Friday, June 28, 2013

Top Five Paranormal Countdown - #2


 Hey, folks. I’m sharing with you my all-time favorite paranormal fantasy series, and I am having so much fun with this! This week I'm sure many of you will agree with me that number two should at least be on the list, but first let's review the countdown so far...
#5  The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
#4 The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
       #3 The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

 
This week, let's take a look at the series that came in at number two, Charlaine Harris's popular Sookie Stackhouse novels, the inspiration for the smash HBO hit, True Blood.

 

What I liked…

Vampires coming out of the closet
I don’t know where this idea originated, but the Sookie Stackhouse series was the first place I encountered it, and I think it is a brilliant concept, changing the human/supernatural dynamic in intriguing ways and opening up an array of possible story lines.

The heroine…
I love Sookie. I loooooove Sookie. She is the best Southern heroine I’ve ever run across in literature. Southern Hospitality has nothing to do with goodwill, you know. It’s a code to live by, and woe to any who don’t abide by it. In Sookie’s case, that goes for vampires, shifters, fae, and the occasional foolish human who crosses her. And throughout whatever’s going on, she means well… really.

The titles…
… are very clever. The series may have finally ended when  Ms. Harris ran out of puns with the word ‘Dead.’


Sookie is part Fae…
… and we don’t even know through the first few books. I love the struggle she has initially with her mind-reading powers.

The sex…
Sookie’s a bit of a slut, but who can blame her? All the men she sleeps with, dead and alive, have their admirable qualities. You go, girl.

Lots of action…
These books go at a breakneck pace. Sookie is on the run most of the time. She doesn’t get enough sleep, and neither do I when I’m reading one of these books!

True Blood…
I actually watched the HBO show through half of the first season before I picked out Charlaine Harris’ name buried in the credits, at which point I went out and bought the books as fast as I could. I think the show is great. After season two, HBO got removed from my cable package and I wasn’t willing to pay the outrageous fee required for an upgrade. As far as I could tell, the series was pretty true to the first two books. The most notable exception to me was the retention of Lafayette’s character, killed off in the first book, but which was just too-well played by Nelsan Ellis to get rid of in the show.

What I didn’t like…

True Blood…
Am I wishy-washy, or what? I know I just praised the series. The problem is, I can’t read about Sookie now without picturing Anna Paquin. Not that I would ever object to a picture of Anna Paquin in my mind, and I think she makes a great Sookie, but there is a subtle difference between the Sookie of True Blood and the Sookie of Charlaine Harris. It is likewise with most of the other characters. Strangely enough, this is the first time that I’ve "seen the movie" before "reading the book." I’m not sure I like it this way. I think it has restricted my imagination.
 
The series is too long…
I’ve not read any interviews with Ms. Harris where she may have shared her thoughts on the matter, but I can imagine there might have been myriad pressures to continue the series past its prime. The thirteenth, and final, Sookie novel came out in May, and reviews have been lackluster. In fact, the last two books are still on my TBR list, and I notice the customer reviews on Amazon are averaging around three out of five stars, a far cry from the initial magic of the first five or six.

What I stole…

Nothing, except…
… maybe the fact that I tried to capture some of the Louisiana charm with the character of Cajun, Cynthia Lamelle, Heather Felton’s BFF? There will also be the issue of both the vampires and werewolves “coming out” to the general population in Red Wolf Rising, which is a major theme in Harris’ books, but will only be touched on in mine… I think. *winks*

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So, there you have it, number two. What do y'all think? Leave me a comment if you agree or disagree. And come back next week for… my number one, all-time favorite paranormal series. Any guesses?
Until then... Happy Reading!

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