Friday, May 20, 2011

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

My life has been a little crazy lately, both career- and family-wise. You may have picked up on this by my serious lack of posting. Last week, when I was having a particularly rough day, I happened to see this book in Target. I had to buy it-- that escape from reality called to me. I have read all of the novels in the Sookie Stackhouse series, and this one does not disappoint. I don't want to post much in the way of plot here in case any of my readers are new to the series. But I do want to talk about why I keep returning to this series of books again and again.

As you may recall from my review of Dead Until Dark, I love how Charlaine Harris writes her books with such a captivating mix of sugar and spice. Sookie's character has grown throughout the series and in some not-so-predictable ways. Yet she continues to face the same moral conundrum-- is it wrong to choose survival over proper Christian values?

Ultimately, Sookie always chooses survival, even if she finds the circumstances reprehensible. She can be somewhat hypocritical in this way, but I think we are all guilty of hypocrisy at one time or another. What I love about this series so much is that Sookie really comes to life in the story, and she feels like a real person who might be pretty interesting to chat with sometime.

At the risk of repeating myself, Sookie's character has a finely-crafted balance-- she is a lady who can fight and love without falling into stereotypical, nonsensical behavior. She doesn't lose her mind over boys. She doesn't act petty toward other women (even as much as she may not approve of their behavior). She manages to genuinely care about people and still kick butt at the same time. I am not really sure why I should find this balance so astonishing. So many women in the real world are able to accomplish these things, albeit without the vampires, two-natured, and fae all about. Why should it be so impressive to see that complexity in a fictional character?

Maybe this is why I prefer female authors...

So, hats off to Charlaine Harris for another wonderful book! The whole series has been a lot of fun to read, and I love the fast-paced narrative. While the books are pretty easy to read, they stick with you and give you something to think about long after they are finished. If you have never read the series, please start! The books are about a million times better than the tv show!

Penguin: Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
Image: Scanned Cover
Review Copy: Self Purchased
ISBN-13: 978-0441020317

This review was originally published at Kawaii Writing and republished with permission.

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