*Read Library Book*
Regina’s Rating and Review: 1 Skull, Grade F
I think I may be somewhat of a fool. I was disappointed with Dead in the Family and Dead Reckoning. Despite my disappointment with the complete destruction of Eric and Alcide as a characters in these past few books and despite the lack of anything important happening in these last two books, I still waited excitedly for each new release, read them quickly and kinda enjoyed them. So, I put my name on the library waiting list maybe nine months ago for Deadlocked and repeatedly (hopefully and apparently stupidly) checked the ebook price prior to the release to see if perhaps it would drop in cost. The first day release never dropped down below $14.99, so I was stuck with waiting for my library copy and was fortunate to be the first one in my library to get a copy. Excitedly and anxiously, I put aside my current read (Special Forces) and began Deadlocked. By the first several pages my excitement was gone, as was any hope. 9% in to Deadlocked there was still no appearance of a werewolf, Eric, or Sam. How can that be? I stopped at 26%. I then wrote a quick and negative review for Goodreads. I fumed and then I came back to Deadlocked and skimmed until the last few chapters, which I read. My conclusion? I should have stopped at 26% as my opinion stayed the same and nothing substantive or interesting happened in the book from 26% to the end!
Deadlocked is incredibly boring. These is a lot of recap, recap and recap of the past 3-4 books. By now we have all read the other books! If a reader has gotten to book 12 in any series, that reader knows the history and does not need the summaries! We know about the war with fairy, we know about Jason’s past marriage, we know, we know, we know. This recap and regurgitation takes up a good deal of space.
Rather than including characters that fans like and appreciate, there is so much dead time, down time and wasted time focused on characterswho have never been important to the books and the storyline that are suddenly front and center. Maybe the focus is on marriage and normalcy to demonstrate what Sookie wants out of life. Whatever the reason, it is done poorly. Harris seems to have forgotten what made these books special. She wrote interesting characters (initially) that acted according to their characters’ personalities and were involved in interesting intrigue and mysteries. Importantly (and seemingly forgotten), her books had scary monsters too. Well none of that is in this book.
What do you do as a writer if you have plot developments you regret? I think the Sookie series is one example of what an author can do to obviate past happenings. But it is an example that I hope other authors never follow. I really get frustrated with how something big and game changing happens in one book and then suddenly is changed back to how it was before the game changer in a later book. Why the heck the struggle with the war and fairy? Why the drama about closing off fairy? This is not the first plot line changed with the flick of a pen (i.e. the blood bond). The more troublesome aspect of these books is the inconsistency of the characters from one book to the next.
Despite foundation laid for a character, circumstances in later books change how characters act and treat each other. The golden rule of any series is that even if the characters live in a magical world with supernaturals, the author does not live there with them and thus, must operate under basic principles – like unless a character under goes a lobotomy, the characters must keep their personalities in tact. This rule is not followed in Deadlocked or the previous few Sookie books. The past few books have involved the destruction of the Alcide and Eric that we all were so fascinated by (or at least I as fascinated by , yes I have a weakness for werewolves). Their actions and choices in books 10 and 11 are so ridiculously out of character. Since book 10, Eric was not even a caricature of the vampire previously written. Eric of books 10 and 11 is unrecognizable. Unrecognizable. He is no longer strong, smart, cunning and sexy. That Eric does not exist in Sookieville anymore.
The character transplant continues with Deadlocked. I never thought Eric would be boring! How can Eric of the earlier books morph into a boring dunce? It defies logic but it happens. He is boring in Deadlocked. I waited for his first appearance in the book and it was such a huge let down. And when did he get to be so dumb and make such poor choices? This is a vampire that has lived 1000 years and survived so much, yet he continuously makes stupid choices (or is unable to make a choice). That was not Eric of the earlier books.
So here it is. I just can’t read this book fully and I cannot read any other books in this series. And I am sad about it, sad that I invested so much money and time in to this series and an author (often buying both the ebook and then the audio book as well). A series cannot last forever. Sometimes the story arc is done and the series has to be ended. This can be done without disappointing readers and gutting the soul out of the books. Really it can.
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