"Dead to the World" Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 4 by Charlaine Harris
"Dead to the World"
Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 4
by Charlaine Harris
published by Ace, 2004
Continuing in the world of the Southern Vampires and the supernatural events in the life of Sookie Stackhouse, here's book 4, "Dead to the World." This book for me marked a bit of a milestone in the Charlaine Harris creations. This milestone is that this is the book that becomes more like the world of my favorite author, Jim Butcher. After all it was Jim Butcher that got me interested in the Charlaine Harris books.
What I mean by this is that when Jim Butcher writes his Harry Dresden novels he combines as many creatures as possible in his tales of the supernatural. Which makes sense, really, because if there is one creature in the supernatural world there has to be more. Charlaine Harris started this series of books with vampires and some hinting toward shape-shifters. By the 3rd book she had vampires, menads, shape-shifters and werewolves. In this 4th book she introduces the reader to witches, Wiccans and fairies. Thus creating a fun read in the supernatural world, and not just a romance series involving vampires. I will admit there were times in this book where I let out a displeasing sigh when the romance novel would burst out of the pages. But, Ms. Harris knew to keep that as a minor point and to move on with some great supernatural horror and adventure, oh, and some really funny dialogue. You gotta have your comic relief.
The stories are all told by the main character Sookie Stackhouse, a bar-maid in Bon Temps, Louisiana with the gift of telepathy. In this installment (which takes place just weeks after the previous book, "Club Dead") Sookie is ready for the New Year and her resolution is to not get beat up, a resolution that seems to be hard to keep when you run around with vampires and werewolves.
After leaving Merlotte's, the bar in which Sookie works for Sam the shape-shifter, Sookie sees a nearly naked man running in the cold night. From there things just get weirder. She stops to help the man. The nearly naked man turns out to be Eric Northman, the vampire sheriff for that area of Louisiana. The problem is that Eric does not know who Sookie is and worse yet he doesn't know who he is.
As the story unfolds it is discovered a coven of witches have moved into Shreveport, where Eric maintains his area from a bar called Fangtasia. By the way, the vampires are the only supernatural creature that, in the world created by Charlaine Harris, have made themselves known to the world. Vampire rights are an issue in this world. Fangtasia is mainly a "tourist" bar where normal people can come to stare at vampires while the vampires sip on "True Blood," the synthetic alternative to human blood.
Eric refuses the witches and they curse him. This curse sends him to Bon Temps without his memory. Sookie gets help from her brother, Jason, sending him to buy clothes and "True Blood" for Eric. Eric's second in command Pam, meanwhile tries to locate the witches so that the vamps can retaliate.
To add woe to Sookie's now Eric-babysitting service, Jason comes up missing. Thinking the witches may have kidnapped him so Sookie will reveal where she is hiding Eric, Sookie joins the retaliation by helping to recruit the werewolves of Shreveport and the Wiccans of Bon Temps.
In what turns out to be an explosive battle against this dark witch coven by Wiccans, werewolves and vampires, Charlaine Harris has written in an adrenaline fueled thriller with some great humorous moments.
These books just keep getting better.
Labels: bill compton, book review, books, charlaine harris, dead to the world, fairies, shapeshifters, sookie stackhouse, southern vampire series, true blood, vampire bill, vampires, werewolves
posted by Gil T. @ 7:59 PM
"Club Dead" (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 3) by Charlaine Harris
(Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 3)
by Charlaine Harris
Published by Ace Books, 2003
So are you a fan of HBO's "True Blood," yet? HBO has adapted the first two novels in the Southern Vampire Mysteries series by Charlaine Harris, and if they stay true to form then the next season should cover the events from this book, "Club Dead." If so we should have some fun with werewolves and shapeshifters on the series, so be prepared.
I actually started reading this series after I read a short storie in the book of "My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding." I picked up that book because it contained a Jim Butcher story revolving around his Harry Dresden wizard character. I read the Charlaine Harris story based on the world of the Sookie Stackhouse vampires and found the writing to be very fun. So I gave the first book a chance. A few months after I read that first book I found out HBO was doing a series based on the book and felt that synchronicity had hit with my reading again. That and the books are a fun romp in the supernatural world of vampires, shapeshifters and the occasional werewolf. I will warn you this is another vampire series where everyone wants to be in love with a vampire rather than staking their blood-sucking hearts, but some get staked and as a narrator of her life in the world where vampires have "come out of the coffin," Sookie Stackhouse has a fun way of looking at life with the undead.
In this book Sookie's vampire boyfriend, Bill, has been acting secretively, and is on a mission for the Queen of Louisiana Vampires. Yes the vamps have queens and kings for each state, also within each state there is a region that is ruled by a sheriff. The sheriff for the region of Louisiana in which Sookie lives (Bon Temps) is Eric Northman a large viking vampire. Bill is supposed to work for Eric and the queen goes through Eric, except this time the mission Bill is on Eric does not know about. Before Bill leaves on this mission, he tells Sookie that if he does not return after a set time she is to look on his computer and share the information found there.
A couple of days later Sookie is attacked by a werewolf outside Merlotte's, the bar where she works, but Bubba the vampire is there to kill the werewolf. Bubba has got to be one of the funniest minor characters created in this vampire series, you see, Bubba is Elvis Presley, yes the King himself. It seems the coroner on duty when Elvis died was a vamp and a huge fan. The problem is that due to the inexperience of the vamp, the drugs coursing through the King's body and the dead too long aspect some problems occurred in the turning of Elvis/Bubba. Those problems are that Elvis doesn't really remember who he was and he's a bit dimwitted. So the Louisiana vampires now use Bubba as an errand boy and try to keep him out of the public eye and clear of any household pets as he likes to drink the animals' blood (cats being a particular favorite). Bubba is always cheerful, goodwill radiating from his fearsome smile. And will only sing when he feels like it. Sookie says that “though every now and then, he exhibited a streak of shrewdness” he follows directions quite literally.
