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Take a, er, bite out of this one

By Staff | May 26, 2009

Charlaine Harris’ New York Times bestselling series, Sookie Stackhouse, returns in “Dead and Gone.”

The series has gotten new fans since the debut of HBO’s television series based on the books, “True Blood.” However, new fans might want to start at the beginning of the series and work their way up, as this book draws upon many events of past books. Fans of the book series, however, are in for a shock as the events unfold and many characters will never be the same again, including our heroine.

The world is once again surprised as the were-beings follow in the vampires’ footsteps and “come out” to the humans, including some of the locals in front of the townspeople of Bon Temps.

While most of the people Sookie knows take it well, former friend and waitress Arlene, now member of an anti-vampire group, flips out. While Sookie’s sad about that, no one expects what comes next — a werepanther is found crucified outside of the bar where Sookie works. Suspicion is cast on the anti-vampire group after they try to lure Sookie into a trap. But using her telepathic powers, Sookie knows they didn’t do it.

But who did? As Sookie tries to unravel that mystery, danger begins to heat up around her. Sookie’s great-grandfather is embroiled in a war in faerie over their mixing with humans — and Sookie and her brother are an all-too real reminder. Her great-grandfather’s enemies want her dead, and while Sookie has a great many supernatural friends to save her, she knows that by asking them to protect her, she is asking them to risk their lives.

Meanwhile, Sookie’s bond with Eric takes a turn, thanks to his posturing in front of the new vampire king, leaving her to question her relationship with him. And what of Bill, who is never far away?

The danger and action in this book really ramps up, and leaves so many characters shaken, including Sookie herself. This is a pivotal moment in the series, as Sookie learns more of her past, reconnects with some characters, loses others, and faces an uncertain future. Many beloved characters are back center stage, including Bill and Eric. I was glad to see one of my favorite characters return and my faith in one of the other characters restored.

Though this might not be the most uplifting book in the Sookie series, it is a powerful one and will leave long-time fans breathless. How long until the next sequel?

Contact Amy at amendenhall@graffitiwv.com