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82 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Distraction
After reading the book until two a.m. this morning, I can attest to the fact that it is difficult to put down, but in the end it seemed to be meaningless to Sookie's life. After the major conflict of the books is resolved, it negates the whole concept of why it was fought in the first place.

Eric reveals information about himself that Harris previously said he...
Published on May 6, 2009 by K. West

versus
511 of 564 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Disappointing...I feel so let down, I think I'm depressed
I wanted to give the book atleast three stars bc i love the series so much, but I have to agree with the majority of the negative reviews on this one and say,"what happened?". The last book, from dead to worse, was so detailed and long, it was wonderful! I felt like I was reading a short hand version, or an extremely edited down piece that had to fit into a certain number...
Published on May 6, 2009 by Amazon Customer


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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is this written by the same Mrs. Harris? The author?, May 8, 2009
Let me start by saying I'm a huge fan of Mrs. Harris' work (not just the Southern Vampire series). She is one of the few authors that I keep coming back too. I have almost always found her books entertaining and well-written. With that being said I would like to review Dead and Gone, the latest installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series. This book managed (in 320 pages)to take away everything that I have ever like about this series. Let me explain. One thing I like about the books is that they are told from Sookie's point of view. While this book does the same thing, it was horrible because there was hardly any dialogue. The book was mainly filled with her thinking...could've, would've, should've. Blah, I can do that myself and don't want to read about someone else doing it no matter how short the book is. Basically if this book were to be made into a movie it would fall under the silent film category. Secondly, while a lot of loose ends were tied up, there was hardly any plot at all. Yes, there was a murder, but haven't we come to expect a murder in this series by now (one way or another). There was also a war with the supernatural. Again, not the first time that's been done in this series. The war (if one can call it a war) didn't take place until close to the end of the book and was over within a couple of pages. It seemed to me that Mrs. Harris threw the war into the book because she realized after page 290 that her book was anticlimactic. Hopefully the real Mrs. Harris didn't write this. Any day now the publisher will issue a statement apologizing for the huge mistake. Then, the FBI will quit wasting time in this book and start investigating the real problem...who is this imposter claiming to be Charlaine Harris? To sum it up, I feel more than disappointed. Some of the characters are thrown in just to make some sort of appearance and our protagonist acts as if she will have a mental breakdown and end up in a straightjacket. I understand Sookie has been through a lot and feels strained. However, if that's the direction Mrs. Harris is going to take her personality I think it would be best to set the next book up in the Bahamas. Otherwise, Sookie won't be much use to us.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing... a "clean up" novel, May 13, 2009
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What is a "clean up" novel? It is my term for a novel in a series where the author realizes that they have added in too many supporting characters for the reader to keep track of, so they engage in a wholesale slaughter/removal of character who have lost their usefulness to the plot. I won't say who all get the axe in this book, but it is quite a few people.

Other than clean-up, the main point of this novel seems to show that the weres come out into society. Okay, cool, nice beginning, BUT... after the first few chapters, not much attention is paid to how the world is taking the news, except for a few references to how family members are taking it.

The attempt at the main plot seems to be a fairy war. However it is so rushed, I just couldn't bring myself to care.

Now, I love the Sookie Stackhouse series, so diehard fans, please don't bash me. I'll still be reading them as they come out, as long as the plots stay intriguing. I seriously hope the next novel is better, or I will regretfully have to consign Sookie's stories to the catagory of "jumped the shark", joining the Anita Blake novels.
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71 of 82 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What happened with this book???, May 6, 2009
By 
Shelly "AvA" (Houston, TX, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Don't get me wrong. I've been a loyal fan of this series way before True Blood was on the air. I waited patiently for this one to come out but after spending all night reading it I was left wanting. Wanting the Sookie most of us have come to love back. The Sookie in this book is without humor, without her sarcastic wit, without empathy. She's giving in and giving up.

The book felt rushed and characters were just thrown as if to just placate us and make us know "Oh, we weren't forgotten". Most with just a phone call mention. Deaths were just thrown in to fill the number needed dead. One toward the end pissed me off the most because it was unnecessary and unexplained just... she's in the summerland. Ughh.

I wanted to scream, I wanted my money back, and I wanted to throttle Ms.Harris for throwing in the towel with this one.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Jumping the shark?, June 8, 2009
I have to agree with the many others who are rather puzzled by this newest addition.

The pieces in this book are like a badly put together puzzle. They don't quite fit. It almost feels like a paint-by-the-number book. Elements are introduced but seem to go nowhere or bear little relevance to the story. There is a lack of coherence.

