way. It has occured to me that this series is turning into a facinating new take on the mythic Hero’s Journey with Sookie in the title role. I am going to give this some serious consideration.

    Second, I am enjoying the way Sookies romantic relationship with men is evolving. It was simple at first with Bill – and it’s been getting more complicated as well as interesting ever since. I’ll admit I am totally pro-Eric. And I am thinking that he has had 1000-years in his self-discovery to get to where he is today – and he is still evolving. Sookie has just started! I hope they eventually find a place (outside of bed) that they both find what makes them happy. I totally believe that Eric has it in him!

    Can you tell I love this book, as well as the series? It’s not perfect, but what is? I’m loving the journey and wish I didn’t have to wait another year for the next steps. And please, continue to take risks and push the envelope – I can get risk-free reading … I want a challenge. It helps me in my life journey!

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  41. Robin/Janet
    May 11, 2009 @ 00:01:22

    @April: I think you’re absolutely right about Sookie struggling to figure out how much of her attraction to Eric is based on their mutual attraction, and how much (beyond the blood bond) is because of what kind of person Eric is. And frankly, I’m glad she’s skeptical, because I am too, lol.

    As for Sookie’s reactive mode, I agree with Elle that she’s barely had time to breathe, so I can’t expect more from her than just trying to keep up. Although perhaps there’s a bigger issue in terms of the way Harris sets up the books as so packed that Sookie can do no more than react?

    @muñeca: I’m anxious to hear the story behind that one, too, but for now I am able to accept that he sent Bill to get her, which I see as Eric making sure Sookie could get free. But that was an attention getter, wasn’t it?

    @Evangeline: But isn’t Sookie trying to be funny there — to make light of something eve she hasn’t figured out how to respond to? In response to which Sam comes out swinging, accusing Sookie of doing something “idiotic” — which then puts Sookie on the defensive, especially after she’s handled the bar by herself in Sam’s absence, dealing with, among other things, the crucified body in the parking lot. Then, when she leaves, she admits to herself that Sam is partly right, because she wasn’t on the ball enough to even anticipate what Eric was going to do with the knife. Although I don’t blame her for her reaction, because while we know Sam’s response was largely protective, I don’t think Sookie would ever expect such chastisement from Sam, who has not been one of the people who has underestimated and viewed her as stupid.

    OTOH, when she’s talking to Tara, though, she’s really trying to come to terms with everything that’s happened, and she’s looking for a chance to talk it out and figure it out. IMO she’s just in a whole different place.

    At one point, Sookie makes a reference to the fact that she is so used to hearing people’s thoughts that she hasn’t had to develop the skills to read other cues, and I think that’s really playing itself out in how she gets into these situations with the supes. Not able to take things at face value, but not capable of reading supe minds for the most part, she’s on a steep learning curve, IMO, and just trying to get up to speed.

    @Elle: You know, I agree with you about the pacing of Sookie’s adventures, and I wonder if the issue isn’t so much Sookie’s reactive position as it is the way Harris has created the pacing. That is, Sookie is a character who has not spent a lot of time thinking about bigger issues and philosophizing about herself and her life. She looked up to her grandmother and tried to follow the expectations/example she set, focusing on being a good Christian and a good Southern woman, wanting normality but being shut out of a normal life because of her telepathy.

    Now, though, Sookie is facing all these issues and all these questions about who/what she is and how she fits in with human society and supes and about what, if anything, her life means in a larger way. Yet she hardly has the time to devote to such reflection and contemplation. So I have had no problem with Sookie’s reactiveness, but I wonder how long Harris can sustain that without depriving Sookie of the independence she seems intent on instilling in her character. That’s an interesting tension in the series to me, and now that Sookie has been hurt, really hurt by what she’s involved in, something’s going to have to change in her character, IMO. I don’t take the position that Sookie has become hard or inflexible, because to me she has needed to develop a tougher skin. But I do think she’s got to register what’s happened to her in a way that incites her to take some control over her life PDQ.

    As for Quinn and the other men in Sookie’s life, didn’t she boot Bill because he put the priorities of others in front of her? Not the same circumstances, of course, but I’ve always felt that Sookie was pretty consistent in her need for loyalty in a mate, so even if Quinn sees her priorities as contradictory, if Eric ever tried to sacrifice Sookie for the King’s favor, I think she’d walk away from him, too.

    @Dallas and @Stace34: Thanks!

    @Lucy: I can think of three pregnant females — C, T, and C — but who’s the fourth? And In the case of T, why isn’t that a happy announcement?

    @Victoria: I think that in this book, particularly, Sookie’s love life took a front seat, so there’s more preoccupation with that. But also, Harris said in an interview at AAR that she will end the series once Sookie has settled on her final choice of men. And I think it’s quite easy to give it some real thought, because so far, Harris has avoided the Stephanie Plum syndrome of providing two pretty static male love interests for a pretty static Stephanie. Harris, IMO, is really using these men and these relationships to push Sookie’s character forward as well as the series, and thus far, I really feel that Sookie is growing from her relationships, even if it’s not always a positive experience for her. And I really hope Harris keeps that dynamic going, because for me it keeps everything very interesting in terms of finding different strengths in each male and different potentials with each of them, too.

