Review: Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12) by Charlaine Harris

The Southern Vampire Mystery Series prepares to meet the true death.

In the latest Sookie Stackhouse installment, Deadlocked, writer Charlaine Harris seems to be tying up a lot of loose ends in preparation for the final installment due out next year (2013).

The last few books have sort of dwindled in excitement and interest for me….particularly All Dead in the Family (Book 10) and Dead Reckoning (Book 11) so I’ll be honest I didn’t have high expectations for this installment.

I was pleasantly surprised with the way Deadlock unfolded. I didn’t feel the need to devour the book rapidly…though I did finish it quickly, I didn’t feel like every page was soaked in blood and action.

When the series began, the first 4 books were solidly written and action packed. Then books 5-7 got a little weird for me, but still fairly well written….books 5-7 seemed to be more about the supernatural than the mystery though which was a hard transition for the audience I think.

The first 4 books seemed more like murder mysteries where the main characters just happened to be supernatural creatures but somewhere around book 5 the books started being more about the supes and supe politics…in books 8-9 there was a huge change in Sookie and Eric’s relationship so that held my interested but when book 10 came out I was like….?!??!

Book 11 was a little redeeming but I really looked to Deadlock to be the vast improvement that the series needed! In Deadlocked, we get back to the roots of the series and return once more to what it was to begin with….a murder mystery with supernatural characters.

A woman is found dead in the front lawn of Eric Northman’s house at a party welcoming the Vampire King of Nevada, Felipe de Castro, to Louisiana. Eric is the primary suspect since he was feeding off her just before she was killed. Eric, Sookie, and the others feel that the dead girl was a trap meant to frame Eric, but why.

That is what official Area Five Investigator, Bill Compton, intends to find out.

There isn’t much of a mystery to solve like there has been in many of the other books….in this book, the suspect his is short and most of the characters agree who did it, but the mystery lies in the why. I think it would be hard for Harris to start a whole new mystery and introduce other characters/suspects into the plot with the series so close to completion. So I liked that it was more about the why than the who.

While Bill investigates the murder, Sookie doesn’t jump head-first into it….she just hangs back and reflects on how much she’s changed and how much she has learned to cope with.

This book was more stagnant than the others. Life in Bon Temps has gone on. As a reader we definitely begin feeling the closer and loose end tying. It seems like Sookie has finally come to terms with who and what she is. All of her friends are having their own “happily ever after (HEA)” and life is going on…the characters are growing up and moving on and so is Sookie. The only thing that is really left is who will be Sookie’s HEA? Eric?

Sookie is clearly in a better place than she was in the previous books. She is going out with her friends, cleans up a storm, and she is back to sunbathing and her daydreams…I finally felt like Sookie got past all the trauma that happened to her and back to the “old Sookie” in some ways….but the character growth is still evident and appropriate.

We can see that living engrossed in supe culture has taken its toll on Sookie and we see in this book more than ever, that she is longing for a normal life….especially with her friends and family all passing normal milestones and events….Sookie seems to want the same, but can she go back to living a normal life after so much has happened? That is the big question….Sookie’s HEA!

Eric and Sookie’s relationship has also changed drastically. In the earlier books and even book 8 and 9, I think the thing that I liked most about Eric was that I always felt like he held a secret….a key that Sookie needed to be complete and he himself needs to be “whole” or human again—I found Eric’s character more compelling and exciting knowing that he knew more than he was saying about who Sookie was and how he felt about her.

Then in Books 10 and 11, I just didn’t feel the same draw…but for me that feeling was rekindled in this book. I think Eric knows that his future is linked somehow and only Sookie can make the final choice.

This book is about Sookie, periods. It is obviously laying the ground work for her final choice—it’ time.

Sookie has been leaving her fate in the hands of so many others for so long, the time has come for her to make her own choice about her future and who she wants with her in her HEA.

Honestly not a lot happened in this book except the groundwork being laid for Sookie’s HEA and to show that she has finally moved on and come out of mourning and her depression which was a relief….Sookie has finally healed.

I think fans of the series will enjoy the back to basics story telling…though the story isn’t full of blood, guts, mega mystery, supernaturalism, supe politics, and sex as many of the other books are… is still a satisfying read. While I did wish there was more blood, romance, mystery, and action…I liked the story enough without those distractions.

It was a bitter sweet read for me since I could feel things coming to an end…it always makes me sad when the series is over but it is a relief to know that things will work out for the characters someway, somehow…..

I guess all will be revealed in Dead Ever After next May!

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book:  Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12) by Charlaine Harris

  • Kindle Edition, 335 pages
  • Published May 1st 2012 by Penguin Publishing

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 4 out of 5 (an improved installment to the series)

Genre: Pararomance, Sci-Fi, Vampire Fiction

Memorable lines/quotes: NA

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