My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The title of this novel, book 9 in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris, says a lot about the general storyline of it: Dead and Gone is crammed full of death and a whole bunch of other nasty and confronting stuff that kind of leaves you wondering what the hell is going on.
Or, at least it did me.
In Dead and Gone the focus is on two very important events that may or may not change the world forever, and of which Sookie finds herself (yet again) very much involved. The girl is a supe-magnet.
First, the were community (shapeshifters) declare their existence, which is followed by the gruesome death of a were-panther in Bon Temps. Knowing the victim and being quite the amateur sleuth, Sookie decides to investigate the death in the hope of finding the killer.
At the same time Sookie is discovering more about her family history and the source of her telepathic abilities. Once again Sookie finds herself in danger (the life-threatening kind) as a family dispute turns into an all-out war.
Dead and Gone is a very dark novel, much darker than any of the others to date. Bad things happen to good and not-so-good people alike, and terrible things happen to Sookie. It is therefore not surprising that Sookie's character is also much darker, at times verging on sad and pitiful. I miss the fun, bubbly, optimistic barmaid that Sookie once was, but I guess torture brings out the cynic in everyone.
The two competing plot lines, the influx of characters, and the chaos of the events does leave one feeling a little exhausted at the end. However, Dead and Gone thankfully ties off some loose ends from book 8, with certain plots being finalised once and for all, hopefully paving way for a return to more delightful, warming events in future.
I think most people read these novels in the hope of there being a resolution to Sookie's love-life, that she will receive a happy ending. Yet there is so much stuff going on in books 8 and 9 that there simply isn't room for any development of her relationship with Vampire Eric - or Quinn. Or Sam. Or even Bill (remember him?). It's the reason I keep reading these books, but I'm beginning to fear there will never be a resolution, and that there's no happy ending in sight for Sookie.