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on July 6, 2009
Just finished this one and I can see why so many bad reviews, but I still liked it. It was a bit off the track from the rest of the series. I think that the author was trying to protray Sookie's life is over whelming her. But there were things that should have been caught by the editors that had already been resolved or visited in other books. Such as names that where not matched to the correct character but maybe it was intentional, once again showing Sookie's spiral into chaos. There were are lot of deaths in this one, not limited to the usual vampire ones. It also had alot of important happenings that should have been spread over another book maybe but had to be included to make at least one plot line flow right.
I too wish that Sookie would make her mind up as to who she is going to be with Sam, Eric or Bill. All three males deeply care for her and she for them, but none of those guys are going to share. Time to come to a decision little girl. You can't have them all!
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on May 10, 2009
** Kinda sorta possible little spoiler here **

I'm still a little angry and that is still possibly coloring my feelings about this book. I've loved Charlene Harris's Southern Vampires series for several years and though some entries were better than others, all of the books could really stand on their own.

This book has a lot to recommend it for most people but for me I've rarely been so offended by the sloth Harris displays in how she draws and presents her villain in this book.

She barely introduces the character before he's suddenly drawn out as the perpetrator and in a most offensively stereotypical way. It's like all those ensigns in the original Star Trek that were in only one episode so that they could be killed off in that same episode so Kirk could do his grieving bit.

I'm also angry about other elements of plot that just go nowhere (hello FBI agents and Quinn) - they just show up and don't do much of anything before disappearing. I imagine they will reappear in future books but why were they even in this book? It left me feeling like the book was really unorganized or unfinished.

But frankly I'm still pissed about the use of a very "unappealing" stereotypically gay character that is positioned as a poison to female and straight male characters. That just burns me. Really? In this day and age with the size of Harris's gay fan following this astonished me. Not, by the way, that gay characters must all be paragons of virtue. My gripe is that the character was shallowly drawn - insubstantial and with all the stereotypical characteristics shamefully intact.
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on July 15, 2014
These books are oddly charming, and very different from the TV series. They follow Sookie Stackhouse, who is the spunky heroine as she encounters Vampires, werewolves, shifters and fairies. These books do not treat these supernatural beings with the angst that is typical of the genre, but as people trying to fit into a world that isn't quite made for them.

The vampires are clever and modern, but with a depth that comes from long existences, sometimes not fitting into the current norm, but always behaving like actual people and not the gothic archetype you would expect. The were-animals and others are treated as people who have their own family issues and traditions which they are trying to reconcile into the unknowing world. I don't want to give any spoilers, but this series of books is a refreshing take on a genre that was getting very stale, and a fun and (surprisingly) light read.

