Monday, August 3, 2009Life sure has gotten interesting for Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse ever since she started dating Bill Compton, a vampire. Most recently one of her co-workers is murdered and the body dumped in the car of local cop, Andy Bellefleur. As if that isn't enough, Sookie gets a nasty dose of poison from a Maenad. Lucky for her the Area 5 vampires are able to suck the poisoned blood from her veins. Considering that they saved her life and she had made a deal with Eric, Sookie is no one to say no when they want to loan her and her telepathic abilities to the vampires over in Area 6. Soon enough Sookie is in Dallas helping to find a missing vampire which is easier said than done when it looks like an anti-vampire group are involved and with the aid of another vampire at that.
Compared to the previous book in the series, the second instalment to the Southern Vampire Mysteries is packed with action. Not that Dead Until Dark was at all dull, but now that the groundwork has been set, things certainly took a step up in Living Dead in Dallas.
While I still enjoyed this book as much, if not more, than the first, there is one little thing that I would like to nitpick at. Now, I do not read these books for the romance but all the same I really do feel that the relationship between Bill and Sookie needs some better developing. It seemed like Bill only really managed to be around for the arguments and the sex. In scenes with a larger cast he has a tendency to often make like wall paper. Also, wanting sex when Sookie was injured far from endeared him to me and I would much rather that Harris had used that together time for something more substantial to help flesh out their relationship. At least we are not being asked to pretend that this is twu wuv and Sookie at least considers that while she loves Bill, she doesn't know if she is in love love with him. I did like their final scene together very much though, seeing as Bill did open up there and we did get to learn a little more about him.
Eric, however, is definitely growing on me. Should Sookie ditch Bill for Eric though? I don't know if Eric would make a better boyfriend at all but at least he is a more interesting character at the moment.
Another relationship that kind of bugged me, just a little, was that between Sookie and Arlene. I kind of expected some sort of tension there or at least some mention of what had happened in Dead Until Dark. Some sort of aftermath.
What I did like was meeting the shapeshifters and it was particularly interesting to learn that not all Supes (Supernaturals) want to be made public like the vampires. The Fellowship of the Sun, a religiously orientated anti-Vampire group, was a pretty exciting addition too. Sookie is also growing more comfortable with her telepathic abilities, referring to them less as her "disability" and being more open with using them to achieve her goals. I would like to see if Barry pops again in the future as well and I thought that the Meanad was pretty original too. How many of those do you see popping up in fiction at the moment? Not many.
The pacing of the story was also pretty good, so I did not mind so much that the Bon Temps murder story line was left behind for a good while so that Sookie could go off to Dallas. Aside from my nitpicking at the need for some more relationship development, Living Dead in Dallas is still just as fun as the first book and I will be picking up the next book in the series.