You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2012.

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.

Advertisements

Crafty Book Worm

Follow Murder! She Read on WordPress.com

Goodreads

Categories