Small-town cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has had more than her share of experience with the supernatural – but now it’s really hitting close to home. When Sookie sees her brother Jason’s eyes start to change, she knows he’s about to turn into a werepanther for the first time – a transformation he embraces more readily than most shapeshifters she knows. But her concern becomes cold fear when a sniper sets his deadly sights on the local changeling populations, and Jason’s new panther brethren suspect he may be the shooter. Now Sookie has until the next full moon to find out who’s behind the attacks – unless the killer decides to find her first…
The first line of the book sets the whole storyline for Jason: “I knew my brother turn into a panther before he did.” As we learned in the last book, Jason was kidnapped and bitten repeatedly by werepanther, Felton Norris. As a result, Jason will now shift into half man/half panther on each full moon. Meanwhile, Sam and Calvin Norris are both shot and Sookie finds out that there have been several Were shootings throughout Louisiana. Unfortunately, Calvin immediately suspects Jason is the shooter taking out his anger for being kidnapped and turned into a werepanther. Poor Jason; he’s consistently getting blamed for stuff he didn’t do. His saving grace is unfortunately when Sookie gets shot while leaving the library. Seeing as she is Jason’s only family left, it seems implausible that he would try to gun down his own sister. When Sookie is released from the hospital and she and Sam continue their investigation, they find themselves face to face with one of the “bad guys” in an alley while Sam is in dog form. I was actually incredibly surprised when this shooter was revealed, because I absolutely did not see it coming! As far as the other antagonist in this book, I actually did have an idea who it was from the beginning. I just had a strange feeling about this character and their mannerisms. Something just wasn’t right with this yahoo. Even though one of the villains didn’t come as a surprise to me, I did love being blindsided when the identity of the shooter Sookie and Sam ran into was revealed.
The big news in the Long Tooth pack is that their pack leader is hit and killed by a car, so they need a replacement and Alcide’s father decides to throw his name in the hat. In an attempt to help out his father, Alcide convinces Sookie to read the minds of the other pack leaders and while at the competition for pack leader Sookie meets another potential love interest; a weretiger named Quinn. I actually really liked that we learned more about the werewolf community and their politics. The past four books have pretty well provided us with how vampire politics work, so it was nice to see how werewolf politics differ. I’ll also just come right out and say it; I didn’t like the Sookie and Quinn relationship from the very beginning! I have been swayed between her love interests in the past, but he was one that I never wanted her to end up with. It may sound trivial, but it drove me crazy that he ALWAYS called her Babe. It was never Sookie…always Babe. I’m all for cute pet names, but at least change it up every once in a while, homeboy!
Now, onto the vampires; Eric got his memory back at the end of the last book and has been grilling Sookie for information on what exactly happened between them while he was in his amnesia state. Sookie finally agrees to tell him…everything…from their sexual escapades to him hiding Debbie Pelt’s body. I feel for Sookie during this moment, because she really fell for him while he had amnesia, and you can tell that she knows they will never have that same relationship. I was actually really disappointed about this too, because I loved Sookie and Eric’s relationship…while he had amnesia. He was so sweet and wonderful to her, and it made me firmly plant myself on Team Eric. I want them together! But now that Sookie’s list of possible love interests has grown by a couple more (Calvin Norris and Quinn) maybe she’ll decide to stray away from the vamps for a while and take a walk on the wild side.
This maintained the same level of writing as the previous books, although this was probably my least favorite book so far. Harris maintains to add more mystery and keep me wanting to read more about Sookie Stackhouse’s crazy world full of mythological creatures.