Title: Dead Ever After
Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Sookie Stackhouse, #13
•Publisher: Ace Books
•Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Opening Line: The New Orleans businessman, whose gray hair put him in his fifties, was accompanied by his much younger and taller bodyguard/chauffeur on the night he met the devil in the French Quarter.
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...
To Charlaine Harris' credit she did exactly what she claimed she was going to do. She followed her own plan, the one she had all along. Unfortunately Harris picked the plan she first came up with as she started writing the series, failing to realize that her characters have grown and evolved past what she had first imagined. They no longer fit perfectly into the boxes she had created for them. That didn't stop her from trying like hell to shove them back in.
Dead Ever After starts the next day from where Deadlocked ended. The first 140 pages were painfully slow and completely flat. Thankfully it starts to pick up after that. There was a bunch of past characters that show up throughout the book even though they are unnecessary. Apparently if you're popular in a previous book it earns you at least a paragraph in Dead Ever After, even if you bring nothing to the story. Can anyone say filler? And please, please do not get me started on the sex scene. Sookie went from sexy to a swimming pool as he plunged into her. Ridiculous.
My main problem with Dead Ever After are the characters. They have been drastically changed and that is a huge problem for me. The reason I love book series is that I have a chance to see the characters grow and change as life throws its challenges their way. In Dead Ever After the characters no longer resemble who they were in the previous novels, making the entire series utterly pointless.
In the beginning of the series Sookie is a plucky, vivacious woman. As the series continues Sookie becomes this amazing heroine who learns to take care of herself, to hold her own in the "normal" and supernatural communities. All of that changes in Dead Ever After. Sookie is now a vapid airhead who relies completely on others to help her. When Sookie is arrested for murder, what does she do? She tries to distract herself by figuring out which of the prisoners look good in orange. The old Sookie would have at least been trying to figure out who framed her.
And Eric. Poor Eric. He was Eric Northman. The Viking. Sexy. Confident. In the previous novels Eric was this force. He never let anyone manipulate him. Ever. Eric had a whole alphabet of backup plans for any situation. Sure, he could be a narcissistic asshole but you never doubted that he loves Sookie. Now Eric has been reduced to Felipe de Castro's whipping boy and possibly Freyda's new man whore.
After such a great series, well up until book ten anyway, the end of Dead Ever After was lacking. After being promised a Happily Ever After and only getting a happily whatever, to say that I'm less than thrilled would be the understatement of the year. Sookie knows that she loves ***** and that ***** loves her, but decides to take the relationship slow. It would have been fine if it had ended there. Not terribly romantic, but in a pinch it would work. But no, Harris had to add this last bit.
But I also know that if he turned away from me at this moment, somehow I would survive that.I realize that it's supposed to be an "I am woman, hear me roar" moment; taken out of context it probably is. Add the sentence back to the paragraph it comes across as if he leaves me, he leaves me. Whatever.
Dead Ever After starts out shoddy at best and ends up an abysmal failure. My only solace was that it's the last book in the series; a thought that I was overjoyed by. I can finally let this series go. But wait. What's this? It's not the last book! Sure it's the last novel, but for some reason Charlaine Harris has decided to put the epilogue in another book. Apparently putting the epilogue in the novel that was supposed to wrap up the series was just too hard. Harris thinks we need a book to wrap up the wrap up novel. Wait. What? *bangs head on desk*
There were a couple of good moments in Dead Ever After. The thing is, they are buried beneath so much filler that I cannot remember what they are. So if you're feeling brave and decide to read Dead Ever After I have three words of advice for you. Bring a shovel.
"The Devil? Or a devil?"
"What an excellent question. In fact, a devil. The Devil himself seldom makes a personal appearance. You can imagine the crowds."
Your life was not right when you were actually surprised that someone didn't want to kill you.
I had that icky sensation of sweat trickling down between my butt cheeks.
Life just sucked some days.
I watched something totally brainless on TV. Sadly, that wasn't hard to find.