Book review: All Together Dead (Charlaine Harris)

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Book #7 in the Southern Vampire Mysteries Chronicles

What I liked:

Quinn. I’m still rooting for this guy, but it is quickly becoming clear that Sookie is not going to end up with him because she’s a judgmental cow. He’s still all manly and I love that, and felt a bit sorry that he wasn’t all that present in this book.

Sookie and Barry saving people after the terrorist attack – for once Sookie’s powers were actually helpful to the world and she didn’t use it to gather pity for herself.

What I didn’t like:

The summit. The major event of the seventh book grated on me. For creatures that have been living for thousands of years the vampires can be quite stupid. Having a summit is obviously a stupid idea.

Sophie Anne’s trial was marketed through the entire book and ended up being a few pages.

How many things want to happen in one book? Was the author bored and decided now’s the time to have an attack every five to ten pages? The bomb, the massive attack, the fact that Sookie is made the heroine every time she enters a building and finally Sookie and Barry saving everyone with their magnificent abilities piled up page after page and I think the book should have been called “A book of events more improbable than Vampires existing”

Sookie judging Quinn for his past was a bit high handed for someone who is in her position. I’m still very for team Quinn, but I acknowledge now that Sookie has enough suitors to start with.

Rating: 6.5/10

I think this was the book where I stopped reading the last time around and I realize why – there is nothing strong about this book and one of the worst in the entire series. The Vampire Summit was ridiculous to the extreme and was just – ugh. That said, I really find these novels so much fun. They are adulty without being Mills and Boon, the vampires aren’t wimps and they have a huge appeal while remaining true to a lot of the lore that has always surrounded them, and the characters end up being wildly entertaining most of the time – especially Pam and Eric, my two favorites. I read on quite a bit after this, because these books are excellent when you just want something basic to read.

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Watched, Read, Loved: October 2016

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October was by far the slowest month in my year in entertainment. I’m really hopeful that this is the last semester where I will ever have to write a BSc Theoretical exam, so I’ve spent every moment that I wasn’t at work in front of a book. I really hope it will pay off – my heart won’t be able to handle the trauma of failing a subject. So it has been quiet on the entertainment front and even the blog front, but I’ve managed to include see and read some things here and there though, so here is a quick rundown J

Watched:

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Bourne Supremacy

I really hope I wrote a proper review on this, because I can barely recall the film now. I know it was fast paced and good and very Bourne, and I guess that is what counts.

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10 Cloverfield Lane

I LOVED this. The review should be up some time this week, and I am totally with the crowd on this one. It was a phenomenal performance from all three main characters, and they were able to create maddening suspense throughout.

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New Year’s Eve (2011)

I was quite obsessed with this film (to get to see it), and it was so meh. It was probably one of the last films Gary Marshall ever produced, and I hoped it would be something similar to Valentine’s Day. In all essence it was but lacked the heart.

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You Again (2010)

I enjoyed this on the most basic level. It had a pretty good message that bullying stays with you forever and it was nice to watch such a light movie where romance wasn’t the core of the plot.

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The Choice (2016)

I have this game with Nicholas Sparks movies where I HAVE to watch it despite knowing it will probably end up being super crap. But The Choice is one of the better ones, certainly better than the awful Best of Me, and I has a somewhat of a decent time with it.

Read:

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The Woman Who Stole My Life (Marian Keyes)

I finally finished TWWSTM. It was gigantic, and maybe 50 pages too long and then ended up with a rough ending, but this is the least bizarre book I’ve read from Keyes in a while.

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Definitely Dead / All Together Dead / From Dead to Worse

Exam brain wants me back on books where I need no brain power, and I’ve been reading some of the Southern Vampire Mysteries again. I’ve actually been having a really good time with this non-Pulitzer material.

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New Moon (Stephanie Meyer)

I’m slowly making my way through these books. Bella is a joy to behold in this particular novel, let me tell you. I always have fun with this – part enjoyment; part scoffing, and it has been the perfect read throughout exam time.

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I am Number Four (Pittacus Lore)

This book is SO good. It is obviously a book that was written at the beginning of the dystopic craze; because the ideas are original and GOOD, and things are named intelligently (the naming conventions in other dystopian novels are quite ridiculous). I need to finish this still, but it is going well.

