Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

If you think your family relationships are complicated, think again: you haven't seen anything like the ones in Bon Temps, Louisiana.

Sookie Stackhouse is dealing with a whole host of family problems, ranging from her own kin (a non-human fairy and a telepathic second cousin) demanding a place in her life, to her lover Eric's vampire sire, an ancient being who arrives with Eric's 'brother' in tow at a most inopportune moment. And Sookie's tracking down a distant relation of her ailing neighbor (and ex), Vampire Bill Compton.

In addition to the multitude of family issues complicating her life, the werewolf pack of Shreveport has asked Sookie for a special favor,and since Sookie is an obliging young woman, she agrees. But this favor for the wolves has dire results for Sookie, who is still recovering from the trauma of her abduction during the Fairy War.

Charlaine Harris, I must tell you that your books are starting to get to me. 10 books in to your series Sookie is a much more complex character than when she started. She's gone through a lot of life changes, and had to reassess her feelings about the people around her and how she thinks about herself as a person - which is all well and good for the continuation of a series.

But it is not good for my peace of mind as a reader!

Dead in the Family is a very good book. How Sookie tries to cope with her torture and the changes in the world around her are interesting, lifelike, and help push Sookie even more as a human representative in an environment that isn't always so safe for them. It's hard for me to see her go through so much actually, because I feel like I've been reading about her trials forever and I wish that sometimes life wasn't so hard. But Harris doesn't take the easy road, her books are complex with a lot of characters who have their individual motivations for what makes them act the way they do. This isn't a book you can just jump into, the series has too much going on for that, but it's an engaging, realistic look at what can happen to a world that thinks it's 'normal' when there's not a whole lot 'normal' left.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. I still love this series and I recommend them far above the TV series TruBlood, but these pseudo-cliff hangers are killing me! I need a little bit more resolution in my life to allow me to not feel so desperate for the next book.

Series - 1) Dead Until Dark 2) Living Dead in Dallas 3) Club Dead 4) Dead to the World 5) Dead as a Doornail 6) Definitely Dead 7) All Together Dead 8) From Dead to Worse 9) Dead and Gone 10) Dead in the Family