First Line: Andy Bellefleur was as drunk as a skunk.
The sequal to Charlaine Harris’ Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, takes the reader more into the world of the supernatural. Characters we were introduced to in Book 1 of the Southern Vampire Mysteries reappear with more fervor, their character are more refined while main characters from Dead Until Dark drift into the background. With this book storyline, that scenario works well.
In Dead Until Dark, the senior vampire, Eric, of Bon Temps learns of Sookie’s telepathic ability, and is able to use her skills to find out which of his employees is trying to embezzle money from Fantasia, Eric’ vampire bar. In Living Dead in Dallas, we learn that Sookie is being loaned out to a group of vampires in Dallas. Sookie goes to Dallas accompanied by Bill, to help with the investigation of a missing vampire. As soon as she steps foot in the airport, she is quickly thrust into dangerous company. With one of the vampires missing, the Fellowship of the Sun is the prime suspect in this vampire-kidnapping. The Fellowship of the Sun is an equivalent to the KKK, or some other organized hate group. Bill is out of the picture for the majority of the book, and Sookie as our primary narrator is left to fend for herself through traumatic ordeal after traumatic ordeal.
While Dead Until Dark played more on the humans in the novel, this book delves deeply into the Supernatural, with the rough introduction of a Maenad who attacks Sookie towards the beginning of the novel, to further emphasis and explanation on shapeshifters. What I liked about Living Dead in Dallas is Sookie. She is your normal, average feel. She’s not too smart, or too dumb, she’s neither too strong nor too weak. She isn’t lucky, but she isn’t unlucky either. She falls into dangerous situations, but she tends to walk into these situations head-on knowing fully the consequences and possible outcomes. She is a strong female role model, a girl who wants to be loved and taken care of, but a girl who can stand her ground when she needs to, and still be charming and polite. Bill is more subdued in this book. He is less mysterious and more annoying than anything else. His senior vampire, Eric takes a stronger presence in this novel and is more entertaining as an outlandish vampire than boring Bill.
I’m curious to see how this will play out on the TV show. I wish I still had HBO so that I could keep watching Trueblood. From what I’ve heard and seen the TV show is almost word-by-word taken straight from the book.
FINAL GRADE: A-Living Dead in Dallas By Charlaine Harris Ace Books, 2002 ISBN 441009239 262 pages *********************