Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire Series #13)by Charlaine Harris
When a shocking murder rocks the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, psychic cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse learns that she has more than one enemy waiting to get vengeance for the past. Beacuse nothing is ever clear-cut in Bon Temps. What passes for/b>/i>
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THE FINAL NOVEL IN THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SOOKIE STACKHOUSE SERIES!
When a shocking murder rocks the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, psychic cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse learns that she has more than one enemy waiting to get vengeance for the past. Beacuse nothing is ever clear-cut in Bon Temps. What passes for truth is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough...
“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
Verdict Recommended for paranormal fiction readers and fans of the series in particular. [The Ace hc was a New York Times best seller.Ed.]Jen Talley, Univ. of Michigan Lib., Ann Arbor
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Read an Excerpt
The New Orleans businessman, whose gray hair put him in his fifties, was accompanied by his much younger and taller bodyguard/ chauffeur on the night he met the devil in the French Quarter. The meeting was by prearrangement.
“This is really the Devil we’re going to see?” asked the bodyguard. He was tense—but then, that wasn’t too surprising.
“Not the Devil, but a devil.” The businessman was cool and collected on the outside, but maybe not so much on the inside. “Since he came up to me at the Chamber of Commerce banquet, I’ve learned a lot of things I didn’t know before.” He looked around him, trying to spot the creature he’d agreed to meet. He told his bodyguard, “He convinced me that he was what he said he was. I always thought my daughter was simply deluded. I thought she imagined she had power because she wanted to have something . . . of her own. Now I’m willing to admit she has a certain talent, though nowhere near what she thinks.”
It was cold and damp, even in New Orleans, in the January night. The businessman shifted from foot to foot to keep warm. He told the bodyguard, “Evidently, meeting at a crossroads is traditional.” The street was not as busy as it would be in the summer, but there were still drinkers and tourists and natives going about their night’s entertainment. He wasn’t afraid, he told himself. “Ah, here he comes,” the businessman said.
The devil was a well– dressed man, much like the businessman. His tie was by Hermes. His suit was Italian. His shoes were custom made. His eyes were abnormally clear, the whites gleaming, the irises a purplish brown; they looked almost red from certain angles.
“What have you got for me?” the devil asked, in a voice that indicated he was only faintly interested.
“Two souls,” said the businessman. “Tyrese has agreed to go in with me.”
The devil shifted his gaze to the bodyguard. After a moment, the bodyguard nodded. He was a big man, a light–skinned African American with bright hazel eyes.
“Your own free will?” the devil asked neutrally. “Both of you?”
“My own free will,” said the businessman.
“My own free will,” affirmed the bodyguard.
The devil said, “Then let’s get down to business.”
“Business” was a word that made the older man comfortable. He smiled. “Wonderful. I’ve got the documents right here, and they’re signed.” Tyrese opened a thin leather folder and withdrew two pieces of paper: not parchment or human skin, nothing that dramatic or exotic—computer paper that the businessman’s office secretary had bought at Office Max. Tyrese offered the papers to the devil, who gave them a quick glance.
“You have to sign them again,” the devil said. “For this signature, ink is not satisfactory.”
“I thought you were joking about that.” The businessman frowned.
“I never joke,” the devil said. “I do have a sense of humor, oh, believe me, I do. But not about contracts.”
“We actually have to . . . ?”
“Sign in blood? Yes, absolutely. It’s traditional. And you’ll do it now.” He read the businessman’s sideways glance correctly. “I promise you no one will see what you are doing,” he said. As the devil spoke, a sudden hush enveloped the three men, and a thick film fell between them and the rest of the street scene.
The businessman sighed elaborately, to show how melodramatic he thought this tradition was. “Tyrese, your knife?” he said, looking up to the chauffeur.
Tyrese’s knife appeared with shocking suddenness, probably from his coat sleeve; the blade was obviously sharp, and it gleamed in the streetlight. The businessman shucked off his coat and handed it to his companion. He unbuttoned his cuff and rolled up his sleeve. Perhaps to let the devil know how tough he was, he jabbed himself in the left arm with the knife. A sluggish trickle of blood rewarded his effort, and he looked the devil directly in the face as he accepted the quill that the devil had somehow supplied . . . even more smoothly than Tyrese had produced the knife. Dipping the quill into the trail of blood, the businessman signed his name to the top document, which the chauffeur held pressed against the leather folder.
