Charlaine Harris presents us with the 11th installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series: Dead Reckoning. Up until now, our heroine Sookie has been chased and attacked by all members of the undead/supernatural worlds, provided her services to the vampire community, and become intertwined in relationships with vampire Bill, Alcide, and Mr. Eric Northman. Seems as if nothing more can happen in Sookie’s life, no? Not if Harris has anything to say with it!
Just when Sookie thinks her life is settling down, Merlotte’s (the bar she works in) gets bombed. Suspicion originally falls on anti-shifter groups, as Sam (the bar’s owner) is a known shifter. If this wasn’t enough, Sookie also has to deal with a growing rift between her and her love interest Eric, who is distracted and stressed himself. He is working with his vampire-child Pam on overthrowing Victor, the right hand man of the king of Louisiana and Nevada, who is both power and money hungry. The blood-bond between the two of them is truly tested through all of this, and Sookie must try to hold on to her feelings and sense of identity as she becomes disillusioned with herself after all of her dealings with the paranormal that have come into her life and disrupted her small town girl persona. Also, we come to find out a little more about Sookie’s family history, as well as discovering how her telepathy came to be. Will all these changes rattle Sookie beyond repair? Will her relationship with Eric survive? Will she?
I’ve come to the realization after reading all 11 books that Charlaine Harris has written them as one large series. (I know what you’re thinking, “well duh it’s a series”). What I mean when I say this is that while each book stands by itself, it’s really all one massive story that needs each book to get it to its final conclusion. Some of the books are bigger on pushing the characters to a certain place emotionally, while others move us along with the plot. Many fans were complaining that book 10, Dead in the Family, was boring and not enough “conflict” happened. I think that Dead Reckoning will make them happier. The book moved the plot and characters to a place which will cause big things to happen. Harris is slated to write 2 more books and let me tell you, the current setup will let these last two books to be action packed blockbusters. In Dead Reckoning Harris doesn’t completely resolve certain plot pieces, so it’s not a stretch to think that she will revisit them and bring them to climactic conclusions.
Dead Reckoning is definitely for the more mature audience. Sookie and Eric get it on hot and heavy, as usual. There is also a lot of violence, as there is a fairly large fight scene that happens towards the end of the novel. Those with queasy stomaches should prepare themselves. However, it’s not all R rated. Harris’ humor shines through, as it always does, with Sookie’s witty comments and hilarious inner monologue. It was a treat as usual to read.
My only disappointment in the novel was the continuation of the “Pelt” storyline. I understand that Harris is trying to complete the smaller storylines to make room for the monster conflict that will complete the series, but I just felt that it was already resolved and didn’t warrant any revisiting. Despite this Dead Reckoning is fun, energetic, full of spunk, and one book in the series you will not want to miss!
4 out of 5 Stars
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
Penguin Group (2011)
Hardcover 336 pages