Charlaine Harris returns to the world of Sookie Stackhouse with her 12th Southern Vampire novel titled ‘Deadlocked‘. With a new season of HBO’s ‘True Blood‘ less than a month away, fans of both the novels and television show always eagerly await the popular Spring installment to the series.
Mild Spoilers Ahead
‘Deadlocked’ deals with the aftermath of Sookie and with Eric’s group murdering Victor (the King’s representative in Louisiana) in the last novel. Felipe (the vampire king of Louisiana, Arkansas and Nevada) visits the region to investigate the murder and to generally make life difficult for everyone. At a party on the first night of Felipe’s stay in Louisiana, a dead girl is found outside of Eric’s house, leading to the involvement of the human police. To further complicate matters for Sookie, the fae left on this side of reality when Prince Niall closed the portal to Faery are beginning to get restless with their constrained lives at Hooligans (the strip club owned by Sookie’s part-fae relatives). As suspicion is cast on the fae and their actions and intentions, Sookie no longer knows who to trust.
With only one additional novel slated for this series, it felt like Harris was just going through the motions without a lot of forward movement in ‘Deadlocked’. She seemed to just be treading water because she had to write a certain number of books. This novel was filled with a lot of everyday, mundane minutiae: Sookie going to the store; Sookie eating her lunch; Sookie reading a book. While there are some plot developments, there is a lot of filler in this book. Even the plot developments were surrounded by so much dithering. Quite frankly, I found myself bored at times.
‘Deadlocked’ was pretty light on vampire involvement. Fans of Eric, Pam and Bill will be disappointed as they aren’t “on-screen” (so to speak) much in this novel. The various fae denizens left on this side of the portal in Sookie’s woods and other human citizen of Bon Temps play a much more prominent role in the novel.
If you’re a fan of the series, I’d advise that you read ‘Deadlocked’ just to see things through and as preparation for the series finale. There are a few plot points you won’t want to miss. But, I recommend that you get the book from your local library. This is not must-read-now, riveting material and not worth the price of buying the hardcover. If you’re new to the series, don’t start here – go back and start at the beginning and see what made this series beloved to so many.
I hope Harris steps things up for the finale of the Sookie Stackhouse series and gives us a conclusion worthy of its beginning. I’d like to see the humor and fast paced action return for a satisfactory conclusion. It would be a real shame to see this series go out with a whimper.