Dead and Gone: A Messy Review

So, I got myself a copy of the latest novel, Dead and Gone. (We are on Book 9 now). I’d been waiting, so avidly, for this book ever since December 2008, when I discovered the and gorged through Books 1-8 in less than two weeks! (Treadmills, stretches and diets forgotten, natch.)

First, let me just say I absolutely loved the Sookie books, especially Book 4, the part where Eric got amnesia and Sookie took care of him and where the Sookie-Eric saga began. The pairing was very unexpected, since Sookie and Eric were always love/hate. But perhaps predictable, also, since women always fall for the wrong guy who turns out to be the right one. Think Joey/Pacey. Is it wrong that I am comparing Sookie/Eric to Joey/Pacey?! LOL.

Book 4 to Book 8 was like Dawson’s Creek Season 3! Yes, where we sit and watch Joey and Pacey bicker and fight and we despair, because, omigod why can’t they see they’re perfect for one another?? Just do it already!! Well Book 9 was supposed to be like the culmination of that wonderful season (where Joey and Pacey literally sail off into the ocean), except, Sookie and Eric had a fuck, and then, nada. No resolutions.

* * * * * Dead and Gone Spoilers Below * * * * *

So, the verdict is: I am truly very disappointed with Dead and Gone. So many things happened during this book, there were so many characters involved, but not a single character was given depth. Here’s a list of some “What’s the point???” or otherwise WTF moments from the book:

  1. Octavia Fant (the older witch staying with Sookie) gets a boyfriend from out of nowhere and leaves the Sookie house in about two pages (Okay maybe the point was so Sookie could have sex with Eric, but heller, couldn’t she just have gone to town for a bit?)
  2. Quinn the tiger comes to visit his ex-paramour and rehash their lost love but gets headbutted by Bill instead and then we don’t hear from him ever again. (Was it even necessary for him to show up in Book 9? Thought that was over and done with. What a waste of pages.)
  3. Sookie’s telepathic baby cousin’s father gives her a call only to be brushed aside by Sookie saying “Call me in a month, am busy.” (Okayyy.)
  4. Claudine the fairy gets pregnant, then nothing for pages and pages, then at the end of the book, she is suddenly dead. We don’t even see any action. It only comes from Niall’s mouth, as though it was the author’s afterthought to kill off some major characters in Book 9 so Book 10 wouldn’t be so messy. 
  5. Pam and Amelia who? (Where were they??)

So, yeah, am really bummed out. Aside from the crazy stuff I mentioned above, the biggest question from Book 8 was never answered. What question, you say? Well look at the DAG cover. It’s Sookie in between Eric and Bill. Yeah that sandwich hasn’t been eaten in four books, so it’s just about rotting by now. You wanna know how Book 9 ends? Here it is:

“The vampire is not a bad man, and he loves you,” Niall said. He rose. “Good-bye.” He bent and kissed my cheek. There was power in his touch, and I suddenly felt better. Before Jason could gather himself to object, Niall kissed his forehead, and Jason’s tense muscles relaxed.
Then my great-grandfather was gone before I could ask him which vampire he meant.

Ohmaygahd doesn’t she know yet?? *Rolls eyes*

Sigh. I still love Sookie. She’s my girl. I’ll take her over Bella any day. But just like sometimes I want to tear the ends of my hair out because I just cannot see why Bella loves/wants/needs Edward so much to the point that she wastes her life away when he leaves (which is really why I cannot stand the books, Bella just rubs the feminist in me the wrong way), I am getting incensed with Sookie for being so on the fence with Eric!

Obviously the vampire loves her. Book 9 is all about Eric telling Sookie he loves her. (He risked his life, and those of his underlings, to save Sookie.) And all she can think about is whether or not her feelings are real or blood bound! (They swapped blood a LOT of times already. Makes their relationship complicated.) And she’ll have sex with Eric but she won’t cement the status of her relationship because she can’t make a decision. Ugh! So Bella-like! (You know, where she was pining for Edward the whole time leading Jacob on?) Wanting a man to make the decision for her! Get your spine back, Sookie!!

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed DAG. Just. Just not as much as the other books. It just feels like didn’t put much thought to this book. Like she knew it wasn’t perfect but she had a deadline to meet so she shrugged and rushed it off to the presses. That’s really how I feel.

I’ll still be here for Book 10. But maybe now, a little less avid.

