Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Review: Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

A Fae War has left the supernatural community of Bon Temps, Louisiana, in chaos - and waitress Sookie Stackhouse mentally and physically drained. And still, the peace and quiet she so desperately craves is hard to come by...

Even with the blood of two vampires in her system, Sookie is having trouble healing from the terrible torture she endured at the hands of her great-grandfather's enemies during the brief but deadly Fae War. Worse are the emotional wounds - especially over the loss of her own personal fairy godmother and the near death of her first love.

Sookie is hurt and she's mad. Just about the only bright spot in her life - besides the fact that she is, after all, still alive - is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman, who is under scrutiny by the new vampire king because of their relationship.

As the political implications of the shifters' coming-out are beginning to be felt, Sookie's connection to one particular Were draws her into the dangerous debate. And, unknown to her, though the doors to Faery have been closed, there are still some fae on the human side - and one of them is angry at Sookie. Very, very angry.
First, I would like to say that I didn't mean to read this book today. I wrote last night that I couldn't dump Magic Strikes for a Holly Black book and what do I do the first chance I get: read Dead in the Family as soon as I got it in my hands. I apologize to Ms. Black and to Ilona Andrews. I didn't mean to do it. The devil made me do it. No, the devil didn't really make me do it and I will be returning to Magic Strikes ASAP. OK.

I picked up DitF to read the inside flap of the dust jacket and before I knew it, I was on page ten. Then I figured, What the hell, and read the rest of it after dinner :) DitF is the tenth volume in the Sookie Stackhouse series and boy has her life become complicated since Dead Until Dark. I was surprised at how much Charlaine Harris crammed in this book and I had to really think about it because once I finished it, I had a thought that not much happened in this one. Certainly not like Dead and Gone. I was wrong and lots of things happen.

In much of DitF, Sookie goes Dark. Dark Sookie. That was a little disconcerting even though I liked Dark Sookie because I have always appreciated Sookie's character and how moral she is, or at least how she always tries to follow her moral compass to stay as close to the straight and narrow as possible. That's not to say she's a goody-goody but more like that she's just a good person that tries to do the right things for the right reasons. I love how she uses her grandma as her yardstick (the marks on that are getting blurry though). Here, she's finding that the effects of what happened in Dead and Gone are not just physical, like the flap says and I have a feeling that Sookie is heading for some kind of serious sea change, a radical shift in her associations. There's only so much that one person can take before they snap. I just keep wondering when she'll dump Eric for Sam. I keep hoping for that in each new book. You'd think I would have learned my lesson by now. Uh, nope. Harris certainly loves to keep Sookie's options open and there are appearances by Eric (duh), Bill, Sam, and even Alcide. Maybe she should just set everyone up like on Love Connection and pick one that way. 

I liked Dead in the Family but I love everything Charlaine Harris writes. I also love her blog. Check it out HERE. She's been busy lately and hasn't written for several weeks but usually has insightful remarks to make about whatever she's reading. Only another year to go before the next new Sookie book...


Michelle said...

I hear you on this series being unputdownable. And I'm excited to see what happens with a Dark Sookie. Truly, I'm intrigued. Thanks for the review.

Angiegirl said...

Lovely review, Jen. I know how you feel about Sookie and the series. I've got this on my nightstand and can't wait to start it.

Jen said...

Michelle - This is one of the few series where I'll actually read the book right out of the box. I hope you like it too and you're welcome :)

Angie - *happy* Coming from you, that's a wonderful compliment. Thanks!