From Emma Bull's War for the Oaks
to Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, from The X-Files
to Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, creators are mixing old European myths and legends with modern American pop culture. Incorporating influences ranging from blaxploitation movies and erotic novels to tabloid staples like UFOs and Elvis, authors and directors are creating a new mythology for the strip-mall, tract-house, cell-phone America of the new millennium.
One of the best-known and best writers of the new American mythology is Charlaine Harris. Dead to the World is the fourth novel in her Anthony Award-winning Southern Vampire series. It continues the story of psychic waitress Sookie Stackhouse, who has fallen out with her undead lover, Bill. Bill has no sooner departed for Peru, than Sookie finds the head vampire, Eric, running naked and terrified through the rural night. She helps Eric, and discovers his memory has been destroyed by a coven of unscrupulous, astonishingly powerful witches, newly arrived in her small Louisiana town, and offering a huge reward for Eric. Sookie tries to hide Eric, but her brother sees him--and immediately disappears. And Sookie finds herself caught in a war among witches, vampires, and werewolves. --Cynthia Ward
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From Publishers Weekly
Fans of Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake looking for a lighter version of the vampire huntress should cotton to Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic Louisiana gal who really wants to be normal, but suffers from a huge self-confidence problem, a case of permanent bad luck, difficult relatives and a penchant for attracting unsavory characters of the not-quite-human kind. In this fourth quirky installment in this hitherto mass-market series (after 2003's Club Dead
), Sookie finds that her bad luck has taken a new turn for the worse. Sookie's love interest, Bill the vampire, runs off to Peru to do research. In his place, Sookie is stuck with Eric, Bill's boss (and head vamp for the district), who appears out of thin air buck naked with no memory of who he is or what he does. Coincidentally, Sookie's brother Jason goes missing. Less coincidentally, but more ominously, a coven of witches (who also happen to be shape-shifters and vampire blood addicts) comes rolling into the nearest big city, looking for trouble. Consistent, well-built characters and a strong, action-packed plot that will keep readers guessing to the end distinguish this frothy fusion of romance, mystery and fantasy.
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