review: dead reckoning

I think many other people have already hit this on the head: Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris falls short of its predecessors. The main complaints:

[Spoilers ahead!]

1. Sookie is no longer a solid character. While she previously stood for herself, she frequently lets herself be pushed around. The few times she stands up for herself, she often turns around and cries. She reads more like the TV character than herself, and I find the televised-Sookie beyond annoying.

2. The relationship between Eric and Sookie quickly deteriorates for no apparent reason. They both make stupid, out-of-character mistakes. I used to love their romance — especially since Eric’s amnesia — but I now find there is no chemistry.

3. There are too many pointless, disjointed plot lines. The book jacket summary led me to believe the focus of the book would be the death of Eric’s boss — and while that is the focus of the end of the novel, it takes a while to get there. Along the way, there’s Sandra Pelt, the beginnings of a Faerie war,  a conversation about romance with Bill…what? And that’s only a small sampling.

I must say I did enjoy this book overall. I thought the final scene, while hypocritical to Sookie’s character up to this point, could provide a lot of potential room for the growth of Sookie’s character — it all depends on the next installment. Can Sookie participate in all this darkness without becoming dark herself? Is she okay with the integrity she sacrifices for her own happiness?

***

If I didn’t already own all of the Sookie Stackhouse series, this book probably wouldn’t even make the cut to move with me into my next apartment (every time I move, I try to send some of the books I’ve accumulated home so as to minimize the number of boxes I take containing obnoxiously heavy books). However, it did do its job — I was entertained on my bus rides, and I even took precious time out of sleep to stay up and read a few more pages. I will read the next book with enthusiasm. But honestly? This book rates a very mediocre 3/5 stars. It is very middle-of-the-road, and not a fraction of a star better.

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