Review: Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

May 18, 2010 Books, Reading, Reviews 4 ★★★

 

All the good fangirls out there should know that HBO’s True Blood is awesome. You should also know that it’s based on these books (all good things come from books!). But the last two books in the “Southern Vampire Mysteries” series, were not my favorite. It felt like author Charlaine Harris had too many balls in the air; she managed to juggle them all but it was awkward and a bit confused. In other words, they weren’t that great. At the end of the last book, Dead and Gone, I was annoyed that I had purchased it in hardcover instead of waiting for the cheaper paperback.

While I wouldn’t say that this is the strongest book in the ten-book series, I think it’s stronger than the last. It’s a tighter story, revolving around the theme of family. Sookie’s fairy relations are mostly gone following the fairy war of the last book, except for two she’s not very fond of–Claude and Dermont. Meanwhile, the vampires are having their own family troubles. Eric’s vampire maker (SPOILER ALERT: he’s not the hottie Godric that appears in the TV series) has come to town, and he and Eric’s “brother” are causing all kinds of trouble. Even Vampire Bill, who spends most of the book recovering from a case of silver poisoning from the last book, has a family subplot involving the Bellefleur clan and the fellow vampire child of evil Lorena.

Even reading over what I’ve written, it’s getting a little confusing, so you can understand the trouble Harris is up against. There are a lot of characters and a lot of backstories. I also didn’t quite feel the bad-guy reveal was earned, but at least things tied together in the climax. There were also some really cute moments of Sookie with her brother Jason (who I’ve missed!), her cousin Hunter (who is too cute), and Vampire Pam (who I love, always), so I was ultimately happy with the book.

Now can we talk about True Blood season three?