I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has her hands full dealing with every sort of undead and paranormal creature imaginable. And after being betrayed by her longtime vampire love, Sookie must not only deal with a new man in her life—the shapeshifter Quinn—but also contend with the long-planned vampire summit.
The summit is a tense situation. The vampire queen of Louisiana is in a precarious position, her power base weakened by hurricane damage to New Orleans. And there are some vamps who would like to finish what nature started. Soon, Sookie must decide what side she'll stand with. And her choice may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe.
Yay, Sookie finally has a woman friend! We are getting into Bechdel test territory, as they are close to having conversations about something besides men and Bob the cat (an unfortunate man turned into a cat by Sookie’s friend Amelia, when trying some magic that she shouldn’t have been messing with).
And if Sookie doesn’t get the vampire-employee-of-the-year award for her performance in this book, I want to know the reason why. The undead had better acknowledge her courage and value in the next installment.
I know that a lot of people see casual racism in the Sookie series, but Harris does tackle the prejudice issue in this novel, albeit the bias of the living against the undead and the vampires and werewolves against each other. Easier to tackle in fictional creatures than in actual populations, perhaps (like the memorable Star Trek episode with the half black/half white aliens who discriminate based on which side of the face is black or white).
Having finished the previous novel, I picked this one up immediately and plunged forward. When I looked up, it was 2 a.m. and I had just set myself up for a draggy Saturday. Despite that, I have no regrets, but I will try to resist the next installment until I’m caught up a bit on my library books.