Review: Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

Filed in 3 1/2 Stars , Charlaine Harris , featured , Review , The Rocket Lover Posted on May 13, 2013 @ 11:00 am 15 comments

Dead Ever After by Charlaine HarrisFormat read: ebook purchased from Amazon
Series: Sookie Stackhouse, #13
Genre: Urban fantasy
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Number of pages: 352 pages
Publisher: Penguin Publishing
Formats available: ebook, paperback, hardcover, audiobook
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website | Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Book Depository US | Book Depository (UK)

There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart….

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough…

My Thoughts:

“I’m Sookie Stackhouse. I belong here.” THE END.

Except for the capitalized end, Sookie pretty much declaring that there’s no place like home really is the last line of Dead Ever After. We just had to read through 13 books to get there.

dead until dark by Charlaine harrisWhat’s hard to believe is that in the Sookieverse, it’s only 2 years of her life, because it’s taken 12 years out of the rest of us. Dead Until Dark was unleashed on the world in 2001. Practically a whole lifetime ago.

Sookie’s lifetime, anyway. (If you’re searching for perspective, Harry Potter had found the Goblet of Fire, but had not yet joined the Order of the Phoenix. No Horcruxes were even on the bloody horizon in 2001. Dumbledore was still alive!)

Back to Sookie. In Dead Ever After, all of the chickens from all of Sookie’s previous outings come home to roost. Pretty much everyone she has ever met gets at least a mention.

Nearly all her old friends who are alive pay her a visit. Most of them come to support her in her hour of need. And does she ever have a need!

Because all her old enemies return to do her one final bad turn. Some of them want her very, very dead. And some of them want to hurt her so bad, she’ll just wish she was dead.

Every loose end that might possibly be left in Sookie’s story gets tied up tight, nearly in the shape of a handman’s noose around her neck.

And while Sookie investigates, not necessarily successfully, to figure out who her enemies are, she also figures out who her friends are. She has a lot more friends than she believed. Sookie has always sold herself short, never thinking that she had made as many friends as she has.

Most important of all, she finally grows a pair and protects her heart, instead of continuing to be Eric’s doormat. Eric has always put himself first, and it’s high time that Sookie did the same.

Verdict: The first books in the Sookie Stackhouse series were magical, because Sookie was on an incredible voyage of discovery. The last few have been kind of a chore, because Sookie let herself become dependent on Eric. She got weak and whiny and bitchy.

dead to the world by charlaine harrisThe only time I thought Eric really loved Sookie was when he had amnesia (Dead to the World) and forgot to be the manipulative bastard he really is. Otherwise, Eric puts Eric first. He always has and he always does. It’s a survival instinct that has kept him alive for more than a thousand years.

Here’s a question about vampire romances in general: what does someone who is over a thousand years old have in common with a 20-year-old? This isn’t about looks or possibly even brains, but what do they talk about? What are their shared experiences? Why would this relationship possibly work?

How could Sookie ever be anything except a subordinate (and I don’t mean this in a sexual context necessarily)? Even if Eric turned her, which she expressly did not want, it would be centuries before she acquired enough experience to approach a level of equality. And, as was shown in Club Dead, the vampire who sires another vampire has control over that vampire for the rest of their unnatural lives. If Eric had turned Sookie, he would always be in control of her and their relationship.

Sookie started the books as an independent person. The one being in her life for whom she continually made excuses and ceded that independence was Eric. I wish she’d kicked him to the curb sooner.

The double-mystery that sets this story in motion is a little weak. It mostly provided an excuse to “get the band back together” and have everyone that Sookie has ever met parade through her life one last time. I’m almost certain that every living or unliving soul that Sookie has crossed paths with got a mention except Bubba.

But the point was to make sure that Sookie took stock and resolved all her issues with the supe community, and she does that. The mystery is just an excuse to put her in jeopardy, so the troops rally round.

Sookie also had the opportunity to choose between Eric, Bill and Sam. While admittedly she could have chosen to be happily single, that wasn’t likely to be a resolution for the story and it wouldn’t have tied up the romantic loose ends.

Eric wanted her to be his “piece on the side” while he married someone else. Bill wanted her to forgive him for deceiving her, for betraying her, and, let’s not forget, for raping her.

And Sam, a while back he made her half owner of his bar, because she’s been so supportive of him. She didn’t need to put in any money. Sam counted her sweat-equity and her support more than enough of a contribution.

I know who I’d pick. And I know who I wouldn’t choose if he were the last man or vampire on Earth.

3-one-half-stars

I give  Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris 3 and 1/2 furry stars!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Marlene


Marlene is a librarian, ebook advocate, science fiction fan, and RPG fan who lives in the Atlanta suburbs. She and her husband are owned by four cats, just ask them. She's a geek and a nerd and proud of it. She's also an avid reader of everything, including the back of the cereal box, and has been blogging since April 2011 at Reading Reality and is a reviewer at Library Journal as well as active on Goodreads. She is also the publisher of Ebook Review Central.

