Monday, January 12, 2009

Sookie Stackhouse Series #4

Title: Dead to the World
Author: Charlaine Harris
number of pages: 291

I don't know what it is about vampires, but something about them draws me in. I loved the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, loved Twilight, and now this. Maybe it's the power and passion that their stories usually have? Or maybe I just like living in a world with a little danger in it for a while, I don't know. But these books supply a nice vampire fix.

This book is the fourth in the Sookie Stackhouse (or Southern Vampire) Mystery series. These books follow Sookie Stackhouse, a 20-something girl who lives in a small town in Louisiana and, oh yea, she just happens to be telepathic. Recently, with the release by the Japanese of a synthetic bottled blood substitute, vampires have "outed" themselves by coming forward and revealing that they are real but hey, that's okay, because now there's a handy dandy fake blood so they don't have to kill people. In the first book, a vampire (Bill) moves to the small town (Bon Temps) and him and Sookie end up in a relationship, which introduces a whole vampire (and other supernatural beings) world to Sookie. These books are really about her and how she deals with her relationships and her life in general since being exposed to all the supernatural stuff. The first book is what the first season of HBO's True Blood show is based on. I've seen a few episodes but haven't really gotten into it really.

Specifically in the fourth book, Sookie has broken up with Bill, separated herself from the local vamps, and has made a New Year's Resolution to not get beat up this year (since hanging around vampires and their issues tends to lead to beatings). About 4 hours into the new year, Sookie is driving home and sees Eric, one of the high up vamps of her area) running around half naked and confused. A coven of witches has come into to town and their leader wanted Eric (in a lustful way) and all his businesses (in a "I want your money" way) and since he refused, she cast a spell which made Eric lose his memory. Sookie gets sort of trapped into keeping him at her home for a few days until the spell can be reversed which leads to her finding out that Eric is not so bad when he doesn't know himself. He's romantic and affectionate, and not out to exploit Sookie's power (since someone with telepathy could come in handy to a vampire, although her power doesn't work on them she can still read humans' minds) which are all new traits to Eric. A relationship of sorts begins between them.

Meanwhile, the other vamps under Eric join with the Weres and Supes (werewolfs and other supernatural creatures, or shape-shifters - hey, since vampires exist, so does everything else right?) come together which is very unusual since they usually hate each other, to devise a plan to bring down the evil witch coven. A battle ensues, in which Sookie was very helpful even though she didn't want to be involved, and lesser evil beats greater evil.

I'm not totally head-over-heels about these books so I'm fine putting some time between each in the series, but they are fun, quick reads and Charlaine Harris has made up an interesting world to be in for a while. Vampires becoming 'mainstreamed' isn't something I've read before which makes it new and different. Plus, I was just coming down from my initial Twilight high when I read the first one, so that was a good jump back into some adult novels while still getting a dose of vampire.

6.5 out of 10 stars (just because I think that the 3rd on was a little better than this one)


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