By Charlaine Harris
Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Ace Books, 2008
Genres: Mystery, fantasy, dark fantasy, contemporary fantasy, paranormal, romance, paranormal romance, vampire
Series: Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse); 8
Intended audience: Adult
Number of pages: 359
Setting: Bon Temps, LA
Time period: Contemporary (post Hurricane Katrina)
Plot summary: Sookie has recently returned to Bon Temps from the vampire summit in Rhodes, where many of the attendant vampires were injured or killed. While Sookie yearns for life to return to how things were prior to the summit, she knows that this is unrealistic. The vampire community of Louisiana was heavily impacted by both Hurricane Katrina and the Rhodes summit. She also has not seen or spoken to her boyfriend, Quinn, since Rhodes. On the bright side, however, a mysterious stranger appears in town who wants to meet Sookie and may have a positive impact upon her life.
Pacing: As with the rest of the series, this is a fast paced book. There is a lot of action and more than a couple life threatening situations for Sookie.
Characterization: The story is told in first person through Sookie. While there are many familiar characters in this story, there are also some important new characters introduced; and some significant characters to the series meet their ends in this story.
Frame: In the beginning of the book, Sookie refers to events to come in this story and that they are due to the after effects of Hurricane Katrina, “the disaster that just kept spreading grief, woe, and permanent change in its wake” (p. 1). In spite of all the grief and woe, the story brings new positive twists into Sookie’s life.
Story line: Sookie has a lot to keep her busy from all parts of the supernatural community in this action packed tale of intrigue and treachery.
Supernatural — Fiction.
Vampires — 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 liked this story much better than the last book in the series. For one thing, it ends with a much more positive note than the previous book (and I’m curious about Hunter – I hope to encounter him in future books). But I’m also glad that Quinn is out of Sookie’s life.
Other (diversity, themes, websites): Diversity – telepaths, vampires, shape shifters, werewolves, fairies, witches
Since the series has grown quite long and complex, the author recommends reading the series in order.