Title: Club Dead
Author: Charlaine Harris
No. of Pages: 292
First Released: 2003
Synopsis (Courtesy of Ace Books): “There’s only one vampire Sookie Stackhouse is involved with (at least voluntarily) and that’s Bill. But recently he’s been a little distant – in another state distant. His sinister and sexy boss, Eric, has an idea where to find him. Next thing Sookie knows, she is off to Jackson, Mississippi, to mingle with the under-underworld at Club Dead. It’s a dangerous little haunt where the elitist vampire society can go to chill out and suck down some type O. But when Sookie finally finds Bill – caught in an act of serious betrayal – she’s not sure whether to save him…or sharpen some stakes.”
Comments and Critique: Finishing this book meant another late night for me because even though I was tired, I just couldn’t put it down. I found the tone of this book to be a bit different from the first two in the series. In the first two, Sookie is desperate to find love and acceptance and eventually finds that in Bill. While she may get injured or face tremendous danger, she knows (and the readers know) that Bill is there to look after and ultimately take care of her. This time around, though, while she’s still in life-threatening danger, Bill may or may not be there after all. It’s disconcerting for both Sookie and the reader.
Added to that, we’re introduced to a world with other shape shifters, werewolves, kings and queens of the vampire world and so much more. Ms. Harris has created an amazing world that feels every bit as real as anything else you will find on TV or in other books. Even though there is much that is quite fascinating in the world Ms. Harris created, what makes this a truly compelling read is the fact that Sookie must face what millions of other women face in their lives – the possibility of a cheating lover/spouse/significant other – as well as what to do about the situation. Suddenly, her supernatural life has taken quite a normal turn of events.
Her pain and confusion about this turn of events is all the more real to the reader because of the time and effort spent during the first two books building up their relationship and love for each other. Ms. Harris could have had Sookie wallow in her pain, misery and doubt, but it is a testament to how much Sookie has grown as a character that she not only stands up for herself but takes things into her own hands and resolves the issue in a way that is best for her.
This book took me even less time to finish than the first two. I’ve already resigned myself that I will be finishing the series before starting anything else. I’m having fun, though, reading through them. They are a perfect summertime read. I’m anxious to see what else life has in store for Sookie, to see if she ever gets her happily ever after, whoever it may be, and if she can find the acceptance and love she so desires and deserves.