Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (264 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

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…

Parting is such sweet sorrow, or so they say. In this case, parting is a tremendous wrenching of a decades old love affair. In Dead Ever After, Ms. Harris ties up all the loose ends in her usual dramatic fashion. Things I thought I knew were flipped and it left me gaping in shock.

One thing I can count in this series is action. Sookie has been the target of numerous supernatural plots throughout the series but none have come close to what goes on in this book. That poor girl didn’t catch a break through most of the novel. If it’s not one thing, it’s a person come to dredge up things from the past. Surprise!

A reader should not start reading about Sookie at the end because they will never understand the shock, the heart-twisting truths or the crushing decisions that pepper this book with devastating yet effective results. This truly is the culmination of everything that readers have gone through with Sookie and pals. Read the first book, get hooked like I did but have the benefit of living in Sookie-world for thirteen roller coaster thrill rides back to back and discover the heart pounding events that take place. It’s an amazing experience. One I’m sad to see end, but after reading this, I can see the logic behind it.

Readers will see the ending of some story threads, the beginning of something else and a final ultimate conclusion to something that I’d thought was already resolved. Imagine my horrified fascination to find out there was yet one more diabolical twist that Sookie needed to face. I never, ever saw that coming. Neither did Sookie. There was more drama, suspense and nail-biting paragraphs than ever and the writing kept me spellbound.

I can’t say who she ends up with. About four books back, I started thinking it would be a good match up after all but it never seemed to build enough for me to be sure. In this final book, I’d have to settle for a happily for now because with Sookie Stackhouse, one just never knows. I mean look what happens in this book! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Ms. Harris is devious. She has never shied away from having her characters make hard choices and this author stayed true to form. I’ve read about many readers being unhappy. I’m not one of them. Yes, I’m sad because I have been following this series from the very first and there was something magical and different about the author’s writing and imagination that simply captured my interest – and never let go. I’m gloomy because it’s over. However, after reading this book and the way it ended, though no less exciting and suspenseful as those in the past, it absolutely fit. Ms. Harris tied up the loose ends the way they had to be done to keep her characters’ integrity. They were who they were and anything different would have been unnatural. It amazes me how she kept everything so together.

Are there questions left hanging? Yes – little ones. Case in point, Sookie’s nephew. Perhaps years down the line, Ms. Harris will grant readers with another visit to Bon Temps, with a visit from Aunt Sookie. Maybe it could be a holiday story or something to give us a definitive, final, sink-your-teeth-in-firmly type tale for those readers who need that extra assurance. As for me, I’m good. I accept this ending as the way it should be, Sookie Style.

Dead Ever After is hard-hitting, powerful and at times, astonishing. Yet, Ms. Harris balanced it all with a bit of humor, with writing that touched my emotions and had an ending that left me with a wistful Mona Lisa smile. I say a fond fare thee well to Bill, Eric, Alcide, Pam, Tara, Sam, Jason, Hunter, Michele and Mustpha Khan, Niall, Mr. C, Diantha and the unforgettable Quinn. My sniffles and heaviest sighs go to Sookie, a unique and special character that truly is a literary gem in the paranormal romance genre. Thank you Ms. Harris for a series that took me away to a place I’d never been before. This final book is a keeper.

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