Sookie Stackhouse can’t help but notice that her vampire boyfriend, Bill, has been a little distant lately, spending most of his time working on a secret project on his computer. When this special project takes him out of state, Sookie can’t help but feel a little put out. When Bill doesn’t return for a while, she learns from Eric that he’s gone missing, and may even be dead. In hopes of finding him, Sookie travels to Jackson, Mississippi, where she, along with her werewolf guide Alcide Herveaux, must infiltrate Club Dead, a vampire night club. Sookie hopes to use her mind reading abilities to quickly figure out Bill’s whereabouts. What she ends up with is a body shoved in the closet.
Club Dead is the third of the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire books. One thing I really like about this series is how author Harris reveals her world to us. In Dead until Dark, we learn about vampires and a little about shapeshifters. In Living Dead in Dallas, we learn more about the vampire hierarchy, and about other supernaturals such as werewolves and Menads. Club Dead continues this pattern, by revealing more of the vampire social structure, and teaching us a lot about werewolves. The storyline, much like the two previous books, is action packed and exciting. With Bill’s life on the line, it feels like the stakes (haha) are a little higher here, giving the book a nice suspenseful undercurrent. There are also hints that perhaps spending so much time around other vampires has changed Sookie, creating a darker more temperamental Sookie than the sweet hearted waitress we known and love. I hope that future books continue to explore this. Also, we get to see more of Bubba, which is always a treat.
Admittedly, Club Dead at times felt like it was a step down from the two previous novels. One thing that bothered me was the fact that so many major male characters fall in love with Sookie. Yes, I know that she’s very attractive, but I’ve never gotten the appeal of having a protagonist that everyone falls in love with. It doesn’t make Sookie a more relatable character. In fact, the way she handles it actually makes her less likable than in the first two books. Sometimes it just feels like the author is attempting to spice up the book by putting in more sexy moments, which feels cheap to me. Another thing that bothered me was the characterization of Bill. After two books of being the devoted, but flawed, boyfriend, Harris seems to go out of her way to make him as unlikable as possible, which makes him seem out of character at times.
Despite the flaws listed above, I still enjoyed reading this book, just not quite on the level as the first two. As mentioned before, I found the book to be exciting, and lots of fun. I once again listened to the audiobook, and the narrator did a great job as always. I’m looking forward to reading future books in the series.
Rating: four stars
Length: the print version is 320 pages
TBR Pile: 139 books
Similar Books: As before, The Hollows by Kim Harrison (my review), The Mercedes Thompson books by Patricia Briggs (my review), and The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (my reviews)
Other books I've read by this author: Dead Until Dark (my review), Living Dead in Dallas (my review). Also the short story "Tacky" in My Big Fat Paranormal Wedding (my review)
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