New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris continues her Sookie Stackhouse series (where the HBO series, True Blood, came from) with "Dead in the Family."
Speaking of the show True Blood, fans of it need to really start at the beginning of the book series and work their way up instead of just jumping into this one. For longtime fans of the book series, this one continues where "Dead and Gone" left off and references many of the events in the past of the series.
After the brutal Fae War that Sookie and her friends have just been through, there are many dead and others forever changed. Bill is injured and Sookie is determined to find a way to help him and Eric (whom Sookie is with) is being watched by the new vampire king, Victor. Eric and Sookie's relationship seems to be a bit on the rocks as well, though they still have feelings for each other.
Meanwhile, Sookie's Fae cousin, Claude, comes to stay with her for dubious reasons. Alcide's wolf pack comes to ask to use Sookie's land for a meeting, just as the tension surrounding the human/werewolf relations are heating up and they may possibly be under government scrutiny. And there's always a vampire or two poking around. And with everyone on Sookie's land, they eventually find a recently dead body and it's not who Sookie's expecting (poor Sookie - how messed up is your life when the body you EXPECT your friends to find isn't the one?) , and evidence that there's been a Fae also on the land that's not Claude. Could it be Sookie's crazy uncle Dermot? Or is it someone else? And then to make matters worse, Eric's vampire maker comes to town with his other "son" who is more than slightly crazy, which causes even more tension between Sookie and Eric.
All three of these plotlines come together in the end, and not without more than a little bloodshed. When the dust settles, what will happen to Sookie?
I continue to enjoy Harris' series, and look forward to each new book to see what will happen to Sookie next. Here's hoping there's many more adventures for Sookie in the future.
"Dead in the Family" is published by Ace. It is $25.95 and 311 pages long.
Some towns are obsessed with football. Some fans would do anything for the football team. Even raise them from the dead. A small Texas town shows a new side to football obsession in "Play Dead" by Ryan Brown.
Quarterback Cole Logan is the bad boy leader of the Killington Jackrabbits. The team is one win away from district championships and a game against crosstown rivals, the Elmwood Badgers.
But the Badgers is one tough team and they are determined to do anything to win, not limited to steroids. Cole is attacked by masked 'men' and his fingers cut off (from his non-throwing hand.) Cole's determined to still play for the team, though, and Savannah Hickman, the daughter of the coach and school reporter, is determined to get the story from the source about what happened. While Cole and Savannah are distracted elsewhere, the Badgers cause a crash with the Jackrabbit's bus, causing it to plunge into the river and everyone but the coach aboard drown. That's when Cole turns to his strange neighbor and rumored witch, Black Mona, for a little help in revenge...and the team comes back. But this team is hungrier for more than just a win (try flesh) and if Cole can't get a win over the Badgers, not only is the whole school's reputation on the line, but the teams' souls as well.
This is a funny book about small town football obsession with a zombie twist. The zombie part is played a bit for laughs - the parents can't tell the kids are zombies - all they want to do is eat and stare into space, which to them just sounds like normal teen behavior. Cole and Savannah are fun lead characters that are determined to do right or die trying.
"Play Dead" is published by Gallery Books. It is $24.99 and 344 pages long.
Contact Amy Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org