My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris is the thirteenth - and final - novel in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series. The naïve, small-town Sookie Stackhouse introduced in book one (Dead Until Dark) is a very different person to the cynical, hardened Sookie found in Dead Ever After. Over the course of thirteen books (and a selection of short stories), Sookie has grown and adapted to the world around her as she's had to face many life-threatening and life-changing events involving Vampires, Weres and other Supes.
In Dead Ever After Sookie must once again enlist the help of her supernatural friends in order to defeat a supernatural foe, whilst attempting to prove herself innocent of the murder of a fellow Bon Temps resident.
As the last book in the series, I expected a lot. I expected action, romance, mystery and an explosive ending - the kind of finale that Sookie deserved; one that was truly satisfying and would make up for the relatively unexciting events of the more recent novels in the series. However, that didn't happen. The ending did not surprise me: The turn that Sookie's love-life takes has been somewhat expected since book one. However, what did surprise me was the return of old lovers, friends and foes, whilst the more central and significant characters of the previous twelve books were frustratingly absent. The plot itself wasn't terrible, it just wasn't delivered in a particularly dramatic, satisfying manner, and in the end it felt as though not a lot actually happened in the story at all.
The Sookie Stackhouse series ceased being really good by book 7. Books 8 - 12 felt very much as if Sookie's story was being deliberately drawn out and milked for all it was worth, which probably put a lot of additional pressure on the final novel to be something truly amazing. In the end, however, Dead Ever After lacked the excitement and intrigue of the earlier novels in the series and overall, was rather disappointing.