    @Alice: I haven’t read Harrison’s series, but I’ve heard great things about it. I guess I need something on tap for when Harris ends this one!

    @Gaia: To answer one of your questions, Bill told Sookie in the last book that his girlfrend, Selah, moved away. He also tells her that he never loved Selah and knew that she was attracted to him primarily because he was a vamp. In D&G, I think he tells her that he’s not involved with someone else now, which is true.

    @Kathy: ITA with you about Sookie’s mythic journey, and I can’t wait to see where Harris takes it next. And to find out what the object of the quest is revealed to be.

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  42. Victoria
    May 11, 2009 @ 11:37:06

    Thanks for the response Janet! I absolutely agree that Harris must keep the tension going with the different males in Sookie’s life. I’m just guessing that, in the end, it’s going to be Sam. But until then, we can all enjoy seeing her go through her struggles and growth.

    I do think Harris is setting Sookie up to have to become more than what she has been, to face some even harder choices. The FBI probably won’t go away anytime soon, she won’t stop being a target just because she is “joined” to Eric (in fact probably to the contrary), etc. I’m hoping that in the final book, she ends up in a place that makes her happy, with someone that will bring her peace. Maybe that will be in her home in Bon Temps, maybe not. But in the end, give the girl a break!

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  43. Janet
    May 11, 2009 @ 23:03:51

    @Victoria: I also hope that Sookie ends up happy above all else. I’m not sure why, exactly, but I feel a stronger investment in Sookie than in most other series characters. Maybe it’s the bittersweet pragmatism that pervades her character. But whatever it is, I am strongly interested in her ultimate happiness, with or without a man in her life. I know I’d like to see someone for whom she does not have to compromise even more than she does already. We’ll see, though.

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  44. Janet
    May 11, 2009 @ 23:06:41

    For anyone who has not yet bought the book, Fictionwise is currently selling it for 50% off with a 30% micropay rebate.

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  45. Elle
    May 12, 2009 @ 21:57:18

    @Robin: (I give up….how do you make the text red???)

    Despite everything that happened in this book, I think that Sookie *did* have some time for reflection. She had some pretty deep thoughts about her relationships with Jason and Arlene, and what those relationships said about her and her own emotional neediness. She tried to reconcile her desire to be a “good Christian” with her instinct for self-preservation. She reflected upon the pros and cons of going to work for the FBI–weighing the good that she could do for others against the loss of her freedom that would inevitably come from allowing the government to control and exploit her gift. She recognized that she needed some protection in the fairy war, and very sensibly called in for support from the vamps and werewolves.

    I am also interested to see how Sookie will change after her experiences in this book. As you noted in your review, she says that she “will never be the same person again–physically or mentally.” I also did not find Sookie to be particularly hardened or inflexible in this book. To me, she just seems to be getting a little bit wiser about both people and the supes and starting to set boundaries in areas that she thinks are important.

    Regarding your question about why Sookie booted Bill, initially it was because of the whole thing with Lorena and how he essentially abandoned Sookie without a word, but the final nail in the coffin (ha, ha!) was when she discovered that Bill had engineered their entire initial relationship under Sophie-Anne’s direction (big time feelings of betrayal.) I agree that if Eric ever sacrificed Sookie for the king that she would give him the boot as well. I view it as a positive step forward for Eric that he was prepared to die for Sookie in this book (when in “All Together Dead” he indicated that he would *not* do so, and that was only two books ago.)

    Re: Sookie’s relationships. I’ve got my nickel on Eric, but I am not at all sure that he is going to win or even if he is the best man for Sookie. Agree with your comment about the difference between the more dynamic romantic entanglements in this series versus the more static ones in the Stephanie Plum series. I gave up on Stephanie about 3 books ago because I have a set idea about who she should end up with and hated to see her continue to waffle around. The mutability of the characters in Sookie’s series is what keeps the momentum of her relationships moving forward and keeps that portion of the story interesting.

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  46. M.S.
    May 13, 2009 @ 13:43:16

    quote from above:
    “I am also interested to see how Sookie will change after her experiences in this book. As you noted in your review, she says that she “will never be the same person again-physically or mentally.” I also did not find Sookie to be particularly hardened or inflexible in this book. To me, she just seems to be getting a little bit wiser about both people and the supes and starting to set boundaries in areas that she thinks are important.”

    About the ending of this book – I am not going to put any spoilers – but as mentioned above, Sookie did say that she was changed by this specific experience.

    AND…in real life, there are people who have gone through a similar experience, and they truthfully suffer deep trauma. (Here I am thinking about people in the Iraq War.)

    If for some reason, Sookie ‘just bounces back with a shrug and toughens up’ – that would really trivialize a deeply traumatic experience. It would be dishonest and disrespectful for those people, who truthfully have had that same experience.

    If the author goes so far, to have such an extreme scene – I don’t know if you can then pretend it did not really happen at all. There are consequences for having the character be in such an extreme scene. I don’t know if you can just ‘shrug it off’.

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  47. Janine
    May 14, 2009 @ 19:17:02

    @Elle:

    @Robin: (I give up….how do you make the text red???)

    Click on the little curved gray arrow at the top of the post you are replying to (after the timestamp). It took me forever to figure it out too.

