A week ago I finished "Deadlocked" by Charlaine Harris - book 12 in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mysteries series (aka the books that the HBO show True Blood is loosely based on).
I started this one with mixed emotions - it's supposedly the 2nd to the last book in the series, however the series isn't "as great" as it once was, meaning, some of the last few books have mainly just dragged on or felt like filler. You can definitely tell things are winding though with this series for good as she's literally shut some doors on one major storyline and another seems to be coming to a final end as well.
As far as Sookie's love-life goes, well, things seem to (sadly) be coming to an end with her and Eric. If you recall from the previous book, the Queen of Oklahoma - Freyda - was introduced and had proof that Eric's newly deceased maker prior to his final death had put into a motion a contract that binded Eric to marry Freyda as a power move. Eric loves Sookie, but he also loves power. As much as Sookie wants Eric to choose her over Freyda and say to hell with his maker's contract on his own accord... well, Charlaine Harris has kinda turned Eric into a cold asshole by this point - he's no longer the once likeable guy that Team Eric rooted for. The over-extended stay of the King of Nevada has really changed Eric quite a bit, and understandably so, as he's under a lot of pressure from the guy and his lackeys in recent books, but still.... Eric's not the same guy we once knew. And because of that, I'm okay with Sookie and him not ending up together in the end.
Quinn - Sookie's former were-tiger lover - made a brief appearance, calling her up out of the blue to wish her a happy birthday. They had a sweet conversation and it definitely opened the door for the possibility that he might be back in the next book, maybe as a potential suitor once again...? I liked Quinn best, out of all of Sookie's boyfriends in the series - he seemed like a good guy with a good head on his shoulders, and was completely baffled at Sookie's reasoning for breaking up with him (some situation with his mom and sister back West) - sorry Sook, but family comes first! I'd love to see them have a 2nd chance though! But there is another that the end of the book kinda sets up, so it makes you wonder...
There was also no Hunter in this book (Sookie's deceased cousin's little boy in which it turns out, he's also telepathic), so I'm hoping something good happens between him and Sookie in the last book - I think it would be great if his dad decided it would be best for him to go live with his "Aunt Sookie", as the boy is still learning how to blend in amongst others while being telepathic, innocently scaring any potential mother his dad brings home. And given Tara's babies, Sookie seems like she's finally at that point where she realizes that she wants to be a mother someday.
Something I loved though, was the way Charlaine Harris worked in TV Bill's signature "Sook-eh!" saying into the book. Every time he said it, I heard it exactly like actor Stephen Moyer says it on the show!
Anyways, that's my take on the book with very little spoilers. It was a definite improvement over the forgettable book 11, "Dead Reckoning" (I honestly have a hard time remembering what of importance went down in that one!).
Season 5 of the show, True Blood, starts later this month - honestly, I have no expectations whatsoever. We already know that saying it's loosely based on the books anymore is a joke - there's soooo many plot differences and character changes... they added in a vampire sister for Eric, a main former Law & Order guy is a bad vamp, Rev. Newlin is back and now a vampire, since Claudine was eaten by Eric it seems they're switching her role with Claudette, which doesn't really make any sense... Claudette died early in the series before Sookie knew of Claudine and Claude, so why not just say Eric ate Claudette and keep the Claudine storyline the same??? Haven't seen if Claude will be introduced this season as well (I can't wait to see his character!) and I'm curious if they'll introduce Quinn near the end of the season like he is at the end of book 5...
By the way, when reading the books, did anyone else picture Quinn as a big, strong, bald black man? I've been reading online about who should be him on the show, and apparently she based him on a Vin Diesel-type of guy, but I swear her description of him made him sound like a black man. If he's not that's gonna be annoying to watch, as I thought he was black!
Anywho, I'm currently finishing out the Millennium Trilogy, working on The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. I'll be sure to link-up for that one once I finish it soon!
Oh and because I can, here's a preview of the finalized cover for my hubby's novel: