Thursday, March 29, 2012
Dead to the World
I've got to start reading something other than fluff. Midway through reading Dead to the World, Monkey peered over my shoulder and realized what I was reading essentially equated to porn- and then teased me mercilessly.
That being said, this was considerably better written than the previous books in the series. I don't think I quite liked it as much as the last book, but it was pretty darn good. I think Harris has really gotten into her stride as an author. She has a great concept of the personalities of her characters and is doing a much better job at showing them. Sookie's inner monologue is quite a bit more believable (though I still hate the Word of the Day Calendar thing), and Harris is really showing the dynamic between the characters a lot more. I loved Jason's incorporation, and that for once, his personality wasn't just mentioned by Sookie- it was actually demonstrated by Jason himself. I loved that Sookie got to be a strong, protective character, without having to be dragged into a physical beat-down. She's finally losing her naivety. I also love that Harris neglected to the overused plot device of two unrelated events turning out to be related- she managed to pull of two different story-lines reasonably well. It was quite refreshing to not have them converge.
I loved, loved, LOVED Eric in this book. I could just picture him and his childlike confusion. He really made this book hard to put down, and I really liked the difference in the mystery for this book. Rather than figuring out who the bad guy was, it was more about actually figuring out where the bad guy was- quite a difference from the earlier books, and not something I see a lot in the cozy mystery genre.
My only criticism? What the hell was point was Claudine? She wasn't involved enough for her importance. While I understand that she'll be more of a plot point in later books, her inclusion in this one was just plain unnecessary. If Sookie had merely mentioned her existence and dropped the matter, rather than dwell on her for pages and pages, it would have been handled a great deal better. She served absolutely no purpose for plot development, and just made the entire situation considerably more confusing.
Also, the cover art is absolutely hideous, but that's hardly the author's fault.
Besides that minor detail, I did enjoy this book, and I'm really glad Harris is choosing to continue all of the various "Supes" in the later novels. All too often I'm finding that authors like to talk about a new, interesting supernatural being in one book, only to drop it like a hot potato in the next. Harris does an excellent job of continuing to involve each of the new creatures in the next book, which does wonders for her world building. I think that if anyone wants to try this series, they should wait until this book before deciding whether or not they like it- it's a great representation of what her books should be. Fluffy, ridiculous guilty pleasures with great plots.