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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris

Read for the Vampire Reading Challenge.

The fourth installment of the Sookie Stackhouse novels has Sookie involved in a war between the vampires of Shreveport, and a coven of witches (who also happen to be Weres) that move in and try to take over the vampire’s territory. The vampire’s leader, Eric, has lost his memory because of the witches, and it’s up to Sookie to keep him safe, all while she’s also looking for her brother Jason, who’s managed to go missing.

Having now seen nearly all of two seasons of the tv show based from these books, and now being four books into the series, I can’t help but compare the world of the show to the world of the books when I read. I read the third and fourth book after having seen at least part of the show, and with both books, I’ve been surprised by how quickly the action goes by. There’s nothing like seeing how a writing staff fleshes out a story to make it into a full television season to contrast the pacing style.

It’s also strange seeing the character development, as the tv show has now gone enough off story that it’s hard to see how it could follow the path of the novels. I’m admittedly a couple of episodes behind in season two, so I’m not sure how it’ll end, but Sookie and Bill’s relationship in the show does not seem to lend itself to the progression of events that lead to Dead to the World.

Turning back to the book, I enjoy the portrayal of the Weres and shifters in the story. Their society is well fleshed out, and it’s fun to see the differences between an outed supernatural society (the vampires), and one that is still trying to maintain the secrecy of its existence. The witches in the story seemed a bit of a throwaway device, but I’m their presence will be expanding on later, because some of the basic things they did have interesting possibilities.

All in all, this was a good, quick read, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

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