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A little off the boil but still fun
on 26 November 2007
Sookie Stackhouse is a great character whose world has opened up in the previous six books of the Southern Vampire series. She's fallen in and out of love with various vampires, met various shapeshifters/werewolves, discovered that she's part fairy, got a housemate who is a witch and more. The last two books in the series had Sookie as rather a femme fatale and at the beginning of this story she's with Quinn, the Weretiger.
This book isn't one for a novice to the series - there are a lot of complicated events in previous books that are alluded to, or are foundational to plot or character, which aren't fully explained. The central part of the story is the big vampire convention at Rhodes where Sookie is attending, as a guest and helper of the Queen of Louisiana, to use her telepathic skills to help the Queen in her negotiations. However there is clearly more going on at the convention than Sookie first realised, with various trials, murders, bombs and more. Sookie's life is made more complicated by her exes, Bill and Eric, being at the convention along with Quinn. Somehow it seems that Sookie hasn't got over either Bill or Eric and that she's not yet sure about her future with Quinn.
The other books in the series have all been excellent but somehow this one was a little below par. Perhaps it was the plot which, although interesting, was also rather easy to see through. The huge roster of characters can make it a bit hard work to follow what's going on and although the underlying concepts of this series are excellent, I wonder if it's perhaps getting a little tired. Most of the action in this story takes place in the hotel in Rhodes, rather than in Bon Temps or Shreveport, which adds some more interest to the story - almost all the characters in this book are supernatural in some way rather than the usual mix of mostly humans with some vamps or weres. This serves to show how Sookie's life has become rather out of her control as she is subject to the whims and power plays of the various vamps around her.
For those who've enjoyed the previous books this is still a good read and one that most fans will appreciate. However it doesn't quite satisfy as the others did which might be a sign than the author is running out of ideas for this series or perhaps might just be a short blip. I look forward to the next book with great anticipation to find out!