Vampires and werewolves and fairies, oh my: just another day in the life of Harris’ navel-gazing southern belle.
This one makes it an even dozen in the lingering chronicles of Sookie Stackhouse, but don’t expect the old girl to call it a day anytime soon. Not when there are hangovers to conjure, love triangles to traverse, and enough extraneous characters in this convoluted fantasy serial to make Game of Thrones look under-populated. For the uninitiated, don’t even attempt to gain entry here, even if you’ve seen an episode or two of HBO’s more sexually blatant adaptation, True Blood. Suffice to say that part-fairy, vampire-loving barmaid Sookie remains much the same, if a bit more tedious than usual. The book opens with Sookie out on a girls’ night at paranormal strip club Hooligans, uncomfortably watching her relative, Claude Crane, strip for a rowdy crowd. The night tosses a sour note to Sookie, whose relationship with vampire Eric Northman is never easy. “Just because I wasn’t pregnant and wasn’t married to someone who could make me that way, that was no reason to feel like an island in the stream,” she says. Sookie is also justifiably anxious about the motivations of those around her, as she continues to hide her possession of the powerful magical artifact called a cluviel dor, an ancient fairy love gift. But protecting her hidden treasure becomes a secondary concern when Sookie discovers her lover at one of Bon Temp’s infamous parties, drinking from Kym Rowe, a younger woman. Unfortunately Eric’s bedtime snack bites it within a matter of hours, winding up on the sheriff’s front lawn with a broken neck. Naturally it’s up to Sookie, with some significant help from her other vampire lover, Bill Compton, to navigate the dizzying conflicts between the vampire, were and fae hierarchies to root out the cause of the girl’s untimely death.
A dull, overly complicated entry in the swampy gothic romance that feeds fans and starves newcomers.