On a Life front, those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I got myself a new car. It really wasn’t an option as I was in a car accident that wrote my little Suzuki Alto off. To say I was upset was an understatement, and it was pretty stressful sorting it out. I have to say my insurers were absolutely fantastic, and I will (and have) recommended them to anybody. However, it was the first car I’d ever owned, and I was so heart sore about the entire process.

It feels like a lot of things have happened the last month. I’ve had a dear friend in hospital, I’ve been in an accident, there was a break-in at my sister’s boyfriend’s house and another friend of mine got attacked and robbed at gunpoint.  So it’s been quite hectic. I’m in need of a Bilbo Baggins holiday to say the LEAST. Oh, I also went to a bachelorettes that was quite wild, and let me tell you, I was shocked at some of the actions there. I’ve been to a significant amount of wild parties in my young life, so when I am shocked, I am S.H.O.C.K.E.D. It feels like I need a peaceful December without any drama. I am on leave for two weeks at the end of December (hear me sobbing in gratitude), and I am so happy that I will get to a place where I don’t need to start functioning at 4:30 am. It will be great.

Anyway, what’s news on your side?

PS: Let’s not even talk about my Blindspot progress. It’s worse than the state of the American election right now.

PPS: I can’t wait until Hillary wins JUST so that Donald can shut TF up.

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!

Series Review: True Blood Season 3

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Rating: 6.5/10

Hmmm, I was on quite a roll after finishing Season two and had the need to check if it True Blood could at least remain its’ fun factor. It does, although there are some major irritants that start popping up during three.

Season Three was the last season where there were more good than bad moments. I still laughed out loud in a few places, and there is a semblance of continuity and structure here and there. The plot holes aren’t huge yet, something that becomes a big problem later on. I have such beef with how these vampires’ death becomes change all the time, because it changes every season.

TBS3 Sookie and Jess

This show is addictive and yet I can never really pinpoint what in this show makes it so impossible to walk away from. Bill is still a huge martyr in here which makes him nearly as impossible as Tara Thornton to cope with, but his spine keeps growing and eventually he becomes something that even while you don’t like him, you grudgingly respect him. I have hated the whole run with Bill’s maker since it started out, and while it was better explored than in the books, Lorena was around way too long for me to enjoy the plot line. The actress irritates me so much and I would probably have been less irritated with the character if the actress was different.

 TB Sookie and Eric kiss

Season three has some real development for Sookie and Eric and I enjoyed that. I’ve always thought that if she ends up with a vampire it should be Eric, because Bill is just such a pain in the ass all the time. The first official kiss of Eric and Sookie was quite nicely done – in season three there was still some originality and not just ridiculous interactions between characters.

What I liked:

Lafayette Reynolds: Lafayette dies quickly in the books but I am so happy that they kept him in the show. It’s quite hilarious because he has one of the best subplots and it doesn’t even come from the books. I think he is a great representation of the gay community – he is obviously interested in men but it is quite clear that you should not mess with him, not one bit. I thought the introduction of Jesus was beautiful because he was a guy that was GOOD – he didn’t have some ulterior plot to hurt Lafayette in the long run.

The deviation from the books:I am usually the first to complain when a show/movie ignores what the book did and go into a new direction. It can work however, exactly like they did here. The books are fairly preposterous at a few places and as ridiculous as this show is, it would have been impossible to send Sookie to a conference for vampires (please don’t let that happen later on or I will look stupid).

More Eric: This show runs like this: BAD, BAD, BAD, TARA CRIES, SOOKIE MAKES EVERYTHING ABOUT HER, BAD, BAD, Tara cries, BAD, BAD, OOOH ERIC, SHOW IS SAVED. He’s gorgeous and sarcastic and funny enough to carry the show through extremely silly places.

Jason Stackhouse: Oh my life, what an adorable moron. I honestly don’t know who my favorite character is – Jason or Eric. Jason is so hilarious and the things he says can make me laugh for days. He goes through an awful lot of character development which is one of the show’s redeeming qualities.

Hotshot: It is so hillbilly and incestuous and perfectly brought to life.

Alcide

#ForScience

Alcide: He’s pretty much exactly as I wanted him to be and Joe Manganiello certainly looks the part.

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Jessica Hamby: I was prepared to hate her at the end of season one but Jessica grew on me. She is the perfect teen in the story – she messes up a whole lot but she has a good heart and is genuinely trying to figure out who she is.

