I have to admit to feeling a little territorial over Sookie books as I discovered and loved them long before True Blood and part of me resents having to share these characters...okay, having to share Eric (I never liked Bill!). In this instalment Sookie is recovering from her torture by fairies in the previous book and it was nice that Charlaine doesn’t just gloss over Sookie’s ordeal but shows her struggling to return to a normal life. As ever, Sookie’s life isn’t easy but is complicated here by her relationship with Eric, the vampire head of section five, her distant fairy relatives and her friend of the pack status.
I really enjoyed spending time in Sookie’s company and I really liked how her relationship with her brother Jason grew here – he finally seems to be there for her and steps up as a reliable brother – for once! While the beginning of this book has lots of separate strands going so it feels a little discontinuous with Sookie dealing with vampire politics one minute, her cousin Hadley’s son the next and then dealing with weres before talking to fairies, but most of these strands wind together for a layered finale which solves most of the issues raised in this book. There are still plenty of ongoing issues though that aren’t moved on here – particularly with regards to the vampire politics.
The writing is easy to slip into and familiar if you’ve been following the series so far. Probably not the best book to start with if you’ve not visited Bon Temps so far though as there are a lot references to past events and characters that it assumes you some knowledge of. Like a comfortable pair of pyjamas, you know what to expect by now and Charlaine doesn’t disappoint even if it doesn’t quite hit the highs of All Together Dead.
Recommended for fans of Nicole Peeler and Jeaniene Frost. 7.5 out of 10.