Thursday, May 16, 2013

Charlaine Harris Sucks Again

Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse, #13)Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

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Alisha: The fan who is neither crazy, nor entitled rants


So I've been on Amazon, watching the reactions. Lots of sock puppets and rabid Charlaine fans giving this turd 5 stars. Even Anne Rice is weighing in! I'm uber suspicious of all reviews that say, "She tied this up nicely, way to go Ms. Harris! and I look forward to reading the Coda in October!" Gotta hand it to Penguin, they are on top of this.

"Hey everyone! Look over here! Disregard the bad reviews. Those people are CRAZY!"

There's been a lot said about this final installment of Sookie. There have been angry fans, sad fans, furious bloggers, and Charlaine sheeple. Fans of Charlaine and maybe free speech? are calling the upset masses entitled and crazy. If you didn't like the book, you are a crazy Eric/Sookie shipper. Just check out the Wall Street Journal's crap article, How to Kill a Vampire Series if you don't believe me.

It's a mess. In the end, this will sell plenty of books, but a good portion of readers will remember that their emotional trust was broken. Say what you will, that is a legitimate feeling. There is a relationship between reader and writer and that is built on trust. When a writer chooses not to just add a twist, but to twist a knife into the reader, it's sometimes permanent.

(view spoiler)[The world of Sookie has changed. I've thought a lot about why Harris would write an arc that heavily favored Eric, then dismantle the entire work in three books. (hide spoiler)] My guess is that Harris, being tired of Sookie isn't in the same frame of mind she once was when writing the frisky waitress/telepath. Of course she isn't in the same place she once was. We change. What once was exciting and fresh, can become dull and stale. Likewise, with Sookie, Harris' ability to do what she wanted in light of True Blood, crazed fans, and simple boredom all took their toll on the work.

I've read books 1-9 at least five times each. 10-12? Why bother?

I'm not a whiny girl who didn't get her way.

I did not read this final installment and I don't plan to, but not for the reasons that you might think. I'm not an entitled douche bag. I don't want to make Harris my bitch. I've been known to read a book or two, and despite what Harris' PR camp is spinning, I won't be attempting suicide or threatening the author any time soon. Most likely, I'll just read something else.

Here's my complaints, since I know the ending and I've read all the reviews on Amazon.

Bad Plot Devices

Alisha takes offense. Harris thinks that (view spoiler)[ rape is a appropriate plot device, selling Eric into sex slavery for the next 200 years. Lets salt that and add that Pam is forbidden to go with him. What's troubling is that I doubt she would have made the same choice for a female character, because RAPE! Holy crap! (hide spoiler)]. Try saying that out loud to someone who hasn't read the books and see if they don't laugh at the absurdity of that particular choice. "She did WHAT to Eric?!?"

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1. I waffle between thinking that Harris hates her fame or or fans or the book. I can't tell which one. Then I think, no, she's just tired of it. But after her choices for DEA, I am back to thinking that she's a bit vindictive. Why? I haven't a clue. It could be the fans, or True Blood/Alan Ball hate. I can't say. I do feel her choices for Eric were vindictive. Let me restate that. I feel this. YOU are free to feel other stuff.

But Alisha! Wait! Harris can do whatever she sees fit. See my last comment, but also...

Sure, she can and she did. I ask you though, how did Moning conclude the Fever series? How has Gabaldon treated Fraser and Claire? How did Mead conclude Vampire Academy? You can literally insert any couple into this example and get a similar outcome. That outcome being that not everyone is satisfied with conclusions, but the readership did not freak the fuck out.

2. Harris wrote the love between Eric and Sookie. Eric always had Sookie's back even when she didn't realize it. He graveled her drive, and replaced her coat. He called her brave and self-less. He tried to protect her from a bond with Andre. Harris also wrote Sookie saving Eric. In those books, many of us became invested readers.

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3. Harris wrote the (view spoiler)[friend/boss/big brother relationship between Sam and Sookie. There was a kiss here and there, but we READ that it could never work because Sookie could hear his thoughts unless he was actively blocking her. But now, it's all good. Thoughts, shmoughts, is what I always say! (hide spoiler)]

4. Harris wrote that Sookie was worried (annoyingly concerned) that the bond between her and Eric was influencing her feelings of love, so much so that she broke the blood bond. And yet, Sookie is willing to overlook (view spoiler)[the use of the Culivial Dor on Sam because...we don't know. Sookie decided that reading Sam's thoughts didn't matter, so maybe it a new life choices/attitude thing. Maybe her clock is ticking? Settling worked well for Tara, right? After all, Tara has twins! (hide spoiler)]

5. Harris wrote Sookie as brave in the beginning and accepting of other supes because people had always treated her like crap. She was open to others, but now, to live a happy life (view spoiler)[ she must shun other supes and try to live as humanly as possible? (hide spoiler)]

6. I'm not okay with the way it ended for Eric. (view spoiler)[ Rape happens and so does sex slavery. I know it's just a book, but it leaves a horrible taste in my mouth. CH wouldn't make this choice for a female character, but it's okay for a man? *face palm* Just kill him off! This choice is cruel and the sex slavery is icky. We know what happened between Eric and his maker and we know he was abused sexually. (hide spoiler)] That was sad. Now it's full circle? Jesus. I just can't...

My hard-hearted husband laughed up when I told him what Harris did to Eric. He said I ought to charge Harris with committing a McMurtry in the first degree. If you don't know what I'm referring to, see Lonesome Dove and the sequel, The Streets of Laredo.

But wait! There's more weird plots! Why would Sookie's gay cousin, Claude want to (view spoiler)[ kidnap and rape Sookie? He was foiled by homophobes? Right wingers save the day! (hide spoiler)] Again, I didn't read this, but there are some heated rants of tumblr that are discussing this peculiar plot device.

If you don't want to end up a spinster, it's time to settle!

Back to my point. I'm not reading the book because Sookie isn't fun anymore. That character I loved has devolved into a bigoted old woman, hell bent on nitpicking every aspect of her life. Sookie settled! She settle for line dancing, kids, and casseroles. That is NOT BRAVE. Remember ladies, when a woman nears thirty, it's time to quit being picky. The music is about to stop, so pick a chair! Charlaine wrote that too.

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SVM books once involved a mystery, some witty banter, a bit of fantasy with a smidgen of lust. When it worked, it was magic.

Sadly, the magic is gone. Luckily, there are other books in the sea, err...library.

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