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Dead to the World (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 4) Hardcover – May 4, 2004
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When cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse sees a naked man on the side of the road, she doesn't just drive on by. Turns out the poor thing hasn't a clue who he is, but Sookie does. It's Eric the vampire—but now he's a kinder, gentler Eric. And a scared Eric, because whoever took his memory now wants his life.Watch a QuickTime trailer for the HBO original series True Blood.
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In a modern and twisty retelling of Jane Eyre, a young woman must question everything she thinks she knows about love, loyalty, and murder. | Learn more
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One of the best-known and best writers of the new American mythology is Charlaine Harris. Dead to the World is the fourth novel in her Anthony Award-winning Southern Vampire series. It continues the story of psychic waitress Sookie Stackhouse, who has fallen out with her undead lover, Bill. Bill has no sooner departed for Peru, than Sookie finds the head vampire, Eric, running naked and terrified through the rural night. She helps Eric, and discovers his memory has been destroyed by a coven of unscrupulous, astonishingly powerful witches, newly arrived in her small Louisiana town, and offering a huge reward for Eric. Sookie tries to hide Eric, but her brother sees him--and immediately disappears. And Sookie finds herself caught in a war among witches, vampires, and werewolves. --Cynthia Ward
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Publisher : Ace; First Edition (May 4, 2004)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0441011675
- ISBN-13 : 978-0441011674
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.62 x 0.87 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #864,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Sexual tension remains high with Alcide, a werewolf from Shreveport. Her ex, Vampire Bill has gone to Peru on an assignment from the vampire Queen of Louisiana, and her brother Jason is missing.
A little more lively, and even more characters appear in this book of the series, but it seemed to be lacking the spark of the previous instalments in the series. Still, Sookie remains a fiction favorite !
After that, interlocking stories develop. How did Eric come to this sad state? What can be done about that? What has happened to Sookie's brother Jason, who has disappeared? Many supernatural characters are key players in this book. Vampires (Eric for one, with Bill--Sookie's former love--coming back from a poorly explained trip to Peru, as a bystander), witches (both good and bad), Wiccas, shapeshifters, and Were(add your animal, such as wolf, panther, etc.).
Sookie tries to balance her concern for her brother, her employment as a server at a bar, her ability to hear people's thoughts (most unpleasant to her--although a valuable tool at other times), her trying to carry out her job as "protector" of Eric, her poor financial standing. . . . Altogether, she has much to juggle. But, as characterized here by the author Charlaine Harris, her spunkiness and willingness to adapt make her a sympathetic character. Plots are normally not too credible; things fairly farfetched seem to happen. But, in the end, this is another fine addition to the Sookie Stackhouse series. Not to be missed is a final battle over Eric, when an alliance of Wiccas, shapeshifters, were--, and vampires takes on the evil witch's alliance. And Sookie takes the point! An intriguing battle. . . .
If you are interested in paranormal fantasies and romances, this isn't a bad work to read. And reading of Sookie's embraces with the hapless vampire Eric is rather touchingly done. . . . This is not a genre that I have invested much energy in, but I find it oddly irresistible.
Top reviews from other countries
There's a bit more supernatural stuff going on this time around. We meet some new beings, or Supes as they are called in the book, including some new Shifters, a fairy and a coven of witches. Sookie's brother Jason also gets more to do in this book, he becomes involved in the supernatural world and his character will certainly never be the same again after this book. Some of the characters who we met in the previous book, Club Dead: A True Blood Novel also reappear, most notably Alcide, Sookie's werewolf friend (although he, along with many other male characters is something of a love interest for her).
If you have read any of these books before then you know what to expect here; a fun, slightly tongue in cheek paranormal mystery. Our heroine, Sookie is fairly brazen and although she isn't the sharpest tool in the box, acts as a very entertaining narrator. Style wise, the book is very simple to read, and it won't take you long as it is quite addictive reading, as are the other books in this series. If you haven't read any of those, then I suggest you go back to Dead Until Dark: A True Blood Novel and start from there, as although this can be understood and read as a single mystery, there are things that do overlap from book to book, such as characters and mythology. Nothing too mind boggling, but it's always best to get the whole effect of this world.
So all in all, this is an addictive, fun and at times suspenseful read, which is the strongest addition to the series so far. Let's hope that book five keeps up with this trend.
Without herself realizing it, Sookie finds herself in the middle of turmoil of the supernatural world. A group of powerful werewolves and vampire blood drinking witches, led by Hallow and her brother Mark, have invaded Shreveport, put a spell to Eric and taken over his business. For Eric's safety, Sookie, with the help of Jason, comes to a deal with Pam. She will keep Eric in her place while Pam and Chow look for a way to defeat the witches and get their territory back. Not too long after that, Jason has gone missing.
With all these troubles in her hands, Alcide comes to give his assistance and he introduces her to the packmaster of were in Shreveport, Colonel Flood. Sookie forms a friendship with the were pack in Shreveport. Back in Bon Temps, Sookie continues into the investigation of Jason's disappearance. This takes her to the small shape shifter community of Hotshot headed by Calvin Norris, as Jason was last seen with Crystal Norris, a girl from the area. Troubled by all the problems round her, Eric's presence is like a breath of fresh air. Eric under the curse is so different to his normal self. He is not arrogant or proud anymore but becomes a very sensitive and lovable creature. With Bill out of the picture (he is out in Peru doing his research for the vampire database), Sookie begins a relationship with Eric-that's probably what you would expect after all their encounters from the previous books.
