Sookie enlivens 'Dead to the World'

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By ANGELIC JONES

BOOK REVIEW
Try delving deeper into the supernatural world, and you'll uncover the completely natural, pretending. In Dead to the World, the fourth novel in the Sookie Stackhouse Series, author Charlaine Harris throws witches into the fray. The completely human dabblers in the supernatural create mayhem in Sookie's life, challenging her to move forward with her innermost desires while fighting her foes.

Book four begins with a teaser about something Sookie relished in the past, her relationship with Bill, who makes a valiant attempt to explain the vampire world to Sookie by telling her he got with his old girlfriend, Lorena, who turned Bill into a vampire. She ordered him to leave Sookie, and he had to respond to the blood tie when she called. Sookie is feisty and refuses to listen to his platitudes. Bill adds further injury by telling her that he's leaving for a while on the queen's orders to go to Peru. Bill leaves her in danger of attack.

In a play, the directions would read, "Exit Bill, enter Eric, stage right." Sookie is not long on her own. Driving home one night, she sees a naked man on the side of the road. She was raised better than to leave a person out and down, so she pulls over and discovers it is the less-than-friendly Eric cowering on the road. Till this point, Eric has been a menace and a threat to the security of her relationship with Bill because he seems to want her for himself. However, Eric is not polite and has been a trickster to get Sookie to connect with a blood tie by telling her she needed to suck his blood to save him when she was still a novice to vampire ways and didn't know Eric would heal as long as he hadn't met the true death.

Sookie dislikes his cold and calculated ways, but the Eric she picks up on the side of the road is a different man.

Ah, enter the witches. Humans practicing magic to control their environment have been fighting the weres and vamps by casting magic to take over cities and making the sups (supernaturals) pay them for protection - from them. Eric refuses to sacrifice Fangtasia and himself to Hallow, head of the coven. She's taken a true liking to the blond, attractive Nordic man and he - a man who can have any woman - does not want to bow to a woman when he is master of his own domain. So she puts a spell on him to make him lose himself until he finds what he wants the most. That's like sending a vamp to find a needle in a haystack when they have 1,000 years or more to search. Sookie takes the lost Eric back to his workers and brokers a deal for $50,000 to watch Eric at her home in Bon Temps.

Once again, she is playing heroine and taking on responsibilities that will put her smack in the middle of danger when Eric's enemies sniff him out. In the meantime, Sookie finds love and lust with the ultra-sensitive Eric who is able to be more himself without his vampire mantle on. Sookie falls in love with the new Eric and closes the relationship while living with him. Eric pledges his life to her and states he will leave everything that he has for her.

Vampires, weres, shapeshifters, faeries, witches, and humans all interact together in this novel, combining all the groups that Harris imagines. Sookie interacts with them all honestly and openly, learning the depth of her capabilities during a huge battle and discovering the depth her love can go as she engages in her second real relationship in life - with the dynamic Eric Northman.

Angelic Jones is a freelance writer for Austin Weekly News.

ajoneswrites4u@excite.com.

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