Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #13
Published by Ace Books on May 7, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Vampires, Werewolves
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble// BookBub
Add to: Goodreads // StoryGraph

There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart...
Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.
Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.
But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough...


** spoiler alert ** Dead Ever After departs a bit from the previous Stackhouse books in a few ways, though remains the same in others. The most prominent way it differs is in the direction Ms. Harris decided to take with her writing style. While the previous 12 books have been written solely from Sookie’s point-of-view, with events happening elsewhere being completely hidden from us and Sookie, this book decides to give us a more rounded view of events, giving the reader insight into happenings ‘behind the scenes’ and away from Sookie.. I’m not quite sure I enjoyed the change. It felt a bit strange to go through 12 books writing one way and doing it fairly efficiently, to suddenly decide to experiment with a new style for the series’ finale. Sure, it gave the reader insight into what might be in store for Sookie, but why did we need it? We went through 12 books without it and did just fine.

Moving away from writing style, which likely only irks me as a former English major, the plot of Dead Ever After was fast paced. Possibly moreso than any of the previous books. You could tell Ms. Harris was trying to tie up loose ends and mention current state and possible futures all of the minor and one time major characters introduced. Alcide makes a brief appearance, Bill of course shows up, Quinn comes back for a quick update, and there’s a little bit of Eric as well. Eric’s appearance, or lack of, is what really left a sour taste in my mouth. The unhappy ending we get with Eric is the main reason I gave the book only 3 stars.

Ms. Harris gave the readers roughly 8 books building Eric and Sookie’s ultimately doomed relationship, but gave us barely 10 pages to witness its unravelling, experience the analysis of what went wrong when, and mourn their end. It seems she was more preoccupied trying to bring readers up to date with all of these extraneous characters and come up with a reason for this conglomeration of enemies to coexist peacefully enough to accomplish anything, than properly address what was the strongest link and most important relationship Sookie has had in her adult life. Readers don’t really get an adequate explanation, Sookie doesn’t get an adequate explanation, and Eric doesn’t get an adequate explanation of how things came to be. Frankly, it seemed like it didn’t even really matter to Sookie either, since she was able to move on so readily, which is strange considering she still thinks about Bill and how things ended between them SO SO many books ago. Then, to add insult to injury, there is this section:

“Sookie, take my advice,” Pam said. “I’m going to give it to you for free. This was not ‘nice’ of Eric. This was Eric protecting what used to be his, to show Freyda that he is loyal and protects his own. This is not a sentimental gesture.”
Karin said, “We will do anything for Eric. We love him. But we know him better than anyone, and this calculation is one of Eric’s strengths.”

So not only do we not get a single of acknowledgement regarding the past few years of Eric and Sookie’s relationship, but now we’re essentially told that it was never really love on Eric’s part. He really was just the shrewd, calculation, and territorial vampire no one said he was. I mean, couldn’t it have been both? I think it likely was, but apparently someone just really wanted to put a stake through it and call it done and over.

All of that said, it really came as no surprise to see Sookie decide to give Sam a chance. This is something that has pretty much been building since the first book where she said she had thought about it, but was worried about it ruining their friendship. Even if it wasn’t pointing towards Sam, it was definitely pointing towards Sookie not ending up with a vampire. She has always maintained how essential sunlight is to her, that it is one of the things that bring her pure joy. She has always talked about wanting to settle down, have a family, even though she never thought it would be possible. These are things that a vampire could never offer her. Eric and Sookie was never going to last, while Sam was always there with the ability to offer the relatively normal life Sookie always wanted without most of the baggage being a supe entailed.

Ultimately, what made this book so lackluster was not the choice made to end Sookie and Eric’s relationship, but the decision to trivialize the relationship and breeze through the break-up process. The ‘villains’ were nothing we haven’t seen before, and nothing creative, though she makes you believe something interesting is going on.
Read it to end the series because you’ve stuck through it for so long, but don’t go into it expecting anything great. This is a library or gift card type of book and not a go out and buy hardcover type.


Leave a Reply