Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review: From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris
Published: May 6th, 2008
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 359
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge, 350 Page Books Challenge
Other: Eighth book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. There are currently 10 books in the series, with two more being published in the future. The eleventh installment, Dead Reckoning, will be published May 3rd, 2011.
Buy the book: Bookdepository

Warning: This review may contain (slight) spoilers for those of you who haven't read the previous books in the series. Reading is at your own risk. 

The supernatural community in Bon Temps, Louisiana, is reeling from two hard blows - the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the man-made horror of the explosion at the vampire summit the month before in the up-north city of Rhodes. Sookie Stackhouse is safe but dazed, yearning for things to get back to normal. But that's just not happening. Too many vampires - some friends, some not - were killed or injured, and her weretiger boyfriend, Quinn, is among the missing."

"It's clear that things are changing, whether the Weres and vamps of her corner of Louisiana like it or not. And Sookie - friend of the pack and blood-bonded to Eric Northman, the leader of the local vampire community - is caught up in the changes."

In the ensuing battles, Sookie faces danger, death... and, once more, betrayal by someone she loves. And when the fur has finished flying and the cold blood flowing, her world will be forever altered.

Another Sookie Stackhouse novel, means another book in which Sookie gets into trouble. This time, she interveres in the tension between the Weres, or actually between Alcide and Patrick Furnan. While they meet to talk everything over, there are spies and other Weres suddenly wanting to take over the pack. Besides the Were problems, Sookie finds herself in the middle of a hostile Vampire takeover. To make everything worse (?), Eric suddenly remembers everything he forgot from his couple of days of living with Sookie and Sookie gets betrayed by someone very dear to her.

Okay. Deep breath. First, let's get out of the way what I didn't like about this book. Charlaine Harris has written a lot of characters during the series, so many that I can barely keep up with any other characters besides the regulars: Sookie, Sam, Eric, Pam, Bill, Claudine, Claude, Jason and Amelia. The smaller characters aren't mentioned enough for me to follow what Sookie is talking about when she remarks something about their thoughts (there are some exeptions to this). Those characters make it difficult for me to follow everything that's going on in the sub plots and therefore I can't see the plots coming AT ALL. I find this to be very frustrating.

Another thing that I encountered while I was reading, was that some things were dismissed too easily. Sookie discovers that she has a great-grandfather, and believes it immediately. The whole thing with Tanya and Sandra was also way too easy for me. And where did the Quinn switch come from? I'm not a big Quinn fan, I'll admit it (Team Eric ftw), but I would have appreciated if he wasn't quickly pushed aside like this. I have a feeling that he'll be back in one of the next books and that Sookie will regret her decision. Also.. The magically remembering Eric came out of nowhere!

Now for the fun parts - because there were plenty and I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved to see some more of Eric, even though I didn't know if he was behaving like this because he remembered, or because he felt that way before. It's hard to tell with a Vampire Viking. I'm still annoyed by Bill - but I guess that's a good thing because there are enough other guys around and Bill is supposed to be annoying. I liked the development of Amelia - I'd like to see some more of her. She seems like a honest and loyal character, a little like Sam. I don't think Sam gets appreciated the way he deserves to be though.

Anyway, enough with my analysis. I really liked reading this book and I'm ever more curious to read more about Eric - Eric fangirl to the max, here. I'm wondering what the protection will bring Sookie and what danger she'll be in in the next couple of books...

My overall rating:

A four minus rating for this Sookie book - because I feel like it's getting better every book - but some loose ends just need to be tied up.

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