For What It's Worth

Monday, May 17, 2010

Review: Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 10)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... Adult, Paranormal Romance

I’ve been trying to write this review for over a week now and nothing really comes to me…….I just can’t seem to get a good review going for Dead In the Family, the 10th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series.
Then I realized why – It just didn’t incite much feeling either way for me. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either. I think this series probably could have been wrapped up three books ago. Qualities that Sookie had in the beginning of the series that I thought were cute and spunky just seem annoying and immature now.
As the name implies, this book is all about family. Sookie’s, Bill’s and Eric’s and to some extent Sam’s. There is some movement on the Eric relationship front which made me extremely happy but Eric has lost much of his Viking vampire fire….he seems reduced to a lovelorn puppy at this point. I have read that Harris wishes that she hadn’t written the blood bond into the series but I just wonder how great it would be instead of looking at it as a hindrance, make Sookie and Eric one kick ass vampire/fey powerhouse! There could still be tension between them now that she can sense his feelings and what that loss of control means for Eric.
There is a lot more of Pam in this book which I love! And more of Claude (Sookie’s cousin) who seems to be picking up the snarky, arrogant, sexy guy role from Eric. Jason and Hunter make appearances. Bill gets a little story time in here too in what can only be described as a very abrupt twist in his relationship with Sookie. I can’t really say what it is without spoilers but while I’m team Eric all the way I didn’t really like the way this was handled.
On a strange note – they STILL haven’t gone to Sam’s brother’s wedding!! Hasn’t that been going on for at least three books now?? I could be wrong but it feels like that - I’m guessing it’s going to be one hell of a wedding! There was also another pack meeting that required Sookie to help Alcide.
Dead in the Family seems like more of a set up for future books than a good stand alone story. I did enjoy it – just didn’t love it. She’s adding more of the fey world and keeps including Alcide and his pack politics in every book so maybe this will all come to a head and be a big battle between the races?? No clue – I just wish it would hurry up and get there. I keep wondering with the expanding fey influence on Sookie if the series is all of a sudden going to go all “Laurell K Hamilton” and she’ll have sex with everyone and bring out all their latent powers and save the world and she can have a harem of Eric, Bill, Sam, Alcide, Quinn …….lol
Sorry for the "bleh" review but the book was kind of "bleh".
Liked: More Eric….even a sappy Eric is better than no Eric. More Pam! and Sookie did seem to have more of a backbone in this book.
Nitpick: Move along already…let’s get this wrapped up

I just have to add - I HATE that damn sticker they put on the book now!! The artwork is gorgeous and original and they RUIN it with that stupid True Blood label thingy!!

Rating: 3 out of 4. It’s OK but not a real page turner

Author's website:
Buy the book! Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 10)


  1. You think the label thing is bad, they've just put up the cover for the UK version and its the True Blood Season 3 promo photo! Not a happy bunny!
    I'm really looking forward to reading it though but after your review i think i'm missing the old Eric already. :-(

  2. Huh? Sam's brother is getting married? I know his, erm, some family member shot another, or ... something ... lol ... jeez, it may be time for a re-read :D I think I was only paying attention to the Eric scenes! *grin*

    Hmm, I really don't like the sound of the Bill part ... I'd be happy if he'd climb inside his grave, go to sleep, and never crawl out again :o

    And, ugh, not Alcide again! He's always popping up ... him and Quinn. Whenever some action is required, one of them shows up and creates *DRAMA*.

    LOL, I sure hope this isn't going the Anita Blake route ... because, hell, Anita's a little too horny for my liking, and that's a serious understatement right there :o

    I've read so many so-so reviews about this ... it's making me morose ... now I'm pretty sure I don't want a hardcover Dead in the Family ... but that means I'll have to wait ages for the soft-cover.

    I also don't like Charlaine saying that she wishes she hadn't written the blood bond in ... I mean, either that's the way the story had to go or it freaking wasn't ... when the author is regretting her work, hmmm, that somewhat puts me off.

  3. Emma - I saw that one too!! I hate that!! ANd they also have books out now with the syfy logo on them if they showed the movie on there...arghhh

    Bella- Yes, Sam invited Sookie to the wedding one or two books ago. I think the mom got shot after "coming out" to the family.
    You will be ok with the Bill's just that as much as I am team Eric I think Bill derserved a litle better story line than this really abrupt one - can't really say without spoilers...but you will be pleased.
    I haven't read more than 3 of the Anita Blake bks so I missed that - I was thinking more of her Merry series - she's fey and has sex with anything that moves :-)
    I think the blood bond could be an awesome thing - I think she feels it binds them together and now she's stuck with that but there are all kinds of ways she could go that would be great and full of tension!
    It wasn;t a bad book - just not riveting.
    I'm ALL about the Eric too - I could care less about anyone else really - ok maybe Pam but she's always with Eric so it's a win win :-))

  4. Ok, from what you're saying, I think I'll be quite happy with the Bill story-line, because I am so anti him ... since he left Sookie, then tried to pay her off, NO, lol ... Bill's not getting in my good graces anytime soon. I wasn't even too bothered that he was injured at the end of the last book.

    HeHe, I think that about sums up what happens in the later Anita books too ... I haven't actually read any yet, but I kept hearing about how they went all over-the-top with the sex in the later ones, so I flicked through them to decide for myself and ... WOW ... it's shocking, to say the least :o There didn't seem to be any plot, just sex-scenes and multiple partners and my goodness everything for CHAPTERS ... ! Scary Stuffs :o

    Yeah, I agree about the blood bond ... she was doing a great job writing it throughout the earlier books ... there was so much tension between Sookie and Eric, it was delicious :D I want Sookie to end up with Eric, but then the series should END, like you said ... because it's the tension between them that everyone can't get enough of ... once they're properly together, well, then they're together, there's nothing more to be said! There's a reason why there's always triangles and random other love interests and tension and no resolution in most other UF series ... because it gets boring once the hero and heroine are together for good ... with the exception of Night Huntress (!), Jeaniene Frost is amazing at keeping it interesting :)

  5. Bella - I love the Night Huntress series! SO good and she keeps the characters evolving instead of repeating dumb things. Kelley Armstrong is good at that too.
    I have read Adrian's series ( I know you asked me about this somewhere!!) I love the concept of the angel/vampire so I keep trying to stick with it but it is just too repetitive and unnecessarily bleak. The last book was just a repeat of the former except from Dante's POV. I'll try one more since the storyline has shifted somewhat - maybe it will get moving now.

  6. LOL the last Adrian Phoenix book sounds coma-inducing :o