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Charlaine Harris – From Dead to Worse

December 11, 2009

144. From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris (2008)
Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 8

Read my review of book:
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
.

Length: 303 pages

Genre: Fantasy; Mystery; Romance

Started: 01 December 2009
Finished: 02 December 2009

Where did it come from? Amazon.
Why do I have it? The box set I bought only included books 1-7, but you know I wasn’t going to stop there.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 19 October 2009.
Verdict? Keeper.

It’s a dog-eat-dog
world… but also vamp-eat-vamp.
What’s a girl to do?

Summary: After the deadly events at the vampire summit, there is major upheaval in the world of vampire politics. And, thanks to her close ties to some of the most powerful Louisiana vampires, small-town telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse is likely to get caught in the crossfire of any power play or takeover. But Sookie isn’t just tied to the vampires; she’s also a friend of the Shreveport Were pack. They’re having their own leadership issues, and when members of the pack start turning up dead, Sookie is in danger of getting herself in the middle of a brewing Were war. And she can’t rely on her boyfriend the were-tiger to keep her safe – he’s been missing since the summit. And, to top it all off, Sookie meets a family member – her great-grandfather – that she’d never known about. Since Sookie’s only other family is her irresponsible and immature brother Jason, a new relative is a big deal… but since her great-grandfather isn’t exactly human, their family reunion seems likely to raise yet more complications.

Review: This book is a bit of a conundrum for me. Its plotline is more scattered that any book since Living Dead in Dallas (my least favorite so far, primarily *because* of its fragmented nature.) And yet, I enjoyed it more than any book since Dead to the World (my favorite so far.) How can I reconcile that?

Maybe it’s because while From Dead to Worse certainly was scattered, and strangely plotted (the big battle that I was expecting to be the climax occurred about halfway through the book), it wasn’t scattered in the same *way* as Living Dead in Dallas. Instead of bringing up a bunch of elements that exist only for the purpose of a single book, From Dead to Worse draws elements from throughout the series, reviving and wrapping up plotlines from many books back, while introducing new elements that will take us into the books to come. I liked that the focus of the story has shifted back to Sookie and away from all supernatural politics all the time, and I enjoyed the fact that she got to spend some more time interacting with her hometown people as well as supes from far and wide.

But I think the real reason that I enjoyed it so much was that it was hugely, compulsively readable. The plot came in a lot of little disparate pieces, sure, but each of the pieces was so good and held my attention so well that on the day I picked it up, I stayed up into the small hours of the night because I didn’t want to stop reading it, and the only reason I didn’t stay up into the wee small hours to finish it was that pesky sense of responsibility telling me that I needed to get at least some sleep. Maybe it was just the right book for the right mood, but for whatever reason, it really worked for me. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: No way this will make sense if you haven’t read the earlier books, but for Sookie fans, I’m pleased to report that this series doesn’t show any signs of a slump in the later books.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: All About {n}, Angieville, Ashley’s Library, Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell, Books Lists Life, Darque Reviews, Dear Author (1), Dear Author (2), Fantasy/Sci-Fi Lovin’, Love Vampires, Lurv A La Mode, The Movieholic & Bibliophile’s Blog, Musings of a Bookish Kitty, Rhapsody in Books Weblog, Scooper Speaks
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: If this was The Lord of the Rings and I had a smart British voice like Cate Blanchett, I could tell you the background of the events of that fall in a really suspenseful way.

Cover Thoughts: I … don’t get it. But Sookie’s dress is sparkly! Sparkles! I like sparkles! Also, poor Sam, he never gets to be on the cover, even when he gets to be awesome in the book.

Vocab: (see the whole list)

  • p. 54: “There was nothing epicene about Eric, nothing ethereally beautiful, either. He was all male.” – belonging to, or partaking of the characteristics of, both sexes.
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11 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2009 8:46 am

    I love these books, even when I don’t like certain plot elements! Like in this one, I didn’t like that Sookie’s attractiveness was now being ascribed to her special blood. But the books certainly are compulsively readable – never once in the entire series have I been bored or felt like I was wasting time with an inferior author. I must admit however that I have turned against Sam, having nothing to do with the books, but from the HBO series, which actually stray from the books quite a bit. Still, it has affected me!

    • December 11, 2009 11:00 am

      rhapsody – What’s your beef with TV-Sam? I’m not crazy about his anti-vampire racism (alive-ism?), but I feel like that sort of comes with being a shifter, doesn’t it?

      • December 11, 2009 2:24 pm

        It’s funny – I react to the TV Sam the same way you react to the book Bill – i.e., I think the TV-Sam is very proprietary with Sookie and tries to control her and control her relationships. He furthermore is constantly trying inappropriately to take advantage of her vulnerability, like after Grandma died. The book Sam is much more unobtrusive! What do you think?

  2. December 11, 2009 9:37 am

    Wasn’t the battle awesome?! Especially Sam’s part in it. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the next one. :)

    • December 11, 2009 11:02 am

      Ladytink – Argh, the next one is on my nightstand, just waiting for me to a) have some free time that b) I’m not devoting to The Lacuna, which has been remarkably slow going.

  3. December 11, 2009 10:59 am

    I’ve only read the first book in the series and need to get with it.

    • December 11, 2009 11:02 am

      bermudaonion – They’re pretty fast reads… maybe good for when your brain needs a holiday-preparation break?

  4. December 13, 2009 6:34 pm

    Hmm. What do you get when you put a telepathic and a waitress. Sookie Stackhouse. Sorry, just bring the cheer along. But, no still scared silly by vampires even though they are not real or are they?

  5. October 14, 2011 9:26 am

    I really enjoyed this one, too – so many questions answered – and so many more raised. Looking forward to the next one!

Trackbacks

  1. December Wrap-Up: Books and Reviews « Fyrefly's Book Blog
  2. 2010: #61 – From Dead to Worse (Charlaine Harris) | Confessions of a Bibliophile

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