Cherry Mischievous

for the love of SciFi/Fantasy

Review: TRUE BLOOD Season 5

TRUE BLOOD Season 5 dvd box set

True Blood Season 5

Starring Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, and Alexander Skarsgård.

Genre: urban fantasy

Format: DVD season box set

About True Blood Season 5:

The fifth season of the HBO supernatural drama series True Blood premiered on June 10, 2012 and features twelve episodes, bringing the series total to 60. It picks up right after the events of season four. It is loosely based on the fifth book in The Southern Vampire Mysteries series, Dead as a Doornail, but incorporates much more of the following books than the previous seasons have.

Source: Info in the About True Blood Season 5 was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_Blood_%28season_5%29 on 25/05/2013.

True Blood Season 5 Trailer:

TRUE BLOOD main cast


My Thoughts:

I had to re-watch the last disc of Season 4 because the first disc of Season 5 did not make sense anymore. I have forgotten what happened in the show after waiting for so long for the dvd box set of Season 5. And my memories of the show and of the book series are getting mixed up and the two are not the same.

The season still ended in a cliffhanger of course but I was prepared for that so the disappointment in that arena isn’t as keen as it used to be. With Season 4 I was disappointed with the show, however Season 5 restored my faith in the makers of the True Blood show that they could actually create a plot without relying on the characters to act stupid. There are still stupid scenes here and there but at least they are not as proliferated as it was in previous seasons, specifically, Season 4. But the stupidity is trumped up by the blissful several hours of enjoyment that I got from the dvd box set so am willing to overlook the stupid scenes. Plus the fact that the makers of the show obviously has superb 3D animation software and team which made the fantastical elements in the show come to life flawlessly and seamlessly through the screen! Kudos to the cinematographic team! All in all, Season 5 has restored my love of this show despite the disappointments and the stupids.

Empirical Evaluation:

Cinematography = 5

Character development = 4

Story itself = 4

Ending = 1.5

World building = 5

Attention to detail = 4

Plot = 4

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Sookie Stackhouse series:

The Sookie Stackhouse series is also otherwise known as The Southern Vampire Mysteries series are the books from which the show is based from.

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20/02/2014 Posted by | 4 cherries, Anna Paquin, Bill Compton, DVD box set, Eric Northman, review, Sookie Stackhouse, Sookie Stackhouse series, Stephen Moyer, TrueBlood, TV series review, urban fantasy, vampires | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: DEFINITELY DEAD

Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
Read by Johanna Parker
Book 6 of the Sookie Stackhouse series
Format: audiobook
Genre: adult urban fantasy

About Definitely Dead:

Since Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has so few living relatives, she hates to lose one – even her cousin Hadley, undead consort of the vampire Queen of New Orleans. Hadley’s left everything she has to Sookie, but claiming that inheritance has a high risk factor. Some people don’t want her looking too deeply into Hadley’s past, or Hadley’s possessions. And they’re prepared to do anything in their power to stop her. Whoever it is, they’re definitely dangerous – and Sookie’s life is defintiely on the line…

Source: Info in the About Definitely Dead was taken from the back cover of the paperback edition (ISBN 978-0-441-01491-0).

My Thoughts:

Okey, book 6… said most of what I can say in previous reviews already. So what is different this time around? In this book we see a lot of John Quinn. Ultra alpha. Mysterious to the hilt. And angsty hero. Meet Mr. WereTiger! By the end of this book, I want to read more of this series just to read more about Quinn! … Sookie… is still the same stupid protagonist. Having said that, I have to say that she wasn’t as stupid in this book as she used to be thus far in this series. In fact, she seems to have developed a little bit more brains! Well, well, well, there seems to be hope yet for this series!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story Telling Quality = 4
World Building = 5
Character Development = 3
Plot = 3.5
Pace = N/A
Story Itself = 4
Ending = 4
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Sookie Stackhouse series:

19/12/2011 Posted by | audiobook, book review, Charlaine Harris, Cherry's reviews, John Quinn, review, Sookie Stackhouse series, TrueBlood, urban fantasy, vampire, weretiger | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Review: DEAD AS A DOORNAIL

Dead As A Doornail by Charlaine Harris
Read by Johanna Parker
Book 5 of the Sookie Stackhouse series
Format: audiobook

Genre: adult urban fantasy

About Dead As A Doornail:

Sookie Stackhouse enjoys her life, mostly. She’s great cocktail waitress in a fun bar; she has a love life, albeit as complicated as ever, and most people have come to terms with her telepathy.

