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This is the third book in the series and Sookie is suffering from inattentive boyfriend syndrome, who prefers the computer to her.  Bill then tells her that he has to go to ‘Seattle’, but her worst fears are confirmed when Pam, who I am really starting to like and is far nicer in the book than in the TV series, tells her that Bill wasn’t being entirely truthful – what a surprise.  It turns out that he had gone back to his old vampire lover and was going to pension Sookie off.  What a charmer.  However, before he could do that, he was going to visit Eric and Pam but he disappeared before doing so and they want to find him because his tinkering on the computer was actually something “really important”.

Going forward from the last book, we have new supernatural characters, including Weres in the form of Alcide.  He’s been blackmailed by Eric into going to Jackson with Sookie so she can read the minds of people who might know where Bill is.  He is everything that Bill isn’t, complete with a beating heart, but sadly he is hung up on his ex girlfriend who is engaged to someone else (and is also a nutjob).  Of course Sookie is still mourning for Bill which is why she if risking her life (again) to save him, but she is also starting to pay attention to all of the supernaturals who are making gooey eyes at her.

I was trying to figure out why Sookie irritates me. First of all, she has this ‘oh I am blonde, pretty, with hidden talents and big boobs – I also wear tiny clothes and I don’t know *why* all these men want me…’ thing going on for her.  Sure, in the first two books where she was getting to understand the world of vampires and discovering that her ‘disability’ is in fact a gift; but every supernatural from Sam to vampires and the weres all want to shag her, yet she still complains that the bigoted idiots who frequent the bar don’t like her.  However there was a line in the book that revealed the real source of my irritation.   Sookie was in the bar and had bumped into Tara who started reminiscing about their school days and in particular a raunchy dance that they did for a school contest, which Tara wanted to perform.  Sookie said how ‘it gave her (Tara) so much pleasure (to perform the dance) how could I deny that to her’.  This sums up Sookie and is what annoys me so much.  She will do whatever anyone else wants her to do, just because it makes the other person happy, regardless of her own ideas/feelings/morals/dignity.  If the rough sex that she didn’t really want to take part in gave Bill pleasure then she’d give in and do it, if Tara wanted to do a stripper dance in front of a bunch of vampires and weres on a full moon when tensions were running high, she’d do that too – hey, Sookie, if someone wanted you to do crystal meth because it gave them pleasure, would you?  Gah.

So here she is in Jackson with Alcide, Bubba and Eric on hand to look after her, but she still ends up getting fatally injured when she saves a vampire who was about to get staked.  Eric is on hand to give her his blood and she survives, finding herself recovering in the building where Bill is being held.  So after being hurt she has to go and save him, cue lots of fun and games.  It gets worse, just when she thinks that it is all OK, Alcide’s vindictive ex-girlfriend, traps her in the boot of a car with a starved Bill, who not only drinks from her, but also rapes her.  Congratulations Bill, on going to even deeper levels of scumbaggery.

Again, Eric is on hand to show that vampires aren’t all the same as Bill.  Even after Sookie risks her life finding Bill and then again when Bill finds her, she finds herself on the sharp end of the weres who are out for blood and have secured the help of a particularly brutal gang of humans.  Yet again, Sookie is being battered, at least this time Eric was on hand to help.

One question I have is, why, when Sookie is mauled by Bill, do they get her to drink the synthetic blood to help with the blood loss?  Surely she needs a blood transfusion rather than just eating blood which would have no more effect than eating a steak.  Of course vampire blood is different, but this glaring question bugs me …

Finally, I like the way that Eric sorts out her driveway and cleans up her house so discretely and kindly.  Of course he still wants to shag her, but he is also showing kindness – not something that old Bill the Berk would do… So I did enjoy this book fractionally more than the first two, but I would like to have more details about the supernatural world as it seems that Sookie is becoming more a part of that than the human world.  The author keeps on hinting at things, but only touching on the same details over and over again which is starting to get it is very frustrating.

I liked the end of the book where Sookie was having a good old chuckle to herself after rescinding the invitations to Bill and Eric to her house and relishing her new-found freedom.  Let’s hope that she keeps it up.

This is the second book in the Sookie Stack house series.  I have to admit that I am not champing at the bit to find out what happens, but I bought the set of 10 books for £19 and I am curious as to what all the fuss is about. We find Sookie trying to navigate her relationship with Bill, although it is becoming clear that he is not the best person for her.

