Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris
Even though I'm kind of trying to do the Cannonball Read 5K (though I doubt I really have time during the week to do that much reading), I read another of the Sookie Stackhouse novels over the weekend while in Munich. Since I figured I'd be sitting on the subway for a while, I wanted something that would fit in my bag without feeling like I was lugging a gigantic tome around (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, being a hardcover is rather hefty).
Gotta say despite my rant over the last one, I actually kind of enjoyed this one. Yes, the word a day calendar was still in play but less obnoxious, possibly because I already raged about it. There was another instance of Sookie being more innocent than she logically should be, but the characters were more interesting, and the story line as well. And even better, Bill barely made an appearance in this one - I guess the guy annoys me so much he kind of sucks the life out of the novels - no pun intended. While Sookie was far from dependent on him before, it was still nice to his presence removed from the action, and to no longer have him slightly influencing or controlling her.
Harris expands upon the shapeshifter community even more in this one, though of course they've been in play in all the novels. Now, however, Sookie is also learning a little bit more about their hierarchy, though just like with the vampires, she only has glimpses here and there. In this story, evil witches have come to town, erased the mind of Eric, the most powerful vampire in the area, and are trying to take over the area from other supernatural beings. I know, it sounds ridiculous. And it by no means has anywhere near the depth or intelligence behind it that Buffy does, which could also occasionally sound ridiculous. But hey, as a light (both weight and attention-wise) read, this worked well, and it was fun. After Club Dead, it was actually nice to see the series improve some rather than continue to get worse or more annoying.