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  48. Miki
    May 22, 2009 @ 00:22:46

    I tried not to read this review before I read the book, although I couldn’t stop from checking the grade.

    I have no idea what I’d “grade” this book. I’m beginning to think that if Sookie had any love for her friends, she’d do them a favor and kill herself. Being a friend to Sookie is definitely a life-threatening situation!

    I’m not sure I’ve read any book that’s depressed me more than this one! And yet … there are still lots of opportunity for Sookie to have friends die on her or for them to betray her.

    Sheesh.

    Somewhere, someone posted about this book that they’re tired of all the urban fantasies they’re reading getting darker and darker. Maybe that’s just where I am now. But after reading this book, I feel quite sick at heart.

    I’m not sure I have it in me to pick up any more books in this series.

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  49. mimi rodríguez
    May 23, 2009 @ 15:33:07

    I must agree with Miki. This read was difficult for me as it just kept getting darker and darker. All the other books in the “Sookie Stackhouse” series have entertained me. When all was said and done, “Dead and Gone”, left me down and depressed. Will I race out to get number 10? No.

    If I were Sookie (and I used to imagine myself as her in books 1 thru 8),
    I WOULD MARRY SAM.

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  50. mimi rodríguez
    May 23, 2009 @ 16:00:09

    Too many questions and not enough answers … ,

    WHERE IS BUBBA?

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  51. Lucy
    May 25, 2009 @ 13:44:10

    Since I believe this website is neutral – that is, it is not a PR agent for any specific book – then I assume it is okay to give my honest opinion of this book.

    For “DEad and Gone”, my opinion is that I did not like the choppy writing, lack of typical humor, lack of typical ‘feel good bonds’ between sincere friends, and the very dark storyline about the fairies, nor that we are left at the end of this book, at a very depressing outlook.

    And, something I wonder about…
    Usually every year, there is one Sookie book published in the month of May (usually in time for Mother’s Day, it seems). For this book, “Dead and Gone” (May 2009 – $26 – about 325 pages) , someone on a different review said: it feels like the author wrote up to 300 pages, then ended abruptly by adding 25 pages to ‘wrap it up quickly’. AND….I just saw that there is a 2nd Sookie book for sale this Fall 2009 – about 150 pages, that is $24 list price. So, does it seem that maybe there was one long book originally ? and then it got chopped into two books for 2009 – so you would spend $26 and $24 = $50 for the year 2009 for a new Sookie book. If this book, “Dead and Gone”, did get ‘chopped into two’ then that would explain why this ending was so so dark and despressing? However, that does not explain the poor writing and lack of humor and lack fo genuine warmth.
    Has anyone else heard about this 2nd book for $24 ?

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  52. Jane
    May 25, 2009 @ 17:53:05

    @Lucy The fall Sookie book is actually an anthology called To Hell with the Hellhounds. I don’t know how many pages or the list price for the book but I believe that is what is the second book coming out in 2009 re: Sookie.

    And yes, absolutely, tell us what you think about the book. There are probably others that feel the same way that you do.

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  53. mimi rodríguez
    May 25, 2009 @ 22:13:43

    The cover of book 10(?), “A Touch of Dead”, scheduled to be released Oct. 6, 2009 is the first in th SS series where Sookie is alone, no other sups in the picture, maybe in more ways than one.

    Book 9, “Dead and Gone”, lacked the storyline development and wit I had become accustomed to since I first became enchanted with the book series. It did seem like Charlaine Harris rushed through the ending for reasons of her own which left this SS fan disillusioned.

    I agree Miki, Lucy and haha, Jane. And yes, absolutely, tell us what you think about the book

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  54. Lucy
    May 25, 2009 @ 22:35:04

    Yes, the Fall 2009 book that I mentioned is, “A Touch of Dead” – book #10 for Sookie Stackhouse. It’s sole author is Charlaine Harris.

    The anthology you mentioned is different book.

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  55. Robin
    May 25, 2009 @ 22:47:23

    @Lucy: I’m pretty sure that’s just a collection of the short stories set in Sookie’s world that have been published in various anthologies over the years. I have to say that I find it frustrating that they are being published for that astonishingly high price, but it’s also been frustrating to have to buy numerous anthologies for those stories. Anyway, my sense is that there isn’t any new content in AToD, unless Harris is adding a new story to the collection.

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  56. Robin
    May 25, 2009 @ 22:50:20

    @Elle: Besides using the little arrow to make the referring person’s name red, if you want to insert a link into the post, highlight the text in your post you want to be red, then click on link and then paste in the UR, clicking okay or whatever it is. The text turns red, indicating the presence of a link. I hope that’s clear — it’s easier to do than explain, lol.

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  57. Victoria Dahl
    May 26, 2009 @ 09:16:43

    Oh, God, I was so disappointed with this book. It’s the first Sookie book I haven’t liked. Come to think of it, the first Harris book I haven’t liked, as I also love the Harper Connelly series.

    *weep*

    I don’t mind darkness in paranormals. Not at all. As a matter of fact, I thought the darkest scenes were way too removed in this book. Impesonal. But this whole book was an unpleasant place to be. Discomfort in her own home. Stress at work. Unhappiness all around. Exhaustion. Loneliness.

    Still, I would’ve been fine with that–it’s part of Sookie’s story–if the rest of the book had been fully developed.