Comments

  1. i agree with you holeheartly it got lost in translation so much and it was so abrupt like book 8 was about hunter and then it has made some peoples head spin i cant take it any more now hopefully since she is writing book 10 now and it isnt gonna be out next year maybe she would have more time to makeit more indepth.plus i always thought sookie was the poor southern flower that needs help cant take car of her self like bella it is sicking because southern woman arent really like that they are strong people and that poor me thing is just a act that is why i like mercy thompason series because i like her she takes care of her self.dont get me wrong i love sookie but she needs to toughing up alittle

  2. Oh, you summed it up so nicely, I agree with you entirely. Also, wasn’t the “epic” battle at the end just not that epic? And the fae war turning out pointless in the end, how frustrating!

  3. I think you summed it up well. I felt really frustrated by the book. I think a 10-book series forces writers into tradeoffs and one of them is keeping us on the hook until the end.

    Obvioulsy Eric and Bill both love her, but Bill’s love comes with regret and deception. Eric on the other hand I think lusted after her as an object, but by B4 did fall in love and has been struggling with how to deal with his feelings after 1000 years of being a lone ranger. But having said that…even from B2 Eric is ALWAYS at Sookie’s side and helps her with even her most dangerous requests. He nurses her to health and uses his wits to save her from vampire politics. Whether he can just bust out and say I love you??? Some men who are alive can’t do that. (Although please note that in DAG Eric utters something twice in a language she doesn’t know as they are making love… I love you is probably a good bet in ancient swede)

    I will wait for Book 10 and watch the TV show, but I think after investing so much energy in their romance I am ready to let it go a bit as well. I will say this. I think the fact that Sookie ran Sam’s bar in book 9 and her nephew is coming into his own “gift” are significant..maybe Sookie will go go run Fantasia with Eric — Pam will get the call to go to Vegas — and raise her nephew. Then she can have a child and a vampire husband…I know I am way too optomistic, but that is my two cents.

  4. It was nice to get some Sookie, at any rate. There were definately a lot of issues, I still enjoyed it as I always do. There were too many characters, too many threads left hanging, too many threads tied up too quickly without explanation, but all in all, I love me some Sookie one way or the other. :-)

  5. @Anonymous, I thought Hunter would take a greater role in Sookie’s life this book too, since Charlaine Harris ended Book 8 on that note. Hopefully she takes her readers seriously enough to make Book 10 so much better, make up for this dud.

    @Meropi, true, true! I forgot to place that up there among the WTF moments, but yeah that was one of the worst! The battle seemed so confusing, the only point seemed to be to kill Sookie off!

    Why were Breandan and his people so insistent on killing off Sookie? Breandan actually sought Sookie out just to off her! Wasn’t killing Niall more important? And why was Dermot on Breandan’s side? And why did we never get to hear either Breandan or Dermot explain their grievances? Sooo many questions left unanswered!

    @Evette, she’s not even stopping at 10. There are four more after this, I hear. I really think she should just finish the series up already, or she might not have any more readers if she keeps churning out less than stellar Sookie mysteries.

    Oh what an interesting idea! That maybe Eric’s told Sookie he loves her and she doesn’t even know it! Loves it :)

    LOL at Eric as a father.

    I haven’t thought about how I would like the series to end. But I do hope that Sookie finally finds happiness in Eric (and vice versa), and that Bill loses interest in Sookie (I hate to see him hurt all the time, I think he’s done enough penance).

    @Sarilizard, yes we are all hopelessly in love with the Sookie novels. :)

  6. I’ve only read 100 pages and I am disappointed already. So after reading these comments, I didn’t even mind that the spoilers were there because I am bored with the book. I too think Sookie should get over it, lose the mock stuborness and accept that she loves Eric. Her life is one big catastrophe after another and if she had Eric by her side, at least she wouldn’t be so unhappy ALL the time.

  7. I agee with all the posts. I’m dead and disapponited shoud be the new name for the book. I wanted the Sookie and Eric talk! If Sookie would of listened to Eric and went to stay in his house she would of been protected. But then we would have no need for book 10.

  8. First off, love any reference or comparison to Joey and Pacey! One can only hope Sookie and Eric’s story ends as theirs did.

    The book was just fine for me. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but at least we got the start of Eric and Sookie’s talk, although much more discussion is needed and hopefully Sookie will be more receptive to talking to Eric about everything in the next book.

    The ending bugged me most of all. Sookie not knowing who Niall was talking about. Really? I believe Niall was talking about Eric, but regardless Bill has told her in pretty much every book he loves her and Eric has shown her how much he cares and loves her (loved Evette’s thought about him telling her he loves he in a foreign language) as well and she still has to wonder at the end? Annoying.

    My hope for book 10 is she stops blaming the bond for everything and actually talks to Eric about it.

