Number-one New York Times best-selling author Charlaine Harris has won numerous awards for her Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series, which has been adapted into the hit HBO show True Blood. In this 13th and final book, a murder rocks the town of Bon Temps and Sookie is arrested for the crime. After making bail, she sets out to clear her name - but her investigation only leads to more deaths.
©2013 Charlaine Harris, Inc. (P)2013 Recorded Books
"The Sookie Stackhouse series seamlessly mixes sensuality, violence, and humor." (Boulder Weekly)
"Harris’s creation offers a magical and mysterious twist on traditional vampire stories." (Houston Chronicle)
"What sucked me in? Definitely the books’ oddly charming, often funny mix of the mundane and the absurd. And the chills and thrills in boudoirs and various locales around the South aren’t too bad either." (The Seattle Times)
Paranormal-urban fantasy book lover!
First, I really thought the entire first half of this book was boring and Harris wanted all the previous characters to make a cameo in the book just because it is the last book. There were really no reasons for most of the people who cameoed to be in the book, they served no real purpose. It made me feel like it was the end of a long loved tv series and everyone comes out to take a bow, even the extras. She could have taken out all those pointless scenes and made the book way more exciting.
I've been a fan of every sookie book written, even the not so good ones. This book lacks everything that is Sookie Stackhouse. I am very disappointed in this book as the ending of our beloved heroine. It just seemed so unrealistic of everything that happened and the loose ends were tied up too neatly it just seemed too unrealistic, even for Sookie's world. I am happy with who she ends up with but that's about all I can say I'm happy with.
Ugh... I have no more words to say how disappointed I am with this ending. It seems like C. Harris just threw it together and wanted everything put together nice and neat with a bow on top. I guess I just expected more from her.
Hopefully there will be fans out there that like this book/ending but I'm not one of them. I've waited so long to read this book and have been so excited about it and now that I'm done I feel like a deflated balloon.
What does everyone else think?
This is what happens when a writer drags out a series. Sookie should have been put to rest a few books back. Publishers do their authors and readers a disservice when they try to extend a series just because it's selling well. Harris just plain ran out of steam. Too many characters and plot elements were brought in without good reason. Too many things were predictable. Characters were not true to their prior behavior. I should have saved my money on this one.
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
I loved Johanna Parker, but am on the fence about trying any other of Ms. Harris's books.
She gave up on this series several books back. She is just phoning it in at this point. The only reason this is worth reading is to get closure with the series. You can tell she lost her passion or at least interest in the series ages ago.
I have not heard any of her other performances but based on the great job she did here I wouldn't mind.
Pretty much already has. ;)
The series starts strong but limps to a finish. It's kind of a shame as I really enjoyed the earlier books.
Narrater great as usual...!!!
Its seem like Charlaine Harris run out of ideas.....the story was pretty boring and I love her other books about Soookie.....
Book felt rushed. Cookie cutter style. Like a tv show that has to wrap up in an hour. Everything neatly comes together at the 55 minute mark.
Some places too much details other places not enough. I guess writer was finished with the series's and just cranked this one out.
Yes if she does another series I will try it. Loved almost everything else she wrote.
She is sookie in my mind. Makes the story.
A couple at the end. Won't list them and give anything away but what was it 7 hour story and end with villains 15 mins max. :(
Series is a great read. Wish the same effort was used on this final book.
I have listened to all the Sookie books and I agree with several other listeners....the series should have ended several books back. This was a tired end to the series. I think Charlaine ran out of motivation on this one. It was almost as if she didn't write it. There were minor character nuances that were different in this book than from any other books in the series which detracted from the characters. Even the plot was a hodge podge of different stoies mashed together about all the people Sookie had "wronged" and their attempts to seek revenge. I can't even say I'm glad I read it to know how it "ended" because it was so predictable! Not a good send off for your beloved characters Charlaine....shame on you.
AKA The Geeky Blogger
Listened for Fun (Audible)
Overall Rating: 4.25
Story Rating: 3.75
Character Rating: 4.75
Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)
First Thought When Finished: Thank you Bon Temps and Charlaine Harris for all the good times over the years! You will be missed!
NOTE: I realize I am probably in the minority but I actually like how the end scene worked. I thought it held very true to who Sookie Stackhouse was from the beginning. She never wanted to be owned, controlled, or a side character in her own life. Even half way through the series, she was repeating that mantra.....
“I want to be first. I know that’s selfish, and maybe unattainable, and maybe shallow. But I just want to come first with someone. If that’s wrong of me, so be it. I’ll be wrong. But that’s the way I feel.” (Sookie Stackhouse)”― Charlaine Harris, From Dead to Worse
Story Thoughts: I have always read the Sookie Stackhouse series as a cozy mystery series with urban fantasy elements. She dated far to many men in 13 books for me to ever think of this as an Urban Fantasy with a romance end game. I think maybe that is the reason I had less problems with how the whole "romance" side of the story worked. I don't want to post spoilers (though I am pretty sure anyone not living under a rock knows) so I will just say that I always wanted her with someone who would put her first, love her for being Sookie (not her blood), and would respect her wishes. There were very few men in this series that actually held any of these attributes but gosh darn it she got to hook up with some hotties. Sookie's dating life had some awesome moments and if she was a scrapbooker--that would be one heck of a colorful memory book! That being said, I did think the mystery element in this entry was lacking and that was disappointing (aka the 3.75 for Story). It had some moments that were great but on a whole it was pretty predictable. I do think it tied up things nicely so that Sookie's life should be able to move forward on her own terms but it wasn't my favorite mystery in this series.
