***This post will have spoilers so don’t read if you plan on reading the books!***
I started reading Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series when the first book was released. I had never read Charlaine Harris before, but I was desperately glomming everything paranormal, long before paranormal was “in” (when I had to hunt out small press authors before people even knew about small presses). I liked the series, though I never really cared much for Bill, for some reason–maybe because he was so standoffish to Sookie? I stopped reading at the book after the book where Sookie and Eric hooked up, when I realized two things: 1) that Sookie and Eric were not going to get together beyond that and 2) Ms. Harris was going to start throwing even more love interests in Sookie’s path.
So it had been about three years since I’d read any of the books, but about six months ago I started thinking I’d like to know what was happening. Since it had been so long, I knew that meant rereading the backlist. While I was traveling the past couple months seemed like the perfect time to do that, so I read (or in some cases reread) the entire series.
Jumping back into, I found I still had my love of Eric, for whatever reason–I think it’s amazing that I ended up with a nice guy, as I seem to favor some heroes who act a bit like assholes! I was still disenchanted with Bill (and with Alcide) and OMG the author has written this character as a total Mary Sue, and no one can convince me differently. Her allure for men, her ability to survive impossible situations, and that she seems to be of such amazing interest to so many people? Mary Sue.
As I continued to read the series, I found myself increasingly impatient with the sheer number of men who become enchanted with Sookie, and with her apparent inability to find one who’s not going to use her and toss her aside (also, since I favor Eric, it’s possible I was just a little peeved with how she kept taking him for granted and then shutting him down. I think the word is cock tease).
In the end, while I’m a romance reader at heart–or perhaps because I’m a romance reader at heart–I thought the books concentrated too much on Sookie and the men in her life, because after a while it gets old reading about so many different men who want this one, apparently irresistible person. And the whole bit with her fairy grandfather? Bleh.
But lest you think I didn’t like anything about the books, I’ll assure you that’s not true. I do like them, particularly the idea of a world where vampires are “out” but the other supernatural beings are not. I also like the fact that it’s not set in a particularly urban setting, and we get to see the flavor of Sookie’s surroundings. Last I love Eric. Did you guess that already? I think he’s probably the most complex, yet truthful/real, character in the book.
Despite my apparent dislike of Sookie (I think it’s more disdain, but whatever) I do actually recommend these books to those who like paranormal with some romance. I think they’re quite entertaining and the author has a fantastic ability to draw you into both the story and the setting. And I will be reading them as they release!