  9. Love the series books and show. Have devoured all the books I am invested in the characters. I loved this entry, thought it followed the progression it would have if ten was the last entry and yet leaves room for more, not an easy task. So here’s how I see it, she (Charlaine) has said she has known since book two who Sookie would end up with, and that would be wrapping up now if the original contract were in place. I have my bet on Eric. After all this is about a woman and a vampire. Yes I know there are the Supes, but it was always about a woman dating a Vampire. I love the way her relationship with Eric has unfolded from the beginning it feels authentic to me. His (Eric’s) statement about her not knowing Quinn any more than Bill, totaly nails it, Sookie and Eric have had time to establish a friendship both playful and serious. His sly tricks are not deceptive because he does not deny nor hide them from her. She appreciates his honesty and that he gets her. He respects her independence and understands she wants to own her own life. He interferes when he feels he needs to protect her. So much more…. he is by far more thoughtful than Bill ever was, compensation gifts (not to elaborate to make her feel bought) etc. Charlaine has said Sookie will find true love but it will be complicated love. I also think the big change at the end of this book that she rewrote was saving Bill I think she killed him off and thats what she referred to as the ending sucking. (from one of her interviews) Eric in my opinion is a stand up guy a good leader who treats his underlings with respect and shows respect to his superiors. And Niall was totally referring to Eric, he references him in this book and the last one as The Vampire, There is an acknowledgement and respect there with Eric and he would see Bill as Eric’s underling, Sookie’s confusion is her own insecurity and self doubt and the authors way of keeping us guessing. I’d like to see her get with Eric and have the last couple books be with them as a couple (like the first two with Bill) I hope I am not dissapointed in the next book I have loved all of them so far. Doubt it will go the way I want though.

  10. I was pissed about Claudine’s death. PISSED! It only made things more depressing.

    I agree with almost everything your review said. Quinn showing up was pointless. Mel being gay was pointless. Her nephew’s father calling was almost pointless…it was a weak attempt to keep it in the story since she ended on that note in Book 8.

    Why was there no explanation as to why those fae killed Sookie’s parents? That bugged me, too.

    I loved this book, still, and I’ll always love every book no matter what. But they can still leave a bad taste in my mouth.

    The ‘war’ was very anticlimactic. There was almost no detail about the war. And as much as torture makes me uncomfortable, I think there should have been more description during the torture of Sookie.

    Everything I was cool with until Sookie got kidnapped. Everything happened so fast and with so little explanation that my head was spinning. It went like this:

    -Sookie gets kidnapped.
    -Sookie gets tortured.
    -Sookie gets rescued.
    -Sookie finds out her parents were murdered.
    -A small fight occurs.
    -A pregnant Claudine dies.
    -Niall leaves forever.
    -The End.

    It wasn’t so much that those events occurred, but the ending was lacking in depth!!!Very Stephenie Meyer-like *gag*. A few more chapters of detail would have pulled things together.

    Personally I’m glad that Sookie doesn’t know who she wants yet. Mainly because it means more books :D. I doubt Charlaine will lose any readers any time soon, but if the next 3 books are lacking in WRITING like the ending of Dead and Gone, it’s a possibility. I’ll always read them though lol.

    Like I said. I loved this book no matter what. Just as a parent could never hate or not love their child, they can still be disappointed in them. Thank God True Blood season 2 is coming out soon, it shortens what otherwise is going to be a long year until book 10!

  11. Like you, as engaging as these books have been I agree there are many issues lacking in DAG. Many unanswered questions; lack of character development for many, etc.

    One thing I noticed in reading your review, which is an easy mistake to make, but I have to note:

    You write:
    "Aside from the crazy stuff I mentioned above, the biggest question from Book 8 was never answered. What question, you say? Well look at the DAG cover. It's Sookie in between Eric and Bill."

    The image on the cover is actually a scene that takes place relatively early in the DAG book. It's Sookie between Eric and the King of Nevada. It's the symbolic gesture of Sookie and Eric being bonded as in marriage. She carries a precious knife to Eric in front of King of Nevada. It's been awhile since I read the previous book, From Dead to Worse, so I'm not recalling who was killed with that knife. Sophie-Anne?

    Like you, I was frustrated with the ending … not knowing whom Sookie with end up with. Then again, I believe DAG was the final book. It's title sounds like the final book in a series: Dead and Gone. Gone forever. Oh, well.

  12. I really agree with how disappointing this was. Loved the first few books and love love love the character of Eric Northman but Sookie unable to commit to this relationship is now getting tedious. Will read the rest IF the Eric/Sookie story goes the right way …but otherwise might get as fed up as I did with the way the Laurel K Hamilton/ Anita Blake books developed…..