After he’d signed, the businessman returned the knife to the chauffeur and donned his coat. The chauffeur followed the same procedure as his employer. When he’d signed his own contract, he blew on it to dry the blood as if he’d signed with a Sharpie and the ink might smear.
The devil smiled when the signatures were complete. The moment he did, he didn’t look quite so much like a prosperous man of affairs.
He looked too damn happy.
“You get a signing bonus,” he told the businessman. “Since you brought me another soul. By the way, how do you feel?”
“Just like I always did,” said the businessman. He shrugged his coat back over his shoulders. “Maybe a little angry.” He smiled suddenly, his teeth looking as sharp and gleaming as the knife had. “How are you, Tyrese? ” he asked his employee.
“A little antsy,” Tyrese admitted. “But I’ll be okay.”
“You were both bad people to begin with,” the devil said, without any judgment in his voice. “The souls of the innocent are sweeter. But I delight in having you. I suppose you’re sticking with the usual wish list? Prosperity? The defeat of your enemies?”
“Yes, I want those things,” the businessman said with passionate sincerity. “And I have a few more requests, since I get a signing bonus. Or could I take that in cash?”
“Oh,” the devil said, smiling gently, “I don’t deal in cash. I deal in favors.”
“Can I get back to you on that?” the businessman asked after some thought. “Take a rain check?”
The devil looked faintly interested. “You don’t want an Alfa Romeo, or a night with Nicole Kidman, or the biggest house in the French Quarter?”
The businessman shook his head decisively. “I’m sure something will come up that I do want, and then I’d like to have a very good chance of getting it. I was a successful man until Katrina. And after
Katrina I thought I would be rich, because I own a lumber business. Everyone needed lumber.” He took a deep breath. He kept on telling his story, despite the fact that the devil looked bored. “But getting a supply line reestablished was hard. So many people didn’t have money to spend because they were ruined, and there was the wait for the insurance money, for the rest. I made some mistakes, believing the fly–by–night builders would pay me on time. . . . It all ended up with my business too extended, everyone owing me, my credit stretched as thin as a condom on an elephant. Knowledge of this is getting around.” He looked down. “I’m losing the influence I had in this city.”
Possibly the devil had known all those things, and that was why he’d approached the businessman. Clearly he was not interested in the businessman’s litany of woes. “Prosperity it is, then,” he said briskly. “And I look forward to your special request. Tyrese, what do you want? I have your soul, too.”
“I don’t believe in souls,” Tyrese said flatly. “I don’t think my boss does, either. We don’t mind giving you what we don’t believe we have.” He grinned at the devil, man to man, which was a mistake. The devil was no man.
The devil smiled back. Tyrese’s grin vanished at the sight. “What do you want?” the devil repeated. “I won’t ask again.”
“I want Gypsy Kidd. Her real name is Katy Sherboni, if you need that. She work at Bourbon Street Babes. I want her to love me the way I love her.”
The businessman looked disappointed in his employee. “Tyrese, I wish you’d asked for something more lasting. Sex is everywhere you look in New Orleans, and girls like Gypsy are a dime a dozen.”
“You wrong,” Tyrese said. “I don’t think I have a soul, but I know love is once in a lifetime. I love Gypsy. If she loves me back, I’ll be a happy man. And if you make money, boss, I’ll make money. I’ll have enough. I’m not greedy.”
“I’m all about the greed,” said the devil, almost gently. “You may end up wishing you’d asked for some government bonds, Tyrese.”
The chauffeur shook his head. “I’m happy with my bargain. You give me Gypsy, the rest will be all right. I know it.”
The devil looked at him with what seemed very much like pity, if that emotion was possible for a devil.
“Enjoy yourselves, you hear?” he said to both of the newly soulless men. They could not tell if he was mocking them or if he was sincere. “Tyrese, you will not see me again until our final meeting.” He faced the businessman. “Sir, you and I will meet at some date in the future. Just give me a call when you’re ready for your signing bonus. Here’s my card.”
The businessman took the plain white card. The only writing on it was a phone number. It was not the same number he’d called to set up the first rendezvous. “But what if it’s years from now?” he said.
“It won’t be,” said the devil, but his voice was farther away. The businessman looked up to see that the devil was half a block away. After seven more steps he seemed to melt into the dirty sidewalk, leaving only an impression in the cold damp air.
The businessman and the chauffeur turned and walked hastily in the opposite direction. The chauffeur never saw the devil again. The businessman didn’t see the devil until June.