Sookie then learns that the werewolf was sent to find her because Bill is being held captive and being tortured for some information. Sookie was supposed to have been captured to provide extra leverage in Bill's torture, but the only thing they knew about her was that she lived in Bon Temps, Bill had not given up any information under torture.
Eric then enlists Sookie and her talents to find Bill. Sookie's talents, which I should mention at this time are that she is a telepath, she can hear people's thoughts. So undercover with a werewolf, Alcide Herveaux, Sookie goes to Jackson, Mississippi to find Bill. Even though Eric has dropped the bombshell on her that Bill was planning on leaving Sookie to be with his former lover and maker, Lorena.
In Jackson, Sookie and Alcide create sexual tension between themselves (yep another love interest for Sookie), visit a Supernatural creature bar where they meet a goblin, hide the body of a dead werewolf, save a vampire from being staked by a religious fanatic, Rescue Bill and stake a vampire. All in a week for Sookie Stackhouse.
By the way, rumor has it that the guy who played Flash Thompson in the Spider-man movies, Joe Manganiello, will be portraying Alcide in the 3rd series of True Blood.
So if you like the light-hearted, horror-tinged supernatural tales you really should check out this fun series. Nothing serious here, just fun.
Labels: bill compton, book review, books, charlaine harris, club dead, eric northman, shapeshifters, sookie stackhouse, southern vampire series, supernatural, true blood, vampire bill, vampires, werewolves
posted by Gil T. @ 2:50 PM
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Dead Until Dark
from the "Sookie Stackhouse - Southern Vampire Series"
Written by Charlaine Harris
Narrated by Johanna Parker
Approx 10.5 hours
Once again a long about way to start reading a series led to this one, and yes I'm going to tell you about it before we talk about the book. Most of the time when picking out a book I have a list of favorite authors and go from there, usually in the science-fiction or horror realm. After all when reading I usually want to escape reality a bit so those are my chosen genres. Sometimes a friend will recommend a book or author and I'll check it out to see if something catches my interest. Another way is that I'll get books that are compilations of short stories from different authors, one of which will be on my list. That's how this one started.
I picked up the book "My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding," edited by P.N. Elrod because there was a Jim Butcher - Harry Dresden story in it. I immediately consumed that story and then went on to the others since they dealt with the supernatural and some had vampires. One such story in that book was one written by Charlaine Harris which took place in the world of Sookie Stackhouse but did not feature Sookie in the story. It was well written and had an intriguing view of vampires and the supernatural. So that stuck in my head, and when I wrote the review of that book I mentioned I would probably pick up a Sookie Stackhouse book and read it. I received a lot of emails telling me that Sookie is a must read. Hmmm...maybe I will.
Then I found out that HBO did a series, called "True Blood" which was based on these novels. I started watching and was hooked. What a great series with some cool views of vampires. Also the series featured something I love to read about and was happy to see in the book; sarcasm and humor. So I said "here goes," and picked up the first book in audio book form and was not let down in any way.
Sookie Stackhouse is a normal waitress in a bar in Bon Temps, Lousiana. (Already got me there, I love Louisiana.) Okay, Sookie may not be normal in all senses of the word, she does have a "disability," she can read minds. She considers this a disability because she can't help it all the time and no one really wants to know what everyone is thinking ALL the time. In Sookie's world there is a bit of a racial/social problem; recently vampires have "Come out of the Coffin" and revealed themselves to the world and want to live side by side with humans. Of course the vampires are not accepted by everyone easily and the fight for vampire rights is on. The thing that gets the vampires more accepted is that synthetic blood has been created in Japan and is sold in bottles so vampires do not have to hunt humans. Some still do.
During the excitement of vampires blending in society a sort of groupie following develops in which humans want to be bitten and/or have sex with vampires. These groupies are called "fang-bangers." And just like any groupie sub-culture they are looked down upon.
One night Sookie is waiting tables when Bill Compton, vampire, walks in. Sookie soon becomes attracted to Bill the vampire because his mind is closed to her. She enjoys the mental silence and they fall for each other. At this same time in Bon Temps, LA, a series of murders is occuring. Women who are known to have "cavorted" with vampires and work in the service industry are being killed. One of Sookie's co-workers is murdered, and since Sookie is well known to be "with" Bill she may be the next target. But not before more girls turn up dead, including Sookie's grandmother.
The police begin looking at Sookie's brother Jason ( well known for his bed-hopping), since he has slept with some of the victims. Sookie goes on her own investigation using her "disability" to find the culprit. She asks Bill to take her to a Vampire bar since all the women are known for their associations with vampires. The bar, Fangtasia, is owned by a powerful vampire named Eric. Eric is also somewhat of a political leader of sorts among the vampires. Eric learns of Sookie's disability which he refers to as a gift, when Sookie alerts him of a raid on the bar.
Eric then recruits Sookie to find out who's embezzling from the bar and Sookie promises to help at that time and again in the future only if the culprit is turned over to proper authorities. The embezzler turns out to be another vampire and before he can kill Sookie, Eric stakes him.
As you can tell there is lots of fun and excitement in this first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series and the narrator of this book Johanna Parker captures the southern accents and Sookie's voice perfectly. I should point out the book is told in first person from Sookie's own mouth.
Now on to the next book.
Labels: bill compton, charlaine harris, dead until dark, fangbangers, jason stackhouse, sam merlotte, shapeshifters, sookie stackhouse, supernatural, vampire bill, vampires
posted by Gil T. @ 5:12 PM