Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Back With Sookie...and Life is Good


I get kinda pissed at people who review on Amazon sometimes. You'd think they'd been personally offended just because an author *did not do* precisely what they felt should have been done in the next installment of a series. I swear in some of the reviews they nitpick a novel to death so much I just want to scream! Authors simply cannot make everyone happy by a)including every character ever introduced, b) making their characters do something because of what was done in the past, and c) make the book longer/shorter/less sexy/more sexy/, etc., etc., etc. I think some people simply delight in finding issues with a book and then blasting them; this seems to happen most frequently with books in a series.
I personally loved Dead and Gone, the 9th Sookie Stackhouse book. I raced through it, even with a sick child and work, kicking myself frequently because now I'll have to wait a year for the next one. After I'd closed the book and moseyed on over to Amazon to begin my own review, I was simply amazed at the recent reviews that gave one, two, or three stars. You'd not believe some of the problems some reviewers had; I don't have a problem with a negative review when it's based on something solid, but when it's just a rant because the author didn't include character A or had character B do something the reader didn't like, it becomes about the reviewer wanting to direct the author's words and ideas. One reviewer had the nerve to mention her own upcoming vampire book and how she would never do so-and-so...well, good for you, honey. But Amazon's not the place for BSP (blatant self-promotion) when writing reviews for others' books.
Below is my own personal review of Dead and Gone, and if you don't agree with it, that's okay. But I refuse to blast an author because of the direction she's taking her characters. Poor story, yes; poor writing, an even bigger yes. This book was delightful, and I stand by that opinion.
~taminator40
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The ninth entry in the Southern Vampire Mysteries, Dead and Gone, opens with Sookie Stackhouse back at work at Merlotte's in Bon Temps, Louisiana, and the world being rocked with the revelation of were-creatures. Sookie, telepath extraordinaire, has known of the existence of not only the weres but all sorts of other supernaturals for a while now (even having dated the weretiger Quinn), but those who haven't aren't necessarily thrilled with the news. Even her boss Sam's stepfather doesn't react well to the announcement, so Sam must leave the bar temporarily in Sookie's care while he travels home. Unfortunately, Sookie's erstwhile sister-in-law Crystal turns up mysteriously crucified in the parking lot, and that is just the beginning of her troubles. Her great-grandfather Niall, a fairy, turns up long enough to tell her she's in danger because of his politics, and Eric, her sometimes lover/vampire friend, tricks Sookie into becoming "his"...and Sookie's not sure if that means they are married, bonded, or simply stuck with each other.
There are a lot of characters in this book, from Sookie's roommate Amelia to sadistic fairies to vengeful ex-friends intent on harm. Sookie's more serious than in the past, but there is a lot to deal with with her own life in danger and the death of Crystal. Sookie's confused: is Bill really such a bad guy? Is a relationship with Eric what she truly wants? Should she trust her brother Jason? All of these events combine to a good deal of action that is often bloody and violent, even with Sookie doing her best to stay on top of things.
I am not disappointed with this installment of Ms. Harris's series, though of course I would have liked more story to flesh out some of the action. There are a couple of convenient explanations that seem to come out of nowhere--seriously, Mel?--but there is an air of plausibility to Sookie's actions that certainly follow what she has done in the past. The push/pull between Bill and Eric is intriguing and believable, and while I desperately want her to end up with Eric, I can see how hard it is to banish an old flame. I did at times feel that the canvas was too crowded, and had to stop and think about who a character was and what his/her place was in Bon Temps, but I don't have a good solution as to paring things down. It would be easy to pick apart the book if I sat and pondered it too much, but honestly, you can't please everyone by adding in everything they want in one novel. Ms. Harris did a fine job of weaving action and emotion into Dead and Gone, and I am looking forward to more in this series.

7 comments:

" Dallas " said...

Thanks Tam for the great DAG review ...
would you consider calling into my radio show Monday night and talking about DAG ?


Thanks "Dallas"

http://lovingtruebloodindallas.blogspot.com/2009/05/dead-and-gone-review-back-with.html

SonyaNatalia said...

The thing that upset me about the Amazon reviews was that people gave it a low score because of the price!! In Australia we pay three times as much for any book - the American book prices are ridiculously cheap. It isn't fair to score Charlaine Harris' book low because of something she had nothing to do with.

I hope you wrote a good Amazon review. The fact these books are doing worse in the Amazon ratings than all the crappy Sookie wannabes is upsetting. Anybody who is a fan should go and post a five star Amazon rating. It’s crazy that the utter tripe written by most authors have higher ratings than Charlaine Harris’ quality writing, just because Sookie didn’t have sex with the ‘right’ man, or because you had to pay a couple of dollars more than you usually do – Americans have no idea how much people overseas have to pay for a book!!

Charlaine Harris is the only paranormal romance writer who has substance to go with the fun. I've read just about everything available and none of it is any good (for example, MaryJanice Davidson writes like a primary [elementary] schooler, and the less said about Stephenie Meyer the better). Instead of having childish reactions to Charlaine not writing for a teenaged fangirl's wish fulfillment, Charlaine is staying true to her characters.

SonyaNatalia said...

(Forgive me if this worked the first time - I'm having all kinds of internet dramas!!)

The thing that upset me about the Amazon reviews was that people gave it a low score because of the price!! In Australia we pay three times as much for any book - the American book prices are ridiculously cheap. It isn't fair to score Charlaine Harris' book low because of something she had nothing to do with.

I hope you wrote a good Amazon review. The fact these books are doing worse in the Amazon ratings than all the crappy Sookie wannabes is upsetting. Anybody who is a fan should go and post a five star Amazon rating. It’s crazy that the utter tripe written by most authors have higher ratings than Charlaine Harris’ quality writing, just because Sookie didn’t have sex with the ‘right’ man, or because you had to pay a couple of dollars more than you usually do –Americans have no idea how much people overseas have to pay for a book!!

Charlaine Harris is the only paranormal romance writer who has substance to go with the fun. I've read just about everything available and none of it is any good (for example, MaryJanice Davidson writes like a primary [elementary] schooler, and the less said about Stephenie Meyer the better). Instead of having childish reactions to Charlaine not writing for a teenaged fangirl's wish fulfillment, Charlaine is staying true to her characters.

robiart said...

This I think is the best "sums it up" review I have read. I totally agree. I read some of Amazon's reviews, and reviews on Goodreads.com, and there was a lot who seemed they were personally hurt that so and so wasn't in the book more, or too much of this/that. I do agree that some characters were not embellished upon, or "skimmed" over. But you said it best when mentioned the weave between emotions and action. That was what makes this book so AMAZING (although I felt worked after I was done). I think people are taking sides... These are good things. If everything was resolved, why would you want to come back for book 10?

Taminator said...

Thanks for the nice comments!

SonyaNatalia, I did post my review on Amazon, though I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it's roundly negatively voted upon since, like you said, people seem to be voting against the book for the silliest reasons. I also post my reviews on Facebook.

Robiart, I am so with you. Who wants everything resolved neatly? Why would you keep reading the series if it was? I love the emotional interplay of the characters. I do wonder if what happens with the fairies is Harris's way of possibly "thinning the herd" so to speak. She does have a plethora of characters; I found it hardest to keep the fringe characters (like Bellefleur) straight. But I did love this book and I'm pumped for the next one!

Melissa said...

Great review, well said.

-Melissa

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

I'm glad to hear you say some of the things you mentioned about unfair book reviews on Amazon. My debut novel will be out next year, and that is one of those issues I've been trying to mentally prepare myself for. Great review.