Problem is, Sookie wants a quiet life, but things just seem to happen to her and her friends.

Now her brother Jason’s about to turn into a were-panther for the first time. She could deal with that, but her normal sisterly concern turns to cold fear when a sniper sets his deadly sights on the local were population… not just because Jason’s at risk, but because his new were-brethren suspect he may be the shooter.

Sookie has until the next full moon to find out who’s behind the attacks – unless the killer decides to find her first.

Source: Info in the About Dead As A Doornail was taken from the back cover of the paperback.

My Thoughts:

Dead As A Doornail is just another installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series with not much of a distinctive feature to make it stand out in the series. Most of the things I could say for this book I have already said in previous books. This book pretty much reads like its just another chapter of the Sookie Stackhouse story. But this series gets addictive as you read along. Or in this case, listen along. But it seems that Sookie is getting dumber by the minute. It’s irritating! However, this book (I think), has the best ending of all the books in this series thus far. I like surprises! Plus the plot is not as weak as the previous books were, i.e., Book 1. I like the over-arc-ing of the two main plot lines. This is also the book which brought to us Charles Twining. In my head Johnny Depp makes a good Charles.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story Telling Quality = 3
World Building = 5
Character Development = 3
Plot = 3.5
Pace = N/A
Story Itself = 4
Ending = 4
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Sookie Stackhouse series:

27/11/2011 Posted by | audiobook, book review, Charlaine Harris, Cherry's reviews, review, Sookie Stackhouse series, TrueBlood, urban fantasy, vampire | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Review: DEAD TO THE WORLD

Dead To The World by Charlaine Harris
Read by Johanna Parker
Book 4 of the Sookie Stackhouse series
Format: audiobook

Genre: adult urban fantasy

About Dead To The World:

When cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse sees a naked man on the side of the road, she doesn’t just drive on by. Turns out the poor thing hasn’t a clue who he is, but Sookie does. It’s Eric the vampire–but now he’s a kinder, gentler Eric. And a scared Eric, because whoever took his memory now wants his life.

Source: Info in the About Dead To The World was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/140077.Dead_to_the_World on 12/09/2011.

My Thoughts:

In Dead Until Dark (Book 1), the main story arc is the Sookie and Bill romance plus psychokiller. While in Living Dead In Dallas‘ (Book 2) main plots were the maenad fight and the Fellowship Of The Sun kidnapping. Club Dead (Book 3) is mostly about Bill’s disappearance and the introduction of more about the weres/shifters . In this book (Book 4), it’s the witch war and Jason and Debbie Pelt’s disappearing act. Two things stands out from these four books’ plots: 1.) Sookie is really unlucky lately and 2.) Bon Temps, for a small town, seems to be having a lot of supernatural happenings all of a sudden… Do you think Ms. Harris would ever address these issues in subsequent books?… you know, include some sort of an explaination in the plot or something…

This is also the book which solidified the love triangle between Sookie, Bill and Eric. Dead Until Dark was Sookie and Bill, while this book is Sookie and Eric. For that intrigue alone this book is worth reading! Of course Sookie is still too stupid to live, but the intrigue of the romance between Sookie and Eric is powerful enough for a reader to overcome that irritation. I think this book has got the most interesting story arc yet of the Sookie Stackhouse series!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story Telling Quality = 4
World Building = 5
Character Development = 3
Plot = 4
Pace = N/A
Story Itself = 4.5
Ending = 4
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Books In This Series:

13/11/2011 Posted by | audiobook, book review, Charlaine Harris, Cherry's reviews, review, Sookie Stackhouse series, TrueBlood, urban fantasy, vampire | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Review: CLUB DEAD

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris
Read by Johanna Parker
Book 3 of the Sookie Stackhouse series
Format: audiobook

Genre: adult urban fantasy

About Club Dead:

Things between cocktail waitress Sookie and her vampire boyfriend Bill seem to be going excellently (apart from the small matter of him being undead) until he leaves town for a while. A long while. Bill’s sinister boss Eric has an idea of where to find him, whisking her off to Jackson, Mississippi to mingle with the under-underworld at Club Dead. When she finally catches up with the errant vampire, he is in big trouble and caught in an act of serious betrayal. This raises serious doubts as to whether she should save him or start sharpening a few stakes of her own …

Source: Info in the About Club Dead was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/140082.Club_Dead on 12/09/2011.

