Welcome to chat days for Dead in the Family, Book 10 in the Southern Vampires series, by best selling author Charlaine Harris. For the next 2 days we will be discussing various aspects of the book- what we loved, what we hated, the relationships and intimacy, and also any expectations we might have for the characters in this series. Dead in the Family was a stepping stone book for me, but it was also a revelation in many ways and explored previously uncharted territory of the vampire lore.
So leave a comment to one or all of the questions! We love to hear from you!
DQ 1: Division of the United States
I found this discussion between Eric and Sookie interesting for 2 main reasons. First, the entire concept of division was done much the same way as our ancestors probably did things, which shows that maybe the vampires aren't as superior as they would like to think. They factor in the same issues that humans do and sometimes decisions are made based off a political advantage.
Second, the very fact that Eric is having this conversation in the first place indicates that Sookie is important to him and that perhaps he takes their marriage seriously. He is explaining vampire history so that she is armed with knowledge and hopefully that information will help keep her safe. He wants her to understand how vampires think- past and present.
Were you surprised by this serious subject being brought up by Eric? It almost seemed like the roles were reversed for a moment with Sookie thinking about and wanting sex first and talk later. Do you think this shows Eric's level of caring or is this another power ploy?
DQ 2: Eric's maker
Appius Livius Ocella was introduced for the first time as Eric's maker which gives us a glimpse of Eric being vulnerable and scared. His appearance also gave us a deeper understanding of the maker/vampire child relationship. A few interesting tidbits: (1)Eric can be commanded at any time by Ocella and would lack the free will to disobey and (2)Sookie isn't protected by the invitation rule because she has already issued one to Eric and that is then extended towards his maker and (3)Sookie's feelings and thoughts are scrambled by the close proximity of Ocella and Alexei because of the blood bond.
What were your expectations about Eric's maker? Was Sookie justified in being angry with Eric for ignoring her while Ocella and Alexei were in town? Did you expect what happened in the end? Why do you think that vampire families are so screwed up?
DQ 3: Famous Vampires in the Sookieverse
Charlaine Harris doesn't shy away from creating fictional vampires from very famous people. Previous books have shown us the memorable vampire Bubba, a befuddled Elvis that can never be shown to the public for fear that he will lose his cool because he doesn't know that he was once the King of Rock 'n Roll. His lovely voice doesn't go to waste being the vampire...occasionally he does sing.
In DITF we meet the tragic Alexei Romanov, son of Ocella and brother to Eric. Alexei was turned after being tortured and killed by the Bolsheviks. Right from the start it becomes apparent that something isn't quite right with Alexei and it isn't that he possesses the image of a 15 year old boy. He is a mentally flawed vampire that suffers from violent tendencies, causing him to kill.
What do you think about having famous historical figures being introduced into the Sookieverse? What were your impressions of Alexei? What did you think about how Alexei was dealt with?
Please see the next post for more discussion questions!