Synopsis: Sookie Stackhouse knows that her brother is going to change before he does. Surprisingly, he embraces his new shifter lifestyle more than most other shape-shifters she knows. However, her relief quickly turns to fear when it becomes apparent that a sniper has set his or her sights on the local shifter population. In addition, Jason’s new werepanther family suspect that he may be the sniper. Sookie must draw on all her magical connections to uncover who the sniper is before the next full moon, if the sniper does not decide to track her down first.
Comments and Critique: Ms. Harris never ceases to amaze and mystify me. Just when I thought I knew the direction she was going to take Sookie, she throws me for a loop with book five. I am still undecided if I truly like the direction in which she is going. Call me a traditionalist, but I enjoyed Sookie’s interactions with the vampires more than I am her interactions with the shifters. The shifter community seems to have too many rules, too many quid pro quo situations. Granted, the vampires have those stipulations as well but at least they are open and honest about it. Also, I still haven’t recovered from my shock at the demise of her relationship with Bill and am STILL hoping for her to get back together with him. Even Eric seems a better choice than Alcide turns out to be or any other shifter interested in her. Sookie may not be jealous (or willing to admit to her jealousy), but I certainly am.
I will admit that the fantasy world Ms. Harris has created goes beyond my wildest dreams. At one point in time during the book, during the introduction of Quinn, I really started questioning whether there weren’t more magical creatures in her world than normal humans. Then I started wondering why it has taken Sookie so long to get to know this supernatural world, being supernatural in her own rights. I soon realize that I’m contemplating a fictional world, but I believe that is part of her draw. Ms. Harris has created a world so fun, so realistic in its own right, that it is easy to get lost in it.
In all, Dead as a Doornail lived up to what I would expect from this series. Fun, fast-paced, Sookie again faces challenges, emotional, physical and mental, that would severely test a normal human. The fact that she remains so innocent and trusting is part of her appeal. I would definitely recommend this to anyone as caught up in the series as I am. A word of warning – Ms. Harris definitely refers to situations that occurred in previous books, so I’ve come to the conclusion that they should not be read out of order. Other than that, enjoy!
P.S. I finally started watching the HBO series, True Blood, based upon this series. I am NOT happy with the portrayal of Bill. He is just not that attractive to me. I’m scared to see what they did with Eric’s portrayal. However, I was impressed with the one episode I’ve seen. For one, I was never scared for Sookie’s safety when reading any book in the series. The fact that they are on book nine makes me pretty sure that she survives everything thrown at her. Watching the first episode, however, I was fearful, even though I knew what was going to happen. Bill is a lot scarier than I have ever considered him to be. I actually like that. After all, he IS a vampire, and vampires in the truest sense of the word are supposed to be frightening creatures. I can’t wait to watch more episodes to see if it remains as compelling!