My journey with Harris and her band of characters in Bon Temps began in 2009. I had to force myself through the first book and distinctly remember telling my reading circle of friends that I felt slightly dumber after reading it. Suffice it to say I wasn't overly impressed; however, what Harris had done was create characters that I liked and really wanted to follow, and so, I kept reading.
Advance to the previous two or three books and it was obvious that Harris had committed herself to more books than what she had stories for, sadly. Since I was already noticing a decline, I wasn't overly surprised by this last book.
First, Sookie’s final relationship. I’ll offer no spoilers here, but I was not surprised by Harris’s choice for Sookie’s final beau. I think it was poorly supported and not even remotely well developed, but not surprising.
Second, again while trying to avoid spoilers like the plague, I’ll just say that for some reason Harris brought back old characters that didn't really need to come back. They had received sufficient ends to their stories in past books and didn't need to be resurrected (yep, pun totally intended).
Thirdly, Harris’s writing really seemed to get worse in Dead Ever After. Remember that I mentioned feeling a bit dumber having read the first book? Well, as she continued in the series, Harris’s writing actually did improve, but in this installment totally reverted back to the horribly scripted, poorly thought out roots – I felt a little dumber once again. I had to reread passages because they were so poorly constructed it was hard to find the meaning, and there were several times where dialogue or prose would just jump from one thing to the other – no real transition.
Lastly, and this falls in the relationship category a little, she wrote what is possibly the WORST sex scene known to writing. She’s been writing intimate, sensual, climatic sex scenes since book one and all the sudden it was like a Harlequin flunky stepped in to write the sensual scene in this one (yep, just one – because the relationship is thoroughly ignored until the last few chapters of the book).
Those are my opinions about some of the more important aspects, but I will offer this last thought. I've often wondered why a publisher, author, and/or agent would ever want to create and sign a contract for a specific number of books in a series. Only an author knows when a character’s story has come to an end, and I’d think that VERY RARELY would an author know how many books that equals. My opinion on what happened is this: Harris signed a contract for 13 books meaning she had to provide 13 books whether or not she had a good story. SO, the last few books have been whatever she could mush together to fill the covers of the books. I think Sookie’s story was probably ready for its ending many books ago, but for the love of money was dragged out until now. Sad, but more than likely true.
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