29 July 2013

Review: Dead Reckoning & Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine HarrisI am so bad with finishing series that I'm still behind in the Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampire) series by Charlaine Harris. I decided a few days ago that I would do my best to catch up. I had three books left and managed to listen to two and have already started on the last.

It's my understanding that there will be only one more Sookie book, which is sad, but I think the series has lost some of its initial charm. I still love Sookie; she's cute, funny, and spunky and has surprising strengths. On the other hand, how many times can she be beaten up by life?

I can barely remember the problems in just the last two books: She was almost burned to death; she was betrayed by loved ones; she was kidnapped; she was the target of jealous women; she was almost murdered; she was tricked and bullied; and she was pursued by men she didn't want. Okay, so some good things happened to her too, but the premise of Sookie being at the center of violence in every single book is getting old.

Because these are the eleventh and twelfth installments in the series, I'm not going to try to avoid spoilers to the earlier books. And, frankly, there's not much to review here anyway.

Deadlocked by Charlaine HarrisIn Dead Reckoning and Deadlocked, Sookie, Eric, and the gang get involved in the affairs of other creatures, which leads to murder, revenge, and some tricky schemes to try to set things right. Meanwhile, vampire law and politics are threatening Sookie and Eric's relationship, and Sookie was forced to decide what to do with a few things she had inherited.

At the end of Deadlocked, it appears that Sookie's life is going to change drastically. I think this is a good thing and likely foreshadows how Sookie's story will ultimately end. If I'm right, then I'm pretty happy where things could end up. That said, though, I kind of wish Sookie had done something different with a gift her grandmother left her. It's not that Sookie squandered her inheritance, but she could have used it in a way that would been more directly beneficial to her well being.

The plotting of both books followed Harris's usual style. There is a ton of action played out against Sookie's personal life and the doings of her family and friends in Bon Temps, Louisiana. As always, Harris's sense of humor comes shining through, and her world of humans, weres, fairies, vampires, and more is complex and well developed.

As you can tell, I have mixed feelings about the series. I'm still interested in the characters, but I'm not going to be too sad to say good-bye when Harris writes the last page of Sookie's story.

What I will miss, however, is Johanna Parker's stellar performances on the audiobook editions (produced by Recorded Books). I can't imagine a better narrator for the series. Parker has nailed the characters' personalities and is amazingly consistent both with a single book and across the entire series. She has added greatly to my enjoyment of Sookie's adventures.

Penguin USA / Ace
Dead Reckoning, ISBN-13: 9781937007355, 2012
Deadlocked, ISBN-13: 9781937007447, 2012
Source: Review (both print and audio) (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 7/29/13, 7:02 AM  

It has been a long time since I've read a good mystery series. I pick up and read all the Janet Evanovich books, mainly because I've been nudged to do so by a friend. And Sue Grafton, probably because she was the first real mystery series that I followed. But nothing else. And that's a shame because there is something nice about a mystery series.

Here's my It's Monday.

Meghan 7/29/13, 8:24 AM  

I've actually stopped reading these myself. They are okay, but they haven't been enough of a priority for me to actually go out and find them to read, nor can I remember which book I was on! I should catch up now that the series is over, though, just to resolve everything.

Daryl 7/29/13, 8:45 AM  

i read only the first two books then i lost interest .. i have however been watching True Blood, the HBO series adapted from the books, and until this season i was a big fan ... this season not so much but i am hoping that what i read about next season will bring me back to enjoying the show.

Belle Wong 7/29/13, 9:55 AM  

I still have this series in my TBR - I'm pretty sure I have the first two books in audio. I'm unsure about reading the entire series, but I should at least read the first few. It sounds like it's good in audio!

bermudaonion 7/29/13, 10:45 AM  

As you know, I tried this series but it wasn't for me.

Laurie C 7/30/13, 7:27 AM  

I love the narrator of this series, too, but I think I stopped after the second or third, realizing I was probably never going to catch up!

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