written by David Steffen
Dead Ever After is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2013, the thirteenth and final book in the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris (which is the basis of the HBO show True Blood). The previous books are all reviewed here earlier on the Diabolical Plots feed.
At the end of the previous book, Sookie Stackhouse used the cluviel dor, her one-use magical fairy item (which grants one and only one wish) to revive her dying boss and friend Sam Merlotte. Meanwhile, Sookie’s relationship with Eric has grown rocky. Among other reasons, Eric’s maker had arranged for him to be married to another vampire, despite Sookie’s marriage to him, and vampire custom strongly demands that he go along for the marriage. He had hoped that she would use the cluviel dor to help him dodge the responsibility without consequences.
Meanwhile, Sookie’s longtime-friend-become-enemy Arlene has been freed from prison by a mysterious group with a vendetta against Sookie, urging her to visit Sookie at Merlotte’s and open their relationship again. The meeting (unsurprisingly) does not go well, and Sookie is still trying to figure out why the visit when Arlene’s corpse is found in the dumpster behind the bar.
This was easily one of my favorite books in the series, which was a relief after the last couple of books in the series became rather a slog to read through. The mystery behind who is plotting against Sookie was certainly interesting, and for the first time in the series you get to see the story from points of view besides Sookie’s as we get some dramatic irony by seeing them plotting their moves and then we see the consequences of those actions in Sookie’s sections. And early on in the book you get a glimpse of someone who has apparently sold their soul to a devil, which lends a new element to the series that we haven’t seen before.
The one thing that did get on my nerves a bit was that since it was the last book it seemed like they had to get every character back in the book again to wrap things up–some of them felt like more than a bit of a stretch. But, really, that was a pretty minor thing.
I have enjoyed reading enough of the series that I was quite relieved to see that the final book of the series went out with a bang!