Saturday, March 14, 2009

REVIEW: Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

Living Dead in Dallas coverSeries: Sookie Stackhouse #2
Genre: Paranormal Fiction
Pub Date: April 2002, Ace Books
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Source/FTC Disclosure: I purchased my copy of this book. I was in no way compensated for this review and my opinions are my own.
Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is on a streak of bad luck. First, her coworker s murdered and no one seems to care. Then she's face-to-face with a beastly creature that gives her a painful and poisonous lashing. Enter the vampires, who graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn't enjoy it).
Point is, they saved her life. So when one of the bloodsuckers asks for a favor, she complies. And soon, Sookie's in Dallas using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire. She's supposed to interview certain humans involved. There's just one condition: The vampires must promise to behave--and let the humans go unharmed. Easier said than done. All it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly.


MY THOUGHTS

As I mentioned in my review of Dead Until Dark, I liked this book much better than the first. (I have to confess that if I hadn't taken a leap of faith and bought the boxed set, I might not have continued reading this series after the first book.) My hope is that the books will continue to get better as I get deeper into them. Basically, I found the plot line of this story more interesting (it was also tighter) than the first book, and it was nice to see that Sookie developed her telepathic powers to actually project some thoughts, rather than only focus on reading other people's minds. The story begins and ends in Sookie's hometown of Bon Temps, but the bulk of the story takes place in Dallas. I appreciated the fact that in the end, you got to see two mysteries solved, though there is much less focus (as I would expect) on the events in Bon Temps.

For some specifics, I liked the appearance of the maenad, which added another supernatural element that I don't think is as commonly written about. I also liked hearing more about the shapeshifting population, even if that was in Dallas as opposed to Louisiana. While for some reason I do still find myself annoyed with Sookie and Bill's relationship (mostly Sookie's part in it), the more I think about it, the more it makes sense and I'm sure Harris wrote it that way for a reason. It would have to be pretty difficult for a human and vampire to have any normal kind of relationship. As with the first book, there's some adult language and quite a bit of sex, so it may not be for everyone, but overall I found it to be a pretty good, easy read.

3 stars

Other reviews of Living Dead in Dallas:

42 comments:

  1. Melissa,

    It sounds like a really good book! I've never really been into the vampire books, but they are sounding better and better!

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  2. I guess I got hooked on vampire books at a relatively young age--more when there's a romance involved than just pure gore and violence, though. And I guess I'm sort of old-fashioned, but I usually prefer them when they're a little cleaner (in terms of both language and sex) but I do try to keep an open mind.

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  3. I've only read the first in this series but loved it. I need to get back to it plus there's a few new ones I need to buy. Have you read MaryJanice Davidson's Undead series. They're really good too.

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  4. Thanks for the suggestion, Dar, I'll have to take a look at those!!

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  5. I think the Sookie books get better as you go along. I love Sookie and I really need to get back to her (I think I've read 5). And Dar is right the Davidson books are really funny and good.

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  6. Totally agree. I am getting ready to start book 3 today.

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  7. I too, have to get back to this series. I read books 1-3 back to back and it was Sookie world overload. I love Sookie's vibrant spirit. And, I was also disappointed how Sookie and Bill's relationship was developing (or not). Looking forward to see how they end up.

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  8. I love this cover; it's so bizarre.
    I'm glad you liked this one better than the first one.

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  9. I also liked this one much more. :) I thought the story was at least a little bit more believable.

    I've posted a review of this book here: http://paperback-passion.com/2009/04/living-dead-in-dallas-review/

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  10. Poor Sookie, she totally got sucked one dangerous situation after another.

    I love this cover where Sookie's sitting on a coffin in the night sky. :D

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  11. Thanks for the review. It seems that this is parallel with the second season on HBO. I was going to delay reading it because I don't want it to spoil it for me but I may change my mind.

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  12. Great review, the cover looks really interesting too.

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  13. I almost bought the boxed set, but am always a bit wary of a new series. What if I bought them all but hated the first book? Though I am happy to hear that this one seems to be worth it so far.

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  14. I love your review, Melissa!

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  15. Great to know that the series develops more, now I'm doubly intrigued. Thanks for the great review.

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  16. This one sounds more appealing than the first. It definitely sounds like they need to be read in the proper order though - good to know!

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  17. Hmm. I actually don't remember book 2 very much. Time to re-read this series!

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  18. How sad is it that I KNOW I read this book and can't remember a thing about it. Your review and "from the back cover" don't even jar a thought.

    I better join Bookfiend in re-reading the series.

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  19. I've only read part of the first book, on CD and it's a great audiobook, but I really like how I felt Charlainne Harris's vampires felt realistic to me. The world she created felt more real than fantasy and I think that's why I've enjoyed them so far.

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  20. I love True Blood, so I am anxious to start reading the Southern Vampire Mysteries.

    Please enter me in your Sookie book giveaway:

    brightmyer249(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  21. Yes, I think this book is where the books really start getting good. I love the whole set up of the shapeshifting community in the books - a very interesting hierarchy.

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  22. I really like books that have a mixture of supernatural elements to them. These sound like they are right up my alley.

    Thanks for the giveaway and great reviews as always.

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  23. Thanks for this review, I'll be sure to check out these books!

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  24. I liked this book better too. I got to know the characters and find out more about their stories. It was interesting to have different creatures too. By now I probably need to read them again from the beginning. I think I forgot too much to start up with book 4 where I left off. Great review!

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  25. Great review! It's good to see that the series seems to get better with the second book.

    megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  26. My thinking is that maybe Charlene is getting comfortable with her character or the ideas- Maenad seems intriguing as well.

    Seahn

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  27. ok at least I know I will definitely like the 2nd one :)

    Thanks for the review!

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  28. This sounds like a great series of books!

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  29. It sound a bit like Twilight. I got pretty annoyed with Bella so I guess I have to be prepared to be annoyed with Sookie as well when I read the second book.

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  30. I haven't read a good vampire romance in a while! Thanks for this review!

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  31. Thanks for the review. It sounds lighter than the Twilight series, which is hat I am looking for this summer

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  32. It does sound like a more interesting book than the first. What exactly don't you like about their relationship, though? Just curious. The review is a tad vague.

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  33. S.M.D. ~ Well, I do tend to keep things vague sometimes because I don't like to give away too much about a book. In this case, I just feel like their relationship has very little depth to it. It seems as if it's all about the physical side and the two of them don't have much of an emotional connection. Great question!

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  34. I was also glade to see sookie develop her telepathic skills I hope through out the series they continue to develop into exciting events!

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  35. That's interesting that you liked the second book in the series more than the first...intriguing!

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  36. I love it that a series gets progressively better. Fingers crossed.

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  37. These books intrigue me, and I'm very curious to see how I feel when I read them!

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  38. I like it that the second book is even better than the first. Sookie is sent to Dallas and this will make it even more inteesting for me. Great review.

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  39. So the books get better as u keep reading.hmmm

    sookie must be realy annoying lol.

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  40. Sounds like a lot of fun, and I enjoy books with many supernatural elements.

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  41. This sounds really interesting and would be fun to read!

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  42. I love the title and the cover. I'll have to read it once I read the first book.

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