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All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) Mass Market Paperback – March 25, 2008
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“It’s the kind of book you look forward to reading before you go to bed, thinking you’re only going to read one chapter, and then you end up reading seven.”—Alan Ball, executive producer of True Blood
“Vivid, subtle, and funny in her portrayal of southern life.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Charlaine Harris has vividly imagined telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse and her small-town Louisiana milieu, where humans, vampires, shapeshifters, and other sentient critters live...Her mash-up of genres is delightful, taking elements from mysteries, horror stories, and romances.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“The series continues to be inventive and funny with an engaging, smart, and sexy heroine.”—The Denver Post
“Blending action, romance, and comedy, Harris has created a fully functioning world so very close to our own, except, of course, for the vamps and other supernatural creatures.”—The Toronto Star
About the Author
- Publisher : Ace Books; 1st edition (March 25, 2008)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 342 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0441015816
- ISBN-13 : 978-0441015818
- Item Weight : 5.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.13 x 0.89 x 6.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #160,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Not sure if any other reviewers have mentioned this already, but I was intrigued by the introduction of the two alien bodyguards from the Britlingen Collective hired by the King of Kentucky, the tough professional mercenaries Clovache and Batanya. Ms. Harris wrote a short story about them (not a Sookie story). It's called "The Britlingens Go to Hell" and is included in the 2009 "Must Love Hellhounds" anthology, and is a fun read that is quite different from anything else Ms. Harris has written.
**Additional edit** While in the process of re-reading some of my older anthologies, I realized that Ms. Harris did a SECOND short story about side characters in "All Together Dead" - the vampire dancers, Layla and Sean. It's in the 2004 anthology called "Night's Edge" - Ms. Harris' short is called "Dancing In The Dark".
Like the above-mentioned "Britlingens Go To Hell", this short story focuses strictly on Layla and Sean, so Sookie et.al. do not appear at all. It's the story of how Sean and Layla met, fell in love, and became permanent dancing partners. Straightforward and nicely done, and a charming vampire romance (if that isn't an oxymoron, LOL)!
The setting is quite different from the last book, which primarily took place in pre-Katrina New Orleans. This time Sookie finds herself in a pyramid-shaped hotel for vampires north of the Mason-Dixon line. It's a neat place humming with activity and deceit. There are three separate mystery threads getting tangled up in all the hotel action. With everything going on, there's barely enough time to think about the smaller details. The larger plot is easy enough to figure out, though.
Sookie is more introspective this time around. This lends weight to the book, making it a little more thought-provoking than other books in the series, not that it's approaching literature or anything. Sookie finds herself in an interesting conundrum: she hates most of the vampires. They are vile creatures. Unfortunately, she also realizes that most of her confidence and self-worth over the last couple of years has come from the fact that she has been so crucial and helpful to them. She's not quite sure what to make of herself. The vampires do some really devious things this time around; however, it's humans that perpetuate the horrific disaster at the climax of the book. Even Sookie herself does a few things that she isn't quite proud of.
This one wraps up a lot of persisting storylines. I've heard future books in the series aren't as good. Although I'm still looking forward to reading them, I'm not surprised the quality dips a bit, because this one was so well done.
Top reviews from other countries
When the group arrive in the hotel in Rhodes, which is where the Summit is held, they find out that Jennifer and the Arkansas group have bbeen murdered. And before they can investigate further, a suspected bomb is found outside the Queen's suite which turns out to be only a false alarm. The summit begins and it starts with the wedding of King of Mississippi Russell and King of Indiana, with Eric as the "priest"! Apart from that, Sookie also gets to meet up with some old acquaintances such as Stan, who has risen from being a sheriff to the King of Texas, and Barry the bellboy, the other telepath that she knows of. Being aware of Sookie's ability, the Queen orders Andre, her child and bodyguard, to do a blood exchange with her so that they can have a closer connection with her. This is however interrupted by Eric. Eric, being lesser of the two evils, bonds with Sookie instead and Quinn (being the event coordinator) walks in the middle of it.
With Sookie's help, the Queen manages to get herself out of the accusation and is declared innocent. However, their problems are not over yet. The Fellowship of the Sun have come to know about the Summit and have set up plans to bomb the hotel! Sookie and Barry save the day and manage to get most of the key figures in the Summit to safety before the building collapses, with a few injuries (such as Quinn) and death (such as Andre).
This is a fun and action packed read with probably more glamour than previous books. Since there is so much going on in the book, you are left with thinking who's behind the various plots. We get to know so much more about the vampire hierarchy, especially the ones in Louisiana. There are five areas in Louisiana and Eric is the sheriff for area 5. We get introduced to other sheriffs as well and we know more about the Queen and her bodyguards/children and her ability to telepath with her children and the ability to keep them close to her- in Charlaine's world, a child leaves the maker at some stage.
We see new characters and also old ones coming together. It's good to see Russell (King of Mississippi) and Stan (now King of Texas) and most of all Barry. I enjoy the way Sookie and Barry working together and the chemistry between the two telepaths. There is probably less humor in this book than the other books and it's full of serious meetings etc. The only funny bit I can think of is to imagine Eric being the "priest" to perform the wedding ceremony and he gets the qualification from an "online" course!!!
Apart from the Summit, another key storyline of the book is of course Sookie's love life. Her relationship is not going as well as it should be with Quinn and we also get to know more about Quinn's background. From the beginning of the story, we are also revealed, from Pam, the personal conflict that Bill and Eric have with themselves regarding Sookie. And Pam also tells Sookie about the way that she was turned and her child-maker relationship with Eric which is good to know. Pam is a fun character to have in the books and would love to see more of her in later books. Back to Sookie's love life, I have to say I am getting bit annoying with Bill as you can see in this book that he is still trying to get her back. As for Eric, even before the blood exchange, he is already behaving in a weird way towards Sookie which can lead you to suspect he remembers the time he spent with Sookie when he was under the curse. And with the blood exchange or blood bond formed between him and Sookie, they definitely become kind of closer but in a very strange way. I am glad to see the development between the two but question still remains whether there is really love between the two or because of the blood bond. I think this is something that we will find out a bit more in the next book.