Stackhouse Scrutiny

I just finished the final novel in the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, and I must say I was kind of disappointed.  I avoided reading reviews from other people because I didn’t want to spoil the book for myself.  However, once I picked it up and got about 3/4 chapters in, I read the last page and ruined it.

And man, was I disappointed.  I’ve been a fan for only a couple of years, so I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a ‘die-hard.’  However, I do take books pretty seriously, and I really felt like the ending let me down.

Spoilers Ahead

If you’ve read the series, you know that her and Eric are together for a decent amount of time.  Well, in the previous book Sookie uses the cluviel dor on Sam, which disappoints Eric because of his impending marriage to Freyda.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but I certainly wasn’t expecting what we got.  Eric marries Freyda for 200 years, and Sookie ends up with Sam.

You read that correctly, Sookie ends up with Sam.  By the end of the book.  This book, which spends so much time with Sookie agonizing over Eric and trying to figure out her life, etc etc and by the end, she’s with Sam.  They’re not ‘together’ but it is implied.  Heavily.  Even though she says if they aren’t together, she’ll be fine, you know the intended ending is for the reader to believe they are.

This bothers me.  A lot.  First of all, she spent so much time working on Eric and building a relationship there, that I felt she just, let it go. I understand the maker’s influence, however, since Eric’s maker had died, I felt he could have fought harder to get out of the contract.  But, this also shows Eric’s calculating and cunning side.  Eric is always working to gain something, and if a business deal looks as if it’ll work in his favor, he’s all over it.  This is essentially the same case with Freyda.  So understanding that side of Eric, and the ending works for you.  But then you get the Eric that is so clearly in love with Sookie, even more so than his previous children Pam and Karin.  (Which, I want to point out, Eric’s second child, Karin the Slaugtherer, is actually named after my all-time favorite author Karin Slaughter)  I feel like Eric could have done more himself to get out of the contract, but as the story is told from Sookie’s point of view, we never truly get to see everything that Eric is going through.

Ok, so, fine.  Sookie and Eric don’t end up together.  I’ll accept that.  However, I do not like the fact that she so conveniently sets her up with Sam.  She uses this book, and this book only, to put them together.  She starts insinuating it from the beginning, but it just, it doesn’t work.  I like Sam, I think Sookie and Sam will always be friends.  But putting them together was such a let-down.  She reasons it with Sam’s experience with death, but even that doesn’t really sell it for me.

Overall, the relationship aspect, and honestly most of the book, felt like she had run out of ideas near the end and had to come up with something to slap together.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I do love her work and have appreciated it up until now, and this is just my opinion, but I was definitely let down.  I expected something more; not just the same characters recycling back through.

If you’ve read the jacket you know that Arlene comes back, and then Sookie is framed for her murder.  Thus starts the parade of previous characters back through the novel, and while sometimes that can be fun to see what everyone is up to, and to tie everything up, it just left me wanting more.  Again.

You’ll have to read it to understand, and I would definitely recommend the book to anyone who has started the series and wants to finish it.  I will always have a special place for Sookie in my heart, and from here-on-out I’ll have to rely on the horrible butchering that is TrueBlood to get my fix.  (I’ll save that for another day)

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