Book Review – Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

by Maryse on May 11, 2011 · 14 comments

in Charlaine Harris, My Book Reviews

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 11)
Wow. This one worked for me, and I’m pleasantly surprised. I went into it thinking I was going to be sorely disappointed (as I was with the last two books), but that wasn’t the case at all.

You know when you get invited to go somewhere, and you’re getting ready to go, but you’re all bummed ’cause you’re so sure it won’t be your thing, and you’re going to have a miserable time? And then you go, and it ends up being so fun, and one of the most memorable experiences in your life? Well… okay, not to that extent with this book, but close ;)

I went into this one resigning myself to the fact that Eric and Sookie were not going to ever have that “old chemistry” back. All that “will they, won’t they?” tension, the game playing, the emotional connections and then the devastating mind games. Book #4 that made us fall in love with Eric, irrevocably, and then future installments where old Eric was back and aloof (but not)? Well. I gave up on those pipe dreams. From recent snippets of interviews and book signings, it was becoming nerve wrackingly apparent that Charlaine might not be as ”Eric-centric” as we thought, and my addiction to all things Eric was causing a road-block in my enjoyment of the series.

So I let it go. I grudgingly made my peace with the possibility that Eric was not “THE” guy, and I tried going into this book like I did when I once knew nothing about the series and was just going along for the ride. And you know what? It worked. Wanna know what else? Eric and Sookie… I dunno. Was it my imagination or was that exciting tension and angst back?

I am ashamed to say that at that moment I was scared of Eric, this desperate and determined vampire who was attacking his best friend because he didn’t want me to know… something.

So here’s the scoop on the book.

  • Sookie’s got both her handsome but weirdo Fae relatives living with her. Claude her cousin, is still as aloof and arrogant as ever, and Dermott her great uncle is sweet and kind of clingy. I think he has a crush on Sookie (I know… I know… ew!!). But he’s still amazingly sweet. Having fae in her constant proximity is having an interesting effect on her.
  • Sam is struggling with Merlotte’s (customers have dropped off like flies, and everyone suspects it is due to Sam’s coming “out” as a shifter). Eric has also noticed a certain drop-off in business, and it appears “whats-his-name-Victor?” is at the bottom of their miseries.

All you had to do was watch Victor’s face to  understand that Victor had wanted – yearned for – the title of king, that he had hoped to rule both of Felipe’s new territories. His disappointment had made him angry, and he was focusing that anger on Eric, the biggest target within his reach.

  • Sookie is a target of numerous enemies again, and she narrowly escapes a few “deathly” situations (but of course!!). Sandra Pelt, Victor, and well, whoever else wants Sookie dead, or… whatever they want with her. Revenge issues, power struggles, and all that. She is a paranormal conundrum after all, and with her ties and alliances, her heritage and connections, let’s just say she remains an excellent bargaining chip. ;)

“I mean, how many enemies can I have?”

I heard Amelia take a long breath. “Don’t answer that,” I said hastily.

  • Sookie and Eric’s blood bond… well. Let’s just say that was a good GOOD and very exciting part! A few moments had my blood boiling and my heart racing and this was one of ‘em.
  • Eric has a secret up his sleeve, and let’s just say the “trigger” word is “wife”. I was intrigued by whatever was disturbing him on the that front. Of course, Sookie, his “wife” disturbs him enough as it is, but there’s more to the story, so much so, that when I clued in I went a little crazy. I’m dying to know where this is going.

“Oh, no.” I found myself able to speak, though only a whisper.

  • Oh and Sookie discovers an old family “treasure” that gives her insight into her grandmothers past, her Fae heritage, her special “abilities” and an untapped power that could potentially change her future forever.
  • Oh and… Bill’s here too ;) It’s all good.

If you’re not “over” Sookie yet, read this one. It’s well worth it, and might revive your love of the series once again, as it did, me. In fact, Sookie was my favorite in this installment.

For those who have read it, I’m dying to know your thoughts!! Was this one better for you?

