"All Together Dead" Book 7 of the Southern Vampire Series by Charlaine Harris
"All Together Dead"
Book 7 of the Southern Vampire Series
by Charlaine Harris
Once again I dive into the world of telepath/part fairy Sookie Stackhouse. Sookie is a bar maid from Bon Temps, Louisiana that has a special gift/curse of telepathy and can hear people's thoughts, but only Human people. You see, in Sookie's world, vampires have "come out of the coffin," which is to say they have revealed themselves to the world and want to live alongside humans. With the invention of synthetic blood (True Blood) they no longer have to hunt humans for food. So humans and vamps live side by side, but that's not all. All sorts of creatures from the supernatural world live in the world, only they are waiting to see how the vamps fare before revealing themselves.
Sounds simple, right? Not really, especially not for Sookie, because with Sookie's curse she has never been able to maintain a relationship with a fellow human. Then walks in Bill Compton a vampire from the civil war era. Vamps seem to be blank when it comes to the brainwaves Sookie tunes in on. So she fell in love with Bill and they dated for a while. Then Bill went back to his former lover/maker and this pretty much ended their relationship, then to make matters worse the she finds that the Vampire Queen of Louisiana actually commanded Bill to seduce her because her gift could benefit the queen. Sookie then found herself working for the vamps and solving mysteries, but with Bill and her finished she dated other people, a werewolf and a weretiger. The latest, Quinn, a weretiger seems to be THE relationship.
In this latest episode in Sookie's life Louisiana has just been ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. I should mention here that the author, Charlaine Harris, did a very good tribute to the devastation and the rebuilding that hit Louisiana during this "real life" event. This book has some really nice references to the troubles still affecting that area of the U.S.
The world's Vampire community has decided to hold a major trade show, this trade show also includes some major events that affect the vampire world. The main event is the trial of the Queen of Louisiana to decide whether she is guilty of murder in the death of her husband, the King of Arkansas. As you may recall in the last book the King tried to kill the Queen and then he would take over both states, but Sookie foiled that plan and the King got offed.
The trade show or summit is being held on the shores of Lake Michigan in a newly built vampire-friendly hotel built to look like the Great Pyramid of Giza. With all the vampires in one place this seems like a perfect place for the vamp hunting Fellowship of the Sun Church to strike. Also many vampires don't want the Queen of Louisiana to succeed in her trial. So Sookie has to solve not one by many mysteries as she "enjoys" being with the Queen at the summit.
While this book was not one of the better books in the series, it did provide a nice homage to the victims of Katrina, and did have some mysteries that featured some serious twists and turns. I'm ready for the next book now.
Labels: all together dead, book review, books, charlaine harris, sookie stackhouse, southern vampire series, supernatural, true blood, vampire bill, vampires
posted by Gil T. @ 9:57 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