Oh, boy. This series … well, … look at that, I can’t even find a way to begin! Let me try again ….
Oh, boy! This series created such a stir. While I have been a fan of books my whole life, I just started working in a library about the time the final book was released and boy did this series cause such a ripple!
When the first few books were published, it didn’t really interest me because it was a series. After investing all those years to the Harry Potter series (which was still going on at the time Dead Until Dark was published) I realized I’m not very fond of cliffhangers. While I love the hype and the buzz and, almost always, the fandom of being a part of the evolution, waiting ten years to see what happens is a bit too much. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to invest myself into a series that was going past three books. So, I tagged the Sookie Stackhouse series as a “return to in a few years.”
However, the backlash at the release of the final book was too strong for me to ignore. Hate mail? Death threats? (I mean, it was ridiculous, check out that article here) What was going on? It was the backlash, more than anything else, that I decided it was time to revisit this series. I was curious, *shrugs*. And before I start getting into it, I didn’t watch True Blood and I don’t plan on it. My opinions are strictly based on the books.
I started the series in September with this review of Dead Until Dark. I liked it. I enjoyed it. I was excited to read it. By mid-October I couldn’t bring myself to finish the series. By mid-October, I could see what all the fuss was about. By mid-October, this was the first series I will never finish reading. It’s harsh, I know, but I really don’t want to see it end the way it did.
I don’t condone the behavior of those who reacted by issuing death threats. That was absurd! I don’t care how angry you get, it’s just not right! Nor is it fair. I don’t see them writing books or stories so back off. However, I understand why they were so angry. The article that mentions the death threats also mentions that the author and publisher feels the fans reacted so badly because Sookie didn’t “end up” with Eric/Bill/Quinn … [insert name of one of Sookie’s current/past lovers]. While that may be the case for some, that is not the case for me.
I like to think I’m fair. I try to be logical and reasonable. If the ending of a story doesn’t end up the way I want it to, I give the benefit of the doubt to the author since it is her world and do my best to make peace with it. If there’s something that happens that wasn’t clarified or doesn’t make sense, I make something up to justify it since the author made it that way. Also, I can usually come to terms with it since the author usually steers me in that direction; no matter how much I wanted such-and-such to happen, I understand why it didn’t happen. That wasn’t the case for me with this series.
It was much more than a botched HEA, I can’t come up with any way to justify the way it ended, and as much as I tried I cannot see how the author lead us to the ending she provided. I agree with majority of the fandom that says the books should have ended with Dead In the Family.
To be fair, here’s a well written review of a fellow bibliophile who rated the final chapter of this story a 4.5 out of 5 – DEAD EVER AFTER: Happy Ever After or Hating Charlaine Harris Ever After. I like her summary of the book and I can understand where she’s coming from, but I do disagree with some of her points.
As someone who read up until book 10, I have to disagree that Sookie always said how much she wanted babies. Since I pretty much read book one to ten cover to cover, no need to wait a year between each one, I didn’t get this impression. Did Sookie ever think about having children? Yes. But the impression I got was that she wasn’t really sure if she wanted to have them. A perfect opportunity Harris had to strike this message home to the readers was in Dead In the Family when Sookie watches her cousin Hunter, but she doesn’t. Did Sookie enjoy watching her baby cousin? Yes. Did she reflect upon her possibility to have children with Eric? Yes. But, still, Sookie never really shows a yearning to have children of her own. It was more like a “Hm, it would be nice, but I can live without it.” She never shows excitement of children for Halleigh’s pregnancy or even for her friend Tara’s pregnancy. I see that Sookie was concerned for her looks and aging more than her excitement to have a family.
Anyway, I encourage you to read this review if only to get a feel of all the things people thought was right with the ending.
And then I encourage you to read this one: DEA to Dud in five seconds flat. What I like about this post is 1) I agree with her position 100% and 2) She does a good job of providing examples of the story and books to strengthen her argument. There is some mild language, but it conveys the reasons I believe it is so much more than Sookie not ending up with “the” guy.
In the end, I feel a little sad for this series. It really started off as a good series. I like the concept of a telepath. I love how she tried to merge our “normal” world with the supernatural. I like all of Sookie’s adventures that wouldn’t be adventures at all if she lead a “normal” life. She is not normal and I never wanted her to be.
Stay tuned to part two of this conflict. I will discuss five reasons I found justifiying the ending to this series was justifiable and my defense against their logic.