Monday, August 24, 2009

All Together Dead, by Charlaine Harris

(hb; 2007: seventh entry in The Sookie Stackhouse Novels)

From the inside flap:

"Being surrounded by all varieties of undead, changeling and preternatural beings has gotten to be nothing out of the ordinary for Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse. Still, even she has her limits. Betrayed by her longtime vampire love, Sookie must now not only deal with a possibly new man in her life -- the oh-so band some shapeshifter Quinn -- but also contend with the long-planned vampire summit in Rhodes.

"The summit, which has attracted undead power players from all over the central U.S., is sure to be a tense situation. The vampire queen of Louisiana is in a precarious situation, her power base weakened by hurricane damage to New Orleans. And there are some vamps who would like to finish what nature started. With secret alliances and backroom deals the order of the day -- and night -- Sookie must decide what side she'll stand with. And her choice might mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe."


Caveat: (possible) spoilers in this review.

Not a mystery at all (all of the malefactors are fairly obvious), this seventh Sookie novel is a fun afternoon-blast of a book.

One nit: there's a longer-than-usual sex scene (it spans two and a half pages) that runs way too long. It doesn't seem like Harris was adding a natural/logical scene to her story; it reads like she made Harlequin Romance-esque concessions to the "romantic supernatural" genre/readers. (This is disappointing, but not book-ruining, for me. . . though it should be noted that Laurell K. Hamilton's overwrought/overlong sex scenes caused me to stop reading her.)

On the plus side, most of the series (undead) regulars -- including Barry Horowitz (aka "Barry Bellboy"), telepath bellboy from Living Dead in Dallas, and Sophie-Anne Leclerq (teenage vampire queen of Louisiana, who slew her treacherous husband, Peter Threadgill, at the slaughterama finish of Definitely Dead) -- are present, as are some followers of Fellowship of the Sun, and one of its more-violent splinter groups, Take Back the Night.

Largely predictable -- some of the actions taken by key characters are pseudo-twisty, and suprisingly dumb -- there's a "don't think, enjoy the ride" feel to this one.

Solid beach-read.

Followed by From Dead to Worse.

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