Misha's Reviews > All Together Dead

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris
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Mar 08, 10

bookshelves: novel, vampires, 2010
Read from February 23 to March 06, 2010

One of the consequences of reading these in rapid succession is that it's easier to catch continuity errors. I'm on Chapter 2 and have spotted two. Harris has Sookie think about how she's 26, but Sookie was 26 in the very first book and more than a year has elapsed since the events in that book. She also thinks about how Selah Pomphrey has been dating Bill for "weeks," but Selah has been dating bill since Book 5, and that book was set in late winter/early spring. This book is set in late September, which would mean Selah and Bill have been dating for roughly six months. These kinds of things annoy me.

Quinn continues to strike me as smarmy. I'm not into the Sookie/Quinn relationship at all, and the descriptions of his "white teeth" are starting to grate on me.

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I may be nearing the end of my tolerance for this series after reading the most gawdawful sex scene last night. I imagine it was supposed to be steamy, but it was just stupid, with stupid descriptions and inane dialogue. At one point, Sookie has a thought about how Quinn is looking at her body like a buffet and he doesn't know where to start. So she points at her boobs and says, "First course." My eyes rolled so hard I got a headache.

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Some interesting world-building and vampire politics here, but nothing spectacular until the climactic explosion. There are a few good Sookie/Eric moments I'm hoping are the precursor for things to come, but I'm taking a break from this series for now.
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Matt (new)

Matt Weird...doesn't it seem like any publishing house with nationwide distribution power would have people on staff to watch for continuity gaffs like these?

It makes me sad that a character with the name Quinn would come off as smarmy.:)


Misha I'm not sure it's the kind of thing you'd pick up if you were reading a manuscript once a year. Really, I think it should be incumbent upon the author to know her own story.


message 3: by Matt (new)

Matt I guess storyboarding goes out the window when one is preoccupied with rolling naked in a big pile of cash?:)


Misha I'd sure like to find out someday. I'll leave out the naked part in my account.


Jackie "the Librarian" See, the whole point of the Sookie books is to have a tamer alternative to the Laurell K. Hamilton ones. We don't want a poorly written graphic sex scene, or we'd be reading the other series.
Which, I do, but you know what I mean... :)


Misha I don't want a poorly written non-graphic scene either. One thing I've liked about the series so far is that while there's an element of sex and sexiness to Harris's books, she hasn't felt the need to throw in gyrating body parts. I get the sense there's been more pressure to do that, though, perhaps reflecting the way books in this subgenre moved out of the horror/urban fantasy section into the romance section.

What I really want is literary offshoots of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I think that's what Harris and Kelly Armstrong and others like them were doing initially, but then yet another set of writers took vampires and werewolves into romance territory and that side of the market exploded. I think that's left readers like me in the dust. I don't want a romance novel. I want an action/suspense/supernatural novel with a sexy bite to it, but the Sookie Stackhouse books seem to be less and less that.

I'll have to pick up Patty Briggs' Mercy Thompson books again when I get back home. I think she comes closest to writing the kind of stuff I want to read, unless her stuff has become more romance-y as the series progresses.


Jackie "the Librarian" I like Patricia Briggs, too. I love that she's done something different with her heroine, having her be a were-coyote. Cool!


Misha I love that her books are set in the Tri-Cities. :)


Jackie "the Librarian" Right! That too! :)


message 10: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse I just finished book 2 in the series (I didn't read book one) and between what I felt about that book and what I read here, I'm not reading any more.

I'm a bit surprised you found the sex scenes in the earlier books okay but that they get bad as the books progress. I found the sex overdone and very 2-dimensional in book 2. Probably partly because I didn't find them that well written but mainly because they seemed to be used to justify Sookie's dating a vampire without requiring the author to actually develop the vampire's personality. He didn't like to talk about anything, didn't share what he was doing and was literally not around during the day. Which left drawn-out sex scenes as the basis of the relationship. I want more from relationships when I'm reading about them.

To be fair to this series, I don't like most sex scenes in books - I'm a fade to black fan.


message 11: by Misha (last edited Mar 08, 2010 03:18PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Misha Book 2 is the worst of the series, in my opinion. I was bored by the Bill/Sookie sex (and relationship), but none of it struck me as laughably bad. The scene with Quinn in this book was like a parody of steamy sex — or at least it should have been written as a parody.

