"I FELT LIKE I WAS TRAPPED IN ONE OF THOSE TERRIFYING NIGHTMARES…"
Indeed, that is exactly how I felt when reading this... book (for want of a better w...more"I FELT LIKE I WAS TRAPPED IN ONE OF THOSE TERRIFYING NIGHTMARES…"
Indeed, that is exactly how I felt when reading this... book (for want of a better word).
Undoubtedly the worst in the series. I took a 6 month break half way through. I just could not stand it any longer. It was so boring, it was actually painful.
After a six month break I ended up finishing off the series... do not ask me why. I do not know. Perhaps it is because I like to read trash. Perhaps I am that dumb and shallow. Perhaps it is the fascination with the absurd and grotesque that so many of us have these days. I don't know. I suspect it is because we LOOOOOVE to hate things. The warm and fuzzy feeling of intellectual superiority is... well, it is. And I could not help loving to hate this book. I adored it. Although, bizarrely, I can no longer figure out which is cooler, hating it because it is sooooo shit (and it undoubtedly is) or loving it despite the fact that it is, or even because it is. Maybe, I should start loving it now, just to shake things up a bit.
I also cannot deny my morbid obsession with getting to the point where Bella and the 100+ yo grandad finally get it on. They never do in this book, of course. Which just meant that I had to carry on reading until I got to the puke-inducing coupling in the final book of the series and could be outraged all over again. The joy. (less)
After five books, I find that I no longer like or have any sympathy for either the heroine or the hero and cannot face the thought of another book ful...moreAfter five books, I find that I no longer like or have any sympathy for either the heroine or the hero and cannot face the thought of another book full of sickly sweet soliloquys about how lovely and wonderful Seth is and how cute he looks in his quirky t-shirts with his messy hair, which one might expect from a love-sick pimply teenager but not from a millenia old denizen of hell, for crying out loud. In fact, I could barely drag myself through this last instalment, skipping whole chunks and pages along the way.
The shining beacon of goodness that is Seth never really did it for me (even Dante's style was more of a turn on) but now he has gone from merely pathetic to just plain detestable.
There is no real character development with Georgina. She is pretty, she loves wallowing in misery of the o woe is me variety and she loves Seth but can't help cheating on him from time to time. There is nothing else to her and it doesn't look like there will be. The woman does not learn, despite having lived for millenia and having reapeated the same patterns over and over again the entire time.
Moreover, it has now become pretty obvious where all of this is heading and the big reveal, when it does come, will, I am pretty sure, be somewhat underwhelming, if only for the fact that it is now at least two books overdue.
I am undecided whether to read the last book when it comes out. On the one hand, I am so fed up with Georgina and Seth, that I really don't want to go anywhere near it. On the other hand, having read 5 of the books in the series, I feel I may as well trudge through it just for the sake of completeness so I can draw the curtain on the whole thing (so to speak) never to go back to it again. (less)
Hmmmm... What's with the guy on the cover? He's supposed to be an immortal warrior housing the demon of death, not a teenage emo boy. And where are th...moreHmmmm... What's with the guy on the cover? He's supposed to be an immortal warrior housing the demon of death, not a teenage emo boy. And where are the scars?
Anyway, the book was better than the first one but only barely. Some thoughts:
- I liked Anya overall. The way she talks is very reminiscent of Kresley Cole's heroines, who are usually brilliant and funny. She's a bit immature and needy and has no self respect but at least she was sorta entertaining and the nicknames she gives Lucien are probably the best part of the book.
- Why, why why the orgiastic party at the beginning? They are millenia old immortals, not sex starved frat boys. Doesn't characterise the heroes very well, as far as I'm concerned.
- The first interaction between Anya and Lucien was just mortifying. If a man you make a pass at says no, that doesn't mean bend over and start rubbing yourself on him, Anya. The way Anya behaves throughout the first three quarters of the book is more than a little stalkerish and I'm pretty sure would qualify as sexual harrasment.
- If Lucien thinks killing Anya, a goddess, is such a piece of piss (which he seems to at the beginning) why are they all such push-overs for the other gods? Why not try to kill Cronos? Why have they never tried to force the issue with the Greeks to reverse their curse in all those thousands of years?
