Though the literary adventures of Sookie Stackhouse have come to a close, and the television adventures set to follow next season, Charlaine Harris had one more bit of magic up her sleeve for fans.
After Dead is a collection of endings for various characters who for some reason or the other never got their final bow in the books. J.K. Rowling has been threatening to do something like this for Harry Potter for years. While it's not the most in-depth read Harris has ever put out (I read it cover to cover in an hour), it is a neat little addendum to the books and a nice way to say goodbye.
There are something like 50 entries in the book, and today I thought I'd celebrate the ten that most tickled my fancy. Make sure you pick up a copy to hear the rest. Spoilers ahead, obviously.
Terry Bellefleur: Though he went to his rest last season on True Blood, Terry managed to little longer in the books. He and his wife Jimmie raised award-winning litters of dogs in their double-wide for many years to come until they died in a car accident coming from their grandchild's birthday party. A bequest was set up in his name to treat prisoners of war.
Desmond Cataliades: One of the characters that you may not know if you only watch the show is the demonic lawyer Cataliades. Though that sounds horrible, he's actually a long-time ally of Sookie's that comes through again and again for her. He continues to visit Sookie and Sam every Christmas, and keeps an eye out that Bon Temps remains demon-free with brutal efficiency.
Anthony Bolivar: Most of the vampires turn out pretty well in the end. Short order cook Anthony Bolivar actually goes on to be a celebrity chef with a hit show on the Food Network. He loses that gig when he gets caught over-drinking from a prostitute, but still manages a pretty good living as a nomadic cook hired by restaurants looking for a little wild notoriety.
Franklin Mott: Not every vampire has a happy ending, though. The sadistic Franklin Mott, who had kept Tara in bondage was eventually murdered by a human woman he dumped, and then had everything valuable in his house stripped while his nestmates slept. Good. Fuck that guy.
Luna Garza: I prefer Luna in the books to the show, even if we get to see less of her. For one, she makes a good life for herself as an activist for Animal Americans until finally retiring in her 60s to paint landscapes. That's way less tragic than her fate in the show, and a nice reward for the help she gave Sookie in escaping the Fellowship of the Sun. Speaking of which...
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Sarah Newlin: Newlin went to prison for her terrorist activities with the FotS, and though she tried to remain a relevant voice pretty much everyone forgot about her and her hateful, bigoted ass. She contracts lupus while still incarcerated, and dies barely mourned by a few die-hard anti-supe hold-outs. Couldn't have happened to a nicer lady.
Kenya Jones and Kevin Pryor: In the novels Kenya and Kevin are a strong but somewhat unconventional couple. Kenya manages to get Kevin's mother to stop being a racist git about their marriage after she saves her life with CPR, though they never get close.
Dr. Amy Ludwig: To my mind, there was no more interesting peripheral character than Dr. Ludwig, who would show up to treat supernatural wounds and diseases with strange medicine. Honestly, I wish she would get a book series of her own. She eventually opens her own clinic for her special brand of medicine, though she has trouble with all kinds of people breaking in looking for exotic drugs. Had, I should say. Werewolves Dixie and Dixon Mayhew become her night guards, and the problem seems to dry right up after that.
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Bubba: Ah, the poor, half-brain dead king of rock and roll... he's still passed around the vampire territories as a treasure, but got in trouble in Tennessee when he escaped and was spotted at his own grave. Since then he's been banished to Canada, which he hates.
Bill Compton: I purposely decided to not talk about the major characters, but Bill's post-book life is so weirdly wonderful. He develops a talent as a video game maker, specializing in ultra-violent vampire games that garner a huge audience and make him a ton of money. He retains programmers in twenty-year contracts with the promise of being turned if they complete their tenure.
Sad as I am to see the Sookie books come to an ending, it is nice that Harris went all John Irving on us and let us know how it all played out in incredible detail.