First of all Sookie is attacked by a Maenad as a message to Eric Northman, demanding that she gets a tribute from him.  She is then taken to Eric who, along with a doctor and other vampires declares that Sookie needs a blood transfusion and have the poisoned blood removed, so it is a grand old Sookie picnic for the vamps.  This is the start of Eric gradually showing Sookie that he is an alternative and not all vampires are like Bill.

Then Lafayette, unlike the TV series, is found dead in Andy Bellefleur’s car (while he is in the bar on a bender).  So Sookie, being loyal and always one to defend the underdog, decides that she wants to figure out what happened to him.  She soon discovers that this all centres around an orgy that Lafayette went to, and his inability to keep gossip to himself.

This line of investigation is stalled when Sookie is shipped off to Dallas, it seems that her talents (no longer a disability) has made her hot property and she is to see Stan who has a problem with a missing vampire.  The trip to Dallas is interesting as we see how vampires travel by air, but we also shown how insulated Sookie’s life has been.

When they get to Dallas, Sookie quickly shows her worth and they are all happy as the proverbial pigs in muck, especially when she goes on an undercover ‘mission’ with another human looking into the Fellowship of a Sun, an ultra-Christian group of anti-vampire nutjobs, who seem to have forgotten about Christian values and are all about killing, raping and beating people up.  Good times.  Of course Sookie is on the receiving end of this, but is rescued by a shapeshifter (an introduction of a new group of supernaturals) and then Eric takes care of her while Bill is off gallivanting.  Again he shows how tender he can be and also reliable too, how about that!

Battered and beaten, Sookie is then subjected to a vampire party, which Bill is loving every second of.  He completely ignores Sookie and is chatting up other female vampires, only for the party to be targeted by the Fellowship of the Sun.  Sookie realises just in time  and warns them, but only  the vampires heed her advice.  The scene is carnage, but she is kept safe – why? because Eric threw himself on top of her and took a bullet that was destined for her.  He then asks her to suck out the bullet ick.  Where is Bill?  Is he rushing forward to make sure that she is OK?  No, he is off on a blood crazed mission to chase after the Fellowship peeps who were responsible for the attack.  Sookie is not impressed as he promised that he wouldn’t kill anyone, and goes home alone.

The other half of the book features Sookie, who is still in a strop and not seeing Bill, distracting herself by donning the Miss Marple hat and trying to figure out who killed Lafayette.  Turns out that the rottenness inside of Bon Temps goes right to the core with an orgy featuring certain members of the town, probably encouraged by the Maenad.  She turns to Eric asking him to escort her and being a good sport, he turns up kitted out in lycra.  Of course he wants to be with her, but he isn’t going to force her – I think that he is an actions speak louder than words kind of man, I only wish that Sookie would pay more attention.

The concluding scene of the orgy was fairly grubby and it seems the author did too as she rushed through Sookie finding who the rest of the orgy-ers were, who had killed Lafayette, trying to escape, the Maenad having a hissy fit, Bill turning up like a bad smell and finally the resolution.

Bill and Sookie has a rollercoaster relationship one minute  they are screwing like rabbits and the other time they are arguing with Sookie going off in a strop.  One thing that I felt a little uncomfortable was the growing way in which Bill is wanting to have sex with Sookie all the time, even when she doesn’t feel like it – there is one sex scene when she asks him to “be sweet” and he says that he can’t.  That is a little too close to rape and control games for my liking and she just seems to accept that it is part of the way a vampire treats her.  Maybe this is because she is so naive or maybe it is inexperience or not having a decent male role model, but the way in which Bill treats Sookie is becoming less about love and more about control.

This is highlighted even more so when there is Eric in the picture.  He helps to heal her when she is poisoned by the Maenad; he takes care of her after her experience with the Fellowship of the Sun; he throws himself on top of her and takes a bullet for her – then stays around to make sure that she is OK.  He even humiliates himself in a pink lycra outfit when she needs to have help going to the orgy.  Each time he looks after her when she is scared and vulnerable and not once did he try to force himself on her, can’t say the same for Bill who is addicted to her blood – and can only get to it by having sex.  I hope that this is a subtle way of the author pointing out that Bill isn’t a nice guy who should be kicked to the curb.

This is also the book where we get to meet more mystical creatures, including the shape shifters, there’s more to this world than she realises and when she has barely seen the normal human world, this could be a culture shock. I suppose that this book is all about setting the scene for future books, which is why I am hoping that Book 3 will be better.

Crafty Book Worm

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