Far away—thousands of miles away—a tall, thin man lay on a beach in Baja. He was not in one of the tourist spots where he might encounter lots of other gringos, who might recognize him. He was patronizing a dilapidated bar, really more of a hut. For a small cash payment, the proprietor would rent patrons a large towel and a beach umbrella and send his son out to refresh your drink from time to time. As long as you kept drinking.
Though the tall man was only sipping Coca–Cola, he was paying through the nose for it—though he didn’t seem to realize that, or perhaps he didn’t care. He sat on the towel, crouched in the umbrella’s shade, wearing a hat and sunglasses and swim trunks. Close to him was an ancient backpack, and his flip–flops were set on the sand beside it, casting off a faint smell of hot rubber. The tall man was listening to an iPod, and his smile indicated he was very pleased with what he heard. He lifted his hat to run his fingers through his hair. It was golden blond, but there was a bit of root showing that hinted his natural color was nearly gray. Judging from his body, he was in his forties. He had a small head in relation to his broad shoulders, and he did not look like a man who was used to manual labor. He didn’t look rich, either; his entire ensemble, the flip–flops and the swim trunks, the hat and the dark glasses, had come from a Wal–Mart or some even cheaper dollar store.
It didn’t pay to look affluent in Baja, not with the way things were these days. It wasn’t safe, gringos weren’t exempt from the violence, and most tourists stayed in the established resorts, flying in and out without driving through the countryside. There were a few other expats around, most unattached men with an air of desperation . . . or secrecy. Their reasons for choosing such a hazardous place to live were better not discovered. Asking questions could be unhealthy.
One of these expats, a recent arrival, came to sit close to the tall man, too close for such proximity to be an accident on a thinly populated beach. The tall man gave the unwelcome newcomer a sideways look from behind his dark glasses, which were obviously prescription. The newcomer was a man in his thirties, not tall or short, not handsome or ugly, not reedy or muscular. He was medium in all aspects, physically. This medium man had been watching the tall man for a few days, and the tall man had been sure he’d approach him sooner or later.
The medium man had carefully selected the optimum moment. The two were sitting in a place on the beach where no one else could hear them or approach them unseen, and even with satellites in the atmosphere it was probable that no one could see them without being spotted, either. The taller man was mostly hidden under the beach umbrella. He noticed that his visitor was sitting in its shadow.
“What are you listening to?” asked the medium man, pointing to the earbuds inserted in the tall man’s ears.
He had a faint accent, maybe a German one? From one of those European countries, anyway, thought the tall man, who was not well traveled. And the newcomer also had a remarkably unpleasant smile. It looked okay, with the upturned lips and the bared teeth, but somehow the effect was more as if an animal were exposing its teeth preparatory to biting you.
“You a homo? I’m not interested,” the tall man said. “In fact, you’ll be judged with hellfire.”
The medium man said, “I like women. Very much. Sometimes more than they want.” His smile became quite feral. And he asked again, “What are you listening to?”
The tall man debated, staring angrily at his companion. But it had been days since he’d talked to anyone. At last, he opted for the truth. “I’m listening to a sermon,” he said.
The medium man exhibited only mild surprise. “Really? A sermon? I wouldn’t have pegged you for a man of the cloth.” But his smile said otherwise. The tall man began to feel uneasy. He began to think of the gun in his backpack, less than an arm’s length away. At least he’d opened the buckles when he’d put it down.
“You’re wrong, but God won’t punish you for it,” the tall man said calmly, his own smile genial. “I’m listening to one of my own old sermons. I spoke God’s truth to the multitudes.”
“Did no one believe you?” The medium man cocked his head curiously.
“Many believed me. Many. I was attracting quite a following. But a girl named . . . a girl brought about my downfall. And put my wife in jail, too, in a way.”
“Would that girl’s name have been Sookie Stackhouse?” asked the medium man, removing his sunglasses to reveal remarkably pale eyes.
The taller man’s head snapped in his direction. “How’d you know? ” he said.
The devil was eating beignets, fastidiously, when the businessman walked up to the outside table. The devil noticed the spring in Copley Carmichael’s step. He looked even more prosperous than he had when he was broke. Carmichael was in the business section of the newspaper frequently these days. An infusion of capital had reestablished him very quickly as an economic force in New Orleans, and his political clout had expanded along with the money he pumped into New Orleans’s sputtering economy, which had been dealt a crippling blow by
Katrina. Which, the devil pointed out quickly to anyone who asked, he’d had simply nothing to do with.
