So Long, Sookie, Goodbye!

deadeverafter There are very few book series that have had me anticipating the release date of the next book with tremendous excitement. The Harry Potter books, George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Ice series, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series have all made me want to pack my bags, throw in the extra toothbrush and move in with the characters for the duration. Three years ago, another series made my list: Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries. Sookie Stackhouse had me at, “I’m a waitress.” I actually watched the first two seasons of True Blood back to back before picking up the first book in the series. Of course then my bank account took a small hit as I ordered all of the books then in print – in hardback. My husband and two daughters have been just as enthralled with Sookie and the residents of Bon Temps, Louisiana as I have, so when the 13th and final book in the series, Dead Ever After, hits the stands on May 7, we may have to draw straws to see who gets to read it first. I plan on rigging that game.

With the Southern Vampire Mystery books, there is there is a lot of room for literary criticism. Between plot inconsistencies, grammatical errors and what some readers declare as just weak writing skills, I have found myself defending Ms. Harris on numerous occasions. I do not care about all of the little criticisms that for some add up to a dislike of the books. Harris hooked me with the first book and pulled me in. I felt Sookie’s visceral betrayal by Bill. I understood her loyalty to friends and family who were undeserving. I fell in love with Eric while he was under a witch’s spell. And isn’t that what reading and writing are all about? The ability to immerse oneself in the story and enjoy the ride?

I approach this final book as I have other books that have ended a beloved series…with a bittersweet anticipation. So many readers are tremendously invested in this series that the predictions for Sookie’s HEA are rampant. There are already 103 “reviews” of the book at Goodreads that are just basically discussing what will happen to Sookie. Will she end up with Eric, Bill, Sam, Alcide or Quinn? Or no one? We all have our favorites in the Sookie Romance Race. I personally favor Eric, although I would not be upset if she ends up with Bill or Quinn. Sam is too much like a brother with that incestuous “ick” factor and Alcide? Just NO. As hot as Alcide is supposed to be, he has had too many TSTL moments to be a suitable mate for Sookie. The teasers from Ms. Harris state that Sookie will be arrested for murder at the beginning of Dead Ever After. So now readers are wondering just who dies and who is trying to frame Sookie for the murder? My guess is Arlene, but there are too many others that could just as easily fit that bill. Ms. Harris is not squeamish about killing people off. I will be waiting for that answer and others when the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. on May 7. Will you?

– Mary Skelton

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12 Responses to “So Long, Sookie, Goodbye!”

  1. maggie b. says:

    I am definitely looking forward to the conclusion of this series. With all the ups, downs and sideways we have all gone through with Sookie it will be interesting to see where we finally end up. If I had to pick who Sookie would end up with I would choose Bill. But a dear friend is fairly certain it will be Sam and given how the last book ended she could be right. I’m not going to over think it but just enjoy it!

  2. maryskl says:

    I would be fine with Bill and there is a certain symmetry to that relationship. My youngest daughter cannot forgive him for working for Queen Sophie, but I think he has more than made up for any earlier mistakes. He is also the only vampire who has Sookie’s best interests at heart.

  3. BevQB says:

    This has been an audio-only series for me because of the brilliant narration of Johanna Parker. However, I long ago preordered this final one in print because I knew I would not have the patience to listen to the audio the first time through.

    I WILL listen to it after reading it though because I don’t want to miss this last Southern-fried journey with both Ms. Harris and Ms. Parker.

  4. Nifty says:

    I’m afraid to read this one, because I’m a huge fan of Eric-and-Sookie, and I’m afraid that’s not going to be the way this series ends. I didn’t read last year’s book. I won’t read this one if she ends up with someone else. (I have a friend who will read it, and I can pump her for spoilers.)

    • maryskl says:

      LOL! I want Eric too. I imagine there will be a lot of fans disappointed with the ending regardless of who (if anyone) Sookie ends up with. We all have our favorites.

      • Nifty says:

        Out of curiosity, I just ventured over to Harris’ blog, and she writes that she is NOT touring with the newest/final Sookie book. I haven’t seen where she gives a reason, but my immediate thought is that she expects that no matter what, her book is going to leave some fans upset. So maybe easiest to avoid all the “irate reader” drama and angst and just skip the tour? Dunno. (But…can’t say that I blame her! I want the series to end a certain way, but guess what? It’s not my series, not my baby. Of course Harris has every right to do with Sookie whatever she will, without regard for reader opinion.)

        • maryskl says:

          It reminds be a lot of the final Harry Potter book. There were those who hated that Harry ended up with Ginny.

  5. DJ says:

    I really liked the initial books in this series a lot. But I wasn’t able to muster interest in reading the last one… and I am not sure if I’ll go for this final one. I just couldn’t anymore… too many violent deaths of characters I enjoyed.

  6. erika says:

    I have no expectatins of a HEA with this series. I do have a feeling Sookie may be killed off…Harris has done that to other characters.

  7. Cora says:

    I was at my local bookstore today and saw to my infinite surprise that they already had copies of Dead Ever After in stock almost two weeks early. I’m in Germany and our bookstores sometimes forget/ignore official release dates for foreign language books and put them out early. I guess that’s what happened here.

    I didn’t buy the book, because I don’t do hardcovers. But I couldn’t resist taking a little peek at the end to see how and with whom Sookie ends up. Nope, I’m keeping my mouth shut. But I certainly was satisfied with the outcome.