Friday, May 16, 2008

Review: Dead to the World (Southern Vampire #4)

“Sookie’s investigation into why leads straight into a dangerous battle among witches, vampires, and werewolves. But there could be a greater danger to Sookie’s heart—because the kinder, gentler Eric is very difficult to resist…”

Dead to the World, by Charlaine Harris, is the fourth novel of the Southern Vampire series. The setting is a contemporary winter season in the rural town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. This novel resumes from the previous novel, Club Dead, where Sookie Stackhouse bids farewell to her vampire ex-boyfriend, Bill. He must depart to Peru for his genealogy project, and he will return in two weeks. Sookie, now 26 years old, has made a New Year’s resolution: she will not be beaten up or get herself injured. Whether her wish comes true, we will soon find out.

As a cocktail waitress at Merlotte’s Bar, Sookie has a secret gift: she can read people’s minds. (She’s telepathic). When she is driving home from work one night, she discovers a frantic Eric, Bill’s boss and vampire sheriff of Shreveport, running and looking clueless. She stops to assist him, and realizes he has amnesia: he has no recollection of who is he and why he was in Bon Temps. When she returns home, she meets Pam and Chow, Eric’s vampire subordinates, who tell her that witches have caused Eric’s amnesia because he refused to deal. Not only are these witches dangerous, they are also werewolves and drink vampire blood for strength! Not liking the circumstances of everything, Sookie must protect Eric from the witches.

Unfortunately, Sookie cannot resist the kinder side of Eric as he soothes and cares for her. The real Eric is aggressive and conniving. Just as Sookie thought her New Year’s resolution might crumble before her very own eyes, her brother, Jason, has been kidnapped from his home by a wild animal. Reuniting with the vampires and werewolves (Weres), Sookie Stackhouse will engage in a war that she never wanted to join. But if it means saving her brother and returning Eric back to his original self, she must do whatever she can…even if blood and death prevails in the end.

This book was a very quick read for me. I had high expectations for this novel, but it came up very short. The ending saved this book from drowning in disappointment as old foes are gone and new subplots, like Sookie’s brother (Jason), emerge. They will become more important later in the series. Sookie begins depressed and is still unhappy at the end despite finding her brother again. The war among the werewolves, vampires and witches was overexaggerated. The kind Eric irritated me because of his naivete and tight attachment to Sookie. Bill has a very minor role in the entire story. Alcide was nowhere to be found. I believe Harris rushed the storyline and nothing new was developed. In sum, this story is a continuation of the previous novel.

Stay tuned for the next book in the Southern Vampire series, Dead as a Doornail.

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