DEAD EVER AFTER was released here in the US, it had already attracted a lot of negative criticism by loyal fans of the Southern Vampire Series that Charlaine Harris is so well known for. And as a fan myself, I was anxious to find out how Sookie's story would end.
I don't normally do this, but this review DOES include some details that could be viewed as spoilers because I feel it's difficult to talk about the ending of the series without certain comments.
When we last left Sookie, she had been in a battle with her relatives from the Fae world and discovered that not all of them were her allies. She had been in possession of the coveted cluviel dor, the magic 'artifact' left to her by her late grandmother, that could grant one wish to the beholder, changing their life forever. The shock came at the end of the twelfth book when, in desperation, used it to save Sam, her friend and business partner, instead of using it to keep Eric, her vampire boyfriend, from having to marry the Queen of Oklahoma and break all ties with Sookie, whom he claimed to love.
This last book takes up right where it had left off and Sookie, Sam and Eric are still dealing with the consequences of Sookie's choice and what it all means for their futures. Sookie's life is complicated even further when she is arrested for murdering one of her former friends. One of Sookie's own scarves was found wrapped around the victim's neck. She is pleased and humbled to see how many of her friends showed up for her arraignment in support of her, but her best friend Sam, is a no show and he's going out of his to avoid her. To make matters worse, someone is trying to kill Sookie and they don't care who gets in their way.
Though I found the mystery of who framed Sookie and who was trying to kill her interesting, the overall feeling I had throughout the book was that something was lacking. That something was the vampire presence in the story. I've read a lot of reviews that said 'the book ended the only way it could have', but that doesn't really convince me that it was necessary that Eric and Bill were basically non-existent in this book. Eric made two very brief appearances and Bill was basically a passerby. I'm not saying I didn't like the book, I just feel that two such strong and ever-present characters in all of the other books was sorely missed by this reader.
On Goodreads, I've rated this book with 3 stars, which by first glance doesn't look all that good, but it actually means 'I liked it'. And I did. I don't think Charlaine Harris deserves the bashing she's gotten from many of her reviewers, (especially on Amazon), because I can appreciate that she admittedly stated she had told every story she felt Sookie had to tell and didn't want the series to continue and possibly suffer until nobody cared anymore. Sometimes you have to know when to quit and I think she did the right thing. That said, I am going to miss Sookie and all of her cohorts. They gave me many hours of entertainment and actually introduced me to the entire vampire genre that I had completely ignored previously.
I am not a fan of TrueBlood and I do not watch the show. I am content with the ending Ms. Harris came up with for the book series and I commend her for making the difficult decision to end a beloved series, even though the fans were sure to be upset with her. That takes guts and Charlaine Harris has guts.
DEAD EVER AFTER (Sookie Stackhouse #13)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Ace/Penguin Publishing
Published: May 7, 2013
Length: 353 pp