Today Carmichael looked healthy and vigorous, ten years younger than he actually was. He sat at the devil’s table without any greeting.
“Where’s your man, Mr. Carmichael?” asked the devil, after a sip of his coffee.
Carmichael was busy placing a drink order with the waiter, but when the young man was gone he said, “Tyrese has trouble these days, and I gave him some time off.”
“The young woman? Gypsy?”
“Of course,” said Carmichael, not quite sneering. “I knew if he asked for her, he wouldn’t be pleased with the results, but he was so sure that true love would win in the end.”
“And it hasn’t?”
“Oh, yes, she’s crazy about him. She loves him so much she has sex with him all the time. She couldn’t stop herself, even though she knew she was HIV positive . . . a fact she didn’t share with Tyrese.”
“Ah,” the devil said. “Not my work, that virus. So how is Tyrese faring?”
“He’s HIV positive, too,” Carmichael said, shrugging. “He’s getting treatment, and it’s not the instant death sentence it used to be. But he’s very emotional about it.” Carmichael shook his head. “I always thought he had better sense.”
“I understand you wish to ask for your signing bonus,” the devil said. Carmichael saw no connection between the two ideas.
“Yes,” Copley Carmichael said. He grinned at the devil and leaned forward confidentially. In a barely audible whisper he said, “I know exactly what I want. I want you to find me a cluviel dor.”
The devil looked genuinely surprised. “How did you learn of the existence of such a rare item?”
“My daughter brought it up in conversation,” Carmichael said, without a hint of shame. “It sounded interesting, but she stopped talking before she told me the name of the person who supposedly has one. So I had a man I know hack into her e–mail. I should have done that earlier. It’s been illuminating. She’s living with a fellow I don’t trust. After our last conversation, she got so angry with me that she’s refused to see me. Now I can keep tabs on her without her knowing, so I can protect her from her own bad judgment.”
He was absolutely sincere when he made this statement. The devil saw that Carmichael believed that he loved his daughter, that he knew what was best for her under any circumstance.
“So Amelia had been talking to someone about a cluviel dor,” the devil said. “That led her to bring it up with you. How interesting. No one’s had one for . . . well, in my memory. A cluviel dor would have been made by the fae . . . and you understand, they are not tiny, cute creatures with wings.”
Carmichael nodded. “I’m astounded to discover what exists out there,” he said. “I have to believe in fairies now. And I have to consider that maybe my daughter isn’t such a screwball after all. Though I think she’s deluded about her own power.”
The devil raised his perfect eyebrows. There seemed to be more than one deluded person in the Carmichael family. “About the cluviel dor . . . the fae used them all. I don’t believe there are any left on earth, and I can’t go into Faery since the upheaval. A thing or two has been expelled out of Faery . . . but nothing goes in.” He looked mildly regretful.
“There is one cluviel dor available, and from what I can tell, it’s being concealed by a friend of my daughter’s,” Copley Carmichael said. “I know you can find it.”
“Fascinating,” the devil said, quite sincerely. “And what do you want it for? After I find it?”
“I want my daughter back,” Carmichael said. His intensity was almost palpable. “I want the power to change her life. So I know what I’ll wish for, when you track it down for me. The woman who knows where it is . . . she’s not likely to give it up. It was a legacy from her grandmother, and she’s not a big fan of mine.”
The devil turned his face to the morning sun, and his eyes glowed red briefly. “Imagine that. I’ll set things in motion. The name of your daughter’s friend, the one who may know the whereabouts of the cluviel dor?”
“She’s in Bon Temps. It’s up north, not too far from Shreveport. Sookie Stackhouse.”
The devil nodded slowly. “I’ve heard the name.”
The next time the devil met with Copley Carmichael, three days after their conversation at Café du Monde, he dropped by Carmichael’s table at Commander’s Palace. Carmichael was waiting for his dinner, and busy on his cell phone with a contractor who wanted to extend his credit line. Carmichael was unwilling, and he explained why in no uncertain terms. When he looked up, the devil was standing there in the same suit he’d worn when they’d met the first time. He looked cool and impeccable.
As Carmichael put the phone down, the devil slid into the chair across from his.
Carmichael had jumped when he recognized the devil. And since he hated being surprised, he was unwise. He snarled, “What the hell do you mean coming here? I didn’t ask you to visit!”
“What the hell, indeed,” said the devil, who didn’t seem to take offense. He ordered a single malt whiskey from the waiter who’d materialized at his elbow. “I assumed you’d want to hear the news of your cluviel dor.”