What I didn’t like:

TB3 Tara

Tara Thornton: I think the only character more annoying than Tara Thornton ever is Carrie Mathinson, but that is only a maybe. Tara has a default facial expression, and her constant sobbing and moaning about her horrible life is too much for me. Lafayette and Sookie both have as much problems as she does, Jason probably more, but THEY aren’t constantly sobbing and hating the world.

Russell Edington: I thought that the actor was a bad choice and I found the vampire ridiculous rather than scary.

Lorena and Bill: How can two such annoying people be allowed on screen at the same time?

Sam’s birth family: The entire story arc irritated me endlessly and it was once again something to fill the series out that dragged too much in the end.

The very different ways vampires die when exposed to the sun:

Godric and Russell were about the same age, and this is what happened to Godric when he went out in the sun:

This is what happened to Russell when he went out into the sun:

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(Sorry for the crappy pic – This was the only one I could find on the internet and I searched for ETERNITY) 

Consistency?

TB3 was watchable, funny and enjoyable. I think if you want to stop at the end of the good stuff, this is probably the last season to watch because it goes downhill very fast from here.

Book Review: All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

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Plot: Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has her hands full dealing with every sort of undead and paranormal creature imaginable. And after being betrayed by her longtime vampire love, Sookie must not only deal with a new man in her life—the shapeshifter Quinn—but also contend with the long-planned vampire summit.
The summit is a tense situation. The vampire queen of Louisiana is in a precarious position, her power base weakened by hurricane damage to New Orleans. And there are some vamps who would like to finish what nature started. Soon, Sookie must decide what side she’ll stand with. And her choice may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe. (via Goodreads)

Rating: 6/10

These books are slowly but surely worsening as we go further into Sookie’s life. The gaping holes in the story drives me mad – sometimes things are referred to that wasn’t even mentioned in the previous books, sometimes there is so much drama it’s like did that really just happen?It seems like it will always be “everyone wants Sookie” which is very amusing because she is always stressing that she has no experience in relationships or men or anything. I really did like Quinn and think it is a shame that he never made it into the show – he seemed like just the right, normal human guy Sookie needed – strong enough to fight against Vampires but he could grow old with her. I wasn’t a particular fan of the vampire summit either – talk about a generally stupid idea for a group of people with known haters to be in one place during the day and then not being able to face the sun to defend yourself.

These series started out relatively fine – no works of art but nice reading if you need some brain dead fun. After the eight book I had to take a big break because it was just too meh for me. I’m ready to return now, hopefully to something slightly better written. It is still fun to read though, but I can’t binge read anymore – it is time to alternate with more serious books just for a break in-between.

All Together Dead is not even close to the best book in the series, although I will suggest reading it if you are planning to go through the entire series (you’ll end up even more confused if you leave it out)

Book Review: Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris

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Book #6 in the Sookie Stackhouse Series

Sookie has started John Quinn, a shapeshifter that changes to a tiger, and their relationship seems promising. She is taking it slow, because she has been burned often by her hasty habit of jumping into bed with men she finds attractive. Sookie and Quinn are attacked by young werewolves out on a date, and the main suspect is the newly elected leader of the Shreveport werewolf pack, a man with a known grudge against Sookie.

Sookie is visited by Mr. Cataliades, a part-demon lawyer who works for the Queen of Louisiana. He is surprised that Sookie never got the formal invitation to visit Sophie-Anne Leclerq, but when they find the messenger dead in the woods of Sookie’s house, they understand why she never received the now missing invitation.

Although loathe to visit the Queen, Sookie doesn’t have much of a choice. She must clean out her dead vampire cousin Hadley’s apartment while in New Orleans and discuss the vampire summit with the Queen, as she’s invited as part of the Queen’s entourage.  Sookie meets Amelia Broadway, a witch and the owner of Hadley’s apartment. They quickly become friends, and they are both lucky to survive an attack by newly created vampire Jake Purifoy that had been hidden during his turning in Hadley’s apartment.

Upon meeting the Queen, Sookie also meets the king of Arkansas, Peter Threadgill. He is Sophie-Anne’s new husband, but it is clearly not a love match but a business arrangement between the two vampires.

After the Queen and Sookie witness Amelia and her coven do a construction spell where they see how Jake Purifoy came into Hadley’s apartment, Sookie learns that her appeal to vampires may be because she has a bit of fairy blood in her. The Queen also asks Sookie to look for a precious bracelet Peter gave her that Hadley took in a moment of anger because it would mean major upset if Peter discovered the loss of one of his matrimonial gifts to his wife. Will Sookie be able to find the bracelet in time? Who keeps attacking Sookie for no reason? Who didn’t want her to visit the Queen?

Rating: Depressed, 5/10

This book left so much to be desired. It had plot holes so big I had to check whether I’d missed a few pages. Like the death of Hadley – was Hadley ever even mentioned? Suddenly Sookie has met Mr. Cataliades and everything; she’s been to the execution of Hadley’s killer, etc. I was extremely confused. I understand that there is a filler short story but these things should be necessary. Filler stories shouldn’t have the entire function of making the other book work!

I liked the addition of John Quinn. He is much more interesting than Bill Compton, who is the world’s biggest moaner and general pain in the ass. I understood Sookie’s anger when she realised that Bill had seduced her on the orders of the Queen of Louisiana. I would have been furious and heartbroken. I respected Eric that he made Bill confess when he learnt of this information.

I think the whole Debbie Pelt story had been stretched way too far. So, she’s dead and Sookie killed her, but it shouldn’t be in three books. Initiate and resolve, Harris. I found the whole “ectoplasmic reconstruction” spell so absolutely ridiculous. Honestly, it might even be sillier than the whole werepanthers and weremoles naming system in these books. I enjoyed Amelia a bit, and hope to see more of her in the next few books.

I found it faintly disgusting that there was all that hype about the supernatural creatures sensing Sookie was on her period. I mean really, and why initiate only in this book? Did she not have a period for the three years prior to Definitely Dead? I wished Eric had more time in here because he is always fun to read about.

This was probably the worst book in the series, and everything before and after it is makes more sense and is more fun.

Who is sending the werewolves after Sookie? Can she find Sophie’s missing jewels in time? What will she do when she learns of Bill’s true reason of coming to Bon Temps?

 

Series Review: True Blood Season 2

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The quickest plot synopsis of series history:

Bill still loves Sookie and Sookie still loves Bill, but her eyes are opening to the fact that 1) he’s not human and 2) vampires do stuff that are disagreeable with morally sound humans. Eric wants Sookie to look for his maker Godric who has gone missing (all very fishy because Godric is ancient and well capable of protecting himself). Jason is dealing with the death of Amy and finds a new hobby in becoming part of the Fellowship of the Sun and their elitist vampire hunting clan. Tara is still being a selfish twat thinking just about poor her and continues befriending the decidedly odd Maryanne Forrester and “Eggs” Tally. Will everything work out yet again for the residents of Bon Temps and their long toothed friends?

Impressed or depressed?

Impressed. I really thought they improved on the overall quality of the show.

What I enjoyed:

Eric’s short hair. It looks GOOD.

Eric and Pam getting more show time. Something that was essential in my eyes. They are the most entertaining and I love how they are so not human.

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Jason Stackhouse getting more show time. I get real frustrated with silly filler subplots but this is one I actually enjoy. Jason is sweet and he has some hilarious one liners. He has real potential to be something and in season two he starts realizing that becoming what you are meant to be means working hard to find out exactly what that is.

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Steve and Sarah Newlin. Does anyone else think Michael McMillian and Anna Camp were perfect to be the extremist leaders of the Fellowship of the Sun? I was roaring with laughter how ridiculous they both came across and what a façade they both put up constantly. Sarah especially was a classic with her interesting views on passages in the Bible. I have to say I was snorting quite a few times at how she interprets things.

Godric (Allan Hyde) was a good addition to the show. Although he didn’t get much show time, Eric’s bond to him was beautiful and he was so wise and ancient. Miles better than book Godric!

I liked that Lafayette didn’t die like he did in the books, but why on earth did they work it that he was tortured by Eric?

I love Hoyt Fortenberry (Jim Parrack) so much. His character is just the sweetest, and he rolls mostly with everyone’s moods and tantrums. I loved how he finally started standing up against his mother and how he just adapted to whatever problem his relationship with Jessica brought up.

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Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Wolf) had the potential to be an annoying disaster, but I really grew fond of her during season two. Her introduction at the end of season one seemed ominous and like a really annoying subplot, but the writers managed to redeem her by making her a symbol for sympathy rather than irritation.

