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235 x 159mm
04 May 2010
Ace trade paper
18 - AND UP
After enduring torture and the loss of loved ones during the brief but deadly Faery War, Sookie Stackhouse is hurt and she's angry. Just about the only bright spot in her life is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman. But he's under scrutiny by the new Vampire King because of their relationship. And as the political implications of the Shifters coming out are beginning to be felt, Sookie's connection to the Shreveport pack draws her into the debate. Worst of all, though the door to Faery has been closed, there are still some Fae on the human side-and one of them is angry at Sookie. Very, very angry...
So, I was trying to figure out ways to do this review without having spoilers, but as you can see from the publisher's synopsis above...well, the biggest one for me is already in it.
I read Dead Until Dark last year but was trying to pace my reading with my viewing of the HBO series TrueBlood (though I haven't gotten to Living Dead in Dallas yet.) There seems to be a fairly close correlation between the two yet enough differences that I, personally, wouldn't give up on either one.
My first impression of Dead in the Family was that it seemed to be a much larger book than any of the previous ones. As I started reading it, I found after about 30+ pages, a page entitled "Chapter 1", so I scratched my head, thinking "What?" and flipped back through to see if I'd missed something. Nope, didn't say "Prologue" or anything like that, it just mentioned a general date time frame. Once I caught on to this I realized it was just a bridge of sorts between the last book to this one. Sookie was needing some recovery time, but this format also served as a way for the reader who hadn't read the previous book (like myself) to catch up to speed.
What I love about this series is that there is a languid quality to Harris' writing that you feel totally invested in the Bon Temps/Louisiana laid back lifestyle. But it has such a sensual feel also, that you are completely engrossed and really don't want to put the book down, even when Sookie's performing mundane tasks.The chemistry between Sookie and Eric is fantastic (I'm totally team Eric, lol) and their moments together are definitely enough to leave a girl weak in the knees!
Harris maintains such an intricate world of vampires, weres and other "two-natured" types, including their hierarchies and politics, that I'm in awe she keeps it all straight and can clearly bring her ideas across to the reader fluidly. She also builds in other previous storylines without making them tedious in the process. I very much enjoy when she brings a figure from history as someone that's been turned (ie. "Bubba" from previous books). This time, the new name involved had me thinking..."geez, that sounds so familiar?!" As the story of this person was explained, I was impressed with how the author handled it while tossing in a little history lesson (this has always been a story that I found beautiful yet sad and ultimately tragic.)
I really can't say enough about Charlaine Harris' wonderful characters, settings, writing style, etc. They are light reads, really, but at the same time offer some depth in emotion, history, and Southern waitressing. Dead in the Family is another winning offering in the Sookie Stackhouse series and if you haven't started reading these books, summer is the perfect time to work on it. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!