Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris's Dead Until DarkImage via Wikipedia

Title: Living Dead in Dallas
Author: Charlaine Harris
Pages: 291
Publisher: Ace Books
ISBN: 0-441-01673-1

Waiting tables, sweeping floors, reading minds and solving mysteries for the undead. It's all in a day's work for Sookie...
Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is on a streak of real bad luck. First, her co-worker gets murdered and no one seems to care. Then Sookie is attacked - and poisoned - late one night by some weird and apparently mythical beast. She only survives because the local vampires roll up and graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn't enjoy it). But in return the blood-suckers need a favor.
Which is why Sookie ends up in Dallas, using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire, on the condition that her undead friends don't do anything, well, vampiric while she's there. Easier said than done. All it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly...
Living Dead in Dallas is the second installment of the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Sookie and Bill is ordered for another mission by Area 5 sheriff Eric as he “rented” them to Stan to find his missing vampire brother Farrell. In addition to their mission, Sookie found out that her friend and co-worker at Merlotte, Lafayette, was found dead in detective Andy Bellefleur’s car. And then a Maenad named Callisto confronted Sookie to deliver a message to Eric regarding tribute. Unfortunately, the message was inflicted on Sookie directly. Sookie’s life just got more complicated since meeting Bill but the action doesn’t stop there.
As the couple reached Dallas to find Farrell, Sookie later found out that the kidnapping was caused by The Fellowship of the Sun which was an anti-vampire semi Christian cult that detested vampires. Having investigated the situation, the group later learned that Godfrey was behind the kidnapping. As the action continues, Sookie’s life hangs by a thread as she is attacked by the fellowship in addition to finding out that Hugo, who was Stan’s human servant and lover of Isabele, was the traitor. Sookie was helped by Luna who was also in an undercover mission again the fellowship. After rescuing Farrell from the fellowship, Stan’s nest was later attacked by the fellowship and a lot of humans died during the attack. Eric took a bullet trying to save Sookie’s life and in the process, Eric suggested Sookie to suck the bullet from the wound. Later on Sookie found out that by doing so, she and Eric are now sharing a bond that Sookie doesn’t want in the first place being the devoted girlfriend she is to Bill.
When the party goes back to Bon Temps, Sookie was decided to find out who killed Lafayette. Sookie got invited to a sex party organized by Mike Spencer. Since Sookie was decided to find out who killed Lafayette, she asked the help of Eric to accompany her to the party. Using her telepathic abilities, Sookie found out that Mike and Tom killed Lafayette brutally after the party was interrupted by Bill, Andy and Sam together with Callisto. Callisto having enjoyed the lust and violence of the party later killed Mike, Tom and his wife and another civilian named Jan. With the crime solved, Eric glamour Tara into forgetting what happened after Eric and Bill burned the house to remove any evidence of what Callisto did.
Living Dead in Dallas was better than the first book but I was somewhat confused on how the story was told. The story went from Bon Temps to Dallas – Dallas to Bon Temps. It was like Harris inserted the story of the kidnapping just to add something to the story. Although it was entertaining, I would have loved if it wasn’t written that way. Sookie is still hilarious and lovable as always though she’s still prone to having emotional breakdowns now and then. Sookie and Bill’s love story becomes steamy with Eric on the side. To be honest, I don’t really feel the spark between Sookie and Bill it’s as if something is missing in their relationship- or Bill just doesn’t appeal to me like Eric does. I don’t feel the spark of their partnership.
I love how Harris keeps you guessing by not showing who the villain is in the story. This is what keeps me reading the series until the last page. Living Dead in Dallas is a great addition to a fast paced, adventure packed series. What I love about this series are the character development and how each character has their own story in the series. It is not advisable to read the book stand alone since it picks up where the first book left so unless you read Dead until Dark - you will probably get confused. Warning to readers for this book contains graphic violence and vivid brutal scenes.

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