Sunday, March 28, 2010

From Dead to Worse (Book 8)

From Dead to Worse: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris  

First off, let me start by asking: Why is Bill on the cover?  This is a thought that truly troubles me, and I’ve agonized over a reason for a very long time as to why. I believe Eric is in it far more than Bill. I remember Bill once in this novel (and it also happens to be my favourite Bill moment in all nine books to date) but it was not an important enough scene for him to be given the cover. Does the illustrator have a Bill boner too?

Moving on...
I finished From Dead to Worse faster than any other of the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Is it my favourite book? No. Does it have some of my favourite scenes? Besides the Bill one, no. I only have one answer to this question and it leads me write to being a spoiler fiend. I knew our favourite couple (SPOILER ALERT) were married in book nine. That blew my mind and I was like, “OMG, FINALLY. Must get to that one.” So I whizzed through book eight like a fat kid promised desert after he finishes his dinner.

But I liked From Dead to Worse, I really did. I decided to break down five reasons why this novel makes it into my top three (out of nine) of the series.
5. The Were war: despite the fact that it involved Sam (yes, I know he saved her life, and I know it was all cool how he turned into Mufasa, but he’s still Sam), it was a great action piece, probably one of Charlaine’s best. The rivalry, the tension, more of Alcide’s douchiness (WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM?) and Sookie almost getting killed (surprise!) all accumulated to a great sequence where everyone is killing and carnage is flying and Sookie is drenched in blood once again. Plus, when she gets home and Pam is there to comment, is always pure gold in my opinion.

4. Niall: I still don’t know how I feel about the fairy prince of clouds or whatever. He did bring a lot of hurt on poor Sookie over two books. He also led to one of my favourite Eric lines, but I’ll get to him later.

3. Pam and Amelia: Really? They are the two most opinionated, head strong women (besides Sookie) in the whole series. It couldn’t work. It was weird. But somehow it was pretty freaking kick-ass.

2. Bill’s moment of hilarity and his best in the whole series. I can’t tell you how hard I laugh and how much it tickles me to reread this one sentence and just the thought of it has be cackling like a witch (can’t decide if the pun is intended or not). When the house is surrounded by the Nevada vamps and Sookie, Eric, Bill and Amelia (and that Fanny-pack girl or whatever) are about to get seriously harmed and Amelia says (paraphrase): “Are you guys sure we’re really in trouble? Are you, like, overreacting?” Then the best Bill moment of ALL NINE BOOKS (to date) is this golden gem where he doesn’t utter a word: Bill looked at Amelia as if she’d turned into a baboon (165). BWAHAHAHAHAHA. Can you imagine? OMG! Expression!Bill makes a rare appearance. *dies laughing*

1. Eric. That is all.
THE PLOT
This book was different from any of the other’s Charlaine Harris has done. There were three different plots and I’m still not sure if it flowed well. There was Niall, the Were war and Felipe de Castro. At some point, I felt like Niall was ignored after the initial meeting. He was sort of pushed aside and it felt like Charlaine only added him in after she finished the book at a few different spots to remind the readers that Sookie had a great-grandfather fairy. And it all ends with Hunter, who is such a set-up if I ever saw one. I’m still not sure how I feel about him either. Honestly – Sookie’s whole family is such a mess that she should just ditch them all and move on. But she won’t because she cares too much.

The Were war seemed to end rather abruptly. By page 140, it’s wrapped up and Sam and Sookie are back home. Alcide is living happily ever after as pack leader, while half his men are dead, his girlfriend brutally murdered and after using Sookie for the umpteenth time – all’s well that ends well, right Al? So after his dirty sex in front of everyone, Sookie has one of the best showers of her life (After the one in book four, she states rather pointedly).

Of course the plot that will plague Sookie for a while is the new King of Louisiana. I liked this plot the best because it showed just how much Sookie cares for Eric, even though she still is agonizing over ‘it’s the bond, no it’s real, no it’s the bond...’ she should just get a flower and pluck the petals, whichever is left is the answer, that’s how mundane her decision making is.

So even though Bill says he’d die for Sookie, I still think Bill is a loser. Who says that? I know to Bill Lover’s it was a huge proclamation to his undying love and devotion to Sookie but I call bullshit. I feel like he said it just for Sookie to be heart-warmed and not because he actually meant it. Eric didn’t answer which I found hilarious. Our Viking had no intention of dying and he was going to do his damned best to get them all out of there. He kept the situation calm and controlled and came out a little defeated, but his people survived so to me that’s a victory. The end of the book seems to bode well for Eric and Sookie and Eric and the King. Of course, this is the story of Sookie Stackhouse, famed danger magnet. The protection of the king, Eric or Pam means absolutely nothing, in my opinion. Look what the protection of the pack has done for her? She’ll just keep falling down that rabbit hole because Sookie is just so damn...gullible? Trusting? Stupid? Kind-hearted? I have no idea, but again, the woman needs every fairy spell, twenty-four hour uber!Vamp protection she can get if she plans on living her life unscathed.

