Sunday, May 31, 2009

Review: Dead and Gone (Southern Vampire #9)

For Sookie Stackhouse, the day-to-day activities of the vampire and Were communities in and around Bon Temps, Louisiana, are of vital interest. She's blood blound to the leader of the vamps, is a friend to the local Were pack, works for a man who is a shifter, and has a brother who is a werepanther...

...The Weres and shifters have finally decided to follow the lead of the undead and reveal their existence to the ordinary world.

At first it seems to go well. Then the mutilated body of a werepanther is found in the parking lot of the bar where Sookie works. The victim is someone she knows who--human or otherwise--did the deed.

But what she doesn't realize is that there is a much greater danger than the killer threatening Bon Temps. A race of unhuman beings--older, more powerful, and far more secretive than vampires or werewolves--is preparing for war. And Sookie will find herself an all-too-human pawn in their battle...


Dead and Gone, by New York Times Bestselling author Charlaine Harris, is the ninth installment in the Sookie Stackhouse ~Southern Vampire~ series. The shapeshifters -- werewolves and other shifters -- decide to come out and let the world know of their existence after the vampires successfully made their transition into the human world. Sam, the owner of Merlotte's Bar, is a shapeshifter and so are Tray and Alcide (Weres). Sookie Stackhouse, the brave and pragmatic protagonist-female heroine, finds herself caught in the middle of a deadly supernatural civil war. Diantha, the half-demon niece of Mr. Cataliades, warns her that some fairies want her dead because of her connection to fairy prince and great-grandfather, Niall. Meanwhile, two FBI agents visit Sookie's home to question how she and Barry the bellhop were able to intuitively find survivors in the horrific Pyramid of Gizeh explosion. Unwilling to expose her telepathic gift, she does her best to sway them away from the truth. When a werepanther is found dead and crucified outside Merlotte's Bar, the whole community is shaken with fear and disgust. Her common sense and straightforward personality that had protected her through many supernatural cases and battles are pushed to the limit in this novel.

Sookie discovers how human (and vulnerable) she truly is in Dead and Gone. Very bad things happen: she experiences torture, betrayal, and loss. She tries to do her best as situations become increasingly more dangerous and complicated in the supernatural world. The average reader thinks fairies are kind, moral, and happy. In Harris' supernatural world, the fairies are darker and more powerful; they do not mind bringing chaos and destruction to the human world. This novel is very violent, and readers would wonder if the main characters will survive this war. It's that intense and scary.

When no one is there to save her, she endures physical torture beyond imagination. When she cannot trust her longtime friends, and finds herself seeking refuge within the supernatural community. She finally learns the truth about the death of her parents, and witnesses another loss of family. At this point, she stands at a crossroads that involves life-changing opportunities. Dead and Gone ends with a clever cliffhanger that would make many fans anxious and hopeful. Sookie learns that no one -- not even Eric, Bill, or Quinn -- can guarantee her safety and happiness. Nevertheless, she is gradually maturing into a woman who knows what she wants in life. I was definitely looking forward to this novel, and Harris delivers another exceptional and thrilling chapter to Sookie's increasingly complex world. We will learn what Sookie decides in the next novel.

Stay tuned for the next novel in the Southern Vampires series, Dead in the Family.

Don't forget that the second season of True Blood begins Sunday, June 14 at 9:00pm EST on HBO.



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