    ************ SPOILERS **********SPOILERS************

    This can’t be serious. That unbelievable, life-changing drama with Eric AND THEY NEVER EVEN TALK ABOUT IT???? Are they married? What does that mean? Why wasn’t Eric there for her? Why are they exchanging blood just for sex if they’re getting close to some line that shouldn’t be crossed? Also, ARE THEY MARRIED??? I didn’t need everything resolved. After all, this is a continuing series. But it should have at least been discussed.

    And I simply can’t handle any more plots that revolve around Sookie missing messages from people. She has a cell phone. She mentions texting. Why is Eric having to send people all the way up to her town to ask if she got his messages? And why is she SPRINTING from her house to her car in one scene, acknowledging in internal convo that this was her most vulnerable point… then stopping to get the mail, btw… then in very next scene, she drives on home and gets out of her car in the middle of the night instead of waiting for Bill to catch up. Come to think of it, why was Bill obeying traffic laws instead of keeping up with Sookie? Drive thru the light, Bill. Pull over & wait, Sookie.

    I felt the whole book was steeped in exhaustion. In fact, every mistake she made or hint she missed was because of her physical & mental tiredness. It made me tired too.

    ************************************

    Ok, sorry abt the rant. I think I feel betrayed, which is silly. Sorry, Robin. Sorry, Ms. Harris. I’ll go have a drink and shake it off, I promise. And I’ll buy the next book and be excited about it, so please let it be great! *g*

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  58. mimi rodríguez
    Jun 06, 2009 @ 17:46:11

    Does anyone know how the terms werefox, werepanther and weretiger are translated in the Spanish language versions of the Sookie Stackhouse series?

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  59. mimi rodríguez
    Jun 06, 2009 @ 17:58:26

    Also, what term is used for shapeshifter?

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  60. Rose
    Jun 08, 2009 @ 12:10:18

    Janet,

    Loved your review. I have a feeling that Ms. Harris has a series ending in mind that will make at least two camps of Sookie’s followers happy.

    @mimi rodriguez: If you go to the messageboard on charlaineharris.com, some of the board moderators speak Spanish. I’m sure that they would be able to translate the terms for you.

    Rose

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  61. mimi rodríguez
    Jun 10, 2009 @ 21:15:10

    @Rose:
    Thanks, I followed your advice. I posted my question on the CH website. I also asked the moderator, dallasmc, to give Ms. Harris a short message. And would you know, the woman, the goddess herself responded to my post. I felt so flattered, so honored, so happy. Anyway, I did get a response, obviously, but not an answer, yet. I’ll be glad to share when I do.

    I have been able to find excerpts in Spanish online, but not the books. It is hard.
    Again, thank-you for your time and counsel.

    PS charlaineharris.com is a great site and this SS fan is hooked. I am a SS addict.

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  62. mimi rodríguez
    Jun 10, 2009 @ 21:40:08

    To the Ja(y)nes,
    I hope I can speak for all here when I say, thank you for the creation and maintenance of this website. It is a great comfort to be able to read and share opinions about this fantasy that has bewitched us all. Unfortunately, I don’t have anyone to dicuss these stories with (I do have my sister, but she is far away and very busy) and your site provides this humble devotee to the SS series a healthy outlet. Again, I just want to say, you ROCK. :-)

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  63. luannevela
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 17:57:43

    just a sidenote, If you do post to the CH web site (if you already haven’t), please read THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU POST and know that Ms. Harris is rather generous with her time and frequently responds to the comments from her bloggers. I<3CH. Isn't she great?

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  64. Jenn
    Jul 16, 2009 @ 06:49:02

    *SPOILERS*

    I finished reading Dead and Gone. Finally. I was disappointed with how quick a read it was more than anything else. It seemed short in comparison to the rest of the series. This book has “set-up” written all over it.

    As for Sookie’s character changes in the book, I’m not sure she really did change as much as everyone seems to think she has. I think she’s definitely matured as a character, but her basic ways of thinking and handling situations seem very much the same to me. Ridiculous amounts of self-imposed guilt and so on. Growing up is about losing preconceived notions. I’d say that this book was the beginning of the fruit of Sookie growing up. Whereas most people mature as children, Sookie didn’t have the social interactions to do so. Harris decided to give them to her as an adult. So, it’s going to seem like Sookie is a completely different person as she loses her naivety and blind trust in people, when she’s really just “wising up.” No, she most certainly would not have stopped to check and see if Arlene was being square with her in the first few books, even with her being a member of FoS. The fact that she did reflects a marked change in her perceptions of those around her and their motives. I think Sookie’s actions in the book were meant to be interpreted as cautions and thoughtful, rather than passive. And, yes, she did some rather stupid things for someone who was supposed to be on alert(like checking the mail), but, honestly, I think we can all admit that it’s a little difficult to break old habits and ways of thinking instantaneously.

