Sunday, May 16, 2010

READING : Dead In The Family by Charlaine Harris

 Sookie is dealing with a whole host of family problems, ranging from her own kin (a non-human fairy and a telepathic second cousin) demanding a place in her life, to her lover Eric's vampire sire, an ancient being who arrives with Eric's 'brother' in tow at a most inopportune moment. And Sookie's tracking down a distant relation of her ailing neighbour (and ex), Vampire Bill Compton. In addition to the multitude of family issues complicating her life, the werewolf pack of Shreveport has asked Sookie for a special favour,and since Sookie is an obliging young woman, she agrees. But this favour for the wolves has dire results for Sookie, who is still recovering from the trauma of her abduction during the Fairy War. 

I was so looking forward to the release of Dead In The Family and to finally reading it, especially after what happened in Dead And Gone.Unfortunately, Dead In The Family let me down.

Basically, what I think DITF's main flaw is, is that it makes you think you are reading a short story the whole time.Or several short stories in the form of a novel.Known characters, new are introduced, they cause a crisis, crisis averted by known characters, the end.Which is not a bad way to structure a novel, but Sookie used to be so much more than that.It used to be funny and quirky but at the same time mysterious and dark.Granted, many years have passed since the first book and characters mature and change inevitably.But you never stopped caring about them, regardless of how they've changed.That's what bothered me the most about DITF : I stopped caring about the characters.It was so obvious that all problems will find solutions in the end, that you couldn't sympathize with any of them(the characters).I never felt scared of Eric's maker, who was described so bad and dangerous that could destroy anyone and anything at will, because I didn't really see any of that.And that happened with the Were pack story,too. It felt that whenever Harris was about to start a very promising plot line, it ended abruptly with the most easy and predictable way.That's where the short story notion comes from, I guess.The best part of the book was Bill's story, which even though it falls in the same category as the others, it felt good seeing him again and finding out new things about him and his past.I know he is in a lot of people's hate list ever since Sookie broke up with him, but he is still likeable to me and I admire him for a lot of things.

I am a huge fan of Charlaine Harris and I love the series, but I also have to be completely honest : DITF left me feeling sad and somewhat disappointed.However, it makes for a very good lead in for the next book, vampire and two natured politics being the main theme.All we have to do is wait another year!

*this was the most difficult review I have ever written.


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