Dead and Gone
Ace, May 2009, $25.95
Telepath Sookie Stackhouse works as a waitress at Merlotte’s Diner in Bon Temps, Louisiana. When Japanese scientists invented synthetic blood, vampires came out of the coffins and introduced themselves over TV. Although the new world needs some getting used to and help groups form, life for the most part have somewhat settled down as people realize vampires have been part of the assimilated population for centuries. It is now the shapeshifters turn to come out into the open.
However, some humans react violently towards the news. The owner of Merlotte’s stepdaughter almost kills her mother. Female shifter is crucified in Merlotte’s parking lot; she is the estranged wife of Sookie’s brother. Sookie’s great grandfather Niall is at war with an enemy who wants to kill and Sookie is sought by his adversaries as a potential hostage; several attempts to either abduct or kill her occur. Having a brother who is a were-panther means he will protect her but Sookie underestimates the threat to her and her loved ones by an ancient evil species more powerful than weres, vamps and humans combined.
True Blood is the TV show based on the Sookie novels and like this tale and previous entries are great urban fantasies. With all the different species surfacing who previously were assumed to be myths, Sookie and one other person are the only known telepaths in the United States. Although a bit less action oriented than other books in the series, Readers get to know the characters better and Sookie finally has some romance in her life. Charlaine Harris is one of the best urban fantasy worldbuilders writing today.