    As for who Harris is setting her up to be with, there’s no real way of knowing. I suspect Sam, mostly because Sookie’s feelings for him haven’t been fully explored yet. He’s definitely in her thoughts more. Sookie spends a great deal of the book lamenting being unable to discuss her problems and feelings with him because she feels like she would be burdening him during his own time of crisis. I don’t think she would have done that before, and it hints of a more mature blossoming of feelings on Sookie’s part. For those of you who would nay-say Sam because he’s the “friend,” just keep in mind that Harris has shown there to be a sexual tension between Sookie and Sam before. Also, any lasting, meaningful relationship is with someone who is your friend and your lover. My husband is not the man that I was the most deliriously and ridiculously attracted to in life, but he is the man who’s always been there for me and stood by me. He’s someone I can talk to about anything. He’s everything to me, and he’s definitely the man who was best for me, whether I, in my more youthful state, could understand that or not. True, solid love is about more than basic, instinctual attraction. The concept of which is very teenage and immature, by the way. As for Sookie blurting out that she was “married” to Eric, I think you’re reading into that way too much. I think it was just her interpretation of the situation summed up in one word. Sookie’s word choice was pretty poor though. Eric is my favorite character in the series, by the way, and I squee with joy to see him with Sookie, but I don’t think he’s the man that’s going to make her happy in the long run. And why even bring up Alcide? He’s one of the worst ones in the bunch as far as I’m concerned. First he asks Sookie for her help, knowingly putting her in danger, then, when she does exactly what he asked and it goes unfavorably, he drops her like a rock. It’s not her fault that things turned out the way that they did with the pack and his father so he shouldn’t have treated her like it was. I hope he stays gone.

    This book definitely took a darker turn. I found it refreshing, though, especially with all this Twilight stuff going on where vampires are all warm and fuzzy and sparkle like diamonds in the sunlight. Perhaps Harris was sort of speaking out against that kind of happy-go-lucky vampire/supernatural writing? I admit that everyone dying does get a little old, though. I’m pissed that Claudine died, particularly right after we find out that she’s pregnant. I’m not a big fan of killing pregnant women. I’m a little overly sensitive to that right now anyway, being pregnant myself. So, I found Harris’s writing a little disturbing in that sense. Most of the deaths in this book seemed rather pointless. Although, I suspect that Tray Dawson’s death is a set-up for some kind of change with Amelia.

    To address the issue of Sookie not wanting to forgive Jason, I very much doubt it’s because she wants to feel like the superior one in the relationship. That’s a tad on the silly side. I think she’s just still having trouble dealing with her feelings on him using her like that with Crystal and then making her break Calvin Norris’s hand. I haven’t really noticed a point where she stops and truly deals with her feelings about all that in this book. She seemed too busy with other feelings and thoughts most of the book, like her romantic attachment to Eric. What I did see was her warming up to her brother again. I think she’s already started to forgive him.

    These were my thoughts on the book. It was not my intention to offend anyone. I apologize if I did.

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  65. Hallie
    Jul 23, 2009 @ 15:33:56

    i really enjoyed reading this review..despite my being stuck in the dust and only on book 4 of this series.
    it’s probably sacriligious for me to even be reading these things if im that far behind but i really dont care. i really enjoy the sookie-eric storyline and i do think there’s some serious hope for him and he shouldn’t be given up on yet…not that i wouldn’t really mind sam. for some reason however, im not a huge fan of bill.

    it seems that maybe people shouldn’t be getting too into the whole break-down of all the characters and sookie’s love interest(s) and everyone should cut charlaine harris some slack. it’s hard writing 9 books from one character’s perspective but i think she should end the series soon…or perhaps it seriously should have already ended. with these many books and such a complex storyline some of the points and the characters’ thoughts and feelings and relationships just get jumbled up and lost in translation…much to the dismay of the fans.

    im hoping that ms. harris can pull through; it’s awfully difficult reading a book that literally weighs you down while you’re reading it let alone writing it.
    GOOD LUCK…and i will keep reading until the end of the series.

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  66. Lucy
    Jul 23, 2009 @ 22:40:16

    Hallie -

    This blog entry is for the review of the book, “Dead and Gone”.

    Are you writing in your posting, that you are reviewing this book “Dead and Gone”, even though you have not read it?

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  67. Hallie
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 19:26:23

    im not reviewing the book dead and gone itself, yes i havent read it
    but i always like knowing ahead of time what im getting myself into before i read a book
    (i read the ending before i start)
    but based on what others have said i was trying to get my bearings and trying to understand why some had problems with it and others did not…but i was coming to the defense for the author since i have read other long series and have ended up being disappointed
    why read the whole thing if you think its not worth it in the end?

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  68. Jenni
    Aug 05, 2009 @ 09:55:23

    So when are you writing YOUR book?! Srsly, great review (and yes, I’m a huge Sookie fan, eagerly awaiting book 10.. who will she choose? Bill or Eric?). While reading your narrative of a review I found myself reliving each emotion and asking myself those same internal questions about what fate lies in wait for Sookie. If you decide to go pro, I’d love to see what you can create!

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  69. Molly
    Aug 22, 2009 @ 14:01:46

    I have read books 1-8 this week and am completely enthralled. I started with the tv series and decided that I MUST read the books. Boy was I excited at how different and wonderful they are! I cannot wait to pick up my copy of Dead and Gone.

