Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

Book Details
Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
Hardcover, 320 Pages
2010, Ace Hardcover
ISBN: 0441018645
Series: Book 10 of Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampire)

After enduring torture and the loss of loved ones during the brief but deadly Faery War, Sookie Stackhouse is hurt and she's angry. Just about the only bright spot in her life is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman. But he's under scrutiny by the new Vampire King because of their relationship. And as the political implications of the Shifters coming out are beginning to be felt, Sookie's connection to the Shreveport pack draws her into the debate. Worst of all, though the door to Faery has been closed, there are still some Fae on the human side-and one of them is angry at Sookie. Very, very angry...

Dead in the Family was slow. It was low on action and high on filler, only picking up near the end of the book. The reader spends much of this book stuck in Sookie's head. She spends a lot of time thinking and considering various situations this time around and I found myself longing for the earlier books that had almost too much going on. While Eric is integral to the story line in this book, we don't actually get to see him and Sookie together all that often. Actually, Sookie spends a majority of the time completely alone which probably caused the huge amount of introspection.

There were quite a few appearances from secondary characters in Dead in the Family. It seemed as thought just about anyone still alive (or at least undead) popped up in one scene or another. Most didn't say or do anything that necessitated them being there. The only possible explanation I can come up with is with the growing tension between the shifter/were community and the humans, the characters just stopped by to hint at their allegiances. Perhaps foreshadowing for the next book? And what is the deal with all the pregnancies? It seems as though everyone is pregnant or wants to be. Again, maybe foreshadowing, or maybe Charlaine Harris just really likes pregnant women.

While Dead in the Family had its share of flaws, there was some good to be had here as well. Sam keeps showing what a great guy he is as he continues to pick up strays and give them work in the bar. We get to meet Eric's maker and see Eric actually fear another person, showing that he does in fact have a weak side. And we get to see a different side of Claude, learning that maybe he's a little less self-important than he originally came off.

Dead in the Family was a letdown compared to the previous Sookie Stackhouse books, but some Sookie is better than no Sookie. It's always possible that what we learned here will be of the utmost importance in to the next book.


Charlaine Harris' website


  1. I felt the same way about Dead in the Family. I do think its leading up to a new story arc though, and I cant wait for the next book.

  2. I completely agree & said almost the exact same things in my review of the book. It's not the greatest, but it gives readers a taste of Sookie. Hopefully, the next one will be much better -- and like you said, involve some things from this novel in a more exciting way.

  3. I'm really hoping the next book is amazing because this one was a let down :/

  4. @agirlreads - I hope so. I love the series and would hate to see all the new books be like this.

    @Joanna - All the reviews seem to feel the same way - it's not great but at least it's Sookie. Crossing my fingers for the next book.

  5. @Tara SG - I remember reading your review when the book was first released. After waiting so long for another Sookie, I really hoped you were wrong. Yep, we fans definitely deserve something mind-blowing next time around.

  6. I really didn't understand this book at all, Jenn. It was very slow, full of unnecessary filler, and painfully pointless.

    It is kind of upsetting because I feel CH is dragging out the series beyond need. I get the fans want more books, and perhaps she is trying to please them, but if the story is over for Sookie, then it is over.

    Sadly, the excitement this series used to hold for me is fading.

  7. Hello there,

    I'm new to blogging, but I've read yours for a while now and love it!

    Thought I'd pass this along to you.

  8. I just finished and reviewed this book as well. I totally agree with your review. Nicely said. :)

  9. I am due to start this series soon. Thanks for the great review!

  10. @Missie - You could be right. I think maybe she doesn't know where to go now that True Blood is on. When someone else it taking your story and rearranging the facts, it's got to effect your work. I've never understood how authors can keep a story going once it's been stripped to its basic elements and recreated for TV. Even if you don't actually watch the show, you know that half the public believes your characters to be completely different that you envisioned them. I love True Blood, but maybe it's messing with Harris' head.

    @Greenabsinthia - Thanks!

    @Lily Child - Thanks!

    @Julie P - You're welcome. I think you'll really like the series as a whole, especially if you haven't watched the TV show and the reading of the first 3 books aren't already colored by your expectations.