Carmichael’s expression changed instantly. “You found it! You have it!”
“Sadly, Mr. Carmichael, I do not,” said the devil. (He did not sound sad.) “Something rather unexpected has thwarted our plans.” The waiter deposited the whiskey with some ceremony, and the devil took a sip and nodded.
“What?” Carmichael said, almost unable to speak for anger.
“Miss Stackhouse used the cluviel dor, and its magic has been expended.”
There was a moment of silence fraught with all the emotions the devil enjoyed.
“I’ll see her ruined,” said Copley Carmichael venomously, keeping his voice down with a supreme effort. “You’ll help me. That’s what I’ll take instead of the cluviel dor.”
“Oh my goodness. You’ve used your signing bonus, Mr. Carmichael. Mustn’t get greedy.”
“But you didn’t get me the cluviel dor!” Even though he was an experienced businessman, Carmichael was astonished and outraged.
“I found it and was ready to take it from her pocket,” said the devil.
“I entered the body of someone standing next to her. But she used it before I could extract it. Finding it was the favor you requested. You used those words twice, and ’locate it’ once. Our dealings are concluded.” He tossed back his drink.
“At least help me get back at her,” Carmichael said, his face red with rage. “She crossed us both.”
“Not me,” said the devil. “I’ve seen Miss Stackhouse up close and talked to many people who know her. She seems like an interesting woman. I have no cause to do her harm.” He stood up. “In fact, if I may advise you, walk away from this. She has some powerful friends, among them your daughter.”
“My daughter is a woman who runs around with witches,” Carmichael said. “She’s never been able to make her own living, not completely. I’ve been researching her ’friends,’ very discreetly.” He sighed, sounding both angry and exasperated. “I understand their powers exist. I believe that now. Reluctantly. But what have they done with those powers? The strongest among them lives in a shack.” Carmichael’s knuckles rapped against the table. “My daughter could be a force in society in this town. She could work for me, and do all kinds of charity stuff, but instead she lives in her own little world with her loser boyfriend. Like her friend Sookie. But I’ll even the score there. How many powerful friends could a waitress have?”
The devil glanced over to his left. Two tables away sat a very round man with dark hair, who was by himself at a table laden with food. The very round man met the devil’s eyes without blinking or looking away, which few men could do. After a long moment, the two nodded at each other.
Carmichael was glaring at the devil.
“I owe you nothing for Tyrese any longer,” said the devil. “And you are mine forever. Given your present course, I may have you sooner than I’d expected.” He smiled, a chilling expression on his smooth face, and he rose from the table and left.
Carmichael was even angrier when he had to pay for the devil’s whiskey. He never even noticed the very round man. But the very round man noticed him.
What People are Saying About This
“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
Meet the Author
Charlaine Harris is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse and Midnight, Texas, fantasy/mystery series and the Aurora Teagarden, Harper Connelly, and Lily Bard mystery series. Her books have inspired HBO’s True Blood, NBC’s Midnight, Texas, and the Aurora Teagarden movies for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. She has lived in the South her entire life.
- Southern Arkansas
- Date of Birth:
- November 25, 1951
- Place of Birth:
- Tunica, Mississippi
- B.A. in English and Communication Arts, Rhodes, 1973
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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SPOILERS! I think we all know now why Harris won't be touring to promote this book, because honestly, is ANYONE besides Harris herself happy with this book? Very few I would wager. Even Sam's pathetically small fan-base can't be terribly excited about Harris's poor execution of the HEA. I think one other reviewer summed it up best when she noted: "It's too bad Harris didn't care as much about her characters as her fans did." As many others have noted, the writing had declined over the past few books, but I had held out hope that Harris would put out her best efforts into the final volume, the conclusion to Sookie's beloved and long-running saga. Alas. It took 14-15 years and 13 books to have Sookie come full-circle, albeit bearing considerable physical and emotional scarring from her adventures? Is Sookie any better off now than she was in the beginning? No, definitely she is worse off. She's settled for second-best in her love life and hasn't expanded her life circle much at all. I can appreciate that someone like Sookie