All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires 7)
You might like this if you like: Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series; vampires; paranormal/supernatural
Sookie’s beginning to get used to being surrounded by all varieties of undead, changeling, shapeshifting and other supernatural beings – but even she has her limits. She’d really like to take a while to get over being betrayed by Bill, her long-time vampire lover, and get used to her new relationship with the sexy shapeshifter Quinn – but instead, she finds herself attending the long-planned vampire summit, the destination of choice for every undead power player around, as a sort-of human ‘Geiger counter’ for Sophie-Anne Leclerq, vampire queen of Louisiana. But the job is fraught with difficulties. Sophie-Anne’s power base has been severely weakened by Hurricane Katrina, and she’s about to be put on trial during the event for murdering her king. Sookie knows the queen is innocent, but she’s hardly prepared for other shocking murders: it looks like there are some vamps who would like to finish what nature started. With secret alliances and backroom deals the order of the day – and night – Sookie must decide which side she’ll stand with, and quickly, for her choice may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe.
I wasn’t too sure this installment in the Southern Vampires series was going to live up to much, as it started out just a tiny bit slow (nothing too slow, just a longer build-up than usual), but there’s a surprising amount of action going on which escalates and then literally explodes during the final third of the novel.
More than ever, Eric is drawing me in – he becomes more alluring the further into the series I get, and even if he’s not sweet, amnesiac Eric, he’s not quite the same Eric he was before his brush with the Witches, but a strange hybrid of the two that is rather endearing at times. There’s also a little more of Quin and although I kind of like him, I’m not all together sure he’s the right one for Sookie. I now actively dislike Bill – right from the start of the series I was unsure of him and the feeling has developed from mild misgivings to an ever-increasing dislike that is now threatening to border on loathing.
I was pleased to see how tactfully the Katrina disaster was integrated into the story. It could so easily have been tasteless, but Harris managed to keep it all very respectful and turned a natural event that could not have been avoided into an essential part of the plot.
There seemed to be an awful lot of prospective wedding bells in All Together Dead and I can’t help wondering if it’s a set-up for the eighth book, From Dead to Worse…