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Cat Johnson Braves Doll Lil’s Word Association Challenge!

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Two Doll Review: Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris (SPOILER FREE)

Submitted by on April 30, 2011 – 6:35 am10 Comments

Author: Charlaine Harris
Book: Dead Reckoning
Release: May 3, 2011
Series: Sookie Stackhouse 11
Source: Ace Hardcover
Purchase: – Book Depository 

With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his “child” Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows…


Doll Lil:

When I was asked a couple of weeks ago by my friends here at PBD to help out with a review or two I thought about it…for about 3 seconds before I said “YES!”.

I had plans.

I have recently read some very funny, very satisfying books. And only one of them, err, okay only six of them were in the paranormal genre. I was totally going to be the guest contemporary reviewer. Then Day emailed me and asked me to take on . I thought long and hard about it (for about seven seconds) and emailed her with a big fat YES. The thing is… my friends at PBD know I hate spoilers. We even have a name for it. Lil’s Spoiler Free Zone can often be found anywhere you see me. So I’m going to do my best to review without letting any of the important, nail biting, explosive, and down right dirty details about the latest Sookie Stackhouse adventure. Hmmm adventure…. Maybe not quite the word I would use.

I came into Dead Reckoning not in a Sookie–state-of–mind. I was fresh off Lover Unleashed and in the middle of The Land of The Painted Caves. I also somehow read 4 other books within that two-week period. I picked up and put down Dead Reckoning four times before I got past page ten. Finally, I picked up Dead Reckoning– a fifth time– bound and determined to read it and read it well.

I admit, I expected the worst, in fact I expected to not like this book. Not even a little bit. My gut was twisting and I developed an eye ache. But, by chapter three I couldn’t put it down. I was brought to an emotional high I hadn’t honestly expected. And when I say high I mean like an addict, not all happy and rainbow like. But more like someone who feeds off twisty angst mixed with humor and a dark sense of “uh oh”.;)

I was happy to see some very loved characters get some playtime.

I also became frustrated with Sookie. Sometimes that girl can really get up on her high horse. She can also be down right funny and naughty. We never forget she is truly a girl of the 21st Century torn between the traditional value her Gran taught, what her bible tells her, and let’s face it…what her body, heart, and soul are determined to get.

In Dead Reckoning Sookie finds herself questioning family ties. She also finally recognizes the changes or concessions she has had to make in order to sleep at night. Sookie is also trying to duck a very determined Were who is willing to do anything to exact some very final revenge. Our blonde heroine redefines and reestablishes lost, slightly broken, friendships with a few key players this time out.

Finding her independence from friends who she feels are a wee bit too controlling and witnessing two people she loves very much struggle in their relationship and the consequences of a conniving family member who was determined to maintain control even if they no longer can do it in person.

Sookie also comes to realize she isn’t always right. Finally.

I have to say I almost threw this book against the wall, like I did with both and , but I calmly put it aside, had a Dirty Martini, and then resumed reading. I’m really glad I did. The pay off was worth it.

Charlaine Harris has succeeded in returning to the heart of the series. In some ways I felt this was a transformational chapter in Sookie’s life. When I first sat down to write this review I was determined to let everyone know that this book was just another transitional book. I planned on whining about Ms. Harris trying to tie up loose ends and wrapping them up in a pretty package with a red bow on top.

After reflecting and rereading I don’t quite see it the same way. I think is full of foreshadowing and yes, one or two things finally come to a head, but the truth is, this installment has opened up a few new cans of worms. Ms. Stackhouse has a bit of a journey in front of her still and whether you are an “EL (Eric Lover), BL (Bill Lover), SL (Sam Lover), or in some cases, Keep-Sookie Single-Forever Lover you will have a lot to chew on and a whole lot to look forward to.

In the end… I, a cynical and often grumpy EL, was happy with the twists and turns of Dead Reckoning. Sometimes I find myself reaching for the book for a third time when I remember I have a book list of over 250 books I want to read, a job, a family, and very long to do list.

I hope everyone enjoys Dead Reckoning as much as I did.

Doll Day:

Hello Lovers! I agree with Lil on one major point, it definitely seems like Charlaine Harris is getting back to the heart of the series with .

While I enjoyed this installment more than the previous two books this is not a perfect book. There are several minor continuity issues and even a couple deja-vu moments that pulled me out of the normal “Sookie Stupor” I fall victim to when reading this series.

