Review

I believe something similar to what a certain petite blonde vampire slayer once said “Dawns in trouble…must be Tuesday” could be applied as well to the heroine of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series of books which inspired the critically acclaimed HBO original series True Blood.

In the latest installment out this month, DEAD IN THE FAMILY, the story begins with Sookie dealing with the aftermath of the “Fairy War”, an unintentional marriage to a sexy, Viking vampire and injuries both physical and mental that are taking a while longer than she would like to heal even with a heavy dose of vampire blood coursing through her veins.

In true Sookie style, her generous nature, though having taken its fair share of beatings lately, once again manages to get her smack dab in the middle of a whole heap of trouble. Between being pulled back into the always troublesome business of the Were clans, bodies popping up on her property, a telekinetic toddler, an ambitious and deadly vampire and threats unknown lurking in the woods, Sookie has her hands full.

Charlaine’s down-home, southern roots charm truly comes alive in the world she has imagined for Sookie and creates a unique setting for the “supernatural” characters who surround our heroine in a way that makes the supernatural feel remarkably natural. Despite her remarkable ability to read minds, Sookie, herself, says it best “I’m just a waitress.” A waitress who attracts vampire boyfriends, werewolves, shape-shifters and a host of mystical creatures to her like a moth to a bug zapper, but still worries about whether or not she filled all the ketchup bottles up before ending her shift at Merlotte’s. It’s the every day—every day people, problems intertwined fantastic and most times dangerous adventures with the “Supes” that keep the reader spellbound by Charlaine’s motley cast of characters.

Dead and Gone

Published: September 6, 2011

From the moment I put down the first book in the series it was too late…I was hooked on Sookie’s exploits with a passion and couldn’t wait to move to the next and the next and the next until closing the page on DEAD AND GONE (book 9) last spring. Every month I would anxiously type in the address for Charlaine’s official website hoping for news on the next book in the series. Finally last month I hit the jackpot and found the release date for DEAD IN THE FAMILY.

It was pretty much a no-brainer when my husband asked what I wanted for my big 4-0 birthday gift. Not hip to anything literary that doesn’t have a cowboy or muscle car on the cover, I wrote down the author and title for him and actually started looking forward to a birthday most would rather forget.

Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks of living in a small Midwest city like I do, is that the book seller options are pretty much limited to a tiny section between the check out counters and the health and beauty isles at the local Wal-Mart. By the time he went shopping, the book had already been out for a week and the store was completely sold out! But alas, there was still hope, as he was informed by an acne prone young man wearing his spiffy blue vest proudly, that a new shipment would arrive the coming Tuesday—YES!

Like all of Charlaine’s books, it was well worth the wait…

I have to say I felt a tad bit sorry later for literally ripping the unsightly floral gift bag out my poor husbands hands the minute he walked through the door with it on my birthday—but only a tad. I couldn’t wait to get started reading and around 6:15 p.m that’s exactly what I did. 2:30ish the next morning I was finished. Like all of Charlaine’s books, it was well worth the wait while at the same time makes you wish you didn’t have to, so you can see what going to happen next.

Thanks to the people behind the HBO series True Blood, (Season 3 begins June 13th) the waiting is a little easier. Although there are marked distinctions between some of the stories and characters that the series brings to life on our televisions, than inside the pages of Charlaine’s books, the essence remains the same. For 45 or 50 minutes on a warm Summer Sunday night, we’re treated to a rare glimpse inside Sookie’s world.

True Blood Season 3 Cast

Cast of True Blood

 

The books and series have inspired sometimes heated debates between fans of “Team Bill” and “Team Edward”, huge followings for creative RPG characters on Twitter and a host of websites chock full of True Blood goodness. What author could hope for higher praise?

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About the Reviewer

Teresa Spreckelmeyer
Teresa St. Mary - Teresa, is a wearer of many hats (figuratively) including, mother, wife, graphic designer, event planner, web developer and a self-admitted, avid reader of historical romance novels. Although Teresa is a “small town girl” (again, figuratively) from Missouri, through her various workings with clients and events, in and out of the west coast entertainment industry, she laughingly refers to Los Angeles as her second home. Teresa has produced marketing design work for actors, directors, writers and film studios, among others and played a strong behind-the-scenes role in the creation of entertainment oriented, fundraising events in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas over the past nine years.