I can safely say that Charlaine Harris’ Dead to the World has broken my heart. This was the first time in years that I have cried at a book. I was so passionate about my heartbreak that I even threw the paperback across my room. However, please don’t for a second think I disliked this book. Quite the contrary, the fourth instalment of the Sookie Stackhouse series has been one of my favourites. So, here are ten thoughts about the book which has just led me to shed a tear.
1. I know what my new year’s resolution is going to be.
Sookie isn’t a greedy woman. Whereas most would ask for riches or a husband or a prosperous career, Sookie is a far simpler woman. She asks only to be left alone for a little while. This is such a sympathetic moment for Stackhouse and I really found myself rooting for her. Bill was gone, Eric appeared gone, Alcide appeared to be out of the picture. I thought maybe, just maybe, Sookie would get a moment to herself. Boy, was I wrong. But good on her, Sookie managed to keep her new year’s resolution throughout the book. However, it was only two weeks and I don’t think that fares well for the rest of her word a day calendar.
2. Eric the lap viking, the house husband and the heart breaker.
I don’t know where to begin. Shirtless, walking along the road, helpless; Harris sets up an awfully tricky predicament for Sookie. Eric is not himself, and that is what she loves so much about him. It’s like having the taste of chocolate in a raisin! I feel a great amount of empathy for Eric in this book. His scenario of marriage with Sookie caused some of the first fractures in my heart. His alter ego was so caring, loving, soft and kind, it prompts one to wonder whether this is Eric’s true self being shown, without the thousands of years of sarcasm and ego inflating. Once his mind is back, I feel more sorry for the Nordic vampire. At least when he was curled around Sookie’s leg, he had people attempting to remind him of his past. However, now, he is left with blind spots and the only person who could enlighten him refuses to. I understand, but come on Sookie!
3. Jason has an offer you can not refuse.
I loved this scene. Seeing Jason take some control in Sookie’s life and standing up for his little sister. His puffed up chest and macho persona made me chuckle inside. Stackhouse would have known that he could be killed in an instant if the vampire’s wanted it, but he still got his sister the money she needed, no doubt on the back of Eric’s comment about his lack of support in a true medieval fashion.
4. V drinking Were Witches on the loose!
Finally, we have some V addicts! I have been waiting for these for a long while and the fact that they come in the form of Witches seems even better. I hope that we shall find out Hallow’s reasoning for this whole ordeal, whether she wanted Eric for his body or his blood, or perhaps both. I feel I have to blame her ever so slightly for the events in this book. Were she to have never placed the curse on Eric, he would have never had his affair with Sookie to forget about and they would both live happily with their underlying sexual tension and the odd kiss here and there. But, as a character, I very much enjoyed Hallow. She was pure evil, no good about her at all as far as I could tell and I like that every once in awhile, a villain that can not be sympathised with, they are so much easier to despise.
5. Mrs Sookie Herveaux
This is definitely a relationship I can see being taken further in future books. Alcide and Sookie’s potential romance was set up in Club Dead and now in Dead to the World we see more interaction with our favourite Were. Alcide is naturally protective over Sookie and he takes no issue with them using a fake marriage to get out of trouble. We’ve had our fun with Vamps, now maybe it’s time to move on to someone a little more warm blooded, Sookie.
6. Hotshot? More like hot mess!
Poor Jason, we all knew that his womanising would catch up with him sooner or later. At least he is not subjected to the awful scenes that are shown in the HBO show True Blood. But it is still unknown whether or not Jason will remain one natured or two. Crystal was definitely the wrong panther to be messing with. I am excited to see more of the community in Hotshot and their relationship with both Sookie and Jason.
7. We’ve got a fairy in the house.
Claudine is such a delightfully mind boggling character. Her constant optimism and suggestive nature makes her a very hard one to read. Her irresistible nature suggests that she has an association with Sookie, as she has the same effect. However, whether she shall be the godmother figure that is portrayed in the HBO series is yet to be revealed. I am excited to see more of Claudine and more of her interacting with Sookie.
8. Bill and Bubba are back, baby!
It is safe to say I missed Bubba for the majority of this book. However, I found myself strangely missing Bill during his absence. There is something so grounded about his character that I missed in this novel. Bubba’s return was an absolute delight for me. His loyalty to Bill and Sookie’s relationship made me think of Sookie as a maternal figure to Bubba, kissing someone who wasn’t Daddy. Bill’s entrance was iconic “I’m back.” Really? It’s like it’s straight out of one of the terminator movies. I have a feeling that there is more to explore between Bill and Sookie, emotions that have not been discussed. I hope, as always, to see more Bubba in the next novel. But I also hope to see more Bill, in order to sort out the emotional cliffhanger that is his and Sookie’s break up.
9. And she’s out of here!
You can say what you like about Debbie, but the woman went out with a bang. It seems, as Sookie said, that she has a thing about exes. However, she’s seems to always get the short end of the stake in the form of guilt and emotional turmoil. First feeling the guilt for Debbie’s being abjured and then the grief and guilt of killing her, Miss Pelt is not leaving Sookie’s life for a long while yet.
10. Take a break, Sook.
Now, we are only two weeks into the new year and Sookie has already amassed as many murders, had an affair and then denied it. She has been used once again by the Supe community as a pawn and it was lucky that she wasn’t killed amongst the plethora of Weres, Vamps and Witches. I think she needs a week or two, without Eric, without Bill, without any of them, to cool off before, undoubtedly, the new drama begins.
So, Dead to the World really was an emotional journey for me. It had me missing the days of Bill and Sookie, where the only thing they had to worry about was what the residents of Bon Temp thought. But, I enjoyed the drama, the heartache. I am attached to the characters now and I can not wait to see what happens to Sookie in Dead as a Doornail. I am hoping for more Bill, more Sam, more Jason and some serious healing time for Sookie. We travelled back to Bon Temps for this novel, as I hoped for in my previous review. So I shall let you know how I get on with my hopes for Dead as a Doornail.
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