Author: Charlaine Harris
No. of Pages: 323
First Released: 2007
Synopsis: Sookie Stackhouse is back and must deal with the aftermath of Bill’s betrayal as well as explore her new relationship with Quinn, the mysterious but extremely handsome shapeshifter. In addition, she must venture into the vampire underworld when attending the long-planned vampire summit. With her power base considerably weakened by Hurricane Katrina, the Queen of the Louisiana vampires is extremely vulnerable. With all the mystery, intrigue, and vampire drama, Sookie must decide where her loyalties lie. In the face of all-out catastrophe, this could mean the difference between life and death.
Comments and Critiques: I swear that this series is getting better and better. While some of the plotline this time was fairly predictable – an unusual occurrence for this series as a whole – the additional twists and turns that occurred throughout the book were enough for me to overcome the predictability. Sookie is definitely being forced to reap the results of her actions, which are causing her to face some very difficult choices.
We are back in the world of vampires for this book, after a several-book break. Sookie attends a vampire “summit” (a.k.a. conference) as an employee of the Queen. Trouble follows Sookie as if it were drawn to her, and as you can imagine, there is no exception to that rule for this one. We are also treated to a further glimpse into the very complex world of vampires. Ms. Harris has done a marvelous job of fleshing out these mythical creatures to give us vampire weddings, judicial systems, royalty, commerce, and other business dealings. In addition, the relationships are extremely complex – sire to child, master to servant, having to swear fealty, and so forth. With details like this, it becomes easy to see why her books are so much fun!
Some of the conflict that has been brewing over the past few books finally came to a head. Enough of it is resolved to allow for an adequate denouement to the story, but there is still plenty of conflict to have me eagerly anticipating picking up the next book. In addition, as Sookie gets drawn further and further into the supernatural world, the books have gotten considerably darker. Gone are the days when Sookie only had to deal with unsolved murders in Bon Temps. I’m anxious to explore this darker side a bit more, as it will be interesting to see if Sookie can remain as cheerful and polite after everything she has experienced.
As I mentioned earlier, these continue to be fun, easy reads. While the intrigue and disasters have gotten to be more intense, Sookie remains strong-willed and independent. She has grown quite a bit since we first met her, as she has learned various life lessons at the hands of Bill, Eric, and the vampire queen. The future possibilities remain unclear and open, which is half the fun. I look forward to my time in Bon Temps, visiting these characters and can’t wait to start book eight!