Thursday, August 19, 2010

Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris - Book Review #70

Thursday, August 19, 2010
Definitely Dead
by Charlaine Harris

As a person with so few living relatives, supernaturally gifted Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse really hated to lose one. But she never thought it would be her cousin Hadley, a consort of the Vampire Queen of New Orleans. Since Hadley was a vampire, she was already dead - weird! And now, as unexpected heir to Hadley's estate, Sookie discovers that someone doesn't want her snooping around, going through Hadley's possessions and her past. But why? And who?

Charlaine Harris has a tendency to under explain and over explain at the same time. I know it sounds weird, but it’s true.

Definitely Dead – the sixth book in the Sookie Stackhouse series starts when Sookie’s cousin – Hadley is already a vampire, lover of the queen of Louisiana and murdered, as definitely dead, and queen of Louisiana has already visited Sookie to tell her all of that. None of these events are mentioned in previous books. My first thought was if I missed something in the fifth book, but no, nothing is in there. Then I considered that I might have got confused and reading not a sixth book, but seventh. That assumption also proved to be wrong. So I kept on reading. Ok I’m fine with books that are not starting from the birth of the grand-grand-father of the main character. However, the way Harris handled it, is a little bit overboard as well. It would have been nice to have at least some sort of hint in the previous book, or start this one a bit differently, with Sookie explaining what happened and not just barely mention it like we are already supposed to know this.

On the other hand at least first hundred pages, if not the half of the book, Harris is spending scrupulously retelling to us events from previous five books, which every time makes me want to stop reading a book once and for all. And the further we go into the series, the worse this situation is becoming. I mean, the recap of events from the first book took only a handful of pages in the second. And now we are getting closed the half of the book. I’m seriously scared what going to happen next.

Besides all of that Harris managed to shove a lot of other events into this book. Every moment something is happening in this book, something completely dangerous and unexplained. This is never a bad thing if all the events connected to the main plot even if it is invisible at the beginning. A book should not contain any scenes that are not developing the main plot. A novel is not a hamper where you can throw anything that would enter your mind. Unfortunately, this is not always a rule for Harris.

Sookie Stackhouse books are horrible sometimes; I can find a million things that are wrong with them. Most of these things are bothering me like there is no tomorrow. Some of them are making me outrageous. However, at the end of the day, I’m still not able to stop reading them, same as so many other readers. Sookie still makes me laugh and I still longing for more of hers crazy adventures. May be it is a drug? (Do you see what I’m doing here? I’m looking for excuse, for justification of myself reading Sookie’s books. I guess that what I’m doing through all my reviews on these series. I cannot find a reason why I read them, if I’m criticizing them sometimes so harshly.)


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