    I get the feeling Sookie will end up with either Eric or Sam and have had that feeling from the beginning. I warn you, I am seriously on Team Eric. I am not familiar with Ms. Harris’ other writing, but I do believe she does foreshadow- if only a little bit. My initial signal that there would be something more with Eric was his attempt to lure Sookie away from Bill (who can be staked for all I care, he’s just awful). If vamp law is so sacred and worthy of being upheld, why would he try to circumvent it? Secondly is that he was the ONLY vampire she was capable of hearing initially (was she able to at The Pyramid? I found that part confusing). The next part that steers me to Eric is during his amnesia episode. Every exchange they had was based on his purest most true feelings, was it not? He is nearly her ideal as she proclaims it to Quinn (he was interesting initially but got rather flaccid quickly). She wants someone who will be there for her and take care of her (even though she swears not. Why would she be so very upset about Bill and his donation to the Bellefleur’s if she did not want to be aided?) Eric thus far has proven to be reasonably available to her emotionally and financially when the need has been required. Although he may not always be physically present, he uses his power and influence to assure her safety and happiness (Alcide, Bill, Charles, Pam). He also swears that the love is not based on the blood bond, which at this point I believe (unless that is refuted in this latest installment).

    Sookie believed Eric love her before she found out about her fae blood, why would it make any difference now? I agree with many who say that she has gone through her adolescent stage of dating in the earlier books. She is unsure of the supe’s true feelings for her because she cannot honestly tell what they are, she finds this refreshing, I see it as a disadvantage to her psyche. She is far more the fragile flower than she feels she is. She is not a wilting violet, but she not tough as nails as she tries to be (in my opinion). However, I do find her to be far less of a user than I did Bella of Twilight fame… but I digress.

    I am not a fan of Sam as a lover for Sookie. He seems to have always been too dishwater. His standard shifter form is enough to make his seem as a non-threat and someone who will never be bold enough to take what he wants. However it is her constant need for his approval and wisdom that intrigues me. I suppose Sam is a familiar face both pre- and post- supe knowledge… however he is also the first supe she encounters in finding out she could not read his mind.

    It is my opinion that people should not discount Sookies’s love interest as being relatively inane. Were it not for her interest in Bill she would not have been drawn into such situations. Many of the actions she has performed have been done out of love: rescuing Bill from Lorena, rescuing Eric from the side of the road as well explosion (it was never an intent to discover Bill, she just happened to find him; he assumed she would be the one to rescue him), calling Quinn to get out of the explosion. wrestling Pricilla off of Sam’s back. Many of her most dangerous rescues have been the ones where vamps are involved- and she has rescued Eric the most.

    I fear the wrath of the machine and that Ms. Harris may end up pairing Bill and Sookie together for the sake of media promotions. Now that Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer have announced their engagement, even the show has announced that it may diverge seriously from the story line. But then again, that’s show business.

    I hope my ramblings have not offended anyone. I came in here new and as it jsut so happens I pick up subcontext much more quickly than main points when reading. It makes for difficult and frequent re-reading. I have very much enjoyed the synopsis and commend the work as well as enjoying the character dissection. Well done ladies (and gentlemen if you are about)!

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  70. Lucy
    Aug 22, 2009 @ 14:23:52

    Molly wrote:
    “I fear the wrath of the machine and that Ms. Harris may end up pairing Bill and Sookie together for the sake of media promotions. Now that Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer have announced their engagement, even the show has announced that it may diverge seriously from the story line. But then again, that's show business.”

    ******************

    ACTUALLY…regarding the romance storyline part, that is not true.

    At San Diego Comic-con 2009, during a panel Q&A, someone asked Alan Ball:
    “How will the romance play out with Sookie and Bill and Eric?”
    AB answered: “It will play out the same as in the books.”
    (Which I take to mean that Sookie drops Bill, and she develops her romance with Eric.)

    If you go to http://www.YouTube.com, and search fo: Comic-con 2009 TrueBlood panel discussion – it is about 6 parts, each about 7 minutes long. It was fun to watch these Youtube segments.

    AND…now that you’ve read books 1-8, I would very much want to hear your opinion of this last book. To me, it was sharply different from the prior 8 books. I found the last book to be a big disappointment. Molly, after you have actually read “Dead and Gone” -please post your comments on it, too.

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  71. Molly
    Aug 22, 2009 @ 15:56:47

    @Lucy: Thanks for clearing that up. This is what I get for listening to what is said on E! I’m actually glad that they will let it play out the way the books work… however there is so much that has been altered already I’m interested to see how they will manage. Again, thank you so very much.

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  72. Mindie
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 07:03:47

    I feel as though Quinn will give Sookie the best of both worlds. So, I am team Quinn all the way. Eric gives me the creeps.

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  73. maggie
    Sep 22, 2009 @ 06:11:45

    I think the people who are taking these novels as a downer have no real good taste in something when it is actually good. The Sookie Stackhouse novels have been the best novels i read in a long time. i can’t put them down for a minute and i find myself wanting more and more and more. KEEP IT UP HARRIS. great novels.

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  74. maggie
    Sep 22, 2009 @ 06:12:06

    Team ERIC all the way!!!!!!!!!!!

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  75. Therese
    Nov 11, 2009 @ 23:01:59

    This book was one of my favorites in the series. Some reviews I read indicated that there was too much going on, but I enjoyed the fast pace plots. There were a few things that I though would go somewhere that didn’t: The marriage; Hunter; D’Eric being able to see fairies that other people can’t see and frankly the FBI thing didn’t really go anywhere. Perhaps in the next book.

