All Together Dead
by Charlaine Harris
Cover Artist: Lisa Desimini
Review by Gayle Surrette
Ace Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441014941
Date: 01 May 2007 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
The vampire summit is coming up. Sookie has already agreed to be part of the Queen of Louisiana's contingent. The queen wants the advantage of a telepath to read the other humans who will be attending. The balance of power in the region has shifted since Katrina wiped out most of New Orleans along with vampires living there and thus the queen's power base. The queen is being accused of murdering her husband, the king of Arkansas. In her excitement at seeing another part of the country and spending some time with Quinn, who is doing event security at the summit, Sookie forgets that a gathering of vampires can be very dangerous. That is until the first deaths occur.
At the hotel, she gets reacquainted with Barry Bellboy, the only other telepath she's ever met. They find that together the talent is stronger than when they're on their own. There's plots within plots, vampire politics, religious fanaticism, and all the mayhem and danger usual in any vampire gathering.
Sookie has always had her own inner nobility and strong ethical core to keep her on course. The summit and its politics and maneuverings tests Sookie in ways that cause her to bend in unexpected ways in order to survive. The Sookie at the end of the journey is dealing with pain, not just pain from injuries but an inner pain for the Sookie Stackhouse she was before her journey began.
Harris manages to give us characters that we can relate to in situations we hope we'll never face. Readers of series come to know the characters and each book is a visit in a world not ours. We laugh at the triumphs and cry at the failures and eagerly await the next volume of the saga. Waiting for the next installment, to see how Sookie is doing and how this latest adventure has effected her will be tough but then another Sookie Stackhouse adventure is worth waiting for.
If you haven't read the Southern Vampire series yet, start with Dead until Dark and enjoy it from the beginning.
Great interview with Buchanan, by the way. I'm glad to distinguish the editors before the Hugo voting.