Ack: a Sookie Stackhouse books that’s not only depressing, but even tragic!
Note: To avoid spoilers, skip to Evaluation.
Sookie agrees to join the Louisiana vampires to attend a Summit in the Midwest. They want help from her telepathic abilities. The weretiger she is currently dating, Quinn, will be there also, since he produces special events for supernaturals for a living.
Before she goes, however, she attends the quickie wedding of her brother Jason, who is marrying the werepanther Crystal.
Also before the Summit, Pam, Eric’s underling, comes to visit Sookie at Merlotte’s, the bar where Sookie works as a waitress/barmaid. Pam suggests that the powerful vampire Eric is not himself, because of unresolved feelings for Sookie. He and Pam will both be at the Summit. Pam wants Sookie to help Eric get over his malaise.
Claudine, Sookie’s fairy godmother, warns her not to go to the Summit, because there will be trouble, but Sookie insists. And trouble there is, coming from members of The Fellowship of the Sun, the ultra right-wing anti-vampire movement. The ranks of this organization “were riddled with those who believed all vampires were intrinsically evil and should be eliminated, by violent means.”
The hotel where the vampires stay is especially designed for them, so they can sleep securely during the day. But the Fellowship manages to infiltrate the staff. Disaster follows. During the bright daylight, bombs are set off throughout the hotel. (Vampires ordinarily would not waken, and just be killed by the blast. If they did waken, they would be burned by the sun.) Many are killed. Sookie helps save Eric, Pam, and Bill, but Bill is badly burned. The Vampire Queen of Louisiana loses both her legs, and her consort Andre is killed. (Although it must be noted that Quinn – even with two broken legs – took advantage of the chaos to stake Andre for forcing Sookie into another blood exchange with Eric.)
At the end of this book (or “episode,” as I like to think of it), Sookie has escaped back to Bon Temps, and we don’t know the fate of most of the vampires in her life. We do know that if they live, they are in for a very long time of healing, if they heal at all. Sookie doesn’t know how she can live with the savagery and violence she has seen, and the loss of many people she has come to love. She resolves:
“If I just stay away from the vampires for a while… If I pray every night, and hang around with humans, and leave the Weres alone, I’ll be okay…”
Evaluation: This book is so sad! But also essential if you are following the saga of Sookie, Bill, Eric, and the other characters – both human and otherwise – in this addictive world created by Charlaine Harris. The sadness is part of why I like these books: not everything is always perfect, and there are tears, and loss, and tragedies, just like in real life. Also, Harris is definitely trying to inculcate lessons about the injustice and irrationality of prejudice and I love that too.
Published by Ace, 2007
FTC Disclaimer: We all know I’ve been totally skulking off to Target lately to sneak books into the sundry purchases. I’ve even stopped wearing my sunglasses inside when I go. But just so you know, Mr. or Mrs. FTC, my husband regularly sneaks off to Cold Stone Creamery!