Rating: 2 stars
Date begun: May 6th, 2012
Date finished: May 8th, 2012
This is the 12th (and thankfully) penultimate novel in Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mysteries/True Blood series, and while it may make some sense to a new reader, it's really not a good starting point. It will contain spoilers for the later half of the series, and the first books are much better anyway, so do yourself a favour and start there.
At this point, I'm really only reading this series because it's nearly at an end, and I've stuck with it for so long, I may as well see it through. I've quit so many series (Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth, Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody (and all her damn relatives) series) because it just felt like a waste of time to keep going, and I must admit, if Harris hadn't promised to end with the next one, this series is getting to me close to the end of my patience.
It's not that stuff doesn't happen in the book, because it does. I just don't care much about it. As always, there is a mystery that's nominally the focus for the plot. Sookie arrives late at a gathering at Eric's house, to find him feeding on a young half-were woman. The woman later turns up dead on Eric's front lawn, and it's obvious that someone's setting him up. But the investigation into how the girl died and who killed her is not really dwelt on for long, because Sookie's too busy narrating in tedious detail every little thing she does with each and every minute of her day.
A lot of the people around Sookie are now in happy, stable relationships. Several are on the verge of getting married, or having babies. Sookie's not actually very happy with Eric, and even if they were to sort out their difficulties, having a vampire for a husband means Sookie can never have babies (although I guess she could adopt). Although frankly, with her extended faerie kin hanging around, and the complicated power plays and intrigue they get up to, I'm not entirely sure why she so desperately wants to continue her own bloodline. But yeah, there's a lot of focus on weddings, or pregnancies, or actual babies. None of which Sookie can have.
There's also trouble with Victor, the local King, who's there to investigate the death of his representative. But not much happens with that plot line, except his vampire entourage have a bit of an orgy, and Sookie's pissed off because they ruin Eric's coffee table.
Sookie also spends a lot of time worrying about the super powerful magic faery gift her grandmother left her, and it would be bad if other people found out that she has it. Events that take place suggest people might even be willing to kill to get their hands on this faery prezzie. There's also some sort of unrest among the werewolves, and Sam's werewolf girlfriend is jealous of Sookie or some such.
Stuff happens, but it's difficult to care much about it. The book ends on a bit of a cliff hanger, it may be Harris' way of telling us who Sookie should end up with in the end, but I hope not, as said character has been pretty seriously friend-zoned for a lot of the series, and it seems like a bad choice. I think the best ending would be Sookie deciding that she's happy on her own, but that's unlikely to happen. The reason this gets two stars is that despite the drag of the later books, I LIKE Sookie. I think she's grown a lot as a character, and I wish her well. It's just that Charlaine Harris should've ended the series quite some time ago.
Only one book to go. I'll probably read it, just to get closure.
And with that, dear Readers, I finish Cannonball Read IV! (although I'll keep blogging the books I enjoy).