Dead Ever After is the 13th and Final book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries series (aka Sookie Stackhouse) written by Charlaine Harris. It was released on the 7th of May by Gollancz books and is 352 pages long. The ISBN is 0575096616. I purchased this book.
The Southern Vampire Mysteries have been made into the popular HBO show True Blood starring Anna Paquin.
PLEASE BE AWARE OF SPOILERS INCLUDED WITHIN THIS REVIEW
Sookie Stackhouse has one last adventure in store.
Life has taken her from a waitress in Merlotte's Bar, Bon Temps, to part owner; from social outcast to the heart of her community; from a vampire's girlfriend to the wife of one of the most powerful vampires in the state.
She has survived explosions, revolutions and attempts on her life. Sookie has endured betrayal, heartbreak and grief...and she has emerged a little stronger, and little wiser, every time.
But with life comes new trials...
The question is, in the end: who will love, who will live, and who will be dead ever after?
WHY I BOUGHT IT
I started reading Southern Vampires after watching the first season of True Blood and instantly realised I had made a TERRIBLE mistake I should have read it BEFORE. The first season of True Blood was good but things went rapidly downhill from there while nearly all of the Southern Vampire novels have been excellent. They are as different from one another as chalk and cheese or say Philosopher’s Stone was to Prisoner of Azkaban.
WHAT I THOUGHT
Wow Charlaine Harris really knocked it out of the park with this one. Some of the last few books have been a bit hit and miss and I was a bit worried where this will go after all it is the final book though I would guess there would be a few short stories down the road but I digress.
I really like and admire Sookie Stackhouse most people who had to deal with the crap that has been shovelled her way would either be reclining in a straight jacket in some institution or so jaded and hardened to violence that she would just be some action hero carbon copy. Instead she is a woman who worries about the damage she may have done to her soul and how best to be a part of her community. I'm not a religious type but the way that Charlaine writes Sookie’s views on religion are something I can empathise with.
Bon Temps feels like I'm coming home the way that Harris weaves the relationships amongst the often eccentric bar patrons and local residents. Plus we get somewhat of a bonus with a huge amount of Sookie’s acquaintances from the previous books come running to offer our heroine their aid.
The murder mystery is a little different this time in that we are left with a fair idea of who did what but there is enough left to look forward to as Sookie and company work their way through it.
I love this book because it has all those little touches which make me think I am reading about someone real, someone who worries about money problems and strives to keep her house and garden clean and tidy. I swear Sookie even gives me tips on the proper way to greet and treat guests.
On the ending which as I have seen has proved a controversial one I am more than satisfied with. From the beginning of the series I could always see that Sookie did not see her real future being the partner of a vampire, she mentions again and again in the series how much she wants a family and that she cannot stand the idea of becoming a vampire. Yet I read review after review of people losing their collective minds over the fact that Charlaine Harris didn't send Sookie off into the sunset with Eric.
Sookie mainly gravitated to Bill and Eric for a number of reasons, her lack of relationship experience the fact that dating a regular human is almost impossible because of her telepathy and of course the larger than life personas of the vampires. At the beginning of the series Sookie was as naïve as she was strong, she started as a girl and came out the other end as a woman and took us all on the wild and fascinating course to get there and I for one am glad I decided to go with.