Finally, I have finished the series, and not a moment too soon. The book, in the main, was pretty good. I loved the return of Arlene as the Sookie-hating ex-con (though I do far prefer her character in the television show) and all of the drama that this caused. As always, everyone is both using Sookie and helping her. But then, for me, the end was really average. Perhaps it would have been better had she wrapped it all up a few books earlier.
There are some pretty big things at stake for the vampires (pun totally intended) when a woman is found dead on the lawn of Eric’s house after a gathering with King Felipe de Castro to discuss the disappearance of his representative, Victor. Sookie knows what happened – she was there in the previous book when he was killed. But now she doesn’t know what happened to this girl and she doesn’t know who she can and cannot trust. Plus, she is finding that her love for Eric is waning, and her boss Sam is dating a were that she doesn’t trust. It’s all a bit hard; and that’s without throwing in the fairies.
I feel like this book is really gearing up to the end; raising the stakes, bringing the excitement and the getting all the fans fired up for the last book in the series. Perhaps, the series could have been wrapped up a bit sooner – it certainly lost its mojo for a while. But I’m totally back into it now.
Many of the setups from the previous books are being played out here, hopefully leading us, the readers, to a well deserved wrap up of the series (this is the third last book in the series). There’s the fairy story, with Sookie learning more about her family’s past as well as learning about herself; she is working with vampire boyfriend Eric to find a way to deal with the new king’s representative who is making both their lives quite difficult and on top of this, Sandra Pelt has returned with her blood lust, determined to take Sookie down.
There is certainly enough in this book to keep me interested – ambushes, fights and some romance. But I do feel that I am very much striving for the finish line, hoping that the resolution of the story will be worthwhile.
I’ve been getting increasingly frustrated with these books, and I think I’ve figured out why. The stories are good, when they happen; but, because so much happens in each book and everything relates to each other, there is a lot of repetition. There was one book relatively early on where Harris dealt with this easily; she had a summary. This is what she should do at the start of each book; a bit of a “Previously in the Sookie Stackhouse Series…” Really, if anyone is reading the tenth book in a series, chances are they have read the previous nine. If not, perhaps they need to be directed to read the previous nine.
Once I got past the annoyance of at least a chapter’s worth of this book being recap, I quite enjoyed it. There are some evil vampires and it is really hard to see how they will be conquered. The bad fairy from the previous book (the one that disappeared) turns up and is not what you expect and there’s some good loving. There were a few expressions used that I felt were a bit crude for Harris – she tends to have a real Southern politeness not just to Sookie, but to the way things are written, and losing that at times was a shame.
Now the weres have joined the vampires in outing themselves to the real world as existing, and things will never be the same. In Bon Temps, the small town where Sookie Stackhouse lives, the announcement has appeared to have gone over quietly until werepanther Crystal, married to Sookie’s brother Jason and expecting his child, turns up dead. On top of this, Sookie’s fairy relatives have advised her that there is an evil fairy prince who wants her dead, and Eric has tricked Sookie into marriage, believing this may be one of the only ways she will be safe from the new vampire king.
Thank goodness, the Eric storyline brings some loving back into the series, because it’s been lacking that for some time. There are also some quite full-on fight scenes, including a horrific torture that, luckily, Harris does not write in great detail. I still do not think this has recaptured the feeling of the early books of the series, but it is a lot more engaging than the previous few books.
Quinn is missing, but Sookie thinks that he is just cold-shouldering her after he saw her swapping blood with Eric (deepening their bond, but done, on Sookie’s behalf, out of desperation). Then there are more problems with the Pelts and needs to deal with that. Plus there are problems between her brother and his new bride, and of course, there is stuff happening with the vampires. Oh, and Eric has regained his memories from the time when he was under a spell. Things are complicated for Sookie.
Yet, no loving. Really, Charlaine Harris, come on! It’s been a couple of books since Sookie enjoyed any romantic involvement. It’s like you’re trying to make this about more than just the romance. Still, I liked the Were story in this one – the mystery element worked, and then there was a surprise and a big fight.
Sookie’s telepathy skills are in demand from the Queen of Louisiana to listen in at a big conference that includes the trial of the Queen for the murder of her husband, the King of Arkansas. However, it is not only injustice that they should be fearing but the dangers posed from a variety of other areas, including the anti-vampire church, the Fellowship of the Sun.
Quinn’s too busy organising the conference and while Eric is hanging around, Sookie has committed to a relationship with Quinn. So, very little loving. Which makes for a mostly dull book. Also, the plot that results in the huge event toward the end of the book is poorly considered and transparent, which was extremely disappointing. All in all, very little of the fun of the Sookie Stackhouse series.
Sookie has started to date weretiger Quinn, and that presents somewhat different challenges to her usual love; vampires. But she is still involved in both the were and the vamp communities, and her telepath skills are required to assist in the reading of people during the plans leading up to and the ceremony of the wedding between the Queen of Louisiana and the King of Arkansas. And then there is the ongoing issue with the Pelt family.
I really like the fact that the issue between Sookie and the Pelts keeps going. Just when you think it’s probably over, it comes up again and again. Bringing Quinn in has brought the romance levels back up, and not a moment too soon. The Sookie Stackhouse series is referred to as a mystery series, but for me, it needs the romance or it gets very boring. With repercussions continuing from Eric’s memory loss a few books ago, there is always the possibility of some competition for Sookie’s hand. And there is a massive battle – good times!
People (well, not people exactly… the two-natured, supes, weres, those kinds of things) are being shot, and the regular police have no idea what the connection is. Sookie Stackhouse knows – since she met vampire Bill, she has become used to a world with creatures that she never would have believed in before. The emotional turmoil of Sookie’s life continues, with her best friend involved with a very nasty vampire, a local werewolf pack having a leadership contest and a new potential love in her life, leaving her with her heart pulled several different ways.
Now, I’m just reviewing as a kind-of fan. Me and my need to complete sets of things – I am churning through these books just because. No, that’s not totally true – I am enjoying them. But Harris needs to do something thrilling to keep me reading for enjoyment and not a misplaced sense of duty! I felt this book had too much inner-Sookie conflict and not enough fun romantic times with any of her suitors. A lot of set-up, not enough pay-off.
On a side note, I love this cover – Tara is barely in the books, and when she appears, she’s definitely not a sassy African-American bartender, she’s a white gal who runs a boutique clothing shop. But I guess the awesome Tara from the show sells more…
This is the fourth of the Sookie Stackhouse books, and the magic is coming back. Eric Northman, the senior vampire who, in his previous life was a hot viking, has lost his memory. Luckily, Sookie finds him and takes him in, and without his arrogance, she finds him quite delightful. Very, very delightful indeed. Meanwhile, her brother is missing and there are witches about the place. Will Sookie be able to get everything working her way?
I loved the romance between Sookie and hot, amnesiatic Eric. It was ace to have them finally getting it on, especially as she can stay true to herself and get some good loving. The final showdown is ace times, and it totally felt like Harris was back on form.