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Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 10) Hardcover – May 4, 2010
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View our feature on Charlaine Harris’s Dead in the Family.
Visit our Sookie Stackhouse series feature page.The #1 New York Times bestselling Sookie Stackhouse series- the basis for HBO(r)'s True Blood-continues!
After enduring torture and the loss of loved ones during the brief but deadly Faery War, Sookie Stackhouse is hurt and she's angry. Just about the only bright spot in her life is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman. But he's under scrutiny by the new Vampire King because of their relationship. And as the political implications of the Shifters coming out are beginning to be felt, Sookie's connection to the Shreveport pack draws her into the debate. Worst of all, though the door to Faery has been closed, there are still some Fae on the human side-and one of them is angry at Sookie. Very, very angry...
"Agnes's Place" by Marit Larsen
Agnes knows she is at home before she even opens her eyes in the morning. | Learn more
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“It’s the kind of book you look forward to reading before you go to bed, thinking you’re only going to read one chapter, and then you end up reading seven.”—Alan Ball, executive producer of True Blood
“Vivid, subtle, and funny in her portrayal of southern life.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Charlaine Harris has vividly imagined telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse and her small-town Louisiana milieu, where humans, vampires, shapeshifters, and other sentient critters live...Her mash-up of genres is delightful, taking elements from mysteries, horror stories, and romances.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“The series continues to be inventive and funny with an engaging, smart, and sexy heroine.”—The Denver Post
“Blending action, romance, and comedy, Harris has created a fully functioning world so very close to our own, except, of course, for the vamps and other supernatural creatures.”—The Toronto Star
- ASIN : 0441018645
- Publisher : Ace Books; 1st edition (May 4, 2010)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 311 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780441018642
- ISBN-13 : 978-0441018642
- Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.52 x 1.24 x 9.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #831,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Don’t get me wrong, I love this series. I have read it more than once, and I hardly ever re-read books. I would have to say though that Dead In the Family felt like a bridge book between two bigger books, if that makes sense. I noticed when I hit page 260 (in a 311 page book), that I was still waiting for the plot to get going. I guess that’s when I realized that all of this talking really was the plot. It was weird. Usually, I can count on my pulse to race several times while reading Charlaine Harris (either from the action packed plot or steamy Eric scenes), but I did get those feelings until I was in the final ten pages.
Don’t get me wrong… I still love this series, and I will be waiting in line for the next installment, but I felt this was one of the weaker books of the series. I do have to say that I liked certain developments in the characters. It turns out that sexy cousin Claude actually does have a personality. In a moment of feeling her age, Sookie contemplates turning vamp for the first time. We also see the impenetrable Eric at his most vulnerable. These are all necessary for the continuation of the series. I just wish the pacing would have been a little stronger.
Overall, I give Dead In the Family…
Plot Development – 2 bookmarks (not bad, but not what I’m used to with Harris)
Character Development – 4 bookmarks
Fight Scenes – 1 ½ bookmarks
Hot Steamy Vampire Sex – 1 bookmark
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – I can’t help myself. The TV series True Blood has wiped out all of the casting imagination I have and replaced it with the TV actors. Part of the reason that happened though is because the TV casting was so brilliant. Eric Northman is my favorite male in the series and Alexander Skarsgard has completely won me over with his Eric performance. I’ve always thought Bill was a weenie, so the fact that I don’t find Stephen Moyer that hot does not detract from things for me. Anna Paquin does a great job bringing camp and craziness to Sookie. Oh, and Ryan Kwanten as Jason is so unbelievably hot. (It’s also nice that he's agreed to save on the show’s wardrobe budget by going naked most of the time!)
Don't get me wrong, this book is by no means bad. It just could have been better. Moreover, having followed the series and now rereading it, I sense the growing lack of "depth," and "focus", for lack of a better words, and even the 2nd time around I find it very unfortunate and dismaying. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book, Love the series and am off to reread the next book.
Top reviews from other countries
Sookie and Eric are pretty loved up and both getting used to the idea that they are married in vampire style and that they feel each other so strongly through the blood bond. Sookie has some problems; Claude has decided to move in, there are 2 dead bodies on her property and an unknown member of the fae has been scented nearby. Eric is having some difficulties too with the aftermath of Sophie-Anne's death and the arrival of his maker.
The good stuff:
* all the Eric and Sookie scenes are highlights. Their relationship is well-written and easy to engage in.