3.5 stars

Interested in the series? Check out the reading order guide here: Charlaine Harris – Southern Vampire Mysteries Reading Order:

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura S May 11, 2011 at 8:47 AM

Thanks so much for restoring my faith in this series!! I’ve read SO many bad reviews on this book (and the last 2, as you mentioned). I was considering just finishing the “True Blood” series on HBO before finishing the last 3 Sookie books, but after reading your review I think I’m going to have to read on!!
I AM VERY worried about HOW Charlaine will end this series. I’m getting very bad vibes. I’ve almost convinced myself that she is going to do something crazy like leaving Sookie single and “alone”. The only choices in my opinion are Eric & Bill. ANYONE else will make me sooooooooo unhappy!! :-(

LilyofDarkness May 11, 2011 at 8:52 AM

I didn’t love the last two but this makes me want to give it another go!

Maryse May 11, 2011 at 8:55 AM

It was well worth the read :) And because of how this one ended, I’m seriously excited for the next one. I thought there was one more left (after an interview I read a couple of months ago), but someone on Facebook told me that she has TWO more left (that she mentionned at a book signing).

Anyone else know?

Tiffany F May 11, 2011 at 9:38 AM

AWESOME Review! and so on spot with how I felt about it also! and I totally agree about the last two….. SO not impressed, but this book showed me the series is not a dud, and Harris has her “umph” back! again, awesome review!

Maryse May 11, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Oh I’m so glad!! The reviews are all over the place, but honestly, I did feel like it was right the way a lot of the “things” happened in this one. And I “got” Sookie.

Shannon May 11, 2011 at 9:56 AM

There are two books left in the series, although I’m nervous as to how Ms. Harris will end it all. Overall, I enjoyed the book much more than the previous installment. The

However, by the end of the book, I was left feeling concerned about our heroine’s future and a little dismayed at how simply some items are explained away. I do not want to give away spoilers, so I will leave it at that.

Maryse May 11, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Yah… I wonder if Charlaine is “planning” a connection with somebody that I’m just not in the mood for. Oh well. Hopefully if that’s the case, she’ll write it in a way that I’ll fall in love with that possibility and not be bummed.

Elaine Willis May 11, 2011 at 10:30 AM

I made a point of re-reading Dead in the Family before reading Dead Reckoning. I am so glad that I did. I think I would have been lost otherwise.

I felt that this book tied up some loose ends, but it also unraveled others that I thought were settled. I hate that it will be a year until the next book.

I got the impression from a panel discussion that Charlaine Harris was on that she is more interested in True Blood than the books. Personally, I hate the series and won’t watch it. I did watch the first season and it had so little in common with the books, I completely lost interest.

I mean really . . . when did Tara become so important?

Maryse May 11, 2011 at 11:38 AM

True!! I’m not a huge Tara fan on the show (too melodramatic). I do wish they stuck by the books, except for when in came to the True Blood episode when Eric lost his maker (different, of course, from the book series).

That episode was so poignant. I really loved it.

I’m a True Blood fan, cause the “basics” are there, at least, and it’s actually the first season of True Blood that got me interested in vampires, had me mention it to my mom, who in turn told me about Twilight.

And the rest is history ;)

Terra May 28, 2011 at 1:03 AM

I have read all of the series so far and enjoyed them. I am a True Blood fan also, but as when books become series or movies things change. I can appreciate what Alan Ball has done with the series. Although I do look forward to seeing how closely, or which books he pulls from and what story lines he uses. I think that both Charlaine and Alan have done well and can’t wait for the next installment of the book series and also True Blood.

Elaine Willis May 30, 2011 at 6:52 AM

I love the books, as I said before, but I will not watch anymore of the television series. When I recommend the books, I make a point of telling people how different they are from the show.

Maryse May 31, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Hi Elaine. True that they have taken many liberties. I hope they stay as true as possible to book#4 – that was a turning point for me.

Maryse May 31, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Hi Terra? What is your favorite book in the series? Mine would be four, and I’m so anxious to see how they portray Eric in the show…

charlotte June 29, 2011 at 5:20 AM

this book worked for me too, i was a bit ermmmmmmmm disapointed with the last two books aswell. but then i got this book wondering what was going on, because dead in the family was obviously buliding up to something massive, well i hoped so, so i read it and i found for me that the old chemistry was back! :) i could not put the book down. i had read it by the end of the day and i hadnt started it until late afternoon. and at the end i was kind of dissapointed lol but only becuase i got to wait for the next book to find out what is happening with eric. i am not ashamed to say i am well over obsessed with eric. this was the book for me, so im glad that i didn’t give up reading the series! :)

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