Thursday, May 10, 2007

'All Together Dead' by Charlaine Harris

ISBN: 0441014941
Format: Hardcover, 336pp
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Price: $24.95

Sookie Stackhouse is back in All Together Dead, book seven of Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire novels. In book six, Definitely Dead, Sookie had been brought to the attention of the vampire Queen of Louisiana, Sophie-Anne. The Queen recruited Sookie, with her ability to read human minds, to go to a vampire summit to help determine who had Sophie-Anne’s best interests at heart.

Also, in Definitely Dead, Sookie met the famous tall, dark, and handsome weretiger Quinn. While they share a lot of chemistry they have not spent enough time with each other. In All Together Dead the heat is still there but time is still one of their problems. It turns out that Sookie doesn’t know as much about Quinn as she had first thought and the things she learns about his past could put a damper on their future.

At the vampire summit the Queen of Louisiana is presenting her case to the vampire court for the murder of her husband, the King of Arkansas. With her state weakened by hurricane Katrina, and control over her country hanging in the balance, the vampires are already circling in for the kill. If the Queen of Louisiana is found guilty her entire entourage, including Sookie, face the consequences as well.

But a vampire trial is not the only thing Sookie will have to deal with. The Brotherhood of the Sun, a fanatic anti-vampire movement, is planning something for the summit. Sookie has had problems with them in the past and knows just how deadly they can be.

While Bill might be out of Sookie’s life for good there is one vampire who is not. Eric, owner of Fangtasia and sexy ancient Viking, is still struggling with his feelings for Sookie. Mainly that he has feelings at all. He still cannot remember what happened between Sookie and himself when his memory was wiped clean (Dead to the World) but he has figured out that they were lovers and it’s possible that Sookie really loved him.

A vampire in one hand and a weretiger in the other. How can a girl make a choice? Well, besides the fact that all firmly is over with first love Bill, there are not any decisions made here at all. The open-ended conclusion leaves hints of the future, ensuring the series will continue, but little else.

There is also the underlying theme of Sookie trying to control her mind reading ability as well as her life. She has always kept a low profile, sure most people in the small town she lives in know she can read minds, but they tend to forget. But the vampires, as well as some humans, are trying to maneuver her into a place they can control her and her ability. Sookie is hard pressed to keep hold of her life as well as her identity as a human being.

All Together Dead
is great. The characters are wonderful as always and it is nice to see some faces from previous books. The universe that Sookie inhabits, just like ours except for a few differences, is easy to get wrapped up in. I could not put it down once I started, and the love triangle and mystery kept me turning pages well past midnight.

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