(Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 3)
by Charlaine Harris
Published by Ace Books, 2003
So are you a fan of HBO's "True Blood," yet? HBO has adapted the first two novels in the Southern Vampire Mysteries series by Charlaine Harris, and if they stay true to form then the next season should cover the events from this book, "Club Dead." If so we should have some fun with werewolves and shapeshifters on the series, so be prepared.
I actually started reading this series after I read a short storie in the book of "My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding." I picked up that book because it contained a Jim Butcher story revolving around his Harry Dresden wizard character. I read the Charlaine Harris story based on the world of the Sookie Stackhouse vampires and found the writing to be very fun. So I gave the first book a chance. A few months after I read that first book I found out HBO was doing a series based on the book and felt that synchronicity had hit with my reading again. That and the books are a fun romp in the supernatural world of vampires, shapeshifters and the occasional werewolf. I will warn you this is another vampire series where everyone wants to be in love with a vampire rather than staking their blood-sucking hearts, but some get staked and as a narrator of her life in the world where vampires have "come out of the coffin," Sookie Stackhouse has a fun way of looking at life with the undead.
In this book Sookie's vampire boyfriend, Bill, has been acting secretively, and is on a mission for the Queen of Louisiana Vampires. Yes the vamps have queens and kings for each state, also within each state there is a region that is ruled by a sheriff. The sheriff for the region of Louisiana in which Sookie lives (Bon Temps) is Eric Northman a large viking vampire. Bill is supposed to work for Eric and the queen goes through Eric, except this time the mission Bill is on Eric does not know about. Before Bill leaves on this mission, he tells Sookie that if he does not return after a set time she is to look on his computer and share the information found there.
A couple of days later Sookie is attacked by a werewolf outside Merlotte's, the bar where she works, but Bubba the vampire is there to kill the werewolf. Bubba has got to be one of the funniest minor characters created in this vampire series, you see, Bubba is Elvis Presley, yes the King himself. It seems the coroner on duty when Elvis died was a vamp and a huge fan. The problem is that due to the inexperience of the vamp, the drugs coursing through the King's body and the dead too long aspect some problems occurred in the turning of Elvis/Bubba. Those problems are that Elvis doesn't really remember who he was and he's a bit dimwitted. So the Louisiana vampires now use Bubba as an errand boy and try to keep him out of the public eye and clear of any household pets as he likes to drink the animals' blood (cats being a particular favorite). Bubba is always cheerful, goodwill radiating from his fearsome smile. And will only sing when he feels like it. Sookie says that “though every now and then, he exhibited a streak of shrewdness” he follows directions quite literally.
Sookie then learns that the werewolf was sent to find her because Bill is being held captive and being tortured for some information. Sookie was supposed to have been captured to provide extra leverage in Bill's torture, but the only thing they knew about her was that she lived in Bon Temps, Bill had not given up any information under torture.
Eric then enlists Sookie and her talents to find Bill. Sookie's talents, which I should mention at this time are that she is a telepath, she can hear people's thoughts. So undercover with a werewolf, Alcide Herveaux, Sookie goes to Jackson, Mississippi to find Bill. Even though Eric has dropped the bombshell on her that Bill was planning on leaving Sookie to be with his former lover and maker, Lorena.
In Jackson, Sookie and Alcide create sexual tension between themselves (yep another love interest for Sookie), visit a Supernatural creature bar where they meet a goblin, hide the body of a dead werewolf, save a vampire from being staked by a religious fanatic, Rescue Bill and stake a vampire. All in a week for Sookie Stackhouse.
By the way, rumor has it that the guy who played Flash Thompson in the Spider-man movies, Joe Manganiello, will be portraying Alcide in the 3rd series of True Blood.
So if you like the light-hearted, horror-tinged supernatural tales you really should check out this fun series. Nothing serious here, just fun.