My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Given the blurb on the book, it seemed reasonable to assume that at least one, if not several main characters were about to get killed off in this last instalment of the Sookie Stackhouse books, so when I picked it up I said to myself that regardless of what happened plot-wise, I'd settle for Eric and Pam still being alive at the end. So, all other things being equal, I suppose I got what I wanted. In all other respects though, it was pretty sucky. I think the words that spring most to mind are 'sloppy' and 'disappointing'.
Disappointing because yes, I, (along with what appears to be the majority of the fandom, having now cast an eye over the other reviews) wanted Sookie and Eric to end up together. It was a reasonable assumption, given the arc and direction of the series as a whole, although okay, not a done deal, given various other factors, not least Sookie's increasing broodiness (seriously though, what was with all the damn babies in this book? Actual twins and *two* other pregnancies? Subtle much?).
Fair enough, I'm not going to bitch about an author's right to do exactly as they please with their own characters. But (having said that, now watch me bitch) the actual resolution just felt clunky. To go from practically zero romantic feelings for Sam to leaping into happy-clappy slippery-sex? (eww). I could buy it if this had come after the first few books, but with so many Sookie/Eric-centric books in between it's an about-turn of such ridiculous speed it gives you whiplash.
And then there's the sloppiness. This isn't fantastically written. There are more holes than a country lane. The reporter, for instance, who turns up apparently to make trouble about the dead girl from the previous book, only to disappear and never return, rendering that entire section pointless. Why did he reappear? And where did he go? Did Bill eat him?
And then there's Sam's behaviour in suddenly completely avoiding Sookie, when Eric's stipulation only appeared to be that he wasn't allowed to *court* her. And given the build up of Sam's angst and avoidance of sunlight after his return from the dead, I thought that was going somewhere much more interesting too, but no, a few pages later Sam's as right as rain again, seemingly having decided all he needed to get over it was to bone Sookie.
At one point, seemingly in an attempt to justify Sookie's impending transference of affection to Sam, somebody points out that she wouldn't have used the cluviel dor to bring back some random guy she didn't especially care about. Well, no, but it's fairly safe to assume that she would have used to it save *Eric's* life if the occasion arose, even if she wouldn't use it to sort out his love/business life.
Add all this to a ridiculously convoluted and pointless plot that doesn't really go anywhere, and you've got a book that just feels a bit unnecessary, which is a sad ending to a series I mostly loved.
I therefore propose an alternative: at the conclusion of book twelve, have it be *Eric* who's mortally wounded by Jannalynne, have Sookie use the cluviel dor to bring him back to life, with the side effect of it rendering him not only alive but as a human rather than vampire. Then they can breed as many revolting babies as they want, and Eric can work as daytime-man to Pam the new sheriff...(okay, so I guess there was *one* part I approved of...)