It's all about family ...
Sookie Stackhouse is dealing with a whole host of family problems, ranging from her own kin (a non-human fairy and a telepathic second cousin) demanding a place in her life, to her lover Eric's vampire sire, an ancient being who arrives with Eric's 'brother' in tow at a most inopportune moment. And Sookie's tracking down a distant relation of her ailing neighbour (and ex), Vampire Bill Compton.
In addition to the multitude of family issues complicating her life, the werewolf pack of Shreveport has asked Sookie for a special favour, and since Sookie is an obliging young woman, she agrees. But this favour for the wolves has dire results for Sookie, who is still recovering from the trauma of her abduction during the Fairy War.
Sookie is worried about Bill's health and decides to go looking for another vampire sired by Lorena whose blood might cure him. Alcide's pack discover a body on Sookie's property-it's not Debbie but it ignites more pack problems that Sookie is dragged into. Victor, the King's right hand man, wants Sookie dead and Eric discredited, and Eric's sire brings trouble to them.
Sookie is shocked when Claude asks to move in and Claudine's will leaves her a pile of money. She also has concerns that Dermot is still hanging around and has no idea if he wants her dead or not. She gets her answer when Eric's sire and his young, mad lover cause chaos in Bon Temps, and Eric cannot act against his sire. I was never sure that Dermot wanted to harm Sookie even if he is a bit strange and creepy. It's Claude that I don't like or trust, right from the beginning. He is selfish and rude and yet after treating Sookie like dirt, suddenly he wants to move in with his 'family'. Nah there must be something in it for Claude.
I'm actually wondering if being a Friend of the Pack is really in Sookie's best interests as it gets her into so many fights that have nothing to do with her! Still, at least Alcide will try to protect her as long as he is in charge. As for Sam, jeez man wake up and see what a psycho bitch your girlfriend is! He always seems to pick real bitches doesn't he? Although it is fun to see Eric and Sookie together, you just feel that his vampire realm will have to come before her every time. If she was with Sam, he would treat her well and be able to protect her without all the political bs and revenge attacks that she seems to get hit with. It is good to see Eric treating her well though and developing feelings that he doesn't understand. He is developing well as a character.
As for Victor and his crew-lets hope that they get what is coming to them very soon. Just set Pam on them and it will be problem solved-at least temporarily. You can't see Eric just sitting back and letting Victor walk all over him. Trouble is also going to be on the horizon for Sookie and Eric with the fallout over his maker. That guy was really awful and his protege from hell was a nightmare-but it was an interesting plot twist.
I might have been mad at Bill for lying to Sookie but I certainly didn't want him to die so it was good to see Sookie putting the past behind her and trying to do everything she could to save him. I don't see a romantic future for them but their friendship looks solid and he is another who will protect her no matter what.
It was a solid book without being spectacular. There were bits to enjoy like Sookie and Pam on the rampage, the attack at Eric's house and the Dermot situation. But there were a few areas where it fell a bit for me. I'd rather see the werewolf stories taking centre stage rather than the fae ones.
We'll see how the last few books deliver.