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Charlaine Harris – Dead in the Family

June 25, 2010

67. Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris (2010)
Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 10

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
8. From Dead to Worse
9. Dead and Gone
Short Stories. A Touch of Dead

Length: 312 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

Started / Finished: 13 June 2010

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? It’s got Eric on the cover! Also: Totally addicted.

Guess what? Sookie’s in
supernatural danger.
Yes, again. Some more.

Summary: The Fae War may have been brief, but it was exceptionally costly, and Sookie Stackhouse is still recovering from its effects. The physical recovery from her torture at the hands of two merciless fairies has been helped along by the blood of her blood-bonded “husband” Eric Northman, but the emotional damage is taking longer to heal. And, it’s not helped by the fact that Eric is distracted by vampire politics, Bill is still sick and depressed from his fairy-inflicted wounds, Sookie’s five-year-old cousin is telepathic and not adjusting well, Sam, Alcide, and the rest of the two-natured community are caught up in the political and social backlash of revealing themselves to the public… and not all of the fae left the human world at the end of the war, and it seems one or two of them have a major bone to pick with Sookie.

Review: As this series keeps going, each book seems to have more and more packed into it, as more things happen in Sookie’s world, and more things seem to happen simultaneously. And while it’s to Harris’s credit that she’s able to juggle the sixteen million plot threads more or less effectively, in this book they never gelled into anything even resembling a cohesive story. As may be apparently from my summary, I would be hard pressed to point to the plot of this book – instead it it felt like little bits of the plot of three or four different books. That fragmented nature also kept the book from focusing on two of the three genres that Harris usually does well; the scenes with Eric were spread too thin to really call it a romance, and the “main” mystery seemed like more of a side note that didn’t really concern the characters, let alone the reader. That’s not to say it wasn’t an enjoyable read – anyone who’s reached this point in the series is invested enough in the characters to be interested in whatever they’re doing, and this book goes to some darker places than most of the previous books. A lot of the various scenes and vignettes were also really great on their own merits – I particularly enjoyed the weekend Sookie spent babysitting her young cousin – although there were a few parts that were very “talky”, and when even your main character is getting bored by the endless lectures on vampire politics? That’s a bad sign. Still, there’s no doubt that I’ll keep reading the series… I just hope the next book does a better job at finding its focus. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Not as good as most of the other books in the series, but if you’ve made it to book 10, you don’t need my recommendation to tell you to keep reading.

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

Other Reviews: All About {n}, Bloody Bookaholic, Dear Author, The Discriminating Fangirl, Literary Escapism, Love Vampires, Musings of a Bookish Kitty, My Favourite Books, Wicked Little Pixie
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: “I feel bad that I’m leaving you like this,” Amelia said.

Cover Thoughts: I find it highly amusing that the only thing on this cover that doesn’t sparkle is the vampire.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2010 12:25 am

    ACK, I started reading the summary before realizing it was book 10! But I’m sure I’ll still love it! These books are so irresistible, and if you’re watching True Blood, this season they are actually getting back to the book plots more.

    • June 28, 2010 9:17 am

      rhapsody – I am watching True Blood, and loving it so far – I think they do a really good job of sticking to the spirit of the books while expanding the story to fill a TV show with multiple characters.

  2. June 25, 2010 10:59 am

    I’m up to this one in the series, but I’m waiting for the soft-cover so it matches the rest of my collection, lol. I had some pretty high hopes for this book because, as you say, Eric is on the cover….is it wrong for me to be in love with a Viking vampire?

    • June 28, 2010 9:18 am

      Michele – Oh, I won’t be buying it until it comes out in paperback (I agree – gotta keep the collection the same!), but I got the hardcover out of the library so I could read it sooner rather than later.

      …and if it’s wrong to be in love with a Viking vampire, I don’t want to be right. :-D

  3. June 25, 2010 1:03 pm

    I read the first book in this series and thought it was okay, but haven’t felt compelled to continue. I really do need to give the series another try.

    • June 28, 2010 9:19 am

      bermudaonion – Personally, I think book 4 is the best in the series, so if you can get that far and are still not into it, I think you can safely say that it’s just not for you.

  4. June 27, 2010 4:07 pm

    I reall need to get started on this series, I’ve heard it’s good.

    • June 28, 2010 9:20 am

      Nikki-ann – It is! I mean, obviously I think so, or I wouldn’t have read all 10 books, but still.


  1. 2010: #64 – Dead in the Family (Charlaine Harris) | Confessions of a Bibliophile

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