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Want to read a book that truly sucks...in a good way? Head to your local bookstore May 5th to pick up a copy of Dead and Gone , the ninth installment in Charlaine Harris' vampire-riffic Sookie Stackhouse series (the inspiration for the sultry HBO hit True Blood).

For those of you who've been living in a cave in Transylvania, Harris' stellar stories follow Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress from Bon Temps, Louisiana, who finds herself surrounded by a host of supernatural characters, including vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, witches and fairies who continually keep Sookie on her toes with everything from romantic trysts to telepathy-related assignments.

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In this chapter, the saga takes some heavier turns with many of the main characters facing challenges that could change things in Bon Temps permanently. Yet Harris keeps her writing witty and slightly campy while providing some excellent steaminess to offset the more serious parts of her novel. As usual, Sookie kicks some ass, gets some ass and, inevitably, gets her ass kicked, but that's life among the living, eh?

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Picking up just after two major supernatural power struggles, one among the vamps, the other among the Weres, Dead and Gone opens with a whopper of a surprise , and then chaos follows, including the vicious murder of a local Were, outbursts of rage and violence across the country and turmoil in Sookie's own life. The 'gifted' waitress finds herself in the middle of a homicide investigation, an FBI shootout, and ever-changing relationships with former-flame Eric, former-love Bill, and her red-hot boss, Sam. But Sookie faces worse demons than her exes, as a more brutal supernatural war than she's ever seen begins to intensify and she finds herself, per ushe, stuck in the crossfire.

Dead and Gone brings Harris' series to a slightly more solemn and mature level, but reading it still gives you the sense you're catching up with an old friend, one who just happens to have the most exciting, strangest gossip you've ever heard. [Lisa Rogal]

 Are you as addicted to the Sookie Stackhouse series are we are here at BUST HQ? Let us know!

Emily Rems is a feminist writer, editor, rock star, playwright, and occasional plus-size model living in New York’s East Village. Best known as managing editor of BUST magazine, Emily is also a music and film commentator for New York’s NPR affiliate WNYC, and is the drummer for the horror-punk band the Grasshoppers. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in the anthologies Cassette from my Ex and Zinester’s Guide to NYC, and her short stories have been published in Rum Punch Press, Lumen, Prose ‘N Cons Mystery Magazine, Writing Raw, and PoemMemoirStory. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for fiction in 2015 and is working on a novel. Follow her on Twitter @emilyrems.

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