My Thoughts:

I listened to this audiobook after I watched True Blood Season 3. As opposed to me reading the books before I watched Seasons 1 & 2. I can tell you that Season 3 has deviated a lot from the book. I also started getting confused between scenes from the show and scenes from the book! But one thing remains the same, the Stackhouses, they are still as stupid as ever. For some reason I could tolerate their stupidity a bit better with the show than with the book… Or it could be that their TSTL (too stupid to live) schtik is not as glaringly obvious in the show as oppose to the books…

The world building is marvellous as per usual, but I did not like the ending too much. It ended the main plot in the story but left too much hanging. I know, I know, marketing ploy… but I find it just a little annoying with this book. However, this is also the book which introduced us to Alcide Herveaux! Though Alcide in the book is not as hot as Joe Manganiello. So that’s a score in favour of the show! On top of that, we see a little bit more Sookie-Eric interaction which shows us an Eric who is an anti-hero we could love. This notches up the intrigue of the love triangle between Sookie, Eric, and Bill which I believe will keep fans hooked.

Overall, this book is not too bad, however I am just not very tolerant of Sookie’s TSTL act so I’d give this book a 3 out of 5.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story Telling Quality = 4
World Building = 5
Character Development = 3
Plot = 3.5
Pace = N/A
Story Itself = 4
Ending = 3
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 cherries

Books In This Series:

27/10/2011 Posted by | audiobook, book review, Charlaine Harris, Cherry's reviews, review, Sookie Stackhouse series, TrueBlood, urban fantasy, vampire | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Review: TRUEBLOOD Season 3

TrueBlood Season 3
DVD box set

I watched the DVD box set before I read the books. I thought it would be a better viewing experience since I haven’t read the book yet as opposed to Seasons 1 and 2 where I know the story already before going in, therefore it would be a surprise this time around. Preconceptions at minimum. And it was a surprise! Furthermore, I also find that I kinda like the surprise of the alternate version of the story that they made in the show as opposed to the one in the book! Now I can’t decide which I like better. Read the book first before watching the show or watch without reading the book!

Unlike Seasons 1 & 2, the third Season is not only a serialization of Book 3, Club Dead, but has also incorporated elements from further books as far as Books 8 & 9, into the show. In this Season we see a whole lot more deviation from the original book series that the Sookie Stackhouse fan in me is starting to get anxious… However, they seem to be doing a great job of it thus far, so I am still a True Blood fan…

I don’t know if it was possible to get even stupider, but the Stackhouses? …they somehow managed it! *palm on face* Sookie is even more TSTL (too stupid to live) and it is annoying as hell! Now Jason, is TSTL too. But he is kinda charming TSTL. Maybe I’ve developed a higher tolerance with their stupidity. However, this is still my pet peeve with this series though. Annoying!!

I think the aspect I like the most about this show, other than the world building, is the layers of plot. I like the over-arc-ing of plots. It’s intriguing and it keeps me hooked to the series despite the TSTL. And also maybe the fact that I am a sucker for angsty heros!

The show should come with a warning label… WARNING: ADDICTIVE!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

True Blood Season3 Trailer:

Books In This Series:

14/10/2011 Posted by | review, reviews, TV series review | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Review: TRUEBLOOD Season 2

TrueBlood Season 2
DVD box set

Just like Season 1, the entire Season 2 is a serialization of the Sookie Stackhouse #2, Living Dead In Dallas book. Click here to go to my review of Living Dead In Dallas. And okey, Sookie, the main protagonist, is still annoyingly stupid… But this time around it’s not just her, but the entire town is now TSTL (too stupid to live)!

The episodes tends to end in a cliffhanger, so I am so glad that I got the entire DVD of season2 box set. The finale episode is the climax of the book. I would therefore advise viewers to have all the episodes of season 2, i.e., all the DVDs, at hand before starting to watch this TV series to avoid frustrations resulting from cliffhanger endings.

The TV show differs slightly from the book, however that is expected. In fact I think it is what makes the show worth watching even though one might have read the book already. There are still surprises in store for the viewer to watch an alternate version of the series in the show. However the show aligned very closely with the book that as a Sookie Stackhouse series fan, I do not have real complaints about it.

I have to admit that the cinematographic presentation is great! The combination of 3D animation technique with live actors gave a very believable effects on the screen. Specially the supernatural scenes. That and Charlaine Harris’ world building skills is what keeps me (possibly) coming back for more despite the TSTL characters.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 cherries

True Blood Season2 Trailer:

Living Dead In Dallas by Charlaine Harris
Book 2 of the Sookie Stackhouse series

Genre: adult urban fantasy

About Living Dead In Dallas:

Waiting tables, sweeping floors, reading minds and solving mysteries for the undead. It’s all in a day’s work for Sookie…

Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is on a streak of real bad luck. First, her co-worker gets murdered and no one seems to care. Then Sookie is attacked – and poisoned – late one night by some weird and apparently mythical beast. She only survives because the local vampires roll up and graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn’t enjoy it). But in return the blood-suckers need a favor.

