The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #4
Sookie Stackhouse, local barmaid of Bon Temps and telepath, gets a shock one night when returning home after her ex-boyfriend, Bill Compton, informs her that he will be doing some more research in Peru for the queen of Louisiana to construct the vampire database. She has made her New Year’s resolution not to beaten up again. On her way home, mopey and depressed, she comes across a half naked Eric Northman, Sheriff of Area 5, and Bill’s boss. Not that Sookie has any love for the man, nevertheless she stops to find out the problem. It rapidly becomes evident that Eric has no memory, and that he is in danger. She takes him home to care for him. The following night, she meets with Eric’s protege and business partner, Pam, as well as Chow, the bartender at Fangtasia, the bar they own. Jason Stackhouse, Sookie’s brother, soon figures that Eric is a vampire, and that Sookie is going to need to harbour him. Seeing as poster have been put up around town, offering a $50 000-00 reward for the Viking vampire, Jason arranges that Sookie be paid $35 000-00 for the duty.
Eric has been cursed by powerful witches, who are also werewolves, and this causes a problem. Hallow, the woman that cursed him, is intent on finding him. Sookie is dealing with other issues when she is contacted by Jason’s boss and learns that he has gone missing. Detective Andy Bellefleur and company are not particularly willing to take things seriously, and blow it off. Sookie is worried, and knows that Crystal Norris, the girl Jason was with on New Year’s Eve, is a werewolf. Making enquiries in Hotshot, where the girl lives, proves fruitless, though she is courted by Calvin Norris, the leader in the area. Sookie travels to Shreveport to meet with Alcide Herveaux, a Were who helped her recently when she was looking for Bill. It seems that he is back with his good for nothing ex, Debbie Pelt, who hates Sookie with a passion. Alcide takes Sookie with him to tell the packmaster of the powerful Were witches, as well as their power that is garnered from drinking vampire blood. The pack gets involved when one of their own is found slain.
Sookie needs to find her brother, Jason, and the police are starting to get involved. Eric, on the other hand, is showing no signs of recovering his memory, though he and Sookie are getting closer. Sookie has always been an unattainable conquest for Eric, and those walls fall away when Eric, helpless, falls in love with Sookie. She is lonely, and depressed, and yields to this unknown man, who is nothing like his former self. She needs to get over Bill, and she needs to find her brother. The witch coven needs to be stopped, so that the world can be put to rights again. Eric needs protecting, but it seems that a war is cooking up between the witches, who want to take over Shreveport, and the Weres and vampires.
Will Eric recover his memory? Will Sookie be able to protect Eric? What will happen with their relationship if Eric’s memory comes back? Will Debbie ever leave Sookie alone? Will Alcide ever get Debbie’s claws out of himself and go on with a normal life? Where is Jason? Is he dead or alive? Is he hurt? Will Sookie be able to stick to her New Year’s resolution of not being beaten up? Will the Weres and vampires band together to defeat the witches?
I must admit that this book entertained me far more than I expected. I can probably call it my favourite of the series so far. I had so many laugh out loud moments, and I was endlessly entertained by the events of the book. Eric Northman is by far my favourite character in the series, and I love getting to read more about him than anyone else. He is cocky, arrogant, extremely self-serving, and he happens to be funny as hell and extremely sexy. However, reading of an Eric that was definitely not himself in the slightest was jarring yet highly amusing, seeing as Eric reverted to a much more old school and conservative kind of man, believing Sookie needed to be protected and provided for, as well as taking Jason on about it. What I also liked (yes, I am likely to be shot for this) was that there was virtually no Bill. Not because I don’t like him, but because he is very bland and boring at the best of times. Sookie finally jumped Eric’s bones, something I have been waiting for for ages, though I was very sad at the conclusion about how things went there. Yes, I have been dreaming about Eric getting his way and seeing how things would turn out for them after that. The books speeds along, and introduces us to new characters, and I must say that Calvin Norris was interesting and well put together, though not Sookie’s type at all. He has manners, and no matter where he is from, he has pride and power. Jason going missing was something that was important, but at times did not feel important at all. I like Jason, and even though he did not feature heavily in this book, he did provide for much of the humour in it. Hallow was a total disappointment in the end though, I was expecting more bang, and there were certainly flaws, but oh well, you can’t have it all. It is a light, fluffy read, so don’t go in expecting a work of art, but it worked for me, and it was a quick read, and it hit the spot for me.