Finally, the local peace loving Wiccan witches, werewolves and vampires form an alliance. With Sookie and Bubba as the forerunner, they launch an attack to Hallow's nest. They win the fight in the end with a few injuries and death such as Chow and Colonel is badly hurt. Hallow is captured by Pam for further interrogation.
Eric and Sookie get back home but to their surprise, the night is not over yet. Debbie is waiting for Sookie with a gun! Debbie's assassination attempt fails as Eric takes the bullet for Sookie and Sookie shots her in return. The next day, when Eric wakes up, he turns back to his own self with no memory of the time he was under the curse. Even though it's hard to resist her feelings for him, Sookie decides not to reveal the truth about their time together.
Losing the lovely Eric is not the end of the world. Sookie gets her brother who turns out to have been kidnapped by a shape shifter from the Hotshot community who fancies Crystal, the girl he is going out with. He has been bitten and will turn into a were-panther in the next full moon.
Well, let me explain what I like about this book. Charlaine has certainly expanded the supernatural world that Sookie is in. In Club Dead, we get a glimpse of werewolves and shape shifters. And also, you may remember that Club Dead is spell-bound-a hint that witches exist in Sookie's world. And in this book, we get to know more about these two new introductions of supe creatures. Many new secondary characters appear in this series such as the Norris from Hotshot, Colonel Flood, Clancy the vampire etc.
Charlaine has certainly laid down a few lose ends and clues in this book which will be developed further in book 5. Will Jason have any problems adjusting to his new life as a shape shifter? Are Bill and Sookie completely over-well Bill was in the witch battle as well? Who is Claudine the fairy-she just kind of appeared from nowhere? Will anyone, especially Alcide, find out what happened to Debbie?
And finally, let me move on to discuss parts of the book that I do not like. On one hand, I am glad to see Eric and Sookie get to somewhere about their relationship. The connection has been developing in previous books and it's no surprise how this leads to. The chemistry between the two of them is so different in this book. Sookie has the chance to see a different side of Eric which is very hard to resist!!. Eric without all the ego and proud can be so sweet like a puppy dog-which I find quite funny. A few very steamy moments of the two should satisfy many Sookie/Eric fans. However, the way they get together is kind of a bit weird and very physically-probably guided by the blood bond-Sookie has had Eric's blood. The "nice" Eric even, not proposes, but says that he is willing to give up everything and come and live with her. And then the next day, he wakes up and forgets everything as Pam managed to get Hallow to lift the spell. Nothing is worse than that I think. It's like having a very good time and all of a sudden you realize all is a dream!!!
Another criticism I have is the fighting scene. There is a long build up to the battle with the powerful witches but it only lasts like a chapter. I would love to see a bit more action. The same for Debbie's attempt to kill Sookie. Similar to the death of Lorena, it's short and simple. I would love to see a bit more struggle and conversation to justify Sookie's reputation of being lethal to exes!!!
After the wider storylines of the last two novels, set in Dallas and Mississippi, this one was a welcome return to Bon Temps and the familiar local characters. Bill and Sookie are staying well apart - in fact, he's in Peru working on his vampire directory. A coven of powerful witches, with unprecedented triple power thanks to their Were status and taste for vampire blood, have moved into Shreveport with their eye on the vampires' business assets - and their personal ones too. Eric's memory has been hexed into oblivion in response to his rejection of the formidable Hallow, head of the coven. Left uncharacteristically sweet, vulnerable and completely clueless (but still totally gorgeous), it's left to Sookie to take him in and hide him from the witches - with sizzling repercussions... Oh, and Jason's mysteriously gone missing in suspicious circumstances. Just another week in Bon Temps, then!
Vampire chick lit may not be everyone's cup of tea, but these are snappy little reads, full of drama, wit, romance and a deft splash of blood, and I for one am having a wonderful time devouring them on my days off! Bring on book five...
It begins with Sookie, the protagonist, driving home from her work at the bar, on New Years Day at 2am. As she gets close to her home, she sees a man running down the road in just his jeans. She soon realises that the man is actually the head vampire sherrif, Eric Northman, who she knows fairly well. She coaxes the vampire into her car and takes him back to her house where she learns he has amnesia and doesn't know who he is. When she calls Pam, Eric's underling, she tells Sookie to hide him and that a band of witches cursed Eric - leaving him in his current state. Sookie reluctantly agrees to keep him and he soon begins to trust her above all others.
It's a compelling read to watch the relationship between Sookie and Eric be rebuilt. The once dangerous and sexily mysterious Eric, who held a degree of power over Sookie, is now a timid man who lays everything bare for all to see and who now looks to Sookie for guidance. It isn't long before their evident chemistry takes over and the two of them embark on a sexual relationship. However, she knows that the time she spends with this Eric is limited with Pam looking to restore him to his former being.
As I said before, my favourite book by far. I was so pleased to see Eric with Sookie instead of Bill, who I always felt didn't warrant her attention. I would definitely recommend this book to others and wish Charlaine would go back to writing storylines like these rather than every second person looking to kill Sookie off.