Thursday, January 05, 2012

A Touch Of Dead

A Touch of Dead is Charlaine Harris’s collection of Sookie Stackhouse short stories.  There were originally published in various paranormal anthologies, but now they’re all together.  That’s good, because as much as I love Sookie, I wasn’t going to buy five different books just to get these short stories.  (I do have one of the books, but I didn’t buy for the Sookie story.)  Here are my brief thoughts on each story.

Fairy Dust

Fairy Dust is a great little mini-mystery.  I enjoyed getting a deeper look at the fairies, Claude and Claudine as well as their relationship to Sookie.  I also liked finding out what happened to their triplet, Claudette.  The only problem I have is that from the novels, I thought Sookie didn’t know what happened to Claudette.  Maybe I don’t remember correctly. 

Harris admits in the introduction that she tried, but that the stories may not completely line up with the novels.  I have a second problem, though not a timeline one.  I found the language in the first half of the story a little dry.  It lacked the usual flair I enjoy in Harris’s writing.  At least it picked up by the end.

Dracula Night

Dracula Night doesn’t really give you any new insight into the story of Sookie, but it does let you find out something about Eric.  It’s a cute little story that finds Sookie in danger (as usual) and then pulling out of it.

I want to mention that I like many of these new takes on Dracula lore from books, television and movies.  It keeps things interesting.

One Word Answer

One Word Answer confused me.  This story deals with the death of Sookie’s cousin Hadley.  The story is different from the events in Definitely Dead.  There are similar bits, but unless I’m remembering it completely wrong, it’s still surprisingly different.  Why did Harris write this?  I still liked it.  Sookie solves the mystery of her cousin’s death (again?).


Lucky was another good story.  It involved characters that are often passed over as residents of Bon Temps and never looked at closely.  By doing this, Harris avoids discontinuity issues and gives herself new characters to play with. 

Lucky had Sookie teaming up with Amelia Broadway, who after the last couple of novels, I’m not sure we’re going to ever see again.  I’d like too.  Amelia has been the most understanding of Sookie’s human friends.  She has been there for Sookie in a way that Tara and Jason haven’t.  (The character of Tara is VERY different from the book to the television show.)  Amelia is interesting, creative and will get right into anything Sookie needs her to.  I hope to see more of Amelia in future books.

Gift Wrap

Gift Wrap was easily my favourite of the stories.  It shows how much Niall loves Sookie and how unique Fairy love is.  Gift Wrap doesn’t affect the body of work; there are no new plot points.  It also doesn’t change anything that has already been laid down.  It’s written in the style that made me fall for the Sookie books.  It was a great final story to the collection.

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