Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review, Series Review, TV Show Review: Sookie Stackhouse

by Charlaine Harris

36 works, 13 primary works

Alternate series titles:

The Southern Vampire Mysteries

True Blood Series

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Mystery
My Series Rating: *  *  *  *  *

The Southern Vampire Mysteries, also known as The Sookie Stackhouse Novels, is a series of books written by bestselling author Charlaine Harris that were first published in 2001 and now serve as the source material for the HBO television series True Blood. The series has been retronymed the True Blood Series upon reprinting to capitalize on the television adaptation.

In The Southern Vampire Mysteries series, Harris develops a detailed mythology and alternate history that approaches supernatural beings as real; at the beginning of the series, vampires have only been public knowledge for a couple of years. Other supernatural beings, such as werewolves, shapeshifters, etc., exist but do not go public until later in the series. Its history has otherwise unfolded so closely to that of the real world that the series contains occasional references to popular culture.

The series is narrated in first person perspective by Sookie Stackhouse. She is a waitress and a telepath in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. The first book in the series, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. The eleventh book, Dead Reckoning, was released on May 3, 2011. Harris was originally contracted to write 10 books, but she revealed at Comic Con 2009 that she has signed a contract for three additional books.

My Review:  **Very mild spoilers ahead of first few books, no "who-dun-it" spoilers**

This is an amazingly creative and fun series!!!  Harris' whit and humor flows through the stories with quirky characters and crazy happenings.  Her vampires are somewhat traditional (more Dracula, less Twilight) and definitely dangerous.  There's a whole assortment of other supernatural beings that are introduced throughout the series, keeping it fresh and adding twists.  The mysteries are suspenseful and without annoying plot holes.  I devoured most of the series in the summer True Blood first came out, taking no more than 24 hours per book.  They are just that hard to put down.

I love Harris' characters.  They are so real, flaws & all.  Sookie is a hoot!  I also appreicate that even amidst all the craziness, Harris' characters have very real relationships.  And in line with that, Sookie experiences heartbreak and learns to move on.  This is Sookie's story 100% and there's more than one (very yummy) love interest throughout the series, which makes this series all the more unique.

On the less than positive side, I've got 3 pretty minor complaints:  1. there's some minor inconsistencies (I think it all involves Sam) from the earliest books to later, but nothing that really messes with the story, 2. the latest books haven't been quite as good (still good though and I expect a great finale) and 3. just plan on skipping the short stories; the one's I've read really weren't worth my time.  Regardless, this is not a series you want to miss out on!!!

Cover Art:
I love the folk art that graces the original covers.  It's truly art and it conveys the essence of the story.  The "True Blood" covers are great, too, (very sexy), but I prefer the originals.

True Blood:
Done in true HBO fashion, True Blood is jamb pack of action with over-the-top sex and violence.  It's an amazing show!  The show emulates the book series' true essence, without just retelling what happens in the book.  Some characters (like Sookie, Bill, Eric) remain true to who they are, while others (such as Tara, Lafayette, Jessica) are totally transformed or not even in the book.  I love the plot twists and turns, especially ones designed to trip up book fans (very end of season 1 is a great example!).  As an avid fan of the books, HBO perfects the "same but different" that allows me to still love the characters, but not get bored with a plot I already know.

Most Recent Release Review:

With Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), in town, it’s the worst possible time for a body to show up in Eric Northman’s front yard—especially the body of a woman whose blood he just drank.

Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.

My Rating: *  *  *  *  
My Review:
Deadlocked is very much about moving Sookie and the crew into a place for the grand conclusion of the series, book #13.  It doesn't have the crazy action at breakneck speed that keeps a reader glued to the pages as the earlier books, but it still has a good mystery and interesting plot.  There's plenty of "oh, I din't see that coming."  And I did still read it in day and a half.  All the characters (that haven't been killed off) made an appearance. which was fun (Quinn *happy sigh* ...think Vin Diesel).  There's events that leave me VERY curious as to what will happen in the last book, which is what this book was all about.  I'll be sad to see this series come to an end, but I', looking forward to how it will all play out.


  1. Very nice Danielle! Sookie Stackhouse is my favorite urban fantasy series. I also enjoy seeing the new twist of the tv show.

  2. I love True Blood, but I wanted to read the Southern Vampire Mysteries book. Great review.