Author: Charlaine Harris
Sookie Stackhouse how I’ve missed you! And Sam and Alcide and Eric and Bill and the rest of the string of supernaturally hot men you have had in your corner throughout this series. So when Deadlocked appeared in my to read pile it was always going to come first, at least I managed to finish what I was already reading before I launched fang first into life in Bon Temps.
Deadlocked is the 12th book in the series, which I just discovered will end with the 13th next year. I don’t know what is sadder; that I have to wait an entire 12 months for the next book or that it will be the last.
I love Bon Temps and all of the twisted plotlines and parallel storylines running through this series. I am also a big fan of the HBO (screened on Showcase in Australia) series True Blood. The first couple of seasons had a lot in common with the first few books but over time the two have certainly taken different forks in the road. I still love both of them but their relationship is becoming more tenuous as time goes by. The reason I bring this up is that we are in mid-May, exactly one year from finishing the previous Sookie Stackhouse book Dead Reckoning and months from the end of True Blood Season 4, we are only weeks away from the Season 5 premiere.
None of my Sookie experiences are recent is the point I’m making which means there were times in the book that I had to sit back for a moment and try to separate what was in the books and what was in True Blood because at times the memories mingle. More than anything else it’s trying to distinguish the characters and separating Charlaine’s vision from the True Blood versions. The central characters are relatively true to the original – Sookie, Eric, Bill, Sam and Alcide but apart from that there are some quite noticeable changes that need to be segregated on the way into the book.
Sookie again finds herself in the middle of scandal, betrayal, and a whole heap of supes after her blood. This is beginning to be quite the pattern, and she’s involved in a police investigation. The investigation sees Sookie’s vampire lover Eric under suspicion for murder, he adamantly denies involvement in the death but the police don’t believe him so it’s up to them to investigate and discover the true culprit.
Having already read The Sookie Stackhouse Companion and Home Improvement: The Undead Edition I know of events that come after Deadlocked so there were passages that made me stop and think to try and get my head around where this fit in. Ultimately this was a small thing, not even really an issue because the passages in Deadlocked are in a secondary plotline and quite minor to the big picture.
I found that Deadlocked dragged more than the previous volumes. I still loved it but it wasn’t something I sat and devoured in a day. The storylines are becoming more twisted but they also seem a little less cohesive. Admittedly Bon Temps is Harris’s world, filled with supernatural creatures whose mythology she has made her own so they are a little different to everywhere else, and if their mythology differs it stands to reason that their behaviours and beliefs would be a little different to what we are familiar with.
There were times in Deadlocked that there seemed to be too much detail, we were given step by baby step detail of Sookie’s day to day life. At times minute detail would be warranted but while she cooks sweet potato casserole for Jason doesn’t seem to be one of those times, there were a few others that really jumped out at me but of course I can’t remember them right now. There is a part of me that wants to say this is to return our focus to that part of Sookie that is still a small town southern girl, at heart that’s who she is. But there is another part of me that feels at times that it might be more about word count.
Overall I really enjoyed it, I love the characters even though sometimes I could happily slap some of them. But it doesn’t seem to have the same fire and the same passion as the earlier books. The body count is still rising but the passion and the lust seems to be diminishing. As Sookie becomes increasingly frustrated with the supernatural dramas filling her life and she tires of it all, we find ourselves tiring alongside her.