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on 14 May 2005
Sookie Stackhouse, the attractive, telepathic barmaid from Bon Temps, LA, makes her fourth appearance in "Dead To The World," which I think is the best book in the series, so far. Boyfriend Bill, a Civil War veteran and vampire, is pretty much out of the picture here. He has been sent to Peru, by the Vampire Queen of Louisiana, to continue his research for the extensive vampire data base he is building. Sookie has ambivalent feelings about her old beau. He has proved to have a cheatin' heart, along with other unfaithful body parts. This is unfortunate because Sookie thought she had found the man of her dreams. However, there seems to be an abundance of other men, all preternatural, who are very interested in getting to know our Sookie better. And it is best for her to stick with the superhumans. She can't read their minds, and doesn't need to worry about keeping their inner voices at bay.
Driving home from work early New Year's morning, (there was a huge party at Merlotte's Bar), Sookie sees a half-naked, shoeless man running down the road. When she stops to help the poor guy, she realizes it is Eric, charismatic owner of Club Fangtasia, and vampire Sheriff of Area 5, which encompasses Shreveport and Bon Temps. It appears that Eric has amnesia, and remembers nothing about his life except that he is a vampire. He doesn't even know why he is running, or where. He is only aware of his terror - a very strange state for the strong, confident warrior he has always been. We learn later from Eric's cohorts that a coven of powerful witches, who use their magic for dark purposes, are attempting to take control of all the supernaturals in Area 5 - vampires, werewolves, shifters, etc.. When Eric refused to cooperate with them, they cast a spell taking away his memory. Sookie brings Eric home to care for him, through sheer kindness. Her brother Jason interferes with her altruism, however, when Eric's second in command visits to figure out an emergency course of action. Eric must remain in hiding and Jason negotiates a whopping $35,000. babysitting fee for his sister. Sookie finds that Eric is no longer the suave, scary, business-first, head-honcho vampire that she had been accustomed to. He is now tender, sincere, attentive, romantic, protective of her and grateful for her loyalty and decency. Our heroine doesn't know what to make of this drastic change, until sparks begin to fly between the two. She then decides to go with the flow. After all, Bill has been gone a long time.
"Dead To The World's" pace is fast and the action is nonstop throughout. Jason goes missing, the evil witches are on the loose, Alcide Herveaux, the hunky werewolf (from "Club Dead"), and his pack become involved in what is to be a major battle between the forces of good and evil, new characters are introduced, and much more. Per usual Charlaine Harris fills her well written narrative with humor, suspense, and thrilling plot twists and turns. The finale is outrageously good! Terrific escapist reading. I couldn't put the novel down.
JANA
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Sookie Stackhouse is a small-town cocktail waitress in Louisiana. She is a human with the special talent of telepathy. Since the Great Revelation, when vampires announced their presence to the world, everyone's eyes have opened. Sookie's first real boyfriend, Bill Compton, came around shortly thereafter. Since vampires are dead, it is tough for Sookie to hear their thoughts. It made Bill perfect for her. Until Bill cheated on her (last book) and they broke up. Through Sookie's adventures with Bill, she learned that Vampires are not the only supernatural predator in the world. But Weres, Fairies, Shifter, and the like, still did not want their presence known to humans.
Bill is off to Peru, on assignment, for a couple of weeks. The New Year's Eve celebration finally ends. Sookie's resolutions are to not get beaten up and to stay out of trouble. (Har-de-har-har!) The night is not even over and Sookie is driving home when she spies a man running, nude, down the road as if someone or something is after him. Turns out that he has amnesia. He has no memory of why he is tunning in the nude. He does not even know his name. Sookie does, of course. It is Eric! He is still scary and sexy, but no longer cruel and sly.
A coven of powerful witches have moved into the area. They plan to take over the businesses of the vampires. The leader, Hallow, cursed Eric with amnesia, but did not expect him to vanish. The witches put a huge bounty out for information on Eric's location. Sookie has the task of keeping Eric hidden in her home, until the evil witches are dealt with. Sookie knows this is dangerous, but she is more worried about how alluring the new, nicer Eric is. At the same time, Sookie's brother, Jason has disappeared.
**** If you do not read the previous books in this series, you will find yourself wondering why Sookie is worried about a few things. This book picks up a few weeks after the last one left off. As usual, the novel begins and ends the major plot of the story. But a few juicy sub-plots are left dangling, to be continued in the next. Those on-going tid-bits are one of the wonderful things the fans of this series enjoys very much! But this book does not touch on the Sookie, Bill, and Eric triangle as much. Bill is demoted to a minor character this time around.
The author is just as witty in her writing as always. Jason, Sookie's brother, is finally being pulled into the Supernatural mess as well. Lively (no pun intended), witty, intense, and just plain fun reading. Wonderful! ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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on 18 April 2005
If you have read the first 3 books by charlaine you won't be disapointed with this one. Sookies trying to take a break from all vamps and supes, but finds eric wandering the back roads with no memory, she reluctantly agrees to mind (babysit) him, but then her brother goes missing! Bringing back old charactors, alceed and his psycho girlfreind debbie, she then gets caught up in a battle between baddie witch/weres and vamps, witchs and weres.As always the charactors are interesting and different and the story pulls you in, a real page turner
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on 7 June 2004
I won't lay out the plot for you, another reviewer has kindly done that in detail below. I'll just say that each of the books in the southern vampire series is better than the last. That is really saying something, because all of them are excellent.

