Saturday, September 25, 2010

Definitely Dead

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  it really bugs me when short stories about series characters contain pivotal actions that involve subsequent books in the series - particularly when no mention is made, in an introduction, for example, that points out the fact.  Why, oh why, couldn't they mention that readers might want to check out the story "One Word Answer," which appeared in the anthology Bite?  I spent some confused moments wondering if I'd somehow missed a book in the series somewhere along the line.  Finally I gave up and just went with it, and in the end it wasn't a huge deal - but I just don't like feeling out of the loop.

Now that that's off my chest, I will tell you that I did enjoy this sixth installment in the Southern Vampire mystery series.  My favorite series involve characters that change and grow through the series as a whole, and when the characters are compelling, the mystery itself isn't why I'm reading the book - so if it's fairly simple, as it is in this one, I don't really mind.

There are several mysteries here: one involves someone taking potshots at shifters, and Sookie's brother Jason is suspected of being involved.  Another involves the vampire Queen of Louisiana, who has agreed to a marriage with another powerful vampire - but it appears war may result if Sookie can't use her telepathy to help the Queen locate a missing engagement gift.  There's a new(ish) love interest here, and some interesting characters are introduced, including a witch who may turn out to be a friend to Sookie.  Some things didn't quite gel for me - such as the motivation of the Queen to even consider an alliance with the man she's engaged to - it simply never felt very believable.  Even so, this was another enjoyable, gripping installment in Sookie's exciting life, and I am certainly looking forward to more.  I continue to enjoy Johanna Parker's skillful narration of these stories, and I intend to listen to the rest of the series because it's just so much more fun that way.

Books in the Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse 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 (short stories)
11. Dead in the Family

12. Dead Reckoning (2012) 

Source: My local public library

Definitely Dead (#6 in the Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse series) by Charlaine Harris; narrated by Johanna Parker (Recorded Books, 2006)

Also reviewed at:
Ashley's Library:  "I also have to say that Sookie Stackhouse with a stun gun is not only hilarious, but also reminds me so much of Stephanie Plum from the Janet Evanovich books that I had to re-read it!"
Fyrefly's Book Blog:  "All in all, it was a fast and thoroughly enjoyable light read, which is what I’ve come to expect from the series."
Rhapsody in Books:  "This book is a must-read for fans of the series, since the truth comes out about all sorts of aspects of the plot."

7 comments:

  1. I had the same problem when I was reading it! It took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize there was a short story in between. I did what you did and ended up just fumbling my way through the beginning. By the end I was pretty well on track. It did peeve me though because I bought all the books. I figure if I'm willing to support Harris that way, then I shouldn't have to be buying separate short stories unless it's just for my own desire to read more - not for actual plot that defines a whole book!

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  2. Rachel - I totally agree! And you know what kills me? I had that anthology checked out from the library the same time I was reading this. Argh! :p

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  3. I have tried to get into the books but enjoy the tv series better. the only big thing about the books that I like ove the series is that there is little to no Tara (who I hate!).

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  4. I really must give this series another try. I read one book and wasn't a huge fan, but shouldn't give up on her entirely!

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  5. Virginia Gal - It's funny, now that I've been watching the TV series, they seem almost like two entirely separate things. The show has a much darker feeling to it, and the characters are quite a bit different. I enjoy them both, but I don't think of them as really being the same thing any more!

    Kailana - Well, I imagine they aren't for everyone, but maybe you could give the second book a try. I do think they get better as the series goes on, particularly with the addition of new characters and situations. Sometimes all the enthusiasm about a series can lead to disappointment - it happens to me sometimes!

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  6. Yeah I really, really hate that but it was actually because of that short story in Bite that I discovered Charlaine Harris in the first place. I'm going to be re-reading the fourth book in this series for the fifth time soon.

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  7. Ladytink - I'm glad you found out about that series through the story! I love how you reread your favorite series all the time. I don't reread quite as much as I'd like - there's a war on between my old favorites and all the new ones I want to try. I need more time!!!

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