prefers the simple things in life, but at the same time, the supes opened up her world to so many more exciting possibilities than had ever existed for her previously (and she says as much, notably to Sam, in the 8th or 9th book). At the end of her journey of self-discovery, she's in the same place, having rejected what all along has been painted as something that energized and completed Sookie. I strongly favored Eric-Sookie, but I could have been happier with the actual resolution if Harris had painted Sam as a convincing alternative all along. While the reader has sensed throughout the series that Sam had interest in Sookie, she has never thought of him as anything other than boss and friend. I also think it's unfortunate that Harris opted to have Sookie TELL the reader about her friendship and bonds with Sam far more often than she SHOWED it in the previous 12 books. All of Harris's writing energy went into the larger-than-life character and fan favorite, Eric. And, in the end, she thumbed her nose at the vast majority of her fans and gave Eric a terrible ending, truly assassinating his character in a way I would never have dreamed possible. If Harris and I were having iced tea around the kitchen table, I'm sure she would tell me that Eric is HER character and that she was entitled to do what she wanted with him and that she understood him best, being his creator. But, I would counter that once a character is shared with others, that character belongs to us all, and thousands of fans (at least 75% of the Sookie fans were Eric/Sookie fans in poll after poll) can't be all wrong. Harris leaves most of her characters in a reasonably happy spot in the end (though I would quibble whether Sookie herself falls into that category). But Eric? Sold into sex slavery for 200 years, forbidden to have any contact with Sookie and exacting jealous vengeance by trying to thwart Sookie and Sam before that ever got underway so that Sookie can't even have fond memories of him? Really? That's the best you could do for the most beloved character you're ever going to create, Ms. Harris? That's your response to the years of devoted readership and loyal following from so many fans? Even if you truly did always intend Sam to be the HEA (and had to insert numerous deux ex machina and create inconsistencies galore and ignore completely much of what's been written in the last 8 or 9 books to get there), why would you leave Eric himself in such a terrible situation? You couldn't get creative and come up with a scenario wherein Eric and Sookie come to some heartfelt recognition that their differences were too great to overcome and have them part on good terms? Eric was the one who "got" Sookie - they shared the same sense of humor and the same exuberance for life, as Bill and others had pointed out and noted. Their relationship had taken books of gradual and sustained build-up. To have it end in such an out-of-character way was sloppy, small-minded and unfair in the extreme. It showed no respect whatsoever for the bulk of your fan-base, and I have no respect for you as an author as a result. The adage "readers like to be fooled but not deceived or conned or cheated" applies to you too, Ms. Harris. It was not a clever "aha!" twist to suddenly shoehorn Sam into the HEA. It required a good bit of cheating to get there, and doing so at the expense of the best character you're likely to ever create and his legions of fans was certainly not honorable or worthy of you.
First, let me say that BN needs to remove the ratings already posted, as these are ratings based on nothing more than hopes of how this book will be and they were posted prior to the book release. With that being sad.....the book was the ultimate disappointment in the SVM series. I won't give away spoilers, in deference to those who haven't read it yet but, it's a waste of your money. It's not just the ending that was sad, it's the plot, the characters, the continuity...just everything. Charlaine Harris seems to have given up, completely, with this book and with her fans. I, like so many others, will not waste our money or time on any other written word that Ms. Harris gets published.
Badly written fanfiction. The author made so many mistakes in this book it truly is embarrassing. She seemed to forget what she wrote in the previous 12 books. I'm not disappointed in who Sookie ended up with. I'm disappointed in how Harris got her there. The ending doesn't make sense, and Harris seems to have forgotten all about Sookie's telepathy or her feelings about having her heart manipulated. Sookie hated the blood bond because she felt it altered her emotions, and yet she's fine with the Cluviel Dor suddenly making her fall out of love with Eric and in love with Sam? The whole book was a mess and totally ruined the entire series.
