Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse #9) by Charlaine Harris

Title: Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse #9)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Ace Hardcover
Pages: 312
Rating 4/5 Stars

Another year, another Sookie Stackhouse book. I seem to read these on a one-a-year basis which puts me pretty far behind the curve.

Now, time for another one of my ridiculous and all-over-the-place reviews.

So, what’s going on in Dead and Gone? Well, the Weres decided to join the Vamps in coming out to the world – and they did so without any warning (to me, the reader, at least). The book opens up with a show-and-tell at Merlotte’s as Sam changes in front of everyone, and it never slows down.

Crystal – Jason’s pregnant, estranged werepanther wife – winds up dead and it’s up to Sookie to prove her brother’s innocence.

Even though she doesn’t like him much right now.

Also, Sookie and Eric get married in true Eric Northman fashion – he tricks her. Bwaha! Sookie’s upset, but not nearly as upset as she should be because of the blood bond she and Eric share.

And maybe because Sookie gets a little rush from the idea of being bound to Eric.

Once again, it’s delightful to watch Sookie struggle with Eric’s heavy influence in her life. She likes being around him (or is that the blood bond?) and definitely likes sleeping with him (definitely not the blood bond) but she can’t quite trust her feelings because of…the blood bond.

Sookie decides to have something of a relationship with Eric anyway because, well, why not? He’s hot, really good in bed and he genuinely cares for her and looks out for her. The protection that he offers and the ways that he wants to keep her safe come across as overbearing at times, but Sookie isn’t afraid of him anymore. That makes all of the difference in the world.

The moral of my sum up is that I still enjoy Eric and Sookie and I also enjoy how Harris presents this blood bond. Eric’s not controlling Sookie with it, but it does raise some questions and make her wonder at her motives. It’s an interesting conflict for them without being too overbearing and dramatic.

In addition to the Who Killed Crystal plot, we have a Fairy War brewing with Sookie’s Great-Grandfather right in the thick of things. The Fairy War gets pretty dicey – and Sookie is put through serious hell to the point where I was actually surprised at how far Harris went with it. Things are resolved in true Southern Vampire fashion (quickly) and it looks like Sookie is down one fairy godmother as Claudine heads over to the fairy world on a permanent basis and Sookie’s Great-Grandfather intends on closing the doors between realms.

Fine by me.

I liked the Fairies. I was intrigued by their appeal to vampires, but at the end of the day, I like there to be a level playing field with my characters and the Fairies in Sookie’s world were just a little too all-powerful – although, how hilarious that she could take them out with an iron garden trowel?

In other news, Arlene and the FotS freak finally gets what’s coming to them and I couldn’t be more thrilled. She was just the worst. Ugh.

Octavia heads back to New Orleans (again, in typical Charlaine Harris fashion – quickly), leaving Amelia and Sookie with the run of her house again.

On a side note, having a house guest has been really good for Sookie in terms of asserting herself. It’s kind of cool to watch her stand up for herself when she feels that she needs to and that while she and Amelia are friendly, they’re not necessarily friends.

The mystery of Crystal’s death is solved and it’s…odd. Not bad, just a little odd and pretty sad, really.

In my review of book #8, I said that it felt like filler and while #9 definitely did not, given that the action was completely centered in and around Bon Temps and that the vampires are still recovering from the fallout of the Pyramid explosion in #7, the stakes didn’t seem quite as high as they could have been. I look forward to the action getting back to the vamps, which for whatever reason, I feel is the main action of this series.
And of course, more Eric.


  1. i started reading this series before the true blood tv series came out. and then got hooked onto the tv series. plan to go back to reading the series after i catch up with the latest tv series. glad to hear the books are just as good.

  2. I just recently finished reading this one, and I wasn't as enthralled. Enjoyed it, but it was still...I don't know.