Review: ‘Dead Ever After’ by Charlaine Harris

 

2013

Gollancz

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The final adventure of Sookie Stackhouse begins the day after the penultimate novel ended: Sam the Shapeshifter lived and Eric the Vampire is not happy that Sookie used the fairy gift from her great-grandfather to bring Sam back and not to get him out of a sticky political situation. Everyone is upset. And then an old enemy comes back in to Sookie’s life, an instrument of unknown enemies. When she is murdered the police would quite like it if Sookie were the murderer. It all gets very stressful for Sookie as more enemies come out of the woodwork and Eric divorces her. Sam is distant and confusing, Bill a little too friendly.

 

But Sookie has more friends than she realises as her demon godfather arrives with cavalry, in the form of two witches, his part-demon niece and another telepath. Soon Quinn arrives to help with their investigation. Good news mounts up as Sookie’s inheritance from her fae cousins turns out to be larger than expected and they track down some of Sookie’s enemies.

There’re murder attempts and tangled love, revenge and happy news. Everyone who deserves it gets a happy ending, everyone who doesn’t ends up dead or banished. Sookie finds contentment in her place in the world and a possible new love as she and her friends finally grow up.

It’s a nice story, but the ending is emotionally unsatisfying. There’s too much going on, the author tries too hard to make events traumatic or puts the dramatic emphasis in the wrong place. And it’s all just a bit too trite. To be blunt, I’m glad the series is over. I liked the first half dozen, but the last half of the series has just been too silly for words at times; they had good plots but were badly supported by the execution. There are probably three good books in the last seven, and that’s if you take all the decent plots and tidy them up enough, and then write something with them. I hate being so severe on any author and I do actually like the characters but it’s all worn a bit thin since I first picked up ‘Dead until Dark’ in 2003.

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