Simple Pleasures Book Review:
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
This is the eleventh book in Harris’ wildly popular Sookie Stackhouse series. For devoted fans who have been following the perils of Sookie and her friends and neighbors in Bon Temps, this latest installment holds no big surprises. Just your typical vampire politics, power-plays and murder conspiracies, with a dash or two of fairy intrigue, a bit of marital discord and the discovery of some old family secrets. Basically, business as usual in Sookie’s backyard.
As a fan of this series I will admit that I was among those waiting with rapt anticipation for its release. I will also admit that I was just a little let down with the results. I will further admit that I may have judged it a tad too harshly in relation to the series as a whole. That is why I waited a bit before I wrote my review for Dead Reckoning. I’ll explain why with the following:
This is the eleventh book in the series. A series that has been chock full of one episode of roller-coaster events after another. In the midst of all that, there has to be a lull at some point. It’s just the natural evolution of a story arc. I’m also forced to recall that in my review of Dead in the Family, I said that Harris could have wrapped up the series rather nicely with her tenth installment and not left many loose ends at all. That should have been my biggest clue that we were headed for a segue installment, which is how this one feels. One of the main reasons I say that is that while the last book seemed to resolve or wrap up most areas, this book seemed to unravel things in an almost uneventful way. Upon finishing it, you get the first glance impression that not much happened- apart from a few significant developments- but after you’ve digested it a bit you’ll realize that Harris has popped open a Pandora’s Box full of questions.
While Dead Reckoning may not be the event -packed page turner that the previous books in this series have been, it would be ill-advised to pass it over and wait for the next one. Doing so would leave you even more confused than the end of this one has left me.
In defense of Harris and her latest installment in the Sookie sage, were I writing a series of this length I may want to stir my readers up a little at this juncture. Consider this book an attention-getter of a different kind or the palette cleansing sorbet during a lengthy meal. In any case, I believe the follow-up to Dead Reckoning just may be the biggest roller-coaster ride yet. We’ll just have to wait until next year this time, and see what comes…
Review by Brenda Seward
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris is now available at your local independent bookseller & other retailers.