I really enjoyed the first few Sookie Stackhouse books. Actually, I have probably really enjoyed most of them, but I have felt my enthusiasm wane over the last couple, and it’s the same here. In Dead in the Family Sookie and the supernatural world are getting over the Fairy War from the last book. Sookie needs to heal more than just physically, and she’s missing those she lost, and those that have sealed themselves in the land of Fae away from humans.
There’s also fallout from the Weres coming out to society like vampires did, and there’s discussion among humans about all two natured needing to register their abilities, as well as some protests at Sam’s bar. Alcide asks Sookie if his pack can run on her land, as there are hunters on his. She agrees, but this comes with a price when a body is found buried there later. Sookie’s fairy cousin Claude moves in, as he’s lonely now he’s cut off from those of his kind, and he’s lost both his sisters. There’s also more family trials for Sookie when she babysits Hunter, her cousin Hadley’s son who shares Sookie’s telepathic powers. The family theme continues when Eric’s maker, the Roman Appius Livius Ocella, comes to town with his other son, Alexei Romanov, who is somewhat unhinged and difficult to control. Eric and Sookie don’t spend a lot of time together because of this, but their blood bond is still strong.
The book is quite slow, until the end when it picks up pace almost too much in an ending that feels rushed. Not a lot happens for much of it, plot-wise, it’s definitely a slow burner after the action of the last book, and is more an attempt to regroup and spend more time with the people important to Sookie, as well as the townsfolk. To say there’s nothing going on is probably not right, but it flits about storylines and characters and it lessens the impact of it. Threads seems to be picked up and put down again on a whims, as something more interesting occurred to Harris and off she runs with it. We get the who’s who of pregnancies and relationships, but it’s not very meaty. It’s also not as funny as the past books have been.
As is often the case, putting a couple together after so long of will-they won’t-they limits the storyline and takes away a lot of the tension. I was desperate for Sookie and Eric to get together and now they are…it’s just lost most of its spark. What has happened to Eric? He was my favourite character. He was wicked and saucy and he wanted Sookie and was frustrated he couldn’t have her. And now he does and he’s lost all his personality. He’s sort of under the thumb and like a love sick teenager. He needs some oomph because at the moment he’s not nearly as sexy as he used to be, and it’s hurting the series for me.
It’s difficult for me to remember things that have happened in past books, and although I usually hate series that bludgeon you over the head with what’s gone before in case there’s a new reader, it wouldn’t hurt to give us a reminder every now and again. I feel like I’m missing out on things I should be aware of, but short of reading every book again when a new one comes out I’m not sure what to do. Anyway, it was enjoyable and a quick read, but I wish there had been a bit more to it. I’ll continue reading the series because I do care about the characters and want to see it how it plays out, but I hope there’s an end point in sight. I think any series that goes on too long wears out its welcome.
And with that I have finished my 52 books in a year challenge. I will continue posting reviews to see how many I can read by November. I’m hoping to make it to 100 this time.