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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.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 11) by Charlaine Harris

With only a few books left in the series, I was a bit disappointed with  Dead Reckoning. I was expecting the remaining books to be heavy hitters, but this one felt like more of a filler.

We do get some interesting information, though some of it doesn't seem to to fit with previous books. Which is another problem all together.

I complained in the past book, Dead in the Family, that I wasn't happy with Sookie and Eric together. that they aren't working well together. I had hoped that situation would be resolved without stretching it out too much, but apparently we're going to have to suffer for a while before the situation resolves.

I also complained that I felt that Dead in the Family felt like a set up book, a book setting us up for the next book. We've now had two set up books in a row.

Honestly, it feels a bit like Charlaine Harris is done with these characters. Like her heart isn't in it anymore.

Here's the blurb:

With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his "child" Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows...

As for the writing elements - the plot was okay but predictable, pacing was mostly okay, prose was beautiful but the dialogue pulled me out of the story a few times. Character development was very well done in earlier books but I think Charlaine Harris is just resting on what has already been done now, so I'll have to give it low marks for this book. World-building has also been superbly well done in the past but I don't think we had anything to add to it in Dead Reckoning.

This series has been a 10 of 10 for me up until now, but I'm moving it back to a 9 of 10 with this book. Two books scoring a 6 of 10 in a row... I don't see how I can keep the series at a 10.
  • Book Rating: Dead Reckoning: 6 of 10
  • Series Rating: 9 of 10
And now for some slightly spoiler-ish discussion:

I believe I saw some things that are setting us up for the end of the series. I think we're being led to believe that Sookie's HEA is going to be Sam. I do think Sam is a good friend, but I'm just not sure I can see the two of them being together and being left alone by the rest of the supernatural community. Sookie is going to have to end up with someone powerful in order to be left alone. Well, unless she becomes powerful in her own right... but is she really smart enough to handle being powerful? She's still pretty gullible at times, though at least she's finally realizing it when she is. I think we also saw a hint that her HEA might end up being a fairy. Can she meet someone and fall in love quickly enough with only a few books left? I'm not convinced. And why is Hunter being given so much attention? How is Charlaine Harris going to use this little boy? Do we see shades of Keri Arthur here? (Select the spoiler text to view it.)

  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
  9. Dead and Gone
  10. Dead in the family
  11. Dead Reckoning


  1. I totally agree with you. I felt this book was lacking after the first chapter. It just didn't feel like her other books. I asked myself if Charlaine Harris was just tired of writing the series or something. Disappointed with the relationship development too. I also agree that the book felt like a filler. I love this series I just hope the next book can live up to the previous ones. I'm sad I waited a year for that disappointment and that I have to wait another year for her next one.

  2. Thanks for the review. Now I'm glad I didn't pay hardback price when I saw it a few weeks ago at Hastings. I'll just put it on my hold list at the library.
    I gotta say, I've picked up some excellent new series to follow from reading your blog.

  3. I completely agree with your comment, "her heart isn't in it anymore". I absolutely love this series and was really disappointed in DR. I thought character development (Sookie mostly) was poor and I think that was my biggest disappointment. Total filler and annoyed that I've been waiting with such anticipation for the book and now have to wait another year. If Ms. Harris is tired of writing these characters, as it seems she has, then just end the series and go out with a bang.

  4. I, too, was disappointed with Dead Reckoning. It left me hanging and it introduced two key things that she left undone as if she were going to continue to the next book.