I will say that the characters are the true gem in this series, and not for the first time since I have begun the adventure of reading these books have I found myself drawn more to the supporting characters. It seems like so many of the supernatural characters are evolving. We see such poignant emotion displayed by several of our favorite vampires–Bill, Pam and Eric. It was very touching.
That being said, the bitter sweet moments were stretched out and mixed in with some really crazy “WTF” moments that seemed almost too over the top at times.

Sookie’s boss/best friend/suitor, Sam is involved in this book a little more than usual. Sam seems to be the steady constant character that hasn’t really evolved despite everything that has happened…at least not yet. Sookie on the other hand has changed and more so in this book than any of the previous ones do we see her question herself and all she is capable of.

Two of my favorite things about this book was, the return of the “King”, Bubba, who played a fairly significant (though small) part in , and the cameo appearance by a couple other Harris creations, and husband Jack. It was great to read their scenes!

With only two more books in the series, has set the ground work and begun tying up loose ends by answering a few questions. Even with some answers given it is still a mystery as to how the series will end and who will be left standing when all is said and done.

Also Reviewed By: Book BabblingsVampire Book ClubMy Chaotic Ramblings

Day is a dreamer who has never met a stranger. She is fearless and will talk to anyone and read anything! She taught music and dance and was a singer/actress for years, performing on stages both nationally and overseas. Now married with children, she spends less time singing on stage and more time writing songs at home. But, family life has not completely slowed this chick down. She still loves an adventure and learning new things. She resides in Texas with her family, Great Dane (Sophie), Labradoodles (George & Cosmo) and Chihuahua (Juan Carlos).
Doll Day
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  • Day says:

    Thank you Lil for the wonderful review!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Jane says:

    More continuity errors? Ugh. But if you both agree that the story is shifting back to the way it was before TB then that is good news!

    Thanks for not spoiling! Some of the reviews have been pretty detailed!;)

    Big "hello" to Lil!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Kristin says:

    Love me some VIKING!!!!

    I just finished the Lily Bard series so, that is something I will definitely be looking for in DR. Thanks for the review and not spoiling;)

    Reply to this comment »
  • Noa says:

    Thank you both for the review…I will need to get back into the groove to read this one but good to know it's better than the last two!

    Lil – Welcome! and congratulations on a fabulous debut :D

    Reply to this comment »
  • Lil says:

    Thanks for inviting me to be an honorary Doll. I was so nervous. You all set the bar so high! Love and kisses! Lil

    Reply to this comment »
  • Luci says:

    YAY!!! I love all the reviews, makes me excited about the upcoming release.

    Dirty Martini = relaxation. I love Trueblood on HBO and think Vampire Bill is sexy, Eric is gorgeous and Alcide is figgin HOT!!!!!!!! I am not such a big fan of Sam on the show or the books very much but they are so different that it's hard to compare.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Cordy says:

    "In the end… I, a cynical and often grumpy EL, was happy with the twists and turns of Dead Reckoning."

    Can not wait! I, like you, can be a grumpy EL at times, but I haven't lost hope. I still love this series! Thank you for the review.

    :::waves hello to Lil:::

    Reply to this comment »
  • Georgia says:

    What about the letters? Are they significant to the storyline? And the fairies? And the attic? And are any suitors ruled out for sure?

    You don't have to spoil but I NEED to know if they are important…

    Reply to this comment »
  • Day says:

    Laura- you know you rock!

    Luci- I agree, the show and books are two seperate worlds.

    Cordy- Some of my best friends are EL's;)

    Hi Georgia- The letters?
    Well . . . there is a letter and it addresses some things and it is important to our heroine. The attic is important but in a way that is surprising. I think Quinn and Alcide are officially no longer in the running for the HEA with Sookie, but that is more based on recent interviews Ms. Harris has given lately. The Fairies still remain a mystery to me:0)

    I hope that helps! Really, there are only a couple of days until the release. Surely you can hold out a little longer. I hope you enjoy the book!


    Reply to this comment »
  • I'm still only at book 3 of this series, so I'm way far from this one but I love your descriptive review. I know it may seem like I'd be upset about spoilers,but I have a pretty good idea about what's about to happen but I still love the series.

    Thank you so much, Lil :D

    GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
    Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
    Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

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