Charlaine Harris
Dead Reckoning
Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampires, Book #11

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi

This is the eleventh installment in the Sookie Stachouse/Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris that follows telepath Sookie and the supernatural beings in her life….and a few humans too.  HBO’s hit series True Blood is based on this series, but obviously hasn’t gotten this far into the books yet as it’s gearing up for season 4, based on book four, Dead to the World.

Dead Reckoning picks up where the last book left off, the weres and shapeshifters have just come out of the closet and told the world they exsist.  Eric’s maker has been killed and they have to deal with Victor who will do anything to provoke Eric so he can kill him with no repercussions.  And the portal to Faery has been sealed closed, leaving Claude and Dermot in the human world and Niall and many others in Faery.

Sookie is working at Merlotte’s as usual and someone firebombs the bar.  Everyone assumes that it’s a hate crime targeted at Sam for being a shapeshifter.  Then, some thugs come into the bar to try to kidnap Sookie.  And finally Sandra Pelt comes flouncing in and admits to all these things in a rage asking Sookie what it will take for her to die already.

Claude and Dermot are living with Sookie and she enjoys the company, but is starting to feel they have an ulterior motive…especially now that she realizes that she feels more and more fae the longer she is around them.

Eric receives a letter telling him that his maker had made an agreement before he died that requires Eric to wed the Queen of Oklahoma.  He is trying to get out of it because he could no longer be wed to Sookie, if he is forced to marry the queen.  Victor could help him out of it, but won’t so Eric is appealing to the King.

Then to make matters worse, Sookie has her blood bond with Eric broken thanks to Amelia and a spell she found.  Now Eric is worried that Victor will kill her and he won’t even know she’s in danger.  He’s trying to convince Sookie to move in with him, but she has yet to agree.

Sookie, Pam, and Eric all agree that their lives would be much easier if Victor was dead and they work to create a plan to make it happen.  It’s a hard-fought battle with casualties and injuries on both sides, but they ultimately succeed.  Of course that doesn’t solve Eric’s wedding problems.

I have to admit that I was really paranoid about this book for two reasons.  The first was because I was extremely disappointed with Dead in the Family (Book #10) and I was worried that this book would follow in its boring lackluster path.  The second reason was because I was hearing all kinds of rumors about this book being the end of Sookie and Eric, and being a huge Eric fan I was preparing to be royally ticked off.

I’m happy to say that I was happy with this book.  It was much better than the previous book.  There is a lot going on, which appears to be setting up for things to happen in the future books.  And Eric and Sookie’s relationship isn’t a bed of roses, but it’s not really over yet either. Charlaine Harris left it in such a way that I feel the queen is just another obstacle for them to overcome…but I think they will overcome it!!  At least I hope so!!

Overall, I thought this book was pretty good…if you can look past the whole Eric being promised to another and the overuse of the word “pregnant” as in pregnant pause.  I was a bit surprised that Jason was pretty much non-existent in this book.  He was there in passing once and Sookie thought about him, but he didn’t have a single line.  Not that I read the series for Jason though.  And I was starting to think that Bill was going to be missing in this one too until he finally showed up almost halfway through the book!!

However,  I thought it was a little unnecessary to explain what went wrong with Bubba’s transition twice in one book….it was like Harris wrote it and forgot about it and mentioned it again later….but not that much later.

This was another quick read and you just can’t help, but get drawn into the story.  The writing was much stronger in this book than it was in Dead in the Family (thankfully) and didn’t feel so rushed.  I think Sookie is maturing slightly, but I could have smacked her when she broke the blood bond with Eric.  All I can ask is why?  You are bonded to a hot Viking vampire that loves you, you just used this bond to save the vampires from an ill effect of fairy blood that could have gotten you killed and yet you throw that tool away??  Not to mention you have several people out to murder you and you cast away your best defensive weapon!?!

I was glad to see Eric back to calling Sookie his lover and of course I loved his protectiveness over her.  I also enjoyed Dermot and understanding the fairies a little more.  I felt Pam had more depth in this book as well and even went against Eric a little bit.  I was also happy to see Sookie be a little more independent in this book and making decisions for herself, even if they weren’t always the best decisions.

And now the wait…until the next installment where we can see just what happens with Eric, the queen, and Sookie.  And who will Eric end up married to as that’s the biggest unanswered question left.