Author: Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Ace Books
Date Published: May 7, 2013
Number of pages: 338
Dead Ever After the final book in Charlaine Harris’ uber popular Southern Vampire Mysteries series (also known as the Sookie Stackhouse novels) takes up where we last left telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse – having just used her super powerful magical fairy artifact the Cluviel Dor to save her boss Sam’s life (thus effectively destroying her relationship with vampire Eric Northman.) On top of simultaneously dealing with the demise of her relationship with the reigning sheriff of Area 5 and Sam’s difficulties in adjusting to being brought back to life, Sookie’s former coworker/friend (and attempted murderess) Arlene returns to Merlottes to ask for her job back. After Sookie denies her request Arlene turns up dead and Sookie quickly becomes the prime suspect.
The above only just skims the storyline in this series finale, the book is overflowing with additional stories that – granted – all connect but there are so many and so much to remember from the past twelve books it becomes both difficult and tedious trying to keep up with what’s going on. Basically everyone Sookie’s ever pissed off has banded together to end her once and for all. Okay maybe not everyone but hyperbole seems the only way to go with this review so bear with me.
The book is chock full of returning characters, some enjoyable (Mr. Cataliades and his half demon niece Diantha and were-tiger Quinn to name a few) some inane and annoying (*cough Amelia cough*) and some so uninspiring you barely remember who they are if you remember them at all. The book is also chock full of a lot of nothing. Most of the story is Sookie lamenting over the lazy ending of her relationship with Eric and Sam’s distancing himself from her and his overall weirdness towards the woman who restored him to life. And rather than use a brain cell and think “Hmm my super scary, totally powerful and really pissed off vampire ex-boyfriend probably threatened my boss in some manner because I used a super magical artifact to save his life rather than release my boyfriend from 200 years of servitude and effectively becoming a high-class courtesan to the vampire Queen of Oklahoma” she just flounces around the place bein’ all confused ya’ll.
While all of this is happening there also remains the fact that Sookie has been framed for a murder she didn’t commit and the fact that someone is once again out to get her. The girl cannot catch a break.
Add in deals with the devil, a vengeful father who figures if he murders his daughters friend he can control her and the world’s lamest and biggest copout ever of a TWELVE BOOK LONG LOVE TRIANGLE and it’s quite easy to see that there’s a reason Charlaine Harris didn’t go on tour to promote this final book and that is, to be quite blunt, because it sucked. I’m sorry but there’s just no beating around the proverbial bush here. This final book is quite possibly the worst of the series, perhaps only trumped, or better yet tied with the series’ penultimate book Deadlocked which really should have been indication enough that this series had totally and completely jumped the shark.
Now for those who may stumble across this little ol’ blog of mine and be in the midst of reading this series *SPOILER ALERT* am I the only one truly offended that Harris would stick Sookie with Sam in the end? After years of continuously saying no and picking any other man over him what on earth would make his character even want her anymore? She picked dead guys (albeit super-hot ones) but regardless dead supernatural beings known for their blood thirsty ways over him. And whilst constantly turning him down and whatnot she continuously ran interference in his relationships. She was kind of a jerk. And that’s coming from someone who genuinely likes the character of Sookie with all her Southern sass and unexpected bravado. But seriously how freaking desperate is Sam?
Furthermore, is this not the world’s biggest copout? The way this series ends brings back memories of my unbelievable annoyance over the fact that Harry was the seventh unexpected horcrux – in the words of my four year old niece, like for serious? The entire point of the series was that Sookie finally found a world in which she belonged when the vamps came out of the closet, in Bill and then in Eric she found peace of mind – literally. And she just turns around at the end of everything and says “Oh Sam it was you all along.” Lame…lame, lame, lame, laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame. Did I mention I think this is lame?
In the end Sookie overcomes the bad guys and walks off into the sunset with her copout boyfriend – but goes so far to acknowledge that she doesn’t really know if there’s anywhere for things between her and Sam to go but you know, whatevs. Way to back pedal there Sookie.
It’s as though at the last minute Charlaine Harris just decided she was over it. A little forewarning would’ve been nice lady. Perhaps a small book tour where she said ‘Hey dear reader beware, I may not have had the lady balls to make a choice between our resident vampire lovers so I you know just let Sookie settle.” And yes I realize that this particular approach I’m suggesting would not have been smart for the whole book selling process but seriously between her editors, agents, publisher and family did no one think to point out the obvious? That this decision would be pissing people off for years to come? This is like when Joey and Rachel started dating after she gave birth to Ross’s baby. I mean come on! We knew that wasn’t going to work out and I’m sorry but in the fictional world of Sookie Stackhouse there is just no way in my personal fantasy of this series that her and Sam make it for the long haul.
In closing Dead Ever After has to be one of the most disappointing finales to a series I’ve ever had the misfortune of putting myself through. Disappointing, lackluster and lame is how I’d best describe this series finale. I say read up until the sixth book and then just watch the show, because I think we can all agree that it doesn’t matter what’s going on in the show as long as Alexander Skarsgard is on the screen. Preferably with limited clothes.