May 8 2013 10:29am

SPOILERY Discussion of Charlaine Harris’s Dead Ever After

Dead Ever After by Charlaine HarrisEven before the most recent—and final—installment in Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse book, Dead Ever After, was released, longtime Sookie fans were anticipating (and dreading) what would happen.

Now the book is out, and Sookie has made her choice. In a SPOILER-FILLED comments section, what do you think? Are you still a Sookie fan, and have you read Dead Ever After? If not, when did you give up reading? If you didn't like what did happen, how would you have written Sookie's last adventure?




***LAST CHANCE: Seriously, leave this post now if you haven't finished Dead Ever AfterThis is a post to discuss the entire book. 

Want more? Catch up on all of H&H's Sookie Stackhouse coverage as well as our True Blood posts.

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1. Torifl
After having read Dead After Ever, I'm even more convinced Harris was tired of this series and just wanted out. Disappointed doesn't even begin to cover my emotions and I really wish I had the cajones to return and ask for my money back.

I saw the writing on the wall for Sookie's HEA but the path to it was cruel, assnine, and filled with blatent mistakes.
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
In deciding to write this post, I headed to Amazon, where there are already 314 reviews of the book, averaging 2 stars.
Which means most everyone who read it immediately hated it. Where's the hate coming from? Why IS this ending so horrible? I'm curious to hear from some Sookie fans what they think (even if they haven't read THIS book, because by now everyone knows the choice--right?)
Megan Frampton
3. MFrampton
@Torifl, you and I were posting comments at the same time, so I didn't see yours--wow. What a reaction!

When did you first see the writing on the wall for Sookie's HEA? What made it cruel and asinine? What happened to the other contenders for Sookie--are they dead? I mean, more dead than a vampire gets, that is?
4. KateRothwell
I was pleasantly surprised--but that's because of the snarling outrage from fans who gave it one star. I've never seen so many one stars. I have "hey, it's not that bad. One star? No way." response to the outrage. I bet if there were nothing but five star reviews, I would have gone the other way off to "hey, come on, five stars? No way."
So I'm thinking 3.5 stars.
What I didn't like:
dislike 1: Sam's reason for not talking to sookie. Really, Sam? That was lame, lame, lame. Pure lame and dumb...although I would believe Eric would attempt something like that. I love Eric, but he's a slimebo manipulator, and always was one (except when he lost his memory and was an innocent). Sam wasn't much of an alpha dog in this book. Meh. Sam. But hey, decent guy so okay.
dislike 2: The huge crowd of guys aiming to kill sookie. their reasons were almost as lame as Sam's big STFUing. If you're going to get desperate and elaborate, at least have a GOOD REASON for your target. I wasn't convinced about any of the bad guys that Sook should have been number one on their hit list.
Otherwise, yeah, I didn't hate the book.
--Sam and Sookie, not what I would have written but very clearly fits and the potential was there from book one.
--The way everyone gets wrapped up nicely? Except for some pushing, they all settled out nicely. I liked that and it didn't feel entirely unnatural.
--The way everyone came to Sookie's aid? Nice. I liked that. Even the descriptions of the meals, which sometimes seem kinda pokey, felt pleasant, maybe because I knew we weren't getting to sit around Sookie's kitchen any more.
--I don't think this is a bad thing, because it's just the way Sookie operates, but her resentment factor is still strong. That's why she took forever to forgive Bill (whom I still love, dammit. Who wouldn't love an undead nerd?) And in this book it seemed to be shown in the way she held onto the accidental cluvier dor slip by Amelia (who hadn't given away her name). I wanted Sook to say something to Amelia like "You're a doofus and I'm not trusting you with secrets, but you poor thing. I'm sorry you couldn't trust your dad. and I'm sorry our dad is a piece of shit."
--I really can't see who she'd end up with if it wasn't Sam. I'd have loved to see her as one of the sisters with Karen and Pam but not Sookie. She wouldn't leave that house and she was too Christian to turn vamp. Maybe Bill, but only because he loved her so much.
--except for her weird gift, she was an extremely normal person. She didn't want to escape Bon Temps. She was sort of bored and lonely. Once she learned to cope with those things, she wouldn't look for adventure or danger. So yeah. It made sense. Kick ass was not what she sought. It came to her.
--hey what happened to Elvis? I have a feeling I forgot he disappeared or something?
5. KateRothwell
I think maybe people who are used to romance (like me) and who rooted for Eric, wanted Eric to be transformed by Sookie, made better by her.

That would have been satisfying, but I really can't see how it could have happened. Even if that queen hadn't shown up to claim him as her prize, he couldn't have changed enough to fit her world for an HEA. She would have had to change to fit him and one of her strengths, presented in book one, is a steadfastness, living in a society that basically rejected her quirkiness.

