Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Last Sookie Stackhouse book:Dead Ever After

I think any series that goes beyond ten books is really pushing it. 

In a previous blog post, I wrote that the Sookie Stackhouse series really started to go down hill for me around book nine.

So I approached the final book, Dead Ever After, with very low expectations. I have such fond memories of the early books that I felt somewhat obligated to ‘complete the series’ by reading this last book. 

Dead Ever After follows the same plot lines as many of the previous books: Sookie find herself in danger, hunted and defended by various supernaturals and trying to work out who she really loves.

The only difference is that this final book brings some closure to Sookie’s romantic life and the whole: will she stay with Eric or go back to Bill question is finally laid to rest.I was a bit tired for the whole Eric/Bill angsty love triangle story line and was really glad Harris didn’t invest too much of the last book on this.

While it wasn’t a compelling read, it was certainly a nice way to wrap up the series. And the final book is really targeted towards fans as a lot of old characters make their way back into the story.

It’s not the best of the Sookie Stackhouse books but it’s certainly not the worst either, just somewhere in the middle. It’s all sort of ends with a bit of ‘meh’ for me.

So it’s hard for me to understand some of the outrage from fans about this last book. Maybe it’s kinda hard to get outraged when your expectations are already so low.

Just a quick glance at the Amazon reviews and significant number of one star ratings (765) shows that a whole lot fans are ANGRY about this last book.  

As this Guardian article shows the online vitriol directed towards Harris has been quite extraordinary. Again, demonstrating the very thin line between fan love and hate/and also just plain crazy.

I believe that you get hooked onto series, like Sookie Stackhouse, because you get invested in the characters and their lives. This is through the skill and imagination of the author.

It can be disappointing, frustrating and saddening to see what happens to characters as a series continues.
But in the end these characters and stories are the creation of someone’s imagination. So how can anyone  stake a claim to control someone’s creativity and imagination? It’s both unrealistic and totally unreasonable.

I also thought Harris’s acknowledgment of her fans was heartfelt and gracious as she writes:

“Thanks for sticking with me through the books that succeeded and the books that fell a bit short of my aspirations.”

In the end, I think there is a sense of relief from both the author and certainly this reader that we can say a final goodbye to Sookie Stackhouse and her supernatural friends.

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