[rating:3.5]
Author: Charlaine Harris
Series:
 Sookie Stackhouse #3
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Adult
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 274
First Published: 2003
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First sentence:
Bill was hunched over his computer when I let myself in his house.

This review may contain spoilers for the first two in the series.

Club Dead begins with Sookie and Bill parting ways for a time, him suggesting that they may get back together when he has returned from doing his secret project. The next night, under protection from Bubba, the man from Memphis himself, Sookie is almost attacked outside of Merlotte’s by a werewolf in a biker’s jacket. It is then revealed that Bill is missing, probably kidnapped, in Mississippi. A werewolf, Alcide, who owes Eric and has a place in Jackson is tasked with taking Sookie to Jackson to find out what happened and who took Bill.

Book three of the Sookie Stackhouse series was much better than the first two in my opinion. I didn’t find myself cringing or rolling my eyes at all in this one, and that may well have been due to the most excellent lack of Bill. He is possibly the dullest character in this series and I’m glad to see more characters popping up and taking precedence. I actually thoroughly enjoyed reading Club Dead.

I have come to realise, though I may have mentioned this before, that Harris’s writing style can be a bit lacklustre. Very often there is little to no description, for example, she describes Pam at one point as wearing a ‘red sweater’, but what kind of sweater is that? It doesn’t really give us much to go by. She also manages to do a kind of time jump in which Sookie will be thinking or having a conversation and then with no real warning, a day or two will have passed. This always throws me off and I’m never quite sure which way to look, thinking perhaps it’s me being a bit tired and missing things, but I notice it a lot with her books. However, all that being said, I do enjoy Sookie’s voice throughout the novel. It’s very easy to empathise with her, especially in Club Dead.

The great thing about having Miss Sookie Stackhouse as a heroine is that as beautiful and well-loved as she is, as kick ass as she can be, not to mention the telepathy that gives her that extra edge, she is the kind of heroine that we can relate to. She’s almost believable as a human being and that is great. She kicks some butt to save her own hide, but at the same time she can be quite squeamish, and when she has a chance to she allows herself to be. She has also had financial worries ever since her grandmother died. Such an old house would be difficult to pay the upkeep of, it would deteriorate and on a small town waitress salary, this would be very hard to deal with especially when you keep taking time off work to jetpack around the world with vampires. She takes all the weird in stride but still manages to come across as a normal human woman, and for that I applaud Charlaine Harris.

Although I’ve been reading the Sookie series as urban fantasy, because romance doesn’t really appeal to me, the love interest in Club Dead had me intrigued. As I mentioned, I don’t like Bill. Eric acts a little less possessive, he still has his moments, but he’s a much better love interest than Bill. And Alcide.. well. Let’s just call me “Team Alcide” and be done with it. I found myself enjoying Club Dead as an urban fantasy and a paranormal romance, and I’m okay with that.

If you enjoyed Dead Until Dark and Living Dead in Dallas, you’ll love this one. It has certainly got me more interested in checking out some adult urban fantasy.