Author: Charlaine Harris
First Published: 2004
Page Count: 291
Film/ TV Adaptation: Yes*
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Note: Book 4 of The Southern Vampire Mysteries
Another intriguing addition to the series that falters slightly with the absence of one of its main characters.
“I hate witches. Humans had the right idea, burning them at the stake.” With Bill away on business in Peru, Sookie finds herself occupied with handsome vampire Eric who has lost his memory thanks to a coven of dangerous witches. The usually suave and flirtatious vampire is now a vulnerable, kinder version of himself that Sookie finds herself very attracted to. However, Sookie has more on her plate then trying to resist Eric’s new persona when her brother, Jason, mysteriously goes missing and the same coven of witches who cursed Eric threaten the supernatural community of Shreveport.
As with the other books in this series, this is another consistently good addition to the storyline. There are two engaging mysteries for Sookie to unravel involving the supernatural which is par for the course in the books. However, what makes this book stand out from the previous three is its focus on Sookie and Eric’s budding romance. For readers of the series, the love triangle between Sookie, Eric, and Bill has been the enduring theme of each book. Yet we finally break away from that formula as Sookie and Eric’s flirtation becomes the focus. Even after uniting these two characters, Harris still leaves something for readers to look forward to because Eric isn’t exactly himself in his cursed state meaning Sookie has yet to actually give in to the real Eric Northman.
Although Bill is sent off to Peru in this book in order for Sookie and Eric’s romance to be given a shot, that did leave a gaping hole that not even Eric could fill. For so long, we have become accustomed to the back and forth between Eric and Bill as they each vie for Sookie’s affection. While it was certainly satisfying to finally give Eric the spotlight (considering I prefer him over Bill anyway), Bill’s absence was noticeable. I’m hoping in the next book we see more fallout from Sookie’s time with Eric because that was what I felt was lacking in this book.
This continues to be a solid supernatural series and I was left with enough cliff hangers to entice me to read the next book. The progress of Harris’s main characters is the real draw of these books, but she still manages to create interesting, fresh supernatural mysteries for them to get caught up in for each new entry in her series.
*TV Adaptation: (True Blood Starring Anna Paquin 2008-2014)