“My most profound gratitude must go to you, the readers, for your devotion to and investment in these characters I dreamed up. Thanks for sticking with me through the books that succeeded and the books that fell a bit short of my aspirations. I have always tried to give you my best; to me, that’s part of the unwritten contract between writer and reader. I appreciate the incredible emotional response you have given me in return.”-Charlaine Harris
That beautiful speech in the prologue of this book almost convinced me to give it a higher rating. *sighs* But, unfortunately, I cannot do so. Which absolutely breaks my heart because this series has been one of my favorite paranormal romance series of all time. I have loved these characters for many years now, watched their trials and tribulations, and their loves and losses. I feel a personal connection to them all, which is something I’m sure other readers understand. And, Ms. Harris was correct. Some of the books in this series fell a little flat. But I’ve always felt the compulsion to continue the series because I am such a fan. So, it is with a bittersweet heart that I conclude this last book in the series.
First of all, everyone and I mean everyone is talking about the ending, which I’m not going to do here because I don’t want to spoil it for anybody. I will however, briefly say, that it was not the ending I was expecting, not the ending that I hoped for, and not the ending that I think will make many fans happy. I liked the ending itself (meaning the last two or three lines) but I did not like who Sookie ended up with. That being said, I will move on.
The writing was a little…flat in this book, which is something I’ve noticed happen in the last three books. It felt as if some of the characters were just going through the motions and some of their thoughts and actions legitimately made me roll my eyes. For example, while Sookie and Tara are out looking at baby clothes, Sookie sees a little jumper with a lamb on it and gets all emotional and feels she is longing for a baby. Are you kidding me right now? Look, I have no problem with women wanting to become mothers, but I’ve spent ten plus books before this one watching Sookie become a badass, independent female and the VERY LAST thing I would expect her to do is get all weepy over baby clothes. I actually wanted to vomit for a moment after reading that. Sheesh. There are a few other characters (mainly Eric) who barely resemble who they once were earlier in the series. I know that people (and characters) change. I get that. But to change so much that you barely recognize who they are anymore? Not cool at all. Other than that, the story moved at a pretty nice pace, and there were the usual twists and turns that kept me intrigued. So, other than the characterization, I was fine with the rest of the writing.
And to be completely honest, I understand why Charlaine Harris ended the book the way she did. She tried to make the ending what was best for Sookie, not her legion of fans, and I respect that. It doesn’t make me any less disappointed, but I can respect the fact that Miss Harris stuck to her guns and ended the series the way she wanted it to end.