Book Review: Definitely Dead (Charlaine Harris)

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Book #6 in the Southern Vampire Mysteries Chronicles

Plot: Since Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has so few living relatives, she hates to lose one – even her cousin Hadley, undead consort of the vampire Queen of Louisiana. Hadley’s left everything she has to Sookie, but claiming that inheritance has a high risk factor. Some people don’t want her looking too deeply into Hadley’s past, or Hadley’s possessions. And they’re prepared to do anything in their power to stop her. Whoever it is, they’re definitely dangerous – and Sookie’s life is definitely on the line…

Rating: 7/10

I reviewed these books way back here, and boy, I seemed to have hated it quite a bit back then. It sucks, because I really seemed to enjoy it this time around. I was a bit worried that I would get confused because I started in the middle of the series, but luckily Harris doesn’t mind reminding her readers of previous events (incessantly so) and repeating information all the time here and there. Is Definitely Dead a literary masterpiece? Oh hell no. What it has is very grownup vampire business, and it a significant amount of sexy time in it, and the characters have a way of talking southern that is so obvious that the author really wanted them to sound southern. So if you don’t mind some hillbilly vampires, you are headed in for a good time.

Anyway, I enjoyed the following:

Quinn – he comes across as so big and masculine and human. I liked that. I know the whole story is mostly about Sookie and vampires, but this guy was at least partly human and I thoroughly enjoyed that. Let me just say it – totally my type of guy.

Bill fessing up to his true reasons for arriving in Bon Temps. I am so not team Bill, I’ll tell you that. He’s just too ick and grouchy and needy and a general pain in the ass. Sookie is welcome to choose Eric, Quinn, Alcide or even Sam Merlotte, but I won’t deal with her ultimately choosing Bill.

Sookie having fairy blood – her breakdown about it was super annoying but I did appreciate it that it explained the attraction all the supernatural creatures had towards her.

The books are surprisingly well written. Like I said, no masterpiece, but it doesn’t drag and the characters aren’t insufferable. I really hated Tara in the TV series, but she is much more tolerable in the books. Pretty much everyone is more tolerable in the books – even Bill – because I felt suicidal every time Stephan Moyer said “soookie” in the series. UGH.

What I didn’t like:

It annoyed my quite a bit that so many things happen to Sookie. Yep, I get that she’s the heroine and I get that things need to happen to move the plot along, but sheesh, if someone isn’t killing her cousin they are trying to kill her. The attack on Sookie and Quinn by the young vampires?Quinn taking her to that strange bar? Is he a dumb dumb? Like WHY? Jake Purifoy? I mean come on, he was written into the story for absolutely no reason – and I’m not on board with what happens with him in the next book either. I think adding so many witches was the first mistake Charlaine Harris made in this series – You can only pile so many supernatural creatures into a book and expect it to work out.

I also have some grief with the Queen of Louisiana. If we can focus on the little fact that there is a vampire Queen for Louisiana first. It is so preposterous. I have no idea about the gross capital income of that State or even its’ size, but allocating a Queen to it seems quite severe. And then her name is Sophie-Anne LeClerq. I understand that I’m dealing with a book where the main character’s name is Sookie Stackhouse, but I need good names for characters or I always feel a little bit done in. Sophie-Anne is also a bit of a pain and seems to have no real reason for her inclusion in the story except for Sookie to meet hot men, get rich and travel. Okay, apparently I need a Sophie-Anne in my life, so there we go.

I didn’t like that Alcide was just cut from the book. I love me some Alcide man. The fact that they chose to keep the Pelt melodrama and chuck Alcide was yet another bad choice, but anyhoo.

It sounds like I wasn’t all that fond of the book – but I actually was! It is in a nutshell some very vacant reading, it doesn’t require any brainpower (I have none to spare while exams are ongoing) and the story is fun. If I can deliver some honesty here, while I am MUCH more tolerant of Twilight than the usual populace on the internet, I do think the idea of virgin 100-year vampires is ludicrous. The vampires might have zero sexual inhibition in The Southern Vampire Mysteries, but at least that is more believable than all that prudishness.

Have you read the Southern Vampire Mysteries, and in particular Definitely Dead? What is your opinion of the book? Let me know!

Movie Review: Winter’s Tale (2014)

WINTERS-TALE-Movie

Plot: A burglar falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her

Rating: 4/10

Well. This seems to be the worst rating I’ve ever assigned to a movie. Ever. I think I rated Grown-Ups 2 higher than this. A Winter’s Tale is NOT as offensive as Adam Sandler’s face, but this movie was so boring that I could crochet nonstop and easily get the gist of the movie. I could probably write a thesis on nuclear physics while watching this – A Winter’s Tale requires no more brain power than picking up a pencil. For a story that first focuses on an epic and pure love and then switches over to modern society to save a child with cancer, it lacked so much heart. The movie might have derailed with the introduction of a white flying horse, but might have been the second Russel Crowe was cast as a demon.

I’ve never in my life seen Crowe in such a bad role. He was atrocious. If that is his way of being a supernatural character he needs to steer clear, eternally. The actors seemed exhausted and bored by the monotony of the film and the ridiculous dialogue. I hope Jessica Brown Findlay thoroughly remorse her decision to leave Downton Abbey – you left them to star in this?!

It was nice to see Colin Farrell in something again – didn’t he venture into the whole “I achieved success and now I will be a drug addict” route? Anyway, I used to think he was quite hot. With the haircut he wears in here as Peter Lake, he looks like a grown man with an emo child haircut. His acting wasn’t that bad – he did the best he could in his main role with the dialogue he had. There was genuine chemistry between him and Findlay and if you completely ignore the dialogue passing between them, it would have been really nice.

I’ve mentioned Crowe as the leading villain, but this also had Will Smith as Lucifer. Is WS busy trying to get into some fantasy? I see he is definitely dipping his finger into the super popular superhero pie – did you see the trailer of Suicide Squad yet?? It’s cool, I think it will work. Smith was the best thing about the movie and I think if he was cast as the main villain things might have gone better. Crowe had no conviction in his villainy and seemed as this movie was below his true capabilities – it is, but that is beside the point.

Apart from the dialogue, the way the story progressed was confusing. The first part ends so abruptly and the second part is so ineptly introduced that you have no clue what is happening or why you are even seeing it.

Then, can we just discuss how many times Peter Lake was referred to as PETER LAKE? Not Peter, not Lake, nope, the full thing: “PETER LAKE”. Does he only respond to his full name and surname? What a weird guy.

I don’t think this movie ever had a chance. The story is stupid, the cast was confused and the white flying horse was just a bit too much. Really, go buy a Unicorn and be done with it.