Definitely Dead, by Charlaine Harris
May 3, 2007
I re-read this yesterday because I’m planning on picking up the new Sookie Stackhouse book today.
Some backstory of Definitely Dead is included in the short story “One Word Answer” from the Bite anthology. Those who haven’t read it will still be able to follow Definitely Dead just fine, but unfortunately it’s a necessary purchase for those who want everything Sookie. (I say unfortunately because aside from the Harris story the rest of Bite is either more romance than paranormal or just plain bad.)
In the story, Sookie travels to New Orleans to settle the affairs of her estranged, twice-dead vampire cousin, Hadley. She becomes wrapped up in events at the court of Louisiana’s vampire queen and is, as usual, in over her head. With the help of a new guy, Sookie manages to not die while surrounded with vampire drama and dealing with the repercussions of earlier events.
Spoilers follow, so don’t continue reading if you haven’t finished the book yet.
In Definitely Dead, we see Sookie getting a little harder than she used to be. In earlier books Sookie really started to lose the sense of isolation caused by her mental condition, and that process has continued through the series. But by getting close to people, she opened herself up to heartache made all the worse by her social awkwardness. Her troubles make her temper shorter and her tongue sharper, and to me that’s an interesting development.When she learns that Bill was sent to Bon Temps to meet her after hearing Hadley’s stories, I felt so badly for her. While it seems obvious that Bill came to truly care for her, the revelation shakes Sookie’s world badly enough that she’ll be able to finally get over him. She went through a hell of a lot for love of him, and to find that all those troubles were started because he deliberately recruited her to work for the vamps was a sad but fantastic twist.
I’m happy that the series still has big surprises beyond the next body or who Sookie’s dating now (and on that note, I’m hoping that Eric stays in the picture at least a little, he wasn’t in this book much but his scenes were fantastically tense). I’m heading to the store for the next one right now.