Monday, March 23, 2009

Review: From Dead to Worse (Southern Vampire #8)

The supernatural community in Bon Temps, Louisiana, is reeling from two hard blows -- the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the man-made horror of the explosion at the vampire summit the month before in the up-north city of Rhodes. Sookie Stackhouse is safe but dazed, yearning for things to get back to normal. But that's just not happening. Too many vampires -- some friends, some not, -- were killed or injured, and her weretiger boyfriend, Quinn, is among the missing.

It's clear that things are changing, whether the Weres and vamps of her corner of Louisiana like it or not. And Sookie -- friend of the pack and blood-bonded to Eric Northman, the leader of the local vampire community -- is caught up in the changes.

In the ensuing battles, Sookie faces danger, death...and, one more, betrayal by someone she loves. And when the fur has finished flying and the cold blood flowing, her world will be forever altered....

From Dead to Worse, by Charlaine Harris, is the eighth novel in the Southern Vampire series. Sookie Stackhouse, 26-year-old telepath and cocktail waitress, is recovering from the terrorist attack against vampires at the Pyramid of Gizeh in the city of Rhodes. Before she can get her life back together, a group of out-of-state powerful vampires are gradually seizing control of Louisiana from disgranced Queen Sophie-Anne and the Were leaders begin a fight to the death. Meanwhile, she meets a handsome, charming man named Niall, who announces he is the prince of the Fey (fairies) and her great-grandfather.

In addition, Sookie will discover painfully the one person she loves betrays her, and she must come to self-realization about her own desires in life. Amelia, a witch-in-training from New Orleans, Her human and supernatural friends come to assist her as she tries to resolve enemies' grudges away from her family. Later, Sookie discovers good news that her cousin, Hadley, gave birth to a baby boy four years ago. When she finally meets him, she realizes they share a supernatural trait. A new twist has emerged in her life, and you can only find out by picking up this novel today!

While I was very enthusiastic to read this book, From Dead to Worse did not offer a lot of action like the previous novel, All Together Dead originally delivered. There were around five plots in this book alone! Some readers may complain there was no further development in Sookie and Eric's relationship because she does not want to get hurt again. In the end, she becomes a more mature and cautious person. The state of Louisiana has entered a transition of power, and she has become a single woman again. It's the reasons why she reaches this point in her life that are sad, yet intriguing. There are a lot of colorful twists and neighborhood moments that even surprised me, which is why Charlaine Harris is one of my favorite novelists.

This novel also felt very climatic to me. The storyline definitely felt like this is a new chapter, a new beginning for Sookie. She has realized her own desires and limitations in relationships and associations. I call it a self-realization moment for her because she has been chasing after love, peace and friendship only to find more betrayal, danger and enemies. She has reached the point where she will focus more on her family and herself (The next book seems to point in this direction). She has been pulled deeply into the supernatural community (Weres, vampires, shapeshifters, fairies, and witches) and has learned not to fear those around her.

With so many plots in this book, some readers may feel overwhelmed at the sheer number of new characters and mysteries. I would definitely read all the previous novels before I touch this one to gain a better understanding about the people in Sookie's circle -- human and supernatural.

Stay tuned for the next review in the Southern Vampire novels, Dead and Gone


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