Sookie At The Crossroads: An Advance Review of Dead Reckoning (Plus Enter to Win!)
Go on the Sookie Stackhouse Narrow Avoidance of Death Diet! Run for your life, and miss meals, too! Exercise plus starvation. – Dead Reckoning
Snarky Sookie is back! In the eleventh book of the Southern Vampire Mysteries series, Dead Reckoning, heroine Sookie Stackhouse seems to have come through events both horrible and bewildering to a place where she’s still the kind, Southern lady we first met but with an edge and an inner strength that are new. Her quirky sense of humor reflects that with snarkiness that would make Pam proud. Unlike True Blood, the books upon which the TV series is based are told in the first person, from Sookie’s point of view, so the reader is constantly in her head. That’s been painful in the past as Sookie endured heartbreak and torture, but this time it brought this reader to laughter more than once. Her internal monologue as she navigates a new set of crises shows a Sookie who is coming into her own.
Dead Reckoning is very much about Sookie figuring out who she is and what she wants from her life and her relationships. After all she’s been through since meeting her first vampire, and even before, growing up as “Crazy Sookie” who could read minds, she’s realizing that she wants to be proactive, not reactive. Look out world! We’ve seen her struggle with her desire to kill Victor, now the Regent over Louisiana at King Felipe’s bequest. Now, the more she interacts with him, the less of a struggle it becomes, leading to a war council of sorts with Sookie, Eric, Pam, and a pair of new characters plotting against Victor.
War isn’t the only thing on Sookie’s mind, though. At one point she wakes up and realizes that she needs to “prioritize my crises” in order to make it through the day. We’ve all had days like that, but Sookie probably wins the prize for Most Supernatural Crises In One Week. Because you want to discover the specifics yourself, here’s a brief rundown of what, and who, Sookie is dealing with this week:
- Eric – Vampire husband, lover, and enigma. He and Pam are fighting about something, and Sookie’s pretty sure it involves her. It does. In a big way. And an impulsive decision she makes to test her feelings for Eric complicates matters even further. But there is a scene to rival the shower scene in book 4. I’m still blushing!
- Sam – Unlike the vampires’ Great Revelation, the “twoeys” (shapeshifters and weres) announcement did not go over well. Between the backlash and Victor opening two new bars nearby, Merlotte’s is suffering and Sam is stressing. Fortunately girlfriend (and Alcide’s second in command) Jannalynn is a bright spot in his life as is his friendship with Sookie.
- Alcide – Speaking of the big were, he puts in a most unexpected, hilarious appearance here that has both him and Sookie laughing at the ridiculousness of it. The broader implications, however, worry Sookie.
- Bill – Now fully recovered from silver poisoning, Sookie’s first love is drawn back into her life in an only-in-fiction chain of events that leads to a rather compromising position for the two of them. Sookie doesn’t spend much time analyzing her feelings about him, mostly because she has too many other things to think about, but she isn’t pushing him away, either.
- Claude & Dermot – Her relatives/roommates continue to be a source of both exasperation and unexpected comfort. In exploring the latter, Sookie makes some startling discoveries and finally gets some answers about her Faery ancestry and Gran’s relationship with Fintan.
- Amelia – Sookie’s witchy friend comes to her aid, along with Bob who is no longer a cat. While Sookie values her friend’s willingness to drop everything in order to insure Sookie’s safety, Amelia’s meddling in Sookie’s personal life puts their friendship at risk.
- Sandra Pelt – Sookie killed Debbie Pelt in self-defense back in book 4, but her troubles with the Pelts continue when Debbie’s sister, Sandra, reappears with a vengeance.
In addition to these familiar faces, we (and Sookie) briefly encounter Jason and Tara. Jason is still seeing Michele and staying out of trouble, much to Sookie’s relief, while Tara is about to give birth to twins and, on top of everything else, Sookie is in charge of the baby shower! Bubba also returns and is involved in a significant storyline, and characters from another Charlaine Harris series have a cameo. Some new characters are introduced, including our first elf. Sookie isn’t sure what to think about him, but I suspect she has the wrong impression of his thoughts about her.
Chock full of action, some knock-you-down surprises, some sexiness, and a surprising amount of humor, Dead Reckoning is clearly leading us to the end of Sookie’s story in book 13. Fans and “teams” will have much to debate until the next book comes out, thanks to a somewhat ambiguous ending and a lot of foreshadowing.
Dead Reckoning arrives in stores on May 3, 2011. Pre-order your copy from Amazon now to get it fast!
Enter to Win
Excited yet? We’re giving away a copy of Dead Reckoning to one (1) lucky winner! Here’s how to enter:
- Fill out the form below and click Submit;
- Be sure to use a valid email address;
- ONE ENTRY PER PERSON;
- Entries must be received by 11:59PM Pacific on Thursday, May 5, 2011 to be eligible;
- One (1) winner will be drawn randomly from eligible entries and notified via email.
**This giveaway is over. Congratulations to our winner, Paivi N.!***