* Charlaine Harris has stopped describing everyone's clothing in lengthy detail- hurrah!
* Hunter is back and the part of the book where he features is good fun although it adds nothing to the plot.
* Claude finds his human side- good times :)
* Octavia and Amelia are gone. Phew!
The problems with this book:
* Nothing, and I mean nothing, of any interest happens until exactly half-way through the book. Then it really picks up enough to hold your interest.
* The impending threat of the mysterious fairy out to get Sookie doesn't seem very threatening and she doesn't seem very scared.
* Sookie is getting more and more snarky and mean as the books go on. What has happened to her? She's becoming difficult to like.
I think part of the problem is True Blood. Alan Ball is doing such a good job of beefing up the characters and the storylines that the books are starting to be a let down now. The True Blood version of Eric's maker, Godric, was far more interesting than what Charlaine Harris has done with Appius in this book for one example.
So- I would say that if you have read all the others, pick this one up too. Just don't expect to be wowed and thrilled by it, because it doesn't have much going on and it's not very exciting.
NB//The Kindle edition has a few errors but nothing major.
There's another headache for him now, in the form of some powerful vampires that may be plotting to overthrow him from his position [read as plotting to kill him], so he now has another massive weight added to his shoulders. Naturally this is just the perfect time for his Roman sire to come and visit - Oh yeah, his sire also brings Eric's vampiric brother - that he didn't know about - to meet too...
Sookie is jumpy and not too keen to be alone in these uncertain times, so when her cousin Claude - a fairy [really] - asks to move into her house for a little while because he is lonely with no other fairies around, and will feel better around family it seems like a perfect distraction for her. But, despite saying yes to him, she doesn't really trust Claude and she soon discovers that another fairy has been on her land and most of the few remaining fairies that she knows of don't like her and would be happy to see her dead. Has Claude got something to do with her fairy stalker?
Meanwhile Sookie's vampiric neighbour [and ex] Bill has silver poisoning and isn't getting better, so Sookie somehow decides that it's her responsibility to find a cure for him - even though he's more or less told her not to.
I said I wasn't going to read another True Blood book after finishing the previous entry in the series [Dead And Gone] and being extremely disappointed by it, but I was looking for a particular book on my bookcase this week when I came across DEAD IN THE FAMILY; I don't even remember buying it and it was dusty so it's been here a while. So since it's already in my hands I thought that I might as well give it a go. What's the worst that could happen?
Lots, as it happens. Let's rewind a bit and remember that my main problem with the last book was with the number of characters that were killed off or abruptly decided to suddenly up and leave for very little reason. I knew this book was going to be a major let down when the very first chapter in this book begins with yet another recurring character getting up and leaving, for no real reason. And, sure enough, the author gets all kill happy again in DEAD IN THE FAMILY.
Before this book became known as the True Blood series it was the Southern Vampire Mysteries series and this change shows where the problem with the series lies; there haven't been any engaging mysteries for the last few books; instead they read as a supernatural soap opera, as the author is far more concerned with trying to reverse the past ten years and with trying to bring the books and the TV programme into an uneasy balance. There is no exciting whodunit and engaging and exciting twists and turns to the plot have long since gone and I don't feel any suspense reading the books now. I used to sit up all night, unwilling to put the books down, but now I don't even remember buying it...
DEAD IN THE FAMILY is the tenth book in the series and Charlaine Harris has also had many short stories featuring the True Blood cast published, which means that there is an enormous amount of characters and various events that are casually mentioned in the books, and remembering who is who and what relationships they have to the central cast is extremely difficult at this point. If someone who hadn't read all of the previous books and short stories picked up DEAD IN THE FAMILY they probably wouldn't have finished it, as everything is all jumbled and confusing.
There isn't any one strong storyline, the 'plot' is just a few random threads unraveling at different speeds; she starts off with one plot-line, seems to forget about it and start another one and then abandon that course too. After forgetting what's going on she pads out the middle of the book with pointless scenes of babysitting, funerals and conversations with Tara [who was a previously minor character, who hadn't been friends with Sookie since their school days]. Finally the author remembers some of the dangling threads and quickly ties them up in the last few chapters in a few very anticlimactic showdowns [one of the 'reveals' is especially annoying], but there are still a few unanswered questions that have been left by the end - has the author simply forgotten about them [seems very plausable considering her sloppy writing], or are they fuel for the next book? Who cares any more?
