Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book Review: True Blood All Together Now by Alan Ball et al.

True Blood All Together Now
Authors: Alan Ball, David Tischman, Mariah Huehner, David Messina
Publication: IDW Publishing (February 15, 2011)

Description: Blood and sex mix on a hot rainy night at Merlotte's, when Sookie and her friends are trapped by a vengeful spirit who feeds on shame. People die and dirty secrets are revealed as Sookie, Bill, Eric, Sam, Tara, Jason, and Lafayette and are all coerced to dig deep and tell painful memories from their past — those things we all have locked within us that we never tell another living soul! Bon Temps, Louisiana has never been stranger, or more twisted, in a story co-plotted by True Blood series creator Alan Ball, with a script by David Tischman (Bite Club) and Mariah Huehner, and lush art by David Messina (Star Trek: Countdown).

My Thoughts: So, this story begins on a rainy night in Louisiana. An evil spirit, and Imp Shaloop, comes to Merlotte's and traps the staff and patrons. It is an old Choctaw spirit that eats souls with evil thoughts. He calls himself Ted and requires all of the patrons to tell the most shameful secret about themselves before he will let them go. 

Sookie, Eric, Tara, Sam, Lafayette, and Jason willingly tell their stories. Bill is the last to tell his. But the spirit is a trickster whose real purpose is to take revenge on Eric because Eric refused to help the trickster spirit's mother when the spirit begged for help. The spirit also kills a number of the patrons in Merlotte's including the girl who was Jason's date. But since the characters killed by Ted, in the Star Trek terminology, are all "red shirts", we don't really miss them. There deaths just serve to ramp up the sense of danger. After the trickster collects all the stories, he forces Eric to feel all the emotions he collected which is very hard on a vampire. Then he lets them go. But Eric sticks around to talk to Sookie about something he really fears - a crazy vampire that he thought Godric had staked. Then the book ends on that cliffhanger.

The story was interesting and had some backstory about our favorite characters that help make them more well-rounded people. I would have liked more depth to the story but lack of depth seems to be a characteristic of graphic novels that I don't feel the art quite compensates for. 

The full-color art was well-done except for one frame early in the book where the terrible scary monster was almost completely swallowed the by center binding of the book (pp 14-15). The characters mostly look like they do on the television show. I did have trouble recognizing Tara in a couple of the frames. I liked the composition of the frames and the color palette used. This would be a good book for fans of True Blood to have if they, like me, are waiting for the next season to come out on DVD.

This book had been sitting on my TBR stack since March 14, 2011. The only disadvantage to pulling this one off my TBR mountain to read is that, after I finished it, I had to go buy Volume 2 and Volume 3 which just adds two more to the mountain.

Favorite Quote (Lafayette and Tara are talking about Jason):
"It's a good thing that boy is pretty."

"Where the Hell did he find that void in a skirt?"

"They find him. He's like catnip for white trash."
I bought this one because I am a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series of books and True Blood. You can get your copy here.

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