Home > Genre, paranormal, romance > Book Review: All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris (Series, #7)

Book Review: All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris (Series, #7)

Against her fairy godmother’s better judgment, Sookie accompanies the Louisiana vampire contingency to Rhodes, Illinois for the vampire summit to work for the queen reading human minds at the various wheelings and dealings.  She is excited that Quinn will be there as well, but a wrench is thrown in the works of their relationship when she is forced to exchange blood for a third time with Eric.  To top it all off Sookie and fellow telepath Barry have the odd sensation that something isn’t quite right at the summit.  It’s a lot for small-town girl Sookie to handle in one week in the north.

I want to say the action in this entry into Sookie’s adventures is excellent, but it isn’t quite there.  The minor side-mysteries are quite good, but they are meant to distract from the main event, which frankly I had figured out way way way before Sookie.  It was pratically hitting her in the face, and she didn’t get it.  So the mystery leaves a little to be desired.

On the other hand, the plot point where Andre is trying to force Sookie to exchange blood with him, and Eric steps up to exchange blood with her instead is excellent.  Quinn is unjustifiably angry, and Sookie discovers that trading blood three times is a magical number.  She is more closely tied to Eric than she is comfortable with, and she is left incredibly confused about her feelings for him vs her feelings for Quinn.  This is a love conflict that is bound to prove interesting because she has feelings for Eric but intellectually believes Quinn is a wiser choice.  Now this is juicy romantic conflict!

Something that has been bugging me about the series that is featured epicenter of this book though is the whole idea of the vampires arranging their kingdoms based on the states.  There’s the King of Tennessee and the Queen of Louisiana, and they even call each other simply by the state (as in, “Oh hi, Louisiana”).  This makes zero sense.  Why would the super-powerful and, for the majority of existence, hidden vampires arrange themselves based on arbitrary human dividing lines?  Sure having multiple kingdoms in the US makes sense, but not arranged based on the human-created state lines.  It doesn’t fit into the characterization of what a vampire is.

I think what really bothered me about this book though was that it made me dislike Sookie.  I don’t like how she behaves, her superficial focus on clothing, or her prejudiced view of northerners.  (Not a single northern woman she runs into does she view as anything other than a rude bitch).  I don’t always need to like my main characters, but I think in a paranormal romance that’s problematic.

Overall, the action is excellent, even if some of the world-building doesn’t make sense and the characterization can be off-putting.  I think this may be a set-up for a major, character-changing circumstance in Sookie’s life, which would make it more understandable.  We’ll see if I’m right.

3 out of 5 stars

Source: Bought on Amazon

Buy It

Previous Books in Series:
Dead Until Dark, review
Living Dead in Dallas, review
Club Dead, review
Dead To The World, review
Dead as a Doornail, review
Definitely Dead, review

  1. December 17, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I’ve only read one of the Sookie books, but I agree with you – they’re average. I haven’t figured out why everyone loves them so much.

    • December 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm

      I’m sure a large part of the following has to do with the tv show True Blood that is based on the books, and is frankly far more engrossing. There is a lot of potential in the Sookie Stackhouse books that Harris comes oh so close to grasping but just misses. Fortunately, True Blood is capable of taking that next step.

  2. December 17, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Very interesting review! You have such a different perspective than I do! I agree that Sooky takes a long time to figure things out, but I think her naivety is supposed to be part of her appeal. Also, I guess I find it very funny that the vampires use the state lines. I saw it as part of Harris’s tongue-in-cheek humor. But I do think there was too much politics in this one.

    • December 17, 2009 at 3:15 pm

      Hey I’m always happy when a fellow book blogger finds my blog!
      I could agree with you about Sookie’s naivete if this was an early book, but the woman not only sees what people *really* think, she also has now had extensive experience with the supernatural world and the Fellowship. If she hasn’t wisened up by now, I’m thinking not going to college was about more than telepathy making classrooms hard 😉
      I can see your point that some people would find the vampires’ kingdoms lining up with the states funny, but that’s just not my sense of humor.

  3. December 18, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I find it amusing that you’re quite an opposite to me on this series – I didn’t really like the TV show when I tried to watch it, and you prefer it to the books! I also think you got more out of your English major than I did. I didn’t at all pick up on the fact that Sookie has an attitude towards northerners, and I do still like her. I can see your arguments but somehow I still really enjoy this series!

    • December 18, 2009 at 3:23 pm

      Hmm, I’d say I’m not entirely opposite since I’m still reading them 😉 I’ve always had a tendency to over-analyze everything; something that worked great for the English and History majors, not so great in real life, lol. Thanks for the complement though!

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