Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Club Dead

Sookie Stackhouse was living a fairly normal life, working as a cocktail waitress in a small town in Louisiana. Until she met Bill, a vampire, and fell in love with him. In this third installment of the Southern Vampire series (now also called the True Blood series after the television show based on the books), Bill is preoccupied with a project he's been working on secretively, and he tells Sookie he needs to go out of town for a few days. She senses that something is wrong, particularly when he hides some things in her house and gives her instructions for what to do in case he doesn't return.

Not surprisingly, Bill does not return when he says he will. When Eric, a vampire we've met in previous books, shows up on Sookie's doorstep and tells her that Bill is in trouble, possibly dead - and that he has lied to her, gone to see an old flame, a vampire he'd been in love with years earlier, Sookie is devastated and worried at the same time. Her mind-reading abilities may save Bill if he's still alive, which is doubtful, and despite her anger at him, she agrees to travel to Mississippi to try to locate him. Along the way she teams up with an attractive werewolf with a despicable ex-girlfriend and finds herself immersed in a highly charged, perilous situation where it is only her anonymity that protects her.

This third book in the series finds Sookie taking a good, hard look at her life and her relationships and realizing it's time to make some choices. She has gained some confidence since the first book, where she really saw herself as the crazy girl all the townspeople think she is. She has traveled, broadened her horizons, met new people, and learned a few things about herself. Still, this book finds her well and truly in over her head, and it is fun, as always to see her attempt to extricate herself. I enjoyed this one, although the pacing was a bit bumpy in places, and as I believe this is the last one of the series I've read before, I'm looking forward to moving into new territory with the fourth book. These books are an enjoyable combination of mystery, suspense, and fantasy with a welcome touch of humor.

Books in the Southern Vampire series:
1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead in Dallas
3. Club Dead
4. Dead to the World
5. Dead as a Doornail
6. Definitely Dead
7. Altogether Dead
8. From Dead to Worse
9. Dead and Gone
10. A Touch of Dead (Sookie Stackhouse: The Complete Stories) - to be published October 2009

Club Dead (#3 in the Southern Vampire series) by Charlaine Harris; narrated by Johanna Parker (Recorded Books, 2008)

Also reviewed at:
Avidbookreader: "...the story is very read­able, char­ac­ter devel­op­ment was nicely done but there were some slow parts (mainly when Sookie is away from home) and I missed the Bon Temps com­mu­nity because for me, they make this series stand out..."
J. Kaye's Book Blog: "I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I hadn’t tried reading this series back-to-back. Doing so was similar to eating too much chocolate in one sitting."
Love Vampires: "The story is well plotted with twists and turns that are original and unexpected plus the mystery element of the story is first rate too. The action in the story was fast paced and once again Charlaine Harris has written a book that I found hard to put down."



    Great review of the book :)

  2. I am currently reading Dead Until Dark and am enjoying it, though it’s not really my preferred genre and I’m not hooked. I did enjoy the first series of the show, which is perhaps why I’m not enjoying the book as much. I don’t like having a pre-conceived image of the characters in my head, and much of the mystery has sadly been spoiled for me!

  3. I can't decide whether I want to read these! I may be on a vampire hiatus for a while - this is difficult to maintain because all my friends looooove True Blood and want to watch it with me. :P

  4. Margo - I thought you already read this series? Huh. If not, I'm sure you'd enjoy it.

    Mariel - I have yet to see the show - I'm thinking I'll start watching it on DVD once I've read a few more books to try to avoid spoilers. Although I understand there are quite a few plot differences, one of which you'll notice immediately when you get to book 2. One of the things I like about this series is that it has lots of traditional mystery elements in it - you can tell Harris wrote a lot of mystery novels before starting these books.

    Jenny - At first glance these may seem much like other books in the genre that are proliferating these days - but this was one of the first ones, and I think it's influenced a lot of others. I am curious to see True Blood, but I'm going to read a few more of these before I do. I'll be curious to hear what you think if you give the books (or the show) a try!

  5. I haven't gotten to this book yet, but I can't wait to get started on the second one.

  6. i think everyone's reading this series these days. guess i should pick it up. one of my girlfriends tells me that the sex scenes in it are hot enough that sometimes, reading in bed, she'll wake her sleeping husband with a fire in her eyes that says, "yeah. we have to. right now." damn!

  7. I'm currently listening to this series on MP3. I really like the narrator - she's got this great southern accent that gets in my head - she goes a really good job conveying Sookie's moods. I'm about half-way through Book 4 right now, and I've downloaded the rest of the series.

  8. I bought the first two books in this series, but just haven't gotten around to reading them yet. I can't get motivated for some reason. Hmm.

  9. Serena - I hope you enjoy it!

    Molly - Are you sure it's this series? Nothing that memorable springs to mind at this point. But I'm only on #3.

    Jen - I've been listening to the audios, too, when I can find them. I like the narrator as well - I think her reading adds a lot to the story! My library doesn't have the audio versions of all of them, so I got this one through Audible. Is that where you get your MP3s from?

    Cat - I think it helps to be in the mood for this kind of book - and not to read them too close together (at least for me). I hope you enjoy them when you get around to them. I think you will!

  10. Yes, Darla, my MP3s are all from Audible. They had this 3 for 2 credits special recently, and I actually had a bunch of credits stored up, so I got the rest of the series.

  11. Jen - Thanks for the heads-up! I will go check out that special to see if it's still on. I love audiobooks! :-)


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