May 11 2011 4:35pm

Charlaine Harris’s Dead Reckoning was a Satisfying Read for This Sookie Fan

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine HarrisI looked forward to May 3, 2011, for a long, long time.

That's the day the latest in Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series was slated for release. (It doesn't hurt that True Blood is also one of my favorite shows—that series returns June 26). Dead Reckoning is the eleventh book in what is now titled the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood series.

Even after all this time, people simply adore Sookie. I have to admit, she is a bit of a bumpkin and has some issues with decision-making, but she’s a nice girl, and a great protagonist, with ills and woes that rival most romance heroines.

So when I found the release date, I pre-ordered the book, but I was still in the middle of another book when May 3rd rolled around.

Talk about conflicted; I’d heard from the early reviews that this book  wasn’t as captivating as the others. Some people have even sworn off the entire Sookie Stackhouse series! But I wasn't conflicted when I saw it populated in my Kindle—I came close to doing a cartwheel.

This was the fix I needed to quench my bloodlust while waiting for the return of True Blood. Even though I only had two chapters to go in my other novel, I opted to forgo them to start Dead Reckoning.

In each of the books leading up to this one, Sookie finds all sorts of trouble while dating a few of the locals from just about every realm of the supernatural spectrum: From vampires to twoeys (shapeshifters—and she’s had a couple of those) and back to vampires, of course.

She is quite gullible at times and has traces of fairie blood, which I can’t for the life of me figure out why she hasn’t capitalized on that a lot more than she actually has—and she's a telepath. She is a marginal beauty, beautiful enough to attract male attention but also normal enough so readers can relate to her. I certainly appreciate that she’s not a size negative ten. Since we’ve been together for eleven books now, I’ve come to know her subtle nuances, and even that of her multiple mates. She’s been through some really rough times; from the murder of her grandmother, parents and cousin, to being strung up and tortured for the better part of an entire novel. My heart goes out to her, poor thing.

Dead Reckoning was certainly not what I expected; in this book, Harris has deviated from her good old reliable concepts and attempted to breathe life into the series and into Sookie's character. There is a deeper sense of self in Sookie, and for one of the first times, she actually seems to be evolving. I know, right, get the eff outta here! And there wasn’t nearly as much sex. Halfway into it, there wasn’t even a pinky toe revealed (bummer!).

Some of the events in Bon Temps were a bit farfetched, but here’s the upshot: Sookie’s story works for me because a number of things that needed to be revealed or to happen actually were revealed or explained during the course of the book. I found myself with several “Oh… aha…” moments throughout the course of the book.

How do I feel about it? Well, I feel pretty good (unlike Natasha Carty, who goes all...ranty in Dead Reckoning Makes Me Ranty). I didn’t finish reading it and think of banging the awful thoughts out of my head with the wall. I know that I will ride out the last days with Sookie. Did Harris's writing go a little south because she was rushed, or because she has the competition of the largest audience for a television show riding on her shoulders? I don’t rightly know. What I do know is that I liked that she gave the audience a little of what we wanted. At the end of the last book, I’m not going to lie, I was disappointed.

But at the end of Dead Reckoning, while I know there were some obvious redundancies and in a couple of instances, complete contradictions of what happened just a few lines prior, I did enjoy it. The plot was significantly more important than those grammatical errors. I can also report that I was pleased with the outcome of this novel, (even if Sookie indecisiveness was very pronounced this time around).

The long and short is, if you are already a Sookie fan, than you’ll be okay with it. I know I was. Here's the first chapter of Dead Reckoning to get you started.


Aliza Mann, email:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Carmen Pinzon
1. bungluna
I read somewhere that Ms. Harris is winding up this series and that there are only a few more books left. I know I'll be reading the rest of the story with gusto, just like I've done with all her previous series.
Aliza Mann
2. AlizaMann
Yes, @bungluna. I understand that it will wrap up soon. The Sookie Stackhouse Companion Guide is coming up next - set for release 8/30/11. Please come back and let me know your thoughts once your done with Dead Reckoning.
Thanks for visiting!
Donna Watson
3. Sookie65
Aliza, I agree with you whole-heartedly. I really enjoyed this instalment, as like you I found the last book a teeny-tiny bit disappointing. Sookie is all the things you describe her as, and the sex is always a bit understated (IMHO) but, that has been the same throughout the series, so I don't understand why some people are being so negative about that now. I loved the fact that Charlaine Harris has started to resolve some of the issues/questions. I read thinking "ahhh, so that's why...."
I too read Natasha Carty's rant, and commented on it, and I think I upset her because I didn't agree with her ;)
I have been left wanting more and can't wait for the next book. I will be really sorry to see Sookie & Co. finish. Thanks for posting such a positive last someone I can agree with :)
Aliza Mann
4. AlizaMann
Hi @Donna,
I'm glad that you enjoyed it. And I'm also glad that you're an avid fan of H&H. We appreciate the comments, even when they don't necessarily agree with our views. :-) I think this book drove more than a few people a little over the edge, but some must have enjoyed it with us, because she sold 1 million copies.
Thanks for stopping by!
Talk to you soon.
Natasha Carty
5. WickedLilPixie
@ Donna - No upset here, thats why I love book reviews we each have a unique take on them :)
Aliza Mann
6. AlizaMann
@wickedlilpixie, That's what makes the world go around, right? Now that Sizzling Seventeen is out, it's my turn to get ranty I'm sure. LOL Coming soon! ;)
Donna Watson
7. Sookie65
@Aliza, you're welcome and yes, I just read on here that she is only the fourth author to be downloaded 1 Million times on Kindle. Way to go Charlaine :)
@Natasha, I know you weren't that upset really and I really enjoyed your take on it...honest!! ;))

Thanks to you both though for such interesting reads.
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