Posts Tagged ‘DAG


Dead and Gone – Wrap Up

I know I am totally late with this. With less than 24 hours to go until Dead in the Family, we need to get this re read wrapped up! And God knows we could probably do with a temporary distraction.

What are some of the questions you feel were answered, or that you might have gained a fresh insight into?

What questions did this book raise that you would like to see addressed in Dead in the Family?

How do you think the events at the end of this book will impact on Sookie in future? Will she become stronger? Harder? Smarter than she has been until now?

Dead and Gone has always been a very difficult book to read. It’s not one of Charlaine’s best efforts in that it’s very clear she struggled to find her groove while writing it. Sookie’s voice, even from the beginning is off and alot of readers and reviewers felt that some of the characters were a little out of sorts.

And of course, it’s harrowing to read about Sookie being tortured in such a brutal and cruel way at the end.

This book IS definitely the darkest of the series so far, but it can also be argued that it was necessary for Sookie’s character growth to experience the dark side of the life she has chosen. Readers have long complained that Sookie didn’t seem to learn from her experiences, that all the misfortune and physical injuries meant nothing because Sookie wasn’t growing. And I think that’s a fair criticism, one that Harris seems to have decided to address in this book.

If Sookie is to remain in this world, she has to harden up. After the events of Dead and Gone, I’m predicting that we are going to see a harder, more ruthless Sookie in Dead in the Family. That doesn’t mean that the witty, sassy Sookie we love is gone forever – but I do hope we see her remove the rose coloured glasses and start seeing her world and her part in it for what it is…not what she wishes it could be.



Dead and Gone – Reread

With all the excitement of the last 24 hours I haven’t had a chance to get the post up for our Dead and Gone reread!

We only have about a week left until the release of Dead in the Family. So if you’ve been promising yourself that you’ll read DAG again before then, this is your last chance. Get on it!

Our From Dead to Worse discussion convinced most of us that a rat in the house is all but a sure thing – and we came up with a few suspects who we will continue to scrutinise throughout this book.

Some other plot points and characters I’m watching closely:

*Niall – benign, though slightly troublesome GGF or a man with a plan?

*Sam – the hints and red flags dropped relating to Sam in the last book just can’t be dismissed. Is he a shapeshifting fae (like Preston in Gift Wrap)? Is he the rat? Is he yet another Sookie protector with more power than she knows about? What’s his place in the supe word? Why the hell did Sandy Sechrest ask to speak to him specifically when she was meeting Copley Carmicheal, and then give him a personal briefing on who she was in the new regime as if he was actually a somebody? Since when does he warrant that sort of special treatment? Seriously, WTF is going on with Sam? THIS IS DRIVING ME CRAZY.

*Bill – in particular, his movements just before and during the time Sookie was taken by the fae.

*From Chapter one of DITF, we learn that Eric believes that Felipe did not tell Victor Madden about the protection order for Sookie, and that Victor did not tell Felipe about Sookie and Eric’s marriage. Is Eric’s assumption that the left and the right hand of the new regime are acting independently correct? And if it is, what are the implications for Sookie – and for Eric politically?

*Some of us have theorised that Sophie Anne may in fact still be among the undead – is there any evidence for this?

The aim is to have this reread complete by 2 May – giving us a couple of days to wrap up before we sink our fangs into the new book.


Dead in the Family full chapter 1 in DAG Paperback!

Before I start this post, I’m going to do something I have never done before on this blog.

MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The paperback version of Dead and Gone was released in the US yesterday – and it includes the FULL first chapter of Dead in the Family.

You can read it at the Unread Reader.

Hold onto your hats because this is HUGE.

* Eric’s whereabouts during Sookie’s torture explained

* Eric FINALLY admits he loves Sookie and tells her to her face

* Eric could feel everything Sookie was experiencing through the bond

* Eric cries. HE FUCKING CRIES.

Here’s a little teaser: “I hurt with you. I bled with you – not only because we’re bonded, but because of the love I have for you.”

What are you still doing here? Go read it!!!!


“Where Were You?” ~ Dead and Gone

“Where were you?” Rage bubbled up in my throat.
“It’s not like you were obliged to come find me,” I said, “but I hoped the whole time – I hope you would come, I prayed you would come, I thought over and over you might hear me…”
“You’re killing me,” he said.
“You’re killing me.”

~Dead and Gone~

Eric’s whereabouts during Sookie’s torture by the fae in Dead and Gone stands as the number one question I (and I’m betting most of you) would like to have answered in Dead in the Family.