Character Thoughts: I love the characters in this series! Not a single one of them is perfect. They all have flaws. They all have humor. They all have loyalties. They all have unlikable character traits. Life experience had an impact on each of them, made them grow, made them more of themselves, and made them all interesting. I adore Bon Temps even when I wasn't quite impressed with the mysteries in certain books, I was always impressed with the people. I am sad to see their journeys come to an end (or at least the ones that I see) but I am glad I got to spend time with them in the first place! In other words, I will miss them but I do think it was time for them to ride off into the sunset, moonlight, or ever after!
Narrated by Johanna Parker/Running Time 10 hrs and 11 mins
I really like Johanna Parker's narration of this series. She has a good amount of southern in her (from timing, slow talking, emotion) narration and that just sells me. I will admit that this particular trait will make the narration not work for others. I have listened to the last few of these on audio and wish I would have done so from the beginning.
Final Thought: I realize that a LOT (judging by goodreads)of people will whole heartily disagree with me liking this book and in the end that is most wonderful thing about stories. They may never make everyone happy but they will make someone happy. I guess this time it was me :)
Read the spoiler if you want to know why this worked for me...
[Finally the quote that I think sums up why I didn't get mad when she didn't end up with Eric...
“Though I was having a blissful moment of being happy and content, I had one of those stray ideas you get at odd moments. I thought,How nice it would be if Eric were here with me in the car. He'd look so good with the wind blowing his hair, and he'd enjoy the moment . Well, yeah, before he burned to a crisp.
But I realized I'd thought of Eric because it was the kind of day you wanted to share with the person you cared about, the person whose company you enjoyed the most. And that would be Eric as he'd been while he was cursed by a witch: the Eric who hadn't been hardened by centuries of vampire politics, the Eric who had no contempt for humans and their affairs, the Eric who was not in charge of many financial enterprises and responsible for the lives and incomes of quite a few humans and vampires. In other words, Eric as he would never be again.” ― Charlaine Harris, Definitely Dead
I called it about book 6 that she would either end up with Sam or start a relationship with him. He was the only man through out the whole series that pretty much stuck by her no matter what. They were best friends and I am a sucker for friends to lovers storylines. I don't think it was the most romantic of endings and I am not sure if it will work out forever. Her relationship with Eric was HAWT (when it worked), ANNOYING (when he would lord over her), and UNPREDICTABLE (when he battled centuries of wanting power/control and she was being independent). Quinn was probably the only other guy I could have seen her with long term but even then I thought he might be to Alpha for Sookie too. She was very independent (stubbornly so) and long term I just didn't see her staying with someone that would challenge her every single day. Do I think Sam is Beta? In some ways, YES. I do think he has Alpha qualities (he is a provider, business owner, loyal, dependable) but he doesn't feel the need to control everything. I think his lone shifter mode perhaps made his personality more compatible long term with Sookie. At least in my mind. Will it be her hottest relationship? Nope that will always be Eric. Will it be her most stable one? I think so. I am sure that I was more #TeamStableGuy for long term Sookie because he could be with her in the sun. That was her favorite place to be and something none of her vampires could do. In the end, I didn't want anyone to change who they were. If Sookie gave in to Eric wanting to make her vampire--it would change her. If Eric gave in to her wanting him out of Vampire politics---it would have changed him. This is why this story worked for me but probably not for others that wanted the romantic ending that love will conquer all. I am sad that it was so disappointing for others and that the backlash has been so big. Though it is a huge investment and I can understand the passion behind the outcry. Books are made to bring out emotions and this one did that even if it wasn't an outpouring of love. Our time with Bon Temps is over (at least in print) but maybe for those that didn't get the ending you wanted here---you might get it on the show (where I am not rooting for Sam at all--talk about a character they have changed). There is always hope for you there :)
What an unbelievable waste of time. Why bother. Charlaine Harris just mailed it in.
Waited until she was actually ready to spend the time on this.
She was okay, but lit's kind of like putting lipstick on a pig.
Sam and Sookie's lame sexcapades.
You know what she gets, F+, click.
It is obvious that Charlaine Harris got tired of her character and just wanted to end the series. Listening to this book was like listening to someone reading the a grocery shopping list. Even the narrator, whom I love, seemed bored reading this book. I have no problem with how she ended the series, the choices she made with the characters. I do have a problem with the lack luster way she told the story. The story rambles from left over story line to left over story line. I have all the books on Audible, Kindle, and hard back. I really wish I would have only purchased the audible book and not given the author the royalties from the other two.
There are obvious differences in structure, but they weren't my main concern. Narration switches from Sookie's to other characters' perspectives, and we jump around in time a bit, neither of which I remember from other books. Still, when we were in Sookie's chapters the voice was definitely the Sookie I've come to love.
The real problems are plot and pacing.
There's a mystery or two around Sam that is resolved in the most rushed and ridiculous way. That plot just makes no sense, and I think it wouldn't have taken that much to close some of the holes in it.
Sookie's romantic situation also goes through certain changes without much import of romance or of loss, and that was disappointing. She's always had grace (Miranda Lambert take note) in painful situations, but here a lot of what must be painful and what must be happening in her heart is just not covered. Is she supposed to be numb? Aren't these basically romance novels? The denouement especially has a lot of shortcomings, and I stopped the book a couple of times in disbelief.
It might make more sense if I had the last novel fresh in my head. I remember liking it less than this, so I'm not about to go back, but if you haven't started this yet, maybe re-read the last book to get your head in the place Sookie's head is in before starting this.
Johanna Parker is fantastic as always. I look forward to listening to more books of hers. Despite the shortcomings in the middle, I listened to most of the book eagerly and am glad I revisited Bon Temps one last time.
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