This one pushes Bill out of the picture, and give Sookie centre stage. Sookie has gained all kinds of experience in the last three books. In book four, her skills and determination are put to the test. She is not found wanting. :)

An excellent continuation of the series. Can't wait for the next book.
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on 12 May 2004
I bought this book as soon as it came out and was not disappointed. I had finished reading this within two days of receiving it as the story is up to Ms Harris' usual wit and flare. If you have enjoyed the previous Southern Vampire Series you must read this latest book as it continues the story with plenty of bite. I loved the addition of different characters other than vampires. Now I am just sitting and waiting for the next one!
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on 25 February 2015
*Spoilers*
This is the fourth book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I had read an excerpt of this book in ‘Tempest Rising’ which had prompted me to purchase the box set when I saw the offer. Now I realise that this is the best book so far and enjoyed it far more than the last three. For me, I liked that Bill was off on his travels and we could see Sookie without all the angst that surrounds them both; we also saw the flickerings of more than one plot being woven together within the book which made it feel more challenging.

The book starts off on New Year’s Eve and once again Sookie is working in the bar grumbling that everyone else has stuff to do. As she is driving back home she meets a half naked vampire walking along the road – it’s Eric and he’s suffering from amnesia. After a quick chat with Pam and Co. Sookie ends up vampire sitting him and thanks to Jason, this time she’s getting paid for it. She’s such a sucker for waifs and strays, I am surprised that her house isn’t jammed full of animals needing a home, but then again this might encourage more vamps…

There was an element of sadness throughout the book. Sookie rapidly falls in love with Eric who is a ‘pure’ version of himself without his usual bravado and the power, wealth and influence that he has created as a buffer against the human world . He constantly looks to Sookie for reassurance, love and affection, so she has the upper hand. This is ideal for her, not only does she get to take care of and mother him, but she also has the benefits of being with a vampire. In fact, it’s probably the closest she’d ever get to a ‘normal’ relationship with a vampire. For Eric, he has the benefits of a relationship that is simply about love and he takes to it to such an extent that he said that he didn’t care if he ever got his memory back and that he wants to run away with her. This is what makes this book so sad, they both have this fleeting moment of what a life together could be like, but of course Sookie would never stop him from getting his memory back and an Eric with his memory would find it hard to give up all the trappings he has accumulated. To quote Nine Inch Nails, it’s something that they’ll never have.

So, what was the matter with Eric? Well, we have a new supernatural on our hands – witches! This brother and sister led group of powerful witches go around to successful businesses blackmailing the owners and threatening to curse their customers/business if they don’t get a cut of their profits and now they have arrived in Shreveport. That isn’t the only problem. Hallow, the main witch, generously said that she wanted Eric to be her love bunny and in return she wouldn’t take all of his profits. When he refused, he got cursed. Now Pam and Co. need to find the witch so she can remove the curse, while Eric who is a danger to himself, needs to keep his head down.

Now we get to learn about witches! In fact, there are witches who have power and Wiccans who are about the religion, but this new group doesn’t care which sort you are. They are on a recruiting spree and using their tried and tested business tactics to blackmail other witches to join them. Sookie discovers that there are witches closer to home and decides that she has to warn Alcide (who is back with Debbie Pelt, again). He introduces her to the Chief wolf and discovers that the second in command (who is also a witch) was missing. She turns up dead and this is just the excuse that the wolf pack needs to join the fight. Hooray!

In the meantime, Jason is missing and what with all the witchy goings on, Sookie believes that they are behind it. In trying to figure out Jason’s last movement she visits Hotshot, a village populated by were-panthers. Crystal, Jason’s latest fling lives there and initially lies to Sookie, but her Uncle Calvin turns up and she starts singing like a canary. Being of a supernatural disposition, Calvin takes a shine to Sookie and offers to protect her now that she doesn’t have a man to do so. Lovely.

