Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Recommendsday Review - Dead in the Family

Today's recommendsday review is a bit different than the other reviews we've done here at Vamps R Us. Instead of Helena or I taking the lead to review a book one of us has read, we're both going to talk about Charlaine Harris's latest, Dead in the Family. And the format of this review is different, it's a conversation Helena and I had via text message that pretty much summarized our opinions, so we decided to post it here. Because of the candid nature of that convo, there's one other major change in this review:

***SPOILER ALERTS***

If you don't want to know what happens in Dead in the Family, do not read any further. You have been warned.

Synopsis:

Sookie Stackhouse has finally settled into a relationship with the Viking vampire Eric, and her errant brother Jason seems to have his life in order, too. But all the other people in Sookie’s life – Eric himself, her former lover Bill, her friend and boss Sam – are having family problems.

Eric’s maker shows up with Eric’s ‘brother’ in tow, the ailing Bill can only be healed by a blood sibling, and Sam’s brother’s marriage is about to take place . . . or will it? The furor raised by the coming out of the two-natured has yet to settle; some people are just not ready to sit down to dinner with a man who turns into a dog. And Sookie herself is still recovering from her last ordeal. She’s definitely improving, physically and mentally, but she’s always going to have some dark moments now. The werewolves tell her that there have been strange and ominous passers-by in the Stackhouse woods; now Sookie is about to come face-to-face with one of her more distant relatives...

Prelude to convo - I finished Dead in the Family before Helena (thanks to my not having vet school finals), and expressed to her my overall disappointment with the novel. This is where the conversation picks up:

Helena Sparrow: (May 18 – 10:10am) I didn’t think Sookie was horrible. I don’t like how bitter and dark she is tho, like u said. And though there was action and the typical dead bodies to ID kind of thing, I felt like there was no real point to the bigger picture for all of it. I miss light bubbly Sookie.

HS: (10:11) Definitely was not Harris’ quality work I loved.

HS: (10:12) Oh well. I guess all good things must end. Hope JR Ward doesn’t downspiral too, that would really suck.

Lily Ghates: (10:26) I’m hoping Harris can bring it back around. Time will tell.

HS: (10:28) Yeah the series def can’t be ended on that book. Too many open unanswered things. The ease of lifting the spell at the end was utter BS tho.

HS: (10:29) I mean seriously

LG: (10:29) Oh, I know. And nothing resolved with Victor! I truly thought this book was pointless. You want to review it for the blog?

HS: (10:32) Sure. I can write up some stuff tonight and add to the cover reviews. I think with Harris we pretty much have the same opinion lol. Waited a year for nothing really sadly. At least we have True Blood.

LG: (10:34) Yeah, my opinion is the same as yours. I don’t mind spending the time on this one if it's leading to something spectacular, but otherwise it wasn’t worth the effort.

HS: (10:35) True. Hope that something comes out soon lol. Before I forget who Dermot is again.

LG: (10:36) Lol, my first thought was “who?”, but I remember now

HS: (10:40) They all kiss and then go to bed together. It's weird. And I'm glad Pam isn’t dead dead. I was worried for a bit

LG: (10:41) I know! That would have killed it for me, really. She’s the comic relief. And now that Eric has become a pussy, she’s the last real-but-likeable vampire.

HS: (10:46) Seriously, but he should be less pansy now that his maker is gone. Maybe he can have a rebirthing so to speak lol

LG: (10:50) I hope so, cause that was getting irritating. As was the Romanov kid. And where the hell did Claudine’s baby daddy come from? Not enough build up, too little resolution.

HS: (10:52) I know. I was hoping the fairy was some crazy relation to Jason or Dermot with the way that Russian kid was so drawn to Jason. But whatever. Pointless.

HS: (10:53) I don’t think we even met that crazy guy before. And putting Sookie in a human jail is a weird form of revenge for killing family. I mean, I would have just shanked a bitch myself.

LG: (10:54) Any of the other fairies would have too. Out of character & bad. Unimpressed.

HS: (10:58) Or why didn’t he kill Hunter when he saw Hunter at the park. Honestly that would have been most appropriate. Guess Harris got sick of killing kids.

LG: (11:02) I know. Fae aren’t paternal, he could have killed Sookie & Hunter for being half bloods. Ridiculous. An excuse to have Sookie play with Hunter.

HS: (11:04) Harris isn’t playing by her own rules, that’s what really has me upset. Like, stupid Weres didn’t even get mad enough for my liking

LG: (11:05) I feel you. And them trusting Sookie, a onesy, with a sacred pack duty? Not going to happen. She would have been in far more danger than she was

LG: (11:06) lol, maybe we can just make our text convo the review :-p


And so we did, because hey, we'd already vented our frustration about wasting time with a book we both felt went nowhere, so why throw more time after it for a review. I love Harris, I think she's remarkably talented, and I adore the first 6 books in the Sookie series. The last few Sookie books, however, have been disappointing. I'm still hoping Harris can bring it back around. Time will tell.

Rating: 3/5

4 comments:

SIN said...

I have a couple of questions,I must ask all the books as good as the HBO series true blood? I have been thinking of reading them but don't know where to start from since I have watch all the episodes of true blood. Help me out here.

Lily Ghates said...

Good question. I really liked the first 6 books. For me, the book series took a turn for the worse with the first hardback (book 7).

Season 1 of True Blood sticks pretty close to the first book. Season 2 of True Blood goes off completely on its own path.

If you want to read the series, I'd suggest starting at the beginning. True Blood is great but has to cut out and add things. Tara, for example, and Lafayette have far larger roles in True Blood than in the books. Bubba doesn't even make it into True Blood, which is a tragedy. He's one of my favorite characters.

I say read from the beginning, that's my two cents :)

SIN said...

Thanks for the advice I believe I have a new series to read.

Lily Ghates said...

Let me know what you think, and when I finally get around to Jacquelin Frank's books I'll do the same :)

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