Thursday, May 19, 2011

Old Acquaintances: Dead Reckoning

The new Sookie Stackhouse book is out, and I had some qualms about buying it new. The best part of the Sookie books is the fresh way Sookie herself deals with the new situations Charlaine Harris dumps on her, but by book eleven there aren't that many fresh situations.  And I dread the ones that appear because the cast of characters is already top-heavy, making the books a bit lumbering with all the pauses to explain backstory.  She's got several vampire boyfriends, each with a complicated history both back in the past and with Sookie personally, there's the shapeshifter friends and enemies, including the werewolf pack which has a long and complicated history with her (including another boyfriend), there are the fairies currently living with her and their connection to her family, there are, well, you get the idea.

Luckily I had an option between hardback and patience -- I have my NOOK. So I bought the ebook, and I'll share that with my friends.  Even more luckily, I wasn't disappointed. Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 11) has the usual multiple mysteries, although Harris seemed more concerned with with straightening out some of the emotional complications that Sookie finds herself in that the problems of the people trying to kill her, which get a bit of short shift. (The motives of one bad guy is that raving loonies get fixated on trying to kill our Sookie. Homicidal mania is not that interesting in a book that is all about the characters.)  But more interestingly, Sookie spends some time thinking about who she is and what she does, and whether she likes how they impact each other.  She begins to admit to herself that having non-human friends means having different ideas of what friendship means.  And the book was fairly short (under 300 pages) which meant that unnecessary backstory got trimmed out. I ended up enjoying it, although I don't recommend it as a starting point for the series. B

No comments: