FROM DEAD TO WORSE by Charlaine Harris

Book Quote:

“I was making a neat arrangement of liquor bottles on the folding table behind the portable bar when Halleigh Robinson rushed up, her normally sweet face flushed and tear-streaked.  Since she was supposed to be getting married within an hour and was still wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt, she got my immediate attention.

‘Sookie!’ she said, rounding the bar to grab my arm. ‘You have to help me.’

I’d already helped her by putting on my bartending clothes instead of the pretty dress I’d planned on wearing. ‘ Sure,’ I said, imagining Halleigh wanted me to make her a special drink– though if I’d listened in to her thoughts, I’d have known differently already.”

Book Review:

Review by Jana L. Perskie (OCT 31, 2009)

Hey! Sookie fans – she’s back in her 8th adventure(s) with all the supernaturals – weres, vamps, shapshifters, faes, witches, and more!

Yep! Sookie, the 26 year-old telepathic barmaid extraordinaire from Bon Temps, Louisiana, has returned in From Dead To Worse. Faced with new “challenges,” Sookie seems to mature in this novel. She acquires more of a sense of self and becomes, at the book’s end, a more confident and cautious person.

Sookie is blood-bonded to Eric Northman, an extremely powerful vampire and sheriff of Area 5, the Shreveport area. He owns “Fangtasia: The Bar With A Bite,” where vamp groupies go to fulfill their fantasies and to provide, most willingly, human snacks for the vampires. Many books ago, Sookie and Eric had a deep love relationship. He was placed under a spell by a supe more powerful than he, which allowed him to let his guard down and acquire affect, unusual for a big, bad boy vamp. He began to trust Sookie and truly learned to love. Ms. Stackhouse thought she had found happiness at long last. However, when the spell was broken, Eric forgot his time with her and his vows of love. Although still bound to her, and terribly attracted to her, he is no longer her main squeeze…and, bewildered, simply cannot recall the past…at least his past with Sookie.

Sookie is also a “Friend to the Pack,” (were panthers), and depended upon by most “friendly” supernatural beings who inhabit her world. She is quite powerful in her own right as she can read minds and determine truth from lies…but she is not infallible!

In the previous book, All Together Dead, terrorists from the anti-vampire organization, “Fellowship of the Sun,” attacked the vamps during their convention at the Pyramid of Gizeh in Rhodes, LA. These holier than thou folks, despise vampires as minions of the Devil, and wish to exterminate them all. They certainly did a good job of it in book 7. The terrorists, with their explosive devices, caused much violence and bloodshed. They almost succeeded in killing Sophie-Anne LeClerq, queen of the Louisiana vampires. Unfortunately, she is left legless, helpless, and dependent on her bodyguard, who is devoted to her. Of course, Sookie was at the convention too and was almost killed in the ensuing chaos. And then came Hurricane Katrina…need I say more??

Now back in Bon Temp, Sookie is about as stressed as she has ever been. Her housemate Amelia, a witch in training who mistakenly turned her boyfriend Bob into a cat, helps Sookie, by being a good friend and listener. And she’s a whiz at housecleaning. Amelia plays a major role in From Dead To Worse. Pussycat Bob also, purringly, gives Sooky much affection. Amelia’s mentor moves into the Stackhouse household for a spell. Her home was destroyed by the hurricane. Sookie’s main worry and source of pain is caused by Quinn, a tiger lycanthrope and Sookie’s boyfriend. He has been missing since the mayhem at Rhodes. She doesn’t know whether he is dead or alive – but if he is alive, he’d better watch out, because she will be furious with him for not maintaining contact during these terrible times.

Sookie and her harried crowd of supernaturals are crazy to think that a few weeks of calm will get things back to normal. As if surviving the massacre in Rhodes, and coping with Quinn going missing aren’t enough, our protagonist’s great-grandfather, Niall Brigant, a prince of the fairies who is hundreds of years old, turns up. Sookie never knew she had any living family other than her callous brother Jason. So, Sookie has a new relative and, finally, an explanation for her telepathic powers – she has fairy blood running through her veins.

Then, quite suddenly, Sookie finds herself in the middle of a were war, where, she is almost murdered along with several other local women. A vampire coup d’etat is next on the agenda. A vampire king from Nevada sensing that the Louisiana community is weak with the loss of their queen, moves in for the kill…and the power. This takeover bodes ill for Eric Northman, who becomes a target in the vampire war, and as Sookie is bound to Eric, she is in danger also. Btw… Eric now remembers his romance with Sookie and wants to resume their formerly intense relationship. And to further complicate matters, her former vampire boyfriend, Bill, who did her wrong, wants her back too.

Plots and subplots abound – most of them quite dramatic and dangerous. However, the narrative is choppy and lacks coherence. Any one of the self-contained subplots could have been turned into a novelette. As is, the many threads which form the storyline, are never quite woven together. Each vignette is presented and resolved without being part of the whole. And except for Sookie, the characters are shallow. This is why I am rating From Dead To Worse with 3 stars rather than 4.

I do look forward to the next installment where, hopefully, Sookie’s relationship with Eric, or Bill, will develop and last for at least a few novels. The author’s tease seems to me to be a device to sell more books. And 8 books is enough teasing! Ms. Harris, please deliver!! Wars and mysteries are always resolved, but I find the relationship part of the series too repetitious and lacking in depth.

I strongly advise anyone who has not read the other seven books in the Sookie Stackhouse series, to do so before tackling this one. A good read – but inferior to the other Sookie books.

AMAZON READER RATING: stars-4-0from 474 readers
PUBLISHER: Ace; Reprint edition (March 31, 2009)
REVIEWER: Jana L. Perskie
AMAZON PAGE: From Dead to Worse
AUTHOR WEBSITE: Charlaine Harris
EXTRAS: SF Site review of From Dead to Worse
MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION:

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Bibliography:

The Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Series:

The Harper Connelly Series:

The Lily Bard “Shakespeare” Series:

The Aurora Teagarden Series:

Other:

Other:

  • Bite: Stories (2004)

October 31, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: New Orleans, Sleuths Series, Speculative (Beyond Reality)

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