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Harris, Charlaine: Living Dead in Dallas

books x 4
Living Dead in Dallas (2002)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Mystery
Pages: 291 (mass market paperback)
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #2

When a vampire asks cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse to use her telepathic skills to find another missing vampire, she agrees under one condition: the vampires must promise to behave and let the humans that are involved to go unharmed. Easier said than done. All it takes is one delicious blond and one small mistake for things to turn deadly.

Why I Read It: I surprisingly found myself not-hating the first book in this series, so I decided to keep going.

All right, so this book caught my off guard again because of my knowledge of the television show. In HBO's True Blood, Lafayette is, to my knowledge, a pretty important character who is around a lot. In the first book he was hardly around at all, but there was such a focus on Sookie that I thought the main cast in the books would start to expand as the books progressed. This is not the case. Lafayette? He's DEAD in the first chapter of this book. Soo.. that surprised me.

That aside though, I liked this book. I really did. No, it's not mind-blowing (I only rated it 3 stars on goodreads) but it was fun. And I like Sookie. She really does carry these books for me; she's so lovable and plucky and resourceful and despite being psychic and embroiled in all this vampire business, she's so normal and down-to-earth. I could see myself being friends with someone like Sookie. The only thing about her that irks me is I find she judges women a lot and there's a bit of female-bashing from Sookie. But she doesn't do it exclusively to women, so maybe that's a moot point, but I find she disses girls for the wrong reasons sometimes (ie. the way they dress, the fact that they go on a lot of dates with a lot of different men. Her friend Charlene comes to mind.)

I think my favourite part of this book, which is actually quite a big chunk of it, is Sookie's little adventure of going incognito into that crazy church place. She's pretty completely on her own and doesn't have Bill to back her up, so the stakes felt a little higher, and she really has a solid head on her soldiers. This section also introduced us to that vampire dude who wanted to repent and stuff; that was some interesting grey-area shizz happening (the vampire was basically a child molester but he was very sorry about it all and kind of saves Sookie's life). Werewolves (not shape-shifters like Sam) are ALSO introduced and there is some awesome female-bonding that happens between one of them and Sookie, which I really enjoyed reading (and kind of negates my comment about Sookie dissing other chicks, though I still think she kind of does.)

I have to say though that I was a little put off by the pacing of this book. The first chunk deals with the death of Lafayette, but then it's dropped because Sookie is whisked away to Dallas. So when the Dallas story arc wrapped up, it felt like the end of the book, except I knew it wasn't because I still had a chunk to get through. So that last little bit is about solving Lafeyette's murder, and the whole novel felt a little disjointed as a result.

Oh and, I kind of love Eric. I'm not sure why because he's kind of a dick and he's unnecessarily crass sometimes, but he's funny. I don't think I 'ship him and Sookie together because I don't think he's actually be a GOOD boyfriend, but he's amusing nonetheless. Bill was super blah and boring in this book, and I already know what a dick he is in Club Dead because I've already read it, so that might be affecting my review a bit.

Final Verdict: No, this series will probably never be a favourite of mine, but for the time being they're a lot of fun. I'm mildly enjoying this series mostly because of Sookie; she's a plucky heroine and easy to like, and it's honestly what keeps bringing me back for more. The mystery and romance aspect of these books? Meh, they're okay. The mysteries in this book were okay at best, and I wasn't too keen on Bill (he was a bit a yawn-fest to be honest), so the romance didn't do much for me either. I'm much more of a fan of Eric than Bill, despite him being the "bad boy" persona that drives me crazy in urban fantasy/PNR. Anyway, even though these aren't terribly memorable they're fun brain-candy and I'll keep reading until I get sick of them.

Cover Commentary: This bit is going to get repetitive for every book because I honestly hate the cover designs of every. single. one. of. these. books. They are so effing ugly, I can't STAND it. Also?? The stuff depicted on the covers (like Sookie riding a coffin. wtf?) never happen in the books. If they're going to be ugly, you'd think they'd at least be somewhat representative of what's happening in the books, but nooo.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
calico_reaction
Apr. 29th, 2012 07:06 pm (UTC)
I remember enjoying this one. Can't say much beyond that, as I gave up on this series a long time ago. :) But here's my review: http://calico-reaction.livejournal.com/84993.html
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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