Tuesday, 31 May 2011

GoodRead - A Touch Of Dead

As some of you guys know, I just got a Kindle (I've gone over to the dark side!) and a voucher to buy up to £10 worth of eBooks to get me started (which was nice. Shame I have LOADS of books to read before I can attack the Kindle). Was snooping something to add that would make a huge impact on me. I was going to add Kathy Reich's Virals, but saw that in ASDA for the STUPID price of £3.95 (basically 5p per chapter!!! BARGAIN OR WHAT?!), so bought on random impulse two Sookie Stackhouse eBooks - Definitely Dead and A Touch Of Dead.

Out of the two, I chose A Touch of Dead because of three reasons. First, I wanted a fast read and a collection of short stories seems the best way to go. Second, I haven't read the whole series. I jump in and out of it. I mean, read the first book in the series, watched the first and second series of True Blood, know vaguely the plotline for the third book in the series, listened to the audiobook of book 4 and then downloaded book 6 or 7 within the series and a collection of short stories. And third, I like the sound of the title. Lame but true. So… Not exactly a solid fan, am I? But I wanted to enter this world and understand it before I dive into it with Definitely Dead. So…

A Touch of Dead is a collection of five short stories, each with its our tale and each having a place in the series. The stories are Fairy Dust, Dracula Night, One Word Answer, Lucky and Gift Wrap. Each of these short story take place within the series and explains small things within the series that happened, but "off screen". The reason for that is because of the author wrote them and had to cut them out due to plot.

So in twitter form (140 characters or so), explain each story. Right?

Fairy Dust has Sookie investigating the mysterious death of Claudine & Claude's triplet, Claudette. Three humans are suspects… but who's the killer?

Dracula Night has Sookie been invited to Eric's bar to celebrate Dracula Night. But is all what it seems?

One Word Answer has Sookie discover that her cousin was a vampire. And is now murdered. But who killed the favourite of the Queen of Louisiana?

Lucky has Sookie investigate a break-in of a Insurance Salesman's office, who happens to be a small-time witch. Does his good luck charms have anything to do with it?

And Gift Wrap has Sookie alone at Christmas. Keeping busy, she goes into the woods and discovers a naked man who needs her help. But is all as it seems?

Now, if you're a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series, you want to know where these stories fit within the series. Well, researched on Wikipedia for you and got the following: both Fairy Dust and Dracula Night happen after Dead to the World (bewteen book 4 and 5), One Word Answer happens just before Definitely Dead (book 6), and both Lucky and Gift Wrap happen after From Dead to Worse (between book 8 & 9). So, the short stories are set out in order of where they come in the series, but you need to research where…

Now, reactions of each story. Fairy Dust was good story to start with. If you haven't really read the series, like myself, you enter this story and a lot of details is given to you. The existance of vampires, weres, shapeshifters and fairies is said and briefly touched upon and then you get into the story. It was an good story. Not my fave out of the five, but a nice story to get my teeth into.

Dracula Night. Right, ok. Honestly? This story is random. It was a fun little story about Dracula and showing Eric, a character which is dark and will do things for himself, acting like a little kid on Christmas Morning. And it was nice to have Pam talk more. I don't exactly like Pam in the TV's True Blood, but while listening to Dead to the World audiobook, I quite liked her. She was an interesting and complex character so hearing her talk and react to Sookie (and over-excitable Eric) was interesting. But this story was pretty random.

One Word Answer is probably my fave story out of the five. It felt the strongest out of the five and the story that felt like it added something more to my knowledge of Sookie's world. How the story and the mystery were explain and concluded felt right within this world. Plus, it's leads very nicely into Definitely Dead (which I have on my kindle).

Lucky was a fun read. There's not much I can say about this one. I think this was because there was a two characters in here that been in the series that I've never met. But, I like this story due to it touchs on Witchcraft and Sookie's telepathic powers.

Gift Wrap is for those of you Sookie fans that read the book for the sexy-ness. Yes, we have sex in this story. This is just a fun story which kinda adds nothing to the series, but it's fun to read because it adds nothing to the series. It's a silly fun read. And it's the first time within the series that it isn't written competely in Sookie's point of view - this is because Sookie couldn't possibly know about it. But this helped the story for me as it was like "We know something Sookie doesn't!". But like I said, this story adds nothing to the series. It's basically fluff!

The stories were fun, fast reads. It took 40-odd minutes to read each of them, but I strenched it out over the course of several days. But if you sit down and read them back to back, you would be done within a hour or two...

My main problem with A Touch of Dead was that before every story, you had a drawing from the US cover designer. Which is fine, expect each of them just felt wrong. Each of them felt childish and never sat well with me. For the US audience, then this would be perfect as this is the style of the series's covers, but we (in the UK) only got 3 or 4 covers from the US before the cover design changed to the scarily white model with red lips and then, a few years later, the True Blood actors. Maybe if the UK has different illustrations from a different illustrator or five different drawings from five different illustrators, then I would be more happy with them. But to me, they didn't add anything. But for a true fan, maybe they do.

I know. It's a tiny thing that got me. That and no info on where the short stories fit in the series. But ha-ho!

Overall, this was a fun additional titbits to the series. If you're a fan of the series, then this is a must. Might not add anything, but it'll make you smile. If you're not a fan, then this is ok too. Just do some background research before you start because a lot of info will go over your heads.

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