    Also, the Eric/Sookie relationship is my favorite, and this book had a good dose of that. He is powerful, protective but has his own life, always willing to help and has a sense of humor. Bill…too late; Sam…great friend, but too much of a brother/sister relationship; Quinn…”babe”…yuck; Calvin…never an option

    This book also didn’t have as much rehashing/explaining events and characters from prior books. That is the one thing I do not like about these books and I was happy that that didn’t happen too much in this one. If someone decides to start reading a series at book number 4 and they feel like they are missing something, then they need to read books 1, 2 and 3 so they know what is going on.

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  76. asya
    Nov 15, 2009 @ 16:42:20

    I bought my dad one of these stuhrling watches

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  77. Amy
    Dec 15, 2009 @ 07:20:47

    I just finished reading ‘Dead and Gone’ and throughly enjoyed it, in my opinion it is the best book in the series! My only complaint is that i seemed to read it so quickly. I gather this was because the book gathered so much momentum and was a none stop enthralling read. I have loved reading everyones reviews on D&G agreeing and disagreeing with many.

    I am totally team Eric, i ‘like’ Bill, but always preferred Sam over him until Eric came into the picture. Eric and Sookies relationship is complex and deep. I loved that Eric was more forthcoming with his feelings for Sookie in D&G, (though when i think about it he has always been honest in regards to his feelings for Sookie, they have deepened and intensified has the series progressed) I think Sookie is used to knowing or been aware of how men think and feel about her and with Eric he has never told her is words that he ‘loves her’ but shows it in his actions and in their conversations. I think the reason why neither of them wanted to discuss the ‘love’ issue any further is this book is because their relationship isn’t only intensely physical but also deeply emotional, something that is new to Eric in is 1000 year existence and frightening for sookie who has had a year filled with experiences and emotions that most people explore in a life time. Sookies relationship with Eric began as a love/hate relationship, extremely strong emotions, and we know that in most cases there is a very fine line between the two. I think Sookies reluctance to totally give her heart to Eric is her fear that she doesn’t understand the complexity and the deep connection that is their relationship and this frightens her. Sookie and Eric’s relationship is not black and white like her relationship is with Bill, Sam and rebound Quinn. Sookie and Eric are both confident, brave, stubborn and proud people, they are the reflection of the other. (soul mates)

    I don’t think Harris would go to such lengths in books 1-9 to keep an underlying and burning tension sexually and emotionally simmering in the background between Sookie and Eric, subtly demanding to be further explored. I think the series will end with Eric and Sookie not Sookie and her ‘best friend’ Sam and definitely not Bill. Harris has made the Sookie/Eric relationship a sub plot in the bigger plots of the novels, its part of the story but not the whole story, therefore the reader is allowed to barrack for other Sookie/male relationships and other characters whilst keeping the chemistry and complex partnership between Sookie and Eric an intriguing and juicy element of the series. In saying this, Harris, has in no means made predicting the end of the series easy and i am very anxious to see what is install for the characters and their very complex relationships, but very excited!

    I read the reviews before i begun reading D&G and expected to be disappointed with the book, on the contrary, it was the best so far. I think the conversation between Sookie and Eric in regards to his past was sweet and informative, in my opinion Eric didn’t share his past with Sookie to have an indepth conversation, i think he only wanted to share and Sookie was happy listening, what more could she have said?? In regards to Sookie blurting out ‘im married’ to Sam was an interesting and non-event in the story, i thought the conversation between Tara and Sookie was far more refreshing and shed some light on Sookies feelings on the subject and the relationship between her and Tara.

    I must admit i love Sookie, but i was frustrated with her inability to decifer Eric’s actions and words when it comes to his feelings for her. I think Sookie is hiding behind the ‘blood bond’ excuse to dismiss the strength of her feelings for Eric, because as i said before she is terrified of the soul mate connection they share, so much so she even stops herself from freely admitting her feelings to herself. Here is a list of things that blurt out ‘Sookie i love you’ : The explanation of the ‘amnesia spell’ “be near your hearts desire with out knowing” – The ceremonial marriage (even though he was ‘high-handed’ with it, it still demonstrated his feelings for her) – The fact that he hasn’t shared his blood with anyone since Pam – his willingness for her to stay in his home (a private sanctuary for Eric) – His ability to protect and make available people for her during daylight hours – The most significant i believe was his dialouge at the end of the novel when he spoke about Bill and his indifference to him if Sookie had not survived, his anguish that he couldn’t get to her in time and the heart wrenching words ‘your killing me’ suggests that its his overwhelming love for her which is killing him, not her or her actions literally killing him, like some have suggested in their reviews. These are just a view examples of his devotion to Sookie and they began in book 8 and were just as significant and evident in book 8 as they are in D&G.

    As it has been suggested by others i don’t think Eric would abandon Sookie to gain favor with vampire authorities, he demonstrated his willingness to expose himself to backlash from other vampires by interfering and protecting Sookie from a near bite and ‘bond’ with Sophie Anne’s right- hand man, in book 8.

    In my opinion Eric from book 1 has always tried to protect Sookie, even if some of his motives had been for his own self gain. But as the series has progressed and their relationship developed and their shared experiences intensified, Eric has never truly faltered when it comes to the welfare of Sookie.

