Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

GENRE: urban fantasy/vampires

Sookie Stackhouse enjoys her life, mostly. She’s a great cocktail waitress in a fun bar; she has a love life, albeit a bit complicated, and most people have come to terms with her telepathy. The problem is, Sookie wants a quiet life – but things just seem to happen to her and her friends. Now her brother Jason is about to turn into a were-panther for the first time. She can deal with that, but her normal sisterly concern turns to cold fear when a sniper sets his deadly sights on the local shifter population. She’s afraid not just because Jason is at risk, but because his new were-brethren suspects Jason himself may be the shooter. Sookie has until next full moon to find out who’s behind the attacks – unless the killer decides to find her first.


This is another great Sookie Stackhouse novel, the fifth one in the Southern Vampire Mysteries. It was a gripping story, featuring adventure, tension and some romance. In the beginning of the novel, Sookie accompanies her brother Jason to meet Calvin Norris for his first transformation into a were-panther. Sookie waits for him at home, very concerned, but when Jason returns in the morning, everything is fine. Once he became a panther, Jason realized that being a were-panther is not bad at all and he really enjoys his new life style. It seems that this is one worry less on Sookie’s list of worries, but new trouble arises when someone starts shooting shifters and werewolves in Bon Temps and the nearby areas. The Were population suspects Jason, as he was bitten and not born a were-panther and might hold grudges, as well as envy against the Were community. Sookie is concerned for her brother and she has to find a way to prove that he is innocent.

There’s more trouble for Sookie. Her friend Tara seems to be dating a new vampire, Mickey, who is very dangerous, in general, and for Tara. Sookie faces the vampire, but Tara seems to be in more trouble with Mickey than Sookie realized. When Sam gets shot too, Sookie must ask Eric for a favour on behalf of Sam. She’s nervous about seeing Eric because of the intimate past they have, which Eric does not remember. Eventually, she must contact Eric again, for the sake of her friend Tara, and this time, Eric demands something in return for his favour for Sookie, and his request is not easy for Sookie.

Bill comes into her life again. He stands by her side when Sookie is in a hospital and he even asks here if they have a chance to get together again. In this novel, Sookie is wooed by many men. Sam makes a move, Alcide Herveaux asks her to come live with him, Bill would like her back, Eric wants her and even Calvin Norris makes it very clear that he would still like to make Sookie his. I have to say that it bothered me that Sookie desired every man but Calvin Norris. Calvin is the only one she’s not attracted to (yet). She has kissed with all of the men and has slept with two, and I think she should just make a decision because her indecisiveness is making me feel slightly annoyed.

In this novel, Sookie also gets dragged deep into the world of werewolves. She must participate in a werewolf ritual that is pretty cruel and affects Alcide a lot. I have to say that the outcome of the ritual really surprised me, and I felt very sorry for Alcide. He’s a great man, warm, passionate and tough, and that must have been a great blow for him. I’m looking forward to reading how his situation will untangle (or complicate) in the sixth installment. I also have to say that I kind of liked the idea of Bill wanting Sookie back. I loved them in the first novel and sometimes I miss their relationship, but in the end, I would still like Sookie to end up with Eric. Their relationship so far has been very exciting and pretty epic.

The book was very entertaining, written in Harris’s usual simple, but gripping style. Sometimes, I just had to laugh at Sookie’s remarks and her way of thinking. I really liked Sookie’s character development and her new adventures. This girl would really like to have a break from the world of the supernaturals, but she just doesn’t seem to get any moment of piece. Again, she was in danger and almost got killed – twice! I guess once you dated a vampire, things can never be normal again. This novel is filled with adventure, danger and some sexiness. This time round, I even figured out the culprit behind the shootings. The only thing that bothered me was how many guys at a time Sookie likes, and how she can’t decide. She should pick one or turn her back on all of them.

I liked the ending: it promises some great adventures in the next novel, Definitely Dead. It seems that owing favours to certain individuals is a bad idea.

Lovers of vampire fiction should definitely start reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Harris’s vampire stories are very innovative and unique, and they are a great read.

THIS MISS RATES: / (4.5 stars)


The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I haven't read this review yet because I'm still reading the first book in the series and want to avoid spoilers but I'm definitely coming back once I get here! It looks good!

Julie P said...

Can't read this review--I haven't started the series yet, but I own all of them.....

Jan von Harz said...

I have not read any of the Sookie Stackhouse books, but hope to in the future. There are so many I have a lot of catching up to do. Great review.