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Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 12)

Deadlocked - Charlaine Harris

Note: This review contains spoilers.


Deadlocked was a little better than the last book, but now I'm really afraid we're going to get a dull "There's no place like home" ending for Sookie Stackhouse, and that's disappointing. Dorothy Gale she ain't.

At least it actually ended at a reasonable stopping point. With the previous book, it was like Charlaine Harris just left her desk to go get a drink of water, and the publisher snatched it and released it while she was away. :)

I came late to this series and read 1 - 7 pretty much back to back, so I'm not tired of it the way some readers seem to be. I actually enjoy the local color and details of Sookie's life that Harris includes in the book. For me, it provides a nice reminder that she's still standing with one foot in her normal routine in the midst of all her supernatural adventures.

That being said, I saw the villain plot a mile away. I didn't mind that so much - every now and then, it's enjoyable to know you're on target and that you've figured things out, but there were things in the character dynamic that didn't feel right, and I was very disappointed with the author's decision to build the cluviel dor up so much, and then use it in that fashion. To have a device that powerful, perhaps the most powerful object we've seen in the series, and not expend it in a way that directly relates to the conclusion/resolution of the primary conflict and the relationship that readers are most interested in (Sookie/Eric) ... well, it seems a very odd plotting decision, and rather a waste of time for these two books. I'm not saying that Sam wasn't worth saving: of course he was. But Eric was right there. With superhuman speed and healing blood. He could've beaten Sookie to the body by a mile. It didn't really make any sense. It's like Harris gave herself a clear way to get herself out of a writing corner, and now she's written herself back into it. I hope I'm wrong, and that this is a misdirection that will lead to a happy surprise in the last book.

I did enjoy the descriptions of the fae at Hooligan's; Bellenos reminds me of Shakespeare's Puck just a tiny bit. I always find Niall fascinating: will it ultimately mean anything that our protagonist is related to the most alien of the supernaturals in the books? I don't think Sookie will ever get to see Faery at this point, which is something of a disappointment to me. Speaking of Sookie's heritage, I hope we'll see Mr. Cataliades once more so he can answer a few more questions and teach Sookie a bit more about her powers, but we are running out of time.

I'd imagine that Eric would've seen Freyda's type before during his long unlife and that she wouldn't hold very much appeal. Eh, another vampire queen. He's got plenty of money of his own, and do we really see Eric playing second fiddle to her for the rest of his days? Punishment from Felipe is more of a concern, in my opinion, and if Harris decides to be predictable, she could make that union a directive from Felipe.

Speaking of Freyda, I found that scene with her somewhat pointless, other than to let readers know what she was like. The only real upside was that we got to see Bubba again, and he and Sookie had a nice moment together.

If Sookie ends up married and pregnant by the character she saved at the end of Deadlocked, I will vomit. I will probably check Dead Ever After out from the library when it is released, just because I'm feeling a bit of doubt about where things seem to be going and I don't want to purchase a book that I fear may disappoint me.

I'd like to see the series get a good ending, so I really hope Charlaine Harris surprises us somehow. I believe that she can, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will.

A few questions that stood out for me upon finishing the book:

  • It was so much easier back when we just assumed that the fae blood in Sookie's heritage manifested itself in different ways, such as the telepathy trait that she and Hunter share and Jason's unusual attractiveness. Now, Mr. Cataliades has thrown a wrench in that, given that he says he gave Sookie her gift of telepathy, and that Barry, the other telepath we met, is Cataliades' great-great-grandson. Where does that leave Hunter, then? How did he get it?

  • Sookie did make out her will in this book. Would Charlaine Harris kill off her main character? In doing so, would Sookie be transformed or become more supernatural than she is now? Would Niall cross over one more time to save her by taking her into Faery? After all, there would still be a Sookie in the world, given how Tara and J.B. named little Sara Sookie.

  • What's going to happen with that upstairs room that Dermot was constructing? Sure, it could've just been a bit of business to keep the character occupied in the books, but I have to wonder if it will have some purpose. Dermot could've left a gift behind for Sookie (it was her birthday, after all), or Hunter could have need to come and live with her, or it could serve some other purpose. It may just be forgotten about with the next book, but it sure seems like it got mentioned a fair amount for just being a room.

  • I do think Amelia Broadway still has a part to play, quite possibly with a useful magic spell. :)