Book Review – Dead Ever After – The Last Sookie Novel
The final Sookie Stackhouse story; and I must say it left me feeling with a bit of nostalgia for the early days of the book. When all we had to deal with was Bill and the strangeness of dating a vampire. Life has gotten so much more complicated for Sookie, and with this final farewell story we see that with those complications came a lot of changes in Sookie as well. But we also in the end see Sookie get the kind of life I think she really wanted, and deserved. It gave her a chance for some true happiness.
I don’t want to go into the kinds of choices she makes in the end. I am going on the assumption that you haven’t read it yet and are considering it. Let me just say that if you loved the early books, you will get lost in this one just as easily. The old Sookie, who baked southern food, cared about her friends and yearned for a normal life while attracted to “the supes”, is still there.
Dead Ever After is All About Choices
While it was a safe bet that the final book in the Sookie Stackhouse series was going to involve her making choices about who she loves, in the end this book looked at far more than that. Sookie has been pushed around, threatened and almost killed more times than anyone would care to be. Through it all she has not only proven to be a survivor, she has learned how to make up her mind and stick to it. Of course, Eric has proven to be her weakness, as she is his, all along. For me the question was never who she would choose, I felt I knew. It was how she would handle the choosing.
I know there are some who will feel that in the end Sookie hasn’t grown in this series, but I disagree. This book shows so well not only how much she has grown but all her friend’s lives she has touched. She has chosen to be a kind caring woman, much like her grandmother. Those choices come back to reward her. We see it here when all her friends come to show her support when she needs it. We see that in the end, Sookie has this wonderful circle of friends, supes and humans alike, who will do what needs to be done when the chips are down and it is Sookie who needs them.
Betrayal Most Deep
There were a few shocks in store though. While Sookie is battling the affairs of the heart, she is of course engaged in a do-or-die battle that takes all her courage to succeed at. In the midst of it, she is betrayed and that was one shock I wasn’t ready for her to face. It wasn’t like the betrayal came from someone too good to hurt her, but the depth of the betrayal and the reasons for it were what shocked me in the end.
A Fitting Ending to Sookie Stackhouse’s Adventures
One of the things I really loved about this series was how we got to see the little things that made up Sookie’s life. The book continues with that, and in fact it is the small gestures that make the book so satisfying. The little gestures like her joy in things like drying her hair in the sun or cleaning her house. She loves that house, sometimes simply because it keeps her close to her grams. But also because in her heart she is that small-town southern girl who loves her home, and caring for those she loves.
She worries often in Dead Ever After if all her interactions with the vampires and other supernaturals have changed her; make her too hard and uncaring. But if anything, this final book shows us that Sookie is still at heart that girl that likes to do a good job at Merlotte’s, keep a good home and be there for her friends.
She may have learned a bit better to care for herself, and others around her like her brother Jason. She may have come to understand that there are some people you can love, and though they love you back you will never be first with them. And she has come to accept that this doesn’t mean she is any less for their decision.
A Coming of Age Ending
In the end, this is the book where all the chickens come home to roost for Sookie. Stuff that has been simmering for a while comes to a boil, to Sookie’s detriment. But at the same time, many of the thoughts and feelings she has had, the questions she has considered about her life have also come to some conclusions. Hearing Sam’s heart stop made her really look at all the important people in her life.
Whether this is the ending you are happy with will be up to you to decide. I know that there is quite a bit of controversy about how Charlaine chose to end this, but I couldn’t agree with her choices more. I actually re-read the whole series before starting on this one (no small chore!) and am glad I did. If you have them on your kindle or bookshelf, I would really recommend it.
Reading the whole series that way made me truly appreciate just how great a writer Charlaine Harris is. She has taken this almost simple concept, and woven a very complex but human plot with some very inhuman characters. Throughout it all, she has never really wavered from the central point. In the end, we all choose or at least need to choose, the life that makes us happy. I only can hope for the same choices for all of us when the time comes. Charlaine, you can come script my ending any time!
For those who are ready to jump into reading the last Sookie Stackhouse novel Dead Ever After, we have it ready for you in the Kindle format and the paperback, as well as a gorgeous hardcover version to show off on that bookshelf.