“Dead Reckoning” will draw fans back into the life of telepathic waitress, Sookie Stackhouse. The first and third chapter of the eleventh book in the series has been available online for fans to enjoy for some time now. However the second chapter is quite the eye opener and I found it very wise that the publishers kept that chapter off line! Yes it very important to read the whole book in entirety and not just guess at what will happen based on just excerpts.
This book is fast paced and full of the drama and action that has come to be associated with the series. Many of the lingering questions from previous books were FINALLY answered and I did find great satisfaction in having those answers. However, by the end of the book I found myself with even more questions again. Knowing that there are only 2 more books in the series does give me hope that the light at the end of the tunnel (ie all the answers for Sookie’s world) is finally coming into view.
The Sookie Stackhouse I have grown to enjoy is back finally! Having survived so many attacks on her life has left a mark on her both in body and spirit. Sassy, snarky strong and yes sexy Sookie is in full form in this book. She is appalled by the depth of cruelty and nonchalant behavior of the supes in her world. Vamps, shifters, fae and witches are a part of her life and she finally comes to the realization that she needs to understand just what they mean to her. She must reconcile her dilemma in how she was raised as a “good” Christian and how that path has taken quite a detour for her in spirit and body.
The action picks up “Dead in the Family” and Sookie finds herself once again in harms way. I thought at first oh here we go again, another mystery solving storyline. Quite happily I found this not to be true. Yes Sookie has a split second to warn Sam and others when she senses something very wrong. They survive the fire bombing of Merlotte’s but I did not see Sookie jumping into telepathic superwoman mode to try and solve the case. She has been through so much by this stage in the series and survived many attacks at this point in her life. She doesn’t accept it as part of her life but has come to realize that danger comes with the territory when you make the choice to be friends with supes, humans and every kind of creature she encounters.
While trying to clear out parts of the attic Sookie discovers a letter written to her by Gran. The letter was not the only thing she discovers and still has more to learn about her family and also about herself.
What I did like is how her character is finally maturing. She readily admits the love and feelings she does actually feel and later learns she should have listened to her own heart. The words did not come easily for her in the past and are still not gratuitous. Sookie does find herself once again acting very impulsively. She may be telepathic but when it comes to listening to her OWN mind and OWN heart she fails miserably. Yet she does finally realize that the consequences of those actions will be long lasting. However the brash act did open up her eyes and here is where I believe Charlaine is allowing Sookie to continue to grow and follow her path. It is a choice she must make of her own mind and will.
I mentioned that there are quite a few questions answered that have been lingering (almost to the point of causing some story lines to stagnate and seem pointless) are finally answered. Not all of the answers are predictable and that was a huge relief. The relationships in her life are complicated. Her actions and those of all in her circle affect others. She is learning more and more about the vampire she does love but still finds herself with even more questions unanswered.
One of the surprises for me reading the book is how I reacted to several of the characters. For some reason I am seeing them in a different light. Again I feel Ms. Harris is revealing more layers to the what appears to be the “good guy persona” on the oustide to what is perhaps a darker core. No not talking about a vampire here. (had ya worried there for a second didn’t I). Many characters make a “visit” in this book. Eric and Pam figure strongly in this book. Eric is dealing with the aftermath of the actions from Dead in the Family along with the new vampire leaders so his plate is quite full. My heart did tug a bit for Pam who seemed very much unlike her character for me in this book. Yes we do see Alcide for a brief moment or two (and what a “view” it is for Sookie). Bill does appear in the book and yes once again does prove himself to be a good neighbor for Sookie. There were a few enjoyable giggles that had been missing and I was happy to enjoy them once again. It was also interesting to visit with some of these familiar characters as well as some of the ones in Sookie’s extended family.
Just a quick example of a few of my favorite lines from the book (not saying who said them or anything to spoil):
Loved the use of a word as an expletive. Simply this one word: ZOMBIES! (references to Dead in the Family)
A bit of relationship karma: “You keep breaking my heart, ______(name of character omitted)” “I will not have sex with a man who pities me”.
“I gave a little shriek and swung my legs until they latched around him……______(name of character omitted) loved monkey sex” Ok now this scene while very very hot also made me laugh out loud at the mention of monkey sex. Never thought I’d read that in a book. (well any book I’d be reading)
There were many many more lines in this book than in some of the prior ones in the series that I did truly enjoy. Again in Sookie Stackhouse fashion it was great to see her be able to come to terms with parts of her life and manage to live and survive yet again. She is able to help with serious plans/plots that could end not only her life but also those of many she loves. Knowing that she may die the night before an important party she was hosting the next day Sookie makes sure others know where to find all the supplies, cake and all the items that are ready. She doesn’t whine or say woe is me I might die. It seemed to show how she has developed in her maturity. I’m not saying she is all the way there when it comes to being completely mature. Again yes she does make a major brash mistake so yes we do see a little bit of “what were you thinking Stackhouse?”.
The book did keep me entertained and I could feel a definite progression towards the big climax (no not one of those climaxes..I mean about the story.(some call it a dramatic arc) The action did move along and was fast paced enough to keep me from wandering off mentally. Some loose ends did seem to be tied up just to answer specific questions which I did appreciate. The part that was frustrating for me as the reader was how some of the bigger badder issues were brought up towards the end of the book. The issues had been only hinted at earlier and pushed aside. So once again I’m left wishing the book were longer in order answer that big bad issue. Seems that Ms. Harris has once again planted a big ole bad bomb and we will have to wait another year to find out when it will finally explode.
That would be my only criticism is how the action seems to fly quickly and when it comes to something really really important I’m left hanging. (and asking myself oh great now WHAT). Another worry I also have is my sneaking suspicion of some of those Sookie considers as friends may really be her enemies. As mentioned earlier never judge anyone by the outward appearance. Sookie is coming to terms with that and I hope that she learns that lesson in time.
Again I highly recommend this book to any fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series since it does reveal a few new wrinkles in the Sookie universe and yes more details on Sookie’s gift. Yes what was set up in this book will definitely be addressed in the next book (or so we hope).
So after waiting a year to read this book I am glad the wait is over. Looking forward to discussing the book in length as more fans have had the chance to read their copy. Not everyone may agree with me and my review but yes I did thouroughly enjoy “Dead Reckoning”. Waiting sucks and I guess now I have another year to wait for book 12.