Saturday, May 8, 2010

book review: "dead in the family" by charlaine harris

Dead in the Family is the tenth book in the Southern Vampire Mystery series by Charlaine Harris, a.k.a.: the books that spawned the absolutely amazing television show, True Blood.

I want to be upfront and make it clear that I'm reviewing this book from the perspective that it's genre fiction, not the next great American novel. It's a mystery romance about a telepath in a world of vampires, Weres, faeries, and witches. That is what you can expect when reading it. It's fluffy, good fun.

I do have to say that Charlaine Harris has grown as a writer since the very first Sookie book. Not only that, but she's created a fun, supernatural world with a twist. Vampires have "come out of the coffin" and are struggling to find a place in government and politics, but facing trouble as a minority. It's an interesting concept.

I enjoyed this book, but I felt like a lot of it was filler, setting up for the next book. I think this tends to happen in series. I did like that we finally meet Eric's maker and learn the circumstances surrounding Bill's change into vampire.

I happen to be a huge Eric fan, so this book was great for me to read. It's the first glimpse we get at Sookie and Eric actually trying out a real relationship. Harris wrapped up most of the faerie business, which I appreciate; I was never a fan of that storyline. She also pretty much closed the book on a Bill/Sookie relationship. Good.

So, we're left to wonder...who is the best choice for Sookie? At this point, I think we're left with three options: Eric, Alcide, and Sam. The thing I like about Sookie is that she never really considers the option of being a vampire (a la Twilight). She likes being alive. She loves the sun and she wants to have children someday. For the first time in the series, we see Sookie thinking about what her life would be like if she were to become a vampire. It's something we haven't seen her really think about before.

Overall, I liked this book okay. It wasn't my favorite in the series, but it answered some questions. There wasn't too much action and the ending was rushed, but I expect the next book will be a good one.




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