When I turned the last page in the last Sookie Stackhouse book my only thought was, "It's about time." Nothing really spectacular jumped out at me, nothing really even surprised me, and to be honest, I stopped reading the series a long time ago (book 10) and only picked up Dead Ever After so I could see how Charlaine Harris ended it all. Curiosity killed the cat, after all. If I was reviewing it, which I'm not, I'd give it a 3 star rating because if nothing else, reading a Charlaine Harris novel is comfortable and Harris did manage to tie up all the loose ends in Sookie's life without spelling out in great detail just how Sookie spends the rest of her life. I appreciated that.
The interesting thing about this series, at least for me, is how the TV show, True Blood, changed it. I read the first few books with interest, enjoyed the southern spin on vampires, but never really invested myself in the characters because they never felt genuine to me. Sookie was a simple woman that shopped at Walmart and soaked up the sun, her ability of reading minds was something she disliked and wished to control better, and although she was written to seem independent and opinionated, I always thought she was naive. Charlaine Harris was creating something new, with vampires that weren't scary but weren't necessarily romantic either, so I kept reading, even when it became obvious that Sookie would never learn from her mistakes and was doomed to repeat them over and over, letting vampires, shifters, and fairies use her unique ability for their own selfish gain. She'd stand up to them in her own charming way but after 5 or 6 books, I can't remember which, I just stopped reading.
Flash forward to the HBO series. The first season was awesome, sexy and completely different than anything else out there. My interest in the books was renewed. When Charlaine Harris came to my town for a signing during book 10, I was genuinely excited to meet her and Flyboy stood in line for hours with a bunch of crazy women to get my number for the signing line. He's cool like that. Then the show went down the crazy path and I stopped caring about either. Don't believe me? Check out this episode recap from Meredith over at i09 from last week. I'm betting you can guess my favorite part! To paraphrase from the recap post...it's total what-the-fuckery at it's finest.
Skip ahead to book #13 and here we are, at the end of a series. "It's about time" seems a fitting goodbye. If I had to describe the book further I would say: predictable, easy, safe. I would honestly love to see if this was how she intended for the series to end all along or if the show influenced her decision, and also to know if this was an attempt to regain control of her creation. She claims this was her intent from the beginning but I'm not too sure of that, since this ending could have easily been given 5 books ago. She also claims to love the show but I can't imagine how that's possible since almost none of her work is apparent anymore, the sweet southern charm is lost to the desire for more hunky naked men to parade through Sookie's life, drenched in blood and dancing like maniacs.
So farewell, Sookie. Goodbye Bon Temps.
If anyone is interested in reading Dead Ever After leave a comment and I will gift my copy (which was purchased by me) to one lucky Trubie.