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Club Dead (2006)

Club Dead (2006)
4.03 of 5 Votes: 1
1841493015 (ISBN13: 9781841493015)
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Club Dead (2006)
Club Dead (2006)

About book: For the first third of Club Dead, my same old complaint about Sookie Stackhouse was widening and deepening, and I thought it was finally going to take its toll on my enjoyment of Charlaine Harris’ books. Even now, even after Harris won me back and entertained the hell out of me, I am still not sure how I feel about Sookie’s behaviour, and I fear for my long term enjoyment of the series. You see, Sookie is a hypocrite of gargantuan proportions. From Dead Until Dark to Club Dead, Sookie has made out or more with Sam Merlotte (her boss and a Shape Shifter), Eric (the gorgeous Scandinavian Vampire), and Alcide (the big, burly, manly Werewolf). She’s had sexual contact with all of them, rationalized her behaviour in her head, and kept it secret from Bill -- the Vampire she is supposed to love. And fair enough. I don’t really have a problem with that. But I do have a problem with her self-righteousness. She’s offended when Bill notices a girl’s bum, she’s offended when she merely thinks Bill has “betrayed,” and she is instantly willing to hold his behaviour up to a standard that she herself does not practice. Even worse, if Bill keeps a secret from her, she considers it a betrayal that actually has her contemplating “sharpening stakes” to make him pay for his transgression, but when she keeps a secret from him...well, that’s no big deal at all.And when Bill actually does something that is a big deal, say like raping her in the trunk of a car during a feeding frenzy stupor, Sookie blows it off as though nothing has happened at all (a reaction that really isn't sitting well with me at all).Sookie’s self-righteousness doesn't only manifest over love and sex, however; it manifests over small things, moments that don’t matter. For instance, Pam, a particularly cold Vampire that Sookie actually considers a friend, fails to say thanks for some True Blood Sookie gave her to drink. Her manners appall Sookie, and little miss indignant gleefully expresses her disgust at the Vampire’s lack of couth. Yet the night before, Pam sent Bubba (an undead and practically brain dead Elvis) to save Sookie from a werewolf attack, and never did Sookie utter a word of thanks. Here’s the thing that bothers me: if this is how Harris sees the world, if she thinks that Sookie is as righteous as Sookie seems to think she is, if she actually doesn’t perceive the hypocrisy and stupidity of the woman she’s made the hero of her stories, then Sookie’s insufferability goes beyond my ability to forgive. If, on the other hand, Harris is fully aware of Sookie’s insufferability, and she has chosen this as a character trait to make Sookie a consciously flawed protagonist, then the choice is a good one and Harris is successful.But I can't tell which it is.At times, I think it’s the former and not the latter. If it were the latter, I would expect to see other characters calling her on her behaviour. But the only character who comes close, Eric, can only muster a raised eyebrow and an instant increase in his desire for the feisty, southern, telepathic, waitressing belle. Still, it could be the latter rather than the former because every once in a while Sookie will flirt with condemning herself for her behaviour just before she rationalizes away her decisions, which she always does.If it wasn’t for Anna Paquin’s transformative performance of Sookie in the HBO TV series, I don’t know that I could have even gotten this far in the Sookie books. Now that I am finished Club Dead, though, I find that I am still glad I have. Despite my feelings about Sookie, this third book of the series is the best. Charlaine Harris, for all her authorial faults, infuses her stories with a conversational ease that makes them fun. Sookie may be a pain in my ass, but she is a pain in my ass that I can almost believe exists. I dig her quirkiness and all the crazy but believable situations Harris puts her in. And therein lies Harris’ real talent: I buy her urban fantasy world, and if I could live in any urban fantasy world it would be hers. So I guess I’m moving on to book four the next time I need a book to read while I am doing dishes. Yes. I am an official knob.

