Living Dead in Dallas, By Charlaine Harris - Book review
by Anca Antoci
Author: Charlaine Harris
Amazon: 4.60 (buy)
Our review: 4.00 (read)
This is the second book in The Southern Vampire Mysteries series by Charlaine Harris.
Although I recommend you read the series in order, the book can be read as a stand-alone. The author explains her universe at the beginning of the book and there are several references throughout the book that get explained for those who skipped the first book. Basically, once a Japanese group created synthetic blood, vampires all over the world “came out of the coffin” and joined the mainstream society. This kind of explanation and other references happen in other books from this series too. To be honest, I found this a bit annoying. I say this from the perspective of someone who read the books in order and finds the same things explained over and over again and keep thinking ‘Yeah, I knew this already. Why do you keep telling me this in every book?! If you said it once, it’s enough!’. But I get why she did that and since it’s just a couple of sentences I didn’t find it too off-putting.
Just like the first book, this is a fast-paced and action-packed mystery-adventure novel with a complicated romantic relationship that hints at a love triangle later on. The action takes place in a universe where supernatural beings live among us and often wreak havoc in the human world. The characters are generally well written in such a manner that even the bad guys have you rooting for them every now and then. I loved this book as much as I did the first one.
This second book follows the adventures of telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse of Bon Temps, Louisiana, as she is ”borrowed” by Dallas vampires to use her telepathic skills to help find a missing nest member. Vampire Bill accompanies her to Dallas to keep her safe which he fails to accomplish. Similar to the first book, there is a murder mystery subplot that needs solving. As expected after the first book, the action is unpredictable and rolls like a rollercoaster while the end result is exhilarating.
Sookie is a fun, relatable character. Although a bit naive at times, she’s portrayed as a strong, down-to-earth person despite all hell breaking loose around her. I find her very likable with her quirks, self-deprecating humor, and great appreciation of the absurd.
This time, Sookie is attacked by a maenad to send a message to Eric Northman and wounded badly. When she is in pain while a healer is tending to the wound, Eric does his best to distract her.
“By the way, I haven’t heard an ‘I’m sorry’ from you yet.” My sense of grievance had overwhelmed my sense of self-preservation.
I am sorry that the maenad picked on you.”
I glared at him. “Not enough,” I said. I was trying hard to hang on to this conversation.
Angelic Sookie, vision of love and beauty, I am prostrate that the wicked evil maenad violated your smooth and voluptuous body, in an attempt to deliver a message to me.”
That’s more like it.”
Humor is present throughout the story, mostly in dialogue form between Sookie and Eric. One of my favorite quotes from the book takes place right after Eric throws himself on top of Sookie to protect her from bullets during an attack:
“Glass shattered, vampires roared, humans screamed. The noise battered at me, just as the tidal wave of scores of brains at high gear washed over me. When it began to taper off, I looked up into Eric’s eyes. Incredibly, he was excited. He smiled at me.
Eric: “I knew I’d get on top of you somehow,” he said.
Sookie: “Are you trying to make me mad so I’ll forget how scared I am?”
Eric: “No, I’m just opportunistic.”
I wiggled, trying to get out from under him, and he said, “Oh, do that again. It felt great.”
If you like reading a compelling mix of mystery, fantasy, and complicated romance drizzled with snarky comments, then you’re in for a treat!
I love how Mrs. Harris manages to make mayhem, bloodshed, and bizarre situations entertaining.