You wouldn’t think being a telepath married to a vampire Viking could get boring, especially when you throw were-animals into the mix (wolves and tigers and panthers, oh my!) and a faerie stripper or two, but Sookie Stackhouse’s existence is growing dull - for the reader as much as for Sookie herself. Write out a brief synopsis of this novel, and you might be a little confused. You find yourself thinking, “Surely that bit of the story has happened to Sookie before? And that bit’s definitely familiar too.”
Charlaine Harris is avoiding one pitfall of novels written in serial: if she were to make Sookie too powerful, the threats too unusual and her enemies too impressive, it could result in an Anita Blake-type situation where Sookie saves everyone, every time, from increasingly ridiculous foes. Paying attention to the mundane and human parts of Sookie’s life keeps her relatively normal. The problem is, there’s not enough depth to the emotional side of Sookie’s relationships, or enough complexity to the politics of the various supernatural groups, especially when all three main groups (vampires, werewolves, fairies) have to be fitted in at once.
So, Sookie has something people want, someone’s trying to kill her, and her love life is a mess. That’s not a spoiler, because it could refer to most of the other books too. If many more entries are this unremarkable, the series isn’t going to last.
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