Reading Challenges

June 10, 2011

Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris

Those of you who have been with me since the beginning know that one of my guiltiest pleasures is Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series.  Last Spring, having finished all the other Sookie books,  Dead in the Family was released in hardback to much anticipation, but all my other Sookie books are uniform paperbacks, and to be honest, I really didn't feel like forking over twenty euros for a book that I'd finish in about an hour (albeit one very enjoyable hour). So, I took a deep breath, went into withdrawal and began the long wait for a paperback copy, discovering a few of Harris' other series during the interim (admittedly a new-found pleasure). This year I pre-ordered Dead in the Family and received a paperback version as soon as it became available in April.  

While I haven't lost any of my enthusiasm for Harris' well-loved series, it's really tough to read the Sookie books separately with long gaps between each novel. They flow extremely well as a series of stories and I had the feeling that I'd lost some of the momentum, simply because after a year, my memory wasn't as sharp on some of the details that really enrich the plot and make the books so irresistible. A word of advice: the series makes for such easy reading, if you've let some time pass from one book to the next, you may as well go back and read them all again. Its what I should've done to bring myself up to speed. In any case, due to being a bit "out of the loop", the first few chapters of Dead in the Family were enjoyable, but not like the page turners I remember. However, half-way through, I had fully rekindled my love for Harris' Southern vampire community and felt on track again. 

Dead in the Family continues the tale of a supernatural (sups) community in flux, with new characters entering and exiting at all times amid a host of our favorite characters still fully on board from the very first novel. The repercussions of the Fae War, the shifter's "coming out" and Sookie's new relationship with Eric develop further as well as a new conflict with a vampire king.... My only complaint is that now with Dead Reckoning out in hardback, Harris' latest release, I'll have to wait yet another year for a softcover...

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