- Lucien has so little personality it's startling. I barely remembered him from the previous books. Other than that he smells of roses and is usually level-headed there doesn't seem to be much else to characterise him. His astounding stupidity, maybe. He supposedly permanently disfigured himself (how's that even possible, shouldn't he have healed without any scarring? the explanation given is not very convincing) after the woman he loved (he's only been with her for a few months FFS!) died, in order to stop other women being interested in him in that way. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face! And no, it doesn't prove that he can love and feel deeply, just shows that he has the emotional maturity of a 17 year old (I guess, he is well matched with Anya in that respect). I suspect he only did it so he can do all the angsty "she cannot possibly find me attractive" internal agonising.
- The hair trigger response Anya and Lucien have to each other is irritating . Her hair brushes his cheek and he is about ready to explode in his pants. A couple of blow jobs later and he goes from wanting to kill her to eternal love and devotion and sacrificing himself and all his friends for her. I know this is PNR but come on! Also, constantly dashing away in the middle of sex to escort souls to hell/heaven is a bit of a downer plus doing so in the nude is somewhat creepy.
- I found myself constantly skipping over pages and paragraphs. I skipped over the entire of Reys/Danika passages and most of Paris/Sienna.
I think I am done with Showalter for the time being.(less)
What Ms. Harris used to do well is tell a light, fun, uncomplicated mystery with some excellent sexual tension between light, fun, uncomplicated chara...moreWhat Ms. Harris used to do well is tell a light, fun, uncomplicated mystery with some excellent sexual tension between light, fun, uncomplicated characters and some light, fun, uncomplicated comedic relief along the way. By now, however, with well over three thousand pages of Sookie spewed out, she has ceased to care anything for her characters or her story and it is painfully obvious in this book. There's no fun left, no mystery and no light at the end of this tunnel. My gripes for this book are legion, so I will just concentrate on those that irritated me the most.
Some are unrecognisable, others brought in pointlessly, some suddenly develop traits that are completely at odds with their character and all are senselessly and wastefully mutilated.
Since when has Eric started acting like a 5 year old having a tantrum? Where has the man who could turn up at a party in pink lycra and still be HOT disappeared to? When has he started taking no for an answer? Where's his charm, sarcasm, smouldering looks, confidence, all the things that made him Eric?
Pam, probably my favourite character of the entire series, had maybe one line where she only just sounded like herself, the "what kind of a husband are you" comment.
Sookie is revealed as a great reader, all of a sudden. Have I missed something before? She has never struck me as a great lover of books. Yet here she is devastated by having to burn damaged books, she reads (!!!!! Have we ever seen her hold, let alone read, a book before? If so, I have no recollection of this) a Nora Roberts book and she can answer most of the questions about writers on a TV show, since she reads a lot.
Alcide, Lily Bard, the Big Bad Sandra Pelt, Hunter, Amelia all make completely pointless appearances.
Oh, the endless moralising. The goodness and the pseudo-Christian pontification of Sookie that is shoved down our throats at every turn. She has always been a prude and a hypocrite but it has grated more than ever in this book. She just does not shut up with moral judgements on everything and everyone around her, yet is completely unable to see how morally suspect her own views and actions are. She does deliberate on whether what she is doing is right at times, I will admit, but she barely scratches the surface with what she actually considers and what she comes up with in terms of her attitudes to other people and their actions is astounding in its hypocrisy.
The WTF moments just kept on rolling in this book. Examples:
• When Immanuel suggests that Pam and Eric are having sex, Sookie is shoked and has to think about it a while. WTF? That should have been a complete no brainer with the whole blood bond thing and her constantly moaning on about how she is never completely alone in her skin whenever Eric is awake. Yet, the reason she dismisses it in the end is that Pam prefers the ladies. Again, WTF?
• The ice pack. Do I need to elaborate? Is that supposed to be sexy? The only words I have are: What. The. Fuck.
