Saturday, May 25, 2013

All she wrote.

She as in Charlaine Harris. And I guess specifically in the Sookie Stackhouse universe, since I think she intends to write more in other series. There should probably be some kind of spoiler alert here too.

So! I now know the end of the Sookie Stackhouse saga. Or one of the ends. Maybe True Blood will eventually end up in the same place, but if it does the route will have been so entirely different that it'd be hard to really call it the same. I'm like 90% satisfied with how Charlaine Harris decided to leave the series. It made sense. It seemed like there had been an intentional and overarching theme to the series all along. Sam says something about the realization that he's just a man that happens to be a shifter, and I think the same applies to Sookie too. The beginning of the series is all about how alienated she is from regular people because of her telepathy, and how it's just natural for her to be dating vampires. This book is almost kind of a homecoming. Nobody in Bon Temps ever really suspects her...except for the ones that have been hexed...because even though she's a little odd they know she's good people. People come to her rescue from all over. In the end she's rescued by a whole bunch of very regular humans. Turns out she's not such a misfit after all.

There are things I liked about Eric's exit, and things I didn't like. Sending him off to play the part of subservient husband is pretty interesting, especially because it's never suggested that the subservient role would be emasculating for him or undermine his attractiveness. (Go feminism!). I think it also contributes to the series' ability to make vampires "other" in ways that aren't purely about violence. How well can people who were born hundreds of years ago really adapt to modern day thinking? It's not so much that vampires are sadists as that their thinking is medieval or even pre-Christian. Which means that retribution is often swift and violent, and sometimes your romantic love story gets interrupted by a marriage for strategic alliance. On the other hand though, I feel like the thing about Eric always assuming Sookie would become a vampire was just added in to make their relationship double extra plus impossible, without much in the way of roots in earlier books. I'd have to go back and read some stuff again to be sure, but I seem to remember that vampire/vampire romance isn't really a thing. And the promise to keep Sam from talking to Sookie was just contrived and made no sense to me. But, given that Charlaine Harris has openly admitted that she's a little burned out on the series, I think she did a good job. And I respect her for actually finishing it. The great romantic moments might have been a little lacking, but there was some brainstorming on how to ditch a body, and Sookie's holding a grudge against a powerful vampire for ruining a piece of furniture. So I'm happy.