What a horrible last book. I am disappointed on so many levels I don't even know where to begin. I shouldn't be surprised, I have read her Lily Bard and Aurora Teagarden series and they lacked just as much. Review below talks about the book!!! SPOILERS AHEAD Here are a few reasons I am so disappointed: 1. Where was Eric in this book? Where was Pam? Where is Bill? They are some of the most loved characters. Without them in the book it just felt empty. We deserve to have closure on these characters and it just wasn't delivered. 2. Anyone else care less about Mr. C, Barry, and Amelia. I could care less. They were brought in out of nowhere and poorly closed out. 3. Would the character of Eric that she built up after the last 12 books just fold like he appeared to do in this book. Though I guess we don't know what really happened since Harris couldn't bother to show that part of the story. 4. Sookie did nothing in this book. All her subcharacters held the plot. She was just a self reflective whiny side character. 5. Sam, enough said. Really, really? No build up. Not believable at all. I am too worked up about this to truly write my feelings in an eloquent manner. One thing I know for sure, Ms. Harris will never get another dime from me. She may write for herself but we the readers fund her paycheck. Shame on you Harris for selling such subpar work
What to say? I hated this book, it was agony to read the sloppy writing of the world and characters that I had fallen in love with some years ago. They were mere shadow of their former self, so OOC. I felt like I was reading a parallel universe of SVM or a badly written fanfiction. If this is the ending Charlaine Harris decided on at book 2 then why write the other 11 books, why lead her readers on??? Everything that happened past Living Dead in Dallas was just a filler, a lie. It was bad enough to see the destruction of Eric, how the author went out of her way to trash everything good she ever wrote about him. Sookie's character growth however is gone, nothing of what made her so interesting in the first place is there in DEA. Her zest for life and joie d'vivre and her fighting spirit has sadly evaporated. What I could make out of this book is that it's best to settle with a lukewarm dog that can make babies than true love and passion. Oh and love against all odds never works, you should just stick to your own. I could say so much more but I just can't do it now, it hurts too much.
Disappointing end to a once loved series. Really do not understand why the author signed the contract for the last three novels.
A disappointing ending to a once great series. For years the Sookie Stackhouse series was one of my favorite series to read and re-read, but Charlaine killed any love I had for it with this book. As Team Eric, I knew that I would not get the ending that I wanted, but what Charlaine gave us was a cop out. I would've rather had Sookie end up alone. The series should have ended a few books ago, but I'm glad it's over now. I won't buy another book by Charlaine Harris again.
I cant believe i spent 15.00 on a 265 page book I was really disappointed. Mrs, Harris , why did you even bother writing this? It was a total waste of my time and money. I have followed you loyally to the end and the end sucked...I'm glad its over. At least i wont be wasting anymore money on this. You should have stopped at 10..
What an unfortunate ending to what started as a promising series. From the abandonment of the theme of tolerance, to letting rapists win, to the lack of growth, to the obviousness of the mystery, to the boredom of reading pages of Sookie shopping, to the "uncharacteristic" way many characters behaved, to the laughable sex scene ("we slid against each other like seals"), to the sudden re-writing of previous actions and the significant continuity errors (such as the change in the way Sookie hears supes' thoughts, the sudden ability to take away telepathy), to the need to resort to magic to bring resolution (if there really is "resolution" at the end), I found this book incredibly disappointing. But it's Charlaine Harris' inability to make the overall arc believable to the vast majority of her readers (see other reviews and spoiler pages), even using magic, that makes me wonder. Is she that inept a writer? Or did she lie when she said she planned this for more than a decade? Not that it matters whether she's incompetent or malicious. In neither case do I feel inclined to ever buy another one of her books.
Dont waste your money! Go to amazon for your reviews. What an awful shamful ending to a great series. This book alone ruined entire series. If your eric fan, huge huge disappointment. I liked nothing about this book or ending! Dont not waste money at all.
A terrible ending on what was once a fantastic series. Not only did Sookie not get a happy ending, but every character in the book didn't not act as had previously been written. Not to mention the fact that many of the rules of the Sookieverse (e.g., not being able to hear Sam's thoughts) were conveniently forgotten in order to make the ending fit. I know Ms. Harris has continuity issues between her books, but these seem deliberate. Does she not know how her fandom analyzes and remembers every word of her books and wouldn't notice the drastic change in characterization and rules? This was the first series I absolutely fell in love with reading the books multiple times, however the last few books have been disappointing, but I hope the ending would be uplifting and unforgettable. It is unforgettable, but for how terrible it is. I normally take a day off work just to read the latest SVM book, and I buy the book and audio versions, but not this time .I have no desire to read anything else by this author. If she was tired of the characters, why do the last three books? Or why not hire a ghostwriter.
It read like bad fanfic. Plot and character inconsistencies abounded, and even though I am NOT an Eric fan, his ending was unbelievable and unsatisfying. Go to Amazon, read the reviews there, because the high ratings here on BN came from hopefuls, posted before they'd ever read the book. Waste of time and money.
If you liked the first books in this series, consider avoiding this terrible last book. You are likely to be very disappointed. Characters are out of character when not assassinated and the plot is silly beyond belief... Today was supposed to be a happy day after 13 years of some of the best characters ever but sadly, it is a day of mourning for these characters are long gone, caricatures of the great people they once were.
