Review of “Dead Reckoning” by Charlaine Harris

O Hamlet, what a falling-off was there”

Hamlet Prince of Denmark (Ghost at I, v)

This book is not Charlaine Harris at her best. It was not only inferior to other books in the Sookie Stackhouse series, but I would go so far as to say that none of the characters “behaved” like they have in the previous books. Charlaine: make me happy and tell me this was ghost-written (so to speak), so I won’t feel so disappointed in you!

Sookie is rarely anything but self-absorbed, crabby, spoiled, and hypocritical. Eric is boring (almost a contradiction in terms!) and unassertive, both of which are totally out of character. Bill suddenly is speaking like he would have when he was born, in the 1800’s, and Pam is inconsistent – one minute weepy, and the next venal and happy about it. Sandra Pelt is back yet again, but this time just as a cardboard killing machine trying to do away with Sookie. And Alcide – the hot-looking werewolf – makes a brief appearance (double entendre – he is only wearing his underwear) – for no other reason, it seems, than to provide a good beefcake moment for the HBO series. As Harris seems to get more tired of the vampire aspect of Sookie’s story, the fairy connection gets more attention. But not in a good way.

Harris’s trademark humor is sorely missing in action. The plot is rife with rehashes from previous books. I could almost hear Harris yawning as she wrote the book.

Evaluation: Fans of the Sookie Stackhouse will want to read this book, but they probably won’t come away from it very happy.

Rating: 2.5/5

Published by Ace Books, 2011

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10 Responses to Review of “Dead Reckoning” by Charlaine Harris

  1. Sandy says:

    Yikes. Maybe she is working too hard to crank them out? Or she had a few bad days? But fortunately for her, you can get away with it when you have so many loyal fans. She won’t get away with it forever though, so she needs to get an attitude adjustment.

  2. kaye says:

    Don’t you just hate it when authors do this? It’s as if every character has had a lobotomy. Not a good thing! Sorry this one left you flat.

  3. Barbara says:

    Why is it that some successful authors continue to crank out novels for a series when they are sick and tired of the characters, or have simply lost interest? Possibly a case of contracting for too many books in her case, but I do wish authors would move on to something they can get excited about when this happens.

    • Who knows – she may have gotten really involved in the HBO series based on the books, True Blood, which is really diverging from the books quite a bit. And maybe she likes all the tv-plot excitement better.

  4. zibilee says:

    Oh no! This one sounds terrible! I have the first book in this series on my shelf, and I have just convinced my mother to start with them, so I am sad to hear that Harris was just phoning it in with this one. I always hate it when a series goes so obviously downhill, and it sounds like that’s what has happened in this book. Thanks for the unparalleled honesty in this review. It was much appreciated!

  5. Julie P. says:

    I have only read the first book in the series. I enjoyed it and can’t say why I haven’t picked up any of the other ones.

  6. Rita K says:

    Yes, you got it right. Too bad, as I love the Sookie series! Especially the humor and that was pretty much missing from this one. Plus, Sookie just wouldn’t normally aact the way she did here. I was doing a HUH???

  7. celawerd says:

    The older I get, the more I dislike these books.

  8. Staci says:

    I have only read book 1 so far…maybe it was ghost written!!

  9. Pingback: 2011: #41 – Dead Reckoning (Charlaine Harris) | Confessions of a Bibliophile

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