Sookie always saves me. Just when I'm wondering if Spring will come at all, the new Sookie is suddenly out and life is brighter and more amusing. I'm always reminded of the spring I discovered this wonderful series and how they saved me then and, my, has it really been a year since I spent time with the gang, and how is every little thing? The last two books were somewhat transitional installments, in that Sookie's been through the wringer and is forced to reevaluate several aspects of her life, particularly the undead and shifty folk she's allied herself with and how much longer she's willing (or able) to go on being the one commodity everyone wants to have in their arsenal.
The wolves are coming out of the walls. On a quiet night in Merlotte's, Sookie serves patrons and watches as the were community officially comes out to the world, painting themselves as the vampires' fuzzier younger sibs. Reactions in Bon Temps range from mildly bemused acceptance to wildly outraged fear. That last courtesy of Sookie's sometime friend and co-worker Arlene and her crazy Fellowship of the Sun boyfriend. The level of unease increases a fair bit when a young were is found murdered outside Merlotte's and Jason is the prime suspect. Sam is called out of town on urgent family business and he leaves the whole mess for Sookie to manage in his absence. As though she doesn't have enough on her mind working out just how she feels about her continuing relationship with Eric, getting to know her fairy prince great-grandfather, and handling the ubiquitous Bill who never seems to stop lurking around her back porch. Eric continues to be my favorite character, after Sookie, and I'm glad they're finally talking to each other instead of circling uncertainly. Only good can come of it.
Time (and the neverending demands of the supernatural communties) have taken a toll on Sookie Stackhouse. That seems to be the central theme of the series at this point. If book 8 was spent recovering from the disastrous vampire summit, book 9 is all about Sookie coming to grips with what she has become. She's been independent and on her own (deadbeat Jason doesn't count) for a long time now and, though various vampires and shifters have passed through her house and affections, it always seems to come back to her frequently being a target and only being able to rely on herself. Eric, Bill, and Quinn are all interested in taking up some of the slack for her, but Sookie is smart. And strong. And will make a decision (if she does) when she's ready. And when she feels like she has all the pertinent information and a body she can trust. In the meantime, I trust her. I absolutely loved this installment. Book 10, see you next Spring!