The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #11
Sookie Stackhouse, Bon Temps barmaid and telepath, has issues in her life when Sam Merlotte, her boss, is having financial issues with the bar. This could mean she will have to find a job. Things are not helped when someone firebombs the bar, though it is unclear whether Sam was the target, or anyone else. Sookie soon learns that Sandra Pelt is out of prison, and is still out for her blood for her sister’s murder – which, naturally, Sookie committed. Sam and his girlfriend, werewolf Jannalynn, enforcer of the Shreveport pack, seem to be having issues, but Sookie cannot get involved with that now.
Sookie is having some strange issues in her relationship with Eric Northman, vampire Sheriff of Area 5. He seems distracted and distant from her lately, and even though they have a blood bond between them, she knows something is up. Matters are exacerbated when Eric and his right hand, Pam, seem to be having endless arguments – of which Sookie seems to be the centre. Victor Madden, the regent of Louisiana, is intent on pushing all Eric’s buttons, in hopes that Eric will snap and that Victor can put him down. Something really needs to be done about him. Sookie is afraid for her life, and calls up her witch friend, Amelia Broadway, to reinforce the wards at her house. Amelia jumps at the opportunity to return to Bon Temps, and arrives with the surprising news that she can break the blood bond between Sookie and Eric. Sookie has been interested for a while, seeing as she wants to know if she loves Eric because she loves him, or if she loves him because of the blood bond.
Severing the blood bond only seems to broaden the gap between Sookie and Eric, and he is beyond furious about her actions. Meanwhile, Sandra Pelt is making a hard play to kill Sookie, who needs to do anything and everything in her willpower to survive. She recently discovered a letter from her grandmother, confessing to having slept with the fairy, Fintan, and having her children through him, and gifts Sookie a cluviel dor, which is a magical and very precious gift that grants her one wish, but only for love. She is struggling with the knowledge she has of her grandmother. Alcide Herveaux, the packmaster of the Shreveport pack, returns to attempt to win Sookie over as well as get her to become the pack shaman. Sookie turns him down, and in a furious fight, kicks Claude and Dermot out of the house, and has Bob and Amelia leave. Amelia is crushed to be thrown out like she is. Dermot and Sookie come to an agreement, and he stays even after everyone else leaves. Sookie also learns that her favour of calling up Bill’s “sister” to save him came with strings he was not willing for, seeing as Judith is in love with him, and he is in love with Sookie.
What will happen between Bill and Sookie? Will he be content just to remain friends? What are Pam and Eric fighting so terribly about? Does Sookie still love Eric, even without the blood bond? Will Sandra Pelt get to Sookie? Will Sam’s bar go under? What is going on between Sam and Jannalynn? What will Sookie do with the cluviel dor? Will Amelia and Sookie sort out their differences? Will a plan finally be hatched to get rid of Victor?
Well these books are definitely taking a bit of a nosedive, but Kim did say that they would. They are getting a bit stale, losing what made them a lot more entertaining and interesting. Not that they are the worst books that you could waste your time with or anything like that, and they still fit the bill for useless and light, but there are just some things that are getting annoying. I think the worst for me (besides always yapping about her faith and what not) is what has happened to Eric’s character. He used to be cocky, cheeky, hilarious, sexy, all those things, and now he is like some brooding lapdog for Sookie, and I am over it. He has practically become nonexistent over the last few books, and it always feels like Harris brings him back in as an afterthought. Surprise, surprise, the whole world still wants Sookie, but the suddenness of Harris bringing Bill back as well as his suddenly chasing Sookie so openly again just doesn’t sit right or feel normal, either. Also, what the hell is up with the immense amounts of incestuous hinting over the last two or three books (more in your face now than ever) about Claude and Dermot and sleeping in beds and picturing each other naked and I have no idea what else? It seems Harris realised it was not hot (no matter how sexy Claude and Dermot are supposedly) and that it just grosses readers out – and tries in a miserable way to address this. Hmmmm… not so great. Makes me feel sick. There was also the whole unnecessary thing with Alcide in Sookie’s bed and all. I don’t know, the logic was more flawed than usual in this book, and no shocker that there was an immense amount of bad stuff happening in a ridiculously small amount of time again. One of the positives, though, is that I absolutely love how Dermot is trying to fit into the human world, and is a lot nicer than Claude, though I love how blunt Claude can be. Then there was the issue of the immense amounts of sex talk in here. It was everywhere. Meh. I did like reading about Bubba again, he always makes me smile. I don’t know, this wasn’t the worst book to waste my time with (seeing as how they read super fast), but these books are starting to drag. Harris doesn’t seem sure of the direction she wants to take the stories in, and once again introduced plenty subplots, and didn’t tie most of them together. Sookie is also becoming exceptionally grating as the books progress. Pity, too.