Sookie and Bill's relationship has always been fraught with issues - she's a telepath and he's a vampire - but when Bill leaves out of town, things are about to get even stickier. Sookie learns that Bill has been working on something big in conjunction with the Queen of Louisiana but is missing. So Sookie does the only thing she can: she goes to Eric, Bill's sexy boss, to ask for his help in finding Bill.I want to give out my utmost apologies in advance, because this is going to be a rather boring review. Not boring as in "This book is boring, proceed with caution", but boring as in "This book was a lot of fun, just like the others, so if you've read those reviews, well, you know what I'm going to say already". If I were into plagiarism, I'd probably just take my previous reviews of the earlier books, tweak a few things and post them here. But I'm not, so please excuse this probably dry, boring review.Anyway, the Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse series is a guilty pleasure. It's not the most brilliant of books I've read, it's not the most unique or clever, but it is FUN and it is ENJOYABLE. And sometimes you don't want to read some groundbreaking, earth-shattering, mind-blowing work of art (or a bunch of broody people brooding around in their broodiness); sometimes, you want to read about quirky characters doing sometimes silly things and laugh your butt off. And that is what Sookie Stackhouse means to me.This book is different from the earlier ones in that the inciting event isn't a murder but Bill's disappearance. Sookie must take matters into her own hands to find him, showing she's got guts to back up her character (NEVER a bad thing for a female character, who often tends to be at the whim of her possessive, domineering boyfriend). And what she ends up finding are some pretty shocking things that force some even tougher (though badly needed) decisions.Besides the characters we've come to know and love (Sookie, Bill, Sam, Eric, Pam, Bubba, etc.), we get the brand-new character of Alcide, who may very well be my favorite character next to the charming Bubba. He's sexy, he's polite, he's everything I'd like in a romantic interest - although I don't know if he is going to be an official romantic interest for Sookie at this point (though I wouldn't mind!!).The other good thing about this is book is that we get to see more of Eric. Eric in the earlier books was kinda enigmatic to me. He was broody and in the background. Here, we get to see the chemistry between him and Sookie - and it's pretty hot. He also seems to respect Sookie more than the territorial Bill - something that has troubled me a bit about Bill from the beginning.But the biggest different (and probably the most shocking) is what happens to Bill. Apparently, he was seeing Lorena (another vampire from his past) and was going to break it off with Sookie. Not to mention, once Sookie gets Bill back, he basically drains her blood and rapes her (has sex with her when she is saying, very clearly, "NO!") - something I do NOT like seeing in my romantic heroes!! And this comes from someone who was OK with Bill in the beginning - I even kinda liked his Southern gentleman charm. But when he forced himself on Sookie, I was just like, "NO! You do NOT DO THAT. Even if you are 'out of sorts' and starved".Now, I did find this book to be slower to get through, but I wonder if that is just me or that I am nearing what I call "series burnout" - what happens when I read too many books in the same series (regardless of whether I like the series or not). Since my work has been crazy, I'll err on saying that it was more of my fault for not getting through this and less of the book's fault.I'm glad that I've found a vampire/paranormal romance/urban fantasy series that I enjoy. For awhile, I was afraid I was just not a vampire/werewolf girl. But really, it all comes down to finding something that floats your boat. No, Sookie Stackhouse won't win awards for Best Writing or Most Unique Take on Vampires or anything, but it's enjoyable and fun, and honestly, could I ask for anything more at the end of the day?
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Notes: This is, for now, my favourite book in the series and it's not a coincidence that Bill goes missing for the most of it. I'm quite torn about this series since, while I like the stories a lot and I'm curious about what'll happen next, I can't stand very much 2 of the major characters: Sookie & Bill. I find both of them quite annoying & their relationship just doesn't trasmit me anything...however for 2 I don't like there are some I love! First of all Eric that I liked from the start and that I find a very interesting character with his complex personality (moreover he's HOT!!!), then his two sidekicks Pam & Chow who at least have some sort of self control in front of Sookie's "charm"...cause I don't understand why all the guys fall in love/lust with her (and maybe i'm a little jelous too)! In the end i know I'll continue to read this series because I'd like to know where the story will go (hoping in some changes along the way) but it probably would never been one of my fav series in the genre even if there were the premises for being just that.
Mississippi has a King, Louisiana has a Queen and Bill has gone missing. Sookie enters Club Dead in hopes to find out what has happened to Bill. Eric simply rocks.In Club Dead the character of the werewolf Alcide is introduced as a possible romantic interest for Sookie. It’s quite funny how she lusts over the guy throughout the book, while at the same time she’s upset with Bill about his relationship with his ex.Poor Bill. I’m a little sad about how easily he’s been dismissed by the author. Granted, he doesn’t hold a candle against Eric, but still… Spending two books with him as hero only to have him turned into a coward and a cheater in this one… Not that Sookie is any better in my opinion. All that complaining that he never helped her financially, when she didn’t even ask him to, made me roll my eyes more than once.I sometimes wonder if I would be enjoying this series so much, if it hadn’t been for Eric’s character. It’s funny, since his presence isn’t constant in the first three books; he doesn’t appear nearly as much as I would like him to. The parts that he’s in though are always my favorite ones.As for Sookie, most of the time it’s hard for me to follow her reasoning. Some other times, it’s just painful. Somehow, it had never crossed my mind—I guess since I'm an American—that the vampires who had snatched Bill might be resorting to evil means to get him to talk.Say what?
Club Dead for me is where the Sookie Stackhouse series really starts getting its feet under it. Things are definitely not well between Sookie and her boyfriend vampire Bill, and as Sookie heads to Mississippi to track him down and rescue him from lethal peril, she is torn between the attentions of the werewolf Alcide--and way more attention than she'd like from the vampire Eric, who is growing more and more interested in her with every book. Unfortunately for Sookie's peace of mind, the interest is becoming mutual. ;)Only on my re-read through this book did I realize that this is actually one of the things I respect about this series: that it is possible in a long-running series for relationships to shift and evolve, and sometimes not necessarily in a positive way. The love interest in Book 1 need not be the love interest in Book 3 or Book 4. And love interests may never progress past the stage of "potential". There have been times in the Sookie series where I've been weary of every single supernatural male in her vicinity being interested in her, but the re-read I'm doing is shifting my opinion on that, I'm pleased to note.I liked seeing a bit more of Tara Thornton, who I'd completely forgotten about from before--and who is an interesting contrast to her TV counterpart. Look also for some great Eric participation in this plot towards the end, as well as excellent appearances by "Bubba". My only real beef about this book is that the reason why Bill is abducted in the first place feels kind of thin. But the Eric mileage here is nifty enough that I'm willing to overlook that! Three and a half stars.
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