All I have to judge Eric on is what I see written on the pages of these books. Eric can be twisty. He can manipulate people and situations to his advantage with an ease that only comes with a thousand years of practice. He is cunning, intelligent, and often self serving. He rarely does anything without more than one motivation. Lest you think I’m about to tear him down, I love these things about him because book by book, he is tearing them down himself. Nine books into this series we have uncovered a vampire who still has all of those character traits – but who is learning through a human woman that even after so long in his skin, it’s still possible to become more than he was without her. This vampire always has Sookie’s back – even when it’s put him in danger, at political disadvantage, or just been an outright pain in the butt. This vampire has taken more bullets for, and been involved in more skirmishes over this woman than I care to recount. This vampire is finding more and more that he is doing things, and feeling things that would have been unthinkable to him before a small town waitress walked into his bar. His story arc has shown him becoming increasingly willing to take big risks for Sookie, even to the point of risking his undead life as his feelings for her have deepened. Whatever else you want to throw at him no one could accuse Eric of apathy, stagnation, disloyalty, or backing down from a fight.

Yet in Dead and Gone while the Fae are engaging in all out war – with his blood bonded, fae descended wife right in the middle of it – Eric is suddenly a no show. Where was he when Sookie was as close to death as she has ever come, and why did he send others to help her?

I thought we might kick around a few theories and see if we can find something that fits. I’m effectively throwing the proverbial at a wall here to see what sticks, so feel free to grab a handful in the comments.


The crux of the blood bond theory runs like this: Eric felt Sookie’s torture through the blood bond and was somehow incapacitated by it, unable to come to her rescue.

As I understand the blood bond (and I could well get flamed here since interpretations of the bond and its effects vary wildly), it acts as an emotional conduit – Sookie and Eric can feel eachother’s emotions through the bond. It has been hinted at in the text that the two-way nature of their bond is unusual, and that blood bonds don’t normally see the vampire as affected by the human as Eric seems to have become by Sookie. Certainly in traditional vampire lore, the vampire would usually retain the upper hand over the human. And while we don’t know if Eric has ever fully bonded to a human before Sookie – he makes a couple of comments that indicate some aspects of his bond with her are not what he expected:

“We’re bound a bit too tightly to suit me, Sookie.”
He was visibly tense; I couldn’t remember ever seeing Eric so notably anxious. “I’m here to die right along with you, it seems.” – ATD

“The blood exchange has worked both ways,” he said. “I’ve had the blood of many women. I’ve had almost utter control over them. But they never drank mine. It’s been decades, maybe centuries since I gave any woman my blood. Maybe not since I turned Pam.” – DAG

While the bond is an emotional freeway, it does not conduct physical sensations or pain. Again, this is supported by the text. When Eric and Felipe are accosted by Sigebert outside Merlotte’s (bad juju in that parking lot, I tell you) they are beaten and burned with silver; but Sookie, driving away just before the attack, is not aware of Eric’s physical pain and that’s not the impetus for her to turn her car around and go back to check on him. She notes that she feels anxious, that she is overcome by what is almost a panic attack. She realises that it may be possible that her feelings are Eric’s, decides to trust her gut and returns to Merlotte’s. Interestingly, she points out that is her genuine regard for Eric motivating this decision and she makes a point of telling the reader that these feelings are separate to the blood bond. At no time does she mention feeling the physical effects of his assault and though she does experience some mental fogginess, she still manages to quickly assess the situation, come up with a plan, and dispose of Sigebert single handedly.

Charlaine Harris gave this answer last July to a question on her board about the difference between the sire/child bond and the blood bond:

If Eric were to be staked, Appius and Pam would both feel it, and Sookie would feel his absence emotionally and know he was in pain, though she would not actually experience it”.

And this in May last year:

Q. Can the bond can have an effect from afar? Sookie felt the impact on the road to go to save Eric, but would it be possible that she felt it from Shreveport in Bon Temps?

A. Yes, but not as vividly as when they are closer.

So what’s the point? Well, let’s pull it all together.

  • We know that Sookie does not experience Eric’s physical sensations through the bond – that is supported in the text, and has been confirmed by the author.
  • We know that the blood bond is working both ways, as confirmed by Eric. So if Sookie can’t feel physical sensation, it’s reasonable to assume that Eric can’t either.
  • We know that the intensity of the bond is affected by distance – and we are told in DAG that the shack Sookie was tortured in was in Arkansas. This is some distance from Eric, who was in Shreveport.
  • So if we accept that only Sookie’s emotions were flowing to Eric through the bond, and we accept that the distance between them would have dulled their intensity somewhat – the idea that the blood bond incapacitated Eric starts to come undone.

    Despite being in very close proximity to Eric while he was attacked by Sigebert, Sookie was clearly nowhere near “incapacitated”. So if Eric was hundreds of miles away during her torture, it’s not likely he was incapacitated either. And this is not even taking into account Eric’s age, which should make him harder to keep down than some 26 year old human – telepathic part fairy, or not.

    And then there are the phone calls – one taken from Bill, and at least one more to mobilise Niall. In the context of the blood bond theory, Eric called Niall in because he was physically unable to go to Sookie himself and he assessed Niall to be the only other being with the balls, and the commitment to Sookie to take on the fae successfully. Looking at the way the phone calls went down, that doesn’t pan out either.