The only thing I did like about the Maryanne subplot was “Eggs” Talley, but come on, can anyone seriously consider a relationship with someone whose nickname is Eggs?

What I didn’t enjoy:

Can Tara’s character be killed off? Seriously, how boring is her entire story? It is one of the most frustrating things in the show and how she always seems to get herself into shit.

Maryanne Forrester (Michelle Forbes). I didn’t like her, not one bit. Her character was overused and should have stayed a tiny subplot like the book.

I was cheering when Daphne Landry (Ashley Jones) pitched up in Sam Merlotte’s life. I was a bit dismayed because everything about the character was “bit-part” and I was proven correct in time. I do wish that Sam could get a decent woman, because let’s be honest here, he ain’t never getting Sookie.

The way Bill says Sookie gives me such a pain in my butt. HONESTLY, he sounds like he is auditioning for a steamy movie. Fuuuu

Conclusion:Not the best show ever to be on air, but fun all the same. With a few improvements it can actually be really cool.

Book Review: Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

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Book #5 in the Sookie Stackhouse series

Jason Stackhouse is now a werepanther, courtesy of being bitten by Felton Norris. Calvin Norris, leader of the inbred community in Hotshot, helps Jason with his transformation. Calvin keeps making it clear that he would love to get to know Sookie a whole lot better, but she is confused as to whether she wants him or his medical benefits his job gives him.

A series of shooting attacks on shapeshifters takes the South by storm. Sam is shot in the leg and needs to ask Eric for a temporary bartender to help out. Charles Twinning is sent from Fangtasia, and the eccentric pirate becomes a favourite amongst the drinkers of Bon Temps.

Colonel Flood, leader of the Long Tooth werewolf pack of Shreveport is killed by the mysterious assassin, and that means it is time for the unorthodox elections werewolves hold in such an event. Alcide invites Sookie to Flood’s funeral, but he has ulterior motives: his father is taking part in the elections and they need to know what the man is planning against him. Sookie is furious, but somehow Alcide has discovered she killed his ex-girlfriend, Debbie Pelt. She tells Alcide that his father’s opponent plans to bring his father’s gambling debts into the picture, and that is enough for them to start shielding against.

Bill brings Selah Pumphrey to Merlotte’s, and Sookie is jealous but knows she needs to accept that Bill is going to date other women as they are not a couple anymore. One night, Sookie’s house is set alight and she is saved in time by Charles and the fairy Claudine. She moves into one of Sam’s rentals until her house is restored, but the drama just won’t end – after visiting Calvin Norris, who was also shot in the sniper attacks, in the hospital, she is gunned down and lives just because she heard the other person’s excitement seconds before the shot. Sookie’s house is also burnt down, and she knows that someone wants her out of the picture. Who is behind the shifter attacks? Who placed a hit on Sookie even though she is not a supernatural creature? Can Eric accept that he might never fully remember what happened when he had temporary amnesia?

Rating: 6/10

Before completely finishing this book I really felt the need to take a break from the Stackhouse series. I returned after watching the first two seasons of True Blood, and had to get my fix until I could start on Season three.

This is the first book in the series that begins to show gaps. The torching of Sookie’s house was so ill explained. Yeah, Charles did it, but I thought so many strings were left untied with the loose explanation that was given.

Tara Thornton: Literature vs. True Blood

Right now I’m not sure which character leads as my least favourite version of her. The sub plot involving her is not required at all and not even juicy enough to make it worth the pages it is written on. Tara book version is still less annoying than Tara True Blood version, but not by far.

The book is still “Everyone loves Sookie so much” but that’s okay – Twilight was built on the same premise. I just wish there was one desirable character that didn’t want Sookie, you know. That girl lived her entire life chaste and now everyone wants a piece? Doesn’t add up.

A subplot still terribly underused is Jason becoming a werepanther. I didn’t find it significant enough to be interesting, but it could have had more show time.

Everything seems to happen at once: shootings, arson, werewolf elections, Bill’s petty relationship with someone else, etc. etc. The inclusion of Quinn could be interesting, but I am not getting my hopes up. It will probably just be another way of Sookie playing with someone’s feelings because she just isn’t sure about what to do.

Not the best of the series, but still fun enough to quickly read when your brain is exhausted from daily life!

