By Charlaine Harris
Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Ace Books, 2007
Genres: Mystery, paranormal mystery, fantasy, dark fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, romance, paranormal romance, vampire
Series: Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse); 7
Intended audience: Adult
Number of pages: 323
Setting: Bon Temps, Louisiana and the city of Rhodes (located on Lake Michigan)
Time period: Contemporary (post Hurricane Katrina)
Plot summary: Sookie is on her way to the vampire summit in Rhodes, even though she doesn’t want to go. She told the Vampire Queen of Louisiana, Sophie-Anne Leclerq, that she would assist her a long time ago and she can’t go back on her word now. Among other things, she may be needed to help the Queen with a vampire trial. The Queen has been accused of assassinating her former husband, the King of Arkansas. Sookie’s not looking forward to spending time with either Bill Compton or Eric Northman – both of whom are also attending the summit as a part of the Queen’s entourage. On the bright side, though, she may be able to squeeze in some alone time with her new boyfriend, Quinn, since his company is organizing many of the events at the summit.
Pacing: The beginning has a steady pace, but moves much more slowly than the rest of the book – the pace doesn’t really become fast until Sookie gets to Rhodes (about 100 pages in).
Characterization: The series continues to be told in first person through Sookie’s perspective. Many familiar characters continue to appear in the series. Quinn, Eric, Sophie-Anne (and her retinue) have large roles in this story in addition to Barry the Bellboy (from Living Dead in Dallas).
Frame: The frame for this series continues to be dark with pinpricks of light related to Sookie’s character, humor, and outlook on life. In this book, Sookie recognizes the impact that hanging out with vampires has had on her life and is anxious to spend less time with vampires, only she can’t make that step now. She must go to the summit in hopes that she will live through it to once again have a semblance of control in her life.
Tone: The curiosity of the first part of the story is replaced by determination for the latter part.
Story line: As Sookie becomes more embedded in the Louisiana vampire realms, her independence becomes increasingly precious to her and more at stake.
Vampires — Louisiana — Fiction.
Waitresses — Louisiana — Fiction.
Louisiana — Fiction.
Similar works/ authors: Charlie Huston – Joe Pitt Casebooks, Laurell K. Hamilton, Marjorie Lui, Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Jeaniene Frost, Sherrilyn Kenyon
Personal notes: I enjoyed this book, but not nearly as much as some of the previous ones. The ending felt much grimmer and there wasn’t as much humor in this story as in some of the previous books.
Other (diversity, themes, websites): Diversity – telepaths, vampires, shape shifters, fairy, witch
Since the series has grown quite long and complex, the author recommends reading the series in order.