CLUB DEAD (Sookie Stackhouse #3)
by Charlaine Harris
PUBLISHER: Gollancz (UK) | Ace (US)
RELEASE DATE: 2009 (UK) | 2003 (US)
FORMAT: Paperback, 274 pages
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
Sookie Stackhouse always found it difficult to date – she’s cute, but not many guys are comfortable with her mind-reading abilities. But vampires have no problems with Sookie’s talent – she can’t pick up much of anything from the undead.
But there’s only one vampire Sookie Stackhouse is involved with – at least voluntarily – right now, and that’s Bill. But recently he’s been a little distant – in another state distant. His sinister and sexy boss Eric has an idea where to find him, and next thing Sookie knows, she’s off to Jackson, Mississippi, to mingle with the underworld at Club Dead. It’s a dangerous little haunt where the elusive vampire society can go to chill out and suck down some Type O – but when Sookie finally finds Bill, he’s not only in trouble, but caught in an act of serious betrayal. Should she save him, or sharpen some stakes? (Goodreads)
When I began reading CLUB DEAD I did wonder if now three books in it would continue holding my interest, especially as these books are quite light, although they do hold some serious issues. But CLUB DEAD held my attention throughout and I found myself loving Sookie even more than I did in the previous book. It was also nice not to have so much Bill. Although I enjoy his character it was great to see Sookie interact with other men, especially the werewolf and, of course my favourite vamp, Eric.
I wasn’t nervous about picking up CLUB DEAD at all, I found it was great to be submerged back into Sookie’s world again and this series only seems to be getting better. It combines humour with sexiness, all tied up in a supernatural mystery. I also enjoy the fact that these books are very different from other urban fantasy novels and Sookie isn’t a tough, gun totting heroine, but she’s got guts and I love her anyway.
In this installment we see Sookie getting tougher and definitely braver. But without losing her lovely Southern charm and flawless manners. One scene just sums it up for me, when Sookie has been badly injured and waiting for a strange vampire to heal her, even then she does not forget to be polite. She just makes me smile.
“How de do.” Good manners would make you welcome anywhere, my gran always told me.
In the first book Dead Until Dark the focus was very much on Sookie’s home town of Bon Temps. In Living Dead in Dallas she took off to Dallas, which was lots of fun. In this instalment, Sookie takes another trip, this time to Jackson, Mississippi to try and find Bill who’s gone missing. She has also found out that he has been unfaithful although I had my suspicions if this was true, I found the answer at the end of the novel…
The writing is just so wonderful, I can’t seem to stop reading once I’ve started and the supernatural mystery element is so well done, I never really know what’s going to happen, and it also balances well with Sookie’s love life.
As the story centres around Sookie travelling to Mississippi to rescue a kidnapped Bill, you don’t see very much of Sam or Sookie’s friends in Bon Temps, but we are introduced to some fab new characters, most notably the introduction of werewolves. Alcide, the werewolf Eric assigns to protect Sookie when Bill goes missing is certainly very yummy, and there’s an interesting amount of chemistry bubbling away between him and Sookie.
Just as Carolyn says the writing is wonderful, Harris is a very talented lady. This book has plenty of action, poor old Sookie seems to get injured a lot in this series. But lots of humour too. I enjoyed the return of Bubba, the mentally damaged vampire who used to be the South’s most famous popstar and also has a thing for cats (don’t ask!).
As mentioned by Laura, there is a new character addition in the form of a yummy werewolf, Alcide. He’s such a great character, and just for a moment I wanted Sookie to let down her guard and give in to the temptation to be with him and forget all about stiff ole Bill. But then I remembered I wanted her to end up with Eric *I love me some Eric* and although I very much liked Alcide, I like Eric more.
We get to see a real soft side to Eric and it melted my heart, I can’t think why Sookie hasn’t been swept off her feet by him. I really love Sookie and Eric’s banter though, it’s funny. Sookie is a feisty chick even with a very old vampire who could snap her in two with just two fingers, but I love seeing her mouth off in her cute southern way – I can totally understand why all these men fall for her.
I am very disappointed in Bill. His betrayal of Sookie cuts deep and I’m not sure how she’s going to come back from this. In just a few months her life has been turned upside down, she’s been beaten, nearly raped and fed upon violently, and yet she tries to keep chipper and not give in to self-pity. She really didn’t deserve Bill’s treatment of her, and I for one hope this gives her the reason to forget Bill, and give Eric a chance!
It looks like we both fell a bit for Alcide *quickly fans oneself* 😉 I like that we see a marked change is Sookie’s attractiveness in this book. While I’ve always believed her to be very pretty, she’s been a bit of a pariah amongst human men who are frightened by her abilities. In this book there’s the potential for not only a love triangle, but a love square and that’s without including Sam who isn’t really in this book. Sookie’s a popular lady! But with her usual polite demureness, Sookie is charmingly baffled by this, rather than letting it go to her head.
As Carolyn said, Bill went down in my estimations in this book, in fact I felt like he needed a bit of an ass-kicking! There is one scene I’m not actually sure I can forgive him for. And Sookie was perhaps a little too polite about it all. But in the long term it didn’t matter as I just fell in love with Eric a little bit more. And you get to see a lot more of him in this book – hurrah! I hope in book four she realises just how super hot he is!
This series is consistently great. “Club Dead” was a fab read from start to finish. I love the relationship dynamics and I just can’t wait to see what happens next!
Once again a fantastic book, I have long been a fan of Harris’s quirky writing style, having read two of her other series aswell. I whizzed through “Club Dead” in no time at all. If you’re a fan of the TV show you’ll see a lot of similarities between that and the plot of series three, but be warned it’s also markedly different in places too.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead in Dallas
3. Club Dead
4. Dead to the World
5. Dead as a Doornail
6. Definitely Dead
7. All Together Dead
8. From Dead to Worse
9. Dead and Gone
10. Dead in the Family
11. Dead Reckoning
BUY THE BOOK