Its just the status quo.... for a book series that was toted as a symbol of the civil rights movement, this final installment shows that intolerance will win the day. And thats not even getting into the fact that this book felt poorly written, full of holes, and reversal of the world created in the previous 12 books. I am GLAD i did not buy the special edition as it would have been heart breaking to have paid so much money for a sub par product.
If I could give it less the a one star I would. POOR STORY LINE that does not line up with the previous books in the series. I feel I have wasted over $150 reading this series to have such a poor and sad excuse for a ending. If I wanted to be depressed on sad all I have to do is turn on the TV. Requesting refund and will never ever buy another one of her books !
After waiting all this time the book comes out and it is nothing but a huge disappointment. I will not give the ending away but if you have been a reader you know how it ends. While waiting for this book i have found some great authors thank god due to the fact that this author is no longer one of mine. She should have wrapped up this series years ago when she still wrote like she cared for sookie
There are a lot of fans trashing this book right now. Some claim we are just upset because Sookie does not end up with whomever we wanted her to have Happily Ever After. That is not the case. Does she end up with my favorite male character? No Did I expect her to? No. What I did expect was for Harris to give me a storyline that was consistent with the other books and sell me on whichever romance she chose for Sookie. Instead, Harris gave me a book that did complete character reversals, refused to let the plot flow smoothly, and had a big ZERO in the romance department. It left me with questions about why beloved characters were trashed, and why after seeing her go through several great romances, it ended with her jumping into the sack with someone that their was no chemistry with just a few pages prior.
You need to check out the reviews on Amazon before buying - the pre-release reviews here are not doing any service to fans of this series. That said, I agree with other reviewers that the book was a big letdown and a betrayal of not only the readers, but the characters as well. I'm starting to relate to how Annie Wilkes felt in "Misery"!
If your looking for a proper end to this series you'd do much better making up one for yourself. It would be a lot better than this colassal waste of money. Every character is completly destroyed and the supposed ending doesn't even make sense with the rest of the story..... sooooo wishing i could get my money back! $15 for 250 pages?! I've read free books that were longer AND better written. Im pretty sure the author lost a huge chunck of her fanbase today. I know she lost me.
I cannot believe, that after 12 books, this is what I am left with. I should have known, from books 10-12, but I was holding out hope that this book would rekindle the series earlier life. I was so very wrong. Very, very wrong.
I am never embarrassed about what I read.I am ashamed that I not only paid money but finished this crap. I have read all of the other books this one makes no sense. Dead to me
I ordered this book despite all the negative reviews, but I still ended up disappointed. The writing was poor and the plot convoluted. Ms. Harris seemed determined to dissolve any positive feelings readers have developed for characters she has developed for over a decade. I would have honestly preferred the series to have been left alone or at least ended ambiguously, instead of the abrupt and unnatural ending that was delivered. I would recommend that if you have not yet read this book that you refrain from doing so, and instead fashion an ending for Sookie that you find befitting. I will do my best to strike this book from my memory and do the same. It is a disappointing ending for a much beloved series, and despite Ms. Harris' obvious impatience to end the series, I feel she did not do her work or her fans justice with this poorly constructed finale.
I expected nothing and that's what I got! Had to read it because I'd read the rest of the series but it's been going downhill for several books. This however, outdid the rest - poor story line, no continuity from previous books, just all around bad! If you must read it, find a library...
The sex between Sam and Sookie is so very very bad she says he put on a condom and plunged in..... yep that's how bad this book is these other bad reviews are being too kind.
0 stars if that was possible!!! SPOILER The story felt rushed and poorly written. Charlaine destroyed Eric just so she could put Sookie and Sam together, and that wasn't even written well. It comes out of left field at the end. And to compare them having sex to seals.....what were you thinking? Sookie reverts back to the girl we met at the beginning of the series who just wants to fit in at any cost instead of the woman who grew into someone who we respected and cheered on. Charlaine gave up on Sookie and just wrote what she wanted to no matter that it didn't make any sense. If she really wanted Sookie and Sam together then she should of ended the series a long time ago instead of writing extra books making us fall in love with the relationship that Eric and Sookie had. But no she did it because Eric is what sold her books. He was ok enough for her to make money on but not good enough to make the HEA. And even worse he wasn't even good enough to give a proper ending to. Sold into sex slavery for 200 years with no contact with anybody! And she expected us to be ok with this! This book was a waste of money and a slap in the face to most of her fans. I would of been ok with the book if it was a good story but the whole thing felt like a filler book instead of the end of a 13 book series. Complete disappointment and I will never buy anything from her again.