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135 of 155 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Definitely Dead...
I wasn't exactly thrilled with Definitely Dead, since it felt as though Harris was trying to cram in all of the characters and subplots into two-hundred-something pages. I also didn't like the totally lame twists regarding Bill. I thought it was a little too convenient for my taste. So, I wondered if the series had jumped the shark and if I should read the next book...
Published on May 12, 2007 by CoffeeGurl

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book had a different feel
I love Charlaine Harris' Southern vampire series books. Sookie Stackhouse is one of the best, most likeable heroines that I have encountered and Ms. Harris writing style is so very appealing. I love her characters and once I pick up one of these books, I usually finish it in a day, with All Together Dead being no exception.

That being said, this book did feel...
Published on May 3, 2007 by Suzanne K. Marienau


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135 of 155 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Definitely Dead..., May 12, 2007
I wasn't exactly thrilled with Definitely Dead, since it felt as though Harris was trying to cram in all of the characters and subplots into two-hundred-something pages. I also didn't like the totally lame twists regarding Bill. I thought it was a little too convenient for my taste. So, I wondered if the series had jumped the shark and if I should read the next book. All Together Dead, while not as good as Dead to the World, my favorite Sookie book so far, was far more enjoyable than its predecessor. It was time for the vampire summit, and Sookie, our adorable telepathic heroine, under orders from Eric and Sophie-Anne, the Queen of Louisiana, is forced to attend. In addition to Eric and the queen, Sookie would join boyfriend weretiger Quinn and vampire ex-boyfriend Bill. Sookie also reunites with Barry the Bellboy, a fellow telepath introduced in Living Dead in Dallas. The summit, aside from parties and business conventions, would also feature a few criminal trials, one of which is the queen's trial for the murder of her husband (Definitely Dead). But, as expected when vampires get together, strange things begin to occur. Vampires turn out dead. The murders seem to be connected with the queen's trial. But soon bigger threats arise, and it is up to Sookie and Barry the Bellboy to figure out what is going on. There are some twists throughout the novel.

When the action began, the novel was quite riveting. I liked some of the twists that went on toward the end as well. I also liked the inner conflicts Sookie was encountering. She has reached a point where she doesn't know if her life will ever be normal again. Her connection with the vampires become more integral in this installment, and I think that Harris foreshadows Sookie's descent from having a fairly average life to one solely centered on the supernaturals around her. Other than those good points, I thought the novel was all over the place. There was little resolution regarding Sookie and the men in her life. She cares for Quinn, and she likes that he seems more normal than the vampires, but she doesn't know if she loves him. She also doesn't know how she feels for Eric. And she has unresolved issues with Bill, whom she still resents for having lied to her. (On a good note, it appears that Bill shows genuine remorse for everything he had done to her. Come on, Sookie, the guy's sorry! Sookie is being petty and downright childish when it comes to him. I wonder for how much longer the author will drag this on.) There is little interaction with Quinn and Eric -- the latter of whom is very sexy in this installment. If she were to choose between these two men, I'd like for her to choose Eric. (But, to be honest, I still prefer Bill.) However, I believe the journey is better than the destination, so I don't mind more romantic tension between her and Eric and Bill (more with the latter please!). Quinn is a little more developed here, but I don't like him much. I tried to, but I can't picture a bald-headed, olive-skinned, beefy guy without picturing a pro wrestler or Mr. Clean. I also hate his annoying habit of addressing Sookie as "babe." Going back to Sookie and Bill, there is no closure between them. Bill was just sort of there, making brief appearances throughout the novel. He went from a strong lead to sort of a filler character, and I'm not happy with that. Secondary characters are thrown in and out without much purpose. (I did like the scene where Pam talks about her past though.) Even though I like the simple scenes of Sookie working at the bar or interacting with her small town buddies, those scenes in this book seemed forced. All in all, All Together Dead is rushed and uneven. Charlaine Harris should really forget about the small characters and concentrate on Sookie and the main characters. She tries to do too much in a limited amount of pages. I give this novel four stars because it was entertaining nevertheless and there were some hilarious passages. I especially enjoyed the scenes with roommate Amelia and her cat/boyfriend Bob. The Southern Vampire Mysteries is still worth reading, but Harris should do one of the following two things: either do a little house-cleaning with the characters and subplots, or consider making the future novels longer. So it may be time to get her publisher to increase her word count limit.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Walk Like An Egyptian. Or a Britlingen., May 28, 2007
By 
Debra Morse (Southern California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In this, the seventh installment of Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire series, we enter an expanded world. Heroine Sookie Stackhouse has grown from being mere barmaid in a small town to being telepathic aide-de-camp to Queen Sophie of Louisiana at a summit of vamps and others in the city of Rhodes. The situs of the convention, the Hotel Gizeh, bears a striking resemblance to the Luxor in Las Vegas which, when combined with the vampire patronized Anubis Airlines, adds a nice undead Egyptian touch.

