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Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

This is the fourth book in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mysteries Series.  If you have not yet read or watched the HBO show, yet intend to read this series, turn back now and please, please, come back later. I will likely disclose knowledge from the earlier books.  Information otherwise know as spoilers.

In book 3, Club Dead, we were finally introduced to the character Alcide Herveaux , werewolf and big-time surveyor.  We also meet his father, and his sort-of ex, Debbie Pelt.  Also patrons of Club Dead is the King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington and  his entourage.  These introductions came as a mixed blessing to Sookie.  She was looking for Bill Compton and, as it happened, Russell had Bill Compton.  So that, eventually, worked itself out.  The meeting with Debbie and some of the other werewolves could have gone better to say the least.  Then there was Sookie's introduction to Bill's maker, Lorena Ball.  That one ended with Lorena skewered like a kabob and Sookie having to get inventive with vampire disposal.  In the end, Sookie wound up alone healing as best she could at home.

In the fourth installment, Sookie is bound and determined to make it on her own with no help or interference from supernatural creatures no matter how handsome or gifted in the boudoir they may be.  This plan falls apart no sooner than she makes it when she happens upon a very tall, very blond and Nordic looking vampire wearing only jeans, running down the road early New Years' morning.  Can you guess who it is?  To make things that much more interesting, Jason is missing.  Sookie is very suspicious because she had seen him with woman who was a shifter just before he vanished.

All this is great setup for something that Charlaine Harris is great at: concurrent story lines.  My disappointment with the Club Dead was that there was just the one main story that seemed to follow the regular three act sequence felt a little too much like any other book by any other author.  Dead to the World was a return of Ms. Harris at her best.  We got new characters and a broadening of the supernatural creatures in and around Bon Temps.  I'm finding that developing the types of creatures can be just as important to the story as development of the characters themselves.  Learning and experiencing the difference between a Shifter and a Were along with Sookie gives a bit of depth to the story that would be lacking in a simple narrative explaining it in almost scholarly terms.

The pacing and interweaving of the stories is excellent and in the tradition of the first two books.  This has been one of the aspects that I have grown to appreciate from authors like Ms. Harris and others like Jim Butcher who use similar storytelling patterns.  Let's face it, life doesn't happen in separate three act dramas.  It happens all at once without intermission.  This is a wonderful way to lend a bit of reality to the story in order to bring the reader deeper into the tale.

Dead to the World is classic Sookie and a must read for any burgeoning fan.  Of course, it almost goes without saying, this is not a YA book.  This is an R rated book due to it's violence, mature subjects and mild sex scenes.

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Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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2 People left their mark' :

  1. I've been intrigued by this series, but so far haven't started it. Good grief -- there are soooo many good books!
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

  2. I know what you mean, Diane. When I look at what's coming out and what I've wanted to try out, the list is daunting!