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Book Review – Dead as a Doornail: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris

August 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Book Description:

The fifth Sookie Stackhouse novel from the New York Times bestselling author – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.

Small-town cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has had more than her share of experience with the supernatural — but now it’s really hitting close to home. When Sookie sees her brother Jason’s eyes start to change, she knows he’s about to turn into a were-panther for the first time — a transformation he embraces more readily than most shapeshifters she knows. But her concern becomes cold fear when a sniper sets his deadly sights on the local changeling population, and Jason’s new panther brethren suspect he may be the shooter. Now, Sookie has until the next full moon to find out who’s behind the attacks — unless the killer decides to find her first…

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Yep, I’m still working through the Sookie Stackhouse 8-copy Boxed Set (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) by Charlaine Harris, and how time flies – I’m already done with the fifth book Dead as a Doornail! My thoughts? Well, Dead to the World (the fourth book) remains my personal favorite from this ‘fluffy’ series (and mostly because of amnesia-Eric), although I did appreciate that with this fifth book, Charlaine Harris gives us a more in-depth view of the other paranormal denizens of her universe.

Dead as a Doornail is kind of the ‘odd one out’ of the series so far since the vampires aren’t really front and center this time around – Sookie interacts more with the shifters and weres, plus her Fairy friends Claudine (and her twin Claude). There is a dangerous sniper / killer abroad in Bon Temps, and he/she is targeting the local shifter population (plus one human – Sookie herself!). Sookie’s werewolf-friend Alcide is back, too, and we learn more than we might want to know about how a werewolf pack picks their next pack-leader (I’m glad that Harris went there though, since IMO, even though it was very traumatic for Alcide / Sookie, the last section was really the best thing about this fifth book ).

But I don’t know, I just got the feeling of ‘filler’ when I was reading this – Sookie just passively bounces around from one mishap to the next while getting wooed / kissed by her many, many beaus in Bon Temps. Nothing really major happens to her character  in terms of growth (well, she does ‘almost’ die every now and then, but you and I know that nothing really bad or permanent is going to happen to Sookie, so there goes any real suspense).  It does end up with a hint of what the next book is about (a Vampire summit!) so that’s something to look forward to at least 🙂

Dead as a Doornail: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition, Paperback edition, Mass Market Paperback edition, and Audible Audio Edition.

The eBook is also available at B&N, Apple iBookstore, Kobo books and Sony eBookstore.


For a second opinion – here’s some reviews of Dead as a Doornail by other bloggers:


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Book Review – Dead to the World: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris

July 17, 2011 2 comments

Book Description:

The fourth Sookie Stackhouse novel from the New York Times bestselling author – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.

When cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse sees a naked man on the side of the road, she doesn’t just drive on by. Turns out the poor thing hasn’t a clue who he is, but Sookie does. It’s Eric the vampire — but now he’s a kinder, gentler Eric. And a scared Eric, because whoever took his memory now wants his life.

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As I’ve said before, I’m currently working through the Sookie Stackhouse 8-copy Boxed Set (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) by Charlaine Harris right now. Dead to the World is the fourth book in the series, but the first one I’ve read where I haven’t seen the TV series first (True Blood Season 4 just started and I made sure to finish this book before even watching the premiere). Alexander Skarsgård (TV vampire Eric) said in an interview that apparently Dead to the World is a particularly fave among the fans and I totally get why. I am so looking forward to how Skarsgård portrays amnesia-Eric, since book-amnesia-Eric is absolutely awesome 🙂

In Dead to the World, the newly single Sookie Stackhouse finds herself taking on the unusual role of caretaker and protector of an amnesiac Eric Northman who has fallen victim to a witch’s spell. Her cheating ex-boyfriend Vampire Bill is away for most of the novel, thankfully, so he wasn’t around to irritate me, yay! Meanwhile, Sookie has to also contend with the mysterious disappearance of her brother Jason, becomes involved in a war involving werewolves/shifters/vampires and witches-on-steroids and… maybe, just maybe, falling in love with the new and improved amnesia-Eric?

The greatest appeal really for this book IMO is the vampire Eric Northman. Charlaine Harris has always written him as one of the more interesting (and funny) characters in the books, and I suspect that I’d be bored with amnesiac-Eric if he stayed stuck in his new personality for the rest of the series. But amnesiac-Eric in just one book is pretty adorable (and hot!). I found the ending very bittersweet since on the one hand, I knew that the way Ms Harris had written it was best for the story to go forward, but on the other hand, the romantic within me wanted that new guy for Sookie to stay. Oh well 🙂

One note though, I’ve read in some interviews about fans hoping for the “hot” Shower Scene in the book to be retained for TV – and while I do agree that Alexander Skarsgård in a shower scene will be hot – I have to say that the sex scenes that Ms Harris writes in her books are pretty terrible (repetitive and oddly lacking in real passion).

