Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Review: Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse series)

Title: Dead Reckoning
Author: Charlaine Harris
Genre: Paramormal, series
Published: 2011
I started reading this series a few years ago, about a year before the stories were turned into the HBO TV show True Blood. The show is definitely a different beast;  very graphic and a little campy, while the books balance the dark & sexy supernatural world with more subtlty and introspection. Well, maybe not subtle. But having one POV from Sookie helps anchor the books.
While I love the series, books #10 (Dead in the Family) and #11 (Dead Reckoning) pale in comparison to the early books. Lots of new characters and fast-paced story lines are what make the Sookie books a cut above a lot of series that drag out romance between the same two people for a dozen volumes. But we've seemed to have reached critical mass by Dead in the Family, and now the books simply check in with myriad pockets of characters, some who are mentioned in a mere sentence (like the were-panthers of Hot Shot) who have no bearing on this story anyway. It makes the plot feel muddled when all the characters have to be revisited for no legitimate reason. For example, Alcide shows up later in Dead Reckoning, and you wonder if he's there simply because he's a current fixture on True Blood. He adds nothing to the story.

I still appreciate how the Sookie of the books is more introspective than what is seen in the TV show. We get a little more of Sookie's thought process and her view on the varying sects of the supernatural world.  It's no secret Sookie's had a lot going on in her love life. After this book, I don't know what's going on, and it's clear our main character doesn't either! It's like all the filler confused little old Sookie to the point that she's just relaying information and hardly participating in her own story. Maybe that's why it feels like Dead Reckoning is mirroring the TV series more than acting as a stand-alone work. I hope the series finds its way back to the Sookie we love with less crowding by characters who had their moment in past books.
Don't get me started on Eric.


  1. I didn't know True Blood was inspired by this series.

  2. I have yet to read a Charlaine Harris book. Which would you recommend to start with?

  3. I would start with Book #1 of the Sookie series Dead Until Dark. She has a few other shorter series of 3 or 4 books each. I've read a handful out of order; one is about a woman who can sense dead bodies and how they died (something like that). The Sookie books are fun if you like a mash-up of paranormal, romance, mystery and southern-charm. They are pretty violent though, just a fair warning.

  4. I'll be honest. I saw one episode of True Blood, and from that, decided not to bother with the books. Seems like I may have been unfair.


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