Review: Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
This post contains SPOILERS from the plot of Dead Reckoning. If you have not read the novel and do not wish to know anything from the novel, please stop reading now.
With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. But Sookie suspects otherwise and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit – and the twisted motive for the attack. But her attention is divided. Though she can’t ‘read’ vampires, Sookie knows her lover Eric Northman and his ‘child’ Pam well – and she realises that they are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, she is drawn into the plot -which is much more complicated than she knows. Caught up in the politics of the vampire world, Sookie will learn that she is as much of a pawn as any ordinary human – and that there is a new Queen on the board…
This is What I Had to Say About Sookie Last Week:
My Take on the 1st 100 Pages:
Okay maybe I am missing something, or maybe this is just a product of my overly analytical mind, but so far this book is choppy and not what I expected. I can’t tell where one of Charlaine’s thoughts end and another one begins. And sometimes I’ve had to reread the same page three or four times to figure out how Sookie got from one place/thought to the other. It’s very disconcerting. I have been a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series for a very long time, and reading this book makes me wonder why.
I don’t remember Sookie being this overly dramatic about everything. Heck I don’t even remember her using so many southern terms and phrases, phrases I haven’t even heard of and I’m from the south. All the ‘I said’ tags are also getting on my nerves. I know Sookie said it, so why am I being told every other sentence? This book feels rushed and I’m tempted to put it down, but after I spent 14 bucks on it I have no choice but to finish the darn thing. I’m only 100 pages in so I’m willing to let this entire nonsense slide if the rest of it picks up the slack. But who knows, I have been disappointed before.
My Feelings After Reading the Entire Body of Work:
I still wholeheartedly agree with my original statement about the first 130 or so pages. I had to push my nose to the page to get over the dull, winding road that soaked up those first few chapters. All the ‘I said’, ‘he said’, ‘and then he said’ tags were a week point for the story. I know Sookie is a country girl, but she didn’t talk that way in the other books. It was almost as bad as saying, “like girl you know…” It sounded exactly the same. But the novel did get stronger over time and being that I am a fan of this series, overall I liked it as a springboard to the next book. So without waiting lets dive right into the happenings of Bon Temps.
Let’s start with Eric and Pam, two characters I usually love to see. In my opinion neither character acted in their usual manner. In good fortune I am going to attribute this to the amount of stress both characters were under throughout the entire novel. Between Eric’s constant avoidance of the issues with Sookie, and Pam trying to create her own child, I am not sure how I feel about these two anymore. I always like Eric and thought he was a better choice for Sookie than Bill because at least he was straightforward (well more so than Bill). Not in this book. He was just as shady as the next guy until Pam almost spills his secret (which to me was really not a big deal). So his dead Maker married him off, okay, who cares? It wasn’t like anyone didn’t expect them to find a way around it. It was just a matter of when and who they would kill to do it.
Sookie does something vampires consider major in this book; she breaks her “bond” with Eric. For me personally I thought this was a stupid move on her part. I know she wanted to know if she would still love him after it was gone, but geez didn’t the woman realize the ramifications of what she was about to do? As much as she gets into trouble and needs help, one would assume she saw the bond as a good thing. At least he would know she needed him and help would come sooner rather than later. But not Sookie, no she thinks the exact opposite that this is going to free her because it was a burden to know what her lover was feeling. And low and behold after she does it she immediately regretted asking her witch friend Amelia to cast the spell. She practically blamed Amelia for going through with it when she ASKED for it. I wanted to smack Sookie up side her head at this point. Also right after this little incident is when the one and only (yes that’s right) love scene of off-the-wall sex between Sookie and Eric comes in. Granted it was pretty hot, but it was also a quickie, so not much to say about it.
Pam, Pam, Pam. Lord the poor girl was miserable on every page she was present. I could feel her anguish and I felt genuinely sorry for her lover who was dying of cancer and she was not allowed to change her into a vampire. I think of all the reveals that surprised me in this book, her lover dying was one of them. I really expected for Pam to go rogue and just turn her anyway despite what Victor (the new Regent of Louisiana) said. And come to find out that’s exactly what she intended to do but Miriam died before she got the chance. It was pitiful.
Sam was in this book quite a bit too, almost more than Eric. He was struggling with his bar because of a new place that opened up in town was stealing his business. He was also busy making strides with the new love in his life Jannalynn. Those two are a weird match (Sookie also makes a few references to that too), but Charlaine makes it believable. So I can roll with it.
Who did I really like in this book? Dermont and Claude. Their interaction with people and the world around them is simply hilarious. Claude is his usually nonchalant hard-ass self and Dermont really comes into his own by the end of the book. When Sookie was going through her “I need you all to get out of my house” phase, she cast everyone out except Dermont. And I was glad for that because I felt he was worth keeping around despite his faults. Although he removed the ward that was supposed to protect her and didn’t immediately put up another, he is still a good person at heart. For a faerie he’s pretty honest and trustworthy, which is more than I can say for Claude. From the last book to this one, the relationship between Sookie and Dermont has really grown. She is always comparing him to her brother Jason, and it was finally nice to see that he is his own person and not her brother. I think Sookie became fonder of him when she also realized that fact. I am looking forward to reading his character growth in the next Southern Vampire novel.
Moving on to the MC. Every time there is a huge fight scene between vampires Sookie is crawling around on the floor. I guess that is a good reaction because it keeps her alive, but it makes me laugh nonetheless. As a character she felt out of place in this book. It seemed like the things she had come to accept about vampires and their world in previous novels were just tossed out of the window in Dead Reckoning. With all the vampire politics she has witnessed you would think she’d been more understanding of Eric’s situation. But of course she wasn’t. It was only when Bill told her not to question it and let Eric figure it out for himself that she started to come around. Listening to an ex instead of making informed decisions about your relationship for yourself is a Sookie trait though. So I guess I half expected it.
I am not sure about the fate of Sookie and Eric’s relationship. Towards the end after another batch of vampire killing, Sookie found herself hating the fact that more people had to die. This whole bit of her crying about it makes me think that she’s going to eventually turn away from vampires altogether and start dating a different type of creature. My vote is for Quinn, yummy! I haven’t discussed the business between Sookie’s grandmother and her faerie lover because I do want to leave some reveals for readers. But what I will say is that what happened between the two was disturbing whether it was a faerie “joke” or not.
Well I guess that ends my Dead Reckoning rant. Despite the slow pace of the book and questionable happenings, I still think this is grade A Charlaine Harris writing. While this is not in my top 5 for the series, I still think any fan who has not read it is missing out. So I give it a solid 3.5.
3.5 out of 5 controllers
Check it out, Dead Reckoning by: Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse #11)