Which is why Sookie ends up in Dallas, using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire, on the condition that her undead friends don’t do anything, well, vampiric while she’s there. Easier said than done. All it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly…

Source: Info in the About Living Dead In Dallas was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/110494.Living_Dead_in_Dallas on 11/07/2011.

Books In This Series:

29/09/2011 Posted by | Cherry's reviews, DVD box set, review, Sookie Stackhouse series, TrueBlood, TV series review, urban fantasy | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Review: TRUEBLOOD Season 1

True Blood Season 1
DVD box set

My Thoughts:
The entire True Blood Season 1 is a TV serialization of the Sookie Stackhouse series #1, Dead Until Dark book. Click here for my review of Dead Until Dark. There are a few modifications in the TV series which are not in the book and vice versa, but we are expecting that. What is important to me is that the TV show stuck to the spirit of the story in the book as closely as possible and that earned lots and lots of brownie points! I was also kinda hoping that they would edit Sookie, the main protagonist‘s tendencies to be too stupid to live, with the TV show, which in some cases they did, but not all of it. And that was kind of disappointing. It’s the character development which brings the rating for the whole show down to the boots. The Stackhouses are as dim as they come. Well, except the grandmother. However the world building and the cinematic artistry is bang on!! Gotta give the cinematic effects team and the director a lot of kudos for that. The world building and the show might be really good, but I just find stupid protagonists annoying. I would give this TV series the same rating I gave the book, a 3.5 out of 5.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

TV Show Trailer:

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Book 1 of the Sookie Stackhouse series
Genre: adult urban fantasy

About Dead Until Dark:

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She’s quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn’t get out much. Not because she’s not pretty. She is. It’s just that, well, Sookie has this sort of ‘disability’. She can read minds. And that doesn’t make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill: he’s tall, dark and handsome – and Sookie can’t ‘hear’ a word he’s thinking. He’s exactly the type of guy she’s been waiting for all her life.

But Bill has a disability of his own: he’s a vampire. Worse than that, he hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, with a reputation for trouble – of the murderous kind.

And when one of Sookie’s colleagues is killed, she begins to fear she’ll be next…

Source: Info in the About Dead Until Dark was taken from the back cover of the paperback edition.

Books In This Series:

17/09/2011 Posted by | Bill Compton, Cherry's reviews, DVD box set, Eric Northman, Jason Stackhouse, Lafayette Reynolds, review, Sookie Stackhouse, Sookie Stackhouse series, Tara Thornton, TrueBlood, TV series review | , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Review: LIVING DEAD IN DALLAS

Living Dead In Dallas by Charlaine Harris
Read by Johanna Parker
Book 2 of the Sookie Stackhouse series
Format: audiobook

Genre: adult urban fantasy

About Living Dead In Dallas:

Waiting tables, sweeping floors, reading minds and solving mysteries for the undead. It’s all in a day’s work for Sookie…

Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is on a streak of real bad luck. First, her co-worker gets murdered and no one seems to care. Then Sookie is attacked – and poisoned – late one night by some weird and apparently mythical beast. She only survives because the local vampires roll up and graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn’t enjoy it). But in return the blood-suckers need a favor.

Which is why Sookie ends up in Dallas, using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire, on the condition that her undead friends don’t do anything, well, vampiric while she’s there. Easier said than done. All it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly…

Source: Info in the About Living Dead In Dallas was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/110494.Living_Dead_in_Dallas on 11/07/2011.

My Thoughts:

What do I like most about this book? I have to say, it’s the world building. The author has a masterful flair when painting the world of Sookie Stackhouse for the reader. It’s so believable that it is soooo easy to suspend disbelief… it’s so easy, that it’s effortless! I would give the world building a 5 out of 5.

Now, the pace… it is quite difficult to rate the pace when it comes to audiobooks because a listener can only go so fast as the reader in the audiobook. A listener simply can’t go faster than the reader. So if the tape or CD says 10 hours worth of listening, then that is a 10-hour-paced book. Thus I say that rating the pace of a book in audio format is not applicable (N/A).