Maybe at some point she could have said screw you, Bon Temps, but that arc would have had to start up books and books ago. I don't see it. (and yes, I've looked through the books some)

It all seems inevitable to me.
6. Torifl
@MFramton-I never shipped Sookie with Eric. I think Im one of the few peeps who never really liked him as a romantic interest. He was too cold and political. That being said, I LOVED him as a character. I think his romantic popularity rose because of the HBO show and because of who played him.

I always felt Sookie would end up Sam from about the 3rd-4th book. He was always there in the backgrd. I actually thought for a minute she might end up with the tiger (I forget his name). I liked him. But Sookie would never end up with someone who placed her in danger or lied to her. Lying was a big no no for Sookie. Plus, she always wanted to be someone's number 1 and that was NEVER going to happen with Bill, Eric, or Alcide.

The whole Eric/marriage thing was just done wrong in my opinion. I hated that storyline. I would have rather had him staked. To make him less then what he was...meh.

And Claude. Really? That storyline was D.E.A.D. Why bring it back?
7. hlynne
Okay, I really wanted to love this book. Like many, I have been a fan from the beginning, and love to get caught up in the adventures of Sookie. However, this book was like an afterthought, simply written to tie up the series, and without the emotional ride that we are used to with the Stackhouse books. I missed my emotional involvement.

There were far too many storylines, and not one was allowed to develop into a place where a reader could say "ah hah, this is the story". They seemed to cut off prematurely just to wrap up the character/story.

Sam and Sookie, a coupling that I would have been fine with, was just plunked down without much development. Eric's storyline was weak and not worthy of his character...Bill who? Pam, plunk. Karin...who cares. Many favorite characters made an appearance, but the characters were not involved, much like pale copies of their vibrant selves. The whole posse out to get Sookie just wasn't necessary, all of the involved characters had been dealt with in prior books, and it didn't make sense to bring them back, it only served to take story time away from other storylines that I would have liked to see developed more. I love Sookie Stackhouse, but this book left me unsatisfied and disappointed, not in the HEA for Sookie, but in the process.
8. Lisa Nicole
I don't understand the hate. I pegged Sam as the one from the very beginning of the series. While I agree that Eric's storyline seemed rushed the last couple of books, Sookie couldn't have ended up with him - she wants too many things that are incompatible with Eric's lifestyle. Fourth and tenth books are still my favorites, but I'm fine with the wrap up. I'm glad Charlaine Harris ended it when she did - too many authors keep going and milking the cash cow long after the series should have ended (I won't name names here, but we all know who I'm talking about). Bon Temps has been a fun place to visit - I'm glad I met the townfolk.
9. helva715
The ending was not what I would have thought, but one of my choices would be to have all three men ending up in a menage with Sookie, and Ms. Harris just doesn't swing the way of some of the more erotic authors, so Sam is the best choice. What I have not liked about any of this is the vitriol and hyper nastiness that the bulk of the Amazon reviewers have dumped on this book. The whining and almost hate that they vent is way out of line and out of proportion to what this is... just the ending of a popular romance book series. Come on, people, hate racism, hate poverty, hate those politicians who are blinded by greed and stupidity, but Ms. Harris doesn't deserve it. I guess it shows how caught up in this series people have been Nothing like this was said or written when Ms. Harris ended her earlier series. I wonder if some of the nastier reviewers aren't those that had temper tantrums when denied treats as children, and maybe still do as supposed adults. Also, so many of the 1 star reviewers sound alike. Conspiracy theory, anyone?

Anyway, I was glad that all the major characters, even villains, had finales. Plus, don't forget, there will be an "afterward" book published in November with maybe more questions answered.

I also kind of like to think of Eric living with his 200-year wife, wishing things could have been different. Nice to think of someone such as Eric being the tragic (?) one denied of happpiness. I agree with those reviewers who don't think Eric could change enough for Sookie and that Sookie was content living in Bon Temps. Remember, she enjoyed her trips outside, even to Texas, but prefered to be home.

Of course, for me, the best ending would have been Sam and Sookie going off into the sunset together, and Eric and Bill consoling each other! Whew!! Hot, hot, hot!
10. Laura Lu
I read every Sookie book as soon as I could get my hands on a copy, but I felt like the series jumped the shark a book or two ago. I'm not entirely certain since I couldn't actually read or finish the last book I tried. It started to feel like the plot lines were circling the toilet bowl and getting nowhere.
Liliane Menard
11. LilianeBM
I maybe in the few, but I like the end of Stokie. If you were a fan of the books, this ending made more than senses. She got a man who will love her forever in a non-lethal way. Eric is & was hot but emmotional distand. But not the people of Merlotte including Sam. So for me I got my HEA for Sookie,.