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15 Comments

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  • aurian May 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Great review, thank you. I don’t read the series myself, but I have read posts about the abuse Charlaine Harris is getting from her “fans”, who are mad with this ending. It is ridiculous that she has canceled her book tour because of dead threats against her!

    • Marlene May 13, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      You’re so welcome about the review! I think the whatever gets said about the book is fair. People can say what they like about the book. They can vote with their dollars to buy or not buy it. But the death threats and the suicide threats are too much. These folks need to get a life. It’s just a book and not the end of the world.
      And if someone thinks they can do better, then they should go ahead and write their own book!

  • Jane May 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    I haven’t read the series either, but I do watch the HBO show.

  • Jessica@a GREAT read May 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Good review! Very entertaining to read! I look forward to reading this one myself to see how it all ends. Apparently it won’t end here since I noticed on Amazon another Sookie book that’s 13.5 or something like that. Haven’t read what it’s about yet since I want to read 13 first!

    Once again, great review! Enjoyed reading and seeing some of my own thoughts vocalized! 🙂

  • draconismoi May 13, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    First, I agree that Eric was an ass at all times except when suffering from his magic personality replacement.

    Second, are you kidding me?! Damn you Charlaine Harris! I’ve had a bet going for bloody years that you were going to kill off that mind-reading kid’s dad so Sookie could play mind-reading mommy. And you refrained?! GAH!

    Granted the person I bet against was a true Eric shipper. She’s probably too busy hating Sam right now to remember to gloat.

    (Who, other than clearly-a-rebound-Quinn, was the only one of Sookie’s guys I was ever okay with. Luckily Sam has no other family and Sookie can have that undivided MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME attention she requires in any relationship.)

    • Marlene May 13, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      Quinn was definitely “rebound-guy”. Not bad, but not permanent. And he gave in way too easily to tradition to his own set of dominant females.
      But I digress.
      Your idea about mind-reader nephew’s dad is sick and twisted. It’s just so you.

      • Draconismoi May 13, 2013 at 11:52 pm

        Oh come ON, like that kid didn’t have “plot-contrivance” tattooed on his forehead.

        • Marlene May 14, 2013 at 12:04 am

          I have one name to mention on the topic of “plot-contrivance” in the Sookie Stackhouse universe.
          That name is “Bubba”.

          • Draconismoi May 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm

            Damn. I fold.

  • LSUReader May 13, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Thanks for the review, Marlene. I haven’t read this one yet, but I will. Charlaine Harris has been a favorite of mine through multiple series; she is the author who brought me to the PNR/UF genres, when I followed from her earlier traditional cozy mysteries.

    In the past couple of weeks I’ve scanned some really nasty reviews aimed at Harris, because of Sookie’s HEA. I don’t watch much TV and I never saw the HBO series. Perhaps it’s different on the series? But throughout reading the Southern Vampire Series, I often thought what you so clearly expressed regarding Eric. Temporary eye candy? Check. Permanent relationship? No way. Eric was all about Eric.

    It doesn’t bother me knowing who “Sookie ends up with,” because that was the only choice that made sense–if she was going to end up with someone. I honestly don’t see how book fans could have read anything else into the series. (Although I do admit Draconismoi had an intriguing idea for Sookie the mom.)

    • Marlene May 13, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      I wonder if people who watch the series have gotten so hung up on how gorgeous Alexander Skarsgård is that they’ve stopped paying attention to how nastily Eric acts.

      • Draconismoi May 13, 2013 at 11:32 pm

        Well they’ve definitely taken Sam in a whole new direction, so it’s harder to see HBO Sam-and-Sookie together.

      • Amanda June 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

        The book just suck the writing was horrible and she forgot facts from her other books especially where she could hear Sams thoughts but in this last book all a sudden all she gets is his feelings!! The characters even changed to the point sookie just got on my nerves. The overall story was horrible I felt at least she could have went out with a bang but no she went with Sam and went lion dancing.

  • Susan May 14, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Great review, and I’d also have given it anywhere between 3 and 4 stars, so I agree with your rating.

    You’re 100% correct that there were only 2 viable choices for Sookie: Sam or no one. Even tho she kinda ended up w/ Sam, she said she’d have been ok w/ no one, too. I really liked the ending.

    There’s another book due out before the end of the year–a wrap up to the wrap up. Not sure what else there is to say, but maybe CH will say more about Hunter’s fate in that one. Maybe she’ll has plans for a spin-off.

  • c lady May 22, 2013 at 8:02 am

    First of all, thank you for the review.

    While I did enjoy the 5 first books, the others were getting worse each time. I still kept reading them (only borrowed and not purchased) hoping for improvement. However, there was none. I have to agree with many reviewers that CH seemed to really hate this series and she managed to make me hate it as well.

    I also understand why readers might have liked Eric: he is kind of the only character in the book who didn’t feel flat to me. I still never considered him as Sookie’s HEA. He was too smart, too handsome, too rich, too complex and way too tricky. Just the opposite of Sookie who was not very bright and was manipulated easily despite her ability. Still, I thought she deserved better than Sam.

    I would like to add that I did watch the HBO’s series since I liked the books. I was very disappointed and stopped right away. It is horrible what tv can do to good novel characters.

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