First Released: 2006
Synopsis (per Ace Books): Since Sookie Stackhouse has so few living relatives, she hates to loves one – even her cousin Hadley, the undead consort of the vampire Queen of Louisiana. 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 closely into her past or her possessions and are prepared to do whatever it takes to stop her. Sookie must once again use her wits to brave the perilous world of the supernaturals to protect herself from those who would put her life on the line.
Comments and Critiques: After five books in the series, I’ve come to understand Ms. Harris’ writing style and know that her books really do take place in a very short period of time, with roughly several weeks separating one book from the other in the life of the characters. So imagine my surprise when I pick up this book and discover an entire storyline with which I was not familiar. I checked and double-checked the bibliography at the beginning of my book to find out if I accidentally skipped one. I even went back to my personal library to flip through the previous book, Dead as a Doornail, to see which book it says was the next in the Sookie Stackhouse series. While all my research indicates that I did not skip a book, Hadley’s story and the fact that we come in on it after her death, have already been introduced to several new characters, including the Queen, continues to rattle me. You would think that something like this was worth mentioning prior to this book, and I still believe that I must have missed something or that one of my books was missing entire chapters. I mean, it’s the Queen of the Louisiana vampires! She deserves a better introduction than in hindsight because Sookie’s already met her. So if anyone can shed any light on this little mystery, I would greatly appreciate it.
Getting that out of the way, Ms. Harris does it again! She continues to amaze, entice, confuse, and thrill me with this story. Battles and intrigue, mystery and blossoming romance – it doesn’t get any better than this. Quinn may just be my new personal favorite, and I am definitely anxious to see how their story continues. Sookie has been through the emotional wringer more times than is healthy in a very short period of time and deserves to find some long-term happiness. The confidence and self-assurance, and the fact that he won’t drink her blood, is definitely an attraction. Think Alcide, who I really liked, without all the attitude and issues over ex-girlfriends.
I’m still reeling from the announcement about Bill and his motives for moving back to Bon Temps. I finished the book last night, and I still feel stunned and more than a little betrayed. This might just very well be the first vampire book where I am not rooting for the vampires anymore, or at least one of them. It will be interesting to see if he continues to profess his love for her and if she can ever forgive him, as I can’t get over the idea that Bill and Sookie belong together. Angel and Buffy, Edward and Bella, Spike and Buffy – you can see where a girl might get such ideas. Still, Bill’s betrayal is unfathomably low. This continuing storyline alone will keep me coming back for more.
In spite of my concern that I skipped a book, I remain completely enamored with this series. I am still surprised by what the characters do, and I am rooting for Sookie to find less drama and more happiness with every fiber of my being. Bring on the next book!!