I usually try not to read too many reviews of a book before I write my own so as not to be influenced by others' opinions. This time, however, I couldn't help myself; I had to peek to see if other readers felt a distinct lack of emotion for this final installment into our beloved Sookie's tale. And while I won't go so far as to say this is the worst book ever written, I will agree with the reviews I've read: I am very disappointed overall.
There are some things I liked about Dead Ever After, so I will state them first. I liked the fact that I got to spend time with characters I've grown to know and love, including Mr. Cataliades, Diantha, Pam and Bill (despite his flaws). I liked that Sookie realized she has friends she can call on who will help her, no questions asked. I liked that there was resolution for Claude. Wait...I'm trying to think of more things. Oh, and despite my overall lack of enthusiasm, the story did move along fairly quickly and I kept turning the pages to see what would happen next. That's a positive, right?
But oh my gosh, the problems. This is going to be spoiler-y, so consider yourselves warned.
I'll start small. After being in financial straits for so long, suddenly Sookie receives a bequest from Claudine that will basically take care of her for life? Wow. How nice. Oh, that nasty break-up with Quinn? It's in the past and all's forgiven. That convoluted murder and arrest? Never would've happened, even if Alcee had not been under the influence of a voodoo object. Amelia's father wanting the cluviel for simply to control Amelia? Yeah, right. And where was Bubba?
But then...the Eric situation. It was handled so badly, even with the lead up from the last book, that it was unbelievable. These two loved each other madly, and yet Eric couldn't and wouldn't find a way to get out of the marriage with Freyda? I understand the problems with an ongoing relationship between an immortal vampire and a human, but there would have been something Eric would've done. For him to ride off into the sunset, even with his token gifts, was totally unacceptable, even if I did see it coming. And the non-chemistry between Sookie and Sam, no matter how much Sookie tried to make it sound wonderful, was anything but. Sookie would not, under any circumstances, have simply let go of Eric and moved on so quickly.
If I keep writing, I'm going to talk myself out of the three stars I'm giving this final novel. I wanted to love it, I was expecting closure, and hoping to at least like Sam and Sookie together, and got none of it. Let's just say I'll give it 2.5 stars and round it up for old times' sake.