Review: Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

Dead Ever After

Source: Library
Publisher: Ace
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #13
Edition:
 Hardcover, 338 Pages
Genre:
 Paranormal Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: 3/5

There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart…

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough…

I have finally taken the time to finish this series! Finally! The last two books were somewhat difficult to get through, not because they were bad but because they were sort of on autopilot the whole time and you could see all the loose ends being tied up too close everything out.

Dead Ever After is actually a decent send-off, throwing a few curveballs I didn’t see coming. Sookie has been through a lot over thirteen books and it’s really interesting to see how far she’s come, and how much she can handle now. I did like getting to see everyone and kind of comparing where everyone started vs where they’ve all ended up. I will say I can tell this series was something Harris wanted to be done. It’s been a long time coming and it’s sort of ‘tired’. The story itself is sort of fluttered between being boring and formulaic, and interesting and fun. I used to love the normalcy that Sookie maintained in her own home, but in the later books, I’ve grown tired of seeing her plot out meals and clean. A lot of the characters are on par with the way they’ve always been but some seem to act weird for the sake of making the story work…it wouldn’t be a problem if the it was something that stemmed from  more than closing the books out in a normal way.

Sookie’s relationships have always been a focus (duh, paranormal romance) and while I’ve always enjoyed getting to know the different guys she’s dated…I had hope that for some reason the unlikely relationship of Sookie and Eric would pan out. I mean I’ve never seen it as a viable long term situation because Sookie has always been completely against being a vampire, which sort of shortens the likelihood of Eric sticking around when she starts getting older…but damn. I’m not mad at the direction the book went with this, I just wish it wasn’t something I saw coming.

Overall I’m glad I grabbed this one. I didn’t really enjoy the previous book a lot and I wasn’t sure I’d ever get around to Dead Ever After, but it was really nice to kind of see all of the characters off and close the perverbial cover on this story.

3 star

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Manga Review: Magic Knight Rayearth I by CLAMP

thesaturdayissue

The Saturday Issue focuses on the more visual books read here at In Libris Veritas; ranging from graphic novels to manga to game companion guides.

Magic Knight Rayearth I

Source: Purchased
Publisher: Tokyo Pop
Series: Magic Knight Rayearth 
Edition:
 Paperback, 3 Volumes
Genre:
 Fantasy Manga
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: 3/5

Hikaru, Umi and Fuu are Tokyo schoolgirls with nothing else in common until one fateful day changes everything: the three are summoned to the magical realm of Cephiro and find that their lives are inexorably intertwined. Princess Emeraude, whose willpower keeps Cephiro safe, has been kidnapped by the sinister Zagato, and the three girls must become the legendary Magic Knights in order to save her. It’s not going to be easy, as Zagato has sent his most powerful minions to stop the girls before they can fulfill their destinies. Protected by an ancient wizard’s blessing and determined to find their way home, Hikaru, Umi and Fuu begin the adventure of a lifetime

So instead of reviewing each volume of a manga series I’ve decided I’m going to do a series review once I’ve read them all. It saves me the trouble of racking my brain for something new to say for each volume, especially if they are consistant, and when it comes to longer series I don’t feel pressured to write 80 reviews for one series.

Magic Knight Rayearth I is a series I grabbed at a thrift store, I had no prior knowledge and I’ve never read a CLAMP series. I think overall this is a pretty solid but middle of the field manga. It did come out in the 90’s and it really has the feel to it, from the art to the quick paced progression. The first thing you’ll notice is that it only has three volumes, which I think is a damn shame. With only three volumes this manga strives to do a lot in very little page time and thus things don’t have enough time to develop in a more natural flow. Instead, we have a ton of action all piled up in one area, a ton of instant-friend situations, and a lot of over reaction to get a point firmly across. All three volumes were really consistent in story and enjoyment, so I do think that if given more volumes to work with this could have been a truly great series. The mix of fantasy and a touch of science fiction is rather cool as well, but we don’t get to see a lot of it and it’s not developed beyond the main plot line. My one major complaint about this was the lack of a developed ending. I don’t mean to say there isn’t an ending, there very much is, it’s just that the ending happens so abruptly that you’re sort of just like ‘Okay” and that’s it. It builds and builds, we see a resolution but don’t get to really SEE it and then it ends.

I think I’ll always be fond of 90’s anime art similar to this style. It’s got such nice linework to it and you can really make some dynamic scenes with it. The character designs are pretty standard as well and I don’t really see any missteps in that area.

There is a second series that I also bought, appropriately named Magic Knight Rayearth II, and it’s also three volumes. I feel that it’ll probably have some the same issues as well, but we shall see.

3 star

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