And I did wish that Ms Harris had fleshed out the new villains on the block in this book some more – I did like the idea of twisted evil witches (headed by a brother-sister tandem) threatening to take over the turf from the vampires, but it was like they just blew in (and out) of the book. I was really frustrated since I wanted to know more about these half-shifter/half-witch brother and sister team.

Dead to the World: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition ($7.99), Hardcover edition ($13.57), Paperback edition ($7.99), Mass Market Paperback edition ($7.99), and Audible Audio Edition ($20.95).

The eBook is also available at B&N, iBooks and Sony eBookstore for $7.99.

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Book Review – Club Dead: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris

July 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Book Description:

The third Sookie Stackhouse novel from the New York Times bestselling author – and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.

Sookie’s boyfriend has been very distant – in another state, distant. Now she’s off to Mississippi to mingle with the underworld at Club Dead – a little haunt where the vampire elite go to chill out. But when she finally finds Bill – caught in an act of betrayal – she’s not sure whether to save him… or sharpen some stakes.

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m working through the Sookie Stackhouse 8-copy Boxed Set (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) by Charlaine Harris right now, and I’m now done with the third book (which is what the True Blood: The Complete Third Season (HBO Series) is based on). I have to say that of the three books so far, Club Dead: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel is the one I liked best, and I strongly suspect that’s mainly because vampire Bill is pretty much absent for almost the entire novel. I guess I really, really don’t like him or the Sookie-Bill romance since I didn’t miss him or their interactions at all 😉

In Club Dead, a disillusioned Sookie Stackhouse sets off for Jackson, Mississippi to help rescue her kidnapped (and unfaithful!) boyfriend/ex-boyfriend Bill Compton. Not that Sookie is the paragon of faithfulness herself, mind you, what with her body craving her very hot guide/bodyguard (the werewolf Alcide Herveaux) while half-heartedly fending off the attentions of her vampire boss Eric Northman…

The plot itself is very flimsy (no wonder the HBO series added all those subplots in order to add more flesh to the story), but like I said, I much preferred having Bill out of sight and mind. Plus I really liked the two male characters who got a lot of face-time in Book 3. The vampire Eric is still just as irreverently funny and inappropriate as always, but this time, he shows a softer side and he ends up being a better friend to Sookie than Bill ever was. And honestly, the werewolf Alcide seems to actually be the perfect partner for Sookie, except that they were both caught up over stupidly mooning over other less deserving partners.

As always, Club Dead is a quick read, very escapist fare; it’s not very taxing and there were many parts that were pretty funny (i.e. how Sookie foils the crucifixion of Elvis is one!).

Well, now I’m all caught up and I plan to read Book 4 without the ghost of Season 4 of True Blood hanging over me – so we’ll see how much I’ll like it then!

Club Dead: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition ($7.99), Paperback edition ($7.99), Mass Market Paperback edition ($7.99), and Audible Audio Edition ($17.95).

The eBook is also available at B&N, iBooks and Sony eBookstore for $7.99.

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Book Review – Living Dead in Dallas: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris

June 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Book Description:

The second Sookie Stackhouse novel from the New York Times bestselling author-and the basis for the HBO series True Blood.

When a vampire asks cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse to use her telepathic skills to find another missing vampire, she agrees under one condition: the vampires must promise to behave and let the humans that are involved to go unharmed. Easier said than done. All it takes is one delicious blond and one small mistake for things to turn deadly.

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As I’ve mentioned previously, my sister received a gift set of the Sookie Stackhouse 8-copy Boxed Set (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) by Charlaine Harris recently, so I’ve been working my way through the set! And since the writers of True Blood: The Complete Second Season (HBO Series) apparently just loosely based Season 2 on this book, I was able to read it without comparing book versus tv series for every other scene (unlike in the first book) – just too different this time around that it’s like two different stories at this point (for example, certain character(s) who are supposed to be dead in the book continue to live on in the tv series).

In book two Living Dead in Dallas, Sookie Stackhouse (with her vampire boyfriend Bill Compton) gets her telepathic skills hired out to help locate a missing vampire at Dallas, while having to deal with the vampire-hating Fellowship of the Sun zealots. And closer to home in Bon Temps, a newly arrived supernatural being (a maenad) may or may not spell a whole lot of trouble for everyone even while Sookie is determined to find out who murdered a friend of hers.

