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Dead and Gone - Charlaine Harris Sookeh books are some of my favorite non-srscat books; I treasure them for their readability and fluffiness and generally likeable characters. Dead and Gone didn't disappoint in most of those regards, although this deep into the series it's getting tough to remember who's who if it's been a while since you read the previous books. It's been about a year since I read number eight, and it took me a while to become familiar with all the little side-plots again.

The rest of this might be spoiler-y, so proceed with caution. There are no straight-up spoilers but they teeter on the edge, so if you haven't read the book and you like a clean slate, stop here.

The mystery in this installment had me stumped, which I liked, even though that's due to the fact that the solution came out of pretty much nowhere. Dead and Gone has all the elements of my favorite Stackhouse books. That said, there was one thing that still bugs me a few days after finishing it: there is an event in the book that supposedly changes Sookie forever, and she will "never be the same." It's hard to believe that, though, since only a few pages are devoted to the event and it doesn't have as big an impact on the reader as it's meant to have. This might be due to the fact that it's the kind of thing that happens to Sookie ALL THE TIME in these books.

The aftermath puts it into perspective a little more, but it still feels rushed and, I guess, not shocking enough -- within Sookie's bank of experiences, anyway -- to cause the ripples it's supposed to have caused.

Now, this event is not a pleasant one, and I don't really WANT more details than what Harris already gave, but there has to be some way to make it feel more WHAM/life-changing without getting too violence-porny. Maybe I'm just too detached and desensitized to the violence within Harris's world; that's entirely within the realm of possibility.

(three-and-a-half stars)

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