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R&R 065 | Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse #3)

SPOILER WARNING – If you're watching True Blood and don't want to be spoiled for upcoming seasons, you might want to stop reading right now. Though the show doesn't stay entirely true to the books, some of it may be relevant for True Blood's third season.

Charlaine Harris
Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire Mysteries #3)
First published in: 2003
This edition: Ace, 2003
ISBN: 978-0-441-01051-6
Cover design by Judy Murello / Cover art by Lisa Desimini

R&R 065 | Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse #3)
I promise you, my fangs will be revealed at some point…

For the first time in her life, telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse has found someone to really love; he's perfect for her. Okay, so he's a vampire. Big deal. At least she has peace of mind – literally – because she can't access his thoughts. It's quiet with Bill and she likes it that way.
…unfortunately, if she actually could have read his mind, she would have known he'd leave her to be with a former lover, and spare herself the surprise and humiliation when he actually takes off to Mississippi to be with his ex.
Despite this betrayal, Sookie cannot in good conscience sit by and do nothing when it appears that Bill is in severe danger. Oh, she's ready to kick someone's ass, that's for sure. We'll just have to see whose.

Our girl Sookie grows up a lot in this installment, which I like. She'd have to, having her heart broken like this. Can't say I'm surprised – I've never liked Bill, and now I finally have good reason to hate the bastard. Thank you, Charlaine. Really. Those of you who've also read the third book will understand my dislike of Sookie's former numero uno vampire. (A certain scene involving a trunk of a car comes to mind.)
So, one man male being – Bill – doesn't seem to be as smitten with Sookie anymore. Yay, finally, one male being less to lust after Soo… oh but wait.

One of the finest characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries makes his debut in Club Dead. In order to get access to the underworld of Jackson, Mississippi, Sookie needs someone's help (and protection).
Enter Alcide, loyal and lovable Were (shifter who turns into a wolf, ergo werewolf), whose only flaw is being unable to let go of his ex. Alcide's introduction is definitely the highlight of this book, even though of course he is quickly attracted to Sookie – and vice versa.

I'm going to just roll with this from now on, because I'm starting to believe Charlaine Harris is going somewhere with this, eventually. Right now, every man wants Sookie – and it seems to be genetic enough, because Charlaine Harris often points out how attractive Sookie's brother, Jason, is. Women are like putty in his hands; all it takes is one look from Jason and they can't seem to stop themselves.
Okay, I guess I need to accept all the lustin' & lovin' and trust that there will be a reason for this. So I will do that; I must say I'm getting quite curious. (Please don't spoil me, as I review this I've only just started book 5.)

Bringing it back to Alcide: it's cool, I guess, that there's an obvious mutual attraction between Sookie and Alcide. Besides, he's not just there to be eye candy to Sookie, but brings a lot into the story.

The plot is a little messy at times, with too many things happening at the same time – which was the case in the previous two books, too. And though I can't really care less about Bill at this point, I do care about Sookie enough to be invested in her search for him, a search which was thrilling and at times surprising. Harris sticks to her formula; Club Dead is just as satirical and quirky, yet action-filled as the previous books.

The one really big change, I feel, is the growing strength of Sookie's character, which is a change I completely appreciate. It only makes me like Sookie and Charlaine's books more. Charlaine Harris allows for Sookie to develop, while opening up possibilities for different character interactions as well as different plot directions.

The third book confirmed for me that reading this series is a worthwhile way to spend my recreational hours; the books aren't scary enough to be actually distressing, and the satirical undertone provides me with some giggles every now and again. I don't think there's a possibility for me to escape Bon Temps and Miss Stackhouse anymore. I'm sticking with her to the end.

R&R series (and its photos, reviews) © Karin Elizabeth 2008-2009

Karin Elizabeth
  • anyroadanytime

    I hate Bill (though I believe he is much more likeable in the show) and I was very happy with the way book 3 finished.

    And I completely agree with what you said about the plot being a little messy at times.

    First, I thought it was because I was reading it in english (and I am brazilian), but a friend of mine thought the same after reading.

    Sometimes I had to go back some pages to remember things and other times I was thinking "Ok. Too. Much. Information."

    But, even though, I am loving this series! I got the box with the first 8 books and I am in heaven because I missed a fun and adventurous book.

    I going to start book four today and I hope that it is a bit slower.

    Please, keep on reviewing the Southern Vampire Series! I love to see another person's perspective on them since they are so unknown where I live!

    Cheers 🙂

    PS: This Everybody Loves Sookie kind of bugs me too so I am glad there will be an explanation for it!

    October 20, 2009 at 10:21 pm
  • Kat

    Hi – I just found your blog and just wanted to say I really love it. Your reviews are great and I love the way you put a photo for each book. I will definately be adding you to my list of daily blog reads.

    October 21, 2009 at 7:25 am
  • Karin Elizabeth

    I'm also happy with Sookie and how she stood up for herself. I hope she keeps that up.
    A lot tends to happen in these books, yes. 4 is a bit more clean in that sense, 5 has a lot going on again, haha. But more on that in forthcoming reviews. (I do plan on reviewing them all at some point! First I'll review a few other books, then move to Sookie books 4 and 5.)
    I used to read so many serialized fantasty/mystery books but haven't found a decent one for some years (Harry Potter excluded). I usually can't wait to read a few pages before going to sleep 😛
    I hope there will be an explanation… not sure if there will be.

    Hello, nice to meet you! Thank you for your kind words 🙂

    October 22, 2009 at 6:50 pm
  • lililly

    I'm just now getting aorund to reading your R&Rs little lady! Its been on my to do list for about a year 😛

    Anyway, I was going to say, I love that you hate Bill. I havent actually read the books yet (just ordered the first one from the library but there is a cue and i dont want to risk bad karma buy using my super librarian powers and juumping the list) but in the TV series I can't stand the dude…he is such a wet blanket.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:34 am

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