(Spoilers ahead)

However my biggest complaint is this whole fairy angle It's illogical. I'm fine with the faerie blood thing. In fact it works really well to explain why vampires and the 2 natured are so enraptured with Sookie. I mean she's great but not THAT great. I also enjoyed the great-grandfather angle. It was nice to see Sookie so happy about finding new kin, and I liked the Niall character.

But the whole fairy war angle is where the story jump the shark. It doesn't work for me. The reasons for the war seem a little thin, but mostly, Sookie's role in it. I'm sure that Sookie was important to her great-grandfather, but important enough that her abduction would launch a full-out war? Important enough that his own pure-blood pregnant granddaughter is allowed to put herself in harm's way, and ultimately die to defend her? Would a man that has lived for thousand of years feel so strongly about a human that will be here and gone in the blink of an eye? That doesn't make sense.

Then after all this, Niall decides that he's going to do exactly what his nemesis wanted, closing the borders to the fairyland but for "different reason". Yeah way-to-go. Maybe you could have negotiated this before things escalated into a full-scale war? After all that would have been a very effective way of protecting Sookie.

So this fairy angle seemed too contrived. The resolution, if you can call it that, feels wrong and unsatisfying. Sookie looses a beloved granddad, and a beloved friend. Maybe that's the point. Maybe the whole next book will be about how everyone is traumatized about all these losses. Somehow that doesn't sound all that exciting.

I wish we could go back to the light-hearted Sookie that used her gift to solve mysteries and delighted vampires with her out-of-the-box insights. Enough with the gritty and grim. That's not why people like this series.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing rough draft, June 3, 2009
By 
Sean C (New Jersey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dead and Gone: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (Kindle Edition)
[Some Minor Spoilers]

I loved this series up to this point. Sadly, the latest outing reads like a very rough draft.

The first half of the book feels practically disposable--the action is dull, Sookie has little to say of interest, we learn nothing new about the sketchy characters or the world they live in. It reads like filler, and poorly edited filler, at that.

In her better books, Harris manages to make the quotidian, uneventful parts of Sookie's life interesting and meaningful, and a useful contrast to the crazy supernatural parts that you know are coming. Sookie is interesting because her life is a contrast of the everyday and the supernatural, both of which Harris lavishes with real, careful writing.

That's definitely not the case in this book. When Sookie gardens, for example, she mentions briefly that she's doing it because they're Gran's flower beds. But it's such an unconvincing, halfhearted, throwaway line that even the most unperceptive reader will know that it's just Harris' excuse to give Sookie an iron fairy-killing trowel. Gran isn't evoked in any meaningful way, the way she would have been in the earlier books.

As a narrator, Sookie's down-home platitudes and attitudes have always skirted the line between spunky and simple-minded; sadly this time she mostly comes down on the wrong side of the equation. I always felt like Sookie had something interesting to say, in previous books. Even if I didn't agree with everything she said, she always seemed authentic and real. In this book, her pert observations are lame and inappropriate. At one particularly tense point (when Sookie is supposedly in grave danger, and people close to her are in danger of being murdered), Erik talks to a fairy on the cell phone, and Sookie goes out of her way to tell us how funny it strikes her that "supes" use cells. It's a particularly dull observation, and Sookie's simpleminded amusement is completely different in tone from everything that comes before or after it in the scene. There might indeed have been something interesting to say there, but Harris missed it. As a result, Sookie goes from quirky to annoying.

And the big reveals in the book are handled in such a clumsy manner that they fall flat. The secret behind Sookie's parents' death is so ineptly teased early in the book that when you finally find out the answer, you'll say, "eh, big deal. I've known it was going to turn out this way for ever. Was I not supposed to have guessed that?" And Sookie doesn't discover the secret through any clever investigation, either. She's a passive recipient of the tease, and a passive recipient of the full story, too. Yawn.

It's not all bad news: The book picks up considerably once the real action (violence and sex) starts, 1/2 to 2/3 of the way in. If you're on the fence about reading it in the boring beginning, don't worry, it does pay off, eventually. More or less. The good bits are good enough, though not among Harris' best. Sookie is pretty much passive throughout, however, so if you're looking for her to be strong or clever or brave, sorry. Nope. She gets tortured really well, however. Eh.

Sadly, after the decent climax, the book ends with a real clunker of a two or three page wrapup--it really feels like Harris got to her deadline and just had the sketch of the ending done, and decided to run with that.

