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Book Review 2011

February 15, 2011

A8. Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris

Maybe it’s that I was listening to these books back to back, or maybe it’s that I had a conversation with a friend about how absurdly cheesy some of the affectations of one Miss Sookie Stackhouse are, but I found this book somewhat over wrought. There were a ton of plot twists that forced me to suspend my disbelief with anti-gravity boots, and I am fully aware of the irony of complaining about the difficulty of suspending disbelief in a series of novels which include vampires, werewolves, fairies, and assorted other mythical creatures.

A9. All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

Oddly enough, I found this book to be a lot more believable than Definitely Dead. Maybe it was my connection to the whole “giant convention of vampires” concept. Dunno. This was the book, however, when I became frustrated with Sookie’s tendency to go “Meh, I’m too dumb to think about the consequences of this thing my brain has just raised red flags over. I will think about it later, la te dah.”

A10. From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

Everything in this book seemed rushed. And this is also where I specifically noted that Harris seems to have changed her mind about how “true shifters” work. Previously, Sam explained that he changed into whatever animal he saw last, and implied that he could only change at the full moon. In this book, Sam changes into a big damn lion in the middle of a battle of wolves, and Sookie’s voiceover explains that True Shifters can change into whatever they want. I’m fairly certain that one of the previous books, where Sam changes into a bloodhound, has a similar voice over, but it sort of passed me by.

A11. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

In the lead up to choosing this book, I decided that since Brandon Sanderson was going to be at ConDFW, I should probably read something other than his take of The Wheel of Time. I picked Elantris in part because it was his first novel and in part because it was a standalone. And when I was done, I really, really wished that it wasn’t. I loved this book. I loved the magic system, I loved the politics, I loved the complexity of the characters, I simply ADORED the main female character. Sometimes I wanted to shake her, but I couldn’t fault her for some of her reactions, given that she may have been a kick-ass female, but it was still a patriarchal society. The religion didn’t hang together very well, and there were a couple of “Oh, hey, that’s a bit anachronistic” moments. But I’m willing to forgive those for a good story. Sanderson loves a good twist, and it rarely comes from an expected direction. It’s wasn’t that the twists weren’t completely in character, just extremely innovative. When I finished, I was sad that it was over and wanted to go out and buy a hardback for my collection. Which is the highest praise that I know how to give a book.

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