Friday, May 27

Dead Reckoning – Charlaine Harris

We last left mind-reading waitress/vampire sheriff’s wife Sookie Stackhouse recovering from the fae war that saw most of her fairy relatives either dead or separated from the mortal realm, with trouble brewing on two fronts - an internal vampire power struggle, and the consequences of the two-natured 'coming out' to humanity.
This may have been problematic enough, but Sookie has other issues to juggle – two of her fairy kin are staying with her, and though she delights in their presence she can also feel herself becoming more fae, which concerns her. Former housemate and witch Amelia may have a way to dissolve the bond between Sookie and Eric, which would allow her to decide how she real feels about her husband, but it’s not a decision without cost. She’s also concerned about whatever t is Eric’s hiding from her – something she can tell his 2IC Pam knows about. Her first lover, Bill, has relationship issues, and Sookie’s not at all sure that her shifter boss (and dearest friend) Sam’s girlriend Jannalynn’s good for him. But first up is a Molotov cocktail attack on Merlott’s, the bar Sam owns and at which Sookie works – is it aimed at Sam and the two-natured, or is it something closer to home?
As I've mentioned several times before, each instalment in this series is more convoluted than the last, and though Harris does a good job of keeping the various strands coherent and intelligible I find myself increasingly weary of the plot devices, massive cast and ever-tenser drama.
I did very much enjoy the reappearance of Hunter, the mind-reading son of Sookie’s deceased cousin, and though he had only a brief guest spot I was also glad to see werewolf Alcide again, and Bubba’s one of Harris’s most tender characters, who was used with care. In fact, for the most part I do enjoy spending time in Harris’s world, but I find myself paying less attention with each book to tracking the character arcs and the numerous persons who threaten Sookie and her entourage. Otherwise spending time here diminishes in escapist quality and becomes more like work. This is definitely a series to read in order, and with a little time between adventures. - Alex

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