I’ve been a long-time fan of Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries (a.k.a. the Sookie Stackhouse novels). And while I now picture Alexander Skarsgard as Eric thanks to True Blood, I’m still eager to see what’s coming next for the waitress from Bon Temps.
My friend and fellow blogger Kristin from My Bookish Ways is in the same boat. (Though I’m not sure her stance on ASkars’ overwhelming hotness.) Recently she and I decided to partner our blogs — so when you’re looking for darker titles, urban fantasy and thrillers without paranormal elements, you’ll want to check out My Bookish Ways — and to kick off our new blog bestie status, we decided to tackle today’s release of Dead Reckoning tag-team style.
Chelsea’s rating (out of 5): 3 stars
Kristin’s rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars
Chelsea: As with every Southern Vampire Mystery book, I liked getting to spend a few hundred pages with Sookie in Dead Reckoning. But this there were moments where she didn’t really behave like the Sookie I’ve come to know. She was freaked out about things she’s already come to terms with and doesn’t get into enough of an uproar about others. She just felt off.
Kristin: I agree. It took me about 85 pages or so to really get involved in the story, and my normal patience for Sookie’s puttering wasn’t quite as high in this one. Although, Ms. Harris did start the book off with a bang (literally) with the firebombing of Merlotte’s, and Sookie’s glimpse of the mysterious figures behind it.
Chelsea: The action scenes in Dead Reckoning were certainly the highlights. Harris is always great at choreographing action sequences with the right amounts of violence, fear and plot purpose.
Kristin: Her action scenes are always great, and I love it when we get visits from Bill (who is still close to my heart), and Bubba, which we do in Dead Reckoning. Unfortunately, Sookie also gets visits from some old enemies, adding just one more problem in the ever growing threat list. It also doesn’t help that things are coming to a head for Eric and Pam, and vamp politics are again threatening to take over Sookie’s life.
Chelsea: There’s always some otherworld politics at play! In addition to dealing with an Eric/Pam standoff, we have Victor’s vendetta against them.
Plus, Harris begins to lay groundwork for more faerie drama (when are they not up to something?) but she doesn’t do a whole lot with them other than hint at something big on the horizon. I wish we would have gotten a bit more movement on that subplot in Dead Reckoning.
Kristin: I definitely would have liked to learn more about that, but I suppose we’ll have to wait for that in the next one. That’s not all we’ll have to wait for! The fate of Sookie and Eric’s relationship is certainly up in the air, and I’m not at all sure I like Sam’s newest love interest, Jannalyn, although she is fierce! I’ll admit I always had hopes for Sam and Sookie, but alas…
Chelsea: Eric and Sookie’s relationship hit some spikes, again, for forthcoming events, but really their personal interaction is limited in this latest installment. When some big decisions need to be made or things get sketchy, I found myself wondering where the hell Eric was and just what was more important than Sookie. And why she didn’t seem to be bothered that he wasn’t around all that much. I can’t say if that’s supposed to hint to something, or if Harris was just wanting to focus on the ‘someone’s out to kill you’ end of things. Sookie was shocked by some of Eric’s behavior, but it’s the same type of behavior that freaked her out in Dead in the Family. Vampires can be callous, and at some point she’s going to have to truly come to terms with that.
All that said, I had a really good time reading Dead Reckoning. It was when I finished that I noted all the pieces that fell short for me. Worth the read for fans, who I think will be pleased it’s stronger than Dead in the Family.
Kristin: Oh, I certainly had a wonderful time with it too! I think there’s just so many things I’d like to tie up in a bow, and I’m not known for my patience! Sookie is one of my all-time favorite characters, and I always feel at home in her world, among her friends, family, and lovers. It was certainly stronger than Dead in the Family, and I highly recommend it to fans of the series!