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).
With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his "child" Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows...
You can get whiplash trying to keep up with Sookie Stackhouse’s life—one day you’re planning a vampire assassination, the next it’s a mundane baby shower. One evening you hand out sharpened stakes, the next cake and napkins.
This is the volume of the series where Sookie realizes how much her life has changed—how much she has changed. For several books now, Sookie has noted that she’s a “bad Christian.” Now she knows where her telepathic talent comes from (an indiscretion of her grandmother’s) and her world has expanded to include all sorts of supernatural creatures. She has left behind her “nice girl next door” persona and is becoming a woman to be conjured with.
It’s inevitable that this will change her relationship with Eric, who is used to being the vampire in charge. He’s getting surly and pouty, not liking this change in his ‘wife.’ She’s standing up for herself and for others, something that controlling spouses find disconcerting.
I amazed, actually, at how many human relationship issues that Harris manages to tackle through this urban fantasy soap-opera. As Sookie learns more about herself and managing her feelings & expectations, we all get to review these life lessons through her interior monologue. How often women are expected to ‘be nice’ and acquiesce to the demands of men, plus how they get labelled as bitches when they don’t follow this script.
Still loving Pam, still carrying a torch for Bill, really appreciating Bubba.