I know that Sookie, the main protaognist, can be annoyingly stupid at times from book 1. But I didn’t know that it’s going to be a persistent characteristic which is going to carry into book 2 and possibly the entire series. And that is my biggest pet peeve with this series thus far. Now, if you are a more forgiving reader than me, then you might just be able to overlook this, and if you do, I promise you you’d have a wonderful reading time! (Or listening time, as the case may be.) Because really, this book is a good read!! Now I can understand why this series has a lot of following. By the time I finished the audiobook, I wanted another one, despite promising that I would never ever buy another Sookie Stackhouse book ever again at the start of this audiobook. Gotta give the story telling quality a lot of kudos for being able to convince me to change my mind at the end of the book. And of course, I simply cannot review this book without mentioning Eric Northman in a momentous costume… because this is the book which gave us Eric Northman in purple spandex! This image here is HBO’s version of it.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story Telling Quality = 5
World Building = 5
Character Development = 4
Plot = 3.5
Pace = N/A
Story Itself = 4.5
Ending = 4
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Books In This Series:

01/09/2011 Posted by | audiobook, book review, Charlaine Harris, Cherry's reviews, review, Sookie Stackhouse series, TrueBlood, urban fantasy, vampire | , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Review: DEAD UNTIL DARK

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Read by Johanna Parker
Book 1 of the Sookie Stackhouse series
Format: audiobook

Genre: adult urban fantasy

About Dead Until Dark:

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She’s quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn’t get out much. Not because she’s not pretty. She is. It’s just that, well, Sookie has this sort of ‘disability’. She can read minds. And that doesn’t make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill: he’s tall, dark and handsome – and Sookie can’t ‘hear’ a word he’s thinking. He’s exactly the type of guy she’s been waiting for all her life.

But Bill has a disability of his own: he’s a vampire. Worse than that, he hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, with a reputation for trouble – of the murderous kind.

And when one of Sookie’s colleagues is killed, she begins to fear she’ll be next…

Source: Info in the About Dead Until Dark was taken from the back cover of the paperback edition.

My Thoughts:

I’ve had the paperback version sitting in my shelf for a good few years now and I could never seem to get through it. Since having my iPhone, I thought I’d try a full length audiobook and see if I like it, but somehow never actually gotten around to doing it. Anyway, I finally downloaded Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (paid by my personal money, just in case FTC or the like is interested) to see if I could finish the book that way. This is the first full length audio book I’ve tried. And Johanna Parker’s voice took a little getting used to on my part. But since the setting is in Louisiana, USA then I guess the southern accent fits. And once I got used to the narrator, it did flow smoothly.

And of course, I just have to share with you my favouritest charactersTina and Sam. Tina played a very small part but she is feisty and adorable! Sam, well, he is loyal and helpful… and I just love canines!

Now the cover, I don’t know why Pam gets to be on the cover and not Sookie… guess it’s more dramatic… more marketable… *shrugs shoulders*

When I first listened to this audiobook, I was reminded again why I couldn’t quite get into the paperback book. The openning salvo has the heroine rescuing the hero. A vampire is suppose to have uber-superpowers but got captured by a couple of “two-bit cons”. Okeyyyy… Then if the “two-bit cons” were powerful enough or clever enough to out-wit or overcome a vampire with uber-superpowers, then… they got beaten by a slip of a girl?? A slip of a girl with no superpowers, no martial-arts training whatsoever and never even been in a fight before… I’m sorry but that scene there just don’t add up, it’s not very believable to me… I think it needs a lot of editting… it sinks the suspension of disbelief down to the boots so much like a deadweight lead. However, it seems that a lot of people likes this series so much, that there must be something good in this series, so I persevered. Glad I did! Because that “unbelievable scenario” was a one-off thing. Just because it was at the start that I couldn’t quite read through the paperback. However, I find that listening to it is easier. At the end of it, I can honestly say that I enjoyed the audiobook! The ending resolved the main dilemma of the story satisfactorily while hinting at more things to come with subsequent books enough to keep a reader hooked to the series. So I’ll probably buy another audiobook of this series even though I already have the paperback.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story Telling Quality = 4
World Building = 4.5
Character Development = 4
Plot = 3
Pace = 3.5
Story Itself = 3.5
Ending = 5
Narration = 3.5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In This Series:

Trailer of the HBO adaptation of the Sookie Stackhouse series: TRUE BLOOD Season 4

*Sookie Stackhouse 11 was added on 17/07/2011.

16/07/2011 Posted by | audiobook, book review, Charlaine Harris, Cherry's reviews, Johanna Parker, review, Sookie Stackhouse series, urban fantasy | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments