Book Review: All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris (Series, #7)
Against her fairy godmother’s better judgment, Sookie accompanies the Louisiana vampire contingency to Rhodes, Illinois for the vampire summit to work for the queen reading human minds at the various wheelings and dealings. She is excited that Quinn will be there as well, but a wrench is thrown in the works of their relationship when she is forced to exchange blood for a third time with Eric. To top it all off Sookie and fellow telepath Barry have the odd sensation that something isn’t quite right at the summit. It’s a lot for small-town girl Sookie to handle in one week in the north.
I want to say the action in this entry into Sookie’s adventures is excellent, but it isn’t quite there. The minor side-mysteries are quite good, but they are meant to distract from the main event, which frankly I had figured out way way way before Sookie. It was pratically hitting her in the face, and she didn’t get it. So the mystery leaves a little to be desired.
On the other hand, the plot point where Andre is trying to force Sookie to exchange blood with him, and Eric steps up to exchange blood with her instead is excellent. Quinn is unjustifiably angry, and Sookie discovers that trading blood three times is a magical number. She is more closely tied to Eric than she is comfortable with, and she is left incredibly confused about her feelings for him vs her feelings for Quinn. This is a love conflict that is bound to prove interesting because she has feelings for Eric but intellectually believes Quinn is a wiser choice. Now this is juicy romantic conflict!
Something that has been bugging me about the series that is featured epicenter of this book though is the whole idea of the vampires arranging their kingdoms based on the states. There’s the King of Tennessee and the Queen of Louisiana, and they even call each other simply by the state (as in, “Oh hi, Louisiana”). This makes zero sense. Why would the super-powerful and, for the majority of existence, hidden vampires arrange themselves based on arbitrary human dividing lines? Sure having multiple kingdoms in the US makes sense, but not arranged based on the human-created state lines. It doesn’t fit into the characterization of what a vampire is.
I think what really bothered me about this book though was that it made me dislike Sookie. I don’t like how she behaves, her superficial focus on clothing, or her prejudiced view of northerners. (Not a single northern woman she runs into does she view as anything other than a rude bitch). I don’t always need to like my main characters, but I think in a paranormal romance that’s problematic.
Overall, the action is excellent, even if some of the world-building doesn’t make sense and the characterization can be off-putting. I think this may be a set-up for a major, character-changing circumstance in Sookie’s life, which would make it more understandable. We’ll see if I’m right.
3 out of 5 stars
Source: Bought on Amazon