I maintain that the most interesting, nuanced character is Eric, but there isn't nearly enough of him outside of Book 4, which is the best of the series. If you like the books at all, then I'd suggest reading Book 4 (sorry, the titles all blur together). But if you've disliked them so far then by all means don't read any further.

One of my biggest problems with the series is that Harris limited herself far too much by writing in Sookie's first-person POV. When it comes down to it, I don't find Sookie all that interesting. I'm more interested in what's happening around her, and the books could have been much better with a third-person, multiple POV approach to the storytelling that would let the other, more interesting, characters stretch.


message 12: by Laura (last edited Mar 08, 2010 05:45PM) (new)

Laura Rittenhouse Misha wrote: "Book 2 is the worst of the series, in my opinion. I was bored by the Bill/Sookie sex (and relationship), but none of it struck me as laughably bad. The scene with Quinn in this book was like a paro..."

Good point about the POV. I wondered if that would get stale after a few book. But I assume Harris was worried that writing from within the head of vampires, shape shifters and more might become a bit problematic. I think we're supposed to wonder along with Sookie about what makes these things tick. If she's got 3rd person or multiple POV going, she'd have to reveal more from the beginning.

If I find a copy of the 4th book lying around someplace for free (may check out the local library when I'm done traveling), I might give it a try. I'm certainly not going to spend money on this series - at least not until I'm converted.


message 13: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier So she's up to book 7 now? I stopped reading after the 5th one. I also thought that Eric was the most interesting character, but I found it laugable that he tells Sookie that she is the best he has ever had in bed (he's been alive for, what, thousands of years?) yet she's only been with one other vampire, Bill, and their hitting the sheets was uninspired, if you ask me.
I think Harris originally figured that since Sookie could read everyone's mind, she didn't need to put other points of view into the books. But she is not supposed to be able to read the thoughts of vampires, so that means they have to SAY what they are thinking.

I have read that some editors feel that there shouldn't be any what they call, "head-hopping" in books, including romance. That confuses me, because I like to read, and write, scenes where you get the thoughts of all involved, so you can see how the relationship is progressing. I don't like reading books written in first person, or even books that only explain one character's point of view. The comments I have read pointed out that some famous authors do "head-hop", but since they make a big pile of money, that must mean that they do it well. The rest of us should not. I'm offended that "a big pile of money" is the only yardstick to use to judge whether a book is well-written or not! There's an awful lot of hackneyed crap that sells like hotcakes!

And I DO mean you, Laurell Hamilton! I LOVED the first 6 books in the Anita Black series, was even into it through book 10, but after that, the whole idea of NEEDING page after page of description of sex with 4-5 males in bed with Anita Black? Puh-leeze! Show me ONE man, alive or undead, who is really willing to enjoy "sharing" his woman with other men, especially in bed at the same time! I was more able to believe in all of the paranormal creatures Anita has encountered! But this whole-hearted embracing of menage á 5-6, is just TOO unbelievable! And the last book in the Fairy series was just a throw-away! I kept reading it waiting for something, ANYTHING to happen. I felt ripped off, and I didn't pay for it, my husband bought it for me as a gift!


Misha There are nine of them altogether, with a 10th coming out in May.

As far as the vampires telling Sookie she's great in bed, why assume they're telling the truth? Don't all people tell their current lovers they're the best? There are revelations in Book 6 that Bill lied to Sookie about other things involving their relationship. The "best sex ever" thing could very much be explained by that reveal.

There also are revelations about Sookie that help explain why supernatural men are so attracted to her.

I wouldn't buy the argument that because an author is a best-seller and a head-hopper that the head-hopping is done well. As you said, there's an awful lot of hackneyed crap that sells like hotcakes.


message 15: by M (new) - rated it 4 stars

M The continuity error I hated most so far was when Amelia started a tarot reading for Sookie. She put the cards out (clear description,) started to read them, and suddenly she went to the sink or fridge or whatever, changed the topic, and left (not ambiguously.) We never hear a word about her picking up these cards, something that was fussed over when she laid them out. Seriously, who edited that and didn't notice?


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