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Review: Dead Reckoning

 

Dead Reckoning is the eleventh book in the Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris. It was released in the U.S. on May 3, 2011 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats.

It is currently available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in all formats.

Published by Ace Books, the print edition is 336 pages.

Goodreads description:

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. But Sookie suspects otherwise and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit – and the twisted motive for the attack.

But her attention is divided. Though she can’t ‘read’ vampires, Sookie knows her lover Eric Northman and his ‘child’ Pam well – and she realises that they are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master.

Gradually, she is drawn into the plot -which is much more complicated than she knows. Caught up in the politics of the vampire world, Sookie will learn that she is as much of a pawn as any ordinary human – and that there is a new Queen on the board . . .

***

Once again, Sookie Stackhouse, our favorite telepathic barmaid at Merlotte’s in Bon Temps, Louisiana has managed to land herself right in the middle of a dangerous situation.

When someone attempts to firebomb Merlotte’s, Sookie isn’t so sure the target is Sam. Business has been slumping, possibly due to the less than successful coming out of the two-natured, but even Sam doesn’t have nearly as many enemies as Sookie does.

And while things have been quiet with the fairies after most of them returned to their world, those that remain are definitely up to something. And that includes her cousin Claude. She just hasn’t figured out exactly what they’re planning.

With Victor looking for any excuse to take Eric out of the picture, things between the two of them have been strained. Still not one hundred percent sure of her feelings for Eric due to the blood bond they share, Sookie is trying to figure out if what they have is real. And when Eric refuses to reveal a secret he’s been keeping, something even Pam thinks she should know about, she’s ready to take drastic action.

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, when she finds out something shocking about her grandmother Adele, she doesn’t know how much more she can take.

From having her job at risk due to the slowdown at Merlotte’s, to knowing her enemies are just looking for another shot at her, to living with Victor’s threat around every corner, to questioning her relationship with Eric, to sharing her home, and sometimes her bed, with two faeries, Sookie realizes she is going to have to make a few changes.

***

Dead Reckoning is the fast-paced, wickedly entertaining and truly tormenting eleventh installment in the Southern Vampire series. This story grabs right from the start with the attack on Merlotte’s. And it just keeps going. Right up to the second to last page.

As with every book in the series, trouble manages to find Sookie no matter what she does. This time she suspects it comes in the form of an old enemy that has returned. A few of the loose ends from Dead in the Family are tied up and the story comes to a close without a cliffhanger. Although this doesn’t make the ending any less torturous.

Many questions still remain about the fate of Sookie and Eric’s relationship and the true motivations of Claude and Dermot. And a whole slew of new questions are added to the list.

In Dead Reckoning the cast of characters is smaller, with the focus placed back on Sookie, though some of our favorite and not-so-favorite characters do make an appearance. And although it continues down a bloody path, it’s a much less dark one than some of its predecessors.

Author Charlaine Harris continues to captivate readers with her addictive series that is always humorous, often violent, positively steamy at times, and unbelievably tormenting for readers as they await each book’s release.

What’s not to like in a series filled with sexy but lethal vampires, swoon-worthy and fiery tempered weres, drop-dead gorgeous but devious and plotting faeires and a damsel that is always in distress, whether she wants to be or not?

Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

On a personal note:

This was the installment I was waiting for. I love it and hate it – in a good way. Dead in the Family left me feeling like something was missing. This book kept the plot simpler and resolved some of the loose ends from DITF that made me crazy.

It does wrap up nicely at the end without a cliffhanger, but there are still so many questions that need answers and a another curve ball that was thrown into Sookie’s ever complicated relationship with Eric.

I was hooked right away. I did not put the book down until the moment I was smacked in the face with that big whopper of a curve ball. If you want to know what that is, you’ll have to read it. I will not give away spoilers.

I loved that there was more time spent on Sookie in this book and less on some of the secondary characters. Although I did wish there was more of Pam…and as always, more of Eric. Can’t get enough of his story and presence.

I would really love an entire book from his perspective as I can’t always imagine what that Viking is thinking and I would so like to get a peek inside his mind. (I said mind. This is a wholesome blog after all.)

I’m glad to see Bubba again. I always miss him when he hasn’t made an appearance, even if I’m not too keen on his preference for cats. And I’m happy that certain characters didn’t make their appearance until closer to the middle of the book. It was nice to have so much time with just a few of my favorites.

There are two scenes in the book that made me chuckle. The first involves an unexpected visitor in Sookie’s home – you’ll know exactly what I’m referring to when you read it. And the other is one of those, “Oh, Sookie what were you thinking” scenes, which happens right after a chase through the rain.

The only things I would change about this book are that it ended way too soon and it left me with too many questions. But that’s just me being totally selfish and impatient.

As much as I want this series to go on and on – and believe me I do – I am dying to know what happens right now. Even if it doesn’t resolve as I’d like it to – which I don’t think it will – I don’t want to have to wait.

I am left in shreds once again at the end of this installment and now I begin the long wait for book twelve. And, yes, I am still hopeful of a happy ending for Sookie and Eric.

***

The author is offering a peek at Chapter One on her website, HERE.

There is also an excerpt from Chapter Three being offered by Penguin, HERE, for those who want a longer look.

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