However, Sophie Anne arrives at the meeting somewhat depleted. Hurricane Katrina has ravaged her queendom, killing many of her subjects and doing untold property damage. Additionally, she is charged with the murder of her husband, and Sookie alone is witness to the facts that can exonerate her at the upcoming trial. Underlings vie for position, rivals plot overthrows, and potential suitors connive for a powerful alliance. In other words, your typical regional professional meeting.

Mix in Sookie's growing romance with were-tiger Quinn (grrrowl!), political intrigue and power plays, otherworldly bodyguards known as the Britlingens, and a cast of new characters representing vampire royalty from all over the U.S., and you have a wonderful fresh tale. I marvel at the imagination of Harris as she plucks new beings and social systems from out of seeming thin air and breaths life into them with absolute believability and skill.

This is a transitional novel, and as such some of the dramatic tension of the earlier books is replaced with laying the foundation for what promises to be a dynamite next chapter in this exciting and ever-entertaining series. Why does the cover art show Sookie clinging to Eric as they fly on an obviously preoccupied coffin? Well I'll let you find that out on your own.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK, Maybe Seven is Just An Unlucky Number, May 9, 2007
I admit I'm part of the problem--I refused to read this series for WAY too long because I thought the name Sookie was too stupid for a character.

Wrong about that--Sookie is perfectly written as the Southern blue-collar worker she is by someone who knows this area and people. So much of the author's work is dead-on perfect--says THIS escaped rural Southener--like needing a flashlight to walk down a country road because there is no light--at all! You need to have been there/done that to respect what a perfect detail that is to include. But I felt sorry for Sookie during this entire story. She is not being treated well by her paranormal associates and this gal needs a break! From the moment her hare-brained brother gets married in a ceremony with potentially serious consequences for Sookie to being pushed around by vamp politics, I wanted something nice to happen. She's starting to seem like a victim and I'm worried about her future. From a novel I read for fun and relaxation--I don't need that kind of trouble.
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61 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sookie's back again, May 2, 2007
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This is the seventh book in the Southern Vampire Series (Dead Until Dark (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Bk. 1), Living Dead in Dallas (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Bk. 2), Club Dead (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Bk. 3), Dead to the World (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Bk. 4), Dead as a Doornail (Southern Vampire Mysteries), Definitely Dead (Southern Vampire Mysteries)). Our favorite telepath is back again is this new adventure. I couldn't put it down!

We deal mostly with Vampire politics in this book, as opposed to the Were community. Sookie is hired by the queen of Louisiana to assist her at an important summit. Guess who else gets to go? Quinn, Eric, and Bill to name a few. We also learn why everyone seems so impressed by Quinn, and its not just because he's a pretty face.

I quite enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it! I was also delighted to see a cameo by Blue Moon dancers Sean and Layla. If you'd like to read more about them, check out the anthology Night's Edge. Charlaine Harris is one of three contributing authors in that book, and Sean and Layla's story is a great one.

If you'd like to read more by Charlaine Harris. I recommend the Aurora Teagarden series. (Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery, Bk. 1, 'A Bone to Pick', 'Three Bedrooms, One Corpse', 'The Julius House', 'Dead Over Heels', 'Fool and His Honey', 'Last Scene Alive', 'Poppy Done to Death')
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book had a different feel, May 3, 2007
I love Charlaine Harris' Southern vampire series books. Sookie Stackhouse is one of the best, most likeable heroines that I have encountered and Ms. Harris writing style is so very appealing. I love her characters and once I pick up one of these books, I usually finish it in a day, with All Together Dead being no exception.

That being said, this book did feel different to me. Perhaps it was because most of the action took place in another city rather than Bon Temps. Sookie is in Rhodes at the behest of the Queen of Louisiana, Sophie-Anne Leclerq and her constant companion and vampire child, Andre. Sophie-Anne's power base has been seriously damaged since Hurricane Katrina. The Queen was formerly based in New Orleans, but now finds herself holding court in Baton Rouge. A vampire summit is planned in Rhodes and Sookie's telepathic abilities are highly desirable to Queen Sophie-Anne. Fortunately, Eric, Pam, Bill and several other enjoyable characters make frequent appearances as well as Sookie's newest love interest Quinn, and Barry the bellboy, the only other telepath Sookie has ever encountered. There is a lot of action in this book and Sookie is maturing. She is more sure of herself around the vampires now and seems to understand them better even though she doesn't always like what she knows.