Series Review: True Blood Season 1

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Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) is a resident in Bon Temps, a small southern town. She lives with her grandmother and works as a waitress in Merlotte’s, who is owned by Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammel), a man with a secret, a murky past and a great crush on Sookie. Sookie’s life isn’t easy at all – she has telepathic abilities she struggles to control, and spends a large portion of her time having to try very hard and not to answer unspoken questions.

The world changed when vampires declared their existence after the successful manufacturing of True Blood, a synthetic yet effective form of blood. Provided with a food source that wasn’t alive, they could safely come out and live amongst their breathing counterparts. The world is still much divided – some people are obsessed with vampires and their super healing and hallucinogenic blood, others are wary and some like extremist church Fellowship of the Sun are extremely against their existence, citing them as an abomination sent from the devil.

Sookie isn’t quite a vampire fanatic, but she wants people to accept them because she understands too well the feeling of being secluded just because you are different. Merlotte’s gets its first vampire one night, and Sookie is immediately taken with Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), who seems to respond to her as well. She saves Bill’s life after he is attacked for the purpose of being drained of blood, and after his initial displeasure of a woman saving him they start a tentative relationship.

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Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) is Sookie’s brother. He seduces the ladies left, right and centre and lands himself in a spot of trouble when everyone he bangs ends up dead. Jason knows he’s innocent, but detective Andy Bellefleur doesn’t think so. Jason becomes hooked on V, an acronym for Vampire Blood, and the town drugdealer Lafayette eventually refuses to sell it to him. Desperate for more blood, he heads to vampire bar Fangtasia where he meets Amy Burley. She provides him with V and they become involved, although it quickly becomes clear the Amy isn’t nearly as harmless as she appears.

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Sookie feels the need to clear her brother’s name, and quickly establish that all of the deceased ladies had previously had some sort of dealing with vampires. Bill agrees to take her to Fangtasia, so that she can listen to the thoughts of the humans there to maybe find out what is going on. It is at Fangtasia where Sookie meets Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) a prominent figure in the vampire community. He is Bill’s boss and very old and powerful, and everyone defers to him. Sookie saves Eric and his right hand Pam (Kristin Bauer) from a police raid and when Eric establishes Sookie’s powers, he uses her to find out who’s been stealing from him. Bill is forced to kill the offending vampire and as punishment he is ordered to turn a young girl into a vampire.

This however, does not prove Jason’s innocence, and when Amy is found murdered next to him in bed, he is finally charged with murder. Can Sookie prove Jason’s innocence? Who is actually behind the brutal murders? How will Jason cope knowing he was zoned out and couldn’t prevent Amy from being killed right next to him? What will Sookie do when she finds out that Bill turned an innocent girl into a vampire?

Rating: 6/10

Look, I don’t think I will offend anyone by stating that this is one of the worst pilot seasons ever made. The acting is atrocious, there is no chemistry, and the characters are annoying as hell. Tara Thornton is probably the most annoying person ever written. There is a very fine line between honesty and rudeness, and she is quite often on the wrong side. The actress irritated me endlessly and the character was devoid of any associability for me. I am not overly fond of the casting of Sookie Stackhouse, but made peace eventually with Anna Paquin as she puts effort in and improve with time. The casting of Sam Merlotte worked out very well and he is what I thought Sam would represent. I also think the casting of Alexander Skarsgard as Eric was perfect because physically he IS Eric and his acting is some of the best in True Blood. Stephen Moyer is a thorn in my side – the way he pronounces “Sookie” makes me faintly mad with irritation. He joins the dubious acting side of the cast and pretty much irritated me the entire season, but since the character in the books are just as annoying, maybe he was just doing his job.

Bon Temp is also very much like I thought it would be. It is dinky and run down and the residents are dancing the narrow line if when crossed could be rated hillbilly. Some characters I enjoyed plenty: Lafayette, Arlene, Hoyt and Terry. They are all unique or sweet and make the show liveable. Lafayette especially intrigued me because while he is obviously gay and a bit of a transvestite, everyone knows not to ridicule him or mess with him. Andy Bellefleur is exactly what I hoped he would be: a bit of a bully in desperate need of affirmation.

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True Blood isn’t exactly as the books written by Charlaine Harris, but there is enough in for you to know what is going to happen eventually. I liked most of the changes, although I didn’t really enjoy the extreme transformation Tara went through – her role in the story completely changed and her nature as well. I don’t think all the sub plots of True blood is really necessary – Tara’s whole drama with her mother (why are we interested and what influence does it have on the plot development?), Jason’s incessant banging and subsequent troubles were way too exploited, even though I eventually grew fond of his vacant expressions.

