|I got this book at the library.|
(I've never liked book-Eric.)
However, Harris had a different story arc in mind, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I truly enjoyed reading how it played out. At the moment when Sam and Sookie discovered their mutual attraction, I was rooting for them. I was satisfied with the ending, despite any preconceived notions I had before I started reading.
It was a pleasure to read about consummate ladies' man Jason Stackhouse finally settling down and getting married. It was deeply satisfying that some long-term villains finally got their comeuppance. The book doesn't break any new thematic ground for this series, and in this case that was a comfort, since Harris was wrapping the series up. As usual, there's a murder, and Sookie's life is in almost-constant danger. As usual, she gets horribly injured.
As usual, she does the thing that makes her annoying as a narrator: gets jealous of and/or slut-shames any other female character who crosses her radar. To my everlasting shame, I didn't take much notice of this until I read ACrackedMoon's "Meet Charlaine Harris: Racist, Misogynist, Talentless." I don't agree with everything in that post, and I certainly wouldn't call Harris "talentless," but once Sookie's slut-shaming tendencies have been seen, they can't be unseen.
Sookie isn't a perfect character, and she remains a magnet for paranormal troubles of all kinds (and often a damsel in distress), but after 13 books and now knowing her full story, I'm glad I stuck with Sookie. I don't ask for perfection. I ask for a good story, well told. Charlaine Harris delivered.
I'm really going to miss this series. I'd like to know if Sookie and Sam ever get married, or if they decide to just be friends with benefits. I'd like to know if Bill ever finds someone, and if Eric really spends the next 200 years with Freyda. I'm sure Pam has many fascinating adventures as the new sheriff of Area 5 - and we never really got to see Karin in action.
Fortunately, we still have at least one more season of True Blood to look forward to. I won't lie - I'm hoping for a lot of exploration of the budding Pam-Tara romance.