Reviewed by: Chelsea
Rating (out of 5): 2.5 stars
If I could use only one word to describe this final volume in the Sookie Stackhouse series, it would be meh.
After the ruckus online about the ending of Charlaine Harris’ popular series, I was sure I’d finish this book either impressed or angry. Neither happened. As a matter of fact, Dead Ever After didn’t engage with me until the last third. It’s not that the writing was bad or the characters lacking, the plot was simply stagnant until that point. There is a lot of Sookie stewing in her own issues on this one. Particularly in the first half we have her waiting for others to take action and irritated that they aren’t, but she’s not being proactive either. I understand Sookie has always been stubborn, but I never found her one to sulk.
The novel brings in characters we haven’t seen in some time purely for the purposes of being like, “Hey! You liked this character! Here he or she is for a page or two with no real plot purpose!” I get what the goal here was—it was meant to be a treat for long-time readers of the series. A delight to see past characters still alive and doing well (or really not well). However, it felt like page filler and general distraction for me.
That said, I didn’t mind the direction that Harris took with the plot and her general idea of how to resolve this series. If you’ve ever heard Harris speak, she’s known how this was going to end for ages and she’s hinted pretty strongly about who Sook would end up with. The ending didn’t surprise me on the romantic front, and it didn’t upset or please me, really. Just was. However, it was rushed and there were some blaring issues for me regarding the end. They’re worth citing here, but as it’ll be spoiler mania, I’m writing them in hidden text. Highlight the block below if you want to read it.
Eric’s vampire children make it clear that he is pragmatic. Sookie understands this. They say the only reason he’s protecting her is as a show of strength; to prove you can’t mess with things that were his. Now, here’s my issue. Let’s say that’s true. That Eric really did just ditch his feelings for Sookie (which I don’t completely buy, but I accept the vampire logic here). He had Sam make a vow to not ‘court’ Sookie. He had this promise made in front of his future wife and super powerful vampire queen. Would Eric really allow him to break that promise without consequences? It would make him look weak. As cruel as it is, I expected him to come and kill Sam for bedding Sookie. That would be an ending to get up in arms over. Sookie falling for Sam? Predicted that.
Done with spoilers! Overall, I’m still glad I read Dead Ever After, but it didn’t provide me the kind of series closure I had hoped for. I didn’t need a saccharine ending, but I wish it had been a more surprising journey. Despite my misgivings, this one is still a must for Sookie fans. You need to know how it ends, if only so you can say you wish it had been handled differently.
Sexual content: Fade-to-black sex scene