I guess I wasn't as crazy about this book because I missed Sam, Merlotte's Bar and the crowd there and Bon Temps. Also, I was hoping for more interaction between Sookie and Bill/Eric. I know Bill is a jerk, but I still root for Sookie and Bill as a couple. Pam was great as usual, and I really enjoyed the further development of Amelia's character.

All in all, this was a good read. I will keep buying this series as long as Ms. Harris keeps writing it. I guess everyone has a favorite book in any series; it is just a matter of personal taste. If you have enjoyed the Southern Vampire series, by all means read this book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating Read, November 29, 2007
By 
Book Fan (East Coast, USA) - See all my reviews
The story had so much promise, but it kept going off into territory not relevant to the story being told. The ending was just so, flat and unsatisfying. What happened to Eric, and Pam after they returned to Shreveport? Did Bill return to Bon Temps? And, I don't know about anybody else, but I really could care less about two of her high school friends getting together -- really... who cares! And why bring up her temporary housemate's rich infamous father if it's not relevant to the story being told in this chapter of the series. Ugh! Frustrating...

I have also come to the conclusion that I just do not like Sookie's character as a whole. In this series I have noticed she likes to collect men and keep them chasing after her only to ignore them or be offended when they start dating someone else after she's rejected/ignored them.

Also, the pages and pages of her taking care of boring everyday tasks reeks of filler. Do we really need to know every step she takes when cleaning her house?
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A BIG step down, March 3, 2009
By 
This book was, frankly, a waste. Which sucks, because I've really enjoyed the other Sookie Stackhouse novels. The single most irritating thing about this novel was the "dumbing down" of Sookie. In all the other books she was a strong-willed, intelligent woman with some unusual abilities and even more unusual friends. In this one, she's just a blond idiot.
Let me put a question to you all:
Imagine you are aware of a muderous group of people who have ALREADY kidnapped you (once) and tried to kill you (twice). This group believes they're acting on God's orders AND want to kill a large number of the people you live and/or work with. AND there's already been one bomb scare. Then you find large pieces of unclaimed, unlabeled luggage. In a post-9/11 world is there ANYONE ANYWHERE who wouldn't think, "Hmmmm...this might be a bomb."?!?!
Yeesh.. Charlaine Harris really dropped the ball with this one, but I have high hopes that the next novel will return to her previously high standards.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Untenable status quo, November 12, 2007
There are spoilers in this review

First of all, let me say that this book ends with Sookie realizing that it is probably not tenable for her to go on leading a working class life as a small-town waitress. I think the author should have had that realization before writing the first third of this book. Certainly her brother's wedding and various other events are important to Sookie, but they no longer fit in with the far ranging, big-city, plots, and devoting so much space to them when they are irrelevant to the main action is poor construction. It would have been better to handle them in a short story as was done for the events regarding Sookie's cousin Hadley, and her re-death. In fact, since those events were confusing to people picking up the book previous to this one and since Jason's wedding adds nothing, I would rather have had the Hadley stuff in a novel anyway. Jason has been very poorly served by Harris in general (remember when she seemed about to pair him off with a normal girl and give Sookie a neice or nephew, then changed her mind?). I think it is very telling that Sookie never thinks of calling him in extremis -- Harris doesn't either.

Next, I have increasing problems with the nature of the vampire political order. At first I was just a little upset that the vampire hierarchy was divided into units following US state boundries. As the vampire order pre-exists the nation of the United States, this makes no sense. In this book we find that regardless of their geographical boundries, vampires are unable to manage their affairs very well at all. Yes, we get the point that vampires aren't just humans who drink blood, and that they are generally more ruthless and self centered, but still they ought to be able to manage a alliance without starting a war, and manage the aftermath without further depleting their ranks and subverting their supposed judicial process. Even more to the point, the US government can only look the other way for so long. In the US, government has a monopoly on deadly force, and eventually some newly turned vampire who still expects some sort of due process is going to make an issue of it. The vampire government can still run a some sort of fraternal or religious order, but it and its constituent vampires can't continue to casually deal death without consequences. (While I'm thinking of their judiciary, let me say that bringing out the oracle of Delphi to adjudicate the dispute of two small new-world states seems very unlikely).

Third, Sookie needs some vampire friends. From the first book, we're told over and over how refreshing Sookie finds vamps since she can't read their minds. She even falls head-over-heel for the first vamp she meets. That's fine, but aside from Bubba, who is not all there, any time we see Sookie hanging with vampires, it's either some deadly crisis or Bill or Eric trying to jump her bones. Harris has taken some tentative steps with Pam and others (like the one who was so theatrical about her fairly blood in New Orleans), but Pam is too tied to Eric, and the others generally get killed. It would be nice to have a few vampires Sookie can socialize with confident that they don't want (or anyways don't demand) blood or sex from her. It would be interesting to read some scenes about finding common ground in such a friendship.

