Welll...This is a solid, liked it to really liked it. If it wasn't for the fact that there MIGHT be a HUGE plot inconsistency in this book, I might have even given it 5 stars but I'm trying to figure out if something might actually be a well placed lie by CH or not but I'm not so sure yet.
(**EDITED on May 14th. After doing some digging, I think the bit I thought was a plot inconsistency is intentional. See bottom of review)
However, overall I really enjoyed this installment once the ball got rolling (the 1st 50% was a bit boring for me) & I do believe this was indeed a huge turning point for not just Sookie & Eric but Sookie herself. The end scene with Eric was like..BAM! She has some very big thinking to do about what she wants for herself, what she is willing to accept about her life & the people she surrounds herself with.
I don't have many doubts that Eric/Sookie are going wind up together. OK maaaybe a little doubt b'c CH likes to play her audience...but... really? It wouldn't make sense to have it be anyone else 11 books in & a few shorts as well. I found this installment to signify their next big bump in the road, the next trial & tribulation for their relationship & watch how they get through it. In this book, for the 1st time Sookie was more upfront. Discussing the future, aging, babies etc.. she has grown & continues to. It does look like there is a setup for a breakup in the next book but with a possible reconciliation in the last book thanks to the magical cluviel dor. Who knows for sure though!
There were a lot of typical SVM hi-jinks & humor in this book. Sookie's naked jaunt into Bill's house & her rambling inner monologue... "Irrelevant!" was hilarious.
I even liked Bill. A lot. Although, that's not surprising b'c CH was turning him into Eric to a degree. Not kidding. CH is definitely recycling her Eric material into the new Bill. His quote as to why he loves Sookie complete with a comment about her chest (so un-Bill like) is practically verbatim Eric to Sookie in DTTW. That's right...go check it out! And his move..."Is it Christmas? Are you my early present?" was also classic Eric. It's a little tedious CH's manipulation of the audience but whatever. It is what it is. I suppose if you are going to finish this ride be prepared for the tactics that come with it.
Sookie was back to herself but in better form than ever in many ways. Aside from her own homicidal tendencies, she is growing, more mature & in control. Or trying to be at least. She is taking a much larger stand for herself in what she will tolerate from the people in her life whereas in the past, she almost assumed their feelings & was able to be manipulated more. I like her relationship with Eric a lot. Warts & all. I found her insecurities & misgivings well founded as well as his own anger, resentment & fear. I really enjoy seeing them having to go through a ton of crap to work it out. Like a real relationship.
I also loved the scene with Eric & Sookie after the bond broke. Not the sex scene mind you b'c that was whatever - it was one page of throwing it in but it did, to me show their huge relief that Sookie does in fact love Eric tremendously as he does her. More than that, I love their bit of dialog afterward.
However, the scene that blew me away was at the end when she freaked out amongst the assassination ruin in which she had the majority hand in rallying & plotting. When Eric took her blood after rightly calling her a "hypocrite" & didn't take the pain out of it. HOLY COW. I know this will be a much debated scene & very controversial but I thought it was just SPOT ON. So good. So dark. So very deep.
It was awesome. Well for me anyway. I mean here Sooks has been complaining the last 2 books how she wants Victor to die (by her own hands even). She's the one that rallies Eric & co. It's her plan they go with & then at the end....b'c she hates what she sees in herself & not only that but, was a part of & had the largest hand in plotting, she projects onto Eric & co. b'c it's easiest to do that.
Him letting her feel the pain was his way (to me anyway) of saying deal with it! Face it. This is life with me/a vamp Sookie & I'm not going to sugarcoat it for you. Accept it & accept me. You partake in this life, these are the realities that come with it. We're alive. Isn't that what you wanted most?
I don't know what CH is going to have her do but I find this turning point really compelling. She scares herself. The lengths she's willing to go to for those she loves & to survive & the macabre situations she finds herself in as a result.
I thought it was a very clever, deep scene.
The CD fairy love token is a bit of a cop out but I will wait to see how CH wields it. Oh wait.. we have a potion which will amazingly come in SO handy! Er...we'll see.
The potential Fairy plot is quite devious. It seems as if CH is foreshadowing someone playing dress up in Eric or someone else's skin to potentially get Sook's up the duff? IDK but all the material is there & man...those Fairies are sneaky.
Funnily enough, I felt the worst for Sookie in regard to Amelia. Not that Amelia's meddlesome betrayal was a surprise to me, I figured it was only a matter of time but she really went all out. Sookie is a character with a rare handful of people she can trust & not even that. She is quite often, alone. And that theme featured a lot in this installment. With Eric's new day man being a 'lone wolf', Eric asking her to move in with him b'c the thought of her being 'alone' & feeling her fear made him crazy. Her really feeling the isolation in this installment esp. when she kicks everyone out of her home. Poor Sookie Sookie.
Overall, this place which Sookie is in, yet another crossroads deciding who she can trust, turn to, what will happen to her relationship & what will that mean for her future? This is all great meaty stuff.
And now for my biggest issue..the potential plot inconsistency. It's the conversation between Sookie, Claude & Dermont about Eric & Niall being in cahoots. It sooo doesn't stack. I am investigating that one & won't bog down the review with it but in fairness I will change my rating if it turns out that it's not a plot inconsistency.
**EDITED on MAY 14th - I thought when reading that b'c CH has stated she writes by the seat of her pants, that she was going back to try & fit in plot in places she thought were vague enough to get away with in order to make things work now that she had to stretch the series out. After all, she has made a lot of obvious errors in the past that her readers have caught & called her on.
In this book - C&D tell Sookie that Eric had approached Niall to send protection for Sookie, hence Niall calling in Claudine b'c she was withering. The implication being Eric knew who Niall was in connection to Sookie pre-DTTW.
CH recently stated in April that DR doesn't "have a word about the history between Niall and Eric, because it's not important to Sookie's story."
She also stated that everyone is susceptible to Fae magic. We know that twice Niall has made Sookie forget things. Whose to say he didn't do the same to Eric, if indeed he kept Niall aware of her movements (although it really seems unlikely since their history is not important to Sookie's story)**
I think those crafty fairies are definitely up to something. Something with Breeding more Fae.