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DEAD IN THE FAMILY Discussion and Spoilers

Dead in the Family

I just finished Dead in the Family [2]by Charlaine Harris and now I’m anxious to chat about the book and find out what others thought about it. I’m going to share some of my thoughts on the book and I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments.

SPOILER WARNING: This discussion is intended for readers who have finished Dead in the Family. Do not read if you don’t want to be spoiled. If you haven’t yet read Dead in the Family, read my spoiler-free review here [3].

My thoughts on Dead in the Family:
I think we can all agree that this was a very slow paced book without many huge plot developments. About halfway through I had a moment where I was like, “Wow, when is something going to happen in this book?” but then I decided to just sit back and enjoy it. So much happened in Dead and Gone that it was nice for Sookie to get a bit of a break. Ultimately, I liked Harris’ look at the different types of families that form among the supes, especially between vampires and the children they sire. We found out some new information about our favorite characters and I think it set up some conflicts that will be addressed in future books.

Let’s talk about some of the individual storylines:

The Roommate Situation
I think it was time for Amelia to go since she’s been Sookie’s roommate for a while now and it doesn’t really make sense for her to keep staying in Bon Temps. Claude moving in with her seemed to come out of left field, but at least he later explained that he was trying to protect her from Colman. When Claude makes an effort to be nice, I actually like him a lot, though I must say that I found the final scene with Claude, Dermot, and Sookie all sleeping in the same bed to be slightly creepy. I wonder if the three of them will continue to live together?

Sookie and Eric
I love me some Eric Northman, so I was happy to see him grow closer to Sookie in this book. In Dead and Gone, Sookie was so mad that Eric tricked her into a vampire marriage, but she seems to be pretty cool with it now. As much as I like the two of them together, it doesn’t feel like Eric’s first priority is Sookie. He seems to be trying to incorporate her into his life, but he’s so busy with vampire politics and running Fangtasia that he doesn’t have a lot of time to spare for her. I bring this up because Sookie just seems so lonely in this book and I was thinking about how she broke up with Quinn the weretiger because she said she wanted to come first in her man’s life. And she deserves to come first! I’m wondering if this will become an issue between Sookie and Eric in the future.

All in the Family
Family is a running theme throughout the aptly named Dead in the Family. Sookie grows closer to her cousin Claude, her other cousin Hunter, and even her brother Jason, who is incredibly mature in this book. Ever since Hunter was introduced, I’ve been so anxious for more information about him. I love the little guy! I’m curious if spending time with him will make Sookie want to have children of her own. Although, it could have the opposite effect because she might not want to bring another child into the world with the so-called “disability” of telepathy.

Meeting Eric’s maker, Appius Livius Ocella, threw me for a second because I thought Godric was his maker. Then I realized I was confusing the books with True Blood, which is slightly different. While he and Alexei were somewhat interesting, I didn’t find their story particularly compelling. I wasn’t too broken up when they both died at the end, and I think Eric will get over them quickly too.

Sookie’s Ex-boyfriends
As much as I like Eric, I’m always happy to see Bill Compton. He was so sickly that I was afraid that Harris was going to kill him off, but thankfully that didn’t happen. It was nice to see the Bellefleurs find out that he is their great-grandfather and mysterious benefactor. The one thing I didn’t get was why Bill didn’t contact Judith himself. He already had her email address! A quick “Hey, FYI, our vampire Mommy dearest is dead. kthanxbye, Bill” would have done the trick. Anyway, Sookie seemed to have a twinge of jealousy over Judith but she quickly got over it. What do you think? Is there still some unfinished business between Sookie and Bill?

As for Alcide, I really liked him when his character was first introduced but I like him less and less with each passing book. I can’t believe he just expected Sookie to drink some mysterious potion because he asked her to. Who does that? And then when she initially refused, he had the nerve to get all pissy. Jerk.

The Weres – Trouble Brewing?
I got the impression that Harris is setting the stage for a full-blown war between the humans and the supes. Humans were already having trouble accepting the vampires, and the Weres’ coming out party seems to have added fuel to the fire. Judging by the FBI’s interest in Sookie and the protester’s reaction to her, she will be caught in the middle. That’s my prediction anyway. I’d love to hear other opinions.

Similarities to Twilight?
While reading Dead in the Family, there were two parts that gave me déja vu to Twilight. First, Alexei’s ability to show Sookie events from his life was exactly like Renesmee’s ability in Breaking Dawn. He annoyed me about as much as Renesmee too. I was like, “Can we just stake the little bastard already? Please?”

The other Twilight moment was when Sookie briefly channeled Bella and was worried about aging while Eric stayed the same. When weighing the prospect of becoming a vampire, I loved, loved, loved how Sookie was just so PRACTICAL. I was smiling as she thought about supporting herself for eternity and how being awake only at night would hurt her job opportunities. She’s the total opposite of the blinded-by-love Bella.

I would love to hear other opinions about Dead in the Family. Here are a few questions to get things started:

1. Do you like Sookie and Eric together? If not, which guy would you rather see her with: Bill, Alcide, Quinn, or Sam?
2. Sookie has changed a lot due to the torture and loss she suffered during the Fae War. In Dead in the Family, she is lonelier and more vengeful than ever before. What other changes did you notice?
3. There was some backlash against the Weres in Dead in the Family. Do you think there is a big Humans vs. Supes conflict looming?
4. Where do you think the Hunter storyline is going? Do you think he will make Sookie want children of her own? Or will he have the opposite effect?
5. There is a part in this book where Sookie considers what it would be like to become a vampire. Do you think it will ever happen?