Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 2 1/2 of 5 stars
Better than the last, but maybe just because Sookie didn't get tortured or raped or almost raped this time. The action moved along at a decent clip, and I wanted to know what was up with the fairie. But, the mysteries have, for some time, been merely incidental to the plot, and I continue not to care about Bill (i hope this new story with him and what's-her-face is not going to become important). If things are going to come to a head between Eric and Victor, that needs to happen in the next book. Harris' storytelling grew *really* repetitive, broken only by bouts of serious sadism. And, I no longer read the books for Sookie. Sookie's interactions with certain characters (Claude, Jason, etc) remains amusing, but not enough to hang a story on without some actual plot.
And then there are the problems with what plot there was. First, there was absolutely no good reason for Eric's maker to show up except to keep him [Eric:] out of the plot, because that's the only thing it added. There was no reason for Eric's maker's "new" vampire to be Alexei Romanov - there are other ways to have made him crazy, and it added very little beyond that. It was like a bad guest cameo during sweeps.
And why did the random vamp who got killed need to be exotic? It wasn't enough for him to be an outsider from Houston, since that's all that was really important about him? Alternately, why wasn't his exoticism more important? The question of his being turned "in wolfless Arabia" was raised - despite the fact that he could very well have been born and raised in Houston - but nothing was done with it...
Finally, I love Eric, and I love Sookie and Eric, but Sookie/Eric has been in varying stages of a holding pattern for too many installments. It's a terrible idea, and either that needs to blow up, or they need to have something to do besides moon over each other and transmit angst. You know what would be perfect? A plot to murder Eric's superiors! Emphasis on "plot."
Unless there's going to be some actual plot next time (a mystery that feels important, a battle between Eric and Victor, something about Sam in more than a sideline way...), or at least a decent romance-level plot between Eric and Sookie, it's not worth it. If I weren't so stubborn, I'd give up now.
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