Author: Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Ace Books/Berkley Publishing
American release date: May 3, 2011
Format/Genre/Length: Novel/Fantasy/336 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
It’s been two years since Sookie Stackhouse has been up in her own attic, not since she went up there to look for her Grans’ wedding dress, thinking she should be buried in it. Now she’s there on a mission—it’s time to clean it out and decide what to do with everything. She’s got her fae kin with her to help out—Dermot and Claude. Sookie decides that watching them work at the task shirtless certainly makes it more interesting. Although she doesn’t take kindly to Claude’s suggestion that everything be piled in the yard and burned, she compromises by promising to go through it and sorting it out into things to keep, things to give away, things to sell and what’s left can be burnt.
At work that night, she tells Sam about her project, and he knows a place in Shreveport where she might be able to sell some of it. In fact, if she wants, he’ll go with her, he needs to get something for Jannalynn, his shifter girlfriend, there. Sookie is pleased—until Merlotte’s is unexpected firebombed! Damage is luckily minimal, but it leaves the question of who and why?
Because of their bond, Eric is on the scene as fast as vampirely possible, which is pretty damn fast, concerned for the welfare of his “wife”. Noticing that Sookie’s hair is singed, Eric calls for Pam, who brings with her a young man named Immanuel, who is both a hairdresser and the brother of Pam’s lover, Miriam. While Sookie’s getting her hair done in her home, Pam and Eric get into it for some inexplicable reason, making a shambles of her kitchen. Annoyed, she sends them both away.
Sookie and Sam go to Claude’s strip club, Hooligans, to confront him and Dermot about why Sookie is feeling more and more fae—what’s up with that? There she meets Bellenos, her first elf. Her kin promise to fill her in when they come home that night—which conveniently doesn’t happen.
Business is down at Merlotte’s. Sookie suspects that it has something to do with the shifters coming out, and Sam’s true nature being revealed, and also the opening of a rival bar—Vic’s Redneck Roadhouse. Then Eric says he wants to take her to a new dance club between Bon Temps and Shreveport that Victor (the Louisiana proxy for Felipe, King of Nevada, Arkansas and Louisiana) has just opened. This can’t be good. Victor knows they killed his minions, even if he can’t prove it. He’s a dangerous vamp.
Pam is upset because her lover, Miriam, is dying, and she can’t get permission to bring her over, because Victor is withholding his permission just because he’s cruel that way. The visit to his new club is more of a command performance, meant to show Eric his place in the scheme of things. By the time they leave the club, they’ve decided—Victor must die. The only question that remains is how.
As always, this book has what you’ve come to expect in a Sookie Stackhouse novel—it’s chock full of Sookie goodness and the tangled threads of her complicated life. Her relationship with Eric is getting rocky, while his with Pam is downright contentious. With Amelia’s aid, and without thinking it through too much, Sookie does something which may or may not prove to be a good idea. She isn’t really happy to figure out what the beef is between Eric and Pam, and what it will mean to their own relationship, if he doesn’t do something about it. As if she needs more on her plate, Sandra Pelt, the crazed lunatic who’s convinced Sookie killed her sister Debbie (well, she did) is on the loose and gunning for Sookie. Sookie learns things about her late grandmother that blow her mind. She receives what might be a very powerful gift. She has a naked encounter with Bill Compton. And she is hosting a baby shower for Tara, who is carrying twins. Dermot is fixing up the attic, to her surprise. She didn’t quite see him as the dyi type. And an old friend, never forgotten, makes a spectacular reappearance!
I love Sookie more and more with each volume, she is the best heroine ever—she transcends even the lovely gentlemen in her life for being interesting, much as I love Bill and Eric. She is just so very sweet and genuine—she makes me wish I could be her friend. Also in this volume, we learn a great deal about the circumstances surrounding her gift. Sookie has a great deal to think about. And decisions to make.
The writing is excellent as always, fast-paced, dramatic and always moving. You’ll just keep turning the pages until there are no more to turn. Can’t wait to see the next one! A definite must-have for the Sookie-phile!