Don't get me wrong: I love this series, as a whole. But that just makes this lackluster entry all the more disappointing.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where have they hidden Charlaine Harris?, May 12, 2009
Sadly, I agree with the reviews which point out the inconsistent, hurried, and poorly-edited state of this book. I have loved the other Sookie books and have reread them many times. I think Charlaine Harris is a talented and original writer. But, Book 9 just does not do justice to the series. I miss the development of the characters I have grown to know and love. I miss the wit, inventiveness, and Southern flair that until now Sookie has always exhibited. Even the much-anticipated sex scene with Eric falls flat--how is that even possible?
Note to Charlaine: I began reading your books after TrueBlood debuted. The Alan Ball series is slickly produced, sophisticated, and very entertaining. But, your books are WAY BETTER. Take the HBO advertisements out, stop watching them reinvent your characters and rework your plot lines, and get back to writing as only you can.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book was empty, incomplete, and pointless., June 4, 2009
Why write the book just for the sake of writing it? I like Charlaine Harris. Her books are generally fun and exciting to read, especially if you want to escape reality. But seriously?? What the hell was this? I understand if she is trying to make the fans of certain characters happy by including them all in the book, but please make a real plot and point to have there there. For example Quinn-- that was stupid to have him in the book. He didn't do anything to help any plot or subplot. There was no suspense, or if Charlaine tried to make suspense it fell so flat that I was skipping and scanning parts that just weren't interesting, which was basically the whole book. And I really think that Charlaine was grasping at straws here to find a main plot. Also when a narator says, "I won't go into details but I was tortured." Give us the details. I'm pretty sure readers want to be shown not told. Instead of having Sookie go on and on with an inner monologue about religion and being a good Christian for pages and pages, maybe Charlaine should have concluded the FBI subplot or added to that story so it held water. This book was such a disappointment. Was it the start of the true blood show that put pressure on her? Who knows. But it seriously felt that she was just writing the book for the sake of putting another Sookie Stackhouse book on the shelf when maybe she should have waited another year to give this book more thought and time. I honestly can't believe her editors were like, "Yeah this is great!" Because it so was not great.
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82 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Distraction, May 6, 2009
By 
K. West (Pittsburgh, PA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
After reading the book until two a.m. this morning, I can attest to the fact that it is difficult to put down, but in the end it seemed to be meaningless to Sookie's life. After the major conflict of the books is resolved, it negates the whole concept of why it was fought in the first place.

Eric reveals information about himself that Harris previously said he couldn't remember and it is another example of how Harris refuses to adhere to her own mythology. The refernces to Hurricaine Katrina and her timeline of events personally bother me as well. Sookie can age, you know. The Harris' Harper Connoly series is worse with regard to this but it bothers me when Harris changes the information she herself created. Come on copy editors- Do you jobs!

Anyway, Eric's backstory further explains Bill's betrayal and in the book's later scenes, Bill has some redeeming actions and dialogue. In summary, I love Harris' characters so I joyously read every word, but I still couldn't help but feel that the plot was stuck in neutral.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointing (some spoilers), May 13, 2009
It's not the worst book ever written as some reviewers say, but it's not that good either. Charlaine Harris failed to deliver what we all wanted to read about and over-delivered on what we didn't really care for.

What I mean is most of us keep reading this series primarily to find out who Sookie finally settles with. No matter what team you were on - Eric, Bill, Quinn, Sam - you expected some kind of resolution, at least temporary, to her love life. We got none of it. There was so little development in Eric/Sookie (or for that matter Bill/Sookie and Quinn/Sookie) relationship, it was pitiful. Seriously, how many books will it take Eric to confess his love for Sookie? I simply don't have this kind of patience.

What we got overloaded with was the entire fairy story line. The fairy "conflict" felt so forced and pointless! I felt it was manufactured just to create a dramatic violent stand-off which within the frame of Harris's mythology could have been resolved with (literary) the help of a glass of lemonade! I am not sure why Charlaine chose this route instead of concentrating on much more interesting aspect of her mythology - coming out of were-animals.

There were some other things I didn't really care for such as deaths of pregnant women or Sookie's Christian musings.

After finishing the book, I felt like I was way too tired to follow this series any more because it was obvious that Charlaine was in it for the money only. I believe she will continue writing these books for years to come dangling Eric and Bill in front us to keep us interested. It is a little disheartening...
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wait for the paperback., May 16, 2009
I have to say that I loved the first eight books and was eager to get my hands on this one. I love the character of Sookie, but I feel she was not herself in this novel. There was very little resolved in this book as well as elements of the story that I feel ended prematurely. I expected much more as the previous installments had me on the edge of my seat, but like other reviewers I felt a bit bored and grossly disappointed. I will read the next one when my local library gets it because I am in no rush. I advise anyone who has not read it and wishes to buy it to wait for a paperback edition.
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Dead and Gone: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel
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