New Release Review: Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12) by Charlaine Harris

Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12) by Charlaine Harris

*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.

 Rating:  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

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Comments 7

  • […] Molly Harper.  I know I am crazy and just asking for trouble particularly after my experience with Deadlocked, but I HAVE to close out the Sookie series.  I need to see how it all ends.  So even though I was […]

  • I read Dead in the Family.. which was the last book I read because I was truly disappointed after reading that book that I promised myself not to read anymore. or well tbh Dead and Gone was kind of a disappointment too.. after that I just read summaries and reviews.. Harris is just making Eric like in the series.. he begin as someone sexy, awesome and with an I’m-not-to-be-meddled-with attitude and now he has lost that confidence and strength.. I’m just glad there still is fanfiction wherein Eric is still a badass.

  • Ugh. I hope it’s not Sam. Realistically speaking, he’s not going to be able to protect Sookie from the piles of crap she gets herself into. He’s a good friend and all, don’t get me wrong.

    I didn’t mind this book. From book 9 onward, standards were slipping. This one picked it up a little and makes me think that the last book has a chance at being semi decent.

    Although I like Eric and Sookie together, they don’t really make that good of a couple. Especially speaking that Sookie won’t even debate the thought of becoming a vampire for the man she ‘loves’. They weren’t going to last anyway.

    Bit disappointed about Claude, though not completely surprising.
    I like that Sookie grew a bit of a backbone without being as whiny as she usually seems to be.

    To the CD (Not completely sure of the spelling and don’t care enough to check) I’m glad she used it for something semi worthwhile. If she used it to dissolve Eric and the Queen’s marriage, she would have got a blow when her and Eric broke up a month after that.

    I am really liking Eric’s day man, Mustapha. Kind of wanting to see him and Sookie try something out, but doubt it would happen.

    Rather pessimistic about who Sookie is going to end up with though. Please don’t be Sam.

    • I have seen a few people speculate that Harris is faking out the readers which is an intriguing idea. Sam is a good guy but Harris has not convinced me they should be together.

  • All of you guys are reinforcing my decision not to read this one. I am so disappointed with how pointless and boring these books have become. I think it’s obvious that the author has no passion left for this world. I wish she would just stop! Thanks for taking one for the team.

    • Catie you stated the problem exactly — she has no passion left for the world. There is an interview (funny enough) jointly done with LKH (fitting, huh?) and posted on Amazon in the details section for Deadlocked. Readig it is pretty enlightening. She admits that she forgets what she has done with certain characters in the past (werelynx or weretiger?)

      There is nothing worthwhile in this book to read. I can tell you if you like which guy Harris is pointing Sookie toward and the “big” development that happened in this book. That is all you need to know.