Sookie Stackhouse Book 10 – Dead in the Family is Compelling FantasyBy
The Fae War has ended, and somehow Sookie has survived her kidnapping, torture and more to live another day. The question remains, does she want to? I really felt for Sookie in this book, she has gone through so much and this time around her well-known perkiness has taken a beating and called for retreat. Who can blame her?
If you have been following the series, you know that Sookie was bound to be influenced by the utter quantity of violence that surrounds the supernaturals she hangs with. This time around, it seems like it has finally left its mark on her. When she is threatened, and worse when she sees how dragged down Erik has become, she is bitter and wants the being responsible dead. This is not the Sookie we met in Dead Until Dark.
Love Among the Ruins
But don’t think that this book is all dark and doom – it isn’t. The darkness can be compelling, fantasy that it is. But it has its redeeming parts too. In fact, one of the nicer parts of it is that Sookie finally gets her Viking to admit he loves her. It is something she, and many of her readers, have been waiting to hear the long tall cold one say. I like Erik the best of all her lovers, but there were times I thought he would never give in to his feelings. When Pam lets Sookie know that she has never seen Erik this way about someone it made my little heart soar.
Ruins Among the Love
Of course, being the Sookie universe, there are dead bodies everywhere and danger around every corner. There are dead bodies not only where there shouldn’t be any, but most decidedly where someone not very conveniently placed them. There are town-folks threatening Sam’s livelihood (first time I can remember seeing Sam that angry) and there is some very creepy moments when Sookie faces one of the Fae clan who is beyond dangerous. Who would have thought the Fae could be such scary beings? But then, these are not Tinkerbelle fairies, are they?
Inner Action Trumps This Time
Some may say that nothing much happens in this book, but I think they are wrong. I think a lot happens, but it happens internally. Erik and Sookie both go through some major changes here, and although our gal is kinda quiet in much of the book compared to her usual self, it felt real. No one would go through what she did at the hands of those two murderous monsters in Dead and Gone and not have been affected by it.
One of the things I have always liked about this series is how the characters grow and change. I like that the Fae and the Vampires and yes even the wers are decidedly non-human in this series. They are not just people with fangs or fur – there are some real differences in how they think. They are not the same static predictable characters, nor are they just like the ones we met ten books ago. Truth is they shouldn’t be.
Dead in the Family is where Sookie finally admits that she may in the end be just as blood-thirsty as the vamps. It kinda scares her, but not enough to have her change her mind about who needs to be killed. Now that, of all the things that happened in Dead in the Family, was scary for me.
But we also get to see the strength she gets from friends and family. Jason comes through as much more together now and even her Fae “cousin” is revealed to be more than the petty self-centered being we were first introduced to. She finds that she values her connections to these different tribes, and even if she isn’t sure all the time where she fits in, these are her family now. In fact, the final scene of the book (no spoilers here) simply amplifies this rather nicely.
If you are a Sookie fan, get ready to be a bit surprised by how she handles some stuff here. Even Erik does a bit of “growing up”. If you are looking for a bit of a breather while waiting for the next season of True Blood, I can’t think of a better way than reading the series that started it all. The books are in a compelling fantasy world that holds together better than most. Dead in the Family is a good bridge between the end of the Fae War and the battle about to begin as Erik fights to save his territory. It reveals an evolution in characters and a growth in our gal Sookie as well.