This is a wonderful book that addresses issues many seniors face; friends and family dying, financial uncertainty, younger family members making assum...moreThis is a wonderful book that addresses issues many seniors face; friends and family dying, financial uncertainty, younger family members making assumptions that are all too often not only false, but patronizing, and a world that seems to move at an ever faster pace every year. It also addresses relevant issues of blending cultures, cultural expectations, gender roles, and how etiquette is often as limiting as it is helpful in social situations. The story is elegant and poignant without giving itself over to being mushy. Major Pettigrew is a charming old school British soldier and Mrs. Ali is an erudite Indian entrepreneur in a small town; he has been widowed for some time but is shaken when his brother dies. Mrs. Ali's nephew arrives from India to take over the store she has started with her husband and labored in for several decades to make a success.
Everyone around the two seniors assumes that they will be happy to step aside and cede everything they most cherish to other people in their family because, as seniors, their lives are more or less over anyways, and the relatives are eager to enhance their own social and financial standing by pillaging Major Pettigrew's and Mrs. Ali's possessions. Meanwhile, the two are forging an unusual friendship and fighting to maintain their independence from their sometimes well meaning relatives. Highly recommended!
I think it's a tribute to Harris that so many readers had such a strong reaction to this book. Too many of them, though, seem to take...moreSPOILER ALERT!!!
I think it's a tribute to Harris that so many readers had such a strong reaction to this book. Too many of them, though, seem to take issue solely with the fact that Sookie didn't end up with their choice of hottie (overwhelmingly Eric). If that's their only problem with this book, they need to get over themselves and go back to reading harlequin romances where there's only one possible "true love" for the female. Or better yet, pick up Twilight.
My advice to the truly disappointed? Write your own book (or series, even) and have it end any way you want. LKH put it quite nicely when she said, "My world. My characters. My story. My way."
I thought this book was a good solid ending to a rip roaringly good series. This series did not implode like the Anita Blake series did, and it poked subtle fun at some of the self important books on vampires where characters ooze angst in an unrelenting assault on the reader.
I did catch a whiff of deus ex machina with the cluviel dor - both Sam and Sookie seemed to be altered in a significant way by the cluviel dor. To me, it looked a heck of a lot like growing up. Let's face it, everyone loves to drool over the Bad Boy. Everyone loves to fantasize about the Dangerous Guy and imagine that he will for some mysterious reason be so moved by you that he will Mend His Ways and magically fall all over himself to be the perfect lover - because he Feels So Deeply About You he will not treat you the way he's treated every other female he's ever had a relationship (or one night stand) with. It makes for a compelling fantasy, and it's great when you're a teen. But somewhere along the line, most women figure out that guys who treat women poorly usually continue to treat women poorly, even when they meet someone as wonderful as....say...YOU. Because a jerk is a jerk is a jerk. Do people sometimes change? Absolutely. Do they change in a major way because they've met someone they're deeply attracted to? Not very often. Joss Whedon gave us a wonderful portrayal of this fantasy with Spike, who was willing to change to his very core in an attempt to be good enough for Buffy.
Sookie spent much of the series enjoying Eric, who seemed to be one of those guys who was a jerk, but was moved to be considerate of Sookie on several occasions because he felt something for her he didn't feel for other women. Having him revert to type in this book felt a bit abrupt, but it was like a dash of cold realism dropped in the middle of a wonderful teenage fantasy.
What?? What do you mean the jerk is acting like a jerk to the lovely heroine? What's that all about? HINT: It's about being a jerk.
Sookie wakes up and realizes that the nice guy will most likely continue to be a nice guy and is a good bet for a stable, loving long term relationship. Why? Well, because he's a nice guy. Is he the most exciting guy in the series? Probably not, but there's another dash of reality smacking you upside the head.
My "meh" factor came from Sam's abrupt about face - there are plenty of people out there who consistently seek out people who are not good for them, get into relationships with those people, get hurt, get out of the relationship, and end up right back with the same kind of person. Sam did that throughout the series and suddenly grew up, courtesy the cluviel dor, to realize that maybe the most exciting, dangerous relationship was not what he needed to be fulfilled. Maybe someone like a good friend would make a good romantic partner. Most people come to that kind of conclusion at some point in their lives, the difference here is that Sam was shoved into that conclusion by a magic item and Sookie was shoved into the same realization at the same time.
A little too neat and tidy? Yep. But it certainly didn't wreck the book or the series, and I found this final book better than the last few books with their emphasis on the fae rather than the vampires and the weres.
Basically, if you're in the mood for the typical run of the mill sword wielding hero chasing after a damsel, this is your book. And, as with so many fantasy series, there is a heaping (and I DO mean heaping) helping of BDSM in here. Every woman is violated in some way, or faces the serious threat of rape. And yes, psychic blowjob rape counts. It's a fantasy novel, after all.
The prevalence of sexual violence - specifically way over the top sexual violence and BDSM themes in so many of the fantasy series makes one wonder about fantasy authors.