Happy Friday everyone. The last few Fridays we’ve been doing Series I Love, today we have a new type of post – Series to Binge. What is the distinction? Well principally it needs to be a series where you can read the books back to back without spotting the formula and getting annoyed. Now a series having a formula doesn’t make it a bad thing – and in the usual pattern of reading when you get each book as it comes out – you don’t necessarily notice it. But when you’re a reader like me who finds something you like and then rattles through as many of them as you can get your hands on as fast as possible, you do sometimes start to notice things. There are some series that I really like but that, I wouldn’t recommend you to read back to back to back – like some of the cozy crimes. Him Indoors likes to read Steph Plum when we’re on holiday – but he can only do about three before it gets a bit repetitive for him.
The Sookie Stackhouse series however, you absolutely can read one after the other. Or at least I can – I read three back to back the other week and started a fourth, put the fourth down for a few days to read other things last week, came back to it this week, finished it and went straight on to the fifth. In fact, in terms of how angry some of the fandom got with the way that it ended, it’s probably best to read them back to back (as you can now) rather than reading them as they came out – because it leaves less time to get involved in the speculation about who Sookie is going to end up with (which is why some of the fans were so disappointed). Coming back and reading them again, I’m spotting even more things that point at the way it turned out, but that’s another story.
Anyway, for those of you who haven’t come across the series before – it’s also known as the Southern Vampire Mysteries or the True Blood books – they’re about a telepathic waitress from a small town in Louisiana. A couple of years prior to the start of the books, the world’s vampire population went public and in the first book Sookie meets the new vampire that’s moved into her town and gets sucked into the problems of the local vampire population. Across the course of the series, Sookie discovers more and more about the supernatural world – and that’s what makes them so bingeable – each book adds something new or takes her somewhere different, so they don’t get samey. For example book two is in Dallas, book three is in Mississippi and introduces some extra complexity to how the vampire world is organised and how some of the other supernaturals get on with the vampires. Book four adds in more supernaturals and more complications and so on and so on. You get the idea and as you can tell you need to read them in order!
I do also need to add a proviso – these books are violent. There’s death and killing – and sexual violence too. I’ve read all the books – and I’m reading them again – but I’ve never watched the TV series because I’m fairly sure it’s going to be too violent for me. I can cope with it on the page but not on screen, much to Him Indoor’s confusion. I do normally tell you when I’m recommending something violent – and it’s sort of why I don’t say that I *love* this series – because the violence can get a bit much and I feel a bit weird about saying that I love something that has such a high body count. But then I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer (for all it’s problems) so maybe I’m just being contrary. Anyway, if you need something to binge to take your mind off the outside world – and you fancy some urban fantasy then this may be your thing.
They should be fairly easy to get hold of – there are omnibus editions on kindle (as you can see from the image as well as the individual books. I have the omnibus of the first three (which I read on holiday in Greece nearly a decade ago) and then picked the rest up from various charity shops – and then got rid of them in the house move – so this time I’m borrowing the ones I don’t have from the library. All in all they should be an easy to get hold of binge.
Happy weekend everyone!