I'm going to copy and paste this review, to the other books in the series I bought, so if you read it again, that's why!
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on December 24, 2014
The weres reveal themselves, followed by a grisly hate crime and Sookie is once again in the soup in this excellent entry into the Sookie Stackhouse series. Greater issues come about as the novel progresses. As always, I enjoyed this book immensely. I have no problem with the series so far and I continue to rip through the books, drawn on by Sookie Stackhouse and her problems with vampires, weres, fairies, and a female goblin physician. I think the series benefits from the HBO series because it gives you faces for the characters, but diverges quite a bit so you are into new territory, especially after about the first four books which provided all the series plots. The differences are significant because the TV show is based on multiple characters and the books only pursue Sookie's point of view. Another winner.
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on May 22, 2017
Every book in this series draws in the reader and keeps you enthralled! I picked up the first book on a whim after having enjoyed the TV series, but (surprise, surprise) the books are so much better!!
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on December 24, 2015
I love this entire book series and would recommend every single one of them. So different from the tv show after book one, with even more twists and turns. If you're a fan of the show but never read the books, it's an entirely different journey for Sookie! Or maybe a fan of vampire novels? Definitely worth picking up. It's a book series I have a hard time putting down whenever I start reading them all over again. Charlaine Harris also has a wonderful sense of humor!
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on May 13, 2009
A very major letdown to me from the inconsistencies of explanations promised or hinted at in previous volumes, to the unresolved situations of almost every character. Plus killing off semi-major players for no apparent purpose didn't make any sense to me. The story just ends abrupt and uncomfortably and leaves EVERYTHING with no explanation or resolve. I'm really tired of Sookie nearly being beaten or tortured to death so often when there are so many saviors to call upon or that should be "tuned in" somehow to her plight. It was very unneccessary violent torture and I was somewhat put off by it in this volume for the first time. Trust me I'm no prude, but this time it bothered me alot. This continuation seemed hurried and haphazardly thrown together with alot of holes and confusing unexplained leads in dead end directions. If you're a follower of this series, you're obviously going to read this book, but prepare to not be happy with it or get any of your questions answered. It ain't gonna happen.
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on September 23, 2009
Okay, I notice that alot of the positive reviews were recently posted and have to wonder who wrote them and was it written to raise the average? This book is written as if a ghost writer was substituted for Ms. Harris. Not only was the storyline incongruent with the series, the style of writing did not match her previous books. I will not even go into character development, description of scenes, and genre confusion (this wasn't a horror novel with torture and as much violence as possible). I am one of the unfortunate who could not wait for this book to come out and paid my $16 instead of getting in line at the library. Yes, I am sorry and wish there was a way to get a "do over" for Ms. Harris like when we were younger. It will take a serious committment on her and her editors to pull this series out of the dive this book sent it into. I would advise people to skip this book and lets see where the next one goes. I am sure that whatever information is needed to fill in the plot, characters, and background for the series can be pulled out of the next book as this story really added little that would be worth the pain of reading this book!
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on May 13, 2009
Usually it takes me a few days to read Ms. Harris' novels because they just suck me in and I feel that compulsion to finish them as quickly as possible to just KNOW what happens. But lately...

With the last few Southern Vampire books I've noticed it is taking me longer and longer to finish them. They have become more convuluted and random, mentioning characters once or twice in the span of three or four books without developing them further...that gets annoying real fast. This particular book is a fail for me. It was in no way tightly written or well plotted, each chapter was like reading someone's blog of the chores they accomplished in a day. There was little or no reflection on Sookie's part and no real suspense - honestly, I didn't care who committed the central crime most of the book revolved around and it didn't seem like any of the characters did either. The only reason I am not rating this one star is that the last few chapters were really pretty good, almost on par with the first few books. As disgusting as it was, the short chapter of Sookie's time with the two evil elves was the most introspective and revealing of the book.

I will continue to read this series because I've got a few years invested in it and I adore the characters, but I'm afraid of the watered down, aimless sort of drift these books have taken.
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VINE VOICEon July 12, 2009
I have to agree with the myriad of reviewers who have expressed disappointment in this ninth Sookie Stackhouse story. There have been times over the previous books that I thought some of the writing was lazy or just plain silly, but had managed to excuse it based on the charm of the main character, and her relationships with Eric and Bill. They now seem like nearly an afterthought, as does most everything else in the book. Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought the reason Sookie liked being with the vamps was she couldn't hear their thoughts. Suddenly she can with Eric? She also has populated this book with so many minor characters it evokes an enormous so what. The only thing I could think of is that she needs all these superfluous people so she has choices to kill off later. The writing, as I've already expressed is especially lazy in here as evidenced by the following sentence: "Niall was creepy and touching, too. Great-uncle Dillon just seemed creepy. The temperature was dropping with the creeping darkness..." I guess an editor didn't have a thesaurus handy. I'm actually a little shocked at the amount of people who think this constitutes good, and in some cases great writing in comparison to the other books. Frankly the whole thing feels like a rush to have something in the stores to coincide with the second season premiere of 'True Blood' on HBO, wich is only hammered home by the promotional page in the back for the first season, "now available on DVD and Blu-Ray." The only problem as a reader is, the show has become infinitely more interesting than the source material. I'm not giving up on the books-yet. However, my interest is certainly waning.
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