Simply put; it reads as though the author simply doesn't have any solid plans and is just fishing around her past books and grabbing onto any half remembered past conflict and running them to ground for the sake of having another money spinner in print.
Another annoyance for me is with the way Sookie's personality has changed and it doesn't seem like a natural progression. In some ways I can't put my finger on how she's changed; I can just tell that there's something alien about her character in the last few books. One clear difference is how she is still unsure of which love interest she wants. I don't think that the Sookie of old would still be lingering over her exes by this point; I always used to see her as polite, but strong willed and as someone who stood by her decisions in the earlier books. And she is pouty because Eric isn't giving her enough attention, even though she knows what kind of life-or-death trouble has just been added to his plate. This clingyness is very off-putting. She used to be very independent, but now she's kind of like me-me-me.
Speaking of character changes; stop romanticizing Eric, I adore him because he is a 'real' vampire; 1000 years old, ruthless, blood drinking, murderous and who once admitted that whilst he really liked Sookie, he wouldn't risk his life for her. Now he is distracted from his work over her, declaring his love for her multiple times and Sookie spends a scene braiding his hair. I wish that the author wouldn't meddle with him, is she going after the Twilight fanbase now?
Oh, and Jason? He read like a different character too. He was always a selfish womanizer, but now he's suddenly all grown up and responsible. I can't get too detailed without spoiling other books, but past events would surely make his past behaviour worse?
I've read and enjoyed this book series since it was first published in the US, but the last few releases post True Blood have been severely disappointing and read as though they've been written by a different author. After reading the last two in particular I've been immediately moved to sit down and type rant filled reviews, not a good sign.
After giving the series another chance I now swear not to bother reading any future books; I'd rather remember the good old days and re-read the earlier books. This series is Just About Dead to me now.
I read this book in a day and no not because it was amazing and exciting and gripping but because nothing happened.?.
Im not sure if what i just read actually constitutes a book?
We catch up with sookie in the aftermath of the fae war - a darker version of her former sunny self. She is with Eric which of course is good cos i don't like Bill but the relationship had no depth to it and was pretty flat. We meet Alcide and his pack again as they run on sookie's land and she does them another couple of favours. Eric's maker shows up with a new "child" in tow - Alexei Romanov. (I do love how harris uses historical figures in her books). There are also a couple of corpses and some unknown fairies roaming around which pose a threat to sookie. oh and claude moves in too.
You would think that with all that to work with there would be a semi decent plot. You would be wrong. I gave this book 2 stars purely because I love this series and the characters and in all honesty the book wasn't dreadful...it just wasn't any good either. As some reviewers have put it Sookie gets a break in this book and she certainly does - it was all just fluff and any attempt at a plot just fizzled out and nothing connected.
For those new to the Sookie novels don't start with this one or you will most likely be left bored, disappointed and confused to what all the fuss is about. (Im not kidding - NOTHING happens in this book).
For fans of the sookie novels probably buy it just in case charlaine harris gets this series back on track. If she doesn't i won't be holding on to these books much longer - i only keep books i will re-read and this was nothing special. I have pre-ordered the next one - I live in hope.
Oh and just to get really picky to wrap this up - what is with the cover art? Lafayette may be live and kicking on Trueblood but he died ages ago in the books and so certainly shouldn't be on the cover of this one! Oh and Jessica was a creation of the TV show and has never been in the books at all. love the logic with that one!
As the tenth book, I wasn't blown away. I (probably wrongly) assumed that there would be more finality to the characters, and when there was about 20 pages left I was getting a bit tetchy, wondering how she was going to tie up all of these loose ends in such a short space! The subsequent ending was adequate, but I don't feel like it gave any more closure than any of the previous books had. Perhaps that's the idea and there will be a further five books? I'd quite like to see more focus on Eric and Sookie's relationship, and an endgame, as opposed to this will they / won't they thing.
There's a good chance I'm comparing the format to the Twilight books, but I suppose you can't do that, really. All in all I would say that whereas the Twilight books FAR surpassed the films (although they're still worth watching and I did like them), I think that the True Blood series is doing a fantastic job of translating what Charlaine Harris has written and may even be better. Shame they can't make them fast enough!! Read the books, though, because if nothing else the plots differ from the TV show, and they are a bit addictive (guilty).