ERIC
After reading book eight, you think, ‘Hey, this thing between Sookie and Eric really seems to be working toward something good.’ Sookie trusts him enough to be blindly led to a dinner date with Niall (When you smell like that, I just want to fuck you and bite you and rub myself all over you), they protect one another from the crazy, were patrol guy, he warns her and looks out for her when the Nevada scouts sneak around Area 5, he makes sure she is safe when Victor shows up at her door, he comes to Merlotte’s in the middle of a transitory situation with his new king just to make sure she’s okay (Although, notably it doesn’t turn out too good. HOWEVER, Sookie does return to her normal self afterward), she comes back and saves him from Sigebert after having a mini panic attack and then finally he shows up and offers his formal protection to her. This, my friends, is the beginning of a wonderful relationship. Perhaps book nine? Nope, that was a bust.

ANYWAY, after four books – the guy finally gets his memory back. He reverts to calling Sookie, ‘ my lover’, to which I squee’d over for like ten minutes, fainted and then died. When I was resurrected I kept thinking, you know this is it. Now he can seduce her with his words of their few days in January but instead Eric steps back and gives Sookie some space. AWWW – no! Fuck the woman!

As usual, I flipped through the pages to see when Eric would appear next and then I’d go back to where I was currently at in the book. Only the Viking Vamp could do this. Never change, my lover!

QUINN
Good riddance. Take your Fanny-pack and leave! (Oh, but please return so you and Bill can have that awesome showdown in book nine. Sorry for the spoilers). Yeah, when Sookie broke-up with Quinn I honestly went, ‘that’s the worst reason to break-up with someone ever. I don’t get it.’ I understand it now. It seemed like Charlaine was sick of Quinn and Sookie. You’d think she got rid of him that way to clear the path for the Viking because that’s the impression I got. She didn’t. We’re still waiting along with Eric, and we’re becoming IMPATIENT.

SAM
Don’t even. Stop trying, buddy. I mean it. If you and Sookie were supposed to be together, it would have happened already. You can try and impress her as much as you want – become a dog, become a lion, whatever, it won’t work. She’s still too hung up on Eric to give any other guy a chance. So, Sam go and find a new girl, marry her, be happy, forget about Sookie and throw in the towel! Then we can be friends.

BILL
Are you still here? I admit your presence in this book was tolerable. But you still were an awful boyfriend for the six months you two were together. Let’s look at this logistically. Ignoring all the horrible things you did to the human woman you claim to love more than your own life, let’s look at the length of your relationship (above). Good, now, how long has Eric been a threat to you...Let’s say the events in Living Dead in Dallas were in September of whatever the hell year makes sense, and you and Sookie were together back in May. So you had four solidly, confident, blissful months with the barmaid. Eric has been invading into your very-much-ended-relationship for the last three of your six or seven month long relationship. Where are you in Sookie’s eye? Where is Eric? Let’s see – you are the weakest link, goodbye!

FINAL THOUGHTS
I don’t know. Maybe I’m easily impressed, but I liked book eight. It was probably one of the most weak plot-wise, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The Gran revelation was a bit of a snore in my opinion but the rest of the book held up nicely. I think I’ll give it four True Blood’s. It might have been five, but it gets one knocked off for taking Bob!Cat away from us. I’m going to miss his furry behind.

So, what did you think of book 8?  Post your review in the comments!

~greenlemons

7 comments :

  1. That was an awesome review! Loved it!

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  2. *gigglesnort* Fanny-pack, Bob!cat. So funny! What a great review! And I always wondered why the hell Bill was on the cover too! You hit all the high and low notes in the book and made this review really entertaining too.

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  3. Great review. you voiced a lot of concerns here, though we in Australia have totally different book covers over here so i didn't know Bill was on the cover. WTF is that about o.O?

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  4. Your review had me laughing my ass off... like a fat kid promised desert. LOL.
    Bill's declaration at the takeover bugs me. And why should Eric declare he'd die for Sookie? What good would it do her if he died? She'd be whisked away to Sin City in 2.2 seconds... better to live and continue protecting her. IMO. (But I hate Bill, so take what I say for the biased opinion it is.)

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  5. I always thought it was Filipe in the banner.
    Oh well, Great review green.
    I love it. <3

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Sorry, just checking what would happen if I did =p

    One of the things i really liked from this book was a conversation Sookie and Sam shared after the Sigebert bit in Merlotte's Bar. He drives her home and is telling her that he wants to pull her out of the vampire world, and she responds this:

    “In some ways. It was nice to have a clear path before me,” I said. “I do get really sick of the politics and the battles. But my life wasn’t any prize, Sam. Every day was a struggle just to act like I was a regular human, like I didn’t know all the things I know about other humans. The cheating and infidelity, the little acts of dishonesty, the unkindness. The really severe judgments people pass on each other. Their lack of charity. When you know all that, it’s hard to keep going sometimes. Knowing about the supernatural world puts all that in a different perspective. I don’t know why. People aren’t any better or worse than the supernaturals, but they’re not all there is, either.”

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