    Bill called Eric as soon as he saw the abduction, making Eric aware of what was going down even while Lochlan and Neave were still moving Sookie through the portal. The Things had not started torturing her at this point (recall also that they waited for their spell to wear off so that she was aware). Bill told Eric to “call Niall”. Eric really had no choice but to enlist Niall, knowing that fae had taken Sookie and that he wouldn’t be able to find them without his help, so he wouldn’t have needed to think about this for more than five seconds. Eric’s call to Niall then, was almost certainly made before Sookie was being tortured – and before Eric could be affected by that torture. This makes it unlikely that Eric called Niall to rescue Sookie because he was incapacitated by the bond.

    It seems to me that Eric’s call to Niall was to formulate a plan to get Sookie and enlist his back up, rather than to ask Niall to go in his place. So how did Niall end up rescuing Sookie with Bill? Either something happened after this call that pulled Eric out at the last minute – or else whatever kept him away was actually in play beforehand, and Eric knew immediately upon hearing from Bill that he would not be able to help her.

    While the blood bond has played a huge role in Sookie and Eric’s relationship in the last few books, I feel that this is probably the least likely reason for his absence. It’s a heady romantic notion – that Eric and Sookie are so tightly bonded that Eric could be rendered useless by an attack on her – but I just don’t see support for it in the text.

    So I ain’t buying it.

    NEXT POST: Meet Your Maker

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    Kill Bill?

    Book 9Preface: I have edited this post after a couple of days of stewing over what went down at Paley. In it’s original form I was so gobsmacked by the implications for the story that I overlooked alot of other things. Things that I am not so happy about any more.

    It’s certainly been an interesting day in Sookieverse! Well online, anyway.

    Answering a question at yesterday’s Paley panel regarding how the True Blood writers will handle Bill’s diminished role in future seasons (if they are to follow Charlaine Harris’ books), Ball dropped a pearler.

    I know in the book world that Charlaine had to be talked out of killing Bill in the last book but I’m saying in our world Sookie and Bill have a connection that will not die.

    Rumors have abounded since the release of Dead and Gone that this was the case, however Harris has refused until now to confirm it. Ball’s remarks have forced Harris to take to her website today in full damage control – mostly to allay the inevitable hysteria that will ensue on her very pro-Bill forums, I presume. Her confirmation that she did entertain this idea means that she considers Bill expendable at this point in the story. To be forced to come out and admit that will alienate the proportion of her book following who are still rooting for him to be Sookie’s happy ending. It’s not at all a good position to be forced into if you want to maintain reader interest and continue to sell books.

    Which brings us to the obvious question. Why would Alan Ball – a man who is notorious for his ability to manipulate his meaning, skirt the question, and keep audiences guessing for years on end – make a gaff as monumental as this? I don’t believe for a second that this was a slip of the tongue. Ball doesn’t screw up like that. Especially in a room full of rabid fans, who he knows full well will dissect and critique every syllable that comes out of his mouth.

    Along with many book readers, I am livid at Ball for interfering with the books in this way. My inner cynic wonders if he thought it might force Harris’ hand. He would obviously prefer not to see the main character of his fanfic killed off in the source material – if he blurts out at a writer’s panel that the author considered doing just that, is he hoping that a premature reveal will force her to change her mind? A number of Trubie Bill fans have commented in various blogs that since DAG has already been published and she didn’t kill him, this is all a moot point. NO IT IS NOT. Just because Harris decided to let Bill live in DAG, that does NOT mean that she doesn’t have plans to see him bite the dust in a future book. Is Ball’s big mouth going to cause yet another rethink?

    And what of Charlaine Harris, who has spent years keeping her intentions for the Bill/Sookie/Eric triangle tantamount to a state secret? Charlaine has said multiple times that the final scene of the books is written in her head, and that she has known who Sookie would be with since the second book. If Bill was involved in this ending in any way, she’d hardly consider killing him off in Book 9. So now we know that Bill is more than likely not “the one”. While I firmly believe that Eric is the HEA, I still don’t want to be told that Bill definitely isn’t – even though I’ve suspected that was the case for quite some time. There is a difference between suspecting something and knowing for certain that it is true. By removing a major player in the suitor race, Alan Ball has ruined this aspect of the series for book readers. In my opinion, Charlaine Harris should damn well sue him. She has been nothing but respectful when discussing his treatment of her world and her characters (when surely, there have been times where she must have uttered a “what the FUCK is he thinking?!”…as we all have). For him to throw her under a bus like this is really bloody shameful.

    And an apology is rather conspicuous by its absence too. Surely if he hadn’t meant to do it he would have commented by now. I hope that he saw fit to at least do so in private.


    My ramblings on the Sookie Stackhouse books, and the HBO series True Blood. Everyone I know is already half crazed with my plot and character assassinations, conspiracy theories, theme explorations and general obsessing, so now I'm going to share it all with you. Spoilers and Viking worship are have been warned!

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