Finally I think the whole Quinn or Eric thing is rather artificial. I'm not a big fan of the Mighty Quinn. Unless Harris is making the point that being able to turn into a tiger really isn't all that useful in a lot of perilous situations, he seems remarkably unhelpful as a boyfriend. Given that Eric is the only suitor that has been in the running the whole time without being sabotaged by the author, I suspect that in the end he will win out. At the same time, making both "men" jealous doesn't really jive with the societies they come from. Vampires seem to be pretty omnisexual if they live long enough to get around to trying everything, and weres know they have to breed outside of wedlock because of their odd demographics. In addition, Sookie seems pretty comfortable with a lot of out of the norm living arrangements. Just take a number guys, and let the plot unfold without stressing Sookie out with a lot of drama.

And she must have been stressed out, because if those suitcases had been fitted with flashing neon signs reading "I'm a bomb!" they could hardly have been more conspicuous. I like it when a plot revelation takes me by surprise, but I can go back and see how the clues were there. I hate it when a plot point hits me in the face and it turns out to be exactly what it looks like and not some sort of red herring...

As for the books final surprise, is anyone else thinking that Bill put the hoodoo on JD and Tara? The way he raised JD's name earlier is suspicious. If so, then both Eric and Quinn need to watch their backs.

I still like Sookie and I'm glad Harris is allowing her to develop some, but I hope she comes with with better mysteries for her to solve, and stops trying to shoehorn her back into Bon Temps.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Sookie book, May 30, 2007
I found a lot of things disappointing in this book, I thought it was one of the worst books in the series. There were many logical gaps, and areas where it didn't seem the author had thought things through.

On top of that, once the plot gets started (which takes far too long), things seem rather rushed. There's loads of time and pages spent at the beginning of the book dealing with Sookie's day-to-day affairs, but then it seems to skimp on the actual story.

Worst of all, the book just abruptly ends. There's no real conclusion, and not even a cliffhanger ending, it's just...stops. It reads as if the book was going along happily, following its course, and then the author reached a certain page count and quit writing. Things are left unresolved, unfinished, and unanswered, and you're left with the impression that there are at least a few chapters missing from the end of the book. It makes me wonder if the book wasn't split into two parts, so that readers will have to buy twice as many books.

Other things bothered me as well. Things are still left unresolved with Bill, Eric seems to have become a love-sick puppy, and Quinn is conspicuous mostly by his absences. Bubba doesn't show up at all, and is barely mentioned. Plus, some of Sookies actions and reactions seem out of character, it seems like Harris is trying to turn Sookie from an every-day type woman (with a special gift) into some kind of Action-Hero-Woman, and not doing all that good a job with it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed!!, February 24, 2009
All Together Dead is the 7th book in the Southern Vampire Mystery Series, and one of the best in my opinion. I read the entire book straight through in one day, this was a true page turner!

Our heroine, Sookie Stackhouse, travels to Michigan to attend a vampire summit at the request of the vampire queen of Louisiana, Sophie Anne Leclerq. Queen Sophie is to be tried for the murder of her husband, the King of Arkansas, at the summit and it's up to Sookie to use her telepathy to discern the motives of the humans involved. Shortly after their arrival, vampires from the Arkansas delegation and enemies of the Queen are murdered and it's up to Sookie and her telepathic colleague, Barry the Bellboy, to figure out what's going on. There is nonstop action in this one, and the romance is plentiful as well. Sookie has to deal with apologies and advances from her former boyfriend Bill, and is caught in a heated triangle with the weretiger Quinn and the vampire Eric. We finally learn more of Quinn's background and why he is so respected in the supernatural community and it makes you love him even more. I love the Quinn & Sookie relationship, but I don't have a good feeling about it after this book. Although Quinn repeatedly sacrificed and acted out of love for Sookie, something just doesn't feel right here...

I love this series and I think Ms. Harris is quite talented. My favorite part of the series is definitely Sookie herself, as I think she is a realistic, well-developed character. I often compare this to the Twilight saga because of the similarities, and I think Sookie Stackhouse kicks Bella Swan's behind. She's fierce, hardworking, opinionated, and talented compared to the boring, aloof and brainwashed Bella. Sookie has to fight for herself and work hard, while Bella has everything handed to her without any sacrifices required. I love how Sookie has been slowly developed throughout the series and we literally watch her grow and learn in every book.

If you're new to the series, I strongly recommend going back to book one - Dead until Dark - and starting from the beginning. This entire series is a real treat and once you start the series, you'll read straight through.
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