In this sixth outing, mind-reading Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse must travel to New Orleans. Summoned by the vampire Queen of that city, Sookie has to claim her inheritance after the Queen’s unofficial consort, Sookie’s cousin Hadley is killed. But someone doesn’t want Sookie looking into things too deeply - she’s attacked by freshly-turned Were’s and then by a just-risen vamp, and that’s not even including her always tumultuous love life. To complicate matters further, the vampiric Queendom is in some turmoil – a marriage of convenience has been arranged between the Queen of Louisiana and the King of Arkansas, and things are tense.
Lynn recently wrote a review about the series where she complained about the peculiar and inexplicable allure of Sookie – all men, or at least all supernatural ones, are drawn to her, and this so irritated Lynn that it distracted from the plot. Clearly she’s not alone, because in Definitely Dead Harris explains all. The first mention I found somewhat plausible, though obviously somewhat exaggerated – when the vampire Bill, Sookie’s first lover, made it clear he found her attractive her resulting confidence and demeanour made her more attractive to others. It’s certainly been my experience that one’s belief and bearing have a huge impact on one’s perceived attractiveness, so I can buy that, though Sookie has seemed in the past to have an almost supernatural drawing power. Which brings us to reason two, where it is revealed that Sookie does, indeed, have a supernatural reason for her pulling power (and possibly, though this is not stated, this also explains her gift). I must say, though, that the reason given was a little out of left field and seemed obviously written in response to complaints like Lynn’s – were this a plotted reason we would surely have seen evidence of it earlier.
Still and all I am a generally far less conscious reader than Lynn, and I had been fairly comfortable (at least until she pointed out) just to accept that every non-human creature lusts after her. I enjoyed this instalment, and will read the next, though I think I’ll borrow the next book from the library rather than shelling out for my own copy. – Alex