Intro: Club Dead is the third novel in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern vampire series by Charlaine Harris. I loved the first novel, Dead Until Dark, and liked the second novel, Living Dead in Dallas, even more. I still haven't seen the HBO series True Blood, which is based on this series. Each season of the show is based on one book.
Because this book is the third in the series, there will be some spoilers if you haven't read the first two books.
Summary: Bill Compton is working on a secret project for the king of Mississippi, and he's afraid something will happen to him. In the event that he goes missing, he gives Sookie instructions on how to hide his work and what people to call. Naturally, Bill is soon missing. Most of this book takes place in Jackson, Mississippi, and the drama involves werewolves and shapeshifters as well as our beloved vampiers.
Review: The simple truth: Club Dead is not as good as the first two novels in the series. For the first time, Sookie got on my nerves. Although there have been glimpses of her conservatism and somewhat hypocritical moral stances, Harris seemed to remind the reader constantly that Sookie is a good Southern girl with good intentions who only does wrong in these extenuating circumstances she constantly finds herself in. The moral relativism was bothersome. More importantly, the story wasn't as good. With Bill missing, Sookie spent her time with Eric and a nice Were, Alcide. Despite the prevalence of morality reminders, without Bill around, Harris did not shy away from the sexual innuendo. Perhaps the frequent mentions of how much everyone wants to sleep with Sookie precipitated all of the morality mentions. Although I would call Harris more of a storyteller than a great writer, the quality of writing seemed to have declined in this book. Perhaps without a story as invigorating, it exposed her writing style. In the end, I enjoyed it. Bubba was back in this novel, and I love his character. I also enjoyed seeing more depth in Eric. His character has grown on me immensely, and I actually like him now. Kudos to Harris for bringing out his multiple sides. It's also nice to see other recurring characters return. This series is truly a series, and small characters I forgot about resurface in fantastic ways; I hope this trend continues. Perhaps the best part of the book was its ending: it clearly opens the door for the next book, which I hope begins at around the same time. I will definitely read the next book in this series.
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5) - liked it
Pages: 292 pages
Publication date: 2003
Source: I own it!