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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris

The thing I like about books in a series is that when a new book comes out it's kind of like catching up on old friends. And the books can concentrate on what's happening instead of describing everything in such detail since most readers already know what the houses and characters look like. Also, when an author has that much time to spend with her characters she (or he) can dig deeper into their psyche and let us watch the characters change and grow over time.

And that's the way it is with the Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris. I've loved watching Sookie (and a few of the other characters) grow and evolve as the series has progressed.

I'll eventually get around to reviewing the individual books, but for now I'm just going to review the series as a whole.

I mentioned earlier that I picked up a bit of a discrimination food-for-thought angle to Jeanine Frost's Night Huntress Series, but Charlaine Harris has actually said that she is using Vampires and shapeshifters as a metaphor to explore discrimination. She is exploring whether it is okay to kill someone just because they happen to be a vampire, or whether you look at the vampire and see what kind of person/vampire he or she is. Same with shapeshifters (werewolves and such), is it okay to kill them just because they are part animal? Does the fact that they are part human not mean anything? Charlaine Harris has it as an undercurrent, but the new HBO series based on the books is putting that out there front and center.

This series has great character development and pulls from various mythologies and fairy tales to bring in a variety of supernatural beings. Some books have better plots than others, but most of the plots (and subplots) are well done.

This series get a 10 purely for the enjoyment and entertainment level of them. If I were to rate individual elements (plot, characters, humor, etc.) then each element would get an 8 or 9, but the totality of all of that is that I enjoyed the books and will buy the next one as soon as it's available.

Series Rating: 10

Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire Series
1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead in Dallas&
3. Club Dead
4. Dead to the World
5. Dead as a Doornail
6. Definitely Dead
7. All Together Dead
8. From Dead to Worse


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