Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner
“Not since the dark days of the Twilight franchise had it been so trendy to be dead.”The premise of this short story series kinda blew my mind. A collection of urban fantasy, paranormal, mystery, etc. writers got together and picked a character from Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series and wrote a new story based on said characters. These weren't stories on a common theme built around their own characters; they were actually writing stories within Sookie's world, up to and including origin stories! The idea of someone writing stories like that who weren't the original author (or taking over a series postmortem) was a little bizarre. I kept thinking WWCD: What Would *Charlaine* Do??
― Charlaine Harris, Dead But Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie Stackhouse
That being said, it totally works! I don't know how they did it, but the short stories all found the right voice and felt like they belonged to the whole. Highlights for me include Leigh Perry's "The Real Santa Clause," her take on Diantha (one of my favorite minor characters) in a post Dead Ever After world. There's a mystery to solve and Diantha is up to the challenge, "suresuresure." Seanan McGuire's "Knit a Sweater Out of Sky" had my favorite title and I loved the magical whimsy mixed in with the danger and comeuppance in Amelia's story. One of my favorite characters from the series is Pam, and I loved learning more about her origins from Dana Cameron's short story "The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars." I had to take a beat or two to divorce myself from the True Blood Pam and find the Sookie Stackhouse Pam - which can be difficult since Kristin Bauer van Straten is such a powerhouse that it's hard NOT to think of her. Once I got my character incarnations straight, I was completely enthralled by Pam's passion and fire, as well as her sass in the face of danger (the bit with the photo-op was a delight).
A great book for anyone who's still not quite ready to let go of the series. Recommended.
"Nobody's Business" by Rachel Caine (featuring Kevin Pryor & Kenya Jones)
"Tyger, Tyger" by Christopher Golden (featuring Quinn)
"The Real Santa Claus" by Leigh Perry (featuring Diantha)
"Taproot" by Jeffrey J. Mariotte (featuring Andy Bellefleur)
"Knit a Sweater Out of Sky" by Seanan McGuire (featuring Amelia)
"Love Story" by Jeanne C. Stein (featuring Adele Hale Stackhouse)
"The Million-Dollar Hunt" by Jonathan Maberry (featuring Mustapha Khan)
"Borderline Dead" by Nicole Peeler (featuring Desiree Dumas)
"Extreme Makeover Vamp Edition" by Leigh Evans (featuring Bev & Todd)
"Don't Be Cruel" by Bill Crider (featuring Bubba)
"What a Dream I Had" by Nancy Holder (featuring Alcide Herveaux)
"Another Dead Fairy" by Miranda James (featuring Claude & Claudia Crane)
"The Bat-Signal" by Suzanne McLeod (featuring Luna)
"The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars" by Dana Cameron (featuring Pam Ravenscroft)
"Widower's Walk" by MaryJanice Davidson (featuring Eric Northman)