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05 September 2013

Review: Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

Author: Charlaine Harris
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Ace
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Find It: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, Book Depository
Source: Library
There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart...

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough.

Dead Ever After is the final installment of the long running Sookie Stackhouse series. This series has been steadily going downhill for me for a while now but I knew that I wanted to finish it and get some closure. After the previous book, I didn't have very high expectations for this one.

After 13 books, Harris definitely had her work cut out for her. There were a lot of loose ends to figure out and you can never really please everyone with a series as popular as this. I expected Sookie to go out with a bang, but the ending surprised me .

The book starts when a body is found behind Merlotte's.  The body conveniently has a piece of Sookie's clothing on it and she becomes the number one suspect. Harris goes back into familiar territory here as Sookie tries to unravel the mystery, while trying to stay alive. A lot of characters pop up in this book. While some of them do add to the plot, I can't help but feel that some of them are there just to make a goodbye appearance.

Of course, the big question is - which guy does Sookie end up with? Without spoiling it I have to say that I am not surprised by the outcome. Harris has been hinting in the last few books which way this might go. I think a lot of fans might be disappointed but I didn't have a strong feeling about it. In many ways I think she ended up with the right person but I also would have been OK had it gone in another direction. I guess I just didn't have that much invested in Sookie's romantic life anymore.

While I was expecting some kind of epic ending for the series with revelations and battles galore, what I got was just another Sookie book. There were more guest appearances than usual by characters I imagine Harris wanted to say goodbye to but didn't have much bearing on the plot. Harris does wrap up the major plot points. For the most part though, it really didn't feel like an ending, but just another crazy day in Bon Temps. While I was a bit underwhelmed by the whole thing, I wasn't particularly upset about the ending. Would I have liked to have seen some things resolved differently? Sure, but this is Harris's baby, this is how she wanted to end it.

Even though I wasn't a huge fan of the last few books, I will always think of this series fondly, and am interested to see what Harris will do next.

Visit the author online at www.charlaineharris.com and follow her blog.

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