Sookie, now doing her bit for supernatural relations has bought together both the wolves and vampires and everyone is up for a fight. They have devised a plan to invade the house where the witches are holed up, seize Hallow and reverse the spell on Eric. Simple. Meanwhile, Bill who is back from his travels and happens to mention that Debbie was a part of the torture team from the last book and that she had known the state he was in when she pushed Sookie into the boot of the car. This takes Alcide by surprise and he finally sees the light and publicly abjures her, meanwhile Debbie is furious. The plan is for Sookie to stay at a safe distance, but of course she ends up to her armpits in blood and gore as vampires, witches and wolves rip each other to pieces.

Sookie takes Eric back home while Pam is getting the spell reversed, but the fun doesn’t end there. They have a visitor and it’s Debbie Pelt who is not a happy camper and wants revenge. She tries to shoot Sookie, but Eric takes the bullet for her and in the moment that this distracts Debbie, Sookie shoots her dead. Afterwards, Eric gets rid of the body and car just before he gets his mind back. Once again Sookie is left alone.

It turns out that the witches weren’t behind Jason’s disappearance and Sookie has a brain wave. She and Sam go to Hotshot where Jason is being held hostage. One of Crystal’s admirers, jealous that she preferred a regular human, had taken him hostage with the intention of turning Jason into a part panther by repeatedly biting him. Pow. That was how quickly it was all resolved. In what is becoming a pattern to these books, the main plot was usually concluded four fifths of the way through and then the mini plot gains a little speed only to fizzle out with a rush as if CH wants to get it all over and done with. I don’t know why it is like this, it is not as if these books are huge tomes – a few extra pages adding more to the mini plot would have rounded out the story and it would have felt far less rushed.

Now everything is back to normal in Sookieland. It is clear that this book is far more interesting because there is more of Eric and less of Bill. His character is far more appealing and he actually has depth and doesn’t sulk, on the other hand Sookie hasn’t changed much. I hope that now as all the supernatural beings have been introduced, she is allowed to have a bit of room to grow too.
http://murdersheread.wordpress.com
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on 23 January 2014
I really loved this! I loved seeing a totally different side to Eric, usually he's a bit sarcastic and a lot of wily with a streak of mean but here he's sweet and caring and it was really nice to see that side of him. I was hoping the story of Sookie and Eric would develop and here it had a chance to do so. The ending was very bittersweet but has promise for the future - I won't say too much, I don't want to spoil things. If you enjoyed the previous ones, don't even hesitate - read this :)
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on 5 September 2013
I loved Stephanie Meyer's 'Twilight' quartet, and Charlaine Harris is as entrancing but in a whole new way. This whole series of hers is like a box of chocolates - irresistible! I have to catch myself and say 'hold off!' leave something 'til later! But it's hard. Temptation to read on and on ...the excitement is so intense. I shall have run out of any worthy descriptions by the time I'm on the last book - but take it slowly - enjoy. You can always go back and read 'em again.
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on 12 December 2011
Having read all of the books Charlaine Harris has released following Sookie Stackhouse, the fourth book is by far my favourite. The book was completely addictive - I finished it in a little over two days as I couldn't put it down.
It begins with Sookie, the protagonist, driving home from her work at the bar, on New Years Day at 2am. As she gets close to her home, she sees a man running down the road in just his jeans. She soon realises that the man is actually the head vampire sherrif, Eric Northman, who she knows fairly well. She coaxes the vampire into her car and takes him back to her house where she learns he has amnesia and doesn't know who he is. When she calls Pam, Eric's underling, she tells Sookie to hide him and that a band of witches cursed Eric - leaving him in his current state. Sookie reluctantly agrees to keep him and he soon begins to trust her above all others.
It's a compelling read to watch the relationship between Sookie and Eric be rebuilt. The once dangerous and sexily mysterious Eric, who held a degree of power over Sookie, is now a timid man who lays everything bare for all to see and who now looks to Sookie for guidance. It isn't long before their evident chemistry takes over and the two of them embark on a sexual relationship. However, she knows that the time she spends with this Eric is limited with Pam looking to restore him to his former being.
As I said before, my favourite book by far. I was so pleased to see Eric with Sookie instead of Bill, who I always felt didn't warrant her attention. I would definitely recommend this book to others and wish Charlaine would go back to writing storylines like these rather than every second person looking to kill Sookie off.
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on 14 November 2013
Who would of thought Eric could get any Hotter........ Well he can.
With witches, werewolves and vampires all joining forces, meeting new Supes and Jason goes missing. Whole lot of stuff going on.

Again could not put this one down. Every book so far has been read over 2 nights. Loving the action and interaction of the charactures you just can't wait to see where each new book takes you.

And who would of though Pam would have a sense of humour. Love her characture
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