Category Archives: SVM Books

The Problem of Unhappy Endings

Saw this on NPR today and while they are talking specifically about Game of Thrones, you have to know I was thinking about both the SVM books and True Blood in reading this article.

Talk of the Nation: Unhappy Endings: When Our TV Show Worlds Get Rocked


But I think that, you know, one of the things that sometimes leads to this is when there are expectations that are locked into certain kinds of genres. And when you approach a story that fits into a particular genre, there are some things we expect and some things we don’t expect. You know, when you go to a horror movie, you probably know by now that there may not be a happy ending. You know, there’s often that scene right at the end where you think the killer’s dead, but then it turns out that he’s not, and that will lead to the sequel. And so the unhappy ending is expected. But you know, for instance, I haven’t seen the new “Superman” movie, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to win in the end because that’s something we’ve come to expect from that genre.

And I agree, that was one of the problems with the SVM books: so many of us interpreted them as paranormal romance when they were really mysteries, where the genre rules are different.

I had to laugh because another listener had EXACTLY the same first disappointment in a story experience that I had as a young girl:

But Mitra writes: My first betrayal was by Louisa May Alcott in “Little Women.” My eight-year-old self was devastated that Joe turned Laurie down. I threw my book across the room and swore I wouldn’t finish it. It took me two years to pick it back up, and I’m still sad every time I read it or see the movie version. And I wonder what she thought when Amy later on ended up with Laurie.

I HATED Amy with a passion and I couldn’t even read the end of the book for some time because it was just too painful to watch Laurie fall in love with Amy after Jo rejected him. It is still hard to think about.  Glad to know I am not alone, though!

And here’s the guest’s original article, Game of Thrones and the Problem of Unhappy Endings, which goes into more detail about his theory about why these things hurt so much.


We know by now that in this world, not only do bad things happen to good people, but villainy frequently goes unpunished. And one of our central expectations of narrative is that eventually, even if it comes at the end of a long road, the bad guy will get his comeuppance. When that doesn’t happen, says Hornick, “there’s a sense of formal fairness that has been trespassed.” It isn’t that every story needs a happy ending, but if our emotional investment isn’t allowed to resolve in a satisfying way and if some measure of justice doesn’t prevail, it can be deeply disturbing. If you watch Game of Thrones, ask yourself this: aren’t you just dying to see someone run Joffrey through with a sword like he deserves, then stick his head on a pike? And how will you feel if it never happens?

Well, I think it will feel just about the way it did when I realized that after being subjected to the angst-inducing conversation between Freyda and Sookie in Deadlocked, Freyda was actually going to WIN.  I felt tortured by that previous scene and the only thing that kept me going was the thought that eventually Freyda was going to get what she deserved.  And then she DIDN’T.

Strangely, understanding the mechanics of why I feel disappointed in a story does seem to help.  What about you?


Publishers Weekly comment on final SVM book *spoilers*

Publishers Weekly, one of the leading professional journals in the publishing industry, led this week’s recap of the the current best sellers by  weighing in on the situation with Charlaine Harris’s final Sookie book, Dead Ever After.  While they did acknowledge that there were pre-order cancellations, they said that there were still 80,000 volumes sold.  (Anyone know how that compares to previous sales in the series? Because I think 80,000 sounds low.)  They also comment on the possibilities of an Eric/Sookie ending on True Bloood — not that they would actually know anything special about that, mind you, but I appreciate that we hard-core fans are not the only ones thinking along those lines.


Sookie’s Grand Exit

Charlaine Harris’s Dead Ever After rockets to #1 on our Hardcover Fiction list thanks to the legions of fans who want to find out what happens to Sookie Stackhouse in her 13th and final adventure. Harris’s Southern Vampire Mystery series was already popular when HBO adapted it for True Blood, and now she’s an indisputable superstar of the urban fantasy genre. When word leaked that Sookie wasn’t going to end up paired with fan favorite Eric, outrage erupted on message boards and some readers threatened to cancel pre-orders, but they seem to be in the minority; the hardcover clocked over 80,000 sales in its first week out. On last week’s episode of Publishers Weekly Radio we asked Harris how she felt about the fan reaction to the spoilers. “This isn’t a democracy,” she said firmly. “I’ve had this ending in mind since maybe the second book, and I wrote the book I wanted to write.” Fortunately for the readers who are unhappy with that resolution, True Blood has diverged significantly from the books, so there’s a chance that the televised versions of Sookie and Eric will end up together after all.—Rose Fox

DEA Spoiled

KJwrit has posted all the details for Dead Ever After that she gathered from other sources, so if you are ready to be thoroughly spoiled, read it all here.

The Curse of Eric Northman – a Theory for Review

Interesting theory from Rebelina11 about why the ending of Dead Ever After is causing turmoil.  SPOILERY if you aren’t already in the know.

The Curse of Eric Northman – a Theory for Review.

Sookie’s HEA revealed *MAJOR SPOILERS*

You probably are already aware of this if you are in the True Blood/SVM fandom, but in case you are not, a German fan got ahold of Dead Ever After and has posted the end as far as who Sookie ends up.  Details of the spoilers are here.  My feelings about it below the Read More.

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Prologue to “Dead Ever After” *SPOILERS!!!!!*

Don’t ask me how or why, but Penguin Group seems to have posted the entire prologue to Dead Ever After.

The. ENTIRE. Prologue!!!!! So when I say “SPOILERS!!!!” I’m not exaggerating.

And if you to read it, you can read it here.  But I’m not posting it right in the post in case you DO want to be just lightly teased and not totally spoiled just yet!



“Dead Ever After” spoilers! has been blessed with spoilers on the final Sookie Stackhouse book, Dead Ever After, thanks to a sneak peak by reader KayCee4711.  Details are below the Read More!

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