I decided that I would end 2013 much like I brought it in: with a stack of books that I am long overdue to read. The first on my list was Charlaine Harris’ After Dead, which documents the lives of the residents in Bon Temps after the events in Dead Ever After – the final book in the Southern Vampire (Sookie Stackhouse) series. As a fan of the series – and the TV show it spawned, True Blood – I was looking forward to finding out about the happily-ever-afters I had hoped to find, especially after the general feeling of disappointment I had after reading Dead Ever After and the most recent season of True Blood. The anticipation I felt quickly turned to disappointment as I read through the first few pages of the book and upon finishing, led me to this one conclusion:
This book was a complete waste of trees and for me, cemented the fact that the Sookieverse is indeed dead – and good riddance to it.
This book was to have served as a continuance into Bon Temps, telling us – the loyal readers – what happened in the lives of our favorite characters after the events in Dead Ever After. I got through the first fourteen characters without remembering who most of them are, and even now couldn’t tell you from which books they appeared. Characters #15 and #16, Andy and Halleigh Bellefleur, were the first in a line of characters who I actually cared for, and their stories post-Dead Ever After are for the most part sad and depressing. Most of the major characters survived all of the craziness throughout the 13-book series, just to find themselves dying of “ordinary” circumstances (car accidents, heart problems, drugs, etc.). The ones who did live had sad, pathetic lives – except for the handful that Ms. Harris gave pleasant lives to, the main ones we wanted to know about anyway. The important contents of this book could have easily been scripted into an epilogue included at the end of Dead Ever After.
Some examples include (CLICK AND DRAG YOUR MOUSE TO SEE SPOILERS):
- Andy and Halleigh Bellefleur’s daughter was born with a heart defect, two months after the events in Dead Ever After. She lived until her teens, when she died in her senior year of high school due to complications. She was buried in her cheerleader uniform.
- Terry Bellefleur, along with his wife, dies in a car accident 8 years after Dead Ever After.
- Jane Bodehouse died 5 years later, after hitting her head on the bathroom sink when she passed out on the toilet. (Not surprising, but did she really have to die such an undignified death?)
- Bubba gets exiled to Canada after causing a riot at his gravesite.
- Tara and JB break up
- Octavia Fant and Louis Chambers die after a tree branch crashes into their bedroom during a storm.
- Amelia and Bob get married, have a son and get divorced.
Well, you can see how this is going. The characters who have relatively happy lives are ones who made brief appearances throughout the series. Of course Bill, Sookie, and Eric have relatively happy lives, but I won’t spoil those here.
Overall, this book was a disappointment for me, and makes me certain that it was definitely time to end the tales in Bon Temps. (Although Ms. Harris suggests in two characters’ bios that we will probably see them again). Certainly NOT worth the $18.00 cover price. Pull out your library card for this one, or borrow it from a friend who had the misfortune of paying for it. RIP, Sookieverse.