I don’t usually buy “companion” books. Sometimes I think they’re a money grab. Sometimes I think they’ll just be filled with fan-loved favourites without really giving us anything new to think about. I couldn’t resist The Sookie Stackhouse Companion though, for one simple reason, I wanted to read the novella.
Small Town Wedding is a great story. I love Sam. I was so glad to see him return to the forefront. I enjoyed learning about Sam’s family. They are loving, wonderful people (not to be confused with Sam’s terrible family on True Blood). Sam’s brother is getting married and even though he’s not a shifter, people protest. Much of the trouble is caused by a nasty neighbour and a long lost “friend”, of Sookie’s, Sarah Newlin. It’s nice to find out what happened to her. Quinn even makes an appearance. Small Town Wedding brought me back to what I love about the series, especially after a disappointing Dead Reckoning.
Small Town Wedding takes place before Dead Reckoning and it had a publication date that put it before Dead Reckoning’s release, so why was it pushed back? The only thing I could think of was the interview with Alan Ball about True Blood. It was not a feature I remember seeing in the book originally, so I’m guessing it was a late addition. It’s a good interview, just like the one with series author, Charlaine Harris. Part of me wishes I had the chance to read the stories in the right order, but another part of me is okay that I read it after, since I was disappointed with the last book. I also appreciate that the interviews with Alan Ball and Charlaine Harris distinguish the television series and the book series as two separate worlds. Ball used Harris’s books as source material, but has taken many of the characters (for example, Tara) in different directions.
This book is definitely a “companion”, it’s really only for fans of the series. There are some things I didn’t really need, like a summary of the entire series, though it was nice to be reminded of some of the good things and corrected on a couple of things I remembered differently. I didn’t really like the quiz, mostly because I didn’t know any of the answers. (I wonder if anyone could get a pass on those questions.) There are a lot fun things in the book. I like the character list. I think it’ll be helpful in a series this long. I also really like the recipes. Not that I’ve tried any of them yet, but I enjoy cooking and I’d like to try out some of Bon Temps’s favourites. The Sookie Stackhouse Companion is a welcome addition to the series.
Side Note: I know that the next two books will be the end of the series. On one hand, I’m sad to see it go; I’ve really enjoyed the Southern Vampires. On the other hand, Dead Reckoning was not that great. Dead in the Family was better, but I’m in the minority on that opinion. I have hopes for Deadlocked. However, if it is on the same level as Dead Reckoning I’m glad that Harris will be ending the series soon.