Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris:
For Sookie Stackhouse, the day to day activities of the vampire and were communities in and around Bon Temps, Louisiana, are of vital interest, She's blood-bound to the leader of the vamps, a friend to the local were pack, works for a man who is shifter, and has a brother who is a were-panther…
But for most of the humans in Bon Temps, the vamps are mysterious seductive creatures-and they don't even know about the weres.
Until now. The weres and shifters have finally decided to follow the lead of the undead and reveal their existence to the ordinary world.
At first it seems to go well. Then the mutilated body of a were-panther is found in the parking lot of the bar where Sookie works. The victim is someone she knows, so she feels compelled to discover who-human or otherwise-did the deed.
But what she doesn't realize is that there is a far greater danger than the killer threatening Bon Temps. A race of unhuman beings--older, more powerful and far more secretive than vampires or werewolves-- is preparing for war. And Sookie will find herself an all-too human pawn in their battle…
Review by Theresa:
Those who follow Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire (Sookie Stackhouse) series are well aware that the 9th book in the series was released on May 5th, 2009.
In breathless anticipation, I pulled my copy up on my Kindle at about 5:30 AM that morning and was done by 7PM the following day. As usual, I found the book too short and wanted MORE, but that's really my only complaint.
At this point in the series, most fans have developed attachments to the characters and are sad when something bad happens to one they care about or elated when a storyline involving them goes the way they'd hoped. In a world with so many characters and threads, there will always be both disappointed and happy readers. With DAG, this is fairly evident from the chatter on the review sites and on Ms. Harris' forum. Practically no one is in the middle...they either love this book or they hate it.
As a fan of Eric, I LOVED this book!! I found the developments in his character and relationships lusciously satisfying. His scenes, sadly short in the last book, were my favorites in DAG. The viking is BACK in a gracious-plenty sort of way.
That said, there are some very dark aspects to DAG. Secondary characters, some of whom I liked, are murdered in atrocious and taboo-breaking ways. More are hurt and treated cruelly. The violence level is pretty high and shocking, although when vampires, werewolves and fey are involved, should anyone be surprised by this?
There are, as always, threads left dangling at the conclusion...enough to keep the boards humming with speculation until #10 is released in 2010.
If you haven't read the previous 8 books, you really need to do so before reading Dead and Gone. There are far too many different characters and backstories to start the series with this book. And the books are also not to be confused with the HBO series Trueblood. Season 1 is based on the first book, but it has taken some of the characters & relationships in different directions.
I recommend this book to those who have read the previous novels and especially to those who like Eric. Those who haven't read the previous books won't enjoy this one. Start with Dead Until Dark.