    Sorry for the babbling, as you can probably tell i adore this series and have equally loved reading the reviews from people who are just as fascinated and love The Sookie Stackhouse Series as much as i do.

    Can’t wait for May 2010 and the next installment. TEAM ERIC!!!

    ReplyReply

  78. Charlaine Harris – Dead and Gone « Fyrefly's Book Blog
    Dec 26, 2009 @ 10:11:13

    [...] Reviews: All About {n}, Angieville, Ashley’s Library, Dear Author, Drey’s Library, Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin’ News & Reviews, Kathleen’s Book [...]

  79. Edith
    Jan 11, 2010 @ 12:09:09

    Hi there!

    Congrats for the writer, the review is excellent!
    Amy, thanks for the long comment of yours, it was very well-thought and I agree with you completely! (that, I think clearly says that I am Team Eric, too :D) I really hope that Ms. Harris will think the same way you do, about the sub plot thing, etc so we will be pleased with the ending. I gotta say, I got the 1st the books for Christmas, (but in Hungarian) and I was not totally convinced about it, but then i decided to read the 4th book in English. That was a week ago, and I have finished with the last available book (the 8th) yesterday, so now I will try buy the D&G tomorrow, I am completely and finally hooked in Sookie’s world :D (the translation was quite bad, the original language is always way better!) So, I just wanted let u guys know, that Sookie fans are everywhere, and thx again for the review! (and sorry for my English, after all, I am no native speaker :) ) Edith

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  80. Amy
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 22:18:52

    Hi Edith, thanks for your comment, and your English is great :)
    You should check out the Charlaine Harris website, if you already haven’t http://www.charlaineharris.com/
    I highly recommend it, you can chat on-line to other Sookie fans from all over the world about any Sookie related topic, its great!

    Amy :)

    ReplyReply

  81. D Reilly
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 16:27:49

    Thankyou to Charlaine Harris for bringing us to the world of “Sookie Stackhouse” !! many hours delightful hours away from the real world. Eric & Sookie…from the moment she walked into Fangtasia..Eric simply “needs” to be with Sookie…vampire love ?? Sookie does want Eric to love her too. ( felt very “comfy” just before Eric’s spell wore off; was,in fact disappointed when it did wear off)..Sookie did like the closeness with Eric,,(book 4) & and had lots of “memories”. Bill was her lover, but as a person “cold” etc. Eric was easy, fun, laughs etc. better match .

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  82. Amanda
    Feb 06, 2010 @ 14:00:13

    I loved the 9th book. Yes it was dark, but sometimes life is dark. Honestly, the fact that Sookie hasn’t been scarred yet speaks to her overwhelming resilience. I LOVE that she and Eric are finally finally together. I wonder how that will work in the next book though. They see and talk so infrequently that the logistics of their relationship is something to consider. For example, at one point in DAG Sookie says to herself that she would give anything to see Eric right now. But he has his bar and she has her house and they live ab. an hour away from each other. I think it would be interesting if she did go and stay with Eric for awhile at his house. And when are they EVER going to really talk about what happened when Eric had amnesia. Since he recovered his memory they just keep saying they need to talk but when is that going to come to fruition? I also wonder what kind of lastability their relationship has. Would they ever really have a routined life together? I know I’m in the vast minority, but I want her to wind up with Sam. This thing with Eric is awesome, and it should run its course. But Sam is the one with lastability. He respects her, he supports her, he’s a supe himself, he has lastability. She has never gotten past him being her boss, which, when considering really choosing the right person for your life, is a minor detail. We need to explore where a romance with Sam would go.

    ReplyReply

  83. 2010: #63 – Dead and Gone (Charlaine Harris) | Confessions of a Bibliophile
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 14:54:30

    [...] REVIEW: Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris | Dear Author Whimpulsive: Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris Charlaine Harris – Dead and Gone « Fyrefly’s Book Blog Musings of a Bookish Kitty: Review: Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris Dead and Gone (True Blood) by Charlaine Harris : Book Review [...]

  84. EJW
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 18:37:31

    @Helen Burgess: What is the point in your comment? Why read the review if you stopped reading at book 6? It’s a shame your comment is the first on the page.

    ReplyReply

  85. Jane
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 19:24:18

    @EJW I understand the desire to comment on series that you give up on. I’m still bitter at Karin Slaughter’s series of books and many times when Harris’ book is brought up, I can’t help but mention how much I distrust her as author given what she did to me in Fool and His Honey.

    ReplyReply

  86. William Reff
    Nov 27, 2010 @ 04:47:02

    Hey q9cquyxjn k, very interesting post, it really got me thinking. Thank you. 688io d6iw1

    ReplyReply

  87. Hira Hasnain (Enamored Soul)
    Apr 13, 2011 @ 05:21:07

    I’m really glad I read this review. And the comments were even more insightful! Thank you so much for the review and the comments.

    I am only on book 2 of this series, and loving it so far, cannot WAIT to get to book 9 – although I’m slightly apprehensive about this being so very “dark”.

    ReplyReply

  88. whitney
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 12:15:48

    true blood is a amazing tv show im a huge fan i can talk about it all day.

    ReplyReply

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