For the rest of you get over it. Charlaine telegraph this ending since the 2nd book. Always love her
12. KateRothwell
Liliane, true enough about Sam, that made all sorts of sense. But I was disappointed by the mystery/suspense part of the book, and did you buy that Sam keeping his distance thing? It was played up so much and turned out to be kinda dumb. Surely Sam, who's been something of a trickster in other books, could have figured out how to get past it sooner, or could have mortgaged the bar for the bail or something. A lot of angst for nothing. . . I wasn't left crushed or howling, but I did think Harris--who is good at that sort of thing--didn't do as good a job with the suspense as she'd done in other books. And the mystery, eh.
13. JenniferTM
I was under-whelmed by the ending but I saw it coming a mile away. As soon as Sookie broke her blood bond with Eric, I just knew they wouldn't end up together. While I think she and Sam made sense together- I was hoping they'd have a more established relationship by the end of the series. I think Ms. Harris should have ended the drama with Eric a couple of books ago and focused on Sookie and Sam as a couple. And yeah, the whole "someone is trying to kill Sookie" storyline for the past couple of books was getting old and ending the series was for the best.

I was glad that so many humans and supes came out to support Sookie in her time of need..that was sweet. But I agree that the reasons behind the vendettas against Sookie just didn't make any sense at all. Sookie asks Claude why he hates her so much and he actually says "you didn't want to have sex with me" ! Seriously he's her gay cousin...that was just a truly bizarre answer.

I'll miss Sookie's character though- I liked her down to earthiness and the fact that she was most definitely not a doormat and her willingness to help people.
14. Cassonya
Since when does Sam say, "He promised Eric not to talk to Sookie"? I mean that was a turn off. Then Claude saying she wouldn't have sex with him. Huh? Then the Devil does a short intro. Charlaine finished it by saying Sookie was going to take it easy in love. She has always liked Sam but that ending was just too pat. I guess Charlain wanted to concentrate on TV but I would have been happier if she had just left us hanging with the last book.
15. paranormalchic
I felt utterly dejected reading the book. I'd resolved to the fact that Sookie was going to end up with Sam, but now I'm questioning what the series was for then. Why lead the readers through a merry chase? Sam clearly always had feelings for her, it must have been torture to watch her with all her men. The plot of this story was to introduce every man she ever had feelings for to meet in some contrived whodunnit, who's Sookie going to end up with thing--and in the end, it was right where she started. It seemed rushed, it seemed like CH just got tired and I felt betrayed as a reader.

That being said, I didn't think she could end up with Eric. Outside of book four, he kind of sucks. I'd have liked her to end up with Bill, but it wasn't possible. I'd be okay with Alcide and Quinn, but neither of those were all that realistic. I didn't see her ending up with anyone other than Sam.

However, I think the way CH handled it was untrue to my understanding of the characters, but that's just it. It was MY understanding. At the end of the day, she's the writer. She knew how it was going to end, and she was true to her original vision. I have to respect that--even if I don't agree with it.
16. Tgp5
Anticlimactic...that's my word for this ending. Of all the ways to end this series, I am disappointed Sookie's path was lackluster. Bummer.
17. Day Stone
I honestly didnt like the book. The ending became too predictable, I found myself hoping that in a major plot twist a main character would be killed off, but nooooo it was pretty boring... stale. I've always like the demon characters and I tolerated erics other kid but really the only thing that made me happy a little was when pam was made sheriff, but even the separation of pamneric ruined it for me. *sigh* why did I continue reading after the 6th and 7th book? Why?
18. RMT
I just finished book #12 and you had to see this coming. It all makes sense. A totally good read so far.
19. granolagoddess
I don't think it was CH's best effort, but I liked it. I think she wanted to say a proper goodbye to every main character and send them off with their proper just desserts or rewards. Sam was a little lame, but the fact that he honored his promise to Eric was part of what had kept he and Sookie apart the whole series...his unwillingness to step out of his comfort zone and take a chance. I know Claude SAID "You wouldn't sleep with me!" but that wasn't his reason--his reason was that no one would ever see him be beautiful again, and his true ugliness was shining through. You forget he was willing to give up Hunter to the highest bidder. Only Sookie knew where to find Hunter. The irony of the ending is that instead of drama involving Sookie's newest hookup, it was a functional, easy-going, slow-moving natural and long lasting relationship in the making. I mean they are business partners, neither one wants to move away from Bon Temps, and they are both "sups." Jason ends up normal and settled and so does Sookie. And in their own ways, so do Eric, Bill, and Pam. They all settled in-- No more drama. Because there is no more for CH to write about. You aren't left wondering. Even Amelia wil settle and all, with no crazy father left to mess with her. Arlene is dead, and Alcide found love. I think the bad boy Eric is what we all want in some ways, but he would never make Sookie safe or normalize her life. This is the best summary CH could have come up with. She did everyone proud.
20. SiaraDelyn
I seems to be the only one who feels this way but I am THRILLED that Sookie ends up with Sam. He is the only one who has consistently supported her without being possessive. Everything he has done for her empowers her and makes her a stronger happier person.

Eric was like some hot female fantasy about being possessed by an alpha male. Maybe it's my personal history that makes me dislike that sort of relationship.

Sam is Sookie's truest friend. May they have a happy family of half-shifter/ one sixteenth fairy kids and loads of blissful decades running their bar!
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