Review: The Sookie Stackhouse Companion

By Charlaine Harris

Gollancz, out now

A new short story alongside various very useful insights into the world of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels.

If you’re a fan of True Blood and have been put off by the large number of Sookie Stackhouse novels that Charlaine Harris has produced over the past decade, this book may well be for you. Its most important parts – barring the new Sookie short story, which like most of Harris’s short offerings in this universe, is fun but a little disposable – are a timeline of the stories, and an encyclopaedia covering the world.

As Harris explains in one of the different Q&As in the book (there’s a not-overly insightful one with True Blood supremo Alan Ball as well as with Harris), she felt she couldn’t ignore Hurricane Katrina’s effect on New Orleans when writing a book about Louisiana, but that has undeniably tied Sookie to a specific time and place. The stories are still happening in a pre-Obama America, and given there’s only two more to go, chances are that’s the way they will stay. The timeline gives exact days for the events in the books, and, rather like Steven Moffat’s little additions for the Doctor Who series box sets, there’s some extra material provided, which fills in some of the gaps. These are mostly accounts of phone calls between Bill and Eric, some of which are obvious from the stories; others of which may make you laugh out loud.

Add in some delicious-sounding recipes, Sookie’s guide to the various supernatural races, and a quiz, and you’ve got a well put together package that will be enjoyed by Sookie fans of the literary and television variety.  7/10

Paul Simpson

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