The Southern Vampire Mystery Series Charlaine Harris
A mere three weeks have passed since the events of Club Dead. Sookie is driving close to home and happens across an amnesiac and terrified Eric. Despite wanting to keep her distance from all things vampiric, she agrees to keep him on after talking to a scared and scary Pam (Eric’s right hand woman). Jason – in a rare on the ball moment – negotiates a settlement with the vampires for keeping Eric safe and hidden. Witches have come to Bon Temps and they are after the vampires financial base. These witches comprise of shape shifters who are taking vampire blood to enhance their physical and magical abilities.
The next morning, Jason is missing. Despite the whole town coming together and searching for Jason, Sookie is convinced that the witches have taken him. She calls in as many of her supernatural contacts as possible, including Alcide and the werewolves of Shreveport, several local witches – who want nothing to do with the interlopers – and the vampires. Under Pam’s leadership, the disparate and often rival groups agree to work together to oust the new coven.
While all of this is happening, Eric re-develops feelings for Sookie. He has no memories of his past, but is more sensitive, considerate and protective – interested in his relationships rather than in his power base. Despite knowing that she would never be able to have a relationship with the fully-capable Eric; Sookie can’t resist this new baggage-less Eric. They sort of fall in love. It’s very sweet. A sort of raunchy sweet, but still.
|Pam – not the Alice in Wonderland look
|Pam and co organise an attack. It’s bloody, gory and in the end, team Sookie is victorious, though there are a number of losses. One good thing, Alcide sees the real Debbie Pelt and adjures her – rendering her non-exsistant to him in the future. Yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds, but it’s all described very dramatically and you buy into it (though with the same reservations that Sookie has) – it was also really great to see Alcide step up and be a man about the whole thing.Hallow – the leader of the witches – is the only one left alive. She lifts her spell and Eric is returned to his usual charming self – with no memory of his time with Sookie. Though just before she manages that, Debbie attacks Sookie in her house (that woman needs to look into a better security system – it’s like everyone can just walk in!). Eric takes a bullet for Sookie, who shoots Debbie, then he disposes of the body. One final night together then in the morning, Eric’s memories are restored.
Sookie is left alone, devastated that the witches were not actually responsible for Jason’s abduction, battle weary and crushed that Eric doesn’t remember any of their time together.
|Debbie. Her nice side.
Finally she turns to the ever reliable Sam, who reveals that Jason’s most recent squeeze Crystal is from the small town of Hotshot – an inbred tribe of were-panthers. They discover that Jason is being held by Crystal’s spurned lover. He has been trying to turn Jason in the belief that Crystal would lose interest if he joined the furry brigade.
My favourite book so far – this almost wipes the nasty aftertaste of Living Dead in Dallas and the rape scene abominably glossed over in Club Dead.
As always the plot darts to and fro. Each book so far has followed almost identical three plot stories A, B and C, but with such good camouflage that this reader really doesn’t mind at all.
Jason is much more present in this book than in almost any other since book 1 – rather, his presence is felt due to its absence. It’s great to have Sookie focus on the family stuff rather than be totally obsessed with the supernatural.
The whole amnesia storyline allows for Eric and Sookie to take that next (inevitable) step forward. Rather than feeling horned in, it seems sort of lovely that Eric is able to provide solace during Sookie’s time of need. Though it was always obvious that Eric was going to have his memories retrieved, the sheer absence of any contact after those memories returned was a bit heartbreaking.
I was a bit disappointed that Debbie was disposed of. Though, to be honest, had she stuck around for another book, I’d probably be complaining about that. Fussy? Moi?
The icing on the cake? An almost total absence of Bill. Thankfully. At this point I just don’t know why Harris keeps him around. Sure he SAYS he loves Sookie, every now and again he manages to save Sookie (before Eric does) but ugh, what a plonker.
Score – 8/10
* see previous note re rating system