True Blood season one was absolutely dinky and painful in some places and tries desperately hard to be dark, broody and sexy, and fails most of the time. I persisted through the tortuously slow first episodes and the last are more palatable. I am watching Season two now, and it already improves on many of the first’s mistakes.

Recommendation: Vampire Diaries is by far the more enjoyable between these two series, but if you’ve had your run of VD and needs something new in a dying genre, give it a try, but don’t get your hopes up for instant addiction.

Book Review: Dead to the World (Charlaine Harris)

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With Bill travelling Peru to continue building the vampire database the vampire queen of Louisiana wants, Sookie Stackhouse is rebuilding her life in Bon Temps without him. She has a lot to focus on – her brother is dating a shape shifter, she is still working on her self-control to not read people’s minds, and she is also dealing with the snide remarks about her previous relationship with the vampire.

Sookie finds Eric Northman on the side of the road one night, stumbling, clad only in jeans. There is obviously something very wrong with him – he can’t remember anything about his life or even his position as the Sheriff of Vampire area 5. Pam and Cho show up, and they ask Sookie to look after Eric while they try and catch the witch that cast the spell on Eric. Jason, Sookie’s brother, negotiates a massive fee for Sookie’s help, and the vampires reluctantly agree because they know the witches have put a large price on Eric’s head should he be delivered to them.

The offending witch is Hallow, a powerful, underhanded and corrupt woman who drinks vampire blood and that, combined with her powers, makes her a formidable enemy. Pam tells Sookie that the witch wanted profits from Eric’s vampire bar, Fangtasia, as well as Eric for a lover, and when he refused, she cast the spell on him.

Sookie has another problem to deal with when Shirley Hennessey, Jason’s boss, calls to ask where Jason is because he isn’t at work. Worried, Sookie checks up on him, but although his truck is at home, he is missing. The police don’t seem too overly worried about this, as Jason is known to do whatever he wants.

Sookie takes it upon herself to find her brother. The options of his whereabouts are endless. When the police find tiger tracks near his house, they think he was mauled to death. Sookie also knows that Pam and Cho could very well have taken Jason hostage as insurance while she takes care of Eric, and Sookie is also worried that Hallow and her coven might have taken him.

With Eric having no idea who he is, devoid of his charming but offensive personality, he and Sookie soon become lovers. Pam and Cho propose a plan to take out Hallow and restore Eric, but will they be successful? What will the vampire do when he is his old self again and knows that he has become Sookie’s bed mate? Can Sookie find Jason alive and well?

Rating: 6.5/10

The Fourth book in the Sookie Stackhouse series comes in at nearly the same pace as the previous three. I have to say that I wasn’t as completely enchanted and having fun as with the other books. Sookie really gets around a whole lot and she doesn’t discriminate when it comes to sleeping partners, and that is starting to grate on me. I think she blatantly ignored it most of the time that her brother was missing, because hey, she was banging the hot Viking vampire.

There were a lot of things happening in this book that could have been explored to great detail – Hallow, Jason’s disappearance, an inbred wolf community, Eric losing his memory, the fairy rocking up. Everything was swept under the rug most of the time and not really written to what it could have been.

Hallow turned out to be so disappointing. She was the complete reason that Eric lost his memory, but her character was underdeveloped and she was destroyed as a by-product. I also think the fairy was incredibly lame. Why include her if you are not going to completely incorporate her completely?

Oh yes, and regarding Eric’s memory: It would have been way more fun if Eric had pretended to lose his memory – it jibes perfectly with his character and is something he would do. THAT could have been a plot twist.

Debbie Pelt’s demise was something I found petty pleasure in. No matter my irritations with the heroine, I am still on Sookie Stackhouse’s side and want her to live happy and safe. Debbie was very evil and deceptive about it, and I really like Alcide, who deserves better.

Bill is still his annoying self, and he has tons to make up for in the future books. Talk about moody, difficult and obsessed – and people say Eric is the difficult vampire in here?!

I am definitely continuing with these books, but I do hope that there is a developing story line somewhere. So far the books are completely separated from each other and there is no continuing story line, which is something that can make the books much more enjoyable.