Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Review: Deadlocked

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow, there is a lot to process in this story... the direction of the characters is drastically different from what they were doing, say 7 book ago. You can say that's life though, and this is completely normal to evolve and change.

I feel like so many people are disappointed in the direction of the story because it's no longer that happy little light and sassy book you could pick up and read, expecting laughter, tons of sex, lots of blood and crazy shit every chapter. In many regards it reminds me of some of her other series in the mood of the book. Although....

Be prepared that this story is moodier and sadder than any of the other Sookie Stackhouse mysteries. It's grown up a lot, well, Sookie has grown up. She's been through an amazing number of outlandish adventures, and has had some very tough relationship issues. Heartbreak, friends & family dying, and it's bound to affect a person.

I just finished this story, and I'm left feeling really sad. Sookie's got such relationship troubles, not the usual funny kind she used to have. Just... it's sad how her and Eric aren't even really talking anymore. To show how different these stories are from before, there was not one time that Sookie or anyone that I can think of had sex in this book. Now, from the other stories, that's practically shocking. I can see how some of the fans are disappointed. This more serious and meaningful story maybe wasn't what they were anticipating. Some people read to escape, and to dream of what they wish they could do or have in life, not to see the struggles and pain others go through. This book may not end up being for everyone who was a longtime fan in that regard.

I can't wait to read the next installment. I'm happy with the direction that Charlaine Harris has taken her characters. I want to know what happens after Sam and Sookie got home, and what's going on with the Queen of Oklahoma and what the hell is going to happen to all of these people. I've been reading about them for so long, I care about what they're going through, and where they are going to end up. One thing I always like is that I can relate to what Sookie goes through or feels. There's a brevity to her pain this time, it used to be more of a joke in the sarcastic way it was portrayed. Now you actually really can feel more of her pain, and that might just not feel funny anymore, but it's a great way to bring a character to life and make you see how things affect people instead of just laughing and assuming they can just keep amusing you.

There are major steps in the characters lives, but I don't want to go into it and reveal parts of the story in a spoiler. But there is a lot happening, and I feel like this book is a bit of a transition to the next aspect of the residents of Bon Temps.

I'll be honest though, when I first started reading, I was feeling a little drab mood from the book. I was waiting for all the excitement that always used to jump out of a Sookie book. Then I started to think about how many books there are, this is book #12. How long can one character believably just have crazy shit happen and never move onto something else? Without the series just becoming an entire joke? Look as what the HBO series did to the story. They took it and made it outlandish with absurd shit that didn't even happen anywhere in the books.

As an author, would I want to keep writing stories that just end up being taken so lightly? Maybe it was time for the characters to evolve, grow up, and move on? Maybe it was time for me to reset my thinking to neutral for this story. So I could enjoy it, stop judging it and trying to compare it to what Sookie books used to be. I decided to evolve with it. I ended up really really liking it. The writing is great, she's even improved upon not repeating everything the characters used to do and reminding readers about it. That was a little peeve of mine in some of the books around book #8. Her writing is tight, the story and plot are there, and I'm looking forward to book #13.

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