Book two of the Sookie Stackhouse aka Southern Vampire Mysteries aka True Blood series follows on with the story of Sookie the waitress in the small, Southern town of Bon Temps. This time finds Sookie and Bill heading off to Dallas to make use of her powers in solving a missing person case.. if you can call a vampire a ‘person’. Just as book one was in essence series one of the True Blood HBO series, book two is series two though with a few more differences this time, which I think may be why this book appealed to me a bit more than Dead Until Dark did.
Although it was mostly the writing style and the plentiful sex in Dead Until Dark that had me cringing from time to time, the blandness of reading such a familiar story must also have had something to do with my lack of enjoyment, though it wasn’t awful, it wasn’t really for me. However, I have heard that after book three the series improves greatly and I adore the HBO series so, as I have books one to nine already, I decided to keep going and this time I was pleasantly surprised. The writing style either improved in Living Dead In Dallas or going in expecting it, I realised that it was actually a brilliant depiction of this Southern woman’s character, but it didn’t put me off at all this time and the sex didn’t bother me at all ((I’m not a prude I’m just not into romance and I’m not used to descriptions of sex in as great detail as Harris goes into at times)), though it did feel like there was less of it. There are also new characters, and the more familiar. There are twists right from the start that I never expected which did grip me, and the intrigue of the supernatural world.
One thing that bothers me in these paranormal romances that seem to be springing up like dandelions at the moment is that the protagonists, no matter how badass they may or may not be, seem to allow themselves to become ‘kept women’ when they enter these supernatural underworlds. But not Sookie Stackhouse. She is in love with Bill, intrigued by him, perhaps even addicted to him, but throughout, she tries to keep herself to herself. Though she might not always succeed at being her own person since meeting the vampires, she at least tries, which gives me much more respect for her character than any other that I have read or heard about so far.
I’ve given Living Dead In Dallas a 3 star rating because I did enjoy it, but it still didn’t quite ‘wow’ me. I suppose having seen the series first and knowing the ins and outs already and roughly where the stories are going to go doesn’t entirely help, because they do seem to be very good books and the way Harris has written her vampires is wonderful, however, I fully expect once I get onto the more unfamiliar stories, I’m going to like them a little more.
I can recommend these books to, obviously, fans of the HBO True Blood series, and also to adults who enjoy paranormal stories particularly featuring vampires. Do be warned though, they aren’t really suitable for children as they can get a little graphic.