The vamps have been out for years, and now the weres and shifters have decided to follow the lead of the undead and reveal their existence to the ordinary world. Sookie Stackhouse already knows about them, of course - her brother turns into a panther at the full moon, she's friend to the local were pack, and Sam, her boss at Merlotte's bar, is a shapeshifter.
The great revelation goes well at first - then the horribly mutilated body of a were-panther is found in the parking lot of Merlotte's, and Sookie agrees to use her telepathic talent to track down the murderer. But there is a far greater danger than this killer threatening Bon Temps: a race of unhuman beings, older, more powerful, and far more secretive than the vampires or the werewolves, is preparing for war. And Sookie is an all-too-human pawn in their ages-old battle ...
This review contains BIG plot spoilers!
The shifter community 'comes out' on live TV and in Sam's bar to Arlene's disgust and she quits her job, while Sam's stepdad shoots his mother. Niall is going to war with his fae rivals, Eric tricks Sookie into 'marrying' him, the FBI are interested in her gift and there is tragedy for both Sookie and Jason.
Sookie is nervous that the government have tracked her down after her mind-reading at the disaster site and the thought of being used by them for the rest of her life scares her. But her mind is also on other things when the pregnant Crystal is found crucified outside Sam's bar with Jason the prime suspect. She is also upset at Arlene's attitude to her and Sam, regarding them both as freaks and ending their friendships. She is also mad at being tricked by Eric for her 'protection'. She's having a pretty tough time right now and you can't help feeling sorry for her!
The good things in her life are her new relationship with Eric (yea!) and her new family in young Hunter, Hadley's son, who is also psychic and needs to be taught control. She is slowly getting used to having Niall around, as well as her cousin Claude and Claudine. Amelia is getting lucky in love with Sookie's were bodyguard Tray, a development which I liked as he is a good character. It was also good to see the vampire, shifter and faery communities joining forces to save Sookie and take on the faery enemies in the war.
But things take a grim turn (of course). It was Jason's were friend Mel who murdered Crystal out of jealousy as he was in love with Jason. Arlene tries to set up Sookie as the victim of a copycat crucifixion but the police are there in time to arrest her and the Fellowship. It is a massive shock and betrayal for Sookie to cope with. Then the faery war starts and the casualties include a kidnapped and tortured Sookie, Tray and Claudine who are killed (NOOOO! I liked them!), and Bill is seriously injured. Poor Claudine was one of my favourites and I cried when she was killed.
This book was back to the best things about the series-the characters that we love being in mortal danger. There is tension, fight scenes, death, love, friendships and friction. Everything a Sookie book should have! There are scenes of torture which some fans might find disturbing but I think it fits into the darker issues that are facing her. A much better book than the last couple have been.