• (view spoiler)[The blood bond revocation. So turns out it's a complete piece of piss. All you need is some some string and scissors. What was the big deal? (hide spoiler)]
• Sookie is hugely upset that her hair was burnt in the fire-bombing (she cries about it) and she is told by the emergency hairdresser that he is cutting three inches off which makes tears well up in her eyes. Does she bother to take a look at herself in the mirror when the hairdresser is done? Nope. In fact even the next morning when Sam turns up she has not looked, or not that we hear about. “How’s the hair?” Sam asks (because he can't see for himself, obviously, even though Sookie's right in front of him) but Sookie has gone deaf and doesn't answer. She has looked in the mirror by then, we know that much, but makes no remark about it at all whatsoever. Does she like it, does she hate it, does it feel lighter/strange/surprisingly good? We don't know.
• Amelia's amazing research skills. She manages to identify and provide info pretty fucking pronto when her only search terms were "c.d." and "fairy artefact". And you wouldn't expect Google to turn up much on the subject.
Really really really bad writing
Charlaine Harris is not a great writer. She never was. She is completely incapable of creating an atmosphere or giving any depth or complexity to her characters. However, she has managed to descend to new lows to an almost unprecedented degree. Huge parts are just jumbles of sentences with almost no connection to each other and no sense whatsoever. Here's an example right at the very start, as Sookie goes into the attic:
"When the second story had been added to the original Stackhouse home decades before, the new floor had been divided into bedrooms, but perhaps a third of it had been relegated to storage space after the largest generation of Stackhouses had thinned out. Since Jason and I had come to live with my grandparents after our parents had died, the attic door had been kept locked. Gran hadn’t wanted to clean up after us if we decided the attic was a great place to play. Now I owned the house, and the key was on a ribbon around my neck. There were only three Stackhouse descendants—Jason, me, and my deceased cousin Hadley’s son, a little boy named Hunter."
Does she cart the attic key on a ribbon around her neck all the time? Does she carry all her keys in that manner? Does it give her neck strain? I don't know. It just doesn't seem that anyone would. Why? It's not like she uses it regularly. And if it is only then and not all the time, again, why? Just struck me as bizarre. What does the fact that she owns the house or that there are now only three Stackhouse descendands have to do with clearing with anything in that passage? Etc etc
Then, only one paragraph down, Sookie says: "Cousin Claude and Great-Uncle Dermot stepped in behind me." Who the hell thinks or talks like that? She is not at a cocktail party introducing them. I had completely forgot who on earth Dermot was and did need reminding but that was a really clumsy way of doing so.
Throughout the attic clearing episode there is nothing at all to convey any sort of emotion or give any colour to the scene. She mentions that it is hot but then does nothing to show the heat and sweatiness of the work (bar the mention of shirtless fairies, which is just tacky and hypocritical since they are her relatives and she is later appalled when it is suggested they may not necessarily view her in a strictly non-sexual light). Sookie appears to go through generations worth of stuff accumulated by her family with no emotions whatsoever other than contemplation of their potential value. But then, that's Sookie for you, I suppose.
Unnecessary details all over the place. Sookie thinks about soaking her clothes in Clorox 2, she eats Special K with Equal and 2% milk, and uses other cleaning products the names of which I cannot be bothered to look up. Why do we need to know these things? They do not add anything to the narrative. They do not make it more realistic. They are just bits of irrelevance which jar and irritate. Word space that would have been much better used by adding some much needed atmosphere and depth to the story. Is this product placement? If so, shame on you Ms Harris.
“Do you want us to sleep with you, Niece?” Dermot asked, in the flowery way of the old fae… What is flowery about that sentence? Can anyone enlighten me?
So, will I continue on to the end with this series? I honestly don't know. I have almost completely lost interest in the TV series and that has the added appeal of visual aids in the form of extremely hunky men all over the place (although, I have to say, as hot as Alexander Skarsgard is I absolutely hate the way they dress him in this series, he looks worse than Paquin whom I dislike intensely). My relationship with the books has definitely reached the stage where all the thrill and excitement has gone and everything about them just sets my teeth on edge but I have always been very bad at breaking up. So, who knows. Perhaps, I will finish them off just so I can rant about them. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)