Title: Club Dead
Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Sookie Stackhouse, #3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ace (Imprint of Penguin)
Date Published: April 29th, 2003
There’s only one vampire Sookie Stackhouse is involved with (at least voluntarily)and that’s Bill. But recently he’s been a little distant—in another state distant. His sinister and sexy boss, Eric, has an idea where to find him. Next thing Sookie knows, she is off to Jackson, Mississippi, to mingle with the under-underworld at Club Dead. It’s a dangerous little haunt where the elitist vampire society can go to chill out and suck down dome type O. But when Sookie finally finds Bill—caught in an act of betrayal—she’s not sure whether to save him…or sharpen some stakes.
Club Dead takes Sookie outside of Bon Temps and into Jackson, Mississippi where she is in search of Bill, who has gone missing while working on a vital and mysterious mission for the vampire Queen of Louisiana.
I haven’t ever been a huge fan of the Sookie Stackhouse books and so it has taken me a good three years to get through the first three books. But my main problem with them has always been the relationship between Bill and Sookie, which has always seemed very cardboard and boring. So right off the bat the thing I loved most about this book was that it allowed Sookie to stand apart from Bill and has virtually no Bill in sight for the majority of the book — which I liked.
I think that Sookie is actually a better character when she’s not around Bill. She has spunk and “moxy” I guess you could say. She’s not too scared of the things thrown at her and even if she is scared, she’s good at hiding it and pushing through to get whatever needs to get done done. So I liked that we got to know this side of Sookie and that the books seem to be going away from being just about Bill and Sookie’s relationship.
But as a fan of the TV show True Blood it’s hard not to compare the two. While the show doesn’t follow the books to the letter, it does have the same core characters and overall story. Comparing the books to the TV show makes it very hard to like the books as much because the TV show is miles better, which is a rare thing with books hitting the big or small screen. But in this case it’s true. The characters translate better to the TV show and it’s nice to step outside of Sookie’s head and see other stories going on from Jason, Tara (who is much different on the show), and the other side characters. In the books we only get Sookie’s perspective, which is quite restricting in such a big and vivid world that Charlaine Harris has created.
Even so I will continue the books if for nothing else than because I miss the world while the show is on break and so even though it’s different than True Blood, it’s cool to be back in this world for a little while. I hope that in the upcoming books there’s more Eric and even Alcide, but less Bill and I also hope she brings back some of the mystery that was more present in the first two books and not-so-much there in this one because Harris is really good at that part of the story.