Wednesday, June 16, 2010

better than the tv show: the latest sookie stackhouse vampire novel, dead in the family by charlaine harris

Yes, lovers of vampires and werewolves, and especially lovers of Sookie Stackhouse, her various vampy and hairy boyfriends, her fairy great grandfather and her brother Jason, the non-shirt wearing hottie, Charlaine Harris is back.
 Dead in the Family is the tenth Sookie Stackhouse 'Southern Vampire Mysteries' series – although just about everyone will know them better as the 'True Blood' books from the extremely popular HBO series of the same name.
For those who haven't read the books, and have only seen the couple of seasons on HBO in Singapore; don't read on, this is full of spoilers as the books are up to number 10, while the TV show has barely even started.
For fans who started with the books, and not the TV show, Dead in the Family is fantastic; the characters continue to develop, the plots twist back over the whole series and Sookie is still stuck in her weird love/hate relationship with Eric.
Yes, Eric. I know, I know; if you've only watched the HBO series, you'll still think she's got a thing for Bill the Vampire; or, if you've seen the beginning of the latest season in the US, then you'll be wondering about the werewolf Alcide.
Sorry; Dead in the Family is way past all those relationships. Not only has Sookie moved on, so has her brother Jason, Bill (kind of) and Sam the shapechanger. There are also impossibly beauty Faeries as distant relatives – which kind of explains why so many women want to sleep with Jason and why the vampires adore the taste of Sookie – as well as all sorts of other supernatural creatures.
Sookie is still recovering from her injuries from the 'Faery War' that occurred in the previous book, Dead and Gone, as well as the deaths of a number of people she loved.
On top of all this; Bill is fading away having been damaged by silver and now Eric's maker (his real maker not the fake one in the TV show) has turned up with a rather insane child vamp who may, or may not be a member of royalty.
As usual, Harris manages to keep all the various plots in place, make her supernatuals seem as understandable as her humans and adds a nice bit of love, romance and sex to spice it up. There is also the prerequisite blood and violence; but not at the expense of a good story.
I started with the books years ago, and while I find the HBO show fun to watch, there's no way it can encompass the nuances of Harris' text; the humour and the psychology of both humans and supernatural creatures.
So, if you've only seen the TV show; make the effort to get hold of all ten books, I promise you won't be dissapointed.

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris is published by Gollancz and is available from good book stores and online


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