The good thing about these Sookie Stackhouse novels is that they’re kinda no-brainers, just really quick and easy to burn through. My sister calls these books ‘literary junk food’ – not a whole lot of food for thought, and just real easy to plow through. Living Dead in Dallas benefits from a more exciting storyline from the first book – we’ve moved away from the Sookie-Bill-Sam triangle – and Sookie now interacts with a whole lot of different vampires this time around in Dallas, not to mention having to save herself from the Fellowship of the Sun zealots and meet some new shape-shifters while she’s at it. It’s a pity though that the maenad / murdered friend subplots were kind of forgotten about for majority of the book and just rushed through in the end.

The draggiest part of the whole storyline is actually the Sookie-Bill love story. In the book, Sookie wonders if she really loves Bill or if she’s just in sexual thrall. Well, all I can tell from their ‘love’ in the book is that there’s an awful lot of lust and possessiveness going on – so if Sookie were to ask me – I’d go for ‘not love’ at this point. I’m not even sure Ms Harris even likes her hero vampire Bill. Why is he written as such a stick-in-the-mud boring character lacking a discernible personality – while she writes the relatively minor vampire character Eric with such humor and charm? The best parts for me in this book was any scene with Eric in it, especially when he becomes Sookie’s ‘date’ to an orgy-party. That was fun 🙂

Well, here’s to hoping that things get better in book 3! I may not have it in me to read through book 8 at this point (and yes, I’m aware that there’s more books that aren’t in the boxed set).

Living Dead in Dallas: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition ($7.99), Mass Market Paperback edition ($1.31), and Audible Audio Edition ($20.95).

The eBook is also available at B&N, iBooks and Sony eBookstore for $7.99.

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Book Review – Dead Until Dark: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris

May 28, 2011 4 comments

Book Description:

Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire Series #1, The Anthony Award Winning Novel

Sookie Stackhouse is just a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life-and one of her coworkers checks out…. Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend isn’t such a bright idea.

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I’ve been a fan of the HBO series True Blood (for all three seasons so far), but I’ve never read any of the books the series is based on. Well, since my sister received a gift set of the Sookie Stackhouse 8-copy Boxed Set (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) recently, I thought it was about time I checked at least the first book of the series out. [I just found it a bit weird to adjust to reading a paperback again (no font enlargement!)] 🙂

Dead Until Dark: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris is a mix of paranormal romance (with the requisite love triangle) plus murder mystery / thriller in one, as I expected from the TV series. The story is told exclusively from the point of view of the telepathic vampire-loving waitress Sookie Stackhouse though, unlike in the TV series where the other characters are also given a lot of camera time. Obviously, I couldn’t help but compare the book with the first season of True Blood, and I hate to say this, but IMO the book pales in comparison to the HBO adaptation. I kept on finding myself looking for plot points or characters that are featured in the series, but are either absent or are just in the background in the book. But then that’s an unfair comparison – the True Blood creators had an entire season to flesh out characters and add more complex events versus just the one book by Charlaine Harris.

And no wonder the one book ended up being the start of a best-selling series of books. The basic premise for Dead Until Dark is pretty brilliant – I loved this new society that Ms Harris dreamed up, with vampires finally coming out of the closet (so to speak) because of the invention of synthetic blood, and the resulting societal complications resulting from new human-vampire interactions. Of course not all humans will be welcoming and not all vampires will want to blend in. The ‘bigger picture’ is tackled better in True Blood, so maybe that’s why I got a bit disappointed with the actual book events.

Sookie Stackhouse is as likeable (and spunky) on paper as she was onscreen (by the talented Anna Paquin) and it’s her character that really makes the whole thing work. The others – not so much. I guess that I should credit Stephen Moyer for his acting skills as vampire Bill, since at least I believed him when he said he loved Sookie on screen. On paper, I’m a bit doubtful about the ‘love’ part – but Stephen Moyer sure could communicate it with just his eyes! Sam Trammell’s Sam Merlotte is also a more sympathetic character on screen than on paper, and I could feel the poignancy of the love triangle more on screen than from the book. Same with the suspense from the serial killer preying on vampire-associating women… yup, it’s kind of lacking on paper.

Maybe it’s just impossible for me to give Dead Until Dark a real impartial review since I’m already too attached to the TV adaptation? The book is just a tad duller, slower and more superficially developed than I expected, but I do think that I’m being unfair with the comparison bit. So, I do intend on continuing to read the rest of the books in the boxed set, and maybe I’ll like the fourth book better than the upcoming fourth season, so who knows?

Dead Until Dark: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition ($7.99), Mass Market Paperback edition ($7.99), and Audible Audio Edition ($20.95).

The eBook is also available at B&N and Sony eBookstore for $7.99, but Kobo books has it a bit cheaper at $6.29.

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