A review of Charlaine Harris’s ‘Dead to the World’ chapter seven


Sookie’s having a really great day.

Call me stereotypical. [why would I?] I’d spent the night with a man who’d told me I was beautiful, a man who’d enjoyed me and who’d given me intense pleasure.  He had touched me and held me and laughed with me. We weren’t in danger of making a baby with our pleasures, because vampires just can’t do that. I wasn’t being disloyal to anyone (though I’ll admit I’d had a few pangs when I thought of Bill), and neither was Eric. I couldn’t see the harm.

I figured God had made me with the disability of telepathy, and he could cut me a little slack on the sex thing.

Oh, yeah, you really think God’s opinion of your life is that important.  I guess that’s why you’ve had this long intense theological debate each and every time you’ve had sex before.

Sookie talks about she’d love to have babies, but there’s no one she could have them with! Vampires can’t, and it’s not like there’s a willing were she could have a relationship with, tee hee!

Oh yeah?

I believe I’ve made my point.

Talking of shapeshifters and werewolves, Sam phones her up to ask about Jason and whether there’s any news.  That’s nice.  She asks him about the shifter Crystal Norris and he gives her some very cryptic clues about the place; that it’s an ‘inbred settlement’ (like Spalding) and ‘they’re really, really different’. Uh.  Thanks Sam.

I pulled on some jeans, sneakers, a bright red long-sleeved T-shirt, and my old blue coat.

Hotshot is incredibly isolated and run down, the buildings all being situated around a crossroads – yet all the houses ‘seemed pulled away from the actual crossroads’.  Sookie can’t tell whether it’s a black community or a white community which is something I find very strange.  I come from a culture and society that doesn’t really distinguish that much between black or white people; if there were to be a dissimilarity in communities in England, it’d be in a major city, and be something like Brick Lane or China Town.

There are no dogs in the hamlet at all which is apparently unusual in rural Louisiana.

Sookie finds Crystal’s house and is let in.  She proceeds to make judgements about the decor.  Crystal doesn’t want to answer her questions about Jason.

‘I got rights. I don’t have to talk to you.’

Sure, that was Amendment 29 to the Constitution: Shifters don’t have to talk to Sookie Stackhouse.

Well… she doesn’t have to talk to you.  You’re not with the police.  You’re just a woman who came into her home and demanded answers to a bunch of questions. You have no legal authority over her.  Of course, this makes Sookie ANGRY as she’s always ready to fly into the deep end of any situation.

A middle aged man comes into the room and asks what Sookie is going to do with the situation.

He also appears to be a shifter of some kind. Sooke presumes a were. I’m guessing she’s going to be wrong at some point.

‘This is reasonable, Crystal. Girl wants to know where her brother is. Tell her, if you know anything about it.’

‘Why should I tell her anything? She comes out here, tries to threaten me. […] I didn’t think he was just missing. I thought he -‘

Crystal does seem to know something about Jason’s disappearance.  She seems to be in some state of awe and fear in front of the man, Calvin Norris, which suggests the authority of a ruler, rather than one of an uncle. Packmaster.

I had a revelation. Everyone in Hotshot was two-natured.

That’s awesome. That’s a brilliant idea! I love shapeshifters in fiction and this is such a neat idea. Huzzah! Calvin forces Crystal into helping Sookie out… by slashing Crystal’s face with some claws? Uh. That’s not nice. Anyway, her and Jason met up after New Year’s.  The day when Eric turned up, Jason asked Crystal to say at his place when he went to see Sookie. She heard his truck pull up and then heard a great amount of noise and commotion on the porch. She didn’t go out and look and couldn’t really smell much; blood, Jason, shifter.  Calvin escorts Sookie to the door as he is a real gentleman.

He then talks about how the genetic problems of Hotshot and how they need new blood, new genes.  ‘Ordinary women don’t last long here’. Uh. Okay.  Slightly weird.

‘I think you would like the people here, and you would be a good breeder. I can tell by looking.’

Who says that sort of thing? What the hell? What the hell! Ms Harris, you have a great gift for writing extremely creepy dialogue. Use your talent to write psychological thrillers, not supernatural romances.

oh yeah and Sam tells Sookie that rather horrific story about how the people of Hotshot murdered a police officer because he was trying to arrest a Norris for statutory rape.  That just makes everything better doesn’t it!  Oh god, why are all these people terrifying 😦

The Bellefleurs come into Merlotte’s and we know they’re bad because they ‘always diss Bill’.

I like these people. They also make an effort to be nice to Sookie, even though they don’t especially like her.  She responds like a bitch.

Remind me why she’s the main character and why the Bellefleurs are described as being so snobby and rude?

Kevin and Kenya, two police officers, ask Sookie for help with the missing vampire.  Kevin makes an effort to be nice to her, saying he knows she’s not an expert, but he just wants to know if she knows anything.  Nice guy.

‘I sure didn’t abduct him from Fangtasia,’ I said, with quite a lot of sarcasm in my voice.

Kenya gave me a sour look, and I didn’t blame her. ‘No one said you did’, she told me, in a ‘Don’t give me any trouble’ kind of voice. I shrugged and drifted away.

It doesn’t take much to be nice Sookie.  No wonder you don’t have any friends.  You’re a nasty person.

Then the witches come over to ask about Eric and put up posters and i dont care i dont care i dont care this chapter is so long

Make sure to check out Dottie’s video page!

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One thought on “A review of Charlaine Harris’s ‘Dead to the World’ chapter seven

  1. The differences between ‘black’ and ‘white’ communities IS a thing in the American South. The most glaring difference between ‘black’ and ‘white’ communities (in quotations because the idea of dividing communities into types indicative of the color of people that live there is straight up racist) in the American South is the QUALITY of the communities, due to the lower socioeconomic status of many residents in the ‘black communities’ because of remaining prejudice that prevents the majority of POC from reaching the per-household income to meet up to the standards of ‘white communities,’ with exceptions to this rule taking up a small percentage of the residents of either community.

    In some areas this is not as common, as always, but her just casually glossing over that (and admitting to ACTIVELY LOOKING for stereotyped markers